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Free and cheap things to do in Tampa Bay: $6 museum admission, free Artwalk

Here are some ways to save money or entertain yourself for $10 or less.
Executive Director Rui Farias stands in front of a sign for the exhibit, Building the Sunshine City, at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. The museum is offering $6 admission on Sundays through the end of August.
Executive Director Rui Farias stands in front of a sign for the exhibit, Building the Sunshine City, at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. The museum is offering $6 admission on Sundays through the end of August. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]
Published Aug. 10

As we navigate higher prices for everything from school supplies to groceries, the cost of entertaining ourselves has also gone up. Each week we will take a look at some of the deals to be found and highlight things happening around the Tampa Bay area for $10 or less.

Here are some options this week:

$6 Sundays at history museum: You can make it a historic summer with $6 admission to the St. Petersburg Museum of History on Sundays. The oldest museum in Pinellas County opened in 1921. Over the decades it has collected artifacts, archival documents, photographs and specimens of natural history that have landed it on lists of weird roadside attractions and TV shows. It is best known for its full-scale replica of Tony Jannus’ Benoist XIV biplane seaplane that marked the beginning of the era of air travel over Tampa Bay. It also houses the world’s largest collection of autographed baseballs and an assortment of oddities that have often drawn more attention. There’s a brassiere that was the focus of a salacious 1950s heist and an authentic 3,000-year-old mummy that arrived in St. Petersburg on a circus boat in 1922. The boat captain couldn’t afford the local port fees so he offered the sarcophagus in lieu of payment. Add to that a two-headed chicken born in Tampa in the 1930s and a two-headed calf born in Safety Harbor in 1925, and the museum’s strange collection takes up its own space called the Odditorium. General admission, normally $15 for adults, is just $6 on Sundays through Aug. 28. The museum is open from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays at 335 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, at the entrance to the St. Pete Pier.

Related: How a Hurricane Irma brought a 2-headed chicken to the St. Petersburg Museum of History

Paws for Literacy: The Humane Society of Tampa Bay wants to give children who love animals a chance to spend time with them while improving their reading skills. Children are paired with homeless pets “who love to hear the stories and look at the pictures.” The free program is offered for children age 5 and up. Reading stools, books and treats (for the animals) are provided, but children are welcome to bring their own books. It is held from 2:45 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the second-floor Humane Education Room at the main shelter building, 3607 N Armenia Ave., Tampa. Space is limited to 20 people, so advanced registration is required at humanesocietytampa.org.

The St. Petersburg History Museum's Odditorium gallery includes this two-headed calf born in Safety Harbor in 1925 among its strange collection.
The St. Petersburg History Museum's Odditorium gallery includes this two-headed calf born in Safety Harbor in 1925 among its strange collection. [ Times (2016) ]

Perseid Meteor Shower: Every summer, sky watchers look for the Perseid meteor shower to bring some lucky shooting stars. They started in mid-July and NASA says they will continue to dot the night sky through Aug. 24. The hardest part in the Tampa Bay area is finding a dark enough sky away from light pollution. Consider going to a state or national park, such as the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park in Bushnell, which is planning a Perseid watch event in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Advance registration is required at DadePrograms@FloridaDEP.gov or 352-793-4781. $3 per vehicle (registration required before arriving). 3-5 a.m. Saturday. Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, 7200 County Road 603, Bushnell.

Greenfield Natural Meat Co. bacon has launched a new rebate program. The bacon, which is sold at Publix, Kroger, Sam’s Club and Albertsons, is offering a $2 rebate if you text a photo of your receipt.
Greenfield Natural Meat Co. bacon has launched a new rebate program. The bacon, which is sold at Publix, Kroger, Sam’s Club and Albertsons, is offering a $2 rebate if you text a photo of your receipt. [ Greenfield Natural Meat ]

Eat bacon: You don’t often get urged to eat bacon as a political act, but the folks at Greenfield Natural Meat Co. have launched a new rebate program they say will let Americans have their bacon and help protect the planet, too. Greenfield, which is sold at Publix, Kroger, Sam’s Club and Albertsons, is a company that says it is “proudly carbon neutral” and aims to reduce its environmental footprint by 50% by 2025. To claim your carnivore reward, buy any Greenfield product, text a photo of your receipt to 811811 using the keyword “bacon” and earn a $2 rebate as a Venmo deposit link. The offer is good through Oct. 14. Limit one redemption per person. greenfieldmeat.com.

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Related: Happy hour bargains and other restaurant deals to fight inflation

Second Saturday ArtWalk: A favorite date-night outing is to explore the studios and galleries in St. Petersburg’s five arts districts that stay open later the second Saturday of every month to show off new exhibitions, introduce the artists and sometimes even offer snacks and drinks. Find a map that includes trolley stops on the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance website at stpeteartsalliance.org, where you can also see preview videos of some favorite ArtWalk locations. Free. 5-9 p.m. Saturday at various locations in St. Petersburg.

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