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5 things to do with kids in Tampa Bay this week: March 8-14

Monster Jam returns to Raymond James Stadium, water parks are open and you can watch a drive-in movie in a park in Pinellas Park.
Enormous monster trucks, including Grave Digger, shown here in 2009, and Max-D and Scooby-Doo, are coming to Tampa's Raymond James Stadium March 12-14.
Enormous monster trucks, including Grave Digger, shown here in 2009, and Max-D and Scooby-Doo, are coming to Tampa's Raymond James Stadium March 12-14. [ Times (2009) ]
Published Mar. 8
Updated Mar. 9

1. Monster Jam: The enormous monster trucks look the same, but the Monster Jam coming to Tampa Friday through Sunday will have a decidedly different feel. Attendees at the family-friendly show that features trucks soaring over ramps, doing backflips and landing on and smashing other vehicles will have to wear masks. Also new: Merchandise and concessions purchases will be contactless, allowing people to preorder. Also, the audience will be separated into pods of families and households, and capacity at Raymond James Stadium will be reduced to about 25 percent. The only Pit Party on this tour, where guests can see the trucks up close, watch live prerace interviews, ask drivers questions and get presigned autograph cards, will be Saturday from 4-6 p.m. $30 and up. Shows are at 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday. Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. 813-350-6500. monsterjam.com.

2. Hernando Aero Modelers Remote Control Pylon Race: Bring a lawn chair to watch this competition as three to four remote-control airplanes at a time race 10 laps around two tall pylons. Several heats are required to find the fastest planes. Food and sodas will be sold. $3, $5 per carload. 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. Held in the field in front of the Cemex entrance road, 16301 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Brooksville. 352-540-5532.

Adventure Island has opened for the season. Its latest attraction is Solar Vortex, dubbed “American’s first dual tailspin waterslide.”
Adventure Island has opened for the season. Its latest attraction is Solar Vortex, dubbed “American’s first dual tailspin waterslide.” [ Adventure Island ]

3. Water parks open: With the arrival of spring, the many water parks in Florida have opened, including Adventure Island in Tampa. Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay has also opened, as has Walt Disney World’s Blizzard Beach. All the parks are requiring face masks at the entrance and when walking around the shops, but not in the pools or on waterslides. Adventure Island’s latest attraction is Solar Vortex, dubbed “America’s first dual tailspin waterslide.” Tickets are normally $63 per day, although there are discounts and combo options that include admission to nearby Busch Gardens. Date-specific reservations are required. 10001 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. adventureisland.com.

4. Drive-In Movie: Load the family in the car for a drive-in-style screening of Sonic the Hedgehog at Pinellas Park’s England Brothers Bandshell. Admission includes one large pizza, popcorn and candy. Drinks are available for purchase. $25 per carload. Gates open at 6 p.m., and the movie starts around 7. You can stop by any of the Pinellas Park recreation centers to get tickets, register online at pinellas-park.com/384/Parks-Recreation-Leisure-Services or call 727-369-5685 or 727-369-5677 for information. 7 p.m. Saturday. 5010 81st Ave. N, Pinellas Park.

Tika Sumpter, James Marsden and Sonic (Ben Schwartz) are pictured in a scene from "Sonic the Hedgehog," which will get a drive-in-style screening at Pinellas Park's England Brothers Bandshell Park.
Tika Sumpter, James Marsden and Sonic (Ben Schwartz) are pictured in a scene from "Sonic the Hedgehog," which will get a drive-in-style screening at Pinellas Park's England Brothers Bandshell Park. [ Courtesy of Paramount Pictures/Sega of America ]

5. Tampa Bay Watch Family Field Trip: The local environmental nonprofit is hosting weekly Estuary EDventures, a series of family field trips packed with educational activities centered around the estuary every Thursday in March from 4:30-6 p.m. This week is all about plankton, and you can learn about some of the smallest plants and animals using a specialized net for plankton collection. Participants will scoop water samples from the Tampa Bay Watch dock and analyze them using microscopes. Participants must be at least 5 years old. The price can range depending on the week’s lessons, from $15 to $45 adults, $35 children 18 and younger. 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday. Tampa Bay Watch, 3000 Pinellas Bayway S, St. Petersburg. 727-867-8166. tampabaywatch.org/events/public-programs/family-field-trips.