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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Free and cheap things to do with your kids



It's not the heat or the humidity, it's the cost of everything that makes us sweat. Chill out with some of these cool deals we found that you can do with your kids this week:

cheerios.jpgNASCAR fans can get a close look at the Cheerios NASCAR show car. Bring your camera for pictures. Free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Winn-Dixie Madeira Beach, 15200 Municipal Drive , Madeira Beach. (727) 392-1003.


Go to the movies in your bathing suit! The popular summertime Dive-In Movies are back in St. Pete Beach. Bring your noodles, floats and chairs every Friday night at 8 for the fun. This week you can see Shrek while you float for $3 per person. It's limited to the first 150 guests, so get there early. Drinks, snacks and glow jewelry will be sold at the St. Pete Beach Aquatic Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach. And over in Largo, they have Flick N Float Family Movies at Friday, Southwest Recreation Complex and Pool, 13120 Vonn Road, Largo. All ages are welcome to bring their favorite float or chair to enjoy a Friday night family movie. Free hot dogs and Chick-fil-A sandwiches; concessions are also available. The scheduled movie, The Water Horse, Legend of the Deep, will begin at dusk or approximately 9 p.m. $10 with Largo Recreation Card for up to five people; $15 without card for up to five people. 7:30-10:30 p.m.

stuffed.jpgThink the Toy Story characters are the only ones who come alive when we aren’t looking? Children aged 12 and younger can bring in their stuffed animal friends Friday night at 5:30 to the New Tampa Regional Library. Then come back Saturday morning to check out the pictures from the slumber party with the other furry friends. The library is at 10001 Cross Creek Blvd. in Tampa. Free.

Photographers age 12 and up can get free tips from professional nature photographers at the Weedon Island Preserve in a class called It's the Photopgrapher, Not the Camera. Learn how to develop the skills necessary to capture brilliant photos without buying a new camera. This free class is Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at the preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE. Call (727) 453-6800 to reserve your spot.

The bay area beaches will be teaming with hopping-mad nature lovers on Saturday for Hands Across the Sand,  a gathering that “is not a protest, but an event aimed at raising awareness of a threat to area beaches and the protection of our oceans and marine life” from offshore oil drilling. They may say it’s not a protest, but they do suggest you wear a black T-shirt. Gathering spots include Clearwater’s North Beach between Frenchy’s and Palm Pavilion, Dolphin Village Shopping Center on St. Pete Beach and the Dunedin Causeway, starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. At noon there will be a linking of hands across the coast. See the organization's website  for a list of participating beaches.

narnia.jpgThe Eckerd Theatre Company re-creates the magic of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the adventurous fairy tale by C.S. Lewis. Best for grade 3 and up, the show is free at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N Osceola Ave., Clearwater.

New Port Richey gets a jump on July for with a  Main Street Independence Day celebration on Saturday, and tribute to California with music by Monday Monday (Mama’s and Papas tribute band), Endless Summer (Beach Boys tribute band), Todd Plant (Doobie Brothers tribute) and 7 Bridges (Eagles tribute) with Tiffani Cruz and Lou Angelwolf. Also, the Miss Firecracker Contest, beer garden, kids’ games, “Meet the Swampmaster,” fireworks, dunk tank, face painting and more. It starts at 3 p.m. at Sims Park, 6341 Bank St., New Port Richey. Free.

Power boats and sail boats will be decked out in a stars and stripes theme for Saturday's Hudson Beach Boat Parade. There will be prizes for best decorated boats, and great viewing is available from Hudson Beach and Sam’s Hudson Beach Restaurant, 6325 Clark St. starting at 1 p.m. Proceeds from boat entry fee benefit HPH Hospice. It's free for spectators, $10 boat entry. Phone: (727) 868-1971.

When the heat is on and it feels like 100 outside, it’s hard to get motivated to get out and play. That’s why we compiled this list of  indoor play zones. Please call ahead for rates and times. As always, you can find even more fun zones like skating rinks or bowling alleys in our database at Things to Do

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Monday, June 28, 2010 9:28am]


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