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May 14, 2021

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.

As you head out the door, don’t forget to bring the face masks and hand sanitizer and have FUN! While the governor rescinded local emergency orders, the order does NOT apply to private businesses that may still require you to wear a face mask.

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

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

Sesame Street® Safari of Fun Kids’ Weekends at Busch Gardens | Saturdays and Sundays through May 23, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Head to Busch Gardens for a month of fun Sesame Street® activities! Kids and parents alike can join in the Springtime fun included in park admission. Your family will want to come back again and again to enjoy new themed activities celebrating their Sesame Street friends including a craft tent at the NEW kid-friendly art display and the ALL-NEW Cookie Monster’s Foodie Truck selfie spot on the Festival Field! Learn more here.

  • Elmo Weekend, May 15 & 16: Kids will have a blast helping Elmo and Dorothy find their fish friends throughout the Sesame Street Safari of Fun. Families can also sing and dance along with Elmo at the Sesame Street Pavilion.
  • NEW! Everyday Heroes Weekend, May 22 & 23: Celebrate everyday heroes during the event’s final weekend. Guests will have a chance to join the Everyday Heroes Club by earning special badges for Bravery, Helping, Manners, and more! Police officers, firefighters, and other local heroes will be honored during this community celebration, which will feature special guests and emergency vehicles for this weekend only!
  • Don’t forget! Busch Gardens has extended the timeframe for you to register and redeem your little one’s FREE Preschool Card! Learn more here.

Bolts Drive Thru Pep Rally at WestShore Plaza | 9:00 am-12:00 pm

As the home team champs get ready for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they’re hosting a drive thru event to celebrate with the community! Head on over to WestShore Plaza in Tampa and enter through the Sears parking lot. Keep in mind you’ll need to stay in your car the entire time. You can pick up yard signs, promo items, and more! Learn more here.

 

Mini Makers Workshop at Glazer Children’s Museum | Saturday, 9:00 am-10:30 am

Glazer Children’s Museum is hosting a series of workshops for kiddos to learn how to create, code and construct! This weekend’s workshop will focus on Coding and on May 22 it will be Constructing. Workshops are $15 each. Members receive 15% off. glazermuseum.org

Minecraft Mania at MOSI | Saturdays from 1:00 pm-3:00 pm

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! mosi.org  You can also arrive early or stay later to check out the Idea Zone.

LEGO Friends Weekends at LEGOLAND Florida | May 15-16

Starting this Saturday, LEGO® Friends Weekend brings new adventures to LEGOLAND® Florida Resort. Fans will go on an adventure with the “Fab Five,” Stephanie, Olivia, Andrea, Emma, and Mia, to crack a secret code and stop their rival, Dr. Alvah, who has plans to shut down Heartlake City. The all-day adventure is filled with activities inspired by each of the character’s unique personalities and passions. While you’re there, be sure to check out the NEW Brickbeard’s Water Stunt Show and the NEW Rebuild the World brick building area.legoland.com/florida

GATORPALOOZA FUN FEST 2021| May 15 & 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A celebration of alligators, Florida and Fun! Included with regular admission. There’ll be live music artisans, craft vendors family fun, games and all the alligators, animals and awesomeness that a day at Gatorland has to offer! Don’t miss Saturdays Florida Man Challenge, and Sundays Turkey Dog Toss with the Gatorland Vlog team at the Breeding Marsh. It’s gonna be a whole load of fun!

2021 Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Dade City | Weekends through May 23

The Bay Area Renaissance Festival has a new home this year in the forests of Dade City! Come on out rain or shine to be transported back into time into the 16th century with live entertainment, magic shows, jousting matches, food like giant turkey legs and more! Kids 4 and younger are free. This weekend’s theme is Pirates and Pups! Learn more here.


u-pick-sunflowers-tampaa-bayKeep scrolling to check out U-PICK events at local farms including blueberries, sunflowers, peaches and MORE!

 

 

 


Head to an outdoor Farmer’s Market in Tampa Bay | Various dates

It’s the season of the outdoor market and there are several throughout Tampa Bay! Tampa Bay Markets is one of the area’s largest event planners for markets, so head to their page for the latest updates to find a market near you!

