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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Free and cheap things to do with the kids




eltoro.jpgThis week brings the return of Monster Jam, a spy exhibit lurks, there's a $2 admission deal at a children's museum and all kinds of trucks will be available to climb on as we peruse all the free and cheap things you can do with kids.

Monster Jam roars back on Saturday. Giant custom-designed trucks crush lesser cars and even school buses in competition. Go early for tailgating and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and get a close-up view of the trucks and meet the drivers. Free Pit Passes will be available at participating Southern Ford Dealers through  Saturday, while supplies last. $15-$35. Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Toll-free 1-800-745-3000. 7 p.m. Saturday.

It’s the first Tuesday of the month, so that means it's $2 Target Tuesday and you get cheap admission to the Glazer Children’s Museum this Tuesday, just $2 for everyone from 2 to 7 p.m. The museum is in Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza.

Kids and adults can grab the wheel or honk the horns at Safety Harbor Touch-A-Truck. You may see these vehicles on the streets every day, but here vehicle operators will be on hand to talk about their use and how they operate. Bayflite helicopter will also be landing and taking off at the event. Free. Safety Harbor City Park, 940 Seventh St. S, Safety Harbor. (727) 724-1572. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

If you think spies only come armed with vodka martinis and white dinner jackets, you’re in for a revelation. And if you believe the era of terrorism only began with the tragedy of Sept. 11 , you’re in for an education. On Saturday, the Tampa Bay History Center opens the doors on its new traveling spy exhibition: “From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terrorism, Spies, Traitors and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America.” It’s a long-winded title, but it’s necessary to wrap its arms around the topic of domestic espionage from 1776 to 2001.  Among the artifacts visitors can see: more than 145 historic photographs and documents; a replica of the “Anarchist Globe Bomb” that was presented as trial evidence in the 1886 Chicago Haymarket affair; and fragments of the planes that hit the twin World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11. The exhibit will remain on display through June 24. $12, $10 students with ID, $7 children ages 4 to 12, free for children 3 and under. Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa. (813) 228-0097. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

High fashion meets yarn at MOSI this weekend, where it is holding a class on Hip Knitting for Kids Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. ($20, $15 for members). There’s also a Knitting Nouveau social gathering for adults from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, featuring knitting tricks and trends while listening to tunes, for 21 and older only. ($25, $15 members) Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000.

groundhogmovie.jpgAs you can see from our previous blog post, todayis Groundhog Day, and in addition to some cute craft and snack ideas you can see the Bill Murray movie tonight at Tampa Theatre or for free on Friday at Clearwater Beach.

Nerd alert! Today through Sunday you can see the stage play hursday Trek. It's free at  7 p.m. at [email protected], 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg where The Accio Actors present this intergalactic spoof written by and for Star Trek fanatics.  Also 7 p.m. today-Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.

The Capitol Classics Film Series at Clearwater’s Capitol Theatre started off the year with $5 ticket prices for its screenings of classic gems and even threw in a matinee at 3 p.m. and an evening show at 7. This week, you can see Sidney Poitier’s groundbreaking 1961 film A Raisin in the Sun about a struggling African-American family who come into some money. See it Tuesday at the historic theater, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater.

This Saturday you can find free or reduced-priced yoga classes for Yoga Day Tampa Bay at a number of studios in the Tampa Bay area, including Wendy Fit Yoga & Pilates, 13974 W Hillsborough Ave. in Tampa, White Orchid Yoga, 907 S Fort Harrison Ave. in Clearwater and The Longhouse on 49th Street at 2309 49th Street S in Gulfport. For a complete list, see and click on Events.

