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Back-to-school events in Tampa Bay: open houses, parties, shopping

It’s time to get ready to go back to school.
 
Signs welcome back students in the parking lot as cars pull up to the building on the first day of school at Maximo Elementary, 4850 31st St. S, on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in St. Petersburg.
Signs welcome back students in the parking lot as cars pull up to the building on the first day of school at Maximo Elementary, 4850 31st St. S, on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in St. Petersburg. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published July 18, 2023

From free backpacks and school supplies, to pool parties and dancing, here are a few ways to salute the end of summer and help students of all ages get back into the classroom.

Keiser Back to School Open House (Tampa): Enjoy refreshments and music by WRUB Rumba 106.5 as you discover all of the ways Keiser University can help you reach your goals. Activities include “Radiologic Technology — Imaging Experience,” “Legal Studies — Know Your Rights Workshop,” “Business Administration — Building a Business Plan” and a criminal justice workshop. Free. 5-8 p.m. Wednesday (July 19). Keiser University — Tampa, 5002 W Waters Ave. 813-885-4900.

Keiser Back to School Open House (New Port Richey): Enjoy music by WQYK Country 99.5 as you check out interactive career presentations and simulations, health screenings, back-to-school supply giveaways, a raffle and meet-and-greets with staff and faculty. Free. 5-8 p.m. Wednesday (July 19). Keiser University — New Port Richey, 6300 U.S. 19 N. 727-484-3110.

Keiser Back to School Open House (Clearwater): Discover what Keiser University has to offer as you enjoy refreshments, music by WFLZ 93.3 and activities including a mock operating room, simulated human demonstrations, vital sign checks and more. Free. 5-8 p.m. Wednesday (July 19). Keiser University, 16120 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. 727-576-6500.

Students in grades K through 12 can get free backpacks filled with school supplies from numerous sites across Tampa Bay.
Students in grades K through 12 can get free backpacks filled with school supplies from numerous sites across Tampa Bay. [ ARIELLE BADER | Times ]

Better Tomorrows Back to School Bash: Kids can get free backpacks filled with school supplies, haircuts, food, face painting and more. Free (registration on EventBrite required). 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday (July 22). 3804 N 29th St., Tampa.

Back to School Blessing: Prayer in English and Spanish, along with free backpacks, school supplies, treats, story time, crafts, games and activities. Free. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday (July 22). Hope Lutheran Church, 2001 N Park Road, Plant City. 813-752-4622.

Back to School Bash: Kids can get a backpack filled with school supplies at this festival with a bounce house, food, vendors, free haircuts, giveaways and activities. Free. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday (July 22). The Rock Church of God by Faith, 4323 E Henry Ave., Tampa. 813-626-3500.

Saved in the Shade: Back to School Bash: Wear your bathing suit and jump into the pit at this foam party with a music jam session, reptile petting zoo and games for all ages. Free. Noon-2 p.m. Sunday (July 23). Oldsmar Community United Methodist Church, 207 Buckingham Ave. 813-855-1567.

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Back to School Pop-Up Consignment: Enjoy bargain-basement prices for everything you need to get the family back in school and spruce yourself up. Items include clothing, shoes, purses, furniture, home decor, bedding, sporting equipment, school supplies, lunch boxes, outdoor toys, bikes and more. Shopping is specifically for children from 5-9 p.m. July 28-30 and teens/adults 5-9 p.m. Aug. 4-6. No cover. Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 Broad St., Brooksville. 352-796-4552.

Spanish Back to School Bash: Each child can receive one free backpack and school supplies. Child must be present to receive the backpack. Free (registration required on EventBrite). 9 a.m.-noon July 29. Centro De La Familia Cristiana Tampa | Crosswind Church, 1510 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. 813-238-2348.

Back to School Celebration: A back-to-school bash with a bounce house, live music and activities by the St. Pete Beach Fire Department and St. Pete Beach Recreation Department. Free 10 a.m.-noon July 29. St. Pete Beach Community Center and Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive. 727-363-9238. spblibrary.com.

