Free and cheap things to do with the kids
Ah, school's finally out! Now what do we do? We've got lots to choose from if you are pinching pennies, from free ice cream to a schools-out pool party to Baby Loves Disco. Read on for more wallet-friendly things to do with kids
Catch some rays with the Rays at a beachfront Rays Watch Party. The Rays play the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday and the game will be broadcast on a huge screen on the beach behind the Tradewinds, 620-AM WDAE will be broadcasting a live pregame show and food, drink and souvenirs available for purchase. Beginning at noon, $10 parking will be available at the Island Grand and at the neighboring Sandpiper Suites (normally $15). Coupons for $10 (normally $32) all-day slide passes will also be distributed. Free admission. Food and drink additional. Tradewinds Island Grand Resort, 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 367-6461. 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
School’s out, free ice cream’s in! To celebrate the end of the school year, participating Sweetbay stores will host an End-of-School Ice Cream Social. Free kids activities include a Haagen-Dazs “Create Your Own” Ice Cream Sundae station, face painting and giveaways.
It takes place Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at the following stores:
• 15692 North Dale Mabry, Tampa
• 4519 Gunn Hwy, Tampa
• 6425 County Line Rd , Tampa
• 252 Harbor Village Ln, Apollo Beach
• 7580 49th Street North, Pinellas Park
• 7431 SR 54, New Port Richey
Did the exciting post-season play of the Tampa Bay Lightning spark hockey fever? Tuesday at 6 p.m. the USA Skateplex in Temple Terrace will let you Be a Hockey Player for a Day. It will host a free night for ages 4-17 to see what it’s really like to be a hockey player at a roller hockey clinic. There will be age-appropriate groups running drills and playing mini-games. Bring a hockey or bicycle helmet and any hockey related equipment you may have. A limited amount of equipment will be available for those without. It’s free at 5313 E Busch Blvd. Phone: (813) 989-2100
Got your honey-do list? Head to Tropicana Field this weekend for the Tampa Bay Home Show to see home improvement experts present more than 500 exhibits on home improvement, home entertainment and landscaping. There will also be live entertainment, seminars, demonstrations, giveaways and do-it-yourself ideas from experts. Kids can grab their tools for the Home Depot Kids’ Workshop to teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety. Admission and parking are free. Friday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. See www.tampabayhomeshows.com for a schedule.
Friday is the first floating film series of the summer at the St. Pete Beach Aquatic Center pool's Dive In Movie. Bring your noodles, floats and chairs to watch Finding Nemo on a giant inflatable screen. Get there early to play in the six-lane Junior Olympic swimming pool with an attached children’s play area and two large tubular slides. No coolers allowed. It’s $3 per person. Candy, popcorn, drinks and glow jewelry are sold poolside, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach. (727) 363-9245.
This weekendis the Marina Day Kickoff Party. Celebrate the new Clearwater Harbor Marina with free wine tastings Friday from 6 to 7 p.m., the smooth jazz steel pan sounds of Bickley Rivera and Island Girl and gift certificate giveaways. Free admission; food and drinks available for purchase at the Pickles Plus Too deli, 320 Cleveland St, Clearwater. On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., you can tour the new facility at an open house with a fishing contest, boat viewings, a display of boats from police and fire departments. There will also be children’s activities, face painting, food (while it lasts) and general boating information. Free, but donations for food appreciated.
Combine and adult and kid fun with the Baby Loves Disco Superhero Tour on Friday. The baby book wouldn’t be complete without your little one shaking her groove thang, right? Baby loves disco, and parents will, too, at this family dance party from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Don CeSar resort that has been rocking a tour of Loews hotels across the country. With disco balls, bubble machines and music from the ’70s and ’80s, the idea is to give parents with kids 7 and younger a fun alternative to parks, malls and playgrounds. Dress as your favorite superhero. There will be superhero DJs and MCs, dance instruction, giant video screens, contests and secret superhero surprises. It will be $15, $50 for four people at the Don CeSar Beach Resort and Spa, 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 360-1881.
Kids can visit the caterpillar petting zoo and you can find butterfly plants, herbs and easy-care native plants to spruce up your garden at the Butterfly, Herb and Native Plant Fair. Experts will give talks on butterfly gardening, Florida wildlife and herb growing; workshops by George Kish, native plant expert (noon Sat.) and Tom and Anita Loveland, butterfly garden curators (1 p.m. Sat. ). $5, members and ages 11 and younger free. University of South Florida Botanical Gardens, 12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa. (813) 974-2329. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
Celebrate the start of summer with family and friends at the Summer Kickoff Party, a pool party with floats, inner tubes and diving boards, a prize wheel for gifts, hot dog lunch, free massages and underwater exploration scuba demonstrations. $2 residents, $2.50 nonresidents, $5.50 guests. Southwest Recreation Complex and Pool, 13120 Vonn Road, Largo. (727) 518-3126. Noon-4 p.m. Saturday.
Free and cheap movies
Movies in the Park Bring chairs and blankets for the TV-14-rated family adventure The Goonies. Movies begin at sundown. Free. Land O’Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O’Lakes Blvd. (813) 333-2288. 7 p.m. Saturday.
Summer Classic Movie Series This week is the 1945 Hitchcock psycho thriller Spellbound, starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck. Salvador Dali contributed a dizzying dream sequence in the film. Talk back with USF English Professor Emeritus Harriet Deer follows the film. Theater tours and a Mighty Wurlitzer Organ concert precede the screening. $9; $7 for Tampa Theatre members. Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8982. 3 p.m. Sunday.
Sunset Cinema at Pier 60 Bring blankets, low lawn chairs or towels to plop on Clearwater Beach and watch free movies. Friday features the PG-rated film Water Horse: Legend of the Deep. Saturday features the PG-13 film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. 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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