Free and cheap things to do with your kids this weekend
Is that warmth we're feeling? It can't possibly be after such a long, cold winter. We know we'll be wishing for cooler temps in July and August, but we're ready to ditch the turtlenecks and long pants for capris and T-shirts. And we're ready to get out of the house to see what is going on in the Tampa Bay area. So, here are some great things to do this weekend.
The Chasco Fiesta Carnival, the annual ode to the "friendship" between Spanish settlers and Florida Indians, might sound more like a Disney version of history. But we're not party poopers. This 11-day parade of entertainment continues this weekend along the Pithlachascotee River in downtown New Port Richey. There's a daily carnival, a huge street parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, a traditional American Indian festival and lots of live music. Most of it is free. For rides and carnival rides in Pinellas, head over to the Palm Harbor Citrus Festival where you'll find a citrus market and bake-off, music and kids' activities. It's through Sunday in downtown Palm Harbor.
Look, up in the air! MacDill Airfest in Tampa is the event that makes both military buffs and tiny tots gape in awe. It takes off this weekend with tens of thousands of spectators, all looking up. And it's free admission and parking but of course the lines will be long to get there. So plan on going early, taking sunscreen and having a little patience. In a fitting end to Tampa Navy Week, the main attraction is the Blue Angels precision flying team. They are set to perform at 3 p.m. both days. You'll also see a variety of aircraft and demonstrations in the air and on the ground, including the B-25 medium bomber, F-15E Strike Eagle modern fighter, P-51 Mustang fighter, T-6 Texan and parachute jumpers. See macdill-airfest.com for a full schedule.
If you feel like getting a little jump on the Easter holiday, then check out Breakfast With the Easter Bunny at Chick-Fil-A on Fourth Street N in St. Petersburg. There are two seatings at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and breakfast is $5 per child. To make a reservation, call (727) 667-7860.
If you'd rather stay indoors this weekend, a good movie is out for kids, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, based on the best-selling novels by Jeff Kinney. Sherry had the chance to see it with her family and gives it a thumbs up. Read her review here.
At Sci-Fi and Sky Night, there will be planetarium shows, high-powered telescopes and St. Petersburg Opera will do a mini concert of songs about the sun, moon and stars (6:30 p.m.). Bring a chair or some comfy pillows and blankets to watch an outdoor screening at 8 p.m. of the first two episodes of Season 1 of The Clone Wars ("Ambush" and "Rising Malevolence"), the popular CGI animated series coming out of the George Lucas creative compound, followed by The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. There will be food, snacks, beer and wine for sale, and it's a fundraiser for the Science Center of Pinellas County, 7701 22nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg, on Saturday. Call (727) 384-0027 for reservations to the planetarium show at 5:45 p.m. A $4 per person donation is requested.
Don't forget that on Saturday, Rita's locations are giving away free Italian ice to celebrate the beginning of spring. The details are here. Look here for more family friendly events. And if this isn't enough, check out Things To Do on tampabay.com. Now get out and enjoy the weekend.-- Sherry Robinson and Sharon Kennedy Wynne