Free and cheap things to do with your kids this weekend
This was a short week so let the fun begin! Check out these free and cheap events around the Tampa Bay area that will keep the kids happy and keep your purse from getting too light.
MOSI's IMAX Dome Theatre will show Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince beginning Friday at 3:50 p.m.and 6:35 p.m. And to celebrate the opening, there will be some Harry Potter themed activities: The first 25 guests to each show on Friday receive a Harry Potter wand or movie poster; guests wearing their favorite Harry Potter attire will receive $3 off admission for up to 6 guests; and children attending the opening can enter to win two tickets to MOSI’s exclusive Hogwarts Overnight camp-in. MOSI is at 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Go to MOSI's Web site for additional dates, hours and admission.
Speaking of MOSI, this is a good weekend to go because Saturday is $5 Day at the Museum.Your kids can experience more than 450 hands-on activities, a standard IMAX Dome film, Kids In Charge! and a 3-D film in the Coleman Science Works Theater. But go early because you know it is going to be crowded. And this weekend is also $5 Day at the Zoo on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lowry Park Zoo, 101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. And we've told you a million times, go early, stay hydrated and be ready for crowds. But you'll have fun as well.
Hold onto your (red and white striped) hats. To celebrate The Art of Dr. Seuss, the cool cat with the cool hat will parade down Safety Harbor’s Main Street along with his pal, the Grinch, on Saturday, then move on to Syd Entel Galleries, 247 Main St., for readings from Dr. Seuss’ beloved books. The festivities open a touring exhibition of works (including book illustrations) by Theodor Seuss Geisel (the doctor) at the gallery along with a sale of prints. Call (727) 725-1808 for details.
On Grandparents Day this Sunday, grandparents get a gift and free admission with one paid child’s admission from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Highland Family Aquatic Center, 400 Highland Ave., Largo. Cost is $8 or $5 for rec card holders. Kids 2 and younger are free. Call (727) 518-3018.
Bring your leashed dog out for a day of canine themed fun at Responsible Dog Owner Day. There's a parade of dogs, dog product vendors, 50 breed exhibits, Clearwater Police Canine Unit, agility and obedience demos and more from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Harborview Center, 300 Cleveland St., Clearwater. All the fun is free. Call (727) 541-3223 for details.
And if you want to have more fun with your dog, take him to the grand opening of the Green Dog Wash from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday at 533 S Howard Ave., Unit 2 in Tampa. There will be dog washes, samples, prizes, food and beverages or the whole family, especially the dogs. While you're there, register to win a Green Dog Wash "Green Wash" package, which includes 10 free washes. And they promise to have the TV turned on to college football. And sorry, cat lovers, this is for dogs only.
If cats and dogs aren't your bag, maybe you and the kids will want to learn about the Diamondback terrapins struggle for survival in Diamondback Terrapins: Living on the Edge. Best for ages 10 and older from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. It's free. Call (727) 453-6500 for details.
Hike on over to Toys R Us from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday for a Playdate with Thomas & Friends. It looks like all the bay area stores, including those in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties, are participating in this event. So take all your little train fans for the fun.
Check out other kid-friendly events here and then go out and make it a great weekend.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne and Sherry Robinson