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5 things to do with kids in Tampa Bay this week: April 19-25

The Florida State Fair opens, kids can learn to fish and Earth Day brings outdoor activities.
The Florida State Fair, pictured in February 2020, will kick off Thursday in Tampa.
The Florida State Fair, pictured in February 2020, will kick off Thursday in Tampa. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]
Published Apr. 20
Updated Apr. 20

1. Family Fun Fishing: This free event for children up to age 14 provides fishing rods and bait, but participants are welcome to bring their own equipment. Social distancing guidelines and safety precautions will be observed. Free. 8-11 a.m. Saturday. John S. Taylor Park, 1100 Eighth Ave. SW, Largo. 727-873-7852.

2. Florida State Fair: After a two-month delay, the state fair returns Thursday through May 2 to bring rides, farm and animal displays, some crazy food and a midway. Masks are required and sanitation stations are available throughout the midway. Some of the promotions this week include Hero’s Day on Thursday, with free admission for law enforcement, first responders, active or retired military, doctors, nurses, hospital and emergency clinic staff. And it’s $2 Tuesday on April 27, with $2 admission, $2 select rides and $2 select food items after 2 p.m. Admission is $9, $7 seniors, $5 ages 6-11, 5 and younger free. Opens at 11 a.m. daily. 4800 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. 800-345-3247. floridastatefair.com.

For Earth Week at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Florida artisans, including Patrick Harsch and Dean Arscott of Clearwater's Sandtastic, transformed 40 tons of sand into a detailed sculpture celebrating National Geographic’s “Secrets of the Whales,” an original series streaming on Disney+ on Earth Day.
For Earth Week at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Florida artisans, including Patrick Harsch and Dean Arscott of Clearwater's Sandtastic, transformed 40 tons of sand into a detailed sculpture celebrating National Geographic’s “Secrets of the Whales,” an original series streaming on Disney+ on Earth Day. [ Todd Anderson, photographer ]

3. Earth Day: Thursday is officially Earth Day but there are outdoor activities all week. That includes take-home activity kits of puzzles and crafts for families to enjoy together from the Bruton Memorial Library, 302 W McLendon St., Plant City. 813-757-9215. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is hosting a weeklong series of limited-time experiences, including a massive sand sculpture that celebrates whales, unique Disney character appearances, nature-themed challenges and a session on how to draw characters like Dumbo and Simba based on real animals. And you can see Earth Day sand sculptures on the beach behind the Don CeSar Hotel starting Thursday. 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach.

4. Ick-ology Science Class: Slime, ooze and muck are some of the favorite things of these classes at the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center at the St. Pete Pier. This week you can explore how manatees pass gas to maintain buoyancy and how sea stars throw up their stomachs to eat their food. Includes making slime and an owl pellet dissection. $8, $6 child. 11 a.m. Sunday. 700 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. 727-291-4103. Register at tbwdiscoverycenter.org.

"Sesame Street" cast member Alan Muraoka plays with Julia, an autistic muppet character. Families can meet walkaround Julia in Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld during physically distanced meet-and-greets through April 30, as part of Autism Acceptance Month.
"Sesame Street" cast member Alan Muraoka plays with Julia, an autistic muppet character. Families can meet walkaround Julia in Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld during physically distanced meet-and-greets through April 30, as part of Autism Acceptance Month. [ ZACH HYMAN | AP ]

5. Meet Julia: Sesame Street character Julia, a 4-year-old muppet with autism who loves to draw and play with her friends Elmo and Abby Cadabby, is now appearing at SeaWorld Orlando. Families can meet walkaround Julia in Sesame Street Land during physically distanced meet-and-greets through April 30, as part of Autism Acceptance Month. seaworld.com/orlando.