Free, cheap family fun this week
How did the kids survived the first days of school? How about you, Mommas? If everything went according to plan, then you should be ready for a little fun this weekend. We have some good ideas for you.
After reading this fun feature by Terri Bryce Reeves on the free water ski shows, it makes us want to head over to see the kooky themed shows put on by the Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team, a group of amateur skiers of all ages who perform Cypress Gardens-type shows at Tower Lake, a small body of water tucked in an industrial park near the Oldsmar Flea Market. Their scripts are funny and creative and you gotta love a skier launching off the ramp as Van Halen's Jump is blaring. It's free but donations are accepted for the Saturday shows at 6 p.m. Bleacher seating is provided, and there are grassy areas for lawn chairs and blankets. For more information, visit their website or call Lisa Schmidt at (727) 480-9365 or Vickie Wilmouth at (813) 917-8354.
Relive the original chomptastic blockbuster, Jaws at the 1975 price of $2. There’s no better place to celebrate the 35th anniversary of a movie about a great white shark feasting on swimmers than a beach town. Clearwater will kick things off at 6 p.m. Friday in the Cleveland Street district, where the Clearwater Threshers mascot Phinley will be on hand for photos (apparently he’s a land shark). Then talk will turn to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s dolphin, Winter, soon to be a movie star herself, and the delicate relationship between dolphins and sharks in the wild. The main event, Jaws, rolls at 7:45 p.m. at the historic Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., for the 1975 price of $2 (though donations are appreciated).
Friday is your last chance to enjoy the summer deal Summer Safari Nights at the Lowry Park Zoo. You get free rides after 5 p.m. and see which animals are more active at night. Included with Lowry Park Zoo admission at 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. (813) 935-8552. For more info, go to lowryparkzoo.com.
With all the rain we've been getting in the bay area this week, the frogs sure have been happily singing in our backyards. At 6 p.m. Friday, you can take the kids on the Frolic With Frogs nature walk at Lake Park and Dog Park, 17302 N Dale Mabry Hightway, Lutz. Kids and parents can learn about the variety of frogs, their different calls and try to identify them on a frog and nature walk. There will also be live and silent auctions for animal-related products before the nature walk.
Ready for a date night? Dine Tampa Bay 2010 is starting Sunday, offering diners in Tampa Bay special fixed-price, three-course meals at more than 50 restaurants. It’s also offering you the chance to win a year’s worth of date nights at the participating restaurants. (We can practically taste the goodness at favorites such as Ocean Prime and Mise En Place.) You can find more details about the event and the contest at the DTB website.
The doggie paddle rules the pool Saturday when Fossil Park Pool offers leash-free (and human-free) Dog Swim Day with swimming and play before the pool closes for the season. Bring proof of vaccinations and register for one of three 90-minute sessions, at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The SPCA will be taking donations of dry Iams or Science Diet dog food, Nylabones, bleach, dish soap, trash bags, newspapers, clean towels and blankets at the pool, 6739 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. $5 per session. Call (727) 893-7732 for more info.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation benefits from the Back to School Community Celebration, which includes a bounce house, face painting, snow cones, karaoke for kids, Zumba for kids, free school supplies and the chance to touch and climb aboard a fire engine. Baked goods will be available for purchase. Starts at noon Sunday at Brewer and Sons, 3328 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Free, but a $5 donation is appreciated. And prepare the kids before you go -- this is a funeral home but the owners just want to give back to the community and take away a little of the stigma of their profession.
To wind up the weekend and for all of those who still love the King of Pop, there will be a Michael Jackson Birthday Skate to honor the late singer's birthday on Sunday beginning at 6:30 p.m. You can skate to Jackson's tunes but also those from the '70s, '80s and '90s. Admission is $3.50 and that includes skate rental. The fun happens at United Skates of America, 5121 N Armenia Ave., Tampa. Call (813) 876-5826 for more information.
~ Sherry Robinson and Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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