Momma's picks: Free and cheap
It's Super Bowl weekend and if you aren't lucky (or wealthy) enough to have scored tickets for the big game, you still need something to keep you busy -- at least until about 6 p.m. Sunday night. So here are some free and cheap family events to keep you hopping.
If you can get up early enough on Friday, Al Roker and Meredith Vieira (but no Matt Lauer) from the Today Show will be at the NFL Experience to soak up some Florida sunshine and local culture. And did we mention a little game that is being played here on Sunday? Catch them between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. outside Raymond James Stadium.
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 through their paces at the Herrmann Lipizzan Ranch, 32755 Singletary Road, Myakka City on Thursday. Check here for more information.
This isn't really free or cheap (we give you one of these each week) but the Super Bowl Kids Class at Let Them Eat Cake, 3805 S West Shore Blvd. in Tampa, sounds like fun. From 3-6 p.m. Friday or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, the instructor will teach kids how to make fun Super Bowl party foods. Mmmmm, pigs in blankets, anyone? Call (813) 837-6888 to sign up for the $40 class.
The Fort Dade Mountain Men will have a rendezvous this weekend and next at the Withlacoochee River Park, 12449 Withlacoochee Blvd., Dade City. The rendezvous will feature five encampments, participants in period costumes and camping if you are of a mind to do so. The event, which Friday through Saturday and Feb. 6-8, is $2 per person or $5 per car and children under 12 are free.
It's going to be a nice, cool weekend so why not get the kids outside to learn about butterflies, plants and other parts of nature at Nature's Elements, a class specifically for kids ages 4-7 at the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petesburg. The class, which costs $10, will be from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. For information, call (727) 893-7326.
Okay, so your pets have not been able to get into the Super Bowl spirit. Well now they can at the Ultimate Tailgate Pawty beginning at 10 a.m. at Coachman Park in Clearwater. It's a day of fun for dogs and other pets that will feature agility shows, games, contests and activities for your children. Best of all, it's free. Go here for more information.
On Sunday, if you just can't take all the hype leading up to the big game, head over to the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library and check out the Kuumba Dancers and Drummers at 2 p.m. The African folk dance troupe will play drums and tell stories. The library is at 2902 W Bearss Ave. in Tampa and admission is free.
Finally, if you are searching for a family friendly place to watch the game, the big screen will be on at First United Methodist Church of Pinellas Park, 9025 49th St. N, Pinellas Park. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for the potluck dinner so bring a dish to share or call ahead for a custom sandwich from the youth group. For more information, call (727) 546-5741.
As always, you can find coupons for deals for coupons to attractions here.
-- Sherry Robinson
[Photos: Upper left -- Associated Press; middle and lower left -- Times files]