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WOW Events Calendar, August 2014

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for August.

FIRST FRIDAYS CONCERT SERIES
Date: Fri, Aug 1
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Price: Free admission
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks,  musiveic and activities for the whole family. 

NIGHT IN THE ISLANDS
Date: Sat, Aug 2
Time: 6-11 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks
For more information: http://www.spongedocks.net/
Ages: All

Enjoy outdoor dining, Greek dancing and live music featuring Odyssey and Ellada. Take part in a Greek dance lesson and join in on the fun!

TAMPAPALOOZA
Date: Sat, Aug 2, and Sun, Aug 3
Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
For more information: http://www.tampapalooza.com
Ages: All

The first annual Tampapalooza celebrates all things Tampa – local bands, local food vendors and local craft beer. There will be live entertainment (stilt walkers, aerial yoga, jugglers and more), as well as activities for the kids. Come celebrate our city!

LEEPA-RATTNER MUSEUM COMMUNITY FUN DAY
Date: Sun, Aug 3
Time: 1 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Leepa-Rattner Museum, Tarpon Springs
For more information: http://www.spcollege.edu/central/museum
Ages: All

This free community day commemorates the final days of the exhibition An Arts Legacy: George Inness, Jr. in Tarpon Springs. Enjoy live entertainment, refreshments and guided tours. There will also be art-making stations, workshops, music and more.

CARS & COFFEE
Date: Sun, Aug. 3
Time: 7-9 a.m.
Price: Free to attend
Location: The Grind, Westchase Town Center
Ages: All

Calling all car aficionados! The Grind is now home to Cars & Coffee on the first Sunday of the month from 7-9 a.m. Cars of all makes and models – from classics to exotics – are welcome. While you are there, be sure to check out the selection of premium coffees and breakfast fare available at The Grind.

BACK TO SCHOOL FAIR
Date: Sat, Aug 9
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Price: $5 per person
Location: Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa
For more information: http://tampabayparenting.com/backtoschoolfair/
Ages: All

There will be live entertainment, informative speaker sessions, games, crafts and more at this annual back-to-school event. Access to the museum is included in fair admission.

NORTH TAMPA MARKET
Date: Sat, Aug 9
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Price: Free admission
Location: Carrollwood Cultural Center
For more information: http://tampabaymarkets.com/north-tampa-market
Ages: All

Enjoy live entertainment while browsing nearly 100 booths featuring local produce, crafts and more.

CHASING ICE FILM SCREENING
Date: Sat, Aug 16
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Brooker Creek Preserve, Tarpon Springs
For more information: http://www.brookercreekpreserve.org
Ages: This film is rated PG-13. Parental Guidance is suggested for children under 13 years of age.

Cool off with a viewing of Chasing Ice, a filmography of the retreat of the glaciers. The film features the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet.

CULT CLASSIC MOVIES AT THE DALI
Date: Tue, Aug 19
Time: 7-11:30 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Dali Museum Patio, St. Petersburg
For more information: http://thedali.org
Ages: All

The second annual Cult Classics series features films that just keep getting better with age. Tonight’s film is Airplane, which will be shown on the patio in the Avant-garden. Food trucks will be on hand to provide refreshments.

CELEBRATE OLDSMAR
Date: Sat, Aug 30
Time: Noon-8 p.m.
Price: Free admission
Location: R.E. Olds Park, Oldsmar
For more information: http://www.myoldsmar.com
Ages: All

Celebrate Oldsmar is a fun Labor Day event with something for everybody! The event will feature an Art Fair throughout the day, as well as live music, amusement rides, food and fireworks.

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WOW Events Calendar, July 2014

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for July.

WORLD OF BEER RUN CLUB
Date: Tuesdays in July
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Run starts at WOB in Westchase Town Center
Price: Free
For more information: http://worldofbeer.com/locations/Westchase/
Ages: 21 and over

Get your cardiovascular fix and then head back to World of Beer to enjoy draft and food specials to reward yourself for your efforts!

PASSPORT ADVENTURES AT HERITAGE VILLAGE
Date: Wednesdays through Fridays throughout July
Time: 10 a.m.-noon
Location: Heritage Village, Largo
Price: $3
For more information: (727) 582-2125
Ages: Children, with adult supervision

This hands-on program offers children a chance to step back in time and spend a few hours in the old Florida piney woods, participate in daily life activities, play games, hear stories and participate at "EnterAction" stations.

SAFETY HARBOR FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
Date: Fri, July 4
Time: 5-10:30 p.m. (fireworks at 9 p.m.)
Location: Safety Harbor Marina
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.cityofsafetyharbor.com
Ages: All

Celebrate America’s birthday with live entertainment, food and fun for the whole family. Get to the marina early to get a good seat for the fireworks set to go off at 9 p.m.

DUNEDIN BLUEJAYS FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
Date: Friday, July 4
Time: 4:15 p.m.
Location: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.milb.com/
Ages: All

What better way to celebrate our nation’s birthday than by taking in our country’s favorite pastime! Featuring a postgame concert with Greg Billings Band, fireworks, activities, giveaways and much more. Come to the box office before the game to pick up your free ticket.

PARK RANGER NATURE EDUCATION PROGRAM
Date: Sat, July 5
Time: Noon
Location: Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa
Price: $5 for one child and one adult; $2 park entry
For more information: (813) 987-6204
Ages: Children accompanied by an adult

Join park rangers for themed hands-on workshops exploring elements of nature.

YOGA IN THE PARK
Date: Sundays, July 6 through July 27
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.tampasdowntown.com/tampa-events
Ages: Adults

Enjoy free yoga while surrounded by the beauty of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. All skill levels are welcome!

SMART START MONDAYS
Date: Mondays, July 7 through July 28
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Location: Whole Foods, Carrollwood
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com
Ages: All

Every Monday in July, head to Whole Foods to learn healthy, yet simple meal solutions. You’ll learn how to prepare a nutritious dinner using whole foods and grains.

GREAT WEEDON ISLAND BIRD QUEST
Date: Fri, July 11
Time: 8-11 a.m.
Location: Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg
Price: Free
For more information: (727) 453-6500
Ages: Recommended for adults

Join in on a quest to find Weedon Island Preserve birds! Learn the identifying marks and behaviors of our feathered year-round residents and seasonal visitors while helping us compile an annual checklist of the preserve’s birds. Binoculars and bird guides are available.

DUNEDIN ORANGE FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, July 12
Time: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Location: Edgewater Waterfront Park, Dunedin
Price: Free admission ($10 Taste Tickets available)
For more information: http://dunedinorangefestival.com
Ages: All

Enjoy fun for all ages, including live entertainment, a Mojo Cookoff and the crowning of the Miss Dunedin Orange Queen!

LIGHT UP CHANNELSIDE
Date: Saturdays, July 12 through August 23
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Location: Channelside District, Downtown Tampa
Price: Free admission; food price varies
For more information: http://www.channelsidebayplaza.com
Ages: All

Didn’t get enough fireworks over the Fourth of July? Never fear! Light Up Channelside gives you a chance to catch a fireworks show, enjoy live music and food from area food trucks, Saturdays through Aug. 23.

TAMPA BAY HOME SHOW
Date: Friday, July 18 through Sunday, July 20
Time: Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
Price: Free
For more information: http://tampabayhomeshows.com
Ages: All

The Home Show will feature hundreds of area home experts – everything from kitchen design to landscaping. Enjoy demonstrations, giveaways and much more!

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WOW Events Calendar, June 2014

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for June.

YOGA IN THE PARK
Date: Sundays, June 1-June 29
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.tampasdowntown.com
Ages: All

Bring your mat and water bottle to the north side terraces and join over 100 people in attendance – all yoga levels are welcome. Come out and experience yoga while watching the sunset over the city skyline in beautiful Hixon Park.

KIDS BOWL FREE
Date: June 2-Aug 31
Time: see Web site for schedule
Location: Dunedin Lanes
Price: 2 free games per day; shoe rental extra
For more information: http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/
Ages: 15 and under

Your kids can bowl for free all summer long. Simply visit the Web site, select Dunedin Lanes and register your children. They each get two free games every day throughout the summer.

CLEARWATER THRESHERS $1 TUESDAYS
Date: Tuesdays, June 3-June 24
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Bright House Field, Clearwater
Price: $1 lawn seats
For more information: http://www.thresherbaseball.com
Ages: All

Take in a professional baseball game for just $1! Hot dogs, 12-ounce draft beers, 16-ounce soft drinks, popcorn, peanuts and ice cream sandwiches are also just $1 each.

WINE DOWN THE WEEK
Date: Fridays, June 6-June 27
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Location: Whole Foods in the Specialty Department, Carrollwood
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com
Ages: 21 and over

Unwind from your work week and join Certified Sommelier Amy to sample multiple wines and beers paired with hand-cut cheeses.

REGAL SUMMER MOVIE EXPRESS
Date: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, June 10-Aug. 6
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Citrus Park Stadium 20 and Largo Mall Stadium 8
Price: $1 admission
For more information: http://www.regmovies.com/summermovieexpress
Ages: All

Treat your kids (and yourself!) to a break from the heat and enjoy selected G or PG films for only $1. Check with participating theaters for complete movie schedule. 

PINELLAS PEPPER FEST
Date: Sat, June 7, and Sun, June 8
Time: Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: England Brothers Bandshell Park, Pinellas Park
Price: $3; 12 and under free
For more information: http://pinellaspepperfest.webs.com/
Ages: All

Prepare your taste buds for a treat – hot and spicy foods, sauces and salsas will be on hand for sample and purchase. There will also be live music, family fun, a pepper-eating contest and much more!

FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND AT THE ZOO
Date: Saturday, June 14, and Sunday, June 15
Time: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa
Price: Free admission for dad with paid child admission
For more information: http://www.lowryparkzoo.com
Ages: All

In honor of Father’s Day, Lowry Park Zoo is offering dads free admission with the purchase of their son’s or daughter’s full-priced admission ticket. Offer not combinable with other discounts.

FOOTPRINTS ON THE LAND HIKE
Date: Sat, June 21
Time: 9 a.m.
Location: Brooker Creek Preserve, Tarpon Springs
Price: Free (registration required)
For more information: (727) 453-6800
Ages: All

Take a short walk along the Education Center Trail to learn about the many "footprints" that can be found.

SING-ALONG MARY POPPINS
Date: Sun, June 22
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Tampa Theatre, Downtown Tampa
Price: $10 per person
For more information: http://tampatheatre.org
Ages: All

The Tampa Theatre presents Mary Poppins as part of their Summer Classics Series. Get your vocal cords ready to sing along with all your favorite tunes from this timeless classic!

FAMILY CAMPFIRE NIGHT
Date: Fri, June 27
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, St. Petersburg
Price: $5
For more information: (727) 893-7326
Ages: All

An all ages evening around the campfire with stories, a short hike and s’mores. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

DOWNTOWN DUNEDIN CRAFT FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, June 28, and Sun, June 29
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Downtown Dunedin
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.dunedingov.com
Ages: All

This annual juried outdoor festival returns with original handmade crafts and affordable gift items by 100 crafters from 30 states.

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WOW Events Calendar

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for May.

OPERA AT THE DALI CONCERT SERIES
Date: Thu, May 1
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: The Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
Price: Free
For more information: http://thedali.org/
Ages: All

This collaboration with St. Petersburg College allows guests to experience opera at The Dali. This program introduces audiences to emerging opera artists through dynamic 20-minute performances, which take place in the Spiral Staircase every month.

SOUTHERN LIVING SHOWCASE HOME TOUR
Date: Fri, May 2-Sun., May 4
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: 4 Sandpiper Rd. in Beach Park, South Tampa
Price: $10 (proceeds to charity)
For more information: (813) 870-2838
Ages: All

Enjoy a tour of this fully furnished home that exudes all of the hallmarks of craftsmanship, southern architecture and quality home building. Proceeds benefit Operation Finally Home and All Children's Hospital.

FIRST FRIDAYS CONCERT SERIES
Date: Fri, May 2
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
Price: Free
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks, live music and activities for the whole family. 

