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5 things to do under $5: Last week of Beach Tampa, free ice skating, cupcake contest

AMY SCHERZER | Times photo Beach bathing beauties post at The Beach Tampa opening night VIP party Aug. 4 at Amalie Arena.


AMY SCHERZER | Times photo Beach bathing beauties post at The Beach Tampa opening night VIP party Aug. 4 at Amalie Arena.

1The Beach Tampa: This is the last week to play in the free installation of 1.2 million white plastic balls designed to look like an ocean of bubbles at Tampa's Amalie Arena. Free timed tickets and parking vouchers are available through Most weekend times have already been snapped up online, but you can still play in the ball pit, if you have flexibility. There are walk-up tickets available at the box office, though you might be told to come back hours later on a busy Saturday. The exhibit's last day is Aug. 25. Hours are noon-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-2500.

2Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest: Everyone's a winner in the cupcake wars. Professional chefs and home cooks compete Saturday for bragging rights (and a nifty trophy), and tasters can vote for the People's Choice award by paying $1 per taste. The sugar coma benefits the Morean's education and exhibition programs. It runs noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at 420 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg.

3Ice Arena Open House: There will be free skating and Tampa Bay Lightning alums on hand Saturday to show off the expansion of the Clearwater Ice Arena, which added a second rink. Free skating (1-7 p.m.), a hockey game between police officers (7:30 p.m.), appearances include ex-Lightning player Brian Bradley (2 p.m.), the Rolling Thunder game truck (3 p.m.), Lightning Girls (4 p.m.), Thunderbug (5 p.m.) and Lightning great Dave Andreychuk (5 p.m.). Free, $5 skate rental. Clearwater Ice Arena, 13940 Icot Blvd.

4Anime Store Grand Opening Bash: The new Brandon shop Cafe Anime opens Saturday with cosplay contests, a super smash video competition, on-site anime artists, raffle, food and drinks. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday. 137 W Windhorst Road, Brandon. (813) 909-6824.

5Twilight on the Town: To get out of the oppressive daytime heat, the St. Petersburg Preservation walking tour came up with this mid-week stroll that teaches a bit of history and architecture, followed by a social hour at a local lounge. The one-hour tour meets at the large banyan tree on Beach Drive and Fifth Avenue NE in downtown Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. It's $5, free for members. Reservations suggested at

5 things to do under $5: Last week of Beach Tampa, free ice skating, cupcake contest 08/17/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 11:35am]
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