Halloween is on the horizon! Our list of our favorite pumpkin patches in Tampa Bay and Halloween events is growing by the day and Halloween has officially kicked off in Tampa Bay with Howl-O-Scream for adults and the ALL NEW Spooktacular for kids at Busch Gardens!
September also means that football season is here! Make sure to sign your littlest fans up for the Jr. Bucs Fan Club.
We’ve got our TOP PICKS of fun things to do this weekend in Tampa Bay, but first, here’s what’s trending for the weekend:
- INSIDE LOOK: Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND Florida
- 40+ BEST Free Things to Do with the Kids in Tampa Bay
- The Toy Insider Reveals the Hottest Toys For 2022!
Also, although it’s almost October, hurricane season is still here and we still have a few storms on the horizon to keep an eye on. If you still want to make sure you’re prepared, check out ABC Action News Meteorologist Denis Phillips Talks Hurricane Season
Our Weekend Guide is divided up into multiple sections since there are SO many fun things to do around Tampa Bay! Scroll down for New Fun Things to Do This Week, What’s on Exhibit, Ongoing Events, Parent’s Night Out, and Save the Date! You can also check out our Save the Date Events that are coming soon to start planning ahead.
So, keep scrolling to find your best day ever!
New FUN Things to Do This Weekend in Tampa Bay
Spooktacular at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay | Weekends through October 30
At Busch Gardens’ all-new Spooktacular, guests will step into a whimsical world full of enchantment with Kandy, a witch-in-training! A costume parade, story time and trick or treating are some of the activities guests will find in this immersive Halloween experience. Busch Gardens’ Spooktacular will be casting magical spells from 12 – 4 p.m. at the Festival Walkway. Included with admission.
CoComelon Live: JJs Journey | Wednesday, September 21st at 6pm
Head to the Straz Center to join JJ, YoYo, TomTom, Bingo, and Mom and Dad in this Broadway-style live show! Hear all your favorite songs and several new ones! Regular tickets and VIP are available.
Raise the Flags – Buccaneers | Friday, September 23 from 10:30am-7:30pm
Celebrate with the Bucs ahead of their home opener! Grab a picture in front of one of the official Bucs vehicles, interact with the street team, grab some Bucs swag and learn all about the upcoming season at this free event.
Catherine Called Birdy – Special Showing | Friday, September 23 at 4pm
Head to Tampa Theatre for this special matinee showing of the tween and teen comedy, Catherine Called Birdy. Based on the hit children’s novel, this medieval era film is a sharp, hilarious adventure comedy about the always relevant pressures of growing up a girl in a world you can’t control.
Kids Camp at Playtime Apollo | Friday, September 23 from 4:30pm-7:30pm
This drop-off event includes play, crafts, games, and snacks for kids ages 2-9. Pre-registration required.
Fourth Friday Downtown | Friday, September 23 at 5pm
Enjoy live local music at multiple locations, free admission, discounts or special offerings at participating arts and cultural partners such as Henry B. Plant Museum, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Sparkman Wharf, The Straz Center, Sail Pavilion, and Streetcar Live. There will be special food and drink deals from participating downtown restaurants and bars.
Fortnite Friday at Esports Players Club | Friday, September 23 from 6pm-8pm
Play and compete together to earn V-bucks! Includes pizza. For kids ages 18 and under.
Tampa Bay Rowdies vs vs. Birmingham Legion FC | Friday, September 23 at 7:30 pm
Al Lang Field, St. Petersburg
Come on out to the final matches of the Tampa Bay Rowdies regular season with your family and receive a discounted ticket rate. Call (727) 222-2000 and reference Parenting Magazine for an opportunity for your kids to participate in the Pregame Rally Tunnel on the field. The last home game is on Wednesday, September 28 at 8pm vs El Paso Locomotive FC.
Brick-or-Treat presents Monster Party at LEGOLAND | Saturday, September 24-October 30 (select dates)
This signature brick-tastic event is back and better than ever! Enjoy live entertainment and shows, limited time attractions, character meet and greets, a costume parade, and of course, trick-or-treating! Included with general admission.
AlegreMENTE at Glazer Children’s Museum | Saturday, September 24-January 1, 2023
During the interactive new exhibit, AlegreMENTE – Happy Brain: Celebrating Early Connections, visitors can celebrate loving, playful connections together in a whimsical forest full of families of all kids – both human and animal. Caregivers and their children will get the chance to explore through dance, storytelling, and more, discovering they’re equipped with everything they need to support early brain development and build healthy connections. Recommended for kids ages 0-6years old.