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY
Date: Sat, May 3
Time: store hours
Location: Participating comic book stores (see Web site)
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.freecomicbookday.com/StoreLocator
Ages: All

Free Comic Book Day is the one day each year when participating comic book shops around the world give away comic books for free. Visit the Web site to find several participating stores in Tampa.

MAYOR’S MAC ‘N CHEESE THROWDOWN
Date: Sat, May 10
Time: 4-10 p.m.
Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa
Price: Free admission
For more information: http://www.thetampariverwalk.com/events.aspx
Ages: All

Help determine the best Mac ‘n Cheese in town by purchasing samples to benefit Friends of the Riverwalk. There will also be a stage with live entertainment, craft beer and wine vendors and games and activities for all ages.

MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND AT LOWRY PARK ZOO
Date: Sat, May 10, and Sun, May 11
Time: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Lowry Park Zoo
Price: Moms get in free with second paid admission
For more information: http://www.lowryparkzoo.com
Ages: All

Treat mom to a free day at the zoo this Mother’s Day. On Saturday and Sunday moms receive free admission with the purchase of their child’s full-priced admission ticket (paid ticket can be child or adult admission, as applicable).

POPS IN THE PARK
Date: Sun, May 11
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa
Price: Free (canned food donations appreciated)
For more information: http://www.floridaorchestra.org
Ages: All

Treat mom to a picnic under the stars with the Florida Orchestra offering a fun mix of familiar symphonic and pop favorites as a backdrop. Be sure to bring plenty of canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest’s annual food drive. Collection points will be available throughout the park.

TAMPA THEATRE BALCONY-TO-BACKSTAGE TOURS
Date: Tue, May 13
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Location: Tampa Theatre, Downtown Tampa
Price: $7.50 adult; $5 kids 2-12; under 2 and members, free.
For more information: http://tampatheatre.org/
Ages: All

This entertaining balcony-to-backstage tour of Tampa Theatre merges art, mythology, and history as visitors walk through one of America’s best-preserved examples of grand movie palace architecture. Tours include a performance on the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ! See the Web site for other tour dates.

WESTCHASE RELAY FOR LIFE
Date: Sat, May 17
Time: 2 p.m. opening ceremony
Location: Alonso High School
Price: donations encouraged
For more information: http://relay.acsevents.org
Ages: All

This annual event is a great opportunity to gather as a community to honor cancer survivors, remember those that have been lost and raise funds and awareness to fight back and help end cancer. Visitors are encouraged to stop by and visit all the booths.

OLDSMAR FREEDOM FEST
Date: Fri, May 23 thru Sun, May 25
Time: Fri, 5-10 p.m.; Sat, noon-10 p.m.; Sun, noon-8 p.m.
Location: State Street, Downtown Oldsmar
Price: $2 per person; 12 and under, free
For more information: http://www.OldsmarFreedomFest.com
Ages: All

This three-day event celebrates all things red, white and blue. There will be live music from start to finish, plenty of food, arts and craft vendors and fun activities for the kids.

PADDLE AGAINST CANCER
Date: Sat, May 24
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: The Club at Treasure Island
Price: Free (donations encouraged)
For more information: (727) 288-7390
Ages: All

This unique fundraising event lets you choose from a three-mile or seven-mile paddle around Treasure Island through the Intracoastal Waterway. Afterward enjoy a poolside party with live music, paddle-board demos, survivor stories and giveaways. Proceeds benefit Moffitt Cancer Center.

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WOW Events Calendar, April 2014

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for April.

ART SPOT AT THE TAMPA MUSEUM OF ART
Date: Saturdays in April
Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Location: Tampa Museum of Art, Downtown
Price: Free drop-in program
For more information: http://tampamuseum.org/programs/children-families/
Ages: Children

Let your children explore their creativity by creating an art project in their Golding-Scher classroom. The art projects are self-guided, and the gallery-related monthly themes offer a different art activity each week.

ROCK THE PARK
Date: Thu, April 3
Time: 6:30-9 p.m.
Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.rocktheparktampa.com
Ages: All

Rock the Park is downtown Tampa's free monthly music concert series scheduled for the first Thursday of every month. Come out and support our local talent!

FIRST FRIDAYS CONCERT SERIES
Date: Fri, April 4
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
Price: Free
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks, live music and activities for the whole family.

PING PONG TOURNAMENT
Date: Sun, April 6
Time: 1-4 p.m. (registration 1-1:30 p.m.)
Location: Westchase Recreation Center
Price: $10 donation (all proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society)
For more information: 964-2948
Ages: All

What better way to spend your Sunday afternoon than with friends, family, ping pong, snacks, music and prizes?

SUMMER SPLASH
Date: Sat, April 6
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: The Straz Center, Tampa
Price: Free admission
For more information: http://www.summersplashtampabay.com
Ages: All

This event is jam-packed with more than 75 summer camp booths, interactive games and activities, health and wellness resources, safety demos, live entertainment, a bounce house and information on all the summer camps going on in the Tampa Bay area and beyond. Plan your kids’ summer all in one day!

THE TEMPEST
Date: Select Days, April 9-17
Time: 8 p.m. (2 p.m. for Sun. show)
Location: Eckerd College Bininger Theatre, St. Petersburg
Price: $10 general admission
For more information: (800) 456-9009
Ages: Those of theatre-going age

Shakespeare's final play about an exiled magician, Prospero, who conjures a storm that shipwrecks enemies on a remote island, comes to life on stage.

SPRING PLANT FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, April 12, and Sun, April 13
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (until 3 p.m., Sun.)
Location: USF Botanical Gardens, Tampa
Price: $5; kids under 12 and members free
For more information: http://gardens.usf.edu/
Ages: All

Approximately 70 vendors and plant clubs will be on hand. Find orchids, bougainvillea, carnivorous plants, African violets, tropical plants, garden accessories, decor, farming workshops and more.

NORTH TAMPA FRESH MARKET
Date: Sat, April 12
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Price: Free admission
Location: Carrollwood Cultural Center
For more information: http://www.tampabaymarkets.com
Ages: All

Spend your Saturday morning shopping for fresh, local produce and handmade items provided by more than 50 vendors.

EGG HUNT
Date: Sun, April 13
Time: Egg hunts start at 2 p.m. and run every 30 min.
Price: $10 donation per child (all proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society)
Location: Westchase Recreation Center
For more information: E-mail westchaseegghunt@live.com
Ages: All

There is something for the whole family at this annual event. Visit with the Easter Bunny, take part in games, cookie decorating, crafts and, of course, the egg hunt! Be sure to bring your own basket!

MAINSAIL ART FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, April 19, and Sun, April 20
Time: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun.
Location: Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg
Price: Free admission
For more information: http://www.mainsailart.org/
Ages: All

St. Petersburg’s premier cultural event draws more than 100,000 visitors from near and far to enjoy and purchase quality art and enjoy top name entertainment. There is something for everyone, including free activities for the kids.

CLEARWATER THRESHERS VS. DAYTONA CUBS
Date: Tue, April 22
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Bright House Field, Clearwater
Price: $1 per ticket
For more information: http://www.threshersbaseball.com
Ages: All

Come cheer on the Threshers as they take on the Daytona Cubs and enjoy $1 tickets, hot dogs, 12-ounce draft beers, 16-ounce soft drinks, popcorn, peanuts, ice cream sandwiches! Don't miss out on this incredible deal!

WOODS WALK
Date: Fri, April 25
Time: 9 a.m.
Location: Brooker Creek Preserve, Tarpon Springs
Price: Free (registration required)
For more information: http://www.brookercreekpreserve.org/programs-classes.htm
Ages: All

Join a local natural resources agent for a hike along two miles of boardwalks and natural trails. Binoculars and camera recommended.

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WOW Events Calendar, March 2014

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for March.

GASPARILLA FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
Date: Sat, March 1, and Sun, March 2
Time: Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa
Price: Free admission
For more information: http://gasparillaarts.com
Ages: All

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts showcases 300 of the world’s most talented artists, transforming the already lovely grounds of Curtis Hixon Park into an outdoor museum. There is a children’s area where kids become artists for the day. This event is a delightful, culture-rich day that is fun for the whole family.

DUNEDIN MARDI GRAS
Date: Tue, March 4
Time: 4-11 p.m.
Location: Pioneer Park, Downtown Dunedin
Price: Free admission
For more information: http://www.dunedinmardigras.com
Ages: All

For this family event music begins in the beautiful Pioneer Park pavilion at 5 p.m. and continues until the parade begins. After the parade, featuring over 50 unique and colorful floats, the party continues at the park until 11 p.m.

ORANGETHEORY FITNESS WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE AWARD CEREMONY
Date: Wed, March 5
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Price: Free hors d’oeuvres; food and drink additional
Location: Irish 31, West Park Village
For more information: (813) 852-8009


The winners of the OTF national and local weight loss challenge will be announced and prizes will be presented to the local winners. Irish 31 will provide free hors d’oeuvres and food and drink specials. Also ask about the free Run Club on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at Irish 31.

FIRST FRIDAYS CONCERT SERIES
Date: Fri, March 7
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
Price: Free
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks, live music and activities for the whole family.

NORTH TAMPA FRESH MARKET
Date: Sat, March 8
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Price: Free admission
Location: Carrollwood Cultural Center
For more information: http://www.tampabaymarkets.com
Ages: All

Spend your Saturday morning shopping for fresh, local produce and handmade items provided by more than 50 vendors.

SAFETY HARBOR SEAFOOD FESTIVAL
Date: Fri, March 7 and Sat, March 8
Time: Fri., 5-10 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Price: Free admission
Location: Safety Harbor Marina
For more information: http://www.cityofsafetyharbor.com
Ages: All

Come to the beautiful Safety Harbor Marina and enjoy all your favorite types of seafood while listening to live entertainment. Bring the whole family out for arts and crafts. There will also be a family area with games and activities for the kids.

DALI FAMILY EVENT: UNCLE ANDY’S NEPHEW
Date: Sat, March 8
Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Price: $5; free for museum members and kids under 5
Location: Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
For more information: http://thedali.org/home.php
Ages: All

Get to know the real Warhol in this all-ages talk with James Warhola, a children's author and illustrator, science fiction artist – and Andy Warhol's nephew. After his talk, he will sign copies of his books (available for purchase). Light refreshments included. Families with younger children are welcome to join us for a short reading at 1:30 p.m.

MOVIE IN THE PARK
Date: Fri, March 14
Time: Dusk
Price: Free
Location: West Park Village Town Center Green, Montague St.
For more information: http://westchasewca.com
Ages: All

Westchase’s free family movies in the park continue. Movies begin at dusk. Bring chairs and blankets and settle in for a great movie night. This month’s movie is Despicable Me.

ARTS IN THE PARK
Date: Sat, March 15, and Sun, March 16
Time: Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m.
Price: Free admission
Location: Carrollwood Cultural Center, Tampa
For more information: http://www.carrollwoodcenter.org
Ages: All

This two-day outdoor art festival features live entertainment and fine-art exhibits across all media by local artists. Activities for children are also available and guests may tour the building, view art in the gallery and purchase books from our annual Sidewalk Book Sale.

ROUGH RIDERS ST. PATRICK’S NIGHT PARADE
Date: Sat, March 15
Time: 8 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Downtown Ybor City
For more information: http://www.tampa-roughriders.org
Ages: All

Krewes from across Florida celebrate St. Patrick's Day with beads, floats and more.

CHALK ART FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, March 22, and Sun, March 23
Time: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (until 4 p.m., Sun.)
Price: Free
Location: Main Street, Safety Harbor
For more information: http://www.cityofsafetyharbor.com
Ages: All

Chalk artists from all over the world will adorn the streets and sidewalks of downtown Safety Harbor with chalk drawings. Come see the artists create their pieces from start to finish while enjoying live entertainment and all the shops and restaurants on Main Street.

