1. Things to Do

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of July 30-Aug. 5

LUIS SANTANA  |   Times Ibri Day poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
LUIS SANTANA | Times Ibri Day poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
Published Jul. 29, 2018

Tampa Bay Comic Con: Nerds take over the Tampa Convention Center Friday-Sunday, which will be filled with booths full of comics and collectibles, along with discussion panels, a film festival, comedy shows and numerous comic book artists and writers on hand. Celebrity appearances include Val Kilmer (Batman), Carmen Bicondova (Gotham), Brent Spiner (Star Trek, Next Generation), David Harbour and Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things). $30-$40; $60 three days, 12 and younger free.

WWE Smackdown Live: See all your favorite wrestling stars in action, including AJ Styles, The Miz, Samoa Joe and Carmella. Tuesday at Tampa'a Amalie Arena. $25-$115. Fans can meet WWE Stars Jimmy and Jey Uso that morning at Cricket Wireless (15231 N Dale Mabry, Tampa.) Free. (813) 205-7742.

Vans Warped Tour: The final run of the largest traveling music festival makes a stop at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Saturday, with a lineup including Reel Big Fish, Simple Plan and Less than Jake. $61 and up.

Date Night

Music: Another jam-packed week of music awaits. Tuesday, get your '90s fix when Counting Crows plays with opener Live at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg ($29.50-$125). Thursday, popular roots-reggae band jam at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater ($33.50-$83.50). Friday, country superstar Miranda Lambert performs with Little Big Town at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre ($25-$84.75). Also Friday, R&B sensation Jeremih takes the Ritz Ybor ($32.50-$40). Sunday, powerhouses Kesha and Macklemore team up to co-headline at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre ($29.50-$125).

Kevin Hart: The prolific comedian and star of the films Ride Along and Jumanji brings the funny to Tampa's Amalie Arena on Saturday ($35-$125).

kids and family

Back to School Dizzy Kickball Classic: Teams of children, firefighters, police officers, professional athletes and local celebrities battle it out in a six inning kickball game at the Thomas 'Jet' Jackson Park and Recreation Center (1000 28th St. S, St. Petersburg) on Sunday, with Mayor Rick Kriseman rolling out the first ball. An "anti-back to school" kids carnival that's open to the public follows and includes bounce houses, DJ dancing, free haircuts and styling, and more than 100 free backpacks full of school supplies.

more to explore

Find more back to school events at


  1. Charlie explains to his parents and sister, Beth, that the best thing about church is that there are no Herdmans there. Pictured, from left: Sarah Krug as Mother (Grace Bradley), Amber Marino as Beth, Frank Miller as Father (Bob Bradley) and Jude Mys as Charlie. [Kristina Mitten]
    Live Oak Theatre presents ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever'
  2. Classic Reflections Carriages is offering carriage rides starting at 6 p.m. Dec. 19-21 throughout downtown Brooksville. Reservations are made in person on each event date, starting at 4 p.m., in front of the historic courthouse. [Brooksville Main Street]
    Holiday events in Pasco and Hernando counties
  3. Glenn Woods, 62, shapes a decorative bottle made with a blend of porcelain clays at Pottery Boys Clay Studios on Nov. 18  in Palm Harbor. Woods and his partner, Keith Herbrand, 56, have created dozens of pieces, including holiday decorations, vases, coffee cups, bowls and platters for the Tour de Clay, a progressive tour of five pottery studios in the Tampa Bay area featuring the work of 33 artists from near and far. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
    The annual effort supports working artists and benefits charity.
  4. Ari Shipley, 5, (left) reads to a golden retriever named Turbo, while her brother, Jett, 3, looks on. Reading to Turbo is a new program at the Spring Hill/Harold G. Zopp Memorial Library. [MICHELE MILLER  |  Times]
    Specially trained therapy dogs help youngsters grow their reading skills.
  5. Hundreds of demonstrators protest a Trump administration announcement that reversed an Obama-era order allowing transgender students to use school bathrooms matching their gender identities, outside of The Stonewall Inn in New York, Feb. 23, 2017. Activists in the LGBTQ community mobilized a fast and fierce campaign on Oct. 21, 2018, to say transgender people cannot be expunged from society, in response to an unreleased Trump administration memo that proposes a strict definition of gender based on a person's genitalia at birth. [Times Files] [YANA PASKOVA  |  NYT]
    Local vigils will be held in Tampa on Nov. 20 to honor those who lost their lives due to violence against the transgender community.
  6. A cat named Karma finds a comfortable spot in the lap of Taylor McKenzie during the Kitty Cats and Yoga Mats wellness activity at the Land O' Lakes Library. [Michele Miller]
    Two Pasco County agencies partner to bring the interactive activity to local libraries.
  7. Spanx founder and Clearwater native Sara Blakely will be the keynote speaker at the Synapse Summit 2020 innovation convention, scheduled for Feb. 11 and 12 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. (Times file photo)
    Organizers say the Clearwater native is a game-changer for the event on Feb. 11-12 at Amalie Arena. It is expected to draw more than 6,000 entrepreneurs.
  8. John C. Pelczynski of Massachusetts untangles the lines on his kite at the Veterans Day Fall Fly on TI. [Tampa Bay Times (2014)]
    Museums and aquariums are offering free admission, plus there are parades on land on sea in honor of Veterans Day
  9. A manatee swims in the discharge canal next to the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
    When the waters of Tampa Bay begin to cool, hundreds of sea cows will seek warmth around Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station.
  10. During a recent rehearsal of 'In the Heights,' Gulf Middle student Dominic Nitz gets a toss in the air with help from Noah Mederios (left) and Jay Woodson (right). [Michele Miller]
    It’s a mature stretch for middle school students, but teacher Peter Nason says that’s what it’s all about