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Free and cheap things to do in Tampa Bay: Free admission at Glazer Museum, Bok Tower

There are deal days coming up at the children’s museum and the historic gardens in Lake Wales as well as a free monthly block party in downtown St. Petersburg.
This Tuesday brings free admission to the Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa, a perk offered on the first Tuesday of each month via the Hillsborough Children’s Board.
This Tuesday brings free admission to the Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa, a perk offered on the first Tuesday of each month via the Hillsborough Children’s Board. [ MENGSHIN LIN | Times ]
Published Aug. 31

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 that won’t break the bank.

Here are some options this week:

Glazer Children’s Museum: This Tuesday brings free admission at the interactive museum in Tampa, a perk offered on the first Tuesday of each month via the Hillsborough Children’s Board. Due to the high attendance volume, registration is encouraged at glazermuseum.org/freetuesdays. While you are there, check out the visiting Storyland exhibit that was installed this summer. It turns seven beloved picture books into three-dimensional and bilingual learning environments. The exhibit focuses on pre-reading skills, defined by the Public Library Association, as children step into the pages of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” “The Snowy Day,” “Where’s Spot,” “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,” “Abuela” and “Tuesday.” Designed for children 8 and younger. The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. 813-443-3861. glazermuseum.org.

Bok Tower Gardens: Wawa is sponsoring free entry into Bok Tower Gardens the first Thursday and Friday of the month through September. Go to boktowergardens.org to register for tickets. Complimentary tickets are limited to four per registration. At the historic gardens, located about 25 miles southeast of Lakeland, you’ll find hundreds of flower varieties, a bell tower and a bird sanctuary. Admission is normally $16, $5 for ages 5-12. Dogs are $5. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales. 863-676-1408.

The Bok Tower reflection pool is part of the historic gardens, located about 25 miles southeast of Lakeland. You'll find hundreds of flower varieties, a bell tower and a bird sanctuary here.
The Bok Tower reflection pool is part of the historic gardens, located about 25 miles southeast of Lakeland. You'll find hundreds of flower varieties, a bell tower and a bird sanctuary here. [ Times (2006) ]

Gem Show: All that glitters will be on display this weekend at the Coliseum as vendors fill more than 15,000 square feet of exhibit space with gems, jewelry, minerals and supplies to work with them. Admission is $5, 11 and younger free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday. The Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. hrgemshows.com.

First Friday: The monthly block party has returned to downtown St. Petersburg, where traffic will be blocked on Central Avenue for live music and vendors selling beer and food. There will be live music by the classic rock band Borderline, and donations will be collected for the charity Lifting Hearts 2gether, a nonprofit that provides assistance for the medically needy, especially seniors. Free. 6-10 p.m. Friday. Central Avenue between Second and Third streets.

P1 Offshore Grand Prix: This weekend brings the return of fast boats and their skilled captains racing through the gulf. Competitors from all over the world will compete for the top spot in the APBA National Championships on Saturday and Sunday. Powerboat and personal watercraft race teams will compete across multiple classes of racing during the weekend. The races can be viewed live along the course near downtown St. Petersburg and the St. Pete Pier. You can also watch a live stream on the P1 Offshore website at p1offshore.com.

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