This is the last week to catch the traveling Sea Monsters exhibit on display in the McGough Nature Park, 11901 146th St. N, Largo. The exhibit, which runs through Monday, shows how venom, ultra vision, jaws, and glow-in-the-dark are just a few of the fascinating “monster” characteristics of some sea animals. This interactive exhibit explains how they are adaptations to extreme underwater environments. Open during nature center hours weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

It always feels like a Greek festival in the home of the sponge-diving Greek fishing community, but this weekend there’s some added opa! St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral Community Center, 348 N Pinellas Ave. in Tarpon Springs, will have a family-style Greek Festival, a celebration with food, homemade pastries, speciality shops, live Greek music and children’s activities. It runs from noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free.

Other events this week:

Cupid’s Cuties Tiny Tot Theme Party
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. $5 per child (registration required). Southwest Recreation Complex and Pool, 13120 Vonn Road, Largo. (727) 518-3125. 11 a.m.-noon today.
Get the Message
This new exhibit opening Saturday at the Glazer Children’s Museum lets kids send messages in Morse code, become a TV news anchor, create virtual cave art and puzzle over expressions at this traveling exhibition about communication. Runs through May 6. Glazer Children’s Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa.
Science Programs at MOSI
MOSI hosts “I am a Teenage Inventor” with Hunter Morera, patented cool tool inventor and featured on Discovery Channel invention show Pitchmen, who presents a story on creating an innovative product while overcoming personal challenges ($8, $6 members) from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday. This weekend’s Idea Zone Weekend Workshop features “Sent-sations.” Make perfumes, “love potions,” bath salts and scented talc gifts. $20.95 adults (13-59), $16.95 child (2-12), $18.95 seniors (60+). Member discounts available. Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
Canopy Tree Climbing
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.
Going Coastal
This indoor activity for all ages teaches about the fish common to our gulf coast area. This week is “Florida’s Sea Turtles,” which discusses what can be done to keep them safe during the nesting season. Bring a plain white T-shirt for a fish painting project. Free (registration required). Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 582-2100. 10 a.m.-noon Saturday.
Mother-Son Date Knight
Mom can make her son, or sons, feel like a king at this castle-themed, mother-son “Date Knight” at Chick-fil-A with a chicken meal and royal conversation. Event takes place at all area locations, but online reservations required at Free (food additional). 4:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday.
My Doll and Me
Girls ages 7-12 are invited to take a trip through time with their favorite historic dolls. This four-week series includes crafts, games, snacks and a tea party. Activities reflect the time period presented each week. American Girl dolls and books are not required for participation. The series runs through Feb. 25. $60, $55 members. Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa. (813) 675-8960. 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday.
Paper Making
All the materials are provided for this class in which you create decorative cards, stationary, envelopes and journal pages. Open to ages 8 and older. $5. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg. (727) 893-7326. 1 p.m. Saturday.
Storybook Forest
In celebration of Children’s Week and Early Childhood Literacy, there will be children’s entertainment, activities, crafts, music and free food.  Children will learn about the story and create a related make-and-take project at each display. There will also be storytellers in costume to bring stories to life. Clifford the Big Red Dog will be on site for a meet and greet, autographs and photos. Free. Crews Lake Wilderness Park, 16739 Crews Lake Drive, Shady Hills. (727) 233-8291. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.
Tampa Theatre Classic Series: Looney Tunes
Giggle during a feature-length collection of popular Warner Bros. classic Looney Tunes cartoons including What’s Opera, Doc?, One Froggy Evening, A Fractured Leghorn, Home Tweet Home, Duck! Rabbit Duck! and Rabbit of Seville. $9, $7 ages 2-12. Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8982. 3 p.m. Sunday.

Did you know Monday is National Frozen Yogurt Day? Well, fro-yo fans you get a treat. Tampa Bay area Yogurtland stores, which offer serve-yourself choices of 16 flavors, is giving out a free five-ounce cup of the sweet stuff from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday at stores in Largo, 10500 Ulmerton Road, Tampa, 14379 N Dale Mabry, Tampa., and St. Petersburg, 4946 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg.

Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Thursday, February 2, 2012 2:11pm]


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