Free and cheap things to do with your kids
We are at the midway point of summer, our patience and our budgets. Here's some free and cheap things to do to keep you cool this week.
First of all, remember that you can get free Chick-fil-A food by dressing as a cow on Friday and free Slurpees at 7-Eleven on Sunday. Our wallets love free.
The TASCO teen program holds a free Summer Extreme Beach Bash for grades 6-12 today (Thursday) at Treasure Island beach. The beach party includes a DJ, dancing, a large water slide, rock climbing wall, water joust, beach flag football, skim board contest and volleyball tournament. Shoes, swimsuit, change of clothes, towel and sunscreen strongly suggested. Concessions available starting at 10 a.m. at Treasure Island Beach, 11260 Gulf Blvd.
Beginning Friday, you and the kids can see every Harry Potter movie from the start for free at the John F. Germany Public Library in downtown Tampa. The free films, which run through Aug. 13, will show one film each Friday beginning at 1 p.m. in the library. This should be a perfect start up for all you muggles out there who are anxiously awaiting the new film which is set to debut in November. The library is at 900 N Ashley Drive, Tampa.
Children in prekindergarten to grade 12 can get free ballet classes at the Patel Conservatory at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. Beginner and intermediate classes are offered Saturday and Aug. 18 and 24. Registration is required by calling (813) 222-1263.
The Studio@620 Annex is an artsy shopping and entertainment space at 645 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. on Saturday from 5-9 p.m. the place will be teeming with robots, rockets and strange creatures as artists tackle the theme of Sci-Fi in July. Featured artists include Peter Abrami, CyberCraft Robots, Wendy Durand, Alicia Pixie Head and Timm Mettler. Free admission.
When snakes slither, do you squirm? Two free talks this week on Florida snakes will help us learn to appreciate native snakes and the difference between welcome and unwelcome cold-blooded neighbors. Saturday at 1 p.m., there is a free talk at Weedon Island Preserve on how to identify venomous snakes and tips on the habitats they live in. At the Chinsegut Nature Center in Brooksville they will have live snakes and natural history information, presented by professional snake wrangler Jim Mendenhall at 7 p.m. Tuesday . Call to reserve a seat at (352) 754-6722. The Chinsequt center is at 23212 Lake Lindsey Road, Brooksville, and the Weedon Island Preserve is at 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg.
The USF Botanical Gardens will help you replenish your landscape with heat-loving tropical plants at its annual Tropical Plant Fair this weekend. There will be lots of talks about growing tips, numerous vendors, and food and drinks for sale. It runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the gardens at 12210 USF Pine Drive in Tampa. It’s $5, free for kids under 12 and members. On Sunday, there is a Pepper Beauty Contest. If you bring a decorated pepper for the contest that day you get in free, and there will be prizes for the winners. See www.cas.usf.edu/garden.
Do you have a horse lover? It's free to watch the Florida State 4-H Horse Show today through Saturday when youth from around Florida compete at disciplines including Hunter, Western, Saddle Seat and speed events; qualifiers move on to Southern U.S. regionals. It starts at 8 a.m. each day at Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. There's free admission and parking. Call (352) 392-1916 or go to www.floridastatefair.com for more information.
After the weekend, we have something else for you to do: Gulfport’s Tuesday Fresh Market is holding a special clothing swap. In addition to music, vegetables and fruit, baked goods and crafts, from 9 a.m. to noon, shoppers may bring up to five gently used items. You get a voucher for each piece to use to shop for somebody else’s castoffs. Any leftover clothes will be donated to CASA. The market is on Beach Boulevard in Gulfport.
Have some fun with your family this weekend. Before you know it, it will be back-to-school time.
~ Sharon Kennedy Wynne and Sherry Robinson
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