Sign up for our Newsletter

71.1 F
Tampa
Saturday, November 26, 2022

Stay Connected

  • GuideWell

Sign up for our Newsletter

Navigating the Florida Strawberry Festival with Kids

Photo by the Florida Strawberry Festival.

The 87th Annual Florida Strawberry Festival is back in 2022, kicking off on March 3 and continuing to March 13. This year’s theme is “#1 for Fun!”…and they’re right. It truly is a fun and SWEET way to spend the day with your kiddos.

Since you’re here, you probably want some details and we’re here to deliver with pro tips for the best day ever at the Florida Strawberry Festival. We got some help from event planners who also happen to be parents of little kids, so you know they’ve got the scoop!

Our media partners at the TampaBayDateNightGuide.com are also dishing on their Strawberry Festival favorites and top picks!

First things first. How to get tickets and special discounts for the Florida Strawberry Festival.

The festival runs March 3 through March 13, 2022 at 2209 W. Oak Avenue in Plant City from 10:00 am-10:00 pm.

Admission is $10 for adults ages 13 and older, $5 for kids ages 6-12, and kids 5 and younger are FREE. There are special discount days: Kids get in free on Saturday, March 5 courtesy of MidFlorida Credit Union and Tuesday, March 8 with a paid adult courtesy of the Florida Peanut Federation, and military and first responders get free admission on Wednesday, March 9 courtesy of Grow Financial with valid ID.

You can also pick up discounted tickets at most Publix stores-tickets come down to $8 for adults and $4 for kids. Here’s the list of participating Publix stores.

How to get to the Florida Strawberry Festival and where to park.

As far as getting to the Florida Strawberry Festival, here are the recommended routes.

Nothing is worse than getting to an event and then not being able to find a parking spot! There are three official lots around the event: Blue, Gray and Red Parking Lots off Ritter Street, Highway 92 or Highway 574. Parking is $5 for most cars and vehicles and goes up as your vehicle size gets bigger. There is a tram that will take you the entrance at Gates 10 and 14.

You can also park in non-festival lots like at Bryan Elementary School and Tomlin Middle School.

We do recommend attending on a weekday if you can because, as you can imagine, weekends get pretty busy.

Map Out Your Day

A little bit of planning ahead is always a good idea, especially when you are going to the Florida Strawberry Festival with the kids. You can view the event map here.

There are a ton of things to do with the kids once you get there. The Kiddie Korral is where you’ll find a bunch of the rides for the kids. It does cost extra money to go on the rides, so consider purchasing an arm band. The Belle City Midway has 80+ rides for all ages too.

If you and the toddlers need a bit of a break, there is a Kids Coloring Station right by the Belle City Midway where kids will be given a packet of crayons to color and keep!

There’s also a Mother & Baby Suite in the TECO Expo Hall which is in the center of the festival grounds near the Wish Farms Variety Stage.

Also, if you decide to leave the stroller at home and your kid decides they’d rather ride than walk, strollers are available for rent

Kid-Friendly Entertainment

If your kids love animals, they will LOVE the Florida Strawberry Festival where they can see kids just like them participating in live stock shows. In fact, it’s the kids who participate in the livestock shows that inspired event organizers to make sure they hosted this year’s event so the kids can showcase the animals they’ve worked so hard caring for.

The Belmont Festival of Magic and the Robinson Racing Pigs (both are right by the Belle City Midway) are kid favorites along with the Dakin Dairy Farmers Milking Parlor, and shows like the Circus Incredible and K-9’s in Flight.

There are more family-friendly events and of course, multiple shows per day for each of the events mentioned above. You can check the event times here to plan your day.

Florida Strawberry Festival with kids

Don’t forget to be on the look out for Florida Strawberry Festival mascots, Mr. and Mrs. Berry! You can find them throughout the day at the Orthotic Works Gazebo

The concerts!

This is your chance to see some of our favorite performs live on the Wish Farms stage! Lady A, The Beach Boys, Boyz II Men, Lee Greenwood, Jake Owen, Nelly, and Sam Hunt are among the performers scheduled to appear. There is a separate ticket for the concerts, so keep this in mind.

You can purchase tickets at the Amscot Ticket Office at 2209 W. Oak Avenue, the Florida Strawberry Festival website or by phone.

Don’t forget to taste ALLLL of the strawberry treats!

