If you decide to venture out, we recommend following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, like washing your hands often and wearing a mask. Otherwise, we have a calendar of virtual events at tampabay.com/things-to-do.
1. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: Enjoy a pleasant walk at the lush Sarasota garden, with shaded paths and lots of native trees and flowers. The boardwalks take you along Sarasota Bay and the Hudson Bayou with some beautiful views. There are free audio tours (one for adults only and one for families), a cafe and a children’s area to explore. Admission is $10-$15, but look for deals available such as reciprocal admission with other museums. On the first weekend of the month, adults can get free admission by showing a Bank of America card. 1534 Mound St., Sarasota. selby.org.
2. Movie theaters return: Both AMC and Regal, the nation’s two largest movie chains, are reopening at several Tampa Bay locations this week. Both have said they have instituted new cleaning measures and are keeping venues at limited capacity so guests can social distance. Both employees and audience members will be required to wear masks. AMC is offering 15-cent movie tickets on opening day Thursday to tout its centennial of “Movies in 2020 at 1920 Prices.” The five AMC theaters opening are at Tampa’s WestShore Plaza, as well as the Highwoods 20, 18002 Highwoods Preserve Parkway, Tampa; Veterans 24, 9302 Anderson Road, Tampa; the Woodlands Square 20, 3128 Tampa Road, Oldsmar; and the Regency 20, 2496 W Brandon Blvd., Brandon. Regal will open its theaters on Friday at Regal Park Place in Pinellas Park, as well as at Largo Mall and Citrus Park Town Center mall in Tampa. Both chains are also offering “$5 Flashback” tickets to see classics such as Empire Strikes Back and Black Panther. See amctheatres.com and regmovies.com for the lineup and showtimes.
3. Virtual fireworks show: If you don’t feel comfortable going back to Walt Disney World, they have put a lot of their most popular features online. And even if you did go to the Mouse House right now (there is a Florida resident deal going on that cuts the daily price almost in half), they aren’t showing fireworks these days to prevent crowds from gathering. But you can see a virtual fireworks show. This week, the Disney parks blog put up clips that include Disneyland Paris’ award-winning nighttime spectacle Disney Illuminations. You can also go back in time to see Shanghai Disney Resort’s 2016 grand-opening gala, a music-filled event that combined the beauty of Chinese art and Disney traditions. Tune in at the parks blog at disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog and look for the hashtag #DisneyMagicMoments.
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4. Screamin’ Gator Zip Line: In addition to the Florida resident discount that Gatorland has recently announced, there is a sale right now that takes $20 off the cost of one of its most daring experiences, the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line. Zip lines can be scary enough as you soar overhead, but at this kitschy wildlife park in Orlando, guests can fly over a breeding marsh that contains more than 100 alligators watching from below. The two-hour experience begins with a brief safety and orientation session for $49.99 and includes all-day admission to Gatorland, a 110-acre park with thousands of alligators and crocodiles, an aviary, a petting zoo, nature walk and reptile shows. For those too chicken to zip over an alligator pit, there’s a Florida resident deal right now that is $14.99 for adults, $9.99 children ages 3-12, $12.49 for seniors 55 and older. Children younger than 3 are free. 14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando. (407) 278-8432. gatorland.com.
5. Play shuffleboard: Though they have not yet resumed their free Friday shuffleboard sessions at the world’s largest shuffleboard courts at Mirror Lake in downtown St. Petersburg, the courts are open for members right now. An annual membership starts at $40, so it’s an affordable way to play shuffleboard all year long, and helps support one of St. Petersburg’s most unique and historic places. Club members are happy to teach newbies how to play the leisurely sport, and they have plenty of equipment you can borrow. Join at stpeteshuffle.com. 559 Mirror Lake Drive N, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-2083.