Free and cheap things to do with the kids
Get your mind off your 401(k) — or what’s left of it — with these free and cheap diversions.
Here’s a way to score two Super Bowl tickets — and help a worthy cause: Adopt a rubber duck in the Lucky Ducky Derby on Sunday in downtown Tampa. At noon, organizers will drop thousands of yellow rubber ducks into the Garrison Channel. The sponsor of the first duck over the finish line behind the Tampa Convention Center wins two tickets to the Super Bowl. The duck race benefits America’s Second Harvest of Tampa Bay, which provides food to more than 300 charities and churches in west Central Florida. Go here to adopt a duck ($5 each).
A sure sign winter is coming: The Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center is open. The center, along the warm-water discharge canal at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach, features a wooden boardwalk over the water, a garden and habitat displays, a snack bar, and decks from which to view the manatees. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. In addition to the sea cows, you can send the kids on a "scavenger hunt" for plants along the boardwalk. Pick up the guides at the entrance to the long dock and see how many of the plants you can find. Be sure and watch for barracudas, stingrays and other assorted sea life.
This weekend brings the month’s first Friday and second Saturday, which means downtown St. Petersburg will be buzzing with two popular free monthly events. Friday’s Get Downtown block party (on Central Avenue between Second and Third streets) delivers jazz artist Allon Sams, and drink proceeds benefit the Christmas Toy Shop. Saturday’s Downtown Art Walk is always a festive night of gallery hopping where artists turn out and galleries set out snacks and drinks. Do some early Christmas shopping from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at various downtown galleries.
Did you realize hockey season had started? Between the World Series, Halloween and the election, you'd be forgiven for not noticing. Tickets start at $8 and the next game is next Thursday (Nov. 13) for the Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. and you can get tickets here.
Foodies is hosting a Cookie Extravaganza on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The cooking class is for kids ages 4 to 7 who will make no-bake cookies to take home. The class costs $15 at Foodies, 2312 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg. Call (727) 209-1418 to reserve a spot.
Tampa’s Junior League Holiday Gift Market is the mama-jamma of all bargain bins. Everything from clothing, jewelry, and handbags to food, art, home goods and children’s items will be available. Plus the group’s popular cookbook will be available for purchase, and they make great Christmas gifts. It runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday in the Entertainment Hall at Florida State Fairgrounds, Interstate 4 at U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $5; tickets available in advance through league members. Call (813) 254-1734 for information.
Worth a drive? The Kennedy Space Center Space and Air Show this weekend will host the Navy Blue Angels and Super Hornet Demo Team among many others at its air show from 1-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. The complex is on State Road 405, between Range Road and E Avenue SW, in Titusville. Air show only, $15 advance, $20 day of show; children 3-11 $12 advance, $15 day of show. Air show and Kennedy Space Center combo tickets available. For more information call (321) 449-4444.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne
[Photo: 2007 Lucky Ducky Derby, photo by KEN HELLE | Times]