1. Fun

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 29-May 5

The crowd at RiverFest 2017 watched hot air ballons at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Riverfest, and the nighttime hot-air balloon glow, return May 3-4 to downtown Tampa.  Times staff (2017)
The crowd at RiverFest 2017 watched hot air ballons at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Riverfest, and the nighttime hot-air balloon glow, return May 3-4 to downtown Tampa. Times staff (2017)
Published Apr. 29, 2019

Riverfest: Celebrate downtown Tampa's Riverwalk on Friday and Saturday with a free lineup of concerts, a taco festival, a hot air balloon glow on Saturday and the Wiener Dog Derby.

Yom HaShoah: To mark Holocaust Remembrance Day there will free admission, memorial services and talks Thursday at the Florida Holocaust Museum, 55 Fifth St. S, St. Petersburg.


Music: Grammy-winning duo Indigo Girls play Ruth Eckerd Hall on Thursday ($38.25-$68.25). L.A.'s Chicano Batman brings its signature psychedelic soul Friday to the Crowbar in Ybor City ($20). Reggaeton superstar Don Omar headlines Fiesta Maxima on Sunday at the Yuengling Center ($25 and up). Christian music's MercyMe hits Amalie Arena on Sunday with Crowder and Micah Taylor ($25). California folk outfit Milk Carton Kids perform Friday at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre ($29.50). Named one of the country artists "you need to know" by Rolling Stone, Phoebe Hunt plays Ybor's the Attic on Sunday ($15-$25).

Florida Orchestra: For its Masterworks series, Mahler's spellbinding Symphony No. 1. Michael Francis conducts Friday at the Straz Center in Tampa and Saturday at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. ($18-$48)

Movies in the Park: Every Thursday in May brings a good excuse for a picnic at St. Petersburg's Straub Park. This installment brings Raiders of the Lost Ark. The music starts at 7 p.m., with the movie at dusk.

Star Wars Day: The inside joke of fans greeting, "May the 4th be with you," has turned into a full-fledged geek holiday. The Castle in Ybor will offer costume and Wookie-howling contests starting at 10:30 p.m. Saturday. $15.

Collectors Day: More than two dozen private collections will set up around the Tampa Bay History Center on Sunday, offering everything from political memorabilia to meteorites. 801 Old Water St., Tampa.


Free Comic Book Day: Visit a local comic book shop on Saturday, when many will have special appearances by artists and have more than 50 titles in a range of styles for any age group to choose from. Find a participating comic shop at

Clearwater Threshers: The team is getting in on the Star Wars Day action on Saturday with dozens of characters from the 501st Legion on hand for photos and post-game fireworks at Spectrum Field. $6-$10.

Sunflower Mazes: The spring tradition returns Saturdays and Sundays through May at two of the biggest farms in the Hernando County town of Masaryktown. HarvestMoon Fun Farm and Sweetfields Farm both have labyrinths set up and lots of side activities such as farm animals, crafts and rides. and

. MOre to explore

Find lots of ways to have fun outside.


  1. Yacht StarShip, a dining and water taxi company, has added the Lost Pearl pirate ship to its fleet just in time for Gasparilla. [Yacht StarShip]
    After years entertaining tourists in Virginia Beach, the Lost Pearl is settling into its new Tampa Bay home.
  2. Dave Bautista, shown here at his South Tampa office, has been named grand marshal of the 2020 Gasparilla Parade of Pirates.
    The Guardians of the Galaxy star will lead the Pirate invasion along with Tampa police Lt. Travis Maus, who recently served in the Middle East.
  3. Halsey performs during the European MTV Awards in Seville, Spain, in 2019. [Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP]
    A mix of new hits and blockbuster blasts from the past.
  4. Roberto Gomez, of Puerto Rico, dressed as Darth Vader, attends the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" on Dec. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. [CHRIS PIZZELLO  |  Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]
    The massive fandom was built on the strength of a universe that continues to expand beyond the movie theater.
  5. Fashions by De Johnea Bianca, a designer involved in the Fashion Market that will take place in Tampa on Jan. 18. [Courtesy of De Johnea Bianca]
    Plus, a pre- Gasparilla fashion and hair event and markets dedicated to a healthy lifestyle.
  6. Clay Goodison, of Brandon, pulls sons Parker and Davis and wife Krissy in a pirate ship float after the Gasparilla Preschooler's Stroll in Tampa in 2015. The stroll took place before the Gasparilla children's parade on Bayshore Boulevard. [Tampa Bay Times (2015)]
    Kids plunder the Gasparilla children’s parade, the best college players are here for the East-West Shrine Bowl and more.
  7. British actor Charlie Chaplin performs on the high wire during the filming of "The Circus." Theater organ virtuoso Tom Hoehn will perform at the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center while the film plays on Jan. 17. [AP]
    Watch a theater organ pro perform or wheelchair rugby, attend a steel drum party and more.
  8. Employees working inside Tabanero Cigars, which is one of the stops on a new self-led audio tour produced byt Visit Tampa Bay. [Times 2016)]
    Hillsborough tourism bureau launches audio tour of historic Cuban district.
  9. Jan. 13• Arts & Entertainment
    Celine Dion will perform at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Jan. 15. [ANDREW WHELAN  |  Columbia Records]
    Celine Dion brings her pipes to town, the Gasparilla children’s parade starts rolling and bands get ready for next week’s big MLK parade.
  10. Rod Stewart performs at Papp Laszlo Sports Arena in Budapest, Hungary, in 2018. [BALAZS MOHAI  |  AP]
    Starting Friday, you can secure a spot at a few upcoming shows.