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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Free and cheap things to do with the kids



beachpool_2.jpgIt's Father's Day weekend and we have lots of deals with dad, as well as fireworks after an all star ballgame, cheap movies at a fun pool and a zombie invasion at MetroCon. Read on for more wallet-friendly entertainment options:

There are lots of deals and free entry for dad for Father's Day this weekend. Here's a roundup of all the Father's Day events in the area. Our friends on the Deal Divas blog wrote a very funny cautionary tale of what NOT to do for Father's Day. And our friends at the Things to Do section have a good idea: shop vintage for Father's Day gifts. Two local boutiques are having great sales.

There will be post-game fireworks at the Florida State League All Star Game on Saturday at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater. See the future MLB stars of tomorrow is this 50th anniversary game. Festivities include an appearance by the Phillie Phanatic, a home run derby, post-game fireworks and a '70s concert with the group Disco Inferno. Tickets are $6.50 and up. Call (727) 467-4457. The field is at 601 N Old Coachman Road.

Bring your noodles, floats and chairs to watch Disney’s animated film Toy Story at the Dive-In Movie Friday at the St. Pete Beach city pool. Get there early so you can float and swim and play on the waterslides before the film. $3; drinks, snacks and glow jewelry for sale. St. Pete Beach Aquatic Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach. (727) 363-9245. 8 p.m. Friday.

Anime, zombie fans get to geek out at Metrocon 2011 in Tampa. In its ninth year, Florida's largest anime convention has more than 2,300 fans preregistered for Metrocon 2011, shattering the previous record. That means many of this year's guests will be attending their very first Metrocon. How can one make sense of it all, and not feel intimidated? For the first-timers in the audience, here are five things to know about Metrocon written by our colleague Jay Cridlin.

Remember that long winter when we were griping about it being colder than usual? Yeah, we don’t either. If the heat has you longing for something that floats, head to the Tampa Bay Boat Show at the Florida State Fairgrounds this weekend to gawk at new boats and other watercraft, boating and fishing supplies, accessories, exhibits and more at 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Admission is free; parking $5. It opens at 10 a.m. Friday through Sunday.

On Saturday, kids can go Rocketing with Dad. Build chemically-powered rockets with Dad from scratch. Design, build and launch in a play shop, from 9 a.m. to noon at Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave. $35 two-person team, $26 for members. Museum admission free for dads, with paid adult admission. Call (813) 987-6000.

Some local family-friendly festivals mark June 19, 1865, or Juneteenth, when federal troops marched to the last outpost of slavery in the Confederate states, Galveston, Texas, bringing word of freedom. A free festival Saturday in Campbell Park, 601 14th St. S, St. Petersburg, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. will have carnival games, head wrapping, African pouch and drum making, bounce houses, health screenings and live music by B.K. Jackson, Lady Soul and the Mount Zion Drumline. Also on Saturday, the African American Club of Pasco will host a Juneteenth celebration with live entertainment by hip-hop artist Nylahz and the Dorsett Singers, face painting, health screenings, an inflatable playground for children and an appearance by 16-year-old author Camry Moore. It’s free at the historic Booker T. Washington Schoolhouse, 6105 Pine Hill Road, Port Richey, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

eddies.jpgThe fun zone known as Eddie's Bar & Grill in Dunedin, right, is stepping things up a notch for summer. Sundays are Family Fun Days, where kids eat free from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Free entertainment will vary weekly, including balloon twisting, face painting, coloring contests, hair braiding, caricatures, games, special appearances and more. The restaurant, which has a 4,000 square foot game room with 25 arcade games as well as pool, darts, air hockey, foosball, ski ball, racing games, claw machines and bowling, is at 1283 Bayshore Blvd. Dunedin, (That's Alt. U.S. 19  just north of State Road 580/Main St.) For adult fun, ballgames are broadcast on 45 HDTV's and  two huge 100 inch screens  HD big screens, 46 beers on tap, wine and spirits, and an outdoor tiki patio with live music 4-8p.m. Check their Facebook page for entertainer schedules.

Kids ages 4-17 can Be a Hockey Player for a Day. See what it’s really like to be a hockey player at this roller hockey clinic with age appropriate groups running drills and playing mini-games. Bring a hockey or bicycle helmet; some equipment will be available. The Tampa Bay Lightning Bus will be on site with Lightning Hockey Interactive Games and merchandise give-aways. Free. USA Skateplex, 5313 E Busch Blvd., Temple Terrace. (813) 989-2100. 6-9 p.m. Tuesday.

See the Drum Corps Championships at the Movies, Drum Corps International’s marching music ensemble championship tour kick-off featuring full-length performances by eight world class corps including the Bluecoats, Blue Stars, Blue Devils, Cadets, Carolina Crown, Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment and Santa Clara Vanguard. Simulcast live from Saginaw, Texas. Park Place Stadium 16, 7200 U.S. 19 N, Pinellas Park. (727) 525-7777. Also being shown at Woodlands Square 20 in Oldsmar, Citrus Stadium 20 in Tampa and Grove 16 in Wesley Chapel. Price varies by theater: $12.50-$15. 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Tuesday is Go Skateboarding Day with a free skate session, music, raffles and food at Largo Skate Park, 400 Highland Ave. NE, Largo. (727) 518-3016. 4-8 p.m. Tuesday.

Treasure Island is rocking on Saturday Sunsets on the Trail. Musicians and vendors line the beachfront trail along with street performers, water slides and various inflatables for the kids. This portion features music by Calamity Jane and a screening of the PG-rated movie Shrek Forever After on the beach at 9 p.m. Free. Treasure Island Beach Trail Park, 10400 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island. (727) 547-4575. 5-9 p.m. Saturday.

Get some spicy food and Caribbean music at the Tampa Bay Caribbean Heritage Month Festival on Sunday.
Take a little escape to the islands at this festival with jerk chicken and assorted Caribbean food, mixed Caribbean music by DJs and live bands, arts and crafts and cultural performances. $10, 12 and younger free. University Area Community Center, 14013 N 22nd St., Tampa. (813) 558-5212. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.

Have a Lord of the Rings fan in your house. This Tuesday and next you can see a special screening of uncut, extended versions of the original films. This week's portion features The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. $12.50. Park Place Stadium 16, 7200 U.S. 19 N, Pinellas Park. (727) 525-7777. The film is also being shown at Veterans 24 in Tampa, Citrus Stadium 20 in Tampa and Regency 20 in Brandon. 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Bring chairs and blankets for a free outdoor movie on Saturday showing the 108-minute PG-rated film Happy Feet. Concessions available. Free. Land O’ Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O’Lakes Blvd., Land O’Lakes. (813) 333-2288. Movies begin at sundown Saturday.

Sunset Cinema at Pier 60
Bring blankets, low lawn chairs or towels to plop on Clearwater Beach for Sunset Cinema at Pier 60. Friday features the PG-rated animated film Madagascar. Saturday features the PG-rated film RV. Concessions for sale. No alcohol. Shows start around dusk. Pier 60, 10 Pier 60 Drive, Clearwater Beach. (727) 434-6060.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 2:08pm]


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