Free and cheap things to do with the kids
From free sunset celebrations to $2 museum days to kid-centered World Oceans Day activities, we've got lots of wallet-friendly ways to battle the summer doldrums this week.
Officially, World Oceans Day is June 8, but kid-centered activities abound this weekend to learn about this important resource. The Florida Aquarium will have educational activities, scavenger hunts and text message games about responsible fishing and the importance of healthy coral reefs Saturday and Sunday. The Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota is having a family festival Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Pier Aquarium on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. will have a special ocean-themed story time and musical guests.
Treasure Island brings back its summer Saturday Sunsets on the Trail celebrations. Musicians and vendors line the mile-long beachfront trail, and there are also street performers, water slides and various inflatables for the kids. It’s free from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the 10400 Gulf Blvd. All-day parking on the beach is $5, at the community center at Gulf Boulevard and 106th Avenue, $4.
Get a cheap peek at the new Glazer Children’s Museum with Two Dollar Target Tuesday. It’s $2 admission on Tuesday from 2 to 7 p.m. at the museum at Curtis Hixon Park, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza. While you are there, check out the free Playing in the Park showcase of kid-friendly versions of Zumba, yoga, karate and hip-hop dancing starting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. There will also be free healthy snacks and live music for the “cool down” at 6:30 p.m. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy the park. Free.
There's another free event the same day at the park. Get the kids moving Tuesday afternoon at the free Playing in the Park showcase of kid-friendly versions of Zumba, yoga, karate and hip-hop dancing starting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. There will also be free healthy snacks and live music for the “cool down” at 6:30 p.m. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy the park. Free.
Who knew baseball could be an extreme sport? Well, for Extreme Baseball, they toss a larger diamond outside your standard baseball diamond, make one set of bases orange and one set white, and make every other player run the opposite direction around the bases. The Tampa Bay Blacksox open their fifth home season with a game benefiting All Children’s Hospital . $10, $5 students, $2.50 seniors/children ages 12 and younger. Campbell Park , 601 14th St. S, St. Pete. (727) 484-0991. 6 p.m. Saturday.
The first Friday is always a party in downtown St. Pete because of the Get Downtown street party on Central Avenue every first Friday. This week you can also get a free Latin-flavored concert at First Friday Fandango at Jannus Live. Nine-piece Latin funk band Suenalo! and Green Sunshine perform at this free concert at 8 p.m. at 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Get Downtown gets rocking at 5:30 p.m. at Second Street N and Central Avenue. Free.
There are three kid fishing days to choose from Saturday in Pinellas Park, Oldsmar and Largo. Saturday at 8:30 a.m., the Children’s Fishing Derby at Freedom Lake Park, 7770 52nd St., Pinellas Park lets kids 12 and younger spend the day outside and try their hand at fishing. Prizes will be awarded in fun categories and everyone fishing (and their families) gets free food while it lasts. Bait and fishing poles will be provided, or feel free to bring your own. In Oldsmar, Saturday’s Kids Fishing Derby starts at 8 a.m. for kids ages 5 to 15. Bring their own pole and bait to this event. Organizers recommend that an adult be available to help children bait, cast, and remove fish. It’s open to the public with prizes awarded for the biggest catch at R.E. Olds Park, 107 Shore Drive W. And Largo’s Family Fishing Fun Day at John S. Taylor Park, 1100 Eighth Ave. SW, starts at 8 a.m. Saturday. The free day of fishing for kids 14 and younger can win a prize for first fish, largest fish, second largest fish, third largest fish, smallest fish or most multiple catches. Poles and bait provided.
Free doughnuts on Friday! National Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by The Salvation Army to raise funds to help the poor and people in need during The Great Depression. It was also meant to honor the work of World War I Salvation Army volunteers who prepared doughnuts and other foods for thousands of homesick American soldiers. They fried the doughnuts inside of the soldiers’ helmets near the front lines as a special treat. The soldiers’ love of these treats earned them the nickname “Dough Boys” Krispy Kreme is honoring National Doughnut Day on Friday, a holiday near and dear to our hearts, by giving away doughnuts and buy one/get one on coffees and frozen drinks. But in return, they are asking customers to bring non-perishable food items or cash to donate to the Salvation Army Red Kettle or donation box. No purchase is necessary for the free doughnut. Donations will be used to support the Salvation Army’s programs for the homeless, hungry and disaster victims in our area and across the country.
Grab your mom friends and go see previews for Motherhood the Musical (from producers of Menopause the Musical) at 8 p.m. Friday at the Jaeb Theater of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa. $40 for previews. It opens next Thursday. (813) 229-7827 or toll-free 1‑800‑955-1045; strazcenter.org.
Do you have a tree climber? Get their monkey needs met at the Canopy Tree Climbing on Saturday. 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.
Kids of all ages can ride the miniature trains of Largo Central Railroad for free this weekend (donations for train maintenance appreciated). Largo Central Railroad, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. (727) 587-6775. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
All ages are invited to celebrate at an Out of School Bash with float races, a minitriathlon, sand castle contest, trivia with the mayor and other fun events. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Registration begins at 5 p.m. Free. Tarpon Springs Community Center, 400 S Walton Ave., Tarpon Springs. (727) 942-5628. 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Children’s Gardening Festival helps kids grow green thumbs. Kids ages 5 to 15 can do hands-on gardening activities. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Free (registration preferred). Clayton Hall at Pasco County Extension Service, 36702 SR 52 (at Pasco County Fairgrounds), Dade City. (352) 521-4288. 9-11 a.m. Saturday.
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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