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July 13, 2020

Our 10+ Favorite Things to Do This Week in Tampa Bay and Beyond

By Laura Byrne

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way families get out and about in Tampa Bay. We’ve experienced the closures and spent a lot of time recently safely at home, but we are now cautiously emerging with our kids. Bring a mask for everyone 2 years old and older in your group, social distance and enjoy all that Tampa Bay has to offer!

RELATED:  Summer camp is happening! Check out Tampa Bay Parenting’s 2020 Summer Camp Guide

Things to Do this Week in Tampa Bay: What’s NEW!

Summer Nights at Busch Gardens: Busch Gardens is bringing back Summer Nights starting this weekend on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights through August 16. You can expect extended hours, new backyard BBQ inspired tastes and sips all while you take in the spectacular display of rides as the light up the night followed by a NEW laster and fireworks show. As you know, there are extra health and safety measures in place, so you’ll need to social distance and wear a mask. You will also need to make a reservation to attend. Find out more.

Aqua Nights at the Florida Aquarium: The Aquarium is extending its hours to 9:00 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through August 8 to give you more time to relax and explore after hours! The Splash Pad will also be staying open late until 8:30 pm. You can even add in a Sunset Cruise on the Bay Spirit II to really make the night magical. You will need to make a ticketed reservation online and make sure to wear your face mask. Learn more.

The Parking Lot Social at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa: June 15-June 19 The Parking Lot Social combines movies, live music, karaoke, bingo and entertainment like no other drive-in experience. There are even family-friendly events on the schedule! Save 20% off when you enter TBPARENTING during checkout. Book today & secure a front row view at https://theparkinglotsocial.com.

Play on the new ground mural at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park: The Tampa Bay Downtown Partnership recently launched its Summer Series with a super cool ground mural designed just for kids! It features games like hopscotch and a maze. The picnic tables under the big tent are spaced with plenty of distance and coated with a special antimicrobial surface…as is the mural! Learn more.

Check 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. Learn more.

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: 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: 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: 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 Great Ex recently reopened to families with new exhibits and a phased reopening plan that includes limited hours Mon-Fri from 4:45pm-6:00pm, so be sure to check with the museum’s website before you visit. The reduced hours are due to the ongoing preschool and summer camp. A ticketed reservation is also strongly encouraged to make sure you have time to play. 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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