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5 things to do under $5 July 11-17

1Tropical Plant Fair: Instead of griping about the heat and humidity, embrace the tropics in this festive setting at the USF Botanical Gardens this weekend while shopping for fruit trees, tropical and exotic plants and ferns. There's also a ground cover workshop and a Pepper Beauty Contest featuring decorated peppers. It's $5, 11 and younger free at the University of South Florida Botanical Gardens, 12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa. (813) 974-2329. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

2Wheelchair sports: Attracting more than 600 athletes this year, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games is the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world. The Tampa Convention Center is the hub location for most events in six days of competitions for paralyzed American war veterans. Opening ceremonies are 6 p.m. Saturday, and competition starts Sunday with handcycling races down Bayshore Boulevard at 7:30 a.m. and basketball games at 6:30 and 8 p.m. at the convention center. Events include waterskiing competitions, weightlifting, softball, swimming, table tennis and more. For a complete schedule of events, go to wheelchairgames.va.gov. It's free for spectators. Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa.

3Movies in the pool: This week is awash in the popular summer treat of floating in the pool while a movie plays on the big screen. Today at the Northwest Pool in St. Petersburg, 2331 60th St. N, the Flick and Float party brings a screening of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. Flume rides and diving boards will be open. It's $4, $3.50 ages 3-12, starting at 8 p.m. If you can't make that one, the same movie will play at Largo's Southwest Recreation Complex Pool on Friday at 9 p.m., where you can float around in the pool, play themed games, get free hot dogs, take part in contests and do crafts. It's $5, $4 for residents at 13120 Vonn Road. Also on Friday is the Dive-In Movie at the St. Pete Beach Aquatic Center. Bring your noodles, floats and chairs for a screening of Space Jam. The spray play area and water slides will be open. It's $4 at 7701 Boca Ciega Drive. (727) 363-9264. 8 p.m.

4Eat at Joe's Lunch and Concert Series: It may sound like a diner, but the Eat at Joe's series is a monthly summer lunch and concert party in the Joe Chillura Courthouse Square park in Tampa that includes music by R&B artist Tim Rich and food from downtown eateries. Free concert but you pay for the grub. Joe Chillura Courthouse Square, Kennedy Boulevard and Morgan Street. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday.

5Second Saturday art walks: The second Saturday has always been a lively one in downtown St. Petersburg when the galleries stay open late, some even offering snacks and artists on hand to talk about their work. That is happening as usual in various locations from 30th Street to the Pier. But you can also hop on a trolley a little further up the road to the newly renamed Warehouse District, which runs from First Avenue N to 10th Avenue South, between 16th and 31st streets. Trolleys will be running or you can find ample street parking to stroll dozens of galleries. It all takes place Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. Check stpetearts.org for a locator map or the Warehouse Arts District Facebook page.

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer

5 things to do under $5 July 11-17 07/10/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 4:09pm]
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