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Kids & Family

  1. Free Smithsonian animal exhibit making a Tampa stop this weekend


    A free interactive exhibit from the Smithsonian is making the final stop on its U.S. tour at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo this weekend. Animal Connections: Our Journey Together will be parked by the main entrance to the zoo at 1101 W Sligh Ave. in Tampa to introduce visitors to the special relationship humans share with …

    A free Smithsonian exhibit, Animal Connections: Our Journey Together will end its U.S. tour this weekend at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, parked by the main entrance. Lowry Park Zoo
  2. Video shows ride on world's tallest roller coaster being built in Orlando


    The company behind the world's tallest roller coaster coming to Orlando in 2017 has released a stomach-turning video simulating what the twisting Skyscraper will look like when it terrifies people riding it over International Drive.

    This rendering shows the “polercoaster” Skyscraper, which will stand 570 feet tall over International Drive.
  3. Series at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre puts classic Christmas movies on the big screen


    Clearwater's Capitol Theatre has announced a new Holiday Classic Movie Series. It's full of movies that will be played endlessly on cable in the coming weeks, but maybe it's time to see these holiday chestnuts on the big screen.

    Tim Allen stars in The Santa Clause, which will be shown at the Capitol Theatre on Dec. 20.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay the week of Nov. 17-23


    Ybor Tree Lighting: Can you believe it's this time of year again? Wednesday is 36 days before Christmas, but head out to Centro Ybor as Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Santa light the 37-foot tree. Plus there's caroling and you can get free hot chocolate (hey, forecast temps are 50s-60s). Free. (813) 274-7936.

    santa ornament on christmas tree from istock
  5. 'Harry Potter' actors at Universal Orlando fan weekend to include Hagrid, Dumbledore


    Hagrid, Dumbledore, Luna and the Weasley twins will be coming to Orlando in January for Universal Orlando's second Celebration of Harry Potter, a weekend of fan events at the theme park with actors, panel discussion and demonstrations from film's creators.

    Among the actors coming for Universal Orlando’s second Celebration of Harry Potter is Michael Gambon, who plays Dumbledore. Ticket packages start at $219.
  6. Free One Direction concert at Universal on Monday


    That screaming you'll hear Monday will be coming from the direction of One Direction, performing a free show at Universal Orlando for NBC's Today show to promote their new album, Four. No admission is required because the boys will be out in CityWalk, which is open to the public for no charge. Well, except …

    One Direction performs during the German game show "Wetten Dass" or Bet it...? in Graz, Austria, Saturday Nov. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak) XRZ116
  7. Best ways to donate toys, food, volunteer for the holidays in Tampa Bay


    Help them out

    This is the season for giving and we have a number of local organizations looking for some help. Have a charity drive you want the community to know about? Send information to Calendar@TampaBay.com. Try to send it at least two weeks before the event to ensure the best coverage. You can …

    Salvation Army volunteer Diane Moxley, of Clearwater, left, helps Annie Postell, of Clearwater, center, with a bag of toys which she selected for her four grandchildren. 2013.
  8. Florida Aquarium opens swimming with the sharks to non-scuba certified visitors


    Now anyone age 9 or older can swim with the sharks at Florida Aquarium, not just certified scuba divers.

    The Florida Aquarium’s Dive With the Sharks program lets visitors get closer to the predators and other sea life.
  9. Top things to do the week of Nov. 10-16


    Ribfest: Ribs, music including Daughtry and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Survivorman Les Stroud. Need we say more? We will anyway: It's in the lovely waterfront Vinoy Park from Friday to Sunday. $16-$25. (727) 528-3828.

    SP_346437_LYTT_RIBFEST_5 (November 12, 2011, St. Petersburg, FL) "Meat is my favorite meat," said Cole Cothern, 6, of Tampa, while chowing down on some ribs from Johnson's Bar-B-Que while at RibFest Saturday with his parents and younger brother. "Well ribs and steak are my favorites, but the meat I was just eating is my very favorite. It's better then dad's." Northeast Exchange Club's Ribfest 2011 is all about "Rockin' Ribs - Helpin' Kids," it features an interactive family fun zone, car and truck show, live music on two stages, and boasts about the best ribs around. The fun continues Sunday with gates open at 11 a.m.  [MELISSA LYTTLE, Times]
  10. Parks will be free in honor of Veterans Day


    In a salute to Veterans Day, all state parks will have free admission and all parking will be free at Pinellas County parks on Tuesday. That means free daytime entry to any state park except Skyway Fishing Pier State Park. That includes the Ybor Museum, normally $4, and Honeymoon Island State Park (pictured), normally …

     (2012) A strong current swirls in Hurricane Pass on the south end of Honeymoon Island.