It wouldn’t be the Florida Strawberry Festival without STRAWBERRIES! The event’s famous strawberry shortcake can be found at three locations this year:

  • St. Clements Shortcake Booth on the south end of the Parke exhibit building
  • Transformative Life Church Shortcake at the Entenmenn’s Strawberry Tent
  • East Historical Society Shortcake Booth on the Southside of the TECO Expo Hall

You can also purchase freshly picked strawberries too during your visit! This year, you can buy flats of berries at:

  • Wish Farms in the northeast corner of the Parke Exhibit building and outside of Gate 1
  • Parkesdale Farm in the south end of the Parke Exhibit building and outside of Gate 16

There are also a ton of food vendors too with kid favorites like pizza, chicken tenders, and corn dogs. But, that’s not all, friends! Here are some of the NEW food items from our pals at the Florida Strawberry Festival that you’ll find at this year’s event:

Apple Fry Sundae Florida Strawberry Festival
Apple Fry Sundae
  • Apple Fry Sundae: Same sweet apple fries, but with an a la mode twist! Crisp Granny Smith apples layered with vanilla ice cream, strawberry compote and topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. It tastes as good as it looks! Located at Apple Fries on West Independent.
  • Fried Mac & Cheese Balls: A comfort food classic everyone will enjoy! Deep-fried till golden brown, crunchy on the outside with creamy ooey gooey macaroni and cheese on the inside-YUM! Located at Seasoned Greens near the GT Grandstand entrance.
  • Applewood Jack Fruit Sandwich: Applewood BBQ jackfruit sandwiches that will fool any meat lover! The perfect vegan substitute for pulled pork. Located at Seasoned Greens near the GT Grandstand entrance.
  • Berry Dog: It’s a strawberry slaw dog! An all-beef hotdog topped with a strawberry infused slaw. The combination of salty and sweet is spot on! Located at George’s Fun Food near Edwards Street west of the Parke Exhibit Building.
  • Buffalo Cauliflower Macaroni & Cheese Crunch Wrap: This vegan friendly wrap is a perfect blend of carbs, veggies and buffalo goodness! Located at Seasoned Greens near the GT Grandstand entrance.
  • Cotton Candy, Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Strawberry Fudge, Brownies, Cake Pops & Cupcakes: Follow me to Sweet Treat Lane! This exhibit offers a large assortment of homemade fudge, cake pops, cupcakes, brownies and much more. Fudge varieties include: cotton candy, strawberry shortcake, chocolate strawberry, strawberry cheesecake, strawberry and chocolate. Located at Sweet Treat Lane in the Parke Exhibit Building.
  • Creamy Lemonade: Just the right mix of freshly squeezed lemons and sugar to make your lips pucker! This cool, creamy, dreamy lemonade delight is also available in strawberry! Located on the eastside of the TECO Expo Hall, west of the Milton E. Hull Building and south of the Entenmann’s Strawberry Tent.Creamy Lemonade at the Florida Strawberry Festival
  • Holy Macaroni: Holy Macaroni serves gourmet and cheese made to order with your choice of pasta, a three- cheese blend and an assortment of veggies, meats or seafood! For guests who can’t decide on what to build, Holy Macaroni also has award-winning combinations to choose from. Located on Edwards Street.
  • Strawberry Southern Comfort Sundae: A homemade sweet potato flavored hard ice cream, topped with torched marshmallows, waffle pieces, brown sugar and Applewood smoked candied bacon. The decadent dessert is drizzled with maple syrup, garnished with sliced Plant City strawberries and a pinch of Cayenne pepper- WOW! Located at Polar Bear Ice Cream on East Independent near Neighborhood Village.
  • Strawberry Key Lime Funnel Cake: Made with a flavorful strawberry key lime funnel cake batter, the Strawberry Key Lime Funnel Cake is one for the books! Deep-fried till a bright strawberry red, lightly dusted with powdered sugar, layered with fresh sliced Florida strawberries and topped with a tart homemade key lime glaze. Located at Best Around Concessions near Candyland Warehouse north of the Entenmann’s Tent.
  • Strawberry Pina Colada Smoothie: A blend of strawberries, pineapples, cream of coconut and ice, topped with generous slices of pineapple and strawberries. This refreshing tropical island tasting smoothie hits the spot on a hot Festival day! Located at the Cinnamon Saloon near the southside of the Parke Exhibit Building.
  • Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese: The best of both worlds! A hefty mound of homemade macaroni and cheese with a dollop of slow-roasted pulled pork piled high, and drizzled with a sweet BBQ sauce. YUM! Located at Piggy Palace southwest of the Arthur Boring Building.
Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

Related Articles