Wild Kratts: Creature Power! at Glazer Children’s Museum | NOW OPEN

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! glazermuseum.org

Tusks to Tails: A Fossil History of Florida at the Tampa Bay History Center | NOW OPEN

Step back into time when furry mammoths roamed Florida and gigantic sharks swam our seas. This new exhibit at the Tampa Bay History Center is a must-see for anyone who is really into fossils! While you’re there, check out the Treasure Seekers exhibit to learn more about real life pirates and conquistadors and more about Florida and Tampa Bay’s fascinating history. TampaBayHistoryCenter.org

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.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is NOW OPEN 

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is reopening daily on March 18 from 9am-5:30pm. The Mermaid Shows are also returning with limited assigned seating, so you’ll want to sign up when you arrive and make sure to bring your face mask since you’ll need to wear it. Buccaneer Bay at Weeki Wachee Springs is also reopening daily on March 21, however from March 22-29 the waterslides, kiddie pool and lazy river will only open on the weekends and then reopen full time on May 29. weekiwachee.com


More Family-Friendly Things to Do in Tampa Bay

Sweetfields Farm u-pick Tampa Bay

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

Strawberry u-pick season has pretty much come to a close (a few farms are still offering strawberry u-pick), but that means blueberries, flowers, and peaches are ready for the picking in Tampa Bay! But, that’s not all–there are a variety of other u-pick opportunities and activities like HarvestMoon Fun Farm in Masaryktown for sunflowers  if you’re in the mood for flowers or Keel & Curley in Plant City if you’re looking for an al fresco lunch and a u-pick blueberry outing.

Before you go, make sure to pack your face mask because some places may require you to wear a mask in designated 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.

*Listings updated on May 14, 2021

Keel & Curley in Plant City: U-Pick Peaches

5210 Thonotosassa Road, Plant City 33565
keelfarms.com
Keel & Curley is offering u-pick peaches on Saturday, May 15. Peach farm location: 1605 Hawk Griffin Road. It’s not far from the main Keel & Curley location on Thonotosassa Rod which also happens to be right by Dinosaur World, so it’s a great day trip for families. We also love grabbing lunch under the covered patio, so make some time in your day for that too! Check their Facebook page here for updates.

Sweetfields Farm in Brooksville: U-Pick Sunflowers

17250 Benes Roush Road, Brooskville
www.sweetfieldsfarm.com
The season opens this weekend for sunflowers! Check out the ‘Good Vibes’ themed sunflower maze, play area, peddle tractor rides, hay rides, farm animals and more! By popular demand, they are selling timed admission to ensure crowds at kept at a minimum. Tickets for everyone ages 3 and older are $9.75. Check out their Facebook page here.

HarvestMoon Fun Farm Sunflower U-Pick in Masaryktown

15950 Stur Street, Masaryktown 34604
www.harvestmoonfunfarm.com
Visit HarvestMoon Fun Farm for their Sunflower U-Pick event and pick flowers through the maze-like paths and bring home a beautiful bouquet for yourself or a loved one! There is a $10 minimum flower purchase per person ages 16 & up. This is a CASH ONLY event! They will be open Saturday’s and Sunday’s May 1st-30th 10am-3pm and select evenings during the week. For more information for farm activities and to make a reservation please visit their website. They also have petting zoo, play area and more! You can also visit their Facebook page here for updates.

Hunsader Farms U-Pick Wildflowers, Sunflowers and Zinnias in Bradenton

5500 County Road 675, Bradenton 34211
www.hunsaderfarms.com
Hunsader Farms has the prettiest sunflowers, zinnias and wildflowers for u-pick (and Insta-worthy pics!), along with lots more u-pick veggies like varieties of beans and peas, squash, and tomatoes. There’s also a petting zoo with more than 30 species of animals! They’re open daily right now, (Monday-Saturday 8am-5pm & Sunday 10am-4pm) so it’s a good day trip for littles.  Learn more here.