FLORIDA’S FABULOUS BATS
Date: Wed, March 26
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Price: Free
Location: Dunedin Community Center
For more information: (727) 812-4530
Ages: All

Florida is home to 13 species of bats that are year-round and seasonal residents. Learn about them and the roll they play in the health of our natural ecosystems.

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WOW Events Calendar, February 2014

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for February.

ST. PETERSBURG FINE ART FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, Feb. 1 and Sun, Feb. 2
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (begins 11 a.m., Sun)
Price: Free admission
Location: Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg
For more information: http://www.paragonartevents.com/stpete/
Ages: All

This juried event showcases the original artwork of more than 100 top national and international artists in such mediums as painting, jewelry, sculpting, photography, woodworking, ceramics, glass, fiber art, mixed-media and more. Meet the artists and learn how specific pieces were made.

TROPICANA FIELD BALLPARK TOURS
Date: Tues and Thurs in Feb.
Time: 10 a.m.
Price: $9, $8 seniors, $7 ages 3-14, 2 and under free
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
For more information:
http://tampabay.rays.mlb.com/tb/ballpark/
Ages: All

Tropicana Field Ballpark Tours provide a behind-the-scenes view of the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Witness where sensational plays have taken place, step into the broadcast booth, experience the dugout, and engage in a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the only domed stadium in Major League Baseball!

FLORIDA STATE FAIR
Date: Thu, Feb. 6, through Mon, Feb.17
Time: See Web site for schedule
Price: Advance tickets $9 adults; $5 ages 6-11; 5 and younger free
Location: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
For more information: http://www.floridastatefair.com/
Ages: All

The 2014 Florida State Fair marks a historic 110th annual fair, with the theme “First Place For Fun” reminding fairgoers that the Florida State Fair is the first state fair of the year in the country. Boasting the largest independent midway and highlighting the largest traveling roller coaster in North America, the fair also offers 110 free things to do.

MOVIE IN THE PARK
Date: Friday, Feb. 7
Time: Dusk
Price: Free
Location: West Park Village Town Center Green on Montague St.
For more information: http://westchasewca.com/
Ages: All

Come enjoy our beautiful Florida winter nights with a movie in the park. Bring chairs and blankets and settle in for a night of relaxing entertainment. February’s movie will be Groundhog Day.

The TEST (Tuskegee Airmen) Opening Reception
Date: Fri, Feb. 7 (exhibit runs through end of Feb.)
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: The Gallery at Carrollwood Cultural Center, Tampa
For more information: http://www.carrollwoodcenter.org/main-exhibits/
Ages: All

This exhibition tells the story of the first African-American aviators to serve in the military of the United States. It is story about their struggles in combat overseas and against prejudice and racism in America. It is a very fascinating story that every American should know.

THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES
Date: Sun, Feb. 9
Time: 3 p.m.
Price: $10 General Public; $8 Tampa Theatre Members
Location: Tampa Theatre, downtown Tampa
For more information: http://tampatheatre.org/spring-training-classics-series/
Ages: All

To warm us up for the arrival of Spring Training teams, Tampa Theatre and the New York Yankees join to present us weekly baseball films. In this week’s feature Lou Gehrig, played by Gary Cooper, has to say good-bye to the fans who idolize him and to the sport he loves so dearly when he falls ill. See the Web site for other films in this series.

ART OF WOMEN
Date: Friday, Feb. 14
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Oleson Gallery, St. Petersburg
Price: $4 men; women free
For more information: http://www.facebook.com/theolesongallery
Ages: Adults

Treat the lady in your life to a Valentine’s Day she won’t forget. This art show features the works of 40 female artists along with a sword dance performance by Zosa Pistola, live music by Geri X and Sugar Ransom, chocolates, food and drinks.

CLEARWATER SEA BLUES FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, Feb. 15, and Sun, Feb. 16
Time: Sat., noon and Sun., 1 p.m.
Location: Coachman Park, Clearwater
Price: Free (charges apply for reserved seating)
For more information: http://clearwaterseablues.com
Ages: All

Presented by The City of Clearwater, the Eighth Annual Premier Seafood & Blues Festival, Clearwater Sea Blues, will feature some of the finest blues musicians live in concert. You will also have the chance to enjoy Tampa Bay’s finest seafood.

FIESTA DAY
Date: Sat, Feb. 22
Time: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Location: Along 7th Ave, Ybor City
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.yborcityonline.com
Ages: All

Sample Ybor City's authentic culture with a day filled with food, fun and entertainment. The free festival is one of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce's signature annual events.

$6 DAY AT THE ZOO
Date: Sun, Feb. 23
Time: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa
Price: $6 per person
For more information: http://www.lowryparkzoo.com
Ages: All

Load the kids into the car and get ready to visit all your favorite animals. Everyone gets into the zoo for $6 today. But get there early because it gets crowded for this deal.

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WOW Events Calendar

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for January.

NIGHT HIKE
Date: Thu, Jan. 2
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, St. Petersburg
Price: $3, $1.50 children (reservations required)
For more information: (727) 893-7326
Ages: All

Get a close look at some of the creepy crawlies that come out after dusk – gators, spiders and frogs, to name a few. Or just gaze at the stars as the park comes alive after dark.

FIRST FRIDAY CONCERT SERIES
Date: Fri, Jan. 3
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Price: Free admission
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks, live music and activities for the whole family. 

INTRO TO FLORIDA FRIENDLY LANDSCAPES
Date: Sat, Jan. 4
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg
Price: Free (reservations required)
For more information: http://www.weedonislandpreserve.org
Ages: 10 and over

Learn the principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping, and get a copy of Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Handbook, a guide that details how to design and maintain an easy care landscape.

TAMPA DOWNTOWN MARKET
Date: Sun, Jan. 5
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Location: Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa
Price: Prices vary
For more information: (813) 221-3686
Ages: All

Browse the wares of more than 50 vendors offering crafts, fresh local vegetables and fruits. The market is located adjacent to the park at 601 N. Ashley St.

TARGET TUESDAY AT GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Date: Tue, Jan. 7
Time: 2-7 p.m.
Location: Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://glazermuseum.org
Ages: Children and their parents

Buddy from Dinosaur Train will be on hand for this free afternoon of fun. Just a reminder: children must be accompanied by an adult and adults must be accompanied by a child.

MOVIE IN THE PARK
Date: Fri, Jan. 10
Time: Dusk
Price: Free
Location: West Park Village Town Center Green on Montague St.
For more information: http://westchasewca.com
Ages: All

Come enjoy our beautiful Florida winter nights with a movie in the park. Bring chairs and blankets and settle in for a night of relaxing entertainment. The movie this evening will be Jumanji.

DOWNTOWN DUNEDIN ART FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, Jan. 11, and Sun, Jan. 12
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Main Street, Dunedin
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.artfestival.com
Ages: All

At this annual festival, the top artists in the country, including local artists, will be on site with their artwork, including handmade art representing a wide range of media.

HATS OFF TO DR. SEUSS
Date: Sat, Jan. 11
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Syd Entel Galleries, Safety Harbor
Price: Free
For more information: (727) 725-1808
Ages: All

This exhibit features Dr. Seuss' never-before-seen hat collection alongside his little-known Secret Art, a series of estate-authorized works adapted and reproduced from his original drawings, paintings, and sculpture. The exhibit runs through Jan. 26.

CHILDREN’S GASPARILLA EXTRAVAGANZA AND PARADE
Date: Sat, Jan. 18
Time: 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Location: Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa
Price: Free for general seating
For more information: http://gasparillapiratefest.com/index.html
Ages: All

The alcohol-free event kicks off the Gasparilla season in style, with a pre-schoolers’ stroll, bicycle safety rodeo, air invasion, a family-friendly Gasparilla parade and a fireworks display. And, of course...BEADS!

TREASURE ISLAND KITE FEST
Date: Sat, Jan. 18, and Sun, Jan. 19
Time: Begins at 8:30 a.m.
Location: Thunderbird Resort, Treasure Island
Price: Free
For more information: (727) 320-9463
Ages: All

The sky will be filled with kites of all shapes and sizes during this weekend-long show of tricks set to music. See precision flying, huge themed kites and amateur fliers. Bring your own kite if you want to join the fun.

GASPARILLA PIRATE FEST
Date: Sat, Jan. 25
Time: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Location: Ashley Drive, from Kennedy to Cass Street, Downtown Tampa
Price: Free
For more information:
http://gasparillapiratefest.com/index.html
Ages: All ages welcome; however, for a more family-friendly Gasparilla celebration, see the Children’s Parade above.

Downtown Tampa is preparing to be taken over by bands of marauding pirates. This swashbuckling annual celebration includes a full-on pirate invasion and a parade that promises a wealth of beads, doubloons and other treasures.

PINELLAS FOLK FESTIVAL
Date: Saturday, Jan. 25
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Heritage Village, Tampa
Price: Suggested $5 donation
For more information:  http://www.pinellascounty.org/Heritage
Ages: All

Listen to dozens of the Tampa Bay area's premier folk musicians on traditional folk, gospel, country and bluegrass music on stages throughout the Village.

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WOW Events Calendar, December 2013

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for December.

ICE PALACE AT INTERNATIONAL MALL
Date: Daily through Dec. 24
Time: Mall Hours
Location: International Mall, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.shopinternationalplaza.com
Ages: Kids of all ages

International Plaza transforms into the Ice Palace, a 30-foot dome with snow, a light show, snow globes, glistening icicles and footage from BBC Earth's Frozen Planet. Ice Palace entertainment includes roaming snow princess characters, visits with Santa and family photos on an ice throne.

TAMPA’S DOWNTOWN ON ICE
Date: Select days through Jan. 5
Time: see Web site for rink hours
Price: $10 per person (includes skates)
Location: Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa
For more information: http://www.tampasdowntownonice.com
Ages: All

Who says Floridians can’t enjoy a little winter fun, too? Head to Curtis Hixon Park and enjoy outdoor skating in the park! Admission cost covers a 90-minute skating session and skate rental.

FREE MEDITATION CLASSES
Date: Mondays in December
Time: 7:45-8:15 p.m.
Location: Studio 108 Yoga & Holistic Healing, Westchase
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.studio108tampa.com
Ages: Adults

Visit this new yoga studio in Westchase Mondays in December and experience the basics of meditation in this short taste of a seated, guided meditation.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS IN THE GARDEN
Date: Daily through Jan. 1
Time: 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Location: Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo
Price: $2 per adult (13 and older)
For more information: http://www.flbg.org
Ages: All

Celebrate the holiday season Florida-style as you stroll through a garden of tropical plants glowing with more than 500,000 twinkling lights. A seven-foot gingerbread house with more than 600 lights, a 30-foot tall white swan and a five-foot tropical parrot have been added to the traditional array this year. Performers will be on hand to entertain. 

PALM HARBOR 39TH ANNUAL FINE ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL
Date: Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (until 4 p.m., Sun.)
Location: Florida Avenue, Downtown Palm Harbor
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.palmharborcc.org
Ages: All

Take a stroll down Florida Avenue in historic downtown Palm Harbor while enjoying this juried show featuring artists, craftsmen, food, music and children’s activities. 

A HOLIDAY CABARET
Date: Friday, Dec. 6
Time: 8-9 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: University of Tampa Sykes Chapel, Tampa
For more information: (813) 257-3987
Ages: All

Get into the holiday spirit by enjoying a musical revue of songs performed by a cast of nine gifted male vocalist/performers.

THE NUTCRACKER
Date: Friday, Dec. 6, through Sunday, Dec. 8
Time: Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 7 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.
Price: $10-$20
Location: Palladium Theatre, St. Petersburg
For more information: http://www.mypalladium.org 
Ages: All

The St. Petersburg Ballet Company’s production of The Nutcracker showcases future dancers from such world-renowned schools/companies as Julliard and Boston Conservatory. This is an affordable way to enjoy this special holiday tradition that is sure to please the entire family.

MOVIE IN THE PARK
Date: Friday, Dec.13
Time: Dusk
Price: Free
Location: West Park Village Town Center Green on Montague Street
For more information: http://westchasewca.com
Ages: All

Westchase’s free family movies in the park continue. Movies start at sundown. Bring chairs and blankets and settle in for a great movie night. December’s movie will be Arthur Christmas.

