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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Free and cheap things to do with the kids this week



leopards.jpgSee costumes from Star Wars and superhero movies like those worn by Batman's nemesis parading in Tampa, or maybe you are more in the mood for cute baby leopard cubs, left, or how about roaring super boats off the coast of Clearwater Beach? We have that and more in this week's episode of Free and Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids.

The powerboats will once again roar off the coast of Clearwater Beach at 200 mph. And on land there will be roaring too for the Super Boat National Championship and Festival,  with a block party, fireworks and free concert. It kicks off with the “Blast Friday” block party in downtown Clearwater from 5:30 to 10 p.m. You can meet the drivers, see the boats and play games, and there’s even a poker run for kids. It’s all at 433 Cleveland St., and it’s free. On Saturday, the Star Spectacular, a free outdoor music event at Coachman Park, will bring Bertie Higgins and his Band of Pirates, the Tempests, David Muse and the Clearwater Star Spectacular All-Star Band. There will be beer, wine and food for sale. On Saturday night, there will be fireworks at Pier 60. Then on Sunday, it’s free to watch the powerboat racing starting at noon off Clearwater Beach. For a complete schedule, visit 

riddler.jpgThe Riddler’s black crushed velvet pants  and green sequined suit coat from Batman Forever, right. Dan Ackroyd’s jumpsuit, proton pack and utility belt from Ghostbusters II. Harrison Ford’s brown leather jacket and holy grail from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. All are among more than 40 costumes and props from science-fiction films and television programs included in the new Out of This World: Extraordinary Costumes exhibit at the Tampa Bay History Center. Something this cool does not open quietly. Prepare for an intergalactic invasion of outrageous proportions, with a parade of Storm Troopers, Darth Vader, members of the Real Tampa Ghostbusters and characters from Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek and lots more. They’ll start at the Marriott Waterside and travel east to the History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa, at 1 p.m. Saturday. The parade is free to watch. Admission to the center is $12, $10 students with ID, $7 children ages 4 to 12, free for children 3 and under. Exhibit runs through Jan. 7.

Cute baby animal alert! See these adorable clouded leopard cubs, above, at their debut party Saturday at Lowry Park Zoo. Celebrate with music by Radio Disney, games, prizes, plus a plush leopard cub for the first 200 guests, from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. Included with zoo admission: $23.95, $21.95 seniors, $18.95 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free. (813) 935-8552. (OK, it's not free or cheap but I can't resist baby animals. Don't judge!)

The annual New Port Richey Founders Day Fall Festival, which opens at 6 p.m. Friday in Sims Park and continues through 5 p.m. Sunday, has gained a reputation as being one of the most wide-ranging, family-friendly and dog-friendly events in the area. Like many festivals, it has a carnival, live music, arts and crafts and food. But it also has a cruise-in classic car show (on Saturday), beer garden, children’s activities and riverboat tours. Free admission at Sims Park, 6341 Bank St., New Port Richey.

Saturdays at the Morean is a free day of art experiences — designed for families with children ages 5 to 10.They open up the art center for exploration with art stations and take-home projects. Instructors will be on hand to assist at the Morean Arts Center, 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

Got a kid who's part monkey? Canopy Tree Climbing is back! Climbers 6 and older can ascend the heights of a live oak using harnesses and a rope pulley system similar to those used in 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.

Take your kids ages 14 and younger out for a day of free fishing with prizes at Family Fishing Fun Day. Poles and bait provided, but personal fishing gear allowed. Free. John S. Taylor Park, 1100 Eighth Ave. SW, Largo. (727) 319-8343. 8-11 a.m. Saturday.

Janet Ivey, a nine-time Emmy Award winner, brings a children’s science show for Janet’s Planet: An Out of This World Adventure. $7.50, $6.50 children, $22 family four pack. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive. (727) 587-6793. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Sam Lardner and his Flamenco fusion band help kids listen to what the oceans are saying at Oceans Are Talking, an interactive concert that discusses environmental issues. $8. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. 2 p.m. Sunday.

Grab a bean bag chair for  Pop-Up Theatre, a free movie screening with family-friendly activities. Today (Thursday) features the 1939 family classic The Wizard of Oz. Tuesday features Disney’s PG-rated animated film The Lion King. Free. Westfield Countryside Mall, 27001 U.S. Highway 19 N, Suite 2096, Clearwater. (727) 796-1070. 2 p.m. today and Tuesday.

The Too Good for Drugs Walk and Kidfest is a day for students to take a stand against drugs in the community includes free admission to MOSI (10 a.m.-noon only), a 1-mile walk and a festival with entertainment by Radio Disney, balloon art, face painting, mascot appearances and games. Free. Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 276-2126. 8 a.m.-noon Saturday.

The fall family friendly  Artoberfest celebrates the arts with food, beer, wine, dance, art, bingo, hands-on activities, retail vendors and music. Pets are welcome.  Free. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 407 S Saturn Ave., Clearwater. (727) 446-7718. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

The Corey Sunset Celebration is a monthly event featuring wine tastings, shopping, dining, arts and crafts and entertainment.  This month also includes a fall fashion show by Florida Jean Company. Free. Corey Avenue, St. Pete Beach. (727) 322-5217. 5-9 p.m. Friday.

Check out a classic horror film before Halloween in the Capitol Classics Film Series The film series goes with a scary theme for October. This week features the 1958 horror/sci-fi film The Fly, starring David Hedison, Patricia Owens and Vincent Price. $6. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Set  you a blanket or chairs on beach for family movie night at the Sunset Cinema at Pier 60 Friday features the PG-rated film Rango, with the voice of Johnny Depp. Saturday features the PG-13 rated film Liar Liar. Concessions for sale. No alcohol. Shows start at dusk. Free. Pier 60, 10 Pier 60 Drive, Clearwater Beach. (727) 434-6060.

Lowry Park Zoo’s family-friendly Halloween event ZooBoo, with haunted houses and trails. Also unlimited zoo rides in the dark. $17, $14 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free. Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. (813) 935-8552. 7-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

The eighth annual  Pumpkin Palooza is a family fall festival and pumpkin patch that includes games, crafts, inflatables, food, arts and crafts vendors and entertainment . Proceeds benefit area charities. Food and game tickets 50 cents each, $6 pumpkins. St. Petersburg Woman’s Club, 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-4982. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

Journey through 7 acres of live corn in Scott’s Fall Corn Maze with paths where you find pictures, clues and games. $11, $9 ages 3-16, 2 and younger free. Long and Scott’s Farms, 26216 County Road 448A, Mount Dora. (352) 383-6900. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 29, 2011 7:49am]


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