1. Fun

Top things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend: Monster Jam Triple Threat, silent movies at Tampa Theatre

In this 2017 photo, a crew member from the El Toro Loco monster truck installs a tire in preparation for the Monster Jam Triple Threat Series at Amalie Arena. The competition will return to the Tampa venue on Saturday. [SCOTT KEELER | Times (2017)]
Published Aug. 21

BIG WHEELS: Monster Jam Triple Threat

Dirt and obstacles have been hauled into Amalie Arena for the sole purpose of pushing drivers to a high-flying limit for the return of the Monster Jam Triple Threat Series. As if the ginormous monster trucks weren't enough, this competition challenges each driver to race three different vehicles: the famous Monster Jam trucks — including Grave Digger and El Toro Loco — as well as lightweight Speedsters and ATVs, customized to look like a corresponding truck to compete in various obstacle courses. The audience gets to play a part, too, by voting on their phones. This is in an arena instead of an outdoor stadium, so bring some earplugs because it will be loud when 12,000-pound machines do backflips and vertical two-wheel skills. Hit the pit party from 10:30 a.m. to noon to see the drivers and vehicles up close and snap pictures. $15 and up. There will be two shows Saturday, at 1 and 7 p.m. 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 301-6500.

AFTER HOURS: For kids, adults

The notion of cutting loose after closing time has appeal for both adults and kids this week, when MOSI hosts an adults-only party and a Dunedin recreation center lets teens and tweens have a late-night skate jam. Science After Dark was a popular date night option that sold out when the Museum of Science and Industry offered it last spring. There will be appetizers, beer and wine sampling, robots, astronomy and rockets. $14.95, $12.95 members. 6 p.m. Friday. 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000.

Dunedin's MLK Jr. Recreation Center is letting kids 9 to 14 have a night of skating and "extreme inflatables" for Midnite Madness. There will also be outdoor laser tag and the "Big Games Truck." Throughout the night there will also be game raids, mini skate park jams, snack food buffets and prize giveaways. $15-$20. 7 p.m.-midnight Friday. 550 Laura Lane, Dunedin. (727) 738-2920.

BAR CRAWLS: Football or suds

Tampa is crawling with bar hops both wet and dry. The Sun, Swimsuits and Suds wet bar crawl returns with a splash. Revelers with swimsuits and Super Soakers hop to five Ybor City locations to get soaked or take turns in the dunk tank. $10, $15 VIP, includes drink specials, a towel and T-shirt. 1 p.m. Saturday. Stone Soup Company, 1919 E Seventh Ave.

The College Football Kickoff Bar Crawl party bus will shuttle fans to four Tampa bars with a free shot at each stop, food and drink specials, a beer pong tournament and a beer shotgun. $15-$35. 3 p.m. Saturday. Franklin Manor, 912 N Franklin St., Tampa.

SOUNDTRACK: Silent movie organist

Nationally renowned theater organist Steven Ball of St. Louis will be at the Tampa Theatre to play along with classic comedies of the silent film era. The Silent Clowns is a collection of four short comedies from Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and the comedy team of Laurel and Hardy. It's part of the summer classics series, and Tampa Theatre remains one of the only movie houses in the world that can revive its original programming by presenting a silent film with live musical accompaniment on the theater's original 1926 Mighty Wurlitzer organ. Retired film professor Harriet Deer will lead a short discussion afterward. $10-$13. 3 p.m. Sunday. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St. (813) 274-8286.


  1. Visit Artpool in St. Petersburg to find a costume and stay for their Halloween Bash on Saturday, featuring visual art, burlesque, a runway show and music. Photo by Marc Anthony Smith
    Big Halloween parties and more murals are going up around St. Petersburg, plus Post Malone, Wynonna and comedian Bill Engvall will be on local stages.
  2. On Sunday, Zac Brown Band will perform at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. Courtesy of Diego Pernia
    Sing along to Zac Brown Band in Tampa, attend Open Streets St. Pete or stuff your face at Tampa’s Taste of Latino.
  3. Thunderstorms are expected this weekend in Tampa Bay, prompting the cancellation of several outdoor events. CHRIS URSO  |  Times (2014)
    MarineQuest and the St. Petersburg Science Festival have canceled their popular Saturday activities.
  4. Chad Mize, left, and Jay Hoff in front of the "Pride and Love" mural they completed with LGBTQ youth as part of this year's Shine Mural Festival. Courtesy of Annie West Ellzey
    The Shine Mural Festival continues in St. Petersburg, ‘Rocky Horror’ star Barry Bostwick hits Tampa Theatre and ZZ Top performs with Cheap Trick in Tampa.
  5. Susan Kelly of West Palm Beach puts the finishing touches on her "Harry Potter" chalk art at the Clearwater Beach Chalk Art Festival in 2017. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times (2017)
    Peruse the chalk art festival in Clearwater Beach, ‘The Last Podcast on the Left’ visits Tampa Theatre and taste the Flavors of the Gulf at John’s Pass.
  6. Billy Joel will return to Tampa for his Feb. 7 show at Amalie Arena. Times (2016)
    Billy Joel, Graham Nash, the Queers, Andrea Bocelli and more.
  7. The 53rd-annual Rattlesnake Festival will be held Oct. 19-20 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds in Dade City. The weekend event, kicks off with a prelude concert featuring the Bellamy Brothers on Friday, and raises money for the Thomas Promise Foundation. The foundation provides meals for Pasco County school children who do not have regular access to nutritional meals on weekends when school is not in session. "LUIS SANTANA  |  TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The annual festival offers a family-friendly outing while raising money to feed school children in need.
  8. Boys II Men perform during at the Grammy Museum gala tribute concert in 2013 in Los Angeles. PAUL A. HEBERT  |  Invision/AP
    The Clearwater Jazz Holiday and Hillsborough County fair open, plus the Morean Arts Center presents the “Picture My Life” exhibit and silent auction.
  9. Universal Studios team members walk through the Universal Monsters haunted house at a preview of Halloween Horror Nights 2019. SEBASTIAN ROJAS  |  Courtesy of Universal Orlando
    There are lots of parties this week for both kids and adults, as well as many pumpkin patches.
  10. Hauntizaar, hosted at St. Petersburg venue the Studio@620, will feature Frank Strunk III's Little Creep series of toothy metal smiles on Saturday. Courtesy of Frank Strunk III
    Plus, Zen Glass presents Pendant Palooza and a streetwear popup shop hits Mergeculture Gallery.