Free and cheap kid fun this week
Don’t let a limited budget limit your fun. Here’s our look at things to do that cost less than a pair of skinny jeans.
The new Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel is hosting a free Symphony in Lights show starting Saturday with more than 250,000 LED lights choreographed to the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra blinking across the town center, every hour on the hour from 6 to 9 p.m. It runs through the end of December. Look here to see what the show has looked like at other centers. To celebrate the show's kick off there will be a concert Saturday in Center Court featuring a 10-piece brass band that will play throughout the night. It is free and open to the public.
Talk to the animals today (Thursday) as Lowry Park Zoo celebrates its 20th year with a deal on admission -- 2 for $20, a price you normally pay for one ticket. Check out the lions, tigers and flamigos -- oh my -- today (it's the 20th, get it?) at 1101 W Sligh Ave. in Tampa. It's open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There's lots of free movies to choose from this week. Take the kids to a free screening of Miracle on 34th Street at on Sunday at the Old Hyde Park Village, 742 S Village Circle, in South Tampa. The free event runs from 2 to 8 p.m. and includes kids’ activities plus screening of the film at 6 p.m. The Beach Theatre is still running its popular series of free kids movies on Saturdays at 10 a.m. This week it's Nancy Drew and Nov. 29 is Laurel and Hardy in Babes in Toyland. The movie house is at 315 Corey Ave. in St. Pete Beach. See a free outdoor showing of Speed Racer on Friday at St. Luke’s United Methodist, 4444 5th Avenue N St. Petersburg. Bring a lawn chair and cooler. Pizza, popcorn, and beverages available for purchase starting at 6:30 p.m.
Get some great decorating ideas at the Festival of Trees in Clearwater opening Tuesday and running through Nov. 30 at the Harborview Center, 300 Cleveland St. Admission is $8, $6 seniors, $4 ages 3-16. You can buy a tree decorated by artists and others or just steal their ideas.
Seussical, a scaled-down kid-sized version of the musical that put the Dr. Seuss stories on Broadway, will be bringing its high hat and tap shoes to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center on Sunday for shows at 2 and 4 p.m. Tickets are just $8.50-$12.50 since its part of the center’s Kid Time series. Call (813) 229-7827 or tbpac.org.
Need an extra bedroom or an escape over Thanksgiving weekend? The TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach and the Sandpiper Suites are offering rooms for $50 as a fundraiser for All Children's Hospital. The offer is good for Nov. 21-29 by calling toll-free 1-888-377-0026.
Enjoy the cool weather in a free Weedon Family Night Hike on Friday at the Weedon Island Preserve in northeast St. Petersburg. As children explore the trails of Weedon Island Preserve, they likely will see animals that take advantage of the dark. Since parts of this hike occur on rugged trails, strollers are not recommended. It’s free but registration is required at (727) 453-6500. It runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
This is not exactly cheap, but we thought you should know preschool rock stars The Wiggles will chugga chug their Big Red Car into the St. Pete Times Forum. Anthony Field aka, the Blue Wiggle and on-screen foodie, talked with the St. Petersburg Times by phone during a break in the group's Pop Go the Wiggles Live! tour. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or by calling (813) 287-8844 in Hillsborough or (727) 898-2100 in Pinellas at the Times Forum. Show times are 1:30 and 5 p.m. Saturday. Prices range from $18-$38. Seating for tickets purchased at the $38 level will take place in the "hot potato seats" and will include an exclusive Wiggles giveaway.
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne