Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Events

Top things to do this week in Tampa Bay: Grand Prix St. Petersburg, Adventure Island opens, Big Bounce

HOT WHEELS: Firestone Grand Prix

Hear that buzz? The Firestone Grand Prix is once again the opening race for the Verizon IndyCar series on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg. But first, runners get a shot at the track Friday in the Firestone Grand Prix 5K. They will begin on Bayshore Drive, enter race track at Turn 9 and run a lap around the track in reverse before finishing in Vinoy Park. Benefits the Police Athletic League. $40. 6 p.m. Friday. For the IndyCars, the 1.8-mile waterfront course with 14 turns also brings side activities such as the Speed Zone, IndyCar Series Fan Village, beer gardens, driver autograph sessions, interactive games and exhibits. Three-time Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner Helio Castroneves serves as this year’s grand marshal. Parking available at Tropicana Field for $10 with a free shuttle to select locations along the track. $20-$100 single day. The race track area is next Albert Whitted Airport and First Street SE, St. Petersburg. (877) 725-8849. 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday. gpstpete.com.

WILD SLIDE: Adventure Island Opening Day

Tampa’s water park Adventure Island opens for the season and debuts its new Vanish Point drop slide attraction on Friday. The name is inspired by the point on a wave where gravity and water combine perfectly. Riders will step into one of two capsules on a 70-foot tower and wait for the floor to drop below them. Those too chicken for the drop floor have the option of getting horizontal on a 455-foot-long slide that ends with a high-speed finish. The water park remains open through Oct. 14. $59.99 online ages 3 and older. Adventure Island, 10001 McKinley Drive, Tampa. (888) 800-5447. adventureisland.com.

INFLATABLE: The Big Bounce America

A 20,000-square-foot inflatable attraction that’s touring the nation billed as the "world’s largest bounce house" will arrive this weekend in Odessa. The Big Bounce America stops at Keystone Park with slides and inflatable attractions including a Ninja Run, Monster Ball Pit, Lil’ Bouncer and yard games. The family-friendly event isn’t just for kids. There will be separate bounce sessions for toddlers (3 and under), juniors (7 and under), bigger kids (8 to 15) and adults, limited to ages 16 and up. The massive bounce house will be surrounded by a "bounce village" with food vendors, more inflatable attractions and restrooms. Admission is $9-$25 (varies by day and time). (888) 718-4253. 1 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Keystone Recreation Center, 17928 Gunn Highway, Odessa. thebigbounceamerica.com.

 
Comments
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 25

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 25

USF Lecture Series: Amara La Negra: The Dominican-American native of Miami is best known as the breakout star of this season’s Love and Hip Hop: Miami. La Negra’s free talk is expected to focus on the challenges of navigating the entertainment indust...
Published: 09/24/18
Review: Freefall opens its season with a crafty and talent-laden ‘The Fantasticks’

Review: Freefall opens its season with a crafty and talent-laden ‘The Fantasticks’

ST. PETERSBURG — The longest-running musical ever, The Fantasticks, weaves fairy tale and disillusionment, theater and its deconstruction together in charmingly simple ways. Freefall Theatre take it a few steps further, with two actors also playing p...
Published: 09/24/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Sept. 24-30

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Sept. 24-30

Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum: Two of country music’s most upbeat and crowd-pleasing acts perform Friday at MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa. ($35.25 and up). Super Boat National Championship: The high-speed powerboats return ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
At 50, Clearwater's real-life superhero is hanging up his super suit

At 50, Clearwater's real-life superhero is hanging up his super suit

CLEARWATER — For two decades, Dale Pople patrolled the streets feeding the homeless, helping old people carry groceries, extinguishing a car fire. He wore a red, yellow and blue Spandex outfit with an SH emblem: "Super Hero." Now, Clearwater&...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sunday, Sept. 23

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sunday, Sept. 23

Tampa Bay Lightning Fan Fest: The kicks off the hockey season with this free event including player autograph sessions, team scrimmages, selfie stations with players, food and beverage discounts, merchandise specials, hockey equipment sale and activi...
Published: 09/23/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Saturday, Sept. 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Saturday, Sept. 22

Niall Horan: The One Direction singer-songwriter on his own tour brings along country’s Maren Morris. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $29.50-$107. (813) 740-2446.MegaCon Tampa Bay: The multi-genre convention brin...
Published: 09/21/18
Review: Robert Olen Butler’s Paris in the Dark packed with action

Review: Robert Olen Butler’s Paris in the Dark packed with action

On a fall night in 1915, an American reporter sips Chartreuse at a sidewalk table as German Zeppelins patrol the perimeter of Paris. As he plans how to finagle his way to the front lines of World War I, a bomb explodes at another cafe nearby, and he ...
Published: 09/21/18
Reality bites: SeaWorld abandons virtual reality headsets on Kraken coaster

Reality bites: SeaWorld abandons virtual reality headsets on Kraken coaster

SeaWorld has ditched the experiment that made it the first major ride in Florida to incorporate virtual reality.Last June, the theme park announced with much fanfare a new feature that would project an undersea showdown on Kraken, incorporating VR he...
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/21/18
Bar review: Punk meets Pilsner at Antibrewery in Dunedin

Bar review: Punk meets Pilsner at Antibrewery in Dunedin

I’ve had readers jokingly complain that I’ve exposed their off-the-radar watering holes that already are a carful away from becoming overcrowded. It’s like watching your favorite indie band achieve mainstream success: It’s good for them, but now you’...
Published: 09/20/18
The making of a nightmare: Behind the scenes at Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream

The making of a nightmare: Behind the scenes at Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream

TAMPA — Once the scare actors were made up, they headed toward the haunted house to rehearse.But it wasn’t quite time for them to be scary yet. Busch Gardens, which opens its Howl-O-Scream Halloween scarefest on Friday, was still open for regular bus...
Published: 09/20/18