Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times Staff Writer

Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Sharon Kennedy Wynne is a Tampa Bay Times writer and editor who focuses mostly on events and fun Things To Do, but also veers off into stories of parenting on the Whoa, Momma! blog, as well as cool gadgets or whatever captures her short attention span. A lifelong St. Petersburg resident, she has been a journalist since 1988 and joined her hometown Times in 1994. She is married and has two sons.

Phone: (727) 893-8595

Email: wynne@tampabay.com

Twitter: @SharonKWynne

Blog: Whoa, Momma!

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  1. Discovery Cove deal adds free admission to SeaWorld, water park and Busch Gardens

    Florida

    With Labor Day comes theme parks turning their focus to Florida residents, and that means deals. First up is a Florida resident deal at Discovery Cove in Orlando. The theme park, which features swimming with dolphins, snorkeling with thousands of tropical fish and hand-feeding exotic birds, has an all-inclusive package now through December for $149, or $219 to add the dolphin swim experience. That ticket gets you food and drinks plus unlimited admission to SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld's water park Aquatica, through Jan. 31. For a $25 upgrade you can also add unlimited admission to Busch Gardens through Jan. 31. Keep in mind that would also get you access to Busch Gardens' Christmas Town nights and the Halloween and Christmas events at SeaWorld. Proof of valid Florida residency is required. See DiscoveryCove.com or call (877) 434-7268. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne ,Times staff writer...

    Tampa Bay RaysÕ outfielder, Wil Myers took a break from baseball to swim with dolphins, meet real-life rays at Discovery Cove in Orlando 

ORLANDO, Fla. Ñ April 25, 2014 Ñ Tampa Bay RaysÕ baseball player, Wil Myers, traded in his rigorous practice and game schedule to immerse in the tropical oasis of Discovery Cove ̈ in Orlando. For the day, the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year swam with real-life rays, dolphins and tropical fish. The mini-getaway left him refreshed and refueled to step back on the field, and deliver a powerhouse performance. Discovery Cove Orlando was ranked #1 in the 2013 TripAdvisorÕs TravelerÕs Choice Awards under Ã’Top 25 Amusement Parks & Water Parks in The WorldÓ category. For more information, visit www.discoverycove.com.
  2. Falcon's Fury up and running at Busch Gardens

    News

    TAMPA — As your toes dangle 335 feet high atop your perch on the Falcon's Fury drop ride at Busch Gardens, you can see Tropicana Field nearly 25 miles away in St. Petersburg. It's a moment of pure awe. Just before the panic.

    That's when your seat smoothly but firmly tilts forward 90 degrees. It's the ride's signature move, the first drop tower in the world to put riders face-down as they hurtle toward the concrete. ...

    ANNE GLOVER  |  Times
Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens is open more and more to riders.
  3. Plan your weekend Aug. 28-Sept. 1

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Labor Day

    Boat parade and fireworks The Channelside district in Tampa is making Labor Day festive with a lighted boat parade followed by fireworks starting at 5 p.m. Sunday. The Florida Aquarium is getting into the act with extended hours until 9 p.m., and admission (regularly $23.95 for adults) is only $15 after 5 p.m. Then at 8:30 p.m., head to the Channelside waterway to view the boat parade and fireworks. The epicenter will be the Channelside Bay Plaza, 615 Channelside Drive....

  4. Falcon's Fury up and running at Busch Gardens; here's what it's like to ride

    Florida

    TAMPA — As your toes dangle 335 feet high atop your perch on the Falcon's Fury drop ride at Busch Gardens, you can see Tropicana Field nearly 25 miles away in St. Petersburg. It's a moment of pure awe. Just before the panic.

    That's when your seat smoothly but firmly tilts forward 90 degrees. It's the ride's signature move, the first drop tower in the world to put riders face-down as they hurtle toward the concrete....

    Falcon’s Fury is running ‘‘technical rehearsals’’ at Busch Gardens in Tampa.
  5. 5 things to do under $5 Aug. 28-Sept. 3

    Events

    1 Sleep Walk Tampa Bay: A walk on the beach to raise awareness of sleeping disorders is fittingly called the Sleep Walk. Participants are encouraged to wear pajamas or other sleep-related costumes from the land of Nod for this 1.5-mile walk behind the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort to benefit Project Sleep. It's $5 to sleepwalk and it runs from 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday at 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 798-0174....

  6. Rays host 'Star Wars' night Saturday when playing dark lords of Boston

    Kids

    Saturday is Star Wars night when the Tampa Bay Rays take on the dark empire of the Boston Red Sox, and if you buy a tandem ticket by Wednesday night, you get a special Rebel Pilot Wil Myers Bobblehead. There will be Star Wars-themed contests throughout the game and characters available for pictures wandering about. It's $45 for the tandem tickets with the bobblehead, which features our favorite slugger in an orange flight suit with a life support backpack and a flight helmet on his hip. (You know, the outfit that Luke Skywalker and other Rebel fighter pilots wore in Episodes IV, V and VI.) The tandem ticket can only be purchased online at raysbaseball.com by Wednesday at midnight. But if there are any tickets left for this package on the day of the game, they will be selling for $60 while supplies last. The game is at 7:10 p.m. Saturday at Tropicana Field. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...

  7. USF students get free show by 'Undateable' comic

    Events

    Comic Chris D'Elia, better known to TV viewers as Whitney Cummings' boyfriend on Whitney and one of the leads in the NBC sitcom Undateable, is coming to the Straz Center on Oct. 25, but if you're a USF student, you can see him for free sooner. He'll be the headliner at the school's annual USF Round Up pep rally and comedy show Thursday at the USF SunDome. Students must bring their IDs to get in. D'Elia is on a hot streak lately as both a comic and an actor. He toured this summer in the portion of the Oddball Comedy Festival that did not come to Tampa (the one with Sarah Silverman and Amy Schumer). And the Detroit-based sitcom Undateable was just renewed for a second season. The show set in the Black Eyes Bar (say it out loud for the running joke) features a group of odd and nerdy guys who seem undateable while D'Elia's character schools them on his luck getting women, while realizing his shtick of being unwilling to make a commitment is getting old in his 30s. His Under No Influence comedy tour brings him to the Straz Center's Ferguson Hall on Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $27.50-$35. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...

    NBC Chris D'Elia as Danny in Undateable.
  8. Notorious Tampa Bay murder case to be featured on Investigation Discovery

    Blog

    The story of the 1989 murders of an Ohio mother and her daughters found floating in Tampa Bay will be featured on the true crime channel Investigation Discovery on Saturday. Oba Chandler was executed in November 2011 for the 1989 murder of Joan Rogers and daughters Michelle and Christe. The Ohio family was visiting Florida when they were found floating in the bay, bound, tied to concrete blocks and stripped below the waist....

    Hall and Joan Rogers with their daughters Michelle, standing, and Christe. The women were found bound and floating in Tampa Bay.
  9. Plan your weekend

    Events

  10. 5 things to do under $5 Aug. 21-27

    Events

    1 "Toons" opening reception: The Bluelucy artists collective can always be counted on for a fun party for its opening receptions at its gallery in St. Petersburg, but with the small space in its Ybor branch, the fun will be on the walls — with art inspired by classic cartoons — and the partying will likely be in Centro Ybor next door. For "Toons," more than 50 Tampa Bay area artists produced panels on everything from the Powerpuff Girls to Porky Pig, Speed Racer, King of the Hill, The Jetsons, Care Bears, Fat Albert. You name it, they have it. And Bluelucy also came up with a very clever T-shirt that's a mashup of eight or nine different characters in one. A limited run of the shirts will sell for $25 but the reception is free Saturday. It's from 7 to 11 p.m. at Bluelucy Ybor, 1600 E Eighth Ave. Tampa. ...

    Courtesy of Bluelucy Gallery & Studio
  11. Has American Idol been 'Frozen' out at Disney theme park?

