The countdown has begun. Only a few sweet weeks of summer are left. But at least there are lots of parties, giveaways and special events coming up in the next few weeks to help ease kids back to school.
End of Summer Bash for Teens: Youths ages 12 to 17 are invited for a night of supervised partying with movies, gaming, a food buffet and a music jam. 6:30 p.m. Friday, Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $33, $25 members. (813) 987-6000.
Back to School/Wellness Fest: Get the kids ready for school at this event with free wellness exams and immunizations (with child records). There will be backpacks filled with school supplies, and vendors distributing samples and information on their products or services. 8 a.m. Saturday, North Greenwood Recreation Complex Pool, 900 N Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Clearwater. Free. (727) 643-3500.
Back to School Care Fair: The 15th annual event by the Junior League of St. Petersburg aims to prepare students in grades K-12 for the upcoming school year. All children receive backpacks stuffed with school supplies; medical exams including immunizations, vision checks and dental screenings; bicycle-safety training and free helmets (8:30 a.m. to noon only); and on-site school registration. Kids also can get a free book and do arts and crafts. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and closes at noon. 8 a.m. Saturday, Johnnie Ruth Clarke Health Center, 1344 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 895-5018; JLStPete.org.
Operation Backpack and Back to School Bash: The event will include refreshments and games. Children must be present to receive a backpack. The event is sponsored by Behind the Stone Ministries, the Boys and Girls Club of Hernando County, Head Start, Spring Hill Neighborhood Project and Suncoast For Kids Foundation. 9 a.m. Saturday, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6193 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. (727) 808-4096.
Back to School Bash: Learn about programs and organizations that can help your child succeed this school year, from arts and sports to education and safety. More than 40 vendors and organizations for grades K-8 will participate. There also will be crafts, music, giveaways and entertainment. 11 a.m. Sunday, the Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 823-0437.
Back to School Party with Paper Cut Gang: Hip-hop artist Famous Kid Brick and St. Petersburg hip-hop quintet Paper Cut Gang will perform at this Community Benefit Network event aimed at high school-age students. 7 p.m. Wednesday, Scene Premium Night Club, 211 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 258-4813; scenenightclub.com.
Back to School Fair: Get tips on health, wellness and safety, along with live entertainment, games, arts and crafts, face painting, balloon artists, informative speakers, karaoke; and workshops. The first 150 kids get a free back-to-school goodie bag filled with school supplies. Includes admission to the museum. 9 a.m. Aug. 13, Glazer Children's Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. $5. (813) 949-4400; backtoschoolfair.com.
Kiddopalooza: Costumes are encouraged at this "Back to School Dance Party" for the entire family with DJ dancing, dance games, Wii games, face painting, glow jewelry and snacks. This is not a "drop-off" event. 1 p.m. Aug. 13, Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15 age 7 and older, $10 age 1 to 6, infants free. (813) 248-4050; kiddopalooza.com.
Back to School Giveaway: The Firehouse Christian Center is giving away free haircuts, free backpacks full of school supplies and children's shoes. Advanced registration is required. 2 p.m. Aug. 13, 5942 Frond Way, Apollo Beach. Free. (813) 938-5801.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer