Free and cheap things to do with your kids this weekend
We're more than a month into 2010 and we're happy to report that there are some great events that continue to turn up in the Tampa Bay area. Some are free, others cheap but there might be one or two that are worth a splurge. For instance ...
The Florida State Fair has made its way to Tampa and with all the crazy food you can find there, you really should grab the kids and go. But if you don't make it this weekend, there's no need to worry. The fair will be around until Feb. 15. In addition to the rides, carnival games and livestock, there's an Elvis impersonators contest, music and arts and crafts in the Expo Hall. Tickets are $10 ages 12 and older and $5 ages 6-11 and free 5 and younger on weekdays; $12 12 and up, $6 6-11 and free under 5 on weekends. Ride tickets and armbands are not included. Head to the Florida State Fairgrounds, Interstate 4 at U.S. 301 N, Tampa. Call (813) 621-7821 or go to the fair's Web site.
This town just can’t get enough of ginormous trucks crushing things, so this year there are two shows at Raymond James Stadium. Monster Jam returns for part 2, electric boogaloo, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway. Tickets start at $15 and are available through Ticketmaster, the stadium box office or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Sharon wrote a story about the gigantic trucks and why it is a good family time. And one of our alert Poppas even offers this tip: For sensitive little ears (or big ones) wear ear plugs or noise-canceling headphones.Get the kids to skip those Power Ranger packs at the drug store. Instead, have them attend a card-making workshop for ages 8 and older to learn to create decorative cards, stationery, envelopes and other works of art. The creative process is from 10 a.m.-noon Sunday 10 a.m.-noon Sunday at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg. It only costs $5. Registration is required so call (727) 893-7326.
Snarf delicious homemade foods at the Super Greek Fest this weekend at St. Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church, 3600 76th St. N in St. Petersburg. There will be Greek delicacies and pastries, cooking demonstrations, a cultural history museum, Kefi dancers and Greek music, vendors and children’s activities. It runs from Friday to Sunday and admission is $1 with a charge for foods. Call (727) 345-8235 for more information.
All month long at the Florida Aquarium, anyone age 60 and older can get in for just $5. That's it. Seems like the perfect time for grandparents to bond with the little ones. But you need a coupon to get this deal and we saw one in the Thursday Weekend section of the Times. For more information, call (813) 273-4000.Pack your own picnic and throw around a football before the Sunset Cinema. The Tampa Theatre screens Night at the Museum at sunset about 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The movie choice is in keeping with the opening of the new Tampa Museum of Art, adjacent to the park. Come early for the museum’s grand opening and stay for the movie at 600 N Ashley Drive in Tampa. And it's free.
Take the kids out for a show of family friendly magic, music, juggling and comedy acts at the Improv’s Family Comedy Showcase. It’s from noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Centro Ybor comedy club. Tickets are $5. Call (813) 864-4000.
If none of these events are exactly what you're looking for, you can always check out Suds on Sunday, the Fire and Ice Ball for dads and daughters or ride the trains in Largo Central Park for free. Plus there are many other events to get you out this weekend. There's no excuse. Get out and have some fun with the kids.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne and Sherry Robinson