Back to School Bash: Free backpacks full of school supplies to children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Free. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. July 29. Living Savior Lutheran Church, 2650 Lithia Pinecrest Road, Valrico. 813-681-2375.

Back to School Bash: Free physicals, school supplies, face painting, tacos and shaved ice. Free. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. July 29. Terlep Chiropractic, 8468 Northcliffe Blvd., Spring Hill. 352-666-2222.

Back to School Fair: Hillsborough County Public Schools’ giant indoor fair includes entertainment, tax-free shopping, prizes and free backpack to the first 500 kids. Free. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 29. WestShore Plaza Mall, 250 WestShore Plaza, Tampa. 813-286-0790.

Back to School Giveaway: The sixth annual event features free backpacks full of school supplies, a bounce house, water activities and refreshments. Free. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 29. Heaven to Earth Worship Center, 8406 U.S. 301, Tampa.

Back to School Bash: Dozens of family resources gather to offer free school supplies, kids activities, an interactive scavenger hunt, raffles and a backpack giveaway. Free. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. July 29. Westfield Countryside Mall, 27001 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. 727-796-1070.

Back to School: A backpack giveaway with inflatables, food, games, music and fellowship. Free. 11 a.m. July 29. Hope City Church, 5513 School Road, Land O’ Lakes. 813-948-7555.

Back 2 School Block Party: The second annual block party features food, entertainment, free school supplies and a small-business vendors showcase. Free. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. July 29. Perry Harvey Sr. Park, 1201 N Orange St., Tampa. 813-444-2494.

Back to School Family Summer Splash: A fun way to cool down with waterslides, food, games and photos. Free. Noon July 29. Faith United Methodist Church, 12128 State Road 52, Hudson. 727-856-5000.

Florida Penguin’s Back-to-School Bash: Parents can make sure the kids are set up for a successful year of learning and growth at this festival with meet-and-greets with representatives from community resources, after-school programs, health care providers, pediatricians, optometrists and tutors. Also, kids can meet school mascots and participate in a scavenger hunt for school supplies. Free (registration is required for free backpack). 11 a.m.-4 p.m. July 30. Westfield Brandon Town Center, 459 Brandon Town Center Drive. 727-674-1464.

Back 2 School Bash: Hope in the Park: Kids can get free school supplies and a free dinner (while supplies last). Also, enjoy inflatables and games in the gym. Families can also get free food assistance (no documentation required). Free. 5-7 p.m. Aug. 3. Clearwater First Church of the Nazarene, 1875 Nursery Road. 727-536-1498.

Back to School Bash: An all-ages skate for everyone to get together and skate one last time before school resumes. Divisions open for ages 8 and younger, 9-12, women’s, 13-15, 16-29, 30 and older, and sponsored. First-place winner in sponsored division qualifies to participate in the Damn Am International Contest Series. $30-$35. 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Aug. 5. SkatePark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Drive. 813-621-6793.

With school just around the corner, hair cuts and clothes shopping are on the schedule.
With school just around the corner, hair cuts and clothes shopping are on the schedule. [ ARIELLE BADER | Times ]

Sisters Empowering Women Back to School Bash: A fun-filled family-friendly event with vendors, 350 free backpacks with supplies, games and food. Free, $40 vendor space. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 5. College Hill Church of God in Christ, 6414 N 30th St., Tampa. 813-239-3161.

Back to School Bash: Family fun with food trucks, sweet treats, crafts and free backpacks. Free. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 5. St. Pete Vineyard, 5000 10th St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-502-6783.

Back to School Open House: Prepare for the new school year with free chair massages, backpacks filled with school supplies (ages 5-17 only), mini facials, brow waxes, face painting, music, refreshments and campus tours. Free. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 5. Cortiva Institute, 2370 34th St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-865-4940.

Future Billionaire Back 2 School Bash: Representatives from the Tampa Police Department will be on hand at the second annual festival with SNAP benefits applications and free backpacks filled with school supplies for the first 100 kids to complete a scavenger hunt. Free. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 5. The Resource Empowerment Centre, 9309 N Florida Ave., Tampa. 813-559-9545.