SANTA’S PRE-FLIGHT PARADE AND TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY
Date: Saturday, Dec. 14
Time: 2-7:30 p.m.
Location: Westchase Neighborhoods and West Park Village Town Center
Price: Free
For more information: see parade map in this issue
Ages: All

The Westchase Charitable Foundation is set to host its eighth annual parade through the streets of Westchase. Santa will be on hand for the big day, collecting unwrapped toys along the parade’s route to be donated to needy children throughout Hillsborough County. Beginning at 5 p.m. residents can head to West Park Village to enjoy holiday music and activities while awaiting Santa’s arrival.  The night will come to a close with the annual lighting of the West Park Village tree.

PARK RANGER NATURE EDUCATION
Date: Sunday, Dec. 15
Time: 10 a.m. and noon
Location: Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa
Price: $5 (plus $2 park entry)
For more information: (813) 987-6204 (registration required)
Ages: Kids of all ages accompanied by a parent

Children and adults of all ages are invited to join a park ranger for fun and informative guided activities in these Nature Education Programs. This week make a holiday gift for the birds and hang it in a tree!

EVENING OF SHORTS
Date: Thursday, Dec. 19
Time: 7 p.m.
Price: $10
Location: Straz Center, Tampa
For more information: http://www.strazcenter.org
Ages: All

Enjoy an evening of entertainment as the high school, college and adult theater classes perform a collection of scenes, short plays and musical numbers.

TWINKLE IN TAMPA BAY: A HOLIDAY BOAT PARADE
Date: Saturday, Dec. 21
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Along the water at Davis Island, Harbour Island and the Channelside District.
For more information: http://www.floridabywater.com
Ages: All

Come watch these festively decorated boats illuminate the sky and spread holiday cheer. Enjoy the view from Channelside Bay Plaza and enjoy the parade from the open wharf!

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WOW Events Calendar, October 2013

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for October.

CUB SCOUT PACK 46 PUMPKIN PATCH
Date: Oct. 6-30
Time: Mon-Sat, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Price: Pumpkin prices vary
Location: On the grounds of Wellspring United Methodist Church
Ages: All

Come out and pick a pumpkin or two (or three or four) to support your local Cub Scout Pack 46. This is the pack’s biggest fundraising effort of the year…just in time for your Halloween decorating! To reach the patch, use the Wellspring UMC entrance off Sheldon Road.

WOBTOBERFEST
Date: Fri, Oct. 4, and Sat, Oct. 5
Time: Fri, 5 p.m.-midnight; Sat, noon-midnight
Price: $15 before 5 p.m.; $20 after 5 p.m.
Location: The field across from Westchase Town Center
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase
Ages: All ages until 7 p.m.; after that 21 and over only

Head to the field across from Westchase Town Center for a weekend filled with authentic German and Craft Märzens, food and live music.

HARBOR SOUNDS MUSIC FEST ON MAIN
Date: Sat, Oct. 5
Time: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Price: Free admission
Location: Downtown Safety Harbor
For more information: http://www.cityofsafetyharbor.com/
Ages: All

This fun-filled day features good music, arts and crafts, food and the beauty of downtown Safety Harbor. The festival is sponsored by the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce and will take place rain or shine.

MOVIES IN THE PARK
Date: Fri, Oct. 11
Time: 7 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: West Park Village Town Center Green on Montague Street
For more information: http://westchasewca.com/
Ages: All

Westchase’s free family movies are back – with a new location on the WPV Town Center Green. Movies start at sundown. Bring chairs and blankets and insect repellent and settle in for a great movie night. Hotel Transylvania will be showing in October.

TAMPA BAY BOAT SHOW
Date: Fri, Oct. 11, through Sun, Oct. 13
Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (until 5 p.m., Sun)
Price: Free ($6 for parking)
Location: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
For more information: http://www.tampabayboatshows.com
Ages: All

This three-day boating show offers everything for the boating enthusiast – from boats on display to boating and fishing supplies and plenty of other seaside accessories.  It’s an event the whole family will enjoy.

UPPER TAMPA BAY CHAPTER OKTOBERFEST
Date: Fri, Oct. 18, through Sun, Oct. 20
Time: Fri, 5-11 p.m.; Sat, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun, noon-6 p.m.
Price: $5; 12 and younger free (carnival rides extra)
Location: Tampa Bay Downs
For more information: http://utbchamber.com/
Ages: All

Oktoberfest brings the best of Old Bavaria and New Florida together for three full days of authentic German food, drink, music and dancing...along with a spectacular carnival and midway, a great arts and crafts show, and the wildest array of audience participation contests in Tampa Bay!

POPS IN THE PARK
Date: Sat, Oct. 19, and Sun, Oct. 20
Time: 7 p.m.
Price: Free (suggested canned food donation for Tampa Bay Harvest)
Location: Sat, Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg; Sun, River Tower Park, Tampa
For more information: http://www.floridaorchestra.org
Ages: All

Pack a picnic dinner and enjoy the beautiful sounds of The Florida Orchestra in the great outdoors. Concertgoers will be treated to a lively mix of familiar classics and popular favorites.

HALLOWEEN IN THE PARK
Date: Fri, Oct. 25, and Sat, Oct. 26
Time: 6-10 p.m.
Price: $10 donation includes 10 free game tickets
Location: Honeymoon Island, Dunedin
For more information: http://www.floridastateparks.org/honeymoonisland/
Ages: All

Venture out to this fun alternative to trick-or-treating sponsored by the Friends of the Island Parks and the Florida Park Service. Highlights include face painting for the kids, fortune telling for the parents, games, storytelling, food and fun. There is a scary trail for the older children and adults complete with a haunted house. Bring a flashlight, bug spray and a bag for collecting candy.

BATS: MYTH AND REALITY
Date: Sat, Oct. 26
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Price: Free
Location: Brooker Creek Preserve, Tarpon Springs
For more information: http://www.brookercreekpreserve.org/
Ages: All

Bats are among the world’s most fascinating and beneficial animals. Yet after centuries of misinformation and myths many people fear them. This program debunks the myths and introduces attendees to the many important contributions these mammals make to our ecosystem and human health.

HALLOWEEN SPREE
Date: Thu, Oct. 31
Time: 4:30-8 p.m.
Price: $5 per person
Location: Glazer Children’s Museum
For more information: http://glazermuseum.org
Ages: Kids of all ages and their parents

Head to the Glazer Children’s museum for a night of indoor trick-or-treating and Halloween fun. Activities include trick-or-treat stations, a make-a-monster project in the art lab, a costume contest and parade, live music and the chance to meet Sid the Science Kid!

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WOW Events Calendar, September 2013

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for September.

SPONGE DOCKS ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL
Date: Sun, Sept., 1 and Mon, Sept. 2
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (until 6 p.m., Mon.)
Location: Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs
Price: Free admission
For more information: http://www.spongedocks.net
Ages: All

This Labor Day Weekend event features 90 of the nation’s top artists and crafters with creations made right here in the U.S.A. Live music and food vendors round out the fun.

FIRST FRIDAY CONCERT SERIES
Date: Fri, Sept. 6
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
Price: Free
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks, live music and activities for the whole family.

TAMPA BOAT SHOW
Date: Fri, Sept. 6 through Sun, Sept. 8
Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (until 5 p.m., Sun)
Location: Tampa Convention Center, Downtown Tampa
Price: $12; 15 and younger free
For more information: http://www.tampaboatshow.com/
Ages: All

Don’t miss Tampa’s largest and longest-running boat show. This is the best place to see and buy boats, gear and accessories. There is fun to be had for everyone.

FREE PATRIOT DAY WATER SKI SHOW
Date: Sat, Sept. 7
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: 130 Burbank Road, Oldsmar
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.tampawaterski.com
Ages: All

The Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team will perform a very special show to honor our local military, fire and police personnel. Entertainment will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by the 6 p.m. show featuring many acts that recently earned this team the Southern Region Show Ski Championship title for the eleventh year in a row! Seating is available or bring your blanket or chair to select a seat along the grassy area to watch the excitement on the water unfold!

THE GREAT WEEDON BIRD QUEST 2013
Date: Fri, Sept. 13
Time: 8-10 a.m.
Location: Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg
Price: Free (registration required)
For more information: http://www.weedonislandpreserve.org/
Ages: Recommended for adults

Take part in the quest to find Weedon Island Preserve birds! Learn the identifying marks and behaviors of year-round residents and seasonal visitors while helping compile an annual checklist of the preserve’s birds. These hikes are designed to take advantage of all levels of birding experience. Binoculars and bird guides are available.

THE INTERNATIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, Sept. 14 and Sun, Sept. 15
Time: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (until 5 p.m., Sun)
Location: 15004 Madeira Way, Madeira Beach
Price: Free admission
For more information: http://www.madeirabeachfl.gov
Ages: All

Head on down to the tastiest ethnic food festival in Pinellas County. Sample mouth-watering entrees, desserts and exotic beverages. Vendors will also be on hand selling unique hand-crafted items and artwork.

FASHION AND DESIGN DAY
Date: Thursday, Sept. 19
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Channelside District, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.fashionweektampabay.com/
Ages: All

In honor of Fashion Week, enjoy a unique exploration into the world of design. From fashion and interior, to animation and graphics, various businesses in the Channel District offer a glimpse into the many aspects of design.

GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM 3RD BIRTHDAY BASH
Date: Sun, Sept. 22
Time: 1-5 p.m.
Location: Glazer Children's Museum and Curtis Hixon Park
Price: Free admission all day long
For more information: http://glazermuseum.org
Ages: All

The Glazer Children’s Museum is turning 3-years-old! Celebrate with them at their dance party in Curtis Hixon Park. Fit Kids Playground will be there with plenty of fun activities for the children, as well as food trucks, vendors, and of course, birthday cake! Whenever you want to get out of the sun, just hop inside the museum and play in the exhibits – admission is free! Visit glazermuseum.org for more information.

MUSEUM DAY LIVE!
Date: Sat, Sept. 28, 2012
Time: varies by venue
Price: Free (complimentary admission ticket required)
Location: Participating museums
For more information: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday
Ages: All

Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for free. Several museums throughout our area will take part, including Cracker Country and the Tampa Bay History Center. Read more and obtain your free Museum Day tickets at: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday

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UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA PNC ARTIST SERIES
Date: Sun, Sept. 29
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: University of Tampa Sykes Chapel
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.ut.edu/sykeschapel/
Ages: All

This popular concert series now has a corporate partner, which may raise the popularity for the standing room only series, so come early. The afternoon features many performances of music for the orchestra and organ, including one by the principal organist of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

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WOW Events Calendar, August 2013

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for Aug..

PLUMB HOUSE MUSEUM TOUR
Date: Thursday, Aug. 1
Time: 9-11:30 a.m.
Location: Plumb House Museum, Clearwater
Price: Free
For more information: (727) 399-1412
Ages: All

Clearwater Historical Society offers tours of the historic Plumb House Museum, a two-story, cracker-style wood house (circa 1896).  The museum showcases a variety of antiques and vintage items including uniforms and photos of the Clearwater Bombers champion men's softball team.

FIRST FRIDAYS CONCERT SERIES
Date: Friday, Aug. 2
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
Price: Free
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks, live music and activities for the whole family. 

NIGHT IN THE ISLANDS
Date: Saturday, Aug. 3
Time: 6-11 p.m.
Location: Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs
Price: Free admission
For more information: http://www.spongedocks.net
Ages: All

Night in the Islands features all things Greek – music, dancing and outdoor dining on the world famous Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks. Some of Florida’s best Greek bands will be on hand.

SUNSET CINEMA AT PIER 60: MADAGASCAR
Date: Friday, Aug. 9
Time: Dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.)
Location: Pier 60, Clearwater Beach
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.sunsetsatpier60.com
Ages: All

Bring the family to Clearwater's Pier 60 for a free film screening every Friday and Saturday (weather permitting). Bring a blanket or low sitting chair and watch a movie on the jumbo screen. Concessions will be available for purchase.

TAMPA BAY PARENTING BACK TO SCHOOL FAIR
Date: Saturday, Aug. 10
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa
Price: $5 General Admission; members free
For more information: http://glazermuseum.org/events/backtoschool
Ages: All

Get the children geared up for school at this annual Back to School Fair. Enjoy live entertainment, speakers, workshops, crafts, balloon art and much more! Learn about health and wellness, safety, childcare, after school programs and other school-related topics. The first 150 kids receive a back-to-school goodie bag filled with school supplies. Fair guests can also enjoy all the museum has to offer.

GREAT TRAIN EXPO
Date: Saturday, Aug. 10, and Sunday, Aug. 11
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Florida State Fairgrounds
Price: $7; children under 12 free (plus $6 per car parking)
For more information: http://www.greattrainexpo.com/info.html
Ages: All

The Great Train Expo is America's favorite traveling train show, featuring operating model railroads, train dealers, collectors, hands-on exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and much more! It is a great way to spend the day whether you’re an avid modeler or just looking for a fun and interesting day out with the family.

TAMPA BAY RAYS WATCH PARTY
Date: Sunday, Aug. 11
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Tradewinds Resort, St. Petersburg
Price: Free ($10 on-site parking)
For more information: (888) 598-4304
Ages: All

Catch the game on a giant screen on the beach at this family-friendly watch party. 620-AM WDAE will broadcast live starting with their pre-game show. The Rays Street Team will also be on hand with giveaways.

VEGETABLE, HERB AND TROPICAL FRUIT GARDENS TOUR
Date: Thursday, Aug. 15
Time: 9 a.m.
Location: Florida Botanical Garden, Largo
Price: Free (registration required)
For more information:  (727) 582-2100
Ages: Best for adults

Take a guided walk through the Florida Botanical Gardens to learn how to grow an array of culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs, trees and flowers at home; discover fruits from the tropics, plus ground covers, palms and more.

GULFPORT ART WALK
Date: Saturday, Aug. 17
Time: 6-10 p.m.
Location: Beach Boulevard, Gulfport
Price: Free
For more information: (727) 322-5217
Ages: All

Meet independent artisans, craftsmen, authors and entertainers and purchase their work along Beach Boulevard. Enjoy live musicians while you shop along the waterfront district.

NIGHT HIKE
Date: Saturday, Aug. 17
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: McGough Nature Park, Largo
Price: Free
For more information: (727) 518-3047
Ages: All

This is your chance to catch all of those nocturnal animals in action.  Bring your flashlight for this guided hike where you will be on the lookout for raccoons, owls, opossums and bats.

13th ANNUAL GECKO FEST
Date: Saturday, Aug. 31
Time: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Location: Beach Boulevard South, Gulfport
For more information: http://www.geckofest.com
Ages: All

This family-friendly event is best described as Mardi Gras meets the Renaissance. Strolling street characters, stage musicians, performing artists and merchants with all types of weird and wonderful wares come together to entertain the crowds throughout the waterfront district.

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WOW Events Calendar, July 2013

 Check out these free (or nearly free) events for July.

ACE GOLF KIDS FREE BUCKET SUMMER PROGRAM
Date: Daily through Aug. 31
Time: All day
Location: Ace Golf Brandon, Ace Golf Riverview, Pebble Creek Golf Club (Tampa), Wentworth Golf Club (Tarpon Springs)
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.ace-golf.com
Ages: Children, 5-15

Every day this summer, Ace Golf is offering kids from age 5-15 a free small bucket of balls to hit on the golf range at any one of their locations. Just stop by and pick up a punch card anytime now through August. No purchase is necessary. An adult must accompany the participating child.

REGAL SUMMER MOVIE EXPRESS
Date: Tue and Wed through Aug. 7
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Citrus Park Stadium 20, Park Place Stadium 16 and Largo Mall Stadium 8
Price: $1 admission
For more information: http://www.regmovies.com/summermovieexpress
Ages: All

Treat your kids (and yourself!) to a break from the heat and enjoy selected G or PG films for only $1. Check with participating theaters for complete movie schedule. 

FOURTH OF JULY AT THE HISTORY CENTER
Date: Thu, July 4
Time: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Location: Tampa Bay History Center, downtown Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.tampabayhistorycenter.org
Ages: All

Celebrate Independence Day at the History Center and enjoy free admission and extended hours. Costumed re-enactors from the Civil-War, Seminole War, Spanish American War, and World War II will be on hand. Stick around in Cotanchobee Park for a view of the Channelside fireworks.

SUNSET CINEMA AT PIER 60
Date: Fri, July 5
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Pier 60, Clearwater Beach
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.sunsetsatpier60.com
Ages: All

Head down to Pier 60 Fridays and Saturdays during the summer for a free movie on the beach. Bring blankets, low lawn chairs or towels to sit on.  Concessions will be available for purchase. The July 5 movie will be E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.

BARK AT THE BALLPARK
Date: Sat, July 6
Time: Gates open at 5 p.m.; 6:30 p.m. game time
Location: Bright House Field, Clearwater
Price: $7-$9.50 humans; $5 dogs
For more information: (727) 467-4457
Ages: All

Take man's best friend out to a ball game to watch the Clearwater Threshers take on the Lakeland Flying Tigers. Enter a pet/owner look-a-like contest, meet the team mascots and take part in a post-game run of the bases with Fido at your side. This event benefits the Humane Society of Pinellas.

DUNEDIN ORANGE FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, July 6
Time: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Location: Edgewater Waterfront Park, Dunedin
Price: Free
For more information: http://dunedinorangefestival.com
Ages: All

Head to downtown Dunedin for this old-fashioned town festival including a green market, family fun zone, mojo cook-off competition, the Miss Dunedin Orange Queen Pageant, and more. Optional $10 tasting tickets will be available for purchase.

TROPICAL PLANT FAIR
Date: Sat, July 13, and Sun, July 14
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: USF Botanical Gardens, Tampa
Price: $5; Children 12-and-under and Members: Free
For more information: http://gardens.usf.edu
Ages: All

Enjoy the beauty of the gardens while shopping for rare and unusual fruit trees, hundreds of blooming tropical and colorful exotic plants and ferns to create your own backyard tropical oasis. There's also a ground cover workshop and a Pepper Beauty Contest featuring decorated peppers.

TAMPA BAY RAYS SUMMER CONCERT SERIES: CARLY RAE JEPSEN
Date: Sun, July 14
Time: Game at 1:40 p.m.; concert to follow
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
Price: Concert is free with game admission (see Web site for game ticket pricing)
For more information: http://tampabay.rays.mlb.com
Ages: All

Come root on the Rays as they take on the Houston Astros and then stay for a free concert by pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen. 

NIGHT HIKE
Date: Tue, July 18
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, St. Petersburg
Price: $3; $1.50 children
For more information: http://www.stpeteparksrec.org/boyd-hill-nature-preserve.html
Ages: All

Get up close and personal with some of the creepy crawlies that come out after dusk. Or just gaze at the stars as the park comes alive after dark. Reservations are required.

TAMPA BAY TIMES HOME SHOW
Date: Fri, July 19-Sun, July 21
Time: See Web site
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
Price: Free
For more information: http://tampabayhomeshows.com
Ages: All

Head to Tropicana Field for the largest home show on Florida's west coast. This event brings the area's top home improvement experts, along with more than 600 exhibits with everything related to Florida homes and home improvement. Visitors will also enjoy live entertainment, seminars, demonstrations, giveaways and do-it-yourself ideas from experts.

SAFETY HARBOR SUMMERTIME MARKET
Date: Sat, July 20
Time: 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Location: John Wilson Park and Gazebo, Safety Harbor
Price: Free admission
For more information: http://www.cityofsafetyharbor.com
Ages: All

This event, which takes place the third Saturday of the month through September, features fresh produce, local honey, baked goods and much more.

PAWGARITAVILLE ADOPTION EVENT
Date: Sat, July 27
Time: Noon-4 p.m.
Location: Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Tampa
Price: Free admission; adoption fees 50 percent off
For more information: 774-4344
Ages: All animal lovers

The shelter will be transformed into a Caribbean paradise complete with cool drinks, hot music and delicious food! Food trucks will be on hand and there will be activities for children.  In addition, all adoption fees will be 50 percent off!

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WOW Events Calendar, June 2013

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for June.

BROOKER CREEK GUIDED HIKE
Date: Saturdays in June
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Location: Brooker Creek Preserve, Tarpon Springs
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.brookercreekpreserve.org

Ages: All welcome, children under 6 may have difficulty with the hike

Each Saturday morning, join volunteer guides on a hike along the Education Center Trail. During the 0.75-mile walk you will explore how the land has changed over time and discuss the ecological footprints left by those changes. Sturdy closed-toe shoes are a must, and water and a hat are recommended.

PINELLAS PEPPER FEST
Date: Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (11 a.m., Sun.)
Location: England Brothers Bandshell Park, Pinellas Park
Price: $2, 12 and under Free
For more information: http://pinellaspepperfest.webs.com
Ages: All

Prepare your taste buds for a treat – hot and spicy foods, sauces and salsas will be on hand for sample and purchase. There will also be live music, family fun, a pepper-eating contest and much more!

ROCK THE PARK
Date: Thursday, June 6
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.rocktheparktampa.com
Ages: All

On the first Thursday of every month, come enjoy this music series showcasing Tampa's musical talents of all genres. In addition to live music, there will be food and beverages on site.

ILLUSTRATIONS ART OPENING
Date: Friday, June 7
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Location: Carrollwood Cultural Center, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://carrollwoodcenter.org
Ages: All

Come celebrate the opening of this new exhibit, which features illustrations of classical musicians done by former MAD Magazine editor Nick Meglin. Artists from the Tampa Bay area will showcase their work next to this famed illustrator.

REGAL SUMMER MOVIE EXPRESS
Date: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, June 11-Aug. 7
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Citrus Park Stadium 20, Park Place Stadium 16 and Largo Mall Stadium 8
Price: $1 admission
For more information: http://www.regmovies.com/summermovieexpress
Ages: All

Treat your kids (and yourself!) to a break from the heat and enjoy selected G or PG films for only $1. Check with participating theaters for complete movie schedule. 

DALI AND BEYOND FILM SERIES
Date: Saturday, June 15
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
Price: Free
For more information: http://thedali.org/home.php
Ages: All

This surreal film series lets you see a film for free in the museum's lobby theater. If you want to see the gallery, there's a price break. The June 15 movie is stop-motion animation Oscar nominee, Coraline.

FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND AT THE ZOO
Date: Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16
Time: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa
Price: Free admission for dad with paid child admission
For more information: http://www.lowryparkzoo.com
Ages: All

In honor of Father’s Day, Lowry Park zoo is offering dads free admission with the purchase of their son’s or daughter’s full-priced admission ticket. Offer not combinable with other discounts.

TAMPA BAY RAYS SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
Date: Sunday, June 16
Time: Game at 1:40 p.m.; concert follows game
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
Price: Free with purchase of game ticket
For more information: http://tampabay.rays.mlb.com
Ages: All

Enjoy the sounds of the game and music with friends and family. This week’s concert features the Imagination Movers, who have enjoyed incredible success filming three seasons of their hit TV show on Disney Junior.

DOWNTOWN SAFETY HARBOR 3RD FRIDAY MUSIC SERIES
Date: Friday, June 21
Time: 6-10 p.m.
Location: Downtown Safety Harbor
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.cityofsafetyharbor.com
Ages: All

Bring the family out for an evening filled with shopping, dining
and entertainment. Enjoy live music at the gazebo and
throughout downtown, and browse the arts and crafts and food
vendors. The downtown businesses and restaurants are open
late.

YOGA IN THE PARK
Date: Sunday, June 30
Time: 5-6 p.m.
Location: Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: (813) 274-8677
Ages: All

Bring your mat and water bottle to the north side terraces and join over 100 people in attendance – all Yoga levels are welcome. Come out and experience Yoga while watching the sunset over the city skyline in beautiful Hixon Park.

