Free and cheap fun for kids this week
Between the boo-hoo breakfasts and the faux hurricane scramble, we all need to let off some steam. Here's this week's offerings of reasonably priced fun for you and the kids.
You gotta love a tea party with a sense of humor and Tea and Wii Night goes down easy on Friday. For $5 admission from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at Hooker Tea Co., 300 Beach Drive NE, Suite 124, St. Petersburg, you get a bottomless cup of tea and a scone and kids can play virtual tennis. The shop will set up two Nintendo Wii consoles with Wii Sports and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, along with two Xbox 360 consoles loaded with Rock Band and Dance Dance Revolution Universe. The winner of each round earns a $1 store credit. Call (727) 894-4832 or go to hookertea.com.
Road trip! We don’t count the gas in our cheapie challenge but if you head on over to Clermont, a small town west of Pasco County and east of Orlando, the Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards’ August Stomp on Sunday is a family friendly day of grape stompings, wine tastings, winery tours, food, live music and a kids play area for only $2 to enter. It’s at 19239 U.S. 27 N, Clermont (the Zip is 34711 if you are Googling it) and it runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Take the kids (and some hankies) to the free showing of E.T., the classic 1982 Steven Spielberg flick that launched the adorable Drew Barrymore (then 7 years old) in a sci-fi fable that makes even the most cynical curmudgeon weep and cheer. It’s part of the Beach Theatre’s series of free kids films on Saturdays at 10 a.m., 315 Corey Ave. St. Pete Beach.
You get an outdoor and an indoor show at the free Movie Night at Brooker Creek. See “In the Company of Wild Butterflies” on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Afterward, visit the preserve’s butterfly garden and get tips for creating a native butterfly nursery in your yard. For all ages at the Environmental Education Center at Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road Tarpon Springs. Phone: (727) 453-6800.
The Lowry Park Zoo continutes its 20th Anniversary Days Admission Special on Wednesday (on the 20th, get it?) with an admission of $20 for two tickets (ages 3 and older), plus $2 specials for rides and food. The zoo is at 1101 W Sligh Ave. in Tampa and it's open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bring water shoes because there is a water play area for kids in addition to a playground. You can't bring any food or beverages into the zoo but you can receive a hand stamp for re-entry and picnic in one of the surrounding park areas. Regular admission is $18.95, $17.95 seniors, $14.50 ages 3-11.
All aboard, train lovers. The Regal Railways train show in Clearwater Saturday is $4 but free for those under 13. See the train layout and shop vendors of model trains and related supplies at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 512 S Lincoln Ave. Clearwater, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne