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February 26, 2021

Family-Friendly Tampa Bay Events

By Tampa Bay Parenting

*Follow us on Instagram for more family fun! instagram.com/tampabayparenting

March is finally here! It’s the month of spring, water parks opening, festivals, and so much MORE!

We’re sharing some of our top ideas and things to do in Tampa Bay for the best month ever! Bring the face masks and hand sanitizer and have FUN!

Related:


Festivals to Attend this March

Mardi Gras 2021: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Studios | Through March 28
Head to Universal Orlando Resort to experience an international food fest like no other. Celebrate Carnaval with the flavors of Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Germany, Spain, New Orleans and more. Also enjoy floats on display, street performances, music and lots of beads!

Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival | Through April 25
This spring, flavors are in bloom at Busch Gardens with the return of the park’s fan-favorite Food & Wine Festival starting Saturday, February 20! Guests are invited to take their taste buds on an adventure as they sample more than 110 tasty treats, including 22 NEW dishes. Serving guests every weekend from February 20 to April 25 with limited capacity, this year’s menu features festival favorites and fresh twists on classic cuisines from around the country that pair perfectly with more than 80 wines, brews, and cocktails.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival | March 3-July 5
Experience spring through beautiful flowers, food, entertainment and more as a part of this annual springtime celebration at Disney’s EPCOT. Guests can check out over 100 Disney-themed topiaries, outdoor kitchens, vibrant gardens, flower towers, scavenger hunts and outdoor concerts.

Florida Strawberry Festival | March 4-14
Eleven days of Music, Food & Fun for all ages! Free Entertainment, Shows, Contests, Pig Races, Livestock and Much More! Their Midway is packed with Games & over 80 Rides for the kids to enjoy! Or, try the Kiddie Korral for youngsters and Moonlight Magic for the night owls! Don’t forget the awesome festival foods including their famous Strawberry Shortcake! Admission & Ride Discounts also available. See INFO, Special Days & Discounts at FLstrawberryfestival.com for details. Masks Required.

Seven Seas Food Festival at Sea World Orlando | Through May 9
Experience a variety of global, local and seasonal craft brews and dishes at SeaWorld, Orlando. Enjoy live music while experiencing unique courses from all over the world. Event concerts will also return to the festival this year.


Things to Do in March 2021:

Family-Friendly Top Picks

Children’s Board of Hillsborough County Free Tuesday at Glazer Children’s Museum | March 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Enjoy free admission to Glazer Children’s Museum in downtown Tampa as part of its partnership with the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County and its mission to promote the well-being of children and families.

Wild Kratts: Creature Power! at Glazer Children’s Museum | Through May 16
This brand new temporary exhibit at Glazer Children’s Museum will take your kiddos on adventure to explore with their favorite Wild Kratts characters as they hone in on their STEM skills through play. They’ll learn about nature, animals and the relationship between animals and their habitats. It’s an interactive play experience you MUST check out! Keep in mind that the museum will be closing early on Saturday and Sunday at 3pm.

Minecraft Mania at MOSI | Saturdays from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. If your kids love Minecraft, they will think Minecraft Mania at MOSI is totally awesome! Your child can play Minecraft while learning new skills to become Minecraft Designer, Adventurer or even Master! While you’re there, stay and play at the beloved science museum!  This is also the final weekend to experience the Space for Art exhibit! mosi.org

Go Wild Weekend at Clearwater Marine Aquarium | Saturdays & Sundays Go Wild at CMA with a special animal experience every weekend from Feb. 27 to Mar. 14. Learn all about a variety of wild species with rescued animals from partner organizations and educational activities on biodiversity. This special experience will be different each weekend and will be located in our Conservation Cove area. All activities are included with Admission! CMA has implemented significant additional safety precautions to protect staff, animals, and guests while ensuring a fun and educational visit. Don’t forget–you can save $5 on admission by wearing your Tampa Bay team jersey in celebration of CHAMPA BAY! This deal is good through March 11. cmaquarium.org

Sunday Special at Imagine Museum | Sunday’s through April
Enjoy $5 admission to the Imagine Museum and enjoy innovative glass art and virtual reality.

The Office! A Murder Mystery Parody: Who Is The Scranton Strangler? | Through March 14
Team up with the World’s Best Boss and several of your favorite characters from TV’s THE OFFICE for The Office! A Murder Mystery Parody: Who Is The Scranton Strangler?, a one of a kind, all-new interactive and immersive parody walking tour starting at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre and taking you through Downtown Clearwater’s Cleveland District to solve the case of The Scranton Strangler! No two performances will ever be the same as the actors improvise with every interaction.

HorsePower 4 Kids First Thursday | March 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
HorsePower 4 Kids allows children and families to benefit from interaction with over 200 animals including horses, petting zoo and exotic animals, reptiles and birds. Visit the first Thursday of the month for $5 admission!

Adventure Island ReopeningMarch 6
Come make a splash at Adventure Island’s opening day! Experience water thrills for the whole family. Tickets start as low as $42.99 with additional savings available during online purchase!

Junior Chefs of America Cooking Class | March 6, 9-11 a.m.
During this in-person class, kids ages 4-12 will learn how to make German Turkey Schnitzel with Mashed Cauliflower in a hands-on fun environment with a local professional chef.

Picnic in the ParkMarch 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Enjoy live entertainment on Center Stage all day, create an original masterpiece with Tampa Regional Artists’ plein air painting, and make a new friend with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. From 11am – 4pm, visitors are encouraged to bring their blanket, pack a picnic and enjoy the pleasures of a simpler time.

Monster JamMarch 12-14
Head to Raymond James stadium for an action-packed weekend! Witness 12,000-pound monster trucks go head-to-head in freestyle and skills challenges and racing competitions. If you love monster jam, check out the pit party where you can meet the drivers, get autographs, and take pictures. Tickets are on sale now.

The Reopening of the Tampa Theatre | March 11, Showtimes daily
Help welcome back the Tampa Theatre on March 11th as they reopen their doors exactly one year after closing them due to COVID-19. There will be twelve screenings of the new movie The Father available for in-person viewing. The Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ pre-show will also be making a return! Movie tickets must be purchased online and temperature checks and masks are required for entry.

Free Ice Cream Social | March 12, 2-3:30 p.m.
Join us for a free scoop (or a few!) at The Centre in Palm Harbor. Masks will be required, and social distancing will be encouraged.

Art Workshops for Children | March 13, 10 a.m., 1 or 4 p.m.
Little artists join the Great Explorations Children’s Museum for a one-hour art class this march to paint a STEAM-themed mural! These classes are designed to help children get creative and use their imagination. The class is $12 for museum members and $25 for non-members. Registration is required. Sign up at explorations-station.myshopify.com.

Free Family Movie Night at Centre Field | March 19, 5:30-8 p.m.
Enjoy a free outdoor movie with your family (just don’t forget the chairs and blankets). Watch this Facebook page for each month’s movie titles and special announcements!

The SunWest Music FestivalMarch 20, noon to 7 p.m.
Enjoy a wide-open venue, shopping and food vendors, great music and more during the SunWest Music Festival in West Pasco. Tickets are limited and start at only $15!

Big & Little Chef Brunch | March 20, 10 a.m.
Join Publix Apron Cooking School of Citrus Park for a big chef (18+ years old) and little chef (5–12 years old) cooking class! On the menu are Egg, Muffin and Chicken Sausage Sandwiches, Peach & Raisin Stuffed Crepes topped with Vanilla Cream Sauce, Biscuits & Gravy and Cheese Grits with Chicken Tenders. Call (813) 926-4465 for more information or to make your reservation.

Driscoll’s Strawberry Classic 10K, 5K, or Fun Run | March 20
The Tampa Bay Runners, a non-profit fitness group, is hosting the 40th Annual Driscoll’s Strawberry Classic on March 20, 2021. Temple Terrace Elementary School will serve as the home base for the race as well as the finish line. Enjoy a scenic run around the Temple Terrace Golf Course with plenty of shade from all of the beautiful Oaks.

Bark in the Park 2021March 27, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You’re invited to the 34th annual family and dog-friendly festival, Bark in the Park! Enjoy live music, food trucks, beer, adoptable dogs, vendors, doggie costume contests and a beautiful 1-mile stroll along the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa.


Ongoing Family-Friendly Events: 

Children’s Board Family Resource Centers: The program provides parents and caregivers and their children an opportunity to participate in parent/child developmental playgroups, developmental screenings, and health and safety education classes at no cost. In addition, pediatric well-child visits, immunizations and hearing or vision screenings are provided for qualifying families. To sign up for programs and services, and to find your neighborhood Children’s Board Family Resource Center visit familysupporthc.org.

Learn & Play Tampa Bay: The program provides quality early learning experiences at no cost at the seven children’s Board Family Resource Centers and other designated Hillsborough County sites.  The program also delivers weekly in-person and online virtual developmental classes and provides take home activities that promote early learning and school readiness at no cost. Glazermuseum.org/learnplaytampabay

Family Cheap Skate Night | Tuesdays, 6-8 p.m. Have dinner with United Skates Tampa! Get a large 1-topping pizza, a pitcher of soda, plus 20 game tokens for just $20! Admission is $4 per-person and non-skating parents are admitted for free. unitedskates.com

Sky Zone Little Leapers | Saturdays, 9:30-11 a.m. Little Leapers is perfect for little ones to play, jump, and make friends in their age group. This time is open for 7 and under jumpers. A Little Leapers pass includes two hours of jumping with one parent who jumps for free. skyzone.com

More Fun Things to Do with the Kids in Tampa Bay

Head to a U-Pick Farm in Tampa Bay | Days and times vary by farm

It’s not quite u-pick season in Tampa Bay, but a few place are offering u-pick opportunities like Dooley Groves in Ruskin if you’re in the mood for citrus or Keel & Curley if you’re looking for lunch and a u-pick strawberry outing.