    Florida

    Disney World will close its American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park Aug. 30, much earlier than previously announced. The attraction based on Fox's long-time singing competition was supposed to close in January 2015; a Disney spokesman said the park isn't ready to reveal what's coming next when the attraction closes at the end of this month. Could Idol be getting Frozen out? Disney recently announced that its summerlong celebration of the animated hit Frozen will continue at Hollywood Studios through Sept. 28. The event includes singalongs several times a day, a processional of characters, ice skating and a special fireworks show on the weekends. The American Idol attraction opened in 2009 with TV host Ryan Seacrest at the Orlando theme park and all the past Idol champions on stage at the same time: Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks and David Cook. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff...

    (2009) The American Idol Experience  at Disney's Hollywood Studios opened in 2009 and will close next week. This "golden ticket" sign greets potential performers as they enter backstage.
  12. FXX's 'The Simpsons' marathon starts Thursday; here's what you need to know

    Blog

    The longest marathon in TV history is coming Thursday when FXX begins airing every episode of The Simpsons since 1989 — that’s 25 seasons spread out over 12 days starting at 10 a.m. Thursday. And for Simpsons diehard Jay Cridlin's take on the 10 episodes he'll definitely be taping, click here....

  13. Busch Gardens visitors get to try new Falcon's Fury drop ride (w/video)

    Florida

    The weekend brought a surprise for some Busch Gardens visitors when the park quietly allowed riders on the new Falcon's Fury — a good sign the drop ride will officially open soon.

    Several hundred visitors — and even the rock band All-American Rejects — on Saturday were the first non-employees to ride the long-awaited 335-foot drop tower ride that was originally scheduled to open in early May at the Tampa theme park. ...

    DEMETRIUS FREEMAN   |   Times
  14. 5 things to do under $5 Aug. 14-20

    Events

    1Water Works Park Festival: Tampa's new $7.4 million park will have a grand opening celebration Saturday with fireworks, food trucks, entertainment and children's activities from 5 to 9 p.m. The 5-acre park at 1710 N Highland Ave., near the historic Tampa Armature Works warehouse, includes an extension of the Riverwalk, an 8,500-square-foot dog park, an overlook shaped like a ship's prow next to the Hillsborough River and a splash playground with a giant water bucket that will drench the kids below. Free....

    Richard Danielson   |   Times
  15. Buy ticket now, get one for December at Dinosaur World

    Kids

    August offers fans of Dinosaur World a "Dino Days" deal of a free ticket in December. Purchase a ticket in August ($16.95 for adults, $14.95 seniors, $11.95 for kids 3-12) and you get a free ticket to visit Dec. 1-19. The Plant City attraction, best suited for ages 3 to 10, has more than 200 life-size dinosaurs, numerous exhibits, an interactive boneyard, playground and a shop with everything dinosaur. Dinosaur World is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Parking is free. Pets on leashes are welcome. There is no food service, so you can pack a picnic or get pizza delivered to Dinosaur World at 5145 Harvey Tew Road, Plant City; (813) 717-9865; dinosaurworld.com. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer...

    TP_350766_FLYN_dinasours_2 (2/29/2012) Logan Chambliss, 4, of St. Augustine reacts upon first entering Dinosaur World in Plant City on February 29, 2012. The mouth of a Acrocanthosaurus, above, and two Tyrannosarrus Rex are seen behind Logan in an area that is part of the 12-acre expansion which includes a 22,000-square-foot addition to the Prehistoric Museum, which features five animatronic dinosaurs. The dinosaurs pictured here new but are not animatronic.  It was Logan's first visit to Dinosaur World with his parents Mindi and Bryan and his grandparetns Dee and Joe Walker of Davenport.  "I like the dinosaur's because they are so cool!" he said.  Logan's grandfather Joe had seen Dinosaur World from the interstate driving from work and thought it would be a good idea to bring his grandson when the family visited.  [KATHLEEN FLYNN Times]