1. Things to Do

Top things to do this weekend: Geeky fun at MegaCon Tampa Bay, virtual reality at Holocaust Museum

LUIS SANTANA | Times (2017) Cosplayers roam the exhibitor hall at MegaCon Tampa bay inside of the Tampa Convention Center. The weekend long event features celebrity signings, photo ops, cosplay costume contests and more. [Sunday, September 30, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
Published Sep. 19, 2018

For its third year at the Tampa Convention Center, MegaCon Tampa Bay is expecting some 30,000 geek-loving fans this weekend for celebrity sightings, comic book artists, voice actors and geeky attractions. There will be nearly 400 exhibits between retailers and artists selling memorabilia. Here are the highlights:

• Celebrities this year include Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead), Doctor Who's Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie,Oliver and James Phelps a.k.a. the Weasley twins from the Harry Potter films, and four stars from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

• In addition to the Weasley twins doing a celebrity Q&A (7 p.m. Friday), MegaCon will also have two Harry Potter escape rooms, a Sorting Hat ceremony in the Family Zone and wizarding world fan meetups.

• Other celebrity Q&As include Gotham stars David Mazouz and Sean Pertwee discussing the show and the caped crusader at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Ballroom B and C. And actor Jason David Frank of the Power Rangers will take questions in Ballroom A at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

• Photo ops of numerous stars including Michael Dorn and fellow Star Trek: The Next Generation stars Marina Sirtis, John de Lancie and Corbin Bernsen, as well as all the headlining celebrities run $40-$200 and can be pre-purchased for a reserved time on the MegaCon website,

4-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St. $25-$89; $10 children age 6-12, but you can get a free pass for kids on the website.

In partnership with other leading Holocaust museums and educators, the Florida Holocaust Museum now offers the first virtual reality film to take audiences to the site of a German concentration camp in Poland. The Last Goodbye features Pinchas Gutter, the only member of his family of four to survive the Holocaust, visiting the site of the Nazi death camp Majdanek. Viewers follow Gutter in life-sized projections through the railway car, gas chamber, shower room and barracks seven decades later. "The Last Goodbye offers a visceral experience at a time when humanity's darkest hour is fading from collective memory," a museum news release said. "It ends as a testament to the strength of the human heart and the enduring power of hope and perseverance." After its premiere at a film festival, the film is being shown to the general public at Holocaust museums in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and St. Petersburg. The 17-minute experience is available to one person at a time, with only two slots offered every hour, daily through Jan. 16. Call the museum at (727) 820-0100, ext. 226, to schedule. Or reserve your time slot online at Included with admission: $16, $14 seniors, $8 ages 7-17, free for military/USF students/ages 6 and younger. Florida Holocaust Museum, 55 Fifth St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 820-0100.

The Tampa Bay Boat Show, a free USF lecture by a star from "Love and Hip Hop" and Sunscreen short films are on this week's list of fun things you can do for under $5. See them all here.

From Olivia, the upcoming new restaurant by beloved local chef Chris Ponte, to Crabby Bill's Off the Hook, which recently opened in Westchase, we've got a look at what's new in food this week. See them all here.

It's that time when museums show the community some love by offering free admission on Saturday, like early Christmas for art lovers. Two events are the same day; Smithsonian magazine's nationwide Free Museum Day and St. Petersburg's Arts Alive Free Museum Day. Here are all the details on participating museums.


  1. Suzanne Natzke, an artist and teacher with the Pasco Fine Arts Council, arranges her watercolor paintings for an upcoming exhibit, 'Moments in Time.' The exhibit will be held through Oct. 21 at the council's new gallery at Avalon Park West in Wesley Chapel. MICHELE MILLER  |  Michele Miller
    The countywide Council will exhibit work at the Avalon Park West community.
  2. The Tampa Bay Lightning has tapped Cigar City Brewing to bring its Jai Alai, Guayabera, and Florida Cracker beers to Amalie Arena as the team’s official craft beer partner. (Photo via Tampa Bay Lightning) Tampa Bay Lightning
    Cigar City also will move its popular annual Hunahpu’s Beer Festival to Amalie Arena starting next March.
  3. Pinellas County resident and bestselling author Lisa Unger. Courtesy of Jay Nolan
    Plus, Tampa’s Sulphur Springs Museum will host Raymond Arsenault for a discussion about ‘Arthur Ashe: A Life.’
  4. Cyclists make their way north at Main Street in Dunedin along the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail Tuesday, July 23, 2019. The trail runs from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. There are several options for food and drinks along the trail. CHRIS URSO   |   TIMES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    From the breweries of Dunedin to the Tampa Riverwalk, these rides show off Tampa Bay’s character
  5. Local favorites, the Bearded Brothers, will once again perform at the 15th-annual Music & Motorcycles in downtown Zephyrhills. Ghaith Khder
    The one-day festival brings thousands to the historic downtown area
  6. Humorist Dave Barry's new book, "Lessons From Lucy." is about what he's learned from his dog. Jeffrey Salter
    It’s a power-packed lineup for the area’s signature book event.
  7. South Florida Bulls during a game against the Massachusetts Minutemen on Saturday October 6, 2018 at McGuirk Stadium in Amherst, MA. TRAVIS PENDERGRASS  |  South Florida
    The Bulls tackle a ranked foe at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium on Friday.
  8. Patrons are silhouetted against the entrance to The Hub. The iconic Tampa bar is celebrating its 70th year.
[CHRIS URSO | Times] CHRIS URSO  |  Times
    Patrons’ memories of the bar, and a definitive history, remain elusive.