Before you go, make sure to pack your face mask because some do require you to wear a mask in some areas, but otherwise…the farm is the perfect place to social distance under the sun! Check each farm’s social pages or websites to ensure they are open as hours and dates change with weather and whether a crop is available for u-pick.

  • Keel & Curley in Plant City is offering u-pick organically grown strawberries while they last on Saturday from 10:00 am-1:00 pm for $5 per pound. Check their Facebook page here for updates.
  • Fancy Farms in Plant City: U-pick strawberries this weekend, February 27-28 from 9am-4pm for two days only! The U-Pick location is NOT AT THE MARKET! The U-Pick location is at our farm at 3524 Futch Loop Plant City, FL 33566. Containers will be provided. CASH ONLY. Price is $1 per quart. No admission fee. Visit Facebook page for updates.
  • JG Ranch in Brooksville has been promoting some u-pick opportunities of strawberries while they last and other fresh vegetables like broccoli and lettuce. Again, you’ll want to check in on their Facebook page to see if they are open for u-pick before you head out.
  • Dooley Groves in Ruskin is offering citrus u-pick of honeybelles from 10:00 am-4:00 pm. Visit their website here to learn more details about what to expect–you will need a face mask when inside their market area where you get the sanitized basket.
  • Hunsader Farms in Bradenton says it has strawberries and tomatoes for u-pick, along with a petting zoo! Learn more here.
  • Upicktopia in Masaryktown has a variety of veggies available for u-pick. You’ll want to check their Facebook page before you go to see what’s picking, but we’ve recently seen strawberries, broccoli, collard greens, and soooo much more!
  • Starkey Market in Odessa is offering strawberry u-pick by reservation only. You can sign up through a Sign Up Genius link on a recent post on their Facebook page.
  • A Land of Delight Natural Farm and Nursery in Plant City hosts a regular farmers market and u-pick. Only on select days those which have been on Fridays and Saturdays. U-picks are mostly greens which are great for smoothies and salads! The market has plenty of fresh produce, honey, and soooo much more. Check their Facebook page here for updates.
  • Strawberry Passion/Passion Organics in Thonotosassa has tomatoes and red bell peppers available for U-Pick. 
    Friday 10 am – 4 pm | Saturday 9 am – 2 pm | Sunday 9 am – 2 pm Check their Facebook page for updates. They also have a fresh market to purchase other fruits and veggies.

*Want to add your favorite u-pick farm? Email us and let us know so we can share: editor@tbparenting.com


ZooTampa Rhino Feeding Things to Do in Tampa BayUpgrade your day at ZooTampa with an animal encounter! 

If you’re planning a day at ZooTampa, we love upgrading our experience with the kids with an animal encounter like feeding the giraffes or rhinos. We recently booked a time to feed a Jamie the Indian White Rhino with our 5 year old and he had a great time. Baby rhino Gronk even hung out for snacks! You do have to wear a face mask during the encounter, but you can remove it for a photo. Learn more here.


Van Gogh Alive at the Dali Starry Night things to do in Tampa BayImmerse yourself in the world and works of Vincent Van Gogh at the Dali Museum in St. Pete.

Music, floor to ceiling screens with projections of Van Gogh’s works along with his words and photos from his time fully immerse you in a unique art exhibit you’ve never experienced before. See our write up here so you know what to expect if you go.


Glazer Vision Foundation

Snap a mural selfie and help provide a free eye exam and glasses for a local child!

Head over to Armature Works to check out the NEW mural on the north end of the property created to promote the Glazer Vision Foundation’s “Glasses For All Children” campaign. All you have to do is share a photo of the mural, a selfie in front of the mural, or selfie wearing any type of glasses, tag @glazervisionfdn, hashtag #OneShareOnePair and the foundation will give a local child a free eye exam and pair of glasses! Easy peasy! Learn more.


playground at st Pete PierCheck out the NEW St. Pete Pier

Eat, drink, shop and play at the new St. Pete Pier. The new playground area is quickly becoming a family favorite in Tampa Bay, just make sure to bring plenty of hand sanitizer and/or hand sanitizing wipes with you. Stay late and look up to see the Bending Arc light up in a spectacular display. You will need to wear a mask inside the stores, restaurants and Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center. The Glazer Vision Foundation just announced it is contributing $1.5 million to the Glazer Family Playground at the Pier to support the space for years to come!  Learn more.


FREE Resources to Explore!

