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  1. Life & Culture

5 things to do with kids in Tampa Bay the week of Jan. 4-10

Dinosaurs are roaming Tropicana Field’s parking lot and manatees are coming closer to shore looking for warmer water.
The Jurassic Quest Drive Thru features more than 70 lifelike dinosaurs at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Part of the drive-thru experience will be interacting with "baby dinosaurs."
The Jurassic Quest Drive Thru features more than 70 lifelike dinosaurs at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Part of the drive-thru experience will be interacting with "baby dinosaurs." [ JOSE CHARO PHOTOGRAPHY | Jurassic Quest ]
Published Jan. 4

1. Jurassic Quest: There are dinosaurs roaming the parking lot of Tropicana Field this week. You can take the family on a drive-thru safari of more than 70 lifelike dinosaurs in the Jurassic Quest Drive Thru set up at the ballpark. It’s $49 per vehicle for up to eight people. Admission includes an online audio tour available in English and Spanish and for the hearing impaired. It also includes a family photo with a dinosaur backdrop. The event runs through Sunday and tickets can be purchased in advance online at jurassicquest.com. 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg.

The Jurassic Quest Drive Thru is set up through Jan. 10 in the Tropicana  Field parking lot in St. Petersburg.
The Jurassic Quest Drive Thru is set up through Jan. 10 in the Tropicana Field parking lot in St. Petersburg. [ JEREMIAH@SILVERSTONE.MEDIA | Jurassic Quest ]

2. See the manatees: As the weather turns cold, Florida’s manatees come in a little closer in search of warmer water. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission offers a list of places to see manatees in the wild at myfwc.com. One likely spot is Spring Bayou, where manatees converge on this corner of Tarpon Springs in the winter, near Craig Park and Coburn Park nearby. You’ll be able to see them from shore fairly easily if there’s a big enough group. This is a neighborhood park, so keep that in mind when looking for a place to stop. Power plants can offer especially good viewing, since the water discharged from the plants can be several degrees warmer than regular water. But this year, to help protect the health and safety of visitors, Tampa Electric’s award-winning Manatee Viewing Center will remain closed this season. It is scheduled to reopen next season on Nov. 1, 2021. In the meantime, you can see what the manatees are up to with TECO’s webcam at tampaelectric.com/company/mvc.

Times (2011) Manatees swim in warm water outside Teco power plant in Apollo Beach.
Times (2011) Manatees swim in warm water outside Teco power plant in Apollo Beach. [ Tampa Bay Times (2011) ]

3. Upstairs/Downstairs Theater: The Plant Museum in Tampa typically offers Sunday performances by single characters who lived or worked at the Tampa Bay Hotel at the turn of the 20th century. For now, the museum is livestreaming dramatic readings of Upstairs/ Downstairs Theater. You can find them at the museum’s Facebook page or on Zoom 2 p.m. Sundays at utampa.zoom.us/j/99512021631.

4. Scavenger Hunt: A cross between a scavenger hunt, an adventure race and an informative self-guided tour, the One Team Scavenger Hunt consists of a series of locations in the Tampa Bay area that you are guided to where you are required to answer questions or solve puzzles to receive your next instruction. All you need is your own mobile device and an internet connection. Participate as a family or create multiple teams and race each other. Adventures are designed to be wheelchair- and stroller-friendly and are crafted to be entertaining and informative for all ages. The $19.99 ticket price is per team at eventbrite.com/e/110665597782.

5. Epiphany: In normal years, about 20,000 people would flock to Tarpon Springs on Wednesday following a long Mass at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, a tradition that celebrates the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist. But this year even a few hundred huddled together would be a public health concern, so the church is limiting attendance. But you can watch the 115th Epiphany services online at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral at stnicholastarpon.org. That includes the Mass and also the sight of 50 boys diving into waters blessed by clergy in search of a cross that will grant whoever finds it a year of blessings.