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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Free and cheap things to do with the kids



crew.jpgBack to reality. If money's tight, you can still find some free and cheap diversions for the kids this week, from the highly anticipated rowing regatta, to dogs dressed in pirate costumes, see magnificent stallions in training or help the Dali Museum celebrate a surreal first birthday. Read on for more:

The Hillsborough River isn’t exactly the Thames or the Charles, but it will sort of look like them Saturday with the Roosevelt Rowing Regatta. It’s a big deal, modeled after the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston and the Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames in England — two longstanding rowing events that attract thousands every year.  The regatta will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. near University of Tampa’s Plant Park, and four- and eight-person boats will sprint a short 450 meters from the Cass Street to Kennedy Boulevard bridges. Teams will come from Drake University, George Washington University and Rutgers as well as local high schools, including Tampa Catholic High School, Berkeley Preparatory School and Academy of the Holy Names. Admission is $35 per person for a boxed picnic lunch, $65 for brunch and $125 for sitdown brunch and open bar. Children under 12 are $20. What do you wear to a rowing regatta? “Fashionable outdoor event attire.’’ A preregatta party is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Malio’s Prime Steakhouse, 400 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 251-0500.

epiphany.jpgDid you realize the largest celebration of Epiphany in the Western Hemisphere is celebrated right here in Tarpon Springs? In celebration of the baptism of Christ, you can follow a procession Friday of children in traditional costumes and Greek folk dancers before the tossing of the Holy Cross in Tarpon Springs Bayou by Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Church. Church services start at 8 and 10 a.m. Friday at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs. At noon the procession heads to the waterfront, where teenage boys dive into the water to scramble for the coveted cross. The annual Glendi festival ($3) with food, drink, music afterward at the Spanos-Pappas Community Center, 348 N Pinellas Ave., Tarpon Springs.

The Dalí Museum is celebrating its first birthday Wednesday the only way it knows how — with a gigantic cake shaped like a Dalí mustache, plus smaller mustache-shaped chocolate popsicles. Then new exhibits for the year will be announced against a backdrop of acrobatic high jinx and . . . wait for it . . . another huge mustache. For kids, there will be a storytelling hour at 11:30 a.m. and a scavenger hunt through the galleries. For adults, there will be cigar rolling and craft beer tasting. “Share the Dalí,” a photo installation of highlights from the past year, will be on view in the Raymond James Community Room. Activities start at 10 a.m., but the free cake and announcements are at noon. Lobby activities are free; regular admission required for galleries. (727) 823-3767.

Can you have too many pooches in eye patches? Never.  Barkarilla is the unofficial kickoff to the Gasparilla season and includes a pirate-themed costumed dog (and owner) parade down Seventh Avenue, prizes for best costumes, pooch owner look-alike contest, pirate magic, pet photos, raffles and lots of grog. It starts at noon Saturday at Gaspar’s Grotto, 1805 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. $5, dogs free. Benefits Animal Based Charities Inc. (813) 248-5900.

The Boyd Hill Nature Preserve staff know just where to find the alligators on this hike (is that a good thing?). You’ll also learn about gators’ habitat, eating habits and other interesting facts at a Nature Walk at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. $3, $1.50 children. 1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg. (727) 893-7326.

Road trip! Visitors are welcome to watch the magnificent  Royal Lipizzan Stallions Winter Training. See the beauty and grace of the original Lipizzan Stallions of Austria as they are put through their paces in their winter training home. Bring lawn chairs to sit close to the arena. $5. Herrmanns Royal Lipizzaner Ranch, 32755 Singletary Road, Myakka City. (941) 322-1501. 3-5 p.m. today-Friday, 10 a.m.-noon Saturday.

The classic Aesop’s Fables fables come to life in an interactive storytelling style. Favorites like The Lion and the Mouse, The Hare and the Tortoise and The Fox and the Grapes will be told. $8. Ruth Eckerd Hall Murray Studio Theater, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. 10 a.m. Saturday, noon and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Have a climber? Check out the Canopy Tree Climbing for climbers 6 and older can ascend into the heights of a live oak using harnesses and a rope pulley system similar to those used in the Amazon rain forests. Organized by Pathfinder Outdoor Education. $10. Lakeview Presbyterian Church, 1310 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 328-0300. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

Down on the Farm Tiny Tot Theme Party is a monthly themed party for preschoolers ages 3 to 5. Parents are encouraged to stay and enjoy the games, crafts and activities with their little ones. Pre Registration is required. $5 per child. Southwest Recreation Complex and Pool, 13120 Vonn Road, Largo. (727) 518-3125. 11 a.m.-noon today.

For autistic children, AMC Theatres and the Autism Society present  Sensory Friendly Films. This series of films in an environment friendly to those affected by autism and other sensory issues. This month features The Adventures of Tintin at Veterans 24 in Tampa, Tri-City 8 in Largo, Regency 20 in Brandon and Woodlands Square 20 in Oldsmar. $8, $7 ages 2-12 (price varies by theater) 10 a.m. Saturday.

This isn't free, but for science buffs the Idea Zone Weekend Workshop at MOSI this weekend features “Build a Dino!” Use cool tools and your imagination to make dinosaur friends and Jurassic Art.  $20.95 adults (13-59), $16.95 child (2-12), $18.95 seniors (60+). Member discounts available. Separate pricing for IMAX-only admission. Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

Also at MOI this weekend, the Junior First Lego League Expo lets you take a look at the work of young
Lego engineers and learn about food safety and the art and science behind Legos. This year’s theme is “Snack Attack.” $20.95 adults (13-59), $16.95 child (2-12), $18.95 seniors (60+). Member discounts available. Separate pricing for IMAX-only admission. Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000. 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Winter Throwdown is an all ages skateboard contest series with free clinics for beginners at each event. Practice and registration 10 a.m. $15, $20 finals. Fossil Park & Willis S. Johns Center, 6635 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 729-1941. Noon Saturday.

See history come to life in the Dade’s Battle Re-enactment Includes period soldiers, Seminole and civilian camps, the Sutler Trade Fair, historic arts and crafts demonstrations, full-scale cannon firing, tree cutting and barricade building, musket shooting, tomahawk throwing and archery. The battle re-enactment will be at 2 p.m. Parking is $2 per vehicle; admission $5 per person (children 5 and younger admitted free). Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, 7200 County Road 603, Bushnell. (352) 793-4781. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Thursday, January 5, 2012 10:34am]


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