12th Annual Glazer Children’s Museum Birthday Bash | Saturday, September 24 from 10am-3pm
Celebrate GCM’s 12th birthday at this free party in the park! Taking place at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, it will feature over 40 local organizations, there will be live music, games, entertainment, play, food and drinks, and tons of vendors.
Breakfast with Panthers, Wolves, and Goats, Oh My! | Saturday, September 24 from 8am-9:30am
Join ZooTampa’s Florida panthers, black bears, red wolves, and barnyard friends at a fun-filled Fall Festival! Enjoy a light breakfast in the Florida Wilds featuring fall flavors, participate in a pumpkin carving extravaganza, watch an animal enrichment session, and cheer on their goats as they master a hay bale maze. Pose for a goat photo op and take home a candy apple treat to celebrate!
11th Annual Cheval Cares 5K | Saturday, September 24 at 8am
This annual festivity will take place at the Cheval Athletic Club and will feature a fundraising 5K through the Cheval neighborhood, followed by a family celebration at the playground and basketball court. Packet pickup is at 7am and the race will begin at 8am.
2022 Fort Brooke Fall Cub Fest: World of Scouting | Saturday, September 24 from 9am-2pm
Come join the Scouts for a fun-filled day with activity stations and presentations for youth, parents, and leaders. The goal is to get cub scouts excited about all the great activities that scouting has to offer. Special guests Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Department and Alligator and Wildlife Discovery Center will be on hand. Planned activities include model rockets, archery, BBs, wrist rockets, animal presentations, model camp site, building station, hayride, 1 mile nature hike, cooking demo, and more.
Girl Scout Fest at the Florida State Fairgrounds | Saturday, September 24 from 10am to 2pm
Kick off the school year with adventure at Girl Scout Fest! Your whole family is invited to get a sneak peek at all the fun and excitement of being a Girl Scout. Whether your child is already part of a troop or just looking for a taste of what Girl Scouts is all about, Girl Scout Fest highlights the unique opportunities Girl Scouts have to make new friends, try new things and be their best selves! Register HERE.
Fall Festival at Bell Family Farm and Apiary | Saturday, September 24 from 10am-3pm
Celebrate fall with live music, bounce house, face painting, and guest animals. There will be watusi, a smores bar, vendor market, Our Petting Farm, and more! Free admission and free parking.
Girls in Aviation Day | Saturday, September 24 from 10am-1pm
Women in Aviation’s International Girls in Aviation Day hosted by the Tampa Bay Chapter is hosing a free in-person event for girls and boys along with their parents and chaperones as well as aviation enthusiasts of all ages. Enjoy airplane demos, aviation activities, sponsor display booths, giveaways, plus free lunch while supplies last!
Weekend Workshop at Bricks 4 Kidz | Saturday, September 24 from 10am-1pm
Bricks 4 Kidz is offering weekend workshops at several of their Hillsborough County locations. Kids can enjoy LEGO building, LEGO challenges, games, arts, and crafts. Each workshop will be completely different. On 9/24, build a world of LEGO Minecraft! $25 per child, per workshop.
Brunch with JJ from CoComelon at The Kids Social Club | Saturday, September 24 from 11:30am-1pm
JJ is heading to The Kids Social Club! This event includes character interaction, photo ops, pizza, juice, craft, CoComelon beach ball, goody box to take home, and open play! Tickets must be purchased in advance.
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!
Pride on The River Festival | Saturday, September 24 from 3pm-9pm
Pride on The River is Tampa’s second annual end of summer celebration of pride that takes place along the Hillsborough River and culminates with a family-friendly evening of entertainment, activities, and more. The Diversity Boat Parade will be taking place at 3pm followed by the Riverside Festival for an afternoon of music, performances and family fun on Armature Works Pier. This event is free to the public. A limited number of VIP tickets are available. The night will cap off with a fireworks show!
Tampa Bay Lightning Made Girls Only Free Hockey Clinic | Saturday, September 24 from 5:40pm-6:40pm
Ever wanted to try ice hockey? Here’s your chance! This girls only opportunity is open to aspiring skaters and hockey players of all ages to strap on some skates and give it a try! Equipment (other than helmets) will be provided.
Kids Bingo Night at Color Me Mine | Saturday, September 24 from 6pm-8pm
Head to Hyde Park to enjoy refreshments and snacks while painting pottery and playing bingo! Refreshments and snacks will be provided. $40 per person.
