Free and cheap things to do with your kids this weekend
Tired of the rain and the cold weather? We'll be begging for it come July and August, but in the meantime, we're a little stir crazy. Here are a few events to get you and the family out of the house this weekend. And they won't break your piggy bank.
We already told you about the Engineering Expo that is happening at USF Tampa on Friday and Saturday. And it's an awesome way to teach your kids that math and science are actually fun and way cool. And, it's free!
The Saddle Up Riding Club invites the public to escape city life on the club's 7-acre farm in Pinellas Park for Farm Animal Interaction Days. On the farm, there are horses, rabbits, ponies, a miniature horse, chickens, roosters, guinea pigs, a pet rat named Violet and Rosie the pig. The club suggests a $2 donation, but it is not required. Horse rides are $5 per ride at 6080 94th Ave., Pinellas Park. It's from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Closed-toed shoes are recommended. Call (727) 520-3132 for details.
If you've ever entertained the idea of joining this paddling sport, Saturday's Dragon Boat Mini Regatta is designed to help paddlers gain experience to participate in the Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Race on May 1. It's $5 to grab a paddle and hop in a boat. Spectators and teams registered in May's race are free. Hours are 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday behind the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa.
Here is your opportunity to ride a fire engine, see the "Jaws of Life" work and tour Largo Fire Rescue Station 41 at 180 Fourth St. SW during an afternoon open house. The day also features a chili cookoff, puppet shows, photos for kids and raffles. Proceeds from raffle tickets and donations for chili tastings benefit the Children's Burn Foundation of Florida. It's free from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.
The Science Center of Pinellas County is hosting its Sci-Fi and Sky Night, a stargazing and sci-fi movie event, on Saturday with planetarium shows from 5:30 to 9:15 p.m., an astronomy lecture by professor Daryl Schrader at 7:15 p.m., a screening of the film Aliens vs. Monsters at 6:30 p.m., Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen at 8:15 p.m. and telescope viewings from 7:45 to 11:30 p.m. Register to have your name sent around Earth in the Glory Mission. Pizza and beverages will be sold from 6 to 9 p.m. The Science Center is at 7701 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg. A $3 donation is requested. Call (727) 384-0027 to make a reservation.
If you're searching for a kindergarten for your tot, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo wants you to swing by its Kindergarten Open House from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. The Zoo School is a private school and is accepting enrollment for the 2010-2011 school year. The kindergarten offers a science and environmental literature-based curriculum. The zoo is at 1101 W Slight Ave., Tampa. Call (813) 935-8552 ext. 209 for more information.
Watch out for a very mischievous monkey this Saturday at Tyrone Square Mall. That's when Curious George will be on hand to meet and greet kids and encourage them to read at the Book Blast from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. FOX 13 Sports Anchor Chris Field will be on hand to read books such as Curious George 2: Follow that Monkey, a book based on Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s upcoming DVD release of the same title, which will be previewed at the event. The first 100 kids to arrive will receive Curious George fun packs, filled with activity pages, stickers, a Curious George mask, and more.
Members of the Simon Kidgits Club will receive a free Kidgits book. And if you have some new or gently used books to donate to the Florida Department of Education’s ‘Just Read, Florida!’ initiative, bring them along.Tyrone Square Mall is at 6901 Tyrone Blvd., St. Petersburg.
Speaking of Tyrone Square, there just so happens to be a carnival in the parking lot. It's open 4-10 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday and noon-10 p.m. Sunday. Wristbands are for sale and there is a $5 off coupon for those available at Guest Services in the mall.
-- Sherry Robinson and Sharon Kennedy Wynne