About this time every year, parents start thinking about that funny Staples back-to-school commercial. Andy Williams sings It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year as dad cavorts while picking up school supplies and the kids pout. In fact, the spot is enjoying a resurgence as the office retailer dusts it off to celebrate its 15th anniversary. But before you get the kids back in their assigned seats, there are plenty of BTS events to prepare them for the big first day. Everything from health screenings to supply giveaways will be offered. And there's also a BTS skateboard challenge for the kids so they won't have to mope while you celebrate. Yes, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. — Sherry Robinson, Times staff writer
Back to School Bash
The 14th annual All About Kids event features free bike helmets, samples, bounce houses, a petting zoo, interactive games, face painting, beadmaking, "Batting with the Tampa Bay Rays" and more. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. $9, 12 and younger free (limit three children free per paying adult). Go to the Web site for a $1-off coupon. (813) 966-5505; backtoschoolbash.com.
Back to School Baseball Bash
A Tampa Yankees game, carnival games, bounce house, face painters and postgame fireworks, plus an appearance by 1978 World Series MVP Bucky Dent (6-7 p.m. only). First 250 kids will receive a Yankees bag filled with school supplies. Gates open at 6 p.m.; game vs. Clearwater Threshers at 7 p.m. Sat. George M. Steinbrenner Field (formerly Legends Field), 1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa. Tickets $4-$6; one child free with the purchase of each adult ticket. (813) 875-7753; www.legendsfieldtampa.com.
Back to School Care Fair
A fair filled with free care services for grades kindergarten to 12 including medical examinations, dental and vision screenings, immunizations, school supplies and more. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat. Johnnie Ruth Clarke Health Center, 1344 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 895-5018.
FANG FishHawk Back to School Festival
A family event to welcome kids back to school. Includes dance and martial arts performances, door prizes, bounce houses, sheriff's office and fire rescue appearances and more. 9 a.m.-noon Sat. FishHawk Youth Sports Complex, 16120 Fishhawk Blvd., Lithia. Free. (813) 643-0730.
Back to School Health and Safety Expo
Jump-start the school year with wellness and child safety tips and information on child resources, after-school programs, area tutors, children's retailers and more. Included with admission. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $25.95 adults (ages 13-59), $19.95 child (2-12) and $22.45 seniors (60 and older). Member discounts available. (813) 987-6000; mosi.org.
Back To School! Skateboard Contest
An all-ages/all-experience levels contest in miniramp divisions on Aug. 15. 9 a.m. practice and registration; 10 a.m. contest start. Ross Norton Recreation and Aquatic Complex and Extreme Sports Park, 1426 S Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Clearwater. Cost is $15 entry, $5 per event. (727) 443-0209; 688skateshop.net.
Back to School Fun Day
Radio Disney pays a visit to the event with games, music, prizes and other back-to-school fun from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 22. Seminole Mall, 11201 Park Blvd., Seminole. Free. (727) 392-8174.