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January 11, 2020

Our 10+ Favorite Things to Do in Tampa Bay this Weekend

By Laura Byrne

The weekend is upon us again and there are a ton of things to do in Tampa Bay if you’re a family looking for some outdoor fun or ‘masks required’ indoor activities.

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

Related: Busch Gardens + Adventure Island FREE Preschool Card is back in 2021!


TOP PICKS: Family-Friendly Things to Do in Tampa Bay This Week

 

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. VIRTUALLY 

St. Pete’s annual Dream Big parade is one of the country’s largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day parades in the country and one of the longest running, .but this year event organizers are working to keep everyone safe by hosting a virtual presentation on January 18 at 11am. Watch here.

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: 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

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: NEW to the Zoo Behind the Scenes Tour | Saturdays from 8:00 am-9:30 am

If you love the National Geographic series Secrets of the Zoo: ZooTampa, you’ll definitely want to add this 90-minute walking tour to your weekend line up! You’ll be guided by one of the stars of the show as you get to know all the new additions to the Zoo, including Gronk the baby rhino! The ticket includes coffee or juice before the tour and admission to the zoo after. Learn more here.

*NOTE: ZooTampa is hosting an electronics recycling drive on Monday, January 18 from 10:00 am-1:00 pm. They’ll be taking items like old computers, cell phones, printers and more. See the full list here.


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. They have citrus available–check with their website to see what they have before you go.

  • 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.
  • Strawberry Passion/Passion Organics in Thonotosassa is promoting sunflower and wildflower u-picks on Saturdays from 9am-2pm. Check their Facebook page for updates. They also have a fresh market to purchase veggies.
  • 5K Farms Organic U-Pick is opening their fields for sunflower picking and pictures. It’s $5 per person and $ 2 per flower. Stay up to date on their Facebook page here as dates may change.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Starkey Blueberry Farm in Trinity is offering a u-pick of strawberries on select days and times. You’ll want to check their Facebook page to stay up to date to ensure the u-pick option is available.

Edward Medard Park Take part in the Hillsborough Hiking Spree 2021

If you’re like many families, you’ve probably ventured out a lot over the last year to explore our local parks and preserves, so why not see if you can meet the challenge of hiking eight trails by March 31, 2021!?! Getting outside is one of our favorite things to do in Tampa Bay and we recently explored Edward Medard Conservation Park in Plant City –which is among the list of trails to hike! You can see the full list here. Even if you don’t want to take part in the spree, it’s a great guide to explore nature right here in our own backyard!


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.


Tampa Bay Attractions You Can Safely Explore with the Family:

 

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.

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 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.

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.

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.  


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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