5K Farms in Plant City: U-Pick Sunflowers

6302 S County Road 39, Plant City 33567

The sunflower field is ready! Due to the dry hot season, the flowers are shorter, but perfect for little ones who may not like the taller sunflower fields. Admission is $3 per person and kids 5 and younger are free. Sunflowers are $2. It’s cash only, so plan ahead. Follow their Facebook page for updates.

Jimmy MC’s Farm in Spring Hill: U-pick sunflowers

17430 Coon Hide Road, Spring Hill 34610

Jimmy MC’s Farm offers sunflower u-pick in April and May and they’ll be open for a Mother’s Day sunrise u-pick on Sunday, May 9 from 7am-10am. Learn more here.

A Land of Delight Natural Farm and Nursery in Plant City

2514 Learning Pine Ln, Plant City 33565
www.alandofdelight.com
A Land of Delight Natural Farm hosts a regular farmers market and u-pick. Only on select days those which have been on Thursdays through 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.

Upicktopia in Masaryktown: U-Pick Blueberries and more!

19125 Phillips Rd, Masaryktown 34605
www.upicktopia.com
Upicktopia has a variety of veggies available for u-pick. This is the last weekend for u-pick strawberries and blueberries, but they have plenty of blackberries, strawberry onions and gladiolus flowers for u-pick. You’ll want to check their Facebook pagebefore you go.

Starkey Blueberry Farm in New Port Richey

10730 Lake Blanche Drive, Trinity 34655
www.starkeyblueberryfarm.com
Starkey Blueberry Farm’s blueberry u-pick is closed for the season, but they are offering blackberry u-pick at the farm located at 3460 Starkey Blvd in New Port Richey. Check their Facebook page for daily updates.

Bob’s Blueberry Farm and U-Pick in Hudson

14000 Edwards Road, Hudson 34669

Bob’s in Hudson offers u-pick blueberries around April, followed by peaches, plums, and blackberries later in the season. The farm is home to plenty of other produce products. Check Facebook for updates on the 2021 season, but it looks like they have peaches and plums right now.

Church Lake Farm in Odessa

16321 McGlamery Rd, Odessa, FL 33556
www.churchlakefarms.com
Church Lake Farm’s u-pick blueberries are closed for the season, but make sure to check their Facebook page for picking updates. This weekend’s hours they only have blackberries for picking.

Nadler’s U Pick Blueberry Farm in Hudson

12834 Kitten Trail, Hudson 34669
www.upickblueberryfarm.com
Nadler’s U-pick is opening for the blueberry season on Saturday, April 17 from 8am-4pm and Sunday, April 18 from 8am-6pm. Blueberries are $4 per pound. At Nadler’s enjoy a 1.5-acre family friendly blueberry farm with tons of berries to pick. Located in Hudson, the farm uses organic practices and pest control to keep berries healthy and safe. Nadler’s offers 7 different blueberry varieties from 6, 00 different berry bushes on the farm. Check the farm’s Facebook page for u-pick updates.

Hilltop Peaches in Bartow 

7455 Cox Road, Bartow 33830
Visit their website here.
Hilltop u-pick peaches offers two different types of peaches: UFSun (clingers) and Tropic Beauty (freestone/melters)–keep this in mind as they are priced differently per pound. Stay up to date on u-picks and prices here.

The Southern Peach Company  in Lithia

13231 State Road 674, Lithia 33547

The peaches are ready on select days only, so check their Facebook page for updates. This fifth generation family farm in Lithia has all the charm peach picking has to offer, including a photo opportunity with an old fashioned truck as you enter the orchard. The century old farm offers plenty of peaches to go around for everyone starting in late April.After picking, stop by Alafia River State Park which is just minutes away for some relaxation and fun under the trees.Visit their Facebook page here.

JG Ranch in Brooksville

17200 Wiscon Rd, Brooksville 34601
www.jgranch.com
JG Ranch is now offering pre-picked blueberries and blackberries! You’ll want to check in on their Facebook page to see if they are open for u-pick before you head out.

