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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

beachpool_2.jpgGet those kids to unplug and get outside this week because we have lots of free and cheap things to do on the go, from a kids biathlon to a nifty planetarium show followed by telescope viewing or they can take the dog on a play date. We have that and more in this week's roundup:

It’s a biathlon for kids! The St. Pete Beach Community Center is hosting Splash and Dash, a pool swim and fun run through the park for ages 5 to 12. Stick around for the post-race Splash Bash with music, games, water slides, contests and prizes. It costs $5 on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. St. Pete Beach Community Center and Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive.

Ages 5 and older are invited to the “star theater” at St. Petersburg College, where a professor points out what you can see currently in the Tampa Bay sky at their free Planetarium Show. The nifty ceiling can accurately simulate the night sky at any time or location. There’s a free show at 7 and 8:15 p.m. Friday, and after the 8:15 show, weather permitting, you can go to the roof and look through the telescopes. The planetarium is on the second floor of the Natural Science building on the St. Petersburg Gibbs campus, by the corner of 69th Street N and Fifth Avenue.

Kids age 8 and older can bond with their dogs at Kids-N-K9s as they learn together with activities including paw and tail painting and dog handling skills.  Closed toed shoes (for kids) and proof of rabies vaccination (for dogs) required. $40 (child/dog team). SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave. N, Largo. (727) 586-3591. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday

Bring blankets, low lawn chairs or towels to plop on Clearwater Beach and watch free movies. Friday features The Three Musketeers, rated PG-13, and Saturday features Abduction, rated PG-13. No alcohol. Pier 60, 10 Pier 60 Drive, Clearwater Beach. (727) 434-6060. Shows start at dusk.

At the Hummingbird Festival you can stroll the grounds and see the fruits of the Pioneer Florida Museum staff’s labors pay off as flutters of both hummingbirds and butterflies converge on the gardens; with master gardener and speaker talks, food available for purchase, vendors. Included with museum admission: $6 adult, $5 over 55, $2 ages 6-18, under 5 free. Pioneer Florida Museum, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Three days of the best boats and fishing supplies will be lined up all in one spot at Tampa Bay Boat Show at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Plus, some of the area’s top fish guides and local experts share tips, secrets and fun stories on how to “catch the big one.” It runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. It’s free admission, with $5 parking at the fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa.

Why not wind up your week with a free show? This week, the popular Friday Extra Concert Series brings Fire and Rain, a James Taylor tribute band. Another folkie, Jun Bustamante, opens. It’s free at 7 p.m. Friday at Lowry Park, 7525 N Boulevard, Tampa.

Taking advantage of its waterfront location, the USF St. Petersburg campus open house invites the public to try paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, swimming, scuba diving in the 100-foot pool or to take a dolphin tour. All for free Saturday starting at 2 p.m. at 140 Seventh Ave. S, St. Petersburg.

Other family events this week:

Bubble Blow Out
For this bubble-themed week, the museum offers a combination of fun and educational activities including creating giant sized bubbles, painting with bubbles and foam, and learning about what gives bubbles their shape. $15, $12.50 military/seniors, $9.50 children, under 1 free. Glazer Children’s Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. (813) 443-3861. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday.
Cave Exploring
Call and make a reservation to get directions to the location where you and your child age 8 or older will explore underground caverns in the Withlacoochee State Forest. Comfortable shoes, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, flashlight, lunch and water required. $67 per parent-child team, $33 per additional person; $50 per parent-child team, $25 per additional person MOSI members. Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Farm Interaction Day
Kids age 16 and younger can take horse rides around a wooded trail. Horse treats available for purchase. Benefits the animals at Saddle Up Riding Club. $2 admission; $5 horse rides. Saddle Up Riding Club, 6080 94th Ave., Pinellas Park. (727) 520-3132. 4-6 p.m. Sunday.
For Kids, By Kids
Pollyzoom hosts this event to celebrate children’s art with interactive art and dance activities, door prizes, snacks, face painting and a kids art table. Free. Davidson Fine Art/Artful Living, 1100 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (518) 231-2563. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Get Up and Go: Family Fun Days
The program focused on exercising, stretching and taking care of children’s growing bodies starts with a fun and outrageous story time . Children will also decorate tea-light holders  and sample food fresh off the Hibachi. Free. Brandon Westfield Town Center Mall, 459 Brandon Town Center, Brandon. (813) 661-5100. 4 p.m. today.
Military Strategy Gaming
Students in grades 6 through 12 can join the battle and experience military strategy through computer simulations and board games. $25, $20 members. Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000. 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
Once Upon a Time
Families can create their own fairy tales, make a puppet and take part in a fairy tale fitness activity. $15, $12.50 military/seniors, $9.50 children, under 1 free. Glazer Children’s Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. (813) 443-3861. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday.
Palm Harbor Food Truck Food Court
Old City Grill, Sinful Pleasures Dessert Co. and others team up for Food Truck Food Court beginning at 11 a.m. until dinner time. Tour the historical museum after lunch. On the corner of Belcher and Curlew roads. Menu prices vary. North Pinellas Historical Museum, 2043 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor. (727) 724-3054. 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Pinellas Pioneers Homeschool Program
Experience Early Florida through a day of hands-on learning, crafts and exploration. $10. Pinellas Pioneer Settlement, 2900 31st St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 893-7326. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday.
Summer Fun and Water Safety Day
Cool off and learn how to stay safe in the water at this event with in-pool swim evaluations for children 2 and older by certified swim instructors, diving demos and healthy cooking demos. Resources and guidance for water safety and swimming lessons, swim team information, prizes and refreshments also available. Free. Fossil Park Pool, 6739 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 893-7732. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.
Sunflower Maze
Follow the paths cut into a 5-acre patch of 8- to 10-foot sunflowers. You’ll also find hay rides, a rubber duck race, tree house explorations, veggie cannon firings, petting farm  and more.  $8.50, $4.50 age 3-11, two and younger free (Cash only). Sweetfields Farm, 17250 Benes Roush Road, Masaryktown. (352) 279-0977. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 7:20pm]


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