Monday, January 22, 2018
Features and More

Spraygrounds, water parks and splash zones are opening up in Tampa Bay area

It's starting to warm up and that means the area's many spraygrounds, public pools and splash zones will be opening up for the height of heat season.

The Highlander Pool in Dunedin is open already and having a Splash Bash and Picnic on Saturday to kick off spring with a celebration including inflatables, games, races, music and lunch. The adjacent Kiwanis Sprayground is open year-round at 1937 Ed Eckert Drive. It has water cannons, floor jets, a slide and a big yellow bucket that fills up, tips over, and drenches those who stand under it from 9 a.m. to sunset every day. The picnic Saturday is free and starts at 11 a.m.

The terrific sprayground at Del Holmes Park in St. Petersburg already opened up for the season on May 1 and will remain open until Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Note that the sprayers are motion activated so don't think it's not open if you don't see water going.

All the city of St. Petersburg's pools will open for the season beginning Memorial Day weekend, May 26 (North Shore Pool is open year-round).

Other water play areas around Tampa Bay

Highland Recreation Complex and Family Aquatic Center in Largo is celebrating its season opening May 19-20 with a weekend-long party with free hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, door prizes and giveaways at 400 Highland Ave. NE, Largo. This is a mini-waterpark for all ages. In addition to a pool, amenities include a 214-foot corkscrew water slide, a three-story speed slide, a zero-depth sprayground with play structure and water sprays, and a double slide suitable for all ages. Water basketball and volleyball are also available.

Cypress Forest Park in Oldsmar has a 1,500-square-foot sprayground with all manner of shooting and cascading water that is open daily now from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The park, 650 Pine Ave. N, also has picnic shelters. It costs $5 for nonresident parking; $2.50 decal per year for residents.

Kate Jackson Park, 821 S Rome Ave. in Tampa, is a beautiful park nestled in the heart of historic Hyde Park, with lots of playground equipment, picnic benches and shade trees. Kids especially enjoy running through the fountain, which shoots up water from the ground. It's open year-round and the fountain runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park has two interactive fountains, one on the east side of the park along Ashley Drive and the Mist Fountain on the west side of the park along the Riverwalk.

WaterPlay at Zephyr Park, 38116 Fifth Ave. in Zephyrhills, has fountain jets, soaker cannons, falling buckets of water and arches shooting water. The 34-acre sprayground is in downtown Zephyrhills and is the site of the Alice Hall Community Center. The water play area is open 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Comments
Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

Orchestra sets off fireworks in the brassy ‘Sinfonietta’

TAMPA — Many times during Sinfonietta, Leoš Janácek’s notoriously difficult but joyous work, it was impossible for a regular patron of the Florida Orchestra to escape this observation: They have never sounded quite like this.This isn’t to say musicia...
Published: 01/20/18
‘Mike Hammer - Encore for Murder’ serves up hard-boiled 1950s fare with a healthy side of wit

‘Mike Hammer - Encore for Murder’ serves up hard-boiled 1950s fare with a healthy side of wit

CLEARWATER — From the moment the title character takes center stage, Mike Hammer — Encore for Murder is sold. Rarely does one actor own an entire production the way Gary Sandy owns this world premiere, and it’s a pleasure at watch, in large measure t...
Published: 01/19/18
Banksy’s Haight Street Rat coming to Winter Haven gallery

Banksy’s Haight Street Rat coming to Winter Haven gallery

Fans of notorious street artist and activist Banksy won’t have to travel too far to see one of his original pieces, thanks to an exhibit opening on Jan. 27 at the Outer Space Gallery in Winter Haven. The "Haight Street Rat" will be on display, on the...
Published: 01/18/18
Updated: 01/19/18
Inside American Stage’s plan to offer free or reduced admission to young people

Inside American Stage’s plan to offer free or reduced admission to young people

ST. PETERSBURG An air compressor did most of the talking as the small crew stapled down flooring to the stage. A master carpenter kept unskilled but eager workers on track, telling them where to line up edges. An astringent smell of glue permeated t...
Published: 01/18/18
Overtourism and safety cited in Fodor’s where-not-to-go list

Overtourism and safety cited in Fodor’s where-not-to-go list

As you contemplate all those "where to go in 2018" lists, here’s a twist: a list of places to avoid in the new year. The where not to go list is from Fodor’s, the travel guidebook publisher. Fodor’s "no list" includes places plagued by overtourism an...
Published: 01/18/18
Bar review: Florida spirits and brews at the newest Local Draught House in Tampa

Bar review: Florida spirits and brews at the newest Local Draught House in Tampa

I don’t consider myself "old" — though I have gotten into a bad habit of informing door people insistent on checking my ID that I’m halfway to 70. But I’m frequently made aware of how far removed my lifestyle is from that of my 20s.So when I walked i...
Published: 01/18/18
Local craft beer of the week: Electric Wizard IPA from 7venth Sun Brewery

Local craft beer of the week: Electric Wizard IPA from 7venth Sun Brewery

The past six months have been kind to Dunedin’s 7venth Sun Brewery. In August, the brewery’s long-awaited Tampa expansion finally happened, with its much larger Seminole Heights facility and tasting room opening in a town eager to try its range of ul...
Published: 01/18/18
Shake Shack, Momofuku and more: Please come to Tampa Bay

Shake Shack, Momofuku and more: Please come to Tampa Bay

Fabio is coming! Not the Fabio on your romance novel, with the billowing hair and large quantities of artificial butter. This Fabio, in all likelihood, uses real butter. And olive oil. Fabio Viviani, the charming Top Chef alum known for appearances...
Published: 01/17/18
Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

LA SEGUNDAA Tampa Bay giant has stirred and is on the move. La Segunda Central Bakery, a family-owned Ybor City institution for nearly 103 years (they celebrated that birthday Jan. 15) and the largest producer of Cuban bread in the world, will open a...
Published: 01/17/18
Shake Shack inches closer to Tampa Bay with new Florida restaurant

Shake Shack inches closer to Tampa Bay with new Florida restaurant

Beloved burger restaurant Shake Shack, which once inspired hungry diners to wait in hours-long lines at New York's Madison Square Park before expanding with dozens of locations across the U.S., is inching closer to Tampa Bay. A lease agreement  with...
Published: 01/17/18