Hillsborough County Public Schools Spirit Night with the Tampa Bay Rays | Saturday, September 24 at 6:10pm
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
Celebrate education in Hillsborough County while watching the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays. $18 special priced lower-level tickets.
Return to Hogwarts: A Harry Potter Public Skate at AdventHealth Center Ice | Saturday, September 24 from 6:30pm-10pm
Attention all wizards and witches! Head to this magical reunion at Howarts to see which house you are sorted in. Join your friends for a skate, a butterbeer, or some free house elves. Keep a sharp eye during the horcux hunt and help Harry defeat He Who Must Not Be Named.
Free Pops in The Park | Saturday, September 24 from 7:30pm-9:30pm
Head to Vinoy Park to celebrate The Florida Orchestra’s 55th season with the biggest concert of the year! Pack a blanket and a picnic basket for free music under the stars – A Florida Orchestra tradition for nearly 30 years. Featuring film scores, Broadway hits, and symphonic favorites. Be sure to bring your non-perishable goods for Tampa Bay Harvest’s annual food drive.
McMicky’s Market | Sunday, September 25 from 9am-1pm
Head to Old McMicky’s for their very first farmers market! Shop local small businesses, enjoy food trucks, check out their pumpkin patch, and more!
Sunshine Sunday at GCM | Sunday, September 25 from 10am-1pm
This monthly event at Glazer Children’s Museum is put on for children with special needs and their caregivers. Explore the museum with lights and sounds turned down and sensory adapted tools, special programs, and community resources.
Fall Family Fest | Sunday, September 25 from 11am-3pm
Water Works Park, Tampa
Free fun for the whole family! Come celebrate the start of fall in Tampa Bay with The Tampa Bay Moms Group. Presented by Heights Soccer Tots, this event will feature local businesses and family resources providing interactive exhibits to guests, giveaways, swag bags, character visits, and more. There will also be great food and entertainment.
Royal Treatment with Belle at Party N Style | Sunday, September 25 from 2pm-4pm
Come join Belle for a makeover fit for royalty! Every guest will get a makeover including a chance to dress up in one of Party N Style’s royal gowns, a regal hairstyle, finely polished fingernails, and maginifient makeup. Belle will arrive once everyone is ready and host an interactive story time and sing and dance along. She will also meet with each guest and pose for royal portraits.
Slime Party with Sonic at The Kids Social Club | Sunday, September 25 from 3pm-4:30pm
Head to KSC for a fun evening with Sonic! Make your own slime and grab a Sonic drawstring bag to put it in (included with admission). Also includes snacks and open play! Space is limited – register in advance.
Save the Date:
Blue’s Clues and You! Live on Stage | Saturday, September 30 at 6pm
An epic new Broadway-style adventure is coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall! Josh is conjuring up a magical theatre show, but he needs your help! Kids and families will have a blast helping solve Blue’s Clues to find out what Josh needs to make a show. Watch as Josh and Blue skidoo to amazing places! They’ll make a rainbow out of MAGENTA, a music video with RAINBOW PUPPY, float in outer space, and more! A one-of-a-kind photo experience with the characters of Blue’s Clues is also available to add-on.
THINGS TO DO: See What’s on Exhibit in Tampa Bay
NEW LEGO City Space at LEGOLAND Florida | Now on Exhibit
Celebrate all things space at LEGOLAND and head to the Imagination Zone to fully immerse yourself on a LEGO Moonbase where you’ll be challenged to build a rover or a rocket. This is not only a great way to inspire kids to use their imaginations, but also cool off in the air-conditioning!
Dinosaurs Around the World at MOSI | Extended through January 1st!
MOSI invites guests to travel back in time on a dinosaur adventure and tour an earth very different from today. With advanced animatronics and immersive design elements, you can experience the Age of Reptiles as it comes to life! Grab your prehistoric passport to Pangea and discover how plate tectonics, land bridges, and volcanic activity allowed dinosaurs to disperse all corners of the globe. Included with MOSI general admission. Originally scheduled through September, MOSI has extended Dinosaurs Around the World through January 1st to give guests more time to enjoy this incredible, interactive exhibit!
Hop on over to the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center at The St. Pete Pier and learn about native and invasive frog and toad species in thematic displays in their all-new permanent exhibit. The Ribbit Exhibit will feature Florida’s native frogs and toads, including green tree frogs, barking tree frogs and southern toads, which are increasingly threatened by invasive species, such as Cuban tree frogs and cane toads. In addition to The Ribbit Exhibit, the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center also hosts interactive programs such as mollusc and lionfish dissection, field trips, classroom visits, and sensory-focused events.
