Kids & family

  1. Next Generation Ballet brings 'Summer Fantasy' to the Straz


    Want to give ballet a twirl? Check out the Patel Conservatory's Next Generation Ballet on Friday when it presents Summer Fantasy, featuring more than 200 ballet students from around the world led by siblings Jeffrey and Lia Cirio from the Boston Ballet. The dancers, chosen from a pool of more than 1,000 …

    Jeffrey Cirio and Hannah Beach practice Next Generation Ballet’s Summer Fantasy, which opens Friday at the Straz with more than 200 dancers.
  2. 5 things to do under $5 July 24-30


    1 Dalí and Beyond Film Series: This week the surreal film series shows the Fantastic Mr. Fox, a stop-motion animated feature about a wily fox who outsmarts three feeble-minded farmers resorting to extreme tactics to protect their chickens. Stars the voices of George Clooney and Meryl Streep. …

    Fox Searchlight Pictures
  3. Plan your Christmas at Epcot with celebrity narrators at Candlelight Processional


    Christmas in July promos remind us that now can be a good time to plan your Christmas entertainment before tickets sell out. Held every year at Disney's Epcot, the Candlelight Processional is not to be missed. There's a mass choir, joined by a 50-piece live orchestra and a celebrity narrator who tells the story of …

    The giant Christmas tree at Epcot, seen with the park's iconic Spaceship Earth attraction behind it, is the centerpiece of the holiday celebration at the theme park. [Photo by Garth Vaughan]
  4. Rays give out Hulk-like Balfour figure for Comic Con night July 25


    The Tampa Bay Rays are hosting their first salute to Tampa Bay Comic Con on Friday, and with a special ticket package you can have a figurine of Grant Balfour raging like the Hulk, splitting the seams on his baseball uniform. The 7:10 p.m. game against the Boston Red Sox features special Press Level tickets and the …

  5. Kids get a turn to play in the mud Thursday


    Last weekend adults got to battle it out in the mud at St. Petersburg's Spa Beach, and on Thursday, the kids get a turn when middle and high school students can show up for Extreme Mud Wars. They can bring their own teams of 10 to 12 (minimum of four females per team) to compete in the mud or just sign up individually …

    "We got beat bad," said Matthew Mitchell of Pittsburgh. "Those guys were body builders or something. Dirty and defeated, but still all smiles Mitchell was able to joke about how badly they lost the Mud Tug (tog of war in a mud pit). Members of Team Rando Goes Commando competed in eight muddy and wet events during America II Extreme Adult Mud Wars at Spa Beach, in downtown St. Petersburg on Sunday afternoon.
  6. Disney villains get their own night at theme park


    More than 50 baddies will be unleashed at Disney's Hollywood Studios for a new separate-ticket event Aug. 23 called Villains Unleashed. Disney found out it was on to something when it kicked off Halloween season last September with a special night of villains on Friday the 13th. It was so popular the Hollywood Studios …

    Darth Vader, 20th Century Fox
  7. Review: 'Marvel Universe Live' makes comic characters more family-friendly


    On the way home from a Tuesday preview of "Marvel Universe Live" at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, I turned the radio off and drove in complete silence. I needed some quiet time after 90 minutes of sensory overload.

    Marvel heroes meet at the end of Act I to plan their mission during the “Marvel Universe Live” show.
  8. Large crowds pour into opening of Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando


    As expected, crowds were massive and visitors arrived early for opening day of Diagon Alley, the new Harry Potter-themed expansion at Universal Studios in Orlando. The mood was upbeat as confetti rained down on visitors, many of whom dressed up in Hogwarts uniforms.

    Confetti greets crowds entering Universal Orlando Resort's Diagon Alley attraction on opening day Tuesday. [Universal Orlando]
  9. Harry Potter-themed Diagon Alley opens at Universal Studios Tuesday


    Diagon Alley, the highly anticipated Harry Potter expansion at Universal Studios in Orlando, finally opens to the public Tuesday. But will its signature ride be working? The ambitious Escape From Gringotts ride is an entirely new kind of 3D attraction, with newly invented spins on the roller coaster experience with a …

    The Diagon Alley attraction, featuring shops, dining experiences and the next generation thrill ride, will officially open Tuesday.
  10. Space center adds fiery asteroid exhibit


    The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex just opened a new exhibit that spotlights asteroids, comets and meteorites. Called "Great Balls of Fire," the 1,500-square-foot exhibit deals with the projectiles' possible risks, and it offers hands-on components that let visitors see how scientists determine the path of …

    In this frame grab made from a video done with a dashboard camera, on a highway from Kostanai, Kazakhstan, to Chelyabinsk region, Russia, provided by Nasha Gazeta newspaper, on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 a meteorite contrail is seen. A meteor streaked across the sky of Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and reportedly injuring around 100 people, including many hurt by broken glass. (AP Photo/Nasha gazeta, MOSB105