Best things to do in Tampa Bay: Melons for Moolah, wildlife tours, water gun fight

What else is planned for the weekend? Fans can belt out the tunes to ‘Grease’ during Tampa Theatre’s Summer Classics series.
Published July 3

PLANTING SEEDS: Melons for Moolah

The watermelon-themed festival to benefit the Safety Harbor Public Library Foundation returns as an all-day Melons for Moolah family event. After setting a Guinness World Record for “Most Participants in a Watermelon-Eating Contest” last year, Melons for Moolah is expanding to a full day of activities, with water slides, contests, a homebrew competition, entertainment, food and drink sales and a screening of the summertime classic The Goonies on a 25-foot movie screen in the park to close things out. Free admission, water slide wristband is $5 for unlimited rides. 3-10 p.m. Saturday. Safety Harbor Waterfront Park, 110 Veterans Lane.

SPLASH: Red, White and Sploosh

Join the Geekocracy meetup group to celebrate your independence by blasting your fellow geeks and gamers in the face in this giant water gun fight at Red, White and Sploosh. There will be inflatable kiddie pools set up to refill your guns. Organizers suggest bringing two water guns in case your first one breaks and you are without a defense. Noon-2 p.m. Saturday. Al Lopez Park, 4810 N Himes Ave., Tampa.

CLASSIC: Sing-Along Grease

There’s no time like Tampa Theatre’s Summer Classics series to watch a movie about the most famous summer romance ever and belt out the tunes to Sing-Along Grease. Based on the hit Broadway musical and full of catchy songs, the 1978 blockbuster starred John Travolta as the greaser Danny and Olivia Newton-John as prim Australian Sandy. Grease was the top pick in this year’s poll of fans by Tampa Theatre, so it remains an audience favorite. Follow the lyrics on the screen and sing along to bring back memories of those suhhh-uhhh-mer ... niiii-hiiiiights. Before the film, pose for a free souvenir photo starting at 2 p.m. in the lobby. $13. 3 p.m. Sunday. 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8286.

SANCTUARY: Wildlife tours

Some of the lesser-known homes to wildlife in the area offer up-close looks at their residents this week, and ticket sales benefit animal upkeep at two local nonprofits. Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary, just south of Sun City Center in Wimauma, is home to lemurs, parrots, tigers, leopards, bears, wolves, tortoises, bobcats and assorted birds. The nonprofit provides care for exotic and wild animals that need a home. On the first Sunday of each month, employees offer a guided tour to get up close with the exotic animals. $15, $10 seniors, $7.50 for 12 and younger. Tours are at 12:30 and 2 p.m. Sunday, and there are regular Saturday tours at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary, 13910 Seminole Trail, Wimauma. (813) 634-4115.

Croc Encounters was established in January 2005 as a nonprofit sanctuary dedicated to rescuing unwanted reptiles. While crocodilians have been the main focus, the sanctuary has extended the haven to unwanted snakes, lizards, turtles and amphibians. Take advantage of Guided Saturday to check it out, from the alligator and crocodile ponds to a live feeding encounter and a hands-on live animal encounter. $13, $10 ages 3-11. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. 8703 Bowles Road, Tampa. (813) 217-4400.