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WOW Events Calendar, May 2013

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for May.

OPERA AT THE DALI CONCERT SERIES
Date: Thu, May 2
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: The Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
Price: Free
For more information: http://thedali.org/
Ages: All

This collaboration with St. Petersburg College, allows guests to experience opera at The Dali. This program introduces audiences to emerging opera artists through dynamic 20-minute performances, which take place in the Spiral Staircase every month.

FIRST FRIDAYS CONCERT SERIES
Date: Fri, May 3
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
Price: Free
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks, live music and activities for the whole family. 

BARK IN THE PARK
Date: Sat, May 4
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Location: Freedom Lake Park, Pinellas Park
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.pinellas-park.com/
Ages: All

From household pets to K-9 police dogs, this expo is all about the dogs. Activities include pet adoptions, craft and pet vendors and a K-9 police dog demonstration. Proceeds from contest entries benefit the care for active duty and retired K-9 police dogs and the Police Dog Memorial Fund.

NATURE WALK ALONG THE MANGROVE TRAIL
Date: Sat, May 4
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde
Price: $5 parking fee
For more information: http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/05_ft_desoto.htm
Ages: All

During this one-hour guided walk, participants will observe bird life, sea life, mixed wildlife and plant life.

TARGET TUESDAY
Date: Tue, May 7
Time: 2-7 p.m.
Location: Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://glazermuseum.org/

The first Tuesday of each month is Target Tuesday, where kids and adults can play for free from 2-7 p.m. This month features our friends from Martha Speaks.

FRIDAY EXTRA CONCERT SERIES
Date: Fri, May 10
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lowry Park Band shell (at Lowry Park Zoo), Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: 813-274-8615
Ages: All

Bring blankets, low back chairs and coolers for outdoor concerts by Tampa Bay area music acts. This week features Liz Hollister opening for Karmic Tattoo. Dogs on leashes are welcome.

FRESH MARKET AT WESTCHASE TOWN CENTER
Date: Sat, May 11
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Location: Front lawn of Westchase Town Center
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.tampabaymarkets.com
Ages: All

Come to this open-air fresh market where you can browse for produce from over 50 local vendors. Take home food and crafts will also be available and live music will keep you entertained while you shop.

INTRODUCTION TO FISHING FOR YOUTH
Date: Sat, May 11
Time: 1-4 p.m.
Location: Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg
Price: Free (registration required)
For more information: http://www.weedonislandpreserve.org/
Ages: All

Children ages 7-12 will learn the basics about fish, their habitats and ethical fishing practices. All supplies will be provided.

TAMPA BAY BOAT SHOW
Date: Fri, May 17, through Sun, May 19
Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Sun until 5 p.m.)
Location: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
Price: Free admission ($6 parking)
For more information: http://www.tampabayboatshows.com
Ages: All

Don’t miss this boating sales event of the season, showcasing area boat dealers and manufacturers, the latest in boating and fishing supplies. This three-day sales event offers a great way to see and compare all available makes and models in one location.

OLD FASHIONED ICE CREAM SOCIAL AND FREE MUSEUM DAY
Date: Sat, May 18
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center
Price: Free
For more information: http://cityofsafetyharbor.com

Come explore the newly renovated Museum and Cultural Center in Safety Harbor on this free admission day.  Stay to enjoy free ice cream, music and good, old-fashioned fun!

$6 DAY AT THE ZOO
Date: Sun, May 19
Time: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa
Price: $6 per person
For more information: http://www.lowryparkzoo.com
Ages: All

Visit your favorite animals at the zoo and learn about endangered wildlife for just $6 admission per person.  Free extra parking is available on $6 day only next to the Tampa Greyhound Track.

SUNSET MUSIC SERIES
Date: Fri, May 24
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Weaver Park, Dunedin
Price: Free
For more information: (727) 812-4531
Ages: All

Watch the sunset over St. Joseph Sound and enjoy live entertainment by area artists.

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WOW Events Calendar, April 2013

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for April.

ROCK THE PARK
Date: Thu, April 4
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.rocktheparktampa.com
Ages: All

Rock the Park is a monthly live music series showcasing Tampa's musical talents from all genres. Food and beverages are available on site. Rock the Park takes place the first Thursday of every month.

PALM HARBOR CITRUS FESTIVAL
Date: Thu, April 4, through Sun, April 7
Time: Thu, 5-10 p.m.; Fri, 4-11 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Location: Historic Downtown Palm Harbor District
Price: Free admission (rides and some concerts additional)
For more information: http://www.palmharborcc.org

Celebrate Palm Harbor’s citrus heritage with four days filled with food and drinks, rides, concerts, a kids’ area, vendors and much more. 

FIRST FRIDAYS CONCERT SERIES
Date: Fri, April 5
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
Price: Free
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks, live music and activities for the whole family. 

TAMPA BAY WATERSHOW TEAM
Date: Saturdays, April 6, 13, 20 and 27
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Tower Lake, Oldsmar
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.tampawaterski.com/
Ages: All

The Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team is back!  Each Saturday from now until October, this award-winning team performs the same great acts that earned them the Southern Region Show Ski Championship for more than ten years straight!  If you haven’t been before, come out and see what this team is all about!  Each show features ballet lines, jumpers, barefooters, pyramids and more. Seating is available, but many bring out lawn chairs or blankets to select their own spot along the grassy shore of the lake.

SUMMER SPLASH
Date: Sat, April 6
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa
Price: $5 general admission; free for members
For more information: http://www.glazermuseum.org/
Ages: All

Get into the summer spirit with this event featuring summer camps, current museum programs, workshops, and summer goodie packs for the first 150 kids. Bring the kids and they can play all day at the museum.

SPRING PLANT FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, April 13, and Sun, April 14
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (until 3 p.m., Sun.)
Location: USF Botanical Gardens, Tampa
Price: $5; kids under 12 and members free
For more information: http://gardens.usf.edu/
Ages: All

Approximately 70 vendors and plant clubs will be on hand. Find orchids, bougainvillea, carnivorous plants, African violets, tropical plants, garden accessories, decor, farming workshops and more.

FRESH MARKET AT WESTCHASE TOWN CENTER
Date: Sat, April 13
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Location: Front lawn of Westchase Town Center
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.tampabaymarkets.com
Ages: All

Come to this open-air fresh market where you can browse for produce and items from over 50 local vendors. Take home food and crafts will also be available and live music will keep you entertained while you shop. 

CLEARWATER THRESHERS VS. DAYTONA CUBS
Date: Tuesday, April 16
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Bright House Field, Clearwater
Price: $1 per ticket
For more information: http://www.threshersbaseball.com
Ages: All

Come cheer on the Threshers as they take on the Daytona Cubs and enjoy $1 tickets, hot dogs, 12-ounce draft beers, 16-ounce soft drinks, popcorn, peanuts and ice cream sandwiches! Don't miss out on this incredible deal!

EARTH DAY CELEBRATION
Date: Sat, April 20
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: USF Botanical Gardens, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://usfweb2.usf.edu/earthday
Ages: All

This year's theme, Fresh Food Revolution, promotes local food growers, producers, distributors, educators and supporters. The festival will feature exhibitors, an interactive drum circle, vendors, a farmers’ market, demonstrations, children's activities, community groups, and food − all aimed at helping Tampa Bay's residents create a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

MAINSAIL ARTS FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, April 20, and Sun, April 21
Time: Sat, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.mainsailartsfestival.org
Ages: All (no pets, please)

This annual event, held along the St. Petersburg waterfront, features juried fine art in a variety of media. You will also enjoy live entertainment, an activity tent for children and food from a variety of vendors.

MADEIRA BEACH FOOD FEST
Date: Thu, April 25, through Sat, April 27
Time: Thu, 6-10 p.m.; Fri, 5-10 p.m.; Sat, 3-10 p.m.
Location: Madeira Beach Ball Field
Price: Free
For more information: http://oldsaltfishing.org
Ages: All (no pets, please)

This annual food festival is held in conjunction with the King of the Beach Kingfish Tournament. Friday night is Community Night and visitors can enjoy food from area restaurants, arts and crafts, marine vendors and live music.

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WOW Events Calendar, February 2013

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for February.

PARK RANGER EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Date: Sat, Feb. 2 and Sun, Feb. 3
Time: 10 a.m. and noon
Location: Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa
Price: $5 per person (adults with children, free); $2 per vehicle
For more information: 987-6204
Ages: All

Rangers guide children ages 9-15, and children at heart, through a variety of fun and informative activities. This week features "Making Homemade Yogurt and Butter."

TRAIN WEEKEND
Date: Sun, Feb. 3
Time: 10 a.m.
Price: Free (donations appreciated)
Location: Largo Central Park
For more information: http://www.largo.com
Ages: All

Kids of all ages can ride the miniature trains of Largo Central Railroad. Bring a picnic to snack from as you enjoy all of the wonderful amenities at Central Park.

FLORIDA STATE FAIR
Date: Thu, Feb. 7 through Mon, Feb.18
Time: See Web site for schedule
Price: $8-12 ages 12 and older; $4-6 ages 6-11; 5 and younger free
Location: Florida State Fairgrounds
For more information: http://www.floridastatefair.com/
Ages: All

The 2013 Florida State Fair will include rides, games, animal exhibits, demonstrations and, of course, lots of unconventional food! This year the fair will be celebrating Florida’s 500th anniversary of the arrival of Ponce de Leon on the east coast of Florida with a Tampa Bay History Center curated exhibit.

MOVIE IN THE PARK
Date: Fri, Feb. 8
Time: Dusk
Price: Free
Location: Baybridge Park
For more information: http://westchasewca.com/
Ages: All

Come enjoy our beautiful Florida winter nights with a movie in the park. Bring chairs and blankets and settle in for a night of relaxing entertainment. February’s movie will be Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.

FRESH MARKET AT WESTCHASE TOWN CENTER
Date: Sat, Feb. 9
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Location: Front lawn of Westchase Town Center
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.tampabaymarkets.com
Ages: All

Come to this open-air, fresh market where you can browse for produce from over 50 local vendors. Take home food and crafts will also be available and live music will keep you entertained while you shop. 

IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD…
Date: Sun, Feb. 10
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Carrollwood Cultural Center, Tampa
Price: Free (non-perishable food donations requested)
For more information: (813) 269-1310
Ages: All

Rather than food for thought, this concert offers music for food. Non-perishable food donations for Tampa Bay Harvest are requested in exchange for classical chamber music.

CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION
Date: Sun, Feb. 10
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: USF Marshall Student Center Ballroom, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://global.usf.edu/confucius/
Ages: All

The USF Confucius Institute and Chinese Student & Scholars Association will host the Chinese New Year celebration featuring performances, refreshments, and cultural games. The event is open to the USF and Tampa Bay communities.

CLEARWATER SEA BLUES FESTIVAL
Date: Sat, Feb. 16 and Sun, Feb. 17
Time: Sat., noon and Sun., 1 p.m.
Location: Coachman Park, Clearwater
Price: Free
For more information: http://clearwaterseablues.com
Ages: All

This two-day fest offers free general admission and great acts such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Coco Montoya and Ruthie Foster! See Web site for a complete performance line-up.

FORESTRY HIKE
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 20
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Location: Brooker Creek Preserve, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.brookercreekpreserve.org/
Ages: All

Join your local Natural Resources Agent as you hike along two miles of boardwalks and natural trails at. This will be a learning experience for everyone! Come prepared with your binoculars, cameras and questions.

SAN GENNARO FESTA
Date: Sat, Feb. 23 and Sun, Feb. 24
Time: 11 a.m.–9 p.m. (until 7 p.m. Sun.)
Location: Safety Harbor Marina
Price: $5 adults; under 12 Free
For more information: http://www.sangennarofesta.com
Ages: All

Who can pass up an Italian street festival in beautiful downtown Safety Harbor?  Celebrate Italian culture and heritage with bocce courts, a cannoli and meatball-eating contest, grape stomping, a pasta-making demonstration and live Italian music.

