Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

How to have fun after Christmas

The Ruskin Drive-In on U.S. 41 in Ruskin.

SKIP O\u2019ROURKE | Times

The Ruskin Drive-In on U.S. 41 in Ruskin.

BRANDON — The Christmas toys are a day old. The house is still packed with visitors. And the kids are saying they're bored. Looking for a way to keep your parental sanity during this winter break without breaking the bank? Check out these close-to-home ideas for keeping the family busy while school is out.

Activities: under $20, ages 5 and up

The Ruskin Drive-In: Surprise them with a Friday or Saturday night trip to the Ruskin Drive-In at 5011 U.S. 41 N., Ruskin. Now until Jan. 1, starting at 7:30 p.m., they'll be playing The Tale of Despereaux, rated G, and Delgo, rated PG. The box office opens at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Children ages 5 to 8 are $1 per child; kids under 4 get in free with their own parents. Call (813) 645-1455 or go to

A day at the park: Load up the car with a picnic basket or barbecue, a digital camera and visit Aldermans Ford Park, 100 Aldermans Ford Park Drive, Lithia, This scenic park includes two branches of the Alafia River. Several picnic areas are connected by a pedestrian/bicycle loop path, and there's a boardwalk and foot bridges. Or try Edward Medard Park, 5737 Turkey Creek Road, Plant City. This park has trails and a boardwalk that leads to an observation tower on a small island within the reservoir.

Let the kids take turns photographing wildlife for a scrap-booking session later.

Pajama rides: Just after you tuck the kids into bed, make a grand re-entrance and announce a pajama ride. Load the kids into the car with a thermos of hot chocolate and a good Christmas CD, and take a ride to enjoy holiday lights.

Family day at the Skateland of Brandon: A family of four can skate for $10. Holiday skate times started Dec. 22. Skateland of Brandon, 750 Robertson St., Brandon. Call 681-3635 or visit

For older kids

Rock Band or Guitar Hero day: These are the kinds of video games that even parents can't stop playing. You can spend a whole evening battling it out with family members to see who gets the highest score. Take turns playing the drums or guitar. Make smoothies or milkshakes and break out the video camera and record these hilarious moments.

Camps for kids 5 and up

Tech Playzone camps: Winter Technology Camp offers rotating sessions in Web design, Lego robotics, electronics, computer programming, video game creation and more. 13208 Boyette Road, Riverview. Call (813) 453-7329 or visit

Learn to cook: Young Chef's Academy, 1576 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico. Offers a mini-camp ($125) full of recipes this Monday through Wednesday. For more information, call 642-7025 or visit

Ostinger's Baseball Camp: A winter camp featuring drills and instruction runs Monday through Wednesday. There's also a three-day pitcher-catcher camp for high school players. 8711 Lithia-Pinecrest Road, Lithia. Call 737-3000 or visit

How to have fun after Christmas 12/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, December 25, 2008 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. County looks to regulate dog trainers and ban 'helicoptering'


    TAMPA — More than 20 people spoke in favor of a proposed ordinance that would require dog trainers and dog day cares to be licensed during a Hillsborough County Commission's meeting Wednesday.

    Sarge, a Shih Tzu-Pekinese mix, died in the arms of owner Lorie Childers after attending a training program in 2015. Childers now wants local and state legislation to regulate animal trainers and punish ones that harm dogs in their care. [Courtesy of Lorie Childers]
  2. Trump offered a grieving military father $25,000 in a call, but didn't follow through


    President Donald Trump, in a personal phone call to a grieving military father, offered him $25,000 and said he would direct his staff to establish an online fundraiser for the family, but neither happened, the father said.

    President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting  with members of the Senate Finance Committee and his economic team on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 at the White House in Washington, D.C. [Pool photo by Chris Kleponis | Getty Images]
  3. State House leader Corcoran urges Congress to back Trump tax cuts


    TAMPA — At a time when President Donald Trump's relations with Congress grow frayed, state House Speaker Richard Corcoran lined up solidly with Trump Tuesday in urging Congress members from Florida to back the president's tax-cutting legislation.

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran backs the supply-side economic theory that cutting federal taxes for business owners would result in more jobs for others. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  4. Tampa's Oaklawn Cemetery placed on National Register of Historic Places

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Oaklawn Cemetery, Tampa's first public graveyard, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

    Tampa's Oaklawn and neighboring St. Louis cemeteries just north of downtown have been added to the National Register of  Historic Places. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
  5. Romano: Love to hear your Nazi speech, but I'm washing my hair

    Human Interest

    A year ago, he was racism's favorite twerp.

    Richard Spencer, center in sunglasses, and his supporters clash with Virginia State Police after hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" clashed with anti-fascist protesters and police in August in Charlottesville, Va. [Getty Images]