Give and take: Free and cheap events for you; share your penny pinching ideas with us
Every week, Whoa, Momma! gives you a list of upcoming free and cheap events for the weekend. But now we need your help. Are you pinching pennies and have some good ideas to pass along to your fellow Mommas? Share them with BayLink, the Times' classified, comics and features section. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Thrifty tips” in the subject line. Please include your name, where you live, your age and your phone number in case we have any questions.
And now, here is our weekly gift to you, our roundup of free and cheap events.
Join Pinellas County Extension Specialist Karen Saley as she leads families on a journey to learn how to turn meal time into fun family time. Through hands-on activities in Families Cooking Together, children and parents learn the importance of the five food groups and how to prepare five recipes that contain those ingredients. Cost is $25 for one adult and one child with each additional person costing $5. This series is set for every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and continues tonight, Jan. 29 and Feb. 5. The classes are at All Children’s Education Center, 701 Fourth St. S, St. Petersburg. Check here for more information.
The Royal Lipizzan Stallions need a warm place to train in the winter and so the Tampa Bay area plays host to these majestic beasts. You can see the stallions being put their paces at the Herrmann Lipizzan Ranch, 32755 Singletary Road, Myakka City. Check here for more information.
Take a stroll through Tampa and check out the illuminated art that is Lights On Tampa. There’s an installation at the Fort Brooke Parking Garage, 107 N Franklin St., Tampa, or you can wander the Channelside or Riverwalk areas. Check here for a map and parking guide.
Honeymood Island State Park’s Saturday ranger guided tours have begun. Meet a ranger at the head of the nature trail at 11 a.m. for an interpretive program on the various plants and animals you’ll see. You can also join park volunteers at the nature trail for an Osprey and Owl Walk at 11 a.m. Sunday and also on Feb. 8, Feb. 22, March 8 and March 22. The walk will be short and then you can look for more osprey nests on your own. The park fee is $5 for up to 8 people per car; single occupant fee is $3.
Yoga studios throughout the bay area will be offering free classes for Yoga Day USA on Saturday. Those new to yoga or those who would like to try a different style can check them out participating studios such as Stillpoint Studios in Lutz or Yoga on the Beach at Indian Rocks Beach.
Clowns and trucks, two surefire ways to get kids away from the video screen, will be in abundance at Largo Central Park on Saturday for Touch a Truck and Florida Clown Day. The park, at 101 Central Park Drive in Largo, has a huge space and great shady playground. And from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, add dump trucks, fire trucks, motorcycles, buses, power trucks, military vehicles, a helicopter and clowns. Children can climb in the trucks, bounce on inflatables (with $5 wristband), have their face painted and ride the train.
Now, it's neither free nor cheap but the NFL Experience is one of the few events surrounding the Super Bowl that kids can really get into. The annual Super Bowl fan festival has more than 50 interactive games and attractions. There are also kids' football clinics, a football card show and free autograph sessions. Proceeds benefit the two NFL Youth Education Towns of Tampa Bay. Tickets are $18.50 for adults and $12.50, ages 12 and younger. The event will be held Saturday and Sunday and then Jan. 29-31.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne and Sherry Robinson
[Photos: Times files; Associated Press]