Free and cheap with the kids
Hoo boy, busy week, huh? In addition to begging for candy door to door, here's our look at things to do the rest of this week that cost less than a large pumpkin:
It's grand opening weekend at The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, which means shoppers in north Tampa and Pasco County have lots of deals nearby. If your baby is in costume, moms can join a free fitness class from Stroller Strides Friday at 9 a.m. in the center court of the mall. RSVP for your sSpot by pre-registering for the free class and placing Wiregrass in the Class Location. Please arrive 15 minutes early for om-site registration. The first 20 moms who sign up for a membership receive 50 percent off November's classes. Call (813) 394-7754 for more details.
There's so much to do at Thursday's Halloween Fun Fest at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Recreation Complex, 2300 N Oregon Ave. in Tampa. The kids will find a moonwalk, haunted house, games, a sack race, board games, arts and crafts, a cake walk, refreshments and face painting. The fest runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and it's $4.
Pack a picnic basket and see a free outdoor showing of E.T. on Saturday sponsored by the Bank of America and Tampa Theatre at Al Lopez Park 4810 N Himes Ave. in Tampa. The film will begin just after sunset, about 7 p.m., but people start arriving as early as 5 to picnic and people watch. Frisbees available for purchase at the dedicated Frisbee zone. Then check out the exploits of a boy and his alien on an inflatable 50-foot wide screen.
If this crisp weather has you itching to get outside, join the Nature Walk at Moccasin Lake Nature Park, 2750 Park Trail Lane in Clearwater on Saturday morning. Starting at 8 a.m., the group will walk a 3/4-mile trail to see song birds and raptors in a water and hammock habitat. Bring binoculars if you have them. Price: $3.50; $1.85 for children 12 and younger.
Tickets start at $8 for hockey games, so shake off the baseball season by checking out the Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Ottawa Senators on Saturday at the St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive in Tampa. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. Call (813) 301-2500.
After you've stuffed yourself with Halloween candy, shop for organic produce at the Sunday Farmer's Market at the Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, 6942 W Comanche Ave. in Tampa. The market, which runs from noon to 4 p.m., features live music and classes on how to make organic gardens and how to live healthier.
No time to cook before the Halloween fun begins? Let's Eat, the make-and-take meal assembly store, is stocking up on meals you can pick up and throw in the oven when you get home. It's $20 for an entree that serves four to six people. They have more than 20 menus to choose from, such as Southwestern beef enchiladas, meatballs and sauce, shrimp fettuchini with blue cheese alfredo, vegetarian lasagna and white bean chicken chili. Just stop by the store or call ahead to have a favorite set aside. They are available daily until 6 pm. Friday. Call (727) 289-7126 or just show up at 4946 Fourth St. N. And let us know about other deals like this out there.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne
[Stroller Strides and vegetabls photos: Times files; E.T. -- Associated Press]