Free and cheap family fun for the weekend
The week is nearly over and now's the time to start planning ahead for your weekend fun. What do you want to do? We've got some ideas.
What can be more fun than free? Not much. So if you head over to the parking lot near Bay Street at International Plaza on Saturday, you can get a free sample of Breyer's Smooth and Creamy ice cream. It's National Ice Cream day on Sunday so why not get a jump start on the holiday at IP? The tastes will be doled out 11 a.m.-3 p.m. from the sampling truck in Tampa. You can also go to a National Ice Cream Day celebration at MOSI in Tampa from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. where guests will receive free samples of Blue Bell ice cream. The party is included with regular museum admission. For details, call (813) 987-6000 or go to MOSI's website.
Everybody loves Snooty, the manatee in Bradenton who has lived longer than any other captive manatee in the world. Snooty, has been in captivity since he was a baby, is about to turn 62 years old. Celebrate his birthday at a free party from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the Parker Manatee Aquarium at the South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W, Bradenton. The party will be held in the Spanish Plaza and there will be reduced admission tot he museum, planetarium and aquarium all day. For more information, call the aquarium at (941) 746-4131 or go to Snooty's party page.
You gotta believe that the fairies know how to party. So you'll want to take your girlies to the Tinker Bell and Fairy Friends Party at 5 p.m. Saturday at Barnes and Noble, 213 N Dale Mabry, Tampa. Little ones can come dressed as their favorite fairy for this special party. And maybe Tinker Bell will sprinkle some of her pixie dust around during the costume parade. Call (813) 871-2228 for details.
Several communities around the bay area will be having It Starts in the Parks events beginning Friday. You can either dance in the water play area (or maybe just let the kids do that), break out a skateboard, swim for free or many other activities in parks around the bay area, including Tampa, Largo and Dunedin. Click on the link above to find out the dates and times for the myriad events.
While this next event isn't free or necessarily cheap, it is a good service for kids and adults with autism. Two bay area movie theaters will present a Sensory Friendly showing of Despicable Me. For these presentations, which will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, the lights are left up, the sound is turned down and everyone is invited to get up and dance or sing along if the mood strikes. Standard ticket prices apply. Catch these showings at Veterans 24, 9302 Anderson Road, Tampa, ((813) 243-4881; and at the Woodlands Square 20, 3128 Tampa Road, Oldsmar, (727) 771-2883.
One of our favorite events to tout on this post is $5 Day at the Zoo, an almost monthly event held at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. As always, be warned that the weather will be hot and the crowds will be large. But go early, find a parking space and have fun. Let the kids cool off in the water play area and you can sit and relax for a moment. And you'll also get to see some really cute animal.s Find the fun at the zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.
Now here's an event where you really will want to leave the kids at home. And you won't even have to bother getting dressed up. The Sunrise Sale and Pajama Party in downtown St. Petersburg begins at 6:43 a.m. Saturday and because it's so early, you can just roll out of bed in your jammies and go shopping. There will be goodies along the say and plenty of bargains to snap up. Start your day at Baywalk, 151 Second Ave. N and then follow the trail of yellow and orange balloons to other participating stores.
We didn't event get a chance to mention the Harry Potter movie at the John F. Germany Library in Tampa, the Rays Watch Party as they take on the New York Yankees in the Bronx on Sunday or the Stuffed Animal Summer Slumber Party at the North Tampa Branch Library. For even more fun all weekend long, check out this list of family friendly events. And for date night, Florida travel or dining ideas, head over to Things to Do.
Make it a fun weekend. We've only got a few left before it's back-to-school time.
~ Sherry Robinson