Free and cheap things to do with your family this weekend
We're nearing the end of this week and that's a good thing. We are looking forward to some good family time. Here are a few ways to keep the kids busy and you entertained.
One thing that you can do this weekend is participate in Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play. For three hours on Saturday (though wouldn't it be better if they went dark all day?), Nickelodeon will not air any shows in the hopes that kids will get off the couch and get moving. If your kids are big SpongeBob SquarePants fans, take them to Westshore Mall in Tampa to meet the square one himself at School Spirit With SpongeBob. He will be at the mall on Saturday at 10 a.m. It's not exactly outside but at least it's out of the house. Call (813) 286-0790 for details.
On Friday, Brandon's Regency 20 theaters is having a grand opening celebration for its new IMAX screen. The festivities begin at 4 p.m. Friday at the theaters, 2496 W. Brandon Blvd., Brandon. There will be AMC/IMAX prizes, Dipsy and Doodle Face Painting for children, balloon animal artists, photos with two live owls and hands-on music-related activities for children. Hometown hero Zach Bonner and Lisa Rodriguez, Brandon's honoray mayor, will be on hand for the fun.
This is the third year for Gulfport’s Tangerine Blues Fest, a salute to live blues music by area bands including Damon Fowler Group, Joel Sanders Band, Julie Black and the Deacon Blues Band. It’s free on Saturday from 4-10 p.m. in the open grassy area known as the Tangerine Greenway, 5022 Tangerine Ave. S, Gulfport. There will be vendors selling food and drinks and a kids' play area.
Now this may not sound like a hot date night out but head over to Whole Foods Market in Tampa for Five for Five at Five at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Wine lovers can support the “Help Put Salad Bars in Schools’ fund drive with tasting of 90+point rated wines. the cost is $5. The market is at 1548 N Dale Mabry, Tampa.
Join astronomy experts in seeing the total universe up-close at MOSI SkyWatch. See star clusters and nurseries where stars are being formed. All events are weather permitting at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. This month takes a special look at Jupiter at its closest approach to Earth. It's free at the Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa.
Now, the grand opening of the Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa is neither free nor cheap but it sure does sound like fun. Times Mom Susan Thurston got a sneak peek at the museum and wrote this story about how you should play there. If you want to get your own peek at what sounds like a really cool place for the kids to play, check out this interactive tour of the museum. The grand opening is at noon Saturday at the museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza in Tampa.
Speaking of museums, this weekend you can get into several of them for free. If you go to most museums that are participating in the Smithsonian Magazine Annual Museum Day, you must go to the mag's website to get a ticket for two emailed to you. For Arts Alive Free Museum Day activities in St. Petersburg, no tickets are necessary. And to be perfectly clear, the Glazer Children's Museum opening IS NOT a part of the free museum day.
Saturday is National Curiosity Day -- there's a day for everything -- and if you head over to Inkwood Books in Tampa, you can Meet Curious George. He better be glad he's a monkey and not a cat! George will be in the house at 11 a.m. Saturday at Inkwood, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa. Call (813) 253-2638 for details.
For more fun all weekend long, check out this long list of events which includes more ghost tours than you can shake a stick at, a free showing of The Princess and the Frog and a chance to get a jump on your holiday photos here and here.
~ Sherry Robinson and Sharon Kennedy Wynne
Follow us on Twitter @WhoaMomma