Top things to do this weekend in Tampa Bay: Gasparilla for kids, illusionists

Gasparilla Children’s Parade invades Tampa, an exhibit explores the world of Mo Willems’ Pigeon and the Masters of Illusion awe.
Published January 16
Updated January 18

PARADE: Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza and Parade

Before the big Gasparilla parade takes over Tampa later this month, the kids take command in this G-rated version, the Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza and Parade. Parade day Saturday includes a bicycle safety rodeo (11 a.m.-1 p.m.), preschoolers stroll (1:30-2:45 p.m.), an air invasion (2:45-3:15 p.m.), and of course the parade with more than 100 units, krewes and dance groups (3:30-6 p.m.). There’s also a military night jump (6:15-6:30 p.m.), weather permitting, and a pyrotechnic extravaganza (7-7:30 p.m.). The parade start point is Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard in downtown Tampa. Free. See for a schedule and reserved sets.

BOOKS: The ‘Pigeon’ Comes to Tampa

One of the funniest books you can ever read your kids is Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. It is cheeky, charming and absurd, and a traveling exhibit of the work of award-winning author and illustrator Mo Willems is coming to the Glazer Children’s Museum. The Pigeon Comes to Tampa: A Mo Willems Exhibit features an interactive play zone filled with the characters from his many books, including Elephant and Piggie and Knuffle Bunny and that ornery Pigeon. Starting Saturday, kids can take an imaginary bus trip to see a hot dog slinger, bunny laundromat and a mole fashion show. The exhibit remains on display through May 12. Glazer Children’s Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. Included with admission: $15, $10 ages 1-12. (813) 443-3861.

MAGIC:Masters of Illusion: Believe the Impossible

Born of the brain-bending Broadway sensation The Illusionists, the new show coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Sunday, Masters of Illusion: Believe the Impossible,brings a night of fast-paced sleight of hand, escape artists, comedy and illusions. It stars top magicians and illusionists from the CW television series Masters of Illusion, including Ed Alonzo, Naathan Phan, Michael Turco and Tommy Wind. 7 p.m. Sunday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35-$65. (727) 791-7400.

DAY BY DAY: More things to do

Friday: Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Jan. 18

Saturday: Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Jan. 19