Florida Aquarium Penguin Habitat
The Florida Aquarium has a new African penguin habitat! Located in the outdoor plaza, guests now have the opportunity to engage with penguins any time, included with general admission! African penguin populations are declining rapidly and it is The Florida Aquarium’s goal to help save the species from extinction.
Fairgrounds St. Pete | Open Thursday-Sunday
A new immersive art experience has made its mark in Tampa Bay! Fairgrounds St. Pete recently opened its doors with a exhibit like you’ve never seen, heard or even smelled before! More than 60 artists were commissioned during the pandemic to bring it together. You can go and simply enjoy the whimsical art that celebrates weird, wacky, wonderful Florida or choose a different adventure and try to crack the codes and mysteries you’ll find throughout. Learn more about what it’s like here!
MORE Ongoing Events in Tampa Bay
Experience wonder in St. Pete’s only magic theatre! The Zubrick Magic Theatre is a spectacular venue that gives audiences an intimate and unforgettable evening of magical entertainment. Illusionists Chris & Ryan Zubrick conjure up an exhilarating blend of sleight-of-hand, family-friendly comedy, and breathtaking grand-scale illusions in a 70-minute performance that captures hearts and imaginations. Conveniently located in downtown St. Petersburg, FL., the Zubrick Magic Theatre guarantees to stretch smiles and drop jaws with a performance that will leave you walking away scratching your head in disbelief saying, “How did they do that?!” Get your tickets now before they all… DISAPPEAR!
Guests will be transported to a summer of peace, love, and dolphins. Celebrate the facts, fiction, and fun of these enchanting marine mammals, while exploring the fascinating science of dolphins and their intimate connection with humans throughout history. Dolphintopia will feature unique dolphin art installations, activities, interactive shows, and vibrant Instagrammable photo ops. The elements of this saltwater celebration will change throughout the summer, offering annual members different experiences. The Dolphintopia celebration is included with general admission. Guests can also visit CMA’s resident dolphins in their habitats while visiting, and purchase VIP Dolphin Experiences or Photo Moment Experiences.
Throughout the month of September, kids ages 3-11 can receive one free admission to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex with the purchase of at least one adult admission! The offer is valid for up to three complimentary children’s admissions per one adult. See the latest in space exploration at the Gateway featuring Spaceport KSC, play among the planets at the three-story indoor playground, Planet Play, then head to LEGO Build to Launch exhibit for more hands-on activities. *Blackout dates apply
With your public library card, you can check out the Real Florida Reader Day Pass which provides free park admission to Florida’s state parks. This is a pass that you check out from your local library and will need to return, just like you would a library book. Each library location will receive an allotted number of passes for checkout by library patrons. Offer valid through September 12.
Ruskin Family Drive-In | Wednesdays-Sundays
The Ruskin Family Drive-In Theatre has over 50 years of continuous service to the Ruskin and South Hillsborough County. It’s been a community gathering place since its first movie, “Singing in the Rain” played in 1952. They offer great movies, good food, and peace and quiet on a continuous basis with a 2000 square foot screen, clean restrooms, snack bar and clean parking lot. Through August 25th, you can catch Lightyear and Thor: Love and Thunder. Please note: you must bring a portable radio with you or use the radio in your car to hear the movie. There will be no showings on Monday and Tuesday.
The first weekend of every month, active Bank of America, Merrill, or Bank of America Private Bank (U.S. Trust) credit or debit cardholders with photo ID will receive one free general admission to the Tampa Museum of Art and The Florida Aquarium. This offer applies to the cardholder only and excludes ticketed and special exhibitions and fundraising events.
Parents’ Nights Out!
While family time is fun, it’s also important to carve some time out for yourself, whether it’s a night out with your significant other, friends, or some solo time. Several places around the Tampa area are hosting Parents’ Nights Out! For a fee, you can drop your kids off for some fun activities and playtime while you get an evening out!
Playgrounds of Tampa | Second and Fourth Friday of Every Month from 6pm – 10pm
For four hours, your kids will be entertained with games, movies and bounce houses galore (maybe even with some pizza) while you do whatever you want. Participants must be potty trained, ages 4 and up. Cost is $30 per child. Click here to register.
Humane Society of Tampa Bay | Last Friday of Every Month from 6pm – 10pm
Kids ages 5 and up will enjoy playing with the shelter animals, dinner, and watching a movie with furry friends! This program takes place monthly and registration is required. The dogs and cats can’t wait to party! Cost is $50 per child. Includes pizza dinner and drinks. To register, click here.
