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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



ferb.jpgWe've got the angular characters from Phineas and Ferb, left, in town for a live tour, as well as an outdoor play date at a fun park, and a day for kids to fly airplanes for free. Read on for more budget-friendly family fun:

Put away the electronics and head to Largo’s first Play! Unplugged event. The city teams with local businesses and medical professionals for an outdoor play date to emphasize the importance of free play and creativity. There will be hands-on games and play stations, live entertainment, healthy food vendors, drum circles, train rides and a campfire from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo. The Tampa Bay Rays Street Team and Boy Scouts of America will be there, too. Free. (727) 587-6740 ext. 5014.

The Phineas and Ferb Live Tour brings the witty boys with the angular heads to Tampa to hatch another goofy adventure as the animated Disney show goes live action at 6:30 p.m. today and Friday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa. $15-$50. (813) 301-2500.

You know that scene in almost every action movie when the flight attendant says, “Does anyone on board know how to land a plane?” And somebody always does?!?  The truth is that flying really isn’t all that mysterious. And spreading that word is the job of the Young Eagles Flight Rally program, which conducts flight rallies for children ages 8 to 17.  Saturday’s free rally at Clearwater Airpark lets the kids actually take the stick during a 15-minute flight, heading north over Countryside and to the gulf beaches. (Weather permitting, of course.) Young Eagle certificates are awarded and each child’s name is entered into the “World’s Largest Logbook” at the Experimental Aircraft Association Air Adventure Museum.  Registration begins at 8:30 and closes at 11:30 a.m. Don’t worry; the kids aren’t landing the planes — yet. 1000 N Hercules Ave., Clearwater. (727) 647-2661.

fireworks.jpgThe Seminole Pow Wow Festival is back, with a parade, midway and fireworks.  Wear red, white and blue to show your national pride at this year’s event, themed “Let Freedom Ring!” There will be a parade from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday down 113th Street from the Seminole Mall to the city’s recreation center. That’s followed by a midway ($20 armbands to ride all day) at the rec center, with live music all day and a fireworks show at 8:30 p.m. Free. Seminole Recreation Center, 9100 113th St. N, Seminole. (727) 391-8345.

Think of Sunday in the Park with George and get into the low-key Victorian mindset for an old-fashioined Picnic in Plant Park. Bring lunch, coolers, chairs and blankets for a picnic under the shade of the stately Desoto oak tree starting at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. There will be a barber shop quartet and classical music, a live theater performance, Victorian games including horseshoes, badminton and free ice cream. Free, but there is a charge for boat rides or museum admission at Henry B. Plant Park, 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. (813) 254-1891.

Does your family want to stop play with rubber ducks and get a real boat? For three days, the Tampa Bay Boat Show will have the area’s top boat dealers/manufacturers showing off the gleaming lure of the sea. There will also be boating and fishing supplies and accessories and some of the area’s top fish guides and local experts there share tips. It runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Free. $5 parking. (727) 893-8523.

More family friendly events this week:

Children’s Expo
With eight inflatable play areas, a 17-foot slide, face painting, twisted balloon art, character meet and greets, a children’s health area, bicycle safety course and car seat checks. Free. Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (407) 889-8902. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
Bear Went Over the Mountain
The Patel Conservatory Youth Theatre shows what Da Bear and his animal buddies discover when they journey up the mountain. $15. TECO Theater at Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. 7 p.m. today-Saturday.
Family Cookout and Campout
A night of supervised camping with a cookout, night hike, wildlife show, s’mores around the campfire and breakfast. Camp breaks at 8 a.m. Saturday. $10, 2 and younger free. John R. Bonner Nature Park, 14444 143rd St. N, Largo. (727) 518-3047. 6 p.m. Friday.
Lego Building
This month’s Lego theme is “construction.” $7. Southwest Recreation Complex and Pool, 13120 Vonn Road, Largo. (727) 518-3125. 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday.
Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
With croquet and lawn game competitions, a DJ, costume contest, best flamingo contest, entertainment, food and drink. Alice in Wonderland-themed costumes encouraged. $9 (includes four food/drink tickets). Mirror Lake St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, 559 Mirror Lake Drive N, St. Petersburg. (727) 578-0170. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Palmetto Heritage Day
Open house with blacksmith, basket weaver, spinner and quilter. The FFA petting corral will be open, plus meet new author Merab-Michal Favorite. Free admission, lunch for $12. Palmetto Historical Park, 515 10th Ave. W, Palmetto. (941) 723-499. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Pioneer Nights
An afternoon of old-time fun ends with an evening around the campfire with s’mores. Best for ages 7-13. $25 (advance registration required). Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg. (727) 893-7326. 2-9 p.m. Saturday.
Kids can see and touch police, fire and heavy-equipment vehicles, with a safety demonstration by the Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue clowns. Free. Lemon Street and Pinellas Avenue, Tarpon Springs. (727) 938-3711, ext. 2275. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.
Visit with Smokey the BearV
Meet Smokey the Bear and his friends from the Division of Forestry as they talk about wildfires in Florida. Free (registration required). Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800. 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday.
 Wee-time at Weedon
Best for ages 3-5. This week features Eric Carle’s book The Grouchy Ladybug, the story of a ladybug with an attitude. Free (registration required). Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500. 10:30-11:15 a.m. today.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 4:03pm]


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