Free, cheap family fun for the weekend
With summer in full swing, it's time to find some fun things to do with the whole family. If you head outside, remember to put on your sunscreen and drink lots of fluids. But there's also plenty to keep you busy indoors. Let's get started.
But before we do, isn't this a special weekend for that guy we call Dad? Well, we ought to do something special for him, right? Look through this list of special events to honor him on Father's Day weekend. There are great ticket deals at bay area attractions, including MOSI (see more on that below), the Florida Aquarium and the Lowry Park Zoo. And go to Things to Do to find even more ideas on what do do with dear old Dad.
Speaking of Dad, Riverwalk for Dads is a healthy pre-Father's Day event at 9 a.m. Saturday that features a slow-paced 2K family-friendly walk along Riverwalk in Tampa. There will be a hot breakfast, entertainment and proceeds benefit prostate cancer research. Cost is $20, $10 ages 11 and younger and no fee for tots in strollers. The walk is at the Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa. For more information, call (813) 228-0097.
A good place to keep your cool is at the Itty Bitty Splashtime at Largo's Highland Recreation Complex and Family Aquatic Center. Play in the spray and have a great time with kids ages 5 and younger. The center's at 400 Highland Ave. NE, Largo. Cost is $1.50 with ages 2 and younger free.
Now we love our cats and dogs, so these next two events will take you outside but you'll have fun watching your four-legged friends. At the Block PAWty in Old Hyde Park Village at 6 p.m. Thursday, have a tail-waggin' good time at this pet gathering in the courtyard of the Snow Circle Shops. There will be a raffle, prizes, doggie bags and more. Cost is a $10 donation. Find the fun at 1622 W Snow Ave, Tampa. For info, call (813) 251-3500. For folks who love cats, head over to the Cat Olympics and Cat Jeopardy at the SPCA Tampa Bay at 1 p.m. Saturday. Adoptable cats will strut their stuff for prospective owners while cat fanciers can test their knowledge on feline trivia. Cost for this event is free at the SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave. N, Largo. Call 727) 586-3591 for details.
Now, we always have to include one event that costs a little more. The best might be the opening of CSI: The Experience at Tampa's MOSI on Saturday. Let your inner David Caruso play out as you investigate crime scenes and try to crack the case. Of course, some of this might be a little too intense for the littlest MOSI fans so make sure you take them to another part of the museum while kids 12 and up enjoy this interactive exhibit that puts you in the role of crime scene investigator. Check it out beginning at 9 a.m.at MOSI, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. The exhibit runs through Sept. 6.
At the Bandz Swap Party at International Plaza, kids can swap, trade and buy all manner of Bandz, those crazy shaped bracelets that you covering their arms. It's free and there will be door prizes and drawings at 11 a.m. and noon. Find the fun at the Sharp Lounge near Dillards at IP, 2223 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.
On Sunday if Dad feels like doing something with the kids, you might send him off to the 2010 Summer Fest in Riverview. Chat with businesses in the community and let the kids play games and jump in the bounce houses for fun. It's at 1 p.m Sunday at the Barn Theatre at Winthrop, 11349 Bloomingdale Ave., Riverview.
Go out ant make it a fun weekend. And don't forget to say Happy Father's Day.
-- Sherry Robinson