Every scurvy pirate knows that hunting for treasure is the best part of being a pirate. And every kid knows that the best part of any day is getting wet and getting treats. So make your little darlings happy — and tire them out in the process — at the Splashes Treasure Hunt, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Highland Family Aquatic Center, 400 Highland Ave. Largo. Treasure is hidden all over the center for children ages 10 and younger to gather. Hunts are divided by age group. And this falls under fun for the whole family for not a lot of money: $12 per family with Largo resident rec card; $18 with non-resident card; $23 per family without rec card. Just remember to
But this isn't the only fun that families can have this weekend. There is so much more to do that will keep you and the kids from being bored but won't put a hole in your wallet.
Fri: Nite Zoo at Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa
It's always fun to go to the zoo and Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is the best for children, according to Child magazine's top 10 list from 2004. The Night Zoo activity offers free rides from 5 to 8:30 p.m. And that's really good because the new Gator Falls water flume ride opened Thursday. Riders in logs climb to nearly 30 feet and then float, get splashed by falling water and then get a 30-foot drop over the white "albino'' alligator exhibit.
Going to the zoo after 5 p.m. can help beat the hot, humid days of summer. Don't forget to use sunscreen and drink lots of water. You can't bring any food or beverages into the zoo but you can receive a hand stamp for re-entry and picnic in one of the surrounding park areas.
The zoo, which boasts all manner of zebras, tigers and even penguins, also has a petting zoo, a manatee and aquatic center and an aviary where the birds fly free. The zoo also has rides and a water play area for kids in addition to a playground. And the zoo now features the Mommy Stop where parents can sit in the shade with the tiniest zoogoers to relax and get refreshed.
The cost is $18.95, $17.95 seniors, $14.50 ages 3-11. The zoo is at 1101 W Sligh Ave. Tampa.
Sat: Main Street Blast, New Port Richey
If you're going to be out of the bay area on July 4, or if your city or town has canceled fireworks because of tight economic times, this is a good way to get your fireworks fix. The Greater New Port Richey Main Street Independence Day celebration features music including 60's Groove, 5:30-7 p.m., 7 Bridges (Eagles tribute), 7-9 p.m. and ZOSO (Led Zeppelin tribute), after fireworks. Also cruise-in by Sunset Corvette Club and Classic Car Club, Red, Woof and Blue Patriotic Pooch Parade, Miss Firecracker Contest, food vendors and fireworks at dark.