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5 things to do with kids in Tampa Bay this week: Nov. 16-22

Master sand sculptors will be at work on Treasure Island, there will be a carnival midway in Kenneth City and you can take an eco tour of Babcock Ranch.
The Sanding Ovations sand sculpture event on Treasure Island returns this weekend. This year it has turned into an exhibition instead of a competition, but there will still be sculptors, as well as a kite festival on the beach.
The Sanding Ovations sand sculpture event on Treasure Island returns this weekend. This year it has turned into an exhibition instead of a competition, but there will still be sculptors, as well as a kite festival on the beach. [ Tampa Bay Times (2018) ]
Published Nov. 16, 2020

1. Sanding Ovations: The annual Sanding Ovations sand sculpture event returns to Treasure Island beach starting Wednesday, but it has turned into an exhibition instead of a competition this year. There will still be sculptors, as well as a kite festival on the beach. While master sculptors create artworks in the sand, there will also be a food court, beer garden, arts and crafts marketplace, a day and night kite fly, live music and fireworks (8 p.m. Saturday). Social distancing is encouraged. Free. Wednesday-Sunday. Treasure Island Beach Trail Park, 10400 Gulf Blvd.

There will be a midway set up in the now-closed Kmart parking lot on 66th Street in Kenneth City for a carnival running Wednesday through Sunday.
There will be a midway set up in the now-closed Kmart parking lot on 66th Street in Kenneth City for a carnival running Wednesday through Sunday. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times (2020) ]

2. Kenneth City Carnival: There will be a midway set up in the now-closed Kmart parking lot on 66th Street in Kenneth City for a carnival running Wednesday through Sunday. There will be rides and games and a variety of fair food. Carnivalgoers are encouraged to wear a mask, practice social distancing and utilize the hand sanitizers and hand-washing stations on the midway. Free admission, but ride tickets start at $1.50. There are unlimited wristband tickets available for $20-$30 online at dreamlandamusements.com or at the carnival. It runs 5-10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon-10 p.m. Sunday. 4501 66th St. N, Kenneth City. dreamlandamusements.com.

3. Movies in the Park: Largo Central Park continues its free Movies in the Park series this week, bringing last year’s live-action version of Aladdin, a remake of the 1992 animated film with Will Smith as the blue Genie. It was one of the surprise hits of 2019. Families are asked to gather in socially distanced circles for a safe viewing. Free. 6 p.m. Friday. Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive. 727-587-6720.

On a Babcock Ranch Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour, guests experience a 90-minute eco-tour through four different ecosystems as you learn about the land and wildlife on a converted swamp-buggy school bus.
On a Babcock Ranch Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour, guests experience a 90-minute eco-tour through four different ecosystems as you learn about the land and wildlife on a converted swamp-buggy school bus. [ Babcock Ranch ]

4. Babcock Ranch Eco-Tour: You can head out on a swamp buggy-turned-school bus and tour a piece of Florida history that is now a grand piece of Florida wildlife. From 1914 to the 1930s, the Babcock Ranch timber business was one of the most prominent in the country. These days, it is home to more than 73,000 acres of the most environmentally valuable areas of the state. The Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour takes you on 90-minute tour through the natural wildlife of what is still a working cattle ranch with more than 14,000 acres in pasture land. You’ll learn its history and wander through Florida ecosystems, seeing wild turkeys, caracara (carrion hawk), soft shell turtles, osprey, sandhill cranes and fox squirrels — just to name a few. There is also a restaurant on site, the Gator Shack, running at 50 percent capacity. The daily tours start at $24 and are reservation only by phone at 800-500-5583 or at babcockranchecotours.com/tours.

On a Babcock Ranch Eco-Tour, guests will experience a 90-minute eco-tour through four different ecosystems as you learn about the land and wildlife, such as gators that call the ranch home.
On a Babcock Ranch Eco-Tour, guests will experience a 90-minute eco-tour through four different ecosystems as you learn about the land and wildlife, such as gators that call the ranch home. [ Babcock Ranch ]

5. Main Event goes virtual: Family entertainment center Main Event, the Wesley Chapel bowling, arcade and entertainment facility in the Cypress Creek Town Center, has now turned to virtual events. “As a business that focuses on bringing fun to families through arcades, laser tag, bowling and so many other in person events, the company’s launch of live hosted virtual trivia, escape rooms and other virtual events is innovative and shows the nimbleness of giving their customers options for health and safety,” the company said in a news release. They have even tapped Brian Baumgartner, better known as the dim but lovable Kevin from The Office, to create a series of comedic how-to instructional videos educating consumers on ways to integrate these new experiences into social, family and corporate events. The entertainment center’s grand opening at Tampa Premium Outlets was tempered this summer by the pandemic, adding sanitation stations, social distance markers and limiting capacity for the 50,000-square-foot venue, which also has laser tag, billiards and a ropes course. If you go in person, all activities are $14.95 per person before noon and $19.95 per person for the rest of the day. 2839 Creek Grass Way, Lutz. Find the virtual events at virtualexperiencesatmainevent.com.