$5 DAY AT THE ZOO
Date: Sun, Feb. 24
Time: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Lowry Park Zoo
Price: $5 per person
For more information: http://www.lowryparkzoo.com
Ages: All

Load the kids into the car and get ready to visit all your favorite animals. Everyone gets into the zoo for $5 today. But get there early because it gets crowded for this deal.

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WOW Events Calendar, January 2013

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for January.

ROOSEVELT ROWING REGATTA
Date: Saturday, Jan. 5, and Sunday, Jan. 6
Time: Saturday,10 a.m-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa
Price: Free admission
For more information: http://www.kenwalters.com/Roosevelt-Rowing-Regatta
Ages: All

An annual outdoor festival in downtown Tampa, the regatta celebrates the oldest intercollegiate sporting event, rowing races, taking place on the Hillsborough River. In addition to the boat races, there will be a seafood competition, food trucks, games and ice skating.

MOVIE IN THE PARK
Date: Friday, Jan. 11
Time: Dusk
Price: Free
Location: Baybridge Park
For more information: http://westchasewca.com
Ages: All

Come enjoy our beautiful Florida winter nights with a movie in the park. Bring chairs and blankets and settle in for a night of relaxing entertainment.

FRESH MARKET AT WESTCHASE TOWN CENTER
Date: Saturday, Jan. 12
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Location: Front lawn of Westchase Town Center
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.tampabaymarkets.com
Ages: All

Come to this open-air fresh market where you can browse for produce from over 50 local vendors. Take home food and crafts will also be available and live music will keep you entertained while you shop.

DOWNTOWN DUNEDIN ART FESTIVAL
Date: Saturday, Jan. 12
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Main Street, Dunedin
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.artfestival.com
Ages: All

At this annual festival, the top artists in the country, including local artists, will be on site with their artwork, including handmade art representing a wide range of media.

SENIOR EXPO
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 15
Time: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Location: Safety Harbor Community Center
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.cityofsafetyharbor.com
Ages: Seniors

Visit with local exhibitors dedicated to improving the quality of life for local seniors. Enjoy drawings, free refreshments, and live music!

PHOTOGRAPHY HIKE
Date: Thursday, Jan. 17
Time: 8 a.m.
Location: Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg
Price: Free (registration required)
For more information: (727) 453-6500
Ages: Best for adults

Capture the natural beauty of the preserve! Bring your camera and find ways to get the perfect shot. Center volunteers highlight seasonal features that are great to capture in photos. Registration is required.

CHILDREN’S GASPARILLA EXTRAVAGANZA AND PARADE
Date: Saturday, Jan. 19
Time: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Location: Bay to Bay Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa
Price: Free for general seating
For more information: http://gasparillapiratefest.com/index.html
Ages: All

The alcohol-free event kicks off the Gasparilla season in style, with a pre-schoolers’ stroll, bicycle safety rodeo, air invasion, a family-friendly Gasparilla parade and a fireworks display. And, of course...beads!

GASPARILLA PIRATE FEST
Date: Saturday, Jan. 26
Time: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Location: Ashley Drive, from Kennedy to Cass Street, Downtown Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://gasparillapiratefest.com/index.html
Ages: All ages welcome; however, for a more family-friendly Gasparilla celebration, see the Children’s Parade above

Downtown Tampa is preparing to be taken over by bands of marauding pirates. This swashbuckling annual celebration includes a full-on pirate invasion and a parade that promises a wealth of beads, doubloons and other treasures.

PINELLAS FOLK FESTIVAL
Date: Saturday, Jan. 26
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Heritage Village, Tampa
Price: Suggested $5 donation
For more information: http://www.pinellascounty.org/Heritage
Ages: All

Listen to dozens of the Tampa Bay area's premier folk musicians on traditional folk, gospel, country and bluegrass music on stages throughout the village.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON AT THE MOVIES: LA TRAVIATA
Date: Sunday, Jan. 27
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Straz Center’s TECO Theater, Tampa
Price: This is a “pay-what-you-can” event
For more information: (813) 229-7827
Ages: Best for adults

Join the Florida Opera Festival for a "Very Verdi Movie Afternoon" as they present La Traviata, the story of a lively Parisian courtesan who gives up the man she loves to save his family's reputation. The film is sung in Italian with English subtitles. Seating is limited and reservations are required.

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WOW Events Calendar: December 2012

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for December.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS IN THE GARDEN
Date: Daily through Jan. 1
Time: 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Location: Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo
Price: $2 per adult; children free
For more information: http://www.flbg.org/
Ages: All

Celebrate the holiday season Florida-style as you stroll through a garden of tropical plants glowing with more than 500,000 twinkling lights. Performers from dancers to choral groups will be on hand to entertain.

PALM HARBOR 38TH ANNUAL FINE ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL
Date: Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (until 4 p.m., Sun.)
Location: Florida Avenue, downtown Palm Harbor
Price: Free
For more information: http://www.palmharborcc.org
Ages: All

Take a stroll down Florida Avenue in historic downtown Palm Harbor while enjoying this juried show featuring artists, craftsmen, food, music and children’s activities.

AND HEAVEN AND NATURE SING: A HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
Date: Sunday, Dec. 2
Time: 2 and 4 p.m.
Location: University of Tampa Sykes Chapel, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: (813) 257-6100
Ages: All

Ryan Hebert conducts a performance by the University of Tampa choirs, the Tampa Brass and Haig Mardirosian on organ.

TARGET TUESDAY
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 4
Time: 2- 7 p.m.
Location: Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: http://glazermuseum.org/
Ages: All

Gather up the kids for an after-school or post-nap trip to this hands-on museum and enjoy complimentary admission brought to you by Target.

THERE’S SNOW PLACE LIKE TARPON AVENUE
Date: Friday, Dec. 7
Time: 4 p.m. (parade at 6:45 p.m.)
Location: Tarpon Avenue, Tarpon Springs
Price: Free
For more information: (727) 934-9255
Ages: All

Get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping at this magical evening filled with music, food, children’s activities…and snow! Later in the evening, the marina comes to life as decorated boats of all sizes head down Anclote River, making a stop in Spring Bayou.

SANTA’S PRE-FLIGHT PARADE AND TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY
Date: Saturday, Dec. 8
Time: 2-7:30 p.m.
Location: the neighborhoods of Westchase
Price: Free
For more information: See this month’s cover story
Ages: All

The Westchase Charitable Foundation is set to host its 7th annual parade through the streets of Westchase. Santa will be on hand for the big day, collecting unwrapped toys along the parade’s route to be donated to “Michelle’s Kids” gift drive. Beginning at 5 p.m. residents can head to West Park Village to enjoy holiday music and activities while awaiting Santa’s arrival. The night will come to a close with the annual lighting of the West Park Village tree.

MOVIE IN THE PARK
Date: Friday, Dec.14
Time: Dusk
Price: Free
Location: Baybridge Park
For more information: http://westchasewca.com
Ages: All

Westchase’s free family Movies in the Park continue. Movies start at sundown. Bring chairs and blankets and settle in for a great movie night. December’s movie will be National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (PG-13).

CHRISTMAS CONCERT IN THE PARK
Date: Saturday, Dec. 15
Time: 3 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Hyde Park Village, Tampa

For more information: (813) 251-3500
Ages: All

Christ the King Catholic Church Contemporary Band plays seasonal music to benefit local restaurant Trinity Cafe. The concert is free, but donations are gratefully accepted and will be used to purchase food to feed the homeless, hungry and working poor in our community.

GULFPORT ART WALK
Date: Saturday, Dec. 22
Time: 6-10 p.m.
Price: Free

Location: Beach Boulevard, Gulfport
For more information: http://gulfportflorida.us
Ages: All

This monthly art walk, featuring local artists, crafters and authors, now includes lively street entertainment to engage the strolling audience. Keep an eye out for stilt walkers, jugglers, costumed characters, magicians and balloon artists roaming Beach Boulevard. There is something for everyone in Gulfport’s Waterfront Art District.

SUNSET CINEMA AT PIER 60
Date: Monday, Dec. 31
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Pier 60, Clearwater
For more information: http://www.sunsetsatpier60.com
Ages: Move rated pg-13

Ring in the New Year with a movie on the beach. Tonight’s feature is (what else?)…New Year’s Eve! (PG-13). There will be concessions for sale and the movie will begin promptly at dusk.

By Karen Ring

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WOW Events Calendar: November 2012

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for November.

ROCK THE PARK

Date: Thursday, Nov. 1
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa
For more information: www.rocktheparktampa.com
Ages: All

Rock the Park showcases Tampa's musical talents of all genres. In addition to live music, food and beverages will be available. This event takes place on the first Thursday of every month.

FIRST FRIDAYS CONCERT SERIES

Date: Friday, Nov. 2
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
Price: Free
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase/Events.aspx
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks, live music and activities for the whole family.

ART HARVEST

Date: Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Highlander Park, Dunedin
For more information: www.dunedingov.com
Ages: All

Art Harvest, Tampa Bay’s largest autumn art show, is a well-respected juried show of high-quality art with balanced media involving over 200 artists. In addition to ample shopping opportunities for grown ups, the Children’s Pavilion provides an interactive art experience for the younger set, with arts and crafts projects related to the current year’s theme.

MOVIE IN THE PARK

Date: Friday, Nov. 9
Time: Dusk
Price: Free
Location: Baybridge Park
For more information: http://westchasewca.com
Ages: All

Westchase’s free family movies in the park continue. Movies start at sundown. Bring chairs and blankets and settle in for a great movie night. November’s movie will be Happy Feet 2.

TAMPA GREEK FESTIVAL

Date: Friday, Nov. 9, through Sunday, Nov. 11
Time: Fri and Sat, 11 a.m.-midnight; Sun, 11 a.m-6 p.m.
Price: $1 in advance/$2 at the door; children under 12, free
Location: St. John Greek Orthodox Church and School, Tampa
For more information: www.tampagreekfestival.com
Ages: All

Attracting more than 7,500 people each year, this annual community event offers a chance to feast on fresh, authentic Mediterranean meals, sample luscious desserts, and quench your thirst at a kafenion (coffee bar), all while enjoying lively, spirited Greek dancers.

FRESH MARKET AT WESTCHASE TOWN CENTER

Date: Saturday, Nov.10
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Price: Free admission
Location: Front lawn of Westchase Town Center
For more information: www.tampabaymarkets.com
Ages: All

Come to this open-air fresh market where you can browse for produce from over 50 local vendors. Take-home food and crafts will be available as well, and live music will keep you entertained while you shop.

SAFETY HARBOR SALUTES VETERANS

Date: Sunday, Nov. 11
Time: 11 a.m.
Price: Free
Location: Veterans Memorial Park, Safety Harbor
For more information: (727) 724-1572
Ages: All

The City of Safety Harbor, American Legion Post No. 238 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No.10093 will present a salute to all of those brave men and women that have served our country.

WCA FALL FESTIVAL

Date: Saturday, Nov. 17
Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Price: $5
Location: Westchase Town Center
For more information: (813) 926-6404
Ages: All

Join your neighbors for fun activities for the entire family: pony rides, a train ride, carnival games with prizes, face painting, popcorn, cotton candy and other food. Admission costs $5 per person and can be paid in advance at the association’s management office located at 10049 Parley Dr. in West Park Village through Nov. 16. Wristbands will be provided to you at the entry gate of the festivities. You can also purchase your wristbands at the gate the day of the event for the same price. Children 18 months and younger will be free.

FARM CITY DAY

Date: Saturday, Nov. 17
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Heritage Village, Largo
For more information: http://pinellascounty.org/heritage
Ages: All

This event is the kickoff to Farm City Week, a national celebration during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Come enjoy agriculturally inspired arts and crafts and play "olde-time" games. There will be lots of giveaways and “make and takes.”

YBOR CITY HERITAGE AND CIGAR FESTIVAL

Date: Saturday, Nov. 17
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Price: $5 in advance; $10 at the gate; children 12 and under, free.
Location: Ybor Square in Ybor City, Tampa
Ages: All

This annual daytime festival is perfect for the entire family. Featuring live music, dancing, craft beer, food trucks, an architecture hop, and a kids’ zone, there is something for everyone in this celebration benefitting the Ybor City Museum Society.