Jubilee Gymnastics | Second and Fourth Friday of Every Month from 6pm – 9:30pm
Drop off the kids to eat, play, and have fun at Jubilee Gymnastics in Ruskin while you enjoy a night out. Pre-registration is highly encouraged as these will fill up quickly. For kids ages 4 and up. Cost is $30 per child for members/$35 for non-members. Includes pizza and drinks! Click here to sign up.
Cypress Forest Park | Last Friday of Every Month from 6pm – 10:30pm
Take a night off while your children enjoy themed fun at Cypress Forest Park in Oldsmar! Pizza dinner are included. For kids ages 5-12. Cost is $10 for kids with a rec card and $15 for kids without. Click here to learn more.
More ideas to spark a weekend of lifelong memories!
Have the ultimate family island adventure with A Boat Day!
Enjoy a private boat excursion departing from the Clearwater, Indian Rocks Beach and Dunedin areas, this is a favorite for locals and travelers alike. See dolphins up close, explore sandbars and the pristine state park barrier islands, search for shells, snorkel for sealife, or just relax in the beautiful Gulf waters. Professional Boat Captains are at your service to provide a safe and relaxing day for all. Choose from 7 amazing family friendly boats, 4 FUNships which are very large, luxury pontoon boats featuring a second story and a waterslide, or 3 Deck boats which are suited to sport, speed and lounging. A Boat Day rental boats are perfect for family/friends reunions, Birthdays and Bachelor/Bachelorette parties. Their Clearwater area boat trips range from a 2 hour Sunset Tour to an all day 8 hour Adventure, and can accommodate 1-50 people including the baby and their grands. A Boat Day is TripAdivsors #1 Boat Tour in Clearwater and often described as the “best day of our vacation”, come see why!
Paddle Pals with Get Up and Go Kayaking in St Pete
Get Up and Go Kayaking in St. Pete is offering a new kayaking tour designed just for kids and their families called Paddle Pals. The tour is an educational adventure with tour guide Hannah as you explore the mangroves and Shell Key Preserve. See what the experience is like here!
Upgrade 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.
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.
Check out the 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.
Best Spots to Go Tubing in Tampa Bay:
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. tampabayparenting.com/lets-play-tampa-bay/
Outdoorsy Things to Do in Tampa Bay
- 8 Must Do Outdoor Adventures in Tampa Bay by the Outdoorsy Diva
- Splash Pads and Water Parks NOW OPEN in Tampa Bay
- 10+ Florida Springs Your Family Needs to Explore
- Seven Ways to Explore Tampa’s Riverwalk
- Step Back into Time: A Day on Anna Maria Island
Head to the beach!
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:
Weekend Farmers Markets in Tampa Bay this Weekend
Saturday Morning Market at Williams Park in St. Pete | Saturdays from 9am -1 pm
Dunedin Downtown Market | Saturdays from 9 am-1 pm
The Dunedin Downtown Market at John Lawrence Pioneer Park features 40+ local merchants and vendors including fresh fruits and vegetables.
Fresh Market at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel | Select Saturdays from 10am-2pm
There are 60+ vendors expected at the Fresh Market at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel including organic and hydroponically grown produce.
Corey Avenue Market in St. Pete Beach | Sundays from 9am- 1pm
Corey Avenue Market features more than 70 local vendors and merchants selling everything from crafts, art, food and locally grown produce.
Ybor City Saturday Market in Tampa | Every Saturday from 9 am-1 pm
The Ybor City Saturday Market is the largest continually operating outdoor market in the Tampa Bay Area. Centered in Tampa’s Historic District, the market is one of the most popular shopping destinations for locally produced items unique to the Tampa Bay Area. Features locally made arts, crafts, and gourmet foods representing the area.
The Market Elaine at Wesley Chapel | First Friday of Every Month
Head to The Grove in Wesley Chapel for a unique evening market featuring tons of local businesses! Enjoy local vendors, live music, food, and more. themarketculture.com
Hyde Park Fresh Market in Tampa | First Sunday of Every Month from 10 am -3 pm
Hyde Park Fresh Market features over 80 local vendors including produce, handcrafted goods, plants, and more. While you shop, enjoy live music by Gasparilla Music in Village Circle.
Carrollwood Market | Select Saturdays from 10 am-2 pm
Head to the Carrollwood Cultural Center to explore 60+ local vendors and businesses.
Westchase Locale Market | Every Second Saturday from 10am – 3pm
Enjoy live music and over 30 vendors in Westchase Town Center every second Saturday of the month.