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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Free and cheap things to do with the family this weekend



Even though it's a short school week, that doesn't let you off the hook for finding fabulous family events for the weekend. We checked our list and found a few we thought you might like, including real-life Spidermen, Rays watch parties and a book and wine festival.

It’s a deal, so $5 Day at the Zoo is often crowded. Go early on Sunday, be patient and wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet when you cool off in the spray area. If you can, pack a picnic lunch, eat in the parking lot, then head back inside for more animal fun. Lowry Park Zoo is at 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 935-8552 for more details. If you're a pass holder, this might be a good dayto skip the zoo and check out one of the other attractions that's participating in Swaptember this month. Don't go yet, because there's more ...

 The inaugural Book & Wine Festival in Clearwater features local author Tim Dorsey (Florida Roadkill, Gator A Go-Go) with his talk at 8 p.m., plus Kim Llewellyn, Sean Clouden, Kathy Carmichael and other authors and poets. Free wine and food tastings, treats from food vendors, wines for sale and entertainment. Free admission; charges for full food, wine and beverages. It’s 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Station Square Park, 612 Cleveland St., Clearwater. For more information, call (727) 562-4800.

The Ybor City Saturday Market this week includes the annual flavor festival known as Festival del Sabor and Hispanic Heritage KickOff showcasing Hispanic culture through food, music and art. There’s a Latin recipe contest and cookoff to find the area’s best arroz con pollo (rice with chicken). Cooks could win up to $1,000 in prizes. The Glazer Children’s Museum sponsors the kids area. To sign up, contact Lynn Schultz at [email protected] or (813) 241-2442. The free event is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Park, 1800 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. For details, call (813) 241-2442.

One of our kids can climb up the door frame so the Art of Motion Parkour Competition might be just up his alley. At this Red Bull-sponsored event, which parkour370.jpgfeatures parkour, free running, martial arts and gymnastics, 20 international athletes will compete. Find this different take on sports at Centro Ybor, 1600 E Eighth Ave., at 3 p.m. Saturday. For details on what you'll see, got to the Red Bull website.

We know it's a Hallmark holiday, but Grandparents Day is Sunday so find something for your parents and the kids to do. MOSI has free admission for grandparents with each paid child's admission. And there are a couple of other events going on just to keep everyone busy.

As the season winds down and the games get to be more important, you can watch the Rays take on A.L. East rivals the Toronto Blue Jays at two different watch parties this weekend. First up, watch the teams in movie theater comfort at the Centro Ybor 20 on Friday. Admission is free but a $5 donation to the Rays Foundation is suggested. On Sunday, hit the beach at the Tradewinds Island Grand Resort on St. Pete Beach. Parking charges have changed: There is free parking at th Sandpiper lot (while available) starting at noon and is $10 at the Island Grand while available.

Speaking of sports, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers start their season this weekend. But before they hit the field, they will party with the fans at the annual Kickoff Party at Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. It begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday with players, coaches, cheerleaders and Bucs mascot Captain Fear in the house. There will also be live music by Paper Tongues and Beastie Boys DJ Mix Master Mike. For details, call (727) 565-0551.

Your kids may be too young to remember it or weren't even born yet. But there are plenty of events out there this weekend to remember the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. Find one that fits your family and gives you an opportunity to discuss what happened with your older children.

If you still don't know what you want to do, you might want to take a look through this long list of events this weekend. And as always, you can find lots of date night and dining ideas on the Things to Do website. Get out and have a great weekend. We hope to see you out there.

~ Sharon Kennedy Wynne and Sherry Robinson

[Photos: That young man is demonstrating parkour]

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[Last modified: Friday, September 10, 2010 10:34am]


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