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5 things to do with kids this week: May 18-24

The Clearwater Aquarium has reopened, as has the Pirate Water Taxi, but there is virtual fun for families, too.

As more attractions and parks start gradually reopening, we have some actual things to do with kids in the real world that require leaving your house. If you decide to do that, we recommend following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, like washing your hands often and wearing a mask. Otherwise, we have a whole calendar of virtual events at

1. Clearwater Marine Aquarium: The aquarium that is home to Hollywood-famous dolphins is open again after being closed for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic. To keep capacity low, a timed ticket must be purchased in advance. The aquarium was featured in Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2, two hit movies starring Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd. It told the story of Winter, the Clearwater dolphin whose prosthetic tail made headlines worldwide. Reserve your tickets on the aquarium website at Admission is $26.95, $21.95 for ages 3-12. 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater. (727) 441-1790.

Related: Before you leave your house, read these 10 tips first
"Try the grey stuff it's delicious. Don't believe me? Ask the dishes" is sung during the "Be Our Guest" number in "Beauty and the Beast." Disney has released a recipe for its popular Grey Stuff dessert, which is served at the Magic Kingdom. [Disney]

2. Try the Grey Stuff: There’s a funny line in the song Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast when Lumiere the candlestick sings, “Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes.” When Disney opened its Beast-themed castle restaurant at the Magic Kingdom park, an inside joke on the menu was a dessert dubbed “The Grey Stuff.” It is indeed delicious. As part of its series of recipes made available to home cooks, Disney has released a recipe for the Grey Stuff and it’s a fairly easy mixture of crumbled cookies, pudding and whipped cream. Find the recipe, which is part of the daily new Disney Magic Moments series, at the official Disney parks blog at

Related: Theme park recipes you can make at home

3. Summer Camp in a Crate: With so much expected to be closed this summer, the KiwiCo shop of hands-on science and maker activities for kids has announced Camp KiwiCo, your “summer camp in a crate.” They will deliver four different weeks of hands-on activities, programming and content. Every day of Camp KiwiCo is structured around a specific crate and theme, with additional free content that includes videos, do-it-yourself activities and downloadable printables to complement and supplement the hands-on project in the crate. Each week is meant to cover five days with about four hours of activities each day, “but you can mix and match, choose your own adventure and go at your own pace,” KiwiCo said in a news release. The crates cover four age groups, from preschool to teens. The crates can be purchased individually (prices range from $24.95-$29.95) at Camp KiwiCo signups have begun and camp will kick off in early June.

KiwiCo is launching a "summer camp in a crate" program that sends kids a week's worth of projects to make or build, or about four hours of activity per day. [Kwico]

4. Pirate Water Taxi: The boats that taxi along the Hillsborough River have resumed operations in downtown Tampa. New to the fleet is a 100-passenger water taxi, which will come in handy with social distancing, the company said in a news release. All guests will receive hand sanitizer at boarding, and the water taxis will be sanitized every hour, along with high touch points more frequently. The crew will receive health screenings that include temperature checks before starting shifts and are required to wear a mask. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children to hop on and off all day. For information, visit

The Pirate Water Taxi has a new 100-passenger vessel and two smaller taxis as part of an expansion of the company's routes and coverage of Tampa's waterfront. [Yacht StarShip]

5. Virtual runs: You can support a good cause and get some exercise in virtual races this week. The Save the Manatee Virtual 5K asks participants to run, walk or bike their favorite course near home and receive a manatee T-shirt, finisher’s medal and race bib. It benefits Save the Manatee Club’s manatee conservation efforts. Sign up at (407) 539-0990. And with Memorial Day weekend coming up, consider the Remember the Fallen Virtual 21K. “Whether inside, outside or on your patio, run or walk the distance recognized as the highest honor by many nations, 21K,” organizers announced. Twenty-one is the number used in salutes in military funerals and marches at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Participants do it at their own pace through 11:30 p.m. June 15. Finishers receive a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier medal. $29-$50. Sign up on the official website at

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