Back to School Fair: Get ready to kick off the school year in style at this fair with games, food, vendors and giveaways. Free. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 5. NLT Academy, 6912 Williams Road, Seffner. 813-620-3446.

Back to School Bash: Children of all ages are invited to this backpack and school supply giveaway with bounce houses and water games. Free. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 5. Liberty Worship Center, 400 First Ave. SW, Largo. 727-366-0482.

Back 2 School Beauty Bash: Kids can pick up free backpacks and school supplies at this small-business vendor fair with discounted nail services and swag bags. Free. Noon-4 p.m. Aug. 5. Custom Claws, 5901 US 19, New Port Richey. 813-661-5100.

Back to School Backpack Giveaway: Saturday Shoppes gives away 2,000 backpacks filled with school supplies. Free. Noon-5 p.m. Aug. 5. Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. 727-825-3137.

Back to School: Shopping with a Vibe: Tyrone Faison hosts this back-to-school event with music, games, prizes, vendors and a book bag giveaway. Free. 2-6 p.m. Aug. 5. Buccaneer Field, 905 N Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Clearwater. 727-835-6467.

Big Top Back to School Bash: Families can celebrate going back to school at this festival with food, vendors, carnival-style games and school supply giveaways. $5. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 6. Studio 131, 11803 104th St., Largo. 727-386-9639.

Back to School Sunday: An uplifting service to inspire and prepare students and teachers for the upcoming school year. School supplies will be distributed. Free. 10:45 a.m. Aug. 6. Grace Baptist Church, 114 Kingsway Road, Brandon. 813-315-8821.

Back to School Party: Family fitness classes with a limited amount of free back-to-school supplies. Free. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 6. Studio Flava, 8361 Stone Run Court, Tampa. 813-515-0189.

Florida Penguin’s Back-to-School Bash: Parents can meet with community resources, after-school programs, health care providers, pediatricians, optometrists and tutors while kids meet sports mascots and search for Penguin clues and complete challenges to collect school supplies. The first 250 kids registered get free backpacks. Free (registration required for backpacks). Noon-4 p.m. Aug. 6. Tampa Premium Outlets, 2398 Grand Cypress Drive, Lutz. 727-674-1464.

Back to School Bowling Bash: An afternoon of strikes and spares to benefit Pace Center for Girls Hillsborough. Donations of school supplies appreciated. Includes a pair of shoes and two hours of bowling. Upgrade to a VIP party of five and add a pizza and drinks. $20, $200 VIP. 2 p.m. Aug. 6. Maple Lanes Countryside, 27867 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. 727-796-8100.

Back 2 School Festival: Bring the kids to this parking lot festival and enjoy vendors, food trucks, music, activities, community resource education and more. Free. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 8. Walmart Health, 7745 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills.

Back to School: Information and resources to help prepare K-12 English learner and Spanish-speaking families prepare for the new school year. Free. 4-5:30 p.m. Aug. 10. Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive. 727-587-6715.

Back 2 School Bash: The Hillsborough County Fair welcomes kids back to the classroom with fun activities. Free. Noon-5 p.m. Aug. 12. Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, 215 Sydney Washer Road, Brandon. 813-737-3247.

ESOL Back to School: Pinellas County Schools’ English to Speakers of Other Languages Office presents K-12 English learner and Spanish-speaking families with information and resources to help prepare them for the new school year. There will also be an opportunity to learn about the Largo Public Library’s English Language Learning Program and its Career Online High School Program. Crafts and games available for children 5 and older. Free. 6 p.m. Aug. 15. Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive. 727-587-6715.

Back to School K-Pop Skate: A night of K-Pop music with trivia, a dance contest and prizes. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Aug. 18. United Skates of America, 5121 N Armenia Ave, Tampa. 813-876-5826.

Back to School Splash: Celebrate going back to school with food, waterslides and music. Free. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 16. Tarpon Springs Splash Park, 508 Live Oak St., Tarpon Springs. 727-942-5610.