1. Things to Do

Free and cheap things to do with the kids this week

largopark.jpgWe've got a new exhibit at a kids museum opening this week, as well as a night out for parents while the kids have night outside by the campfire. And it is Father's Day, so you could take him out to one of the many free and cheap things to do with kids this week:

Great Explorations will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Great Beginnings exhibit that focuses on early childhood education using a farm-themed exhibit. $10 ages 2-54, $9 ages 55 and older, 1 and younger free. Great Explorations Children's Museum, 1925 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-8992. 11 a.m. Saturday.

For Parent's Night Out: Kid's Night Outside Mom and Dad can go out on a date while kids in grades K-5 are entertained with supervised night hikes, crafts and a campfire with s'mores. $15. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg. (727) 893-7326. 6-10 p.m. Friday.

Forget the tie, give the dads in your life the gift of time. We have a round up of all the Father's Day events this weekend as well as all the attractions such as the zoo and aquarium that are offering dads free admission this weekend. Click here for the complete list.

The Tampa Thunder, Tampa's very own power wheelchair soccer team, is hosting the BraunAbility 2012 Power Wheelchair National Championship Friday through Sunday at the All People's Life Center, 6105 E Sligh Ave. in Tampa. It's free to watch as 10 Premier Conference teams meet for the title from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

There are 26 letters in the alphabet and Kick Start my Art has rounded up 26 local artists for The Alphabet Art Show who have created work based on and inspired by every letter. Check out the hipster version of Sesame Street at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Bricks, 1327 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. Free.

Casablanca is one of the most-loved and most-lauded films in history, this undisputed masterpiece starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman cries out for a big-screen viewing. See the film that has landed on more lists of the greatest films of all time than any other single title for just $5 at the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater, at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Every year on June 21 (a week from today), skateboarders around the globe blow off all their other obligations to grab their boards and hit the bricks for Go Skateboarding Day. Starting at 10 a.m., there will be free skating, free barbecue, giveaways and a trick contest for prizes at Skatepark of Tampa. All they ask is donations of any hardgoods for Boards for Bros, Skatepark of Tampa's charity. The park is at 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. (813) 621-6793

Other family events this week:

Itty Bitty Splashtime
Children ages 5 and younger enjoy the cool waters of the pool's splash area. $1.50. Highland Recreation Complex and Family Aquatic Center, 400 Highland Ave. NE, Largo. (727) 518-3016. 9:45-10:45 a.m. Friday, Monday and Wednesday.
Passport Adventures
Children will learn how early homesteaders, fishermen and sailors lived and worked through songs, games, a take-home toy-making project and other hands-on activities. This is a teen volunteer docent lead two-hour program. $3. Heritage Village, 11909 125th St., Largo. (727) 582-2125. 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Planetarium Shows
Families with children ages 5 and older are invited to the "star theater" that can accurately simulate the night sky at any time or location on Earth. Telescope viewings from the rooftop observatory after the shows. Free. St. Petersburg College, 6605 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 341-4320. 7 and 8:15 p.m. Friday.
Saturday Sunsets on the Trail
Vendors line about 1 mile of the beachfront trail with street performers, water slides and various inflatables for the kids. This portion features live music by Sunza Beaches (1-4 p.m.) and Michael Nichols (5-8:30 p.m.). Free. Bilmar Beach Resort, 10650 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island. (727) 547-4575. 1-9 p.m. Saturday.
Teen Tidalwave Tuesdays
Teens and tweens ages 11 to 17 can enjoy swimming, snacks, games and prizes in and around the pool. $3. Highland Recreation Complex and Family Aquatic Center, 400 Highland Ave. NE, Largo. (727) 518-3016. 7-9 p.m. Tuesday.
The Princess King
Students of Delphi Academy present their interpretation of the adventures of Princess Genevieve of the Kingdom of Your Room. $15, $10 students/seniors. Francis Wilson Playhouse, 302 Seminole St., Clearwater. (727) 447-6385. 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Wee-time at Weedon
This portion features Wendy Pfeffer's book From Tadpole to Frog. Includes story related crafts, games and other hands-on activities. Best for ages 3 to 5. Free (registration required). Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 453-6500. 10:30-11:15 a.m. today.
Sunset Cinema at Pier 60
Bring blankets, low lawn chairs or towels to plop on Clearwater Beach and watch free movies. Friday features Bedtime Stories, rated PG, and Saturday features Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, rated PG-13. No alcohol. Pier 60, 10 Pier 60 Drive, Clearwater Beach. (727) 434-6060. Shows start at dusk.
Nature events at Brooker Creek
Take a hike to discover the Birds of Brooker Creek. Close toed shoes, water and binoculars required. Free (registration required), 8-10:30 a.m. Saturday. The Common Trees of Brooker Creek, the first of a five-part series that explores the basics and shows how to identify some of the most common trees found at the preserve. Free, 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday. Guided Hike at Brooker Creek Preserve, wear close-toed shoes, bring water and a hat. Best for ages 6 and up. Free (registration required), 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday. Brooker Creek Preserve, 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 453-6800.
Florida Snakes
Expert snake handler Jim Mendenhall presents a live snake program with information on the natural history of native snakes in Florida. Park entry is $3 per vehicle; the class is free. Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, 7200 County Road 603, Bushnell. (352) 793-4781. 7-8:30 p.m. Friday.
Nature Events at Boyd Hill
Nature Walk, learn about the many species that call the preserve home in guided walk. $3 adults, $1.50 children, 10:30 a.m. Saturday. At the Night Hike, get a close look at some of the owls, bats, alligators and other creepy crawlies that come out after dusk. $3, $1.50 children (reservations required), 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S, St. Petersburg. (727) 893-7326.
McGough Nature Park Night Hike
Bring a flashlight for a guided hunt for nocturnal animals such as raccoons, owls, opossums and bats. Free. McGough Nature Park, 11901 146th St. N, Largo. (727) 518-3047. 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Skate jam
Five to six area skaters compete at one time on Saturday for best trick while local bands play live skater rock, 5 to 10 p.m. at the Brandon Skate Park, 5720 Providence Road, Riverview. Free. Call (813) 477-0196.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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