Children’s Board Family Resource Centers

The program provides parents and caregivers and their children an opportunity to participate in parent/child developmental playgroups, developmental screenings, and health and safety education classes at no cost. In addition, pediatric well-child visits, immunizations and hearing or vision screenings are provided for qualifying families.  To sign up for programs and services, and to find your neighborhood Children’s Board Family Resource Center visit familysupporthc.org.

Learn & Play Tampa Bay Playgroups

The program provides quality early learning experiences at no cost at the seven children’s Board Family Resource Centers and other designated Hillsborough County sites.  The program also delivers weekly in-person and online virtual developmental classes and provides take home activities that promote early learning and school readiness at no cost. Glazermuseum.org/learnplaytampabay


Tampa Bay Attractions You Can Safely Explore with the Family:

Visit a local aquarium! 

The Florida Aquarium and Clearwater Marine Aquarium are both open, but require you to make an online reservation. Capacity will be limited to 50%. Guests over the age of 2 will be asked to wear a mask at the Florida Aquarium. If you do not have one, a mask will be provided for you. Masks are encouraged at CMA.

Busch Gardens and Adventure Island are OPEN by reservation only! 

This is a great weekend to cool off with dad and check out the NEW Solar Vortex waterslide at Adventure Island! Learn more here.

MOSI: Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa 

Capacity will be at 50% and you’ll notice a few changes like staff wearing masks, doors propped open to reduce touch points, more frequent cleaning of exhibits, and more. Learn more here. You can also see what it’s like during this new normal! Be sure to check out the new Space for Art exhibit, too!

ZooTampa AT Lowry Park 

The Zoo is ready to welcome guests back at 50% capacity, so you’ll want to make an online reservation or purchase your tickets online to make sure you secure your spot. We got an INSIDE LOOK to show you what you can expect! The Dinos Alive exhibit will still be on display, so be sure to check it out! Book here.

The Tampa Bay History Center

The museum is ready to welcome you back, but you’ll want to make sure you have pre-purchased your ticket online. You can also book your timed reservation online. Because some hands on exhibits will be hands off for now, the museum is reducing admission prices by $2. Book your ticket and learn more about the plans to reopen here.

LEGOLAND Florida

The theme park and its hotels, including the new Pirate Island Hotel are ready to welcome back guests, also at a reduced capacity of 50%. Cash will no longer be accepted and also expect to have your temperature taken. Social distancing will be encouraged with brick themed markers and signage. You’ll also see more hand sanitizing stations-there are more than 200 of them throughout the park! Legoland staff will be wearing face coverings and all guests ages 8 and older will need to wear a mask in compliance with the city of Winter Haven mask mandate. If you do not have one, a mask will be provided for you. The reopening plan included guidance from AdventHealth. Learn more here.  

Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa

Like most attractions and keeping in line with CDC guidance, Glazer Children’s Museum will be taking it one step further by keeping capacity at 25% at first. You will need to purchase a timed entry ticket or if you are a member, book your time slot. Adult guests will be required to wear a face mask. Difficult to clean exhibits will be closed while others will be sanitized more frequently throughout the day. glazermuseum.org

Great Explorations Children’s Museum in St. Pete

Great Ex reopened to families with new exhibits and a phased reopening plan that includes a face mask requirement for all guests ages 5 and older. A ticketed reservation is also strongly encouraged to make sure you have time to play. Learn more here.

The James Museum in St. Pete

Check out their Family Program events this December.

  • Art In Motion Sculptures (In person: Dec. 12, 11 a.m. to Noon) Create a playful sculpture that conveys movement, color, and sound.
  • Chalk Landscapes (In person: Dec. 12, 2-3 p.m.) Experiment with color blending and texture as you make chalk pastel drawings inspired by the West.
  • Art Look & Book (Virtual: Dec. 16, 10-10:20 a.m.) This month’s book is Thanks to the Animals, by Allen Sockabasin and Rebekah Raye. Learn about winter wildlife and hear about a young boy who is sheltered from the cold by forest animals.
  • Mini Maker Space | Wintery Scenes (Virtual: Dec. 18, 10-10:20 a.m.) This month we make wintery scenes using puffy snow paint. Gather these materials in advance: shaving foam, mixing bowl, Elmer’s glue, stir stick, glitter, colored construction paper, and scissors.

Outdoors and Socially Distant Things to Do in Tampa Bay


More Outdoor Top Picks in Tampa Bay:

Head to the beach! The beaches are open, but you’ll see plenty of reminders about social distancing. You’ll also want to pack some extras in your beach bag like hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. Cloth masks are also a good idea in case you decide to visit an establishment that requires them. We’re sharing some of our favorite family-friendly beaches in Tampa Bay here.

Go for a hike! Lace up the hiking shoes and spend the day in nature with the kids! Many preserves and conservation parks are now open in Tampa Bay. Find a park near you or discover a new one:

 

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