Fancy Farms in Plant City

3524 Futch Loop, Plant City 33566
www.fancyfarms.com
Fancy Farms last offered U-pick strawberries Sunday, March 24 from 9am-4pm, but check their Facebook page for future potential dates. They do have a regular market where you can pick up farm fresh food like blueberries, onions and more. They have a ton of farm fresh veggies you can order now! Visit Facebook page for updates.

Favorite Farms in Dover

10070 McIntosh Rd, Dover 33527
www.favoritefarms.net
Favorite Farms hasn’t opened up the fields this year for u-pick, but you can pick up fresh from the field strawberries and strawberry onions from 10:00 am-6:00 pm.  Visit their Facebook page to stay up to date.

Dooley Groves in Ruskin

1651 Stephens Rd, Ruskin 33570
www.dooleygroves.com
Dooley Groves has closed its citrus u-pick season until November, so visit their website here to learn more details as we get closer to fall.

Pappy’s Patch U-Pick Strawberries 

501 Florida Ave, Oviedo, FL 32765
Visit Facebook Page
Pappy’s Patch was offering u-pick strawberries up until Easter weekend, but the season has come to a close. You can check their Facebook page for updates.

Strawberry Passion/Passion Organics in Thonotosassa

11780 Tom Folsom Rd, Thonotosassa 33592
Visit Facebook Page
Strawberry Passion/Passion Organics is now closed for the season. Check their Facebook page for updates.

Florida Sweeties  U-Pick Peaches in Dade City

Various orchard locations in Dade City
www.youpickpeaches.com

The friendly owners of Florida Sweeties will begin rotating between four orchards in the Dade City area in April and they’re offering u-pick peaches this weekend by appointment only at their Peachy Keen Orchard located at 15701 Jessamine Road in Dade City. Bags of peaches are $15 each.Look for the Sign Up Genius links on their latest Facebook post here. Soon– they’ll be rotating orchards which allows the pickers the best opportunity to go home with plenty of perfectly ripe peaches.  One of their orchards, Florida Sweeties Naturals Orchard, is considered organically grown. The orchard updates its Facebook page weekly with location, price and time.

Oponay Farm in Lakeland: U-Pick Blueberries and U-Pick Peaches

5129 Hancock Lake Road, 33812
www.oponayfarmsllc.com
The Lakeland family owned farm is now closed for the season. You can visit their Facebook page for future u-pick updates.

Wish Farms Blueberry U-Pick in Plant City: U-Pick Blueberries

1301 Frontage Road S, Plant City 33563
www.wishfarms.com
Wish Farms is last offered blueberry u-pick on select days, Saturday, May 1 from 10:00 am-2:00 pm. Blueberries are $5 per pound or $25 for a 6 pound bucket. You can check their events page here to stay up to date.

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

 

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


Keep Your Cool at the Water Park!

Solar Vortex Adventure Island

Adventure Island in Tampa | NOW OPEN

Keep your cool as the temps heat up at Adventure Island in Tampa! Like last season, they’re operating at limited capacity, so you’ll need to book a reservation in advance along with having your ticket or annual pass. If you haven’t experienced the new Solar Vortex, plan on a ride down!! It’s a perfect water slide for the entire family (must be 42 inches or taller to ride) with rafts that take up to 4 riders. It’s America’s first dual tail spin waterslide with super cool effects from the Aqualucents! adventureisland.com

Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World | NOW OPEN

Blizzard Beach is about an hour’s drive from the Tampa area, so it’s earning a spot on our list! There are plenty of shaded spots to park your beach towels and all your stuff so you can check out the waterslides, one of America’s longest lazy rivers, Florida’s only ‘ski’ lift, and even the fastest waterslide where you can reach speeds up to 65 miles per hour as you slide on down. The kiddie area called Tike’s Peak is adorable for littles who want to safely splash in a wading pool and head down a mini waterslide that’s just their size. It’s Disney, so there’s something for everyone in the family! DisneyWorld.com


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


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.


Spring Festivals in Orlando

Spring Festival

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival | Through 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. DisneyWorld.com

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. Sea World.


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 andClearwater Marine Aquariumare 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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