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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



As we plot our turkey and stuffing portions, here's an extra helping of this week's list of free and cheap things to do with your kids.

potter.jpgAre we geeking out over the new Harry Potter movie enough? It's never enough at MOSI.  At the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows opens in the IMAX Dome this weekend along with the “Harry Potter Experience,” featuring Hogwarts-style classes and other activities in the lobby. Visit carts filled with magic potions and creepy magical supplies. See magic performed before your eyes and try your hand at transfiguration. The cost is $11.95, $9.95 seniors, $8.95 ages 2-12. Friday 1:40 p.m., MOSI, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000. Showtimes are 4:25, 7:10 and 9:55 p.m. Friday. 

While you go out stalking sales on Black Friday, your kids could be stalking lions and hippos at the Busch Gardens Black Friday camp.

There are sessions from 6 a.m. to noon with breakfast and snack provided or noon to 6 p.m. with lunch and snack provided for $30 per session or $55 for both sessions.  To register your 5–11 year old child, please call (813) 987-508.

Thanks to a partnership between AMC Theatres and the Autism Society of America their theaters hold regular “Sensory Friendly Films.” For some families, it’s the only way they can catch the latest flick. The lights are only slightly dimmed, the sound is turned down low and the theater’s “silence is golden” policy is thrown out the window. The audience is encouraged to get out of their seats, dance or walk in the aisles and make noise if they want. For those with autism, that means freedom. The next Sensory Friendly Film is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, showing at 10 a.m. Saturday at the AMC Veterans 24, 9302 Anderson Road, Tampa; and the AMC Woodlands, 3128 Tampa Road, Oldsmar. Movie-goers pay regular theater admission, which is $6 per person before noon. Check here more information on upcoming Sensory Friendly Films.

Work up an appetite on Thanksgiving Day at the Times Turkey Trot, the largest running event in the Tampa Bay area. More than 16,000 will lace up at dawn (some wearing feathered headdresses), be serenaded by bands every few blocks before arriving at Clearwater High School’s Jack White Stadium to scarf up  freebies. The first race, the 5K, starts at 7 a.m. at the school, 540 S. Hercules Ave., Clearwater, and it’s $10-$20.

Hard as it might be to believe, they’ve figured out how to build an outdoor ice skating rink in Curtis Hixon Park. It opens Friday and runs through Jan. 2. The cost is $10 for 90 minutes, which includes skate rentals.  The 44- by 100-foot rink is made of sand, a sheet of plastic and tubes filled with a substance colder than freezing, which circulates through a chiller. The rink is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. The rink will be closed Thanksgiving Day, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 24, and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Christmas.

This show isn't cheap, but I'm throwing it in because a lot of kids love him. Terry Fator, the ventriloquist with the huge following, performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St Petersburg. Tickets are $69.50, $59.50 and $49.50. (727) 892-5798.

See the 'Real’ Thanksgiving Story. Kids spend their day unearthing a Timucuan kitchen mound and learning about the special meal shared between Spanish explorers and Florida’s first people.  Open to children in grades 3-5. Early drop-off and extended pick-up available for an extra fee. $35 per child, $30 per child members. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa. (813) 228-0097.

Santa Arrives at University Mall Santa this weekend. The big guy  makes  his first appearance Saturday at 1 p.m. University Mall, 2200 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 971-3465.

This month’s Sci-Fi and Sky Night includes the planetarium show Winter Tales (6:45, 7:15, 7:45, 8:15 and 9 p.m.), a lecture on Jupiter and space by NASA speaker Les Gold (6:45 p.m.), telescope viewings (8:45-11 p.m.) and a viewing of the Walt Disney classic film Flight of the Navigator (7:45 p.m.) in the rear courtyard. Pizza and soft drinks available for purchase. $4 per person. Saturday 6:30-11 p.m., Science Center of Pinellas County, 7701 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

If you are starting your holiday shopping, think about supporting local businesses. The City of St. Petersburg and will host Shopapalooza, a four-hour shopping event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Baywalk in St. Petersburg. About 80 local shops and businesses will offer discounts on products and services. One shopper will win a $1,000 shopping spree.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Friday, November 19, 2010 3:31pm]


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