EXTENDED GUIDED HIKE: WINTER WONDERS

Date: Saturday, Nov. 24
Time: 9 a.m.
Price: Free (registration required)
Location: Brooker Creek Preserve
For more information: http://brookercreekpreserve.org
Ages: All (those under 10 may find the hike challenging)

Join us for a 2.8 to 4-mile walk as we look at how the land has changed over time and discuss the ecological footprints left by those changes. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes are a must. Water and a hat are recommended.

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Special Events, Oct. 2012

TARGET TUESDAY
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 2
Time: 2 -7 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Glazer Children’s Museum
For more information: http://glazermuseum.org
Ages: All

Get a peek at the hands-on museum through this event presented by Target offering free admission to everyone from 2 to 7 p.m., perfect for an after-school or post-nap diversion. Special guest appearances by PBS stars make the afternoon even more fun!

SUNSET BEACH CONCERT SERIES
Date: Thursday, Oct. 4
Time: 7 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Sunset Beach, Tarpon Springs
For more information: www.tarponspringsmusic.com
Ages: All

Bring a chair and come enjoy a night of music courtesy of The Tarpon Springs Recreation Department, along with Friends of Music on the Beach. October’s concert features Straight Up Blues playing classic rock, R&B and blues.

FIRST FRIDAYS CONCERT SERIES
Date: Friday, Oct. 5
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
Price: Free
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase/Events.aspx
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks, LIVE music and activities for the whole family.

TAMPA BAY BOAT SHOW
Date: Friday, Oct. 12 through Sunday, Oct. 14
Time: 10 a.m.
Price: Free ($5 for Parking)
Location: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
For more information: www.tampabayboatshows.com
Ages: All

This three-day Bay area boating show offers everything for the boating enthusiast – from boats on display to boating and fishing supplies and plenty of other seaside accessories. It is an event the whole family will enjoy.

MOVIES IN THE PARK
Date: Friday, Oct. 12
Time: Dusk
Location: Baybridge Park, Westchase
Price: Free
For more information: http://westchasewca.com
Ages: All

Westchase’s free family Movies in the Park continue. Movies start at sundown. Bring chairs and blankets and insect repellent and settle in for a great movie night. The Addams Family will be showing in October.

FRESH MARKET AT WESTCHASE TOWN CENTER
Date: Saturday, Oct. 13
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Price: Free admission
Location: Front lawn of Westchase Town Center
For more information: www.tampabaymarkets.com
Ages: All

Come to this open-air fresh market where you can browse for produce from over 50 local vendors. Take-home food and crafts will be available as well and live music will keep you entertained while you shop.

UPPER TAMPA BAY CHAPTER OKTOBERFEST
Date: Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 21
Time: 5 p.m.
Price: $5, 12 and younger Free (carnival rides extra)
Location: Tampa Bay Downs, Tampa
For more information: www.utbchamber.com
Ages: All

This Oktoberfest celebration takes place under a massive Munich-style tent with authentic German food, beer, and musical performances. The Big O carnival and midway will be there as a treat for kids of all ages.

POPS IN THE PARK CONCERT
Date: Saturday, Oct. 20
Time: 7 p.m.
Price: Free (suggested canned food donation for Tampa Bay Harvest)
Location: Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg
For more information: www.floridaorchestra.org
Ages: All

Pack a picnic dinner and enjoy the beautiful sounds of The Florida Orchestra under the stars. Concertgoers will be treated to a lively mix of familiar classics and popular favorites.

CROSS ROADS FARMERS MARKET
Date: Sunday, Oct. 21
Time: 10 a.m.
Price: Free admission
Location: Intersection of Curlew and Belcher roads, Palm Harbor
For more information: (727) 784-9690

This pet-friendly market features produce, cheese, honey, fresh baked goods, plants, fresh herbs, jewelry, hand-made crafts, food, live music, and more. Open weather permitting.

HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR
Date: Thursday, Oct. 25
Time: 5-8 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Westchase Town Center
For more information: (813) 792-5330
Ages: All

Head over to the West Park Village Town Center on Montague Street for a night of trick-or-treating, hayrides, and Halloween fun sponsored by West Park Village Apartments and retail establishments.

HALLOWEEN IN THE PARK
Date: Friday, Oct. 26
Time: 6 p.m.
Price: $10 per carload (includes 10 game tickets)
Location: Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin
For more information: (727) 469-5942
Ages: All

The beautiful state park gets a little spooky with a Haunted House and a Scary Trail through the woods. There's also a not-so-scary, child-friendly area with an interactive children's pavilion, games, face painting, fortunetellers and spooky story telling. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Island Parks.


WILDFLOWER FESTIVAL
Date: Saturday, Oct. 27
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Brooker Creek Preserve, Tarpon Springs
For more information: www.brookercreekpreserve.org
Ages: All

The event includes a honey beehive exhibit, wildflower scavenger hunt, wildflower presentations, and wildflowers for sale. Also, get up-close and personal with butterflies in the huge butterfly tent. Great for both children and adults. This event is sponsored by The Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve.

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WOW Events Calendar, Sept. 2012

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for September

SWAPTEMBER

Date: Every day in September
Time: Varies by location
Price: Free for pass holders at any of the three locations
Location: Lowry Park Zoo, MOSI and the Florida Aquarium
For more information: www.lowryparkzoo.com; www.mosi.org; www.flaquarium.org
Ages: All

This Swaptember partnership allows pass holders at any of these three locations – Lowry Park Zoo, MOSI, and the Florida Aquarium – to receive free admission to all locations during the month of September.

FREE GUIDED NATURE TOURS

Date: Every Saturday and Sunday
Time: 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Price: Free ($2 per vehicle up to eight people to enter park)
Location: Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa
For more information: www.hillsboroughcounty.org
Ages: All

Park rangers will lead guided tours through the boardwalk and along the Hillsborough River, pointing out native plants, birds, and maybe even an alligator or two. Guests will also have the opportunity to climb the three-story observation tower and enjoy the scenery.

GECKO FEST

Date: Sat, Sept. 1
Time: 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Beach Boulevard, Gulfport
For more information: www.geckofest.com
Ages: All

The waterfront district comes alive with strolling street characters, stage musicians, performing artists and merchants with all types of unique wares.  Over 30,000 attendees and up to 200 artisans, craftsmen and quirky vendors will be appearing at this year’s 12th annual celebration.

IKEA KIDS’ ACADEMY

Date: Mon, Sept. 3
Time: 11 a.m., noon, 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: IKEA, Tampa
For more information: www.ikea-usa.com
Ages: Kids under 12

This event features free activities, a free meal and free t-shirt.  September’s activity is personalizing a GLIS box to store all of those school supplies! Activities last 20 minutes. 

SUNSET BEACH CONCERT SERIES

Date: Thu, Sept. 6
Time: 7 p.m.
Price: Free
Location: Sunset Beach, Tarpon Springs
For more information: http://tarponspringsmusic.com
Ages: All (no dogs please)

This free concert, featuring classic rock by Road House Band, is brought to you by The Tarpon Springs Recreation Department, along with Friends of Music on the Beach. Refreshments are available for purchase. A courtesy shuttle will be available at Tarpon Springs High School at 6 p.m.

FIRST FRIDAYS CONCERT SERIES

Date: Friday, September 7
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
Price: Free
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase/Events.aspx
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks, live music and activities for the whole family. 

9/11 MEMORIAL CEREMONY

Date: Tue, Sept. 11
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Curlew Hills Memorial Gardens, Palm Harbor
Price: Free
For more information: (727) 789-2000
Ages: All

To honor Americans lost in the Sept. 11 tragedy, Palm Harbor will hold a dedication ceremony for the unveiling of a monument encasing a 150-pound steel beam from the World Trade Center towers. Radio personality Jack Harris of 970 WFLA serves as master of ceremonies for the event with guest speakers, a pipe and drum band performance, U.S. Coast Guard fly-over and a presentation of the colors by the Palm Harbor Fire Rescue Honor Guard.

MOVIES IN THE PARK

Date: Fri, Sept. 14
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Baybridge Park, Westchase
Price: Free
For more information: http://westchasewca.com
Ages: All

Westchase’s free family Movies in The Park continue. Movies start at sundown. Bring chairs and blankets and insect repellent and settle in for a great movie night. Scooby Doo, The Curse of the Lake Monster will be showing in September.

TOTAL FOOD MAKEOVER

Date: Thu, Sept. 20
Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
Location: West Park Village Clubhouse, Westchase
Price: Free (registration required)
For more information: Visit a participating location listed below.
Ages: Adults

This is a free seminar featuring the Maximized Living Total Food Makoever.  The focus will be on teaching participants how to change the way they shop, eat and approach their health.  Stop in at the West Park Village YMCA, Pia Esthetics Day Spa or the Village Market to secure your spot today.

SAFETY HARBOR SUMMERTIME MARKET

Date: Sat, Sept. 22
Time: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Location: John Wilson Park, Safety Harbor
Price: Free (items individually priced)
For more information: www.cityofsafetyharbor.com
Ages: All

Every third Saturday, fresh produce, fresh flowers and other healthy foods fill the
gazebo in John Wilson Park.

MUSEUM DAY LIVE!

Date: Sat, Sept. 29
Price: Free (but free admission ticket required)
Location: Participating museums
For more information: www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday
Ages: All

Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket...for free. Several museums throughout our area will take part, including Cracker Country and the Tampa Bay History Center. Read more and obtain your Museum Day tickets at: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday

.

Photos courtesy of The Florida Aquarium and the Tarpon Springs Recreation Department.

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WOW Events Calendar

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for August.

Tour Tampa Architecture
Date: Ongoing
Time: at your leisure
Location: Downtown Tampa
Price: Free
For more information: www.tourtampabayarchitecture.com
Ages: All

Using smartphone technology, the American Institute of Architects has devised a way for you to experience all of the architectural splendor Tampa’s downtown has to offer…for free!  Just look for buildings featuring a prominent QR code, including such favorites as Tampa Museum of Art, the Tampa Theater, and Sacred Heart Church, and then scan the code using your smartphone to learn interesting tidbits about the building. Visit the Web site listed above for a map of the featured buildings as well as instructions on downloading the necessary QR code app.

Art on the House
Date: Fri, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31
Time: 4-8 p.m.
Location: Tampa Museum of Art, downtown Tampa
Price: Free (donations welcome)
For more information: www.tampamuseum.org
Ages: All

Through a generous gift of Hill Ward Henderson, Art on the House provides access to the museum galleries free of charge each Friday evening. Donations are always welcome.

First Fridays Concert Series
Date: Fri, Aug. 3
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Location: Westchase Town Center, from the fountain to Maloney's
Price: Free
For more information: http://wobusa.com/Locations/Westchase/Events.aspx
Ages: All

Head to Westchase Town Center, where the street will be shut down from the fountain to Maloney's for a night filled with food, drinks, live music and activities for the whole family.

Dillydally with Dali
Date: Sat, Aug. 4, 11, 18 and 25
Time: 11:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (1-4:30 p.m. on Aug. 4)
Location: The Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
Price: Free
For more information: www.thedali.org
Ages: All ages are welcome

Whether you want to expose your children to the arts or are looking to entertain your own inner child, this is a great opportunity to discover the creative world of Dalí. The Education Classroom is free to the public and offers stories, puzzles and activities that educate and encourage family interaction. Saturdays feature unique arts and crafts, such as creating your own Dalí-inspired moustache.

Weedon Island Preserve Guided Hike
Date: Sat, Aug. 4, 11, 18 and 25
Time: 9-11 a.m.
Location: Weedon Island Preserve, St. Petersburg
Price: Free
For more information: http://weedonislandpreserve.eventbrite.com/
Ages: All ages welcome; most suitable for ages 6 and up

This hike will expose you to coastal mangrove and upland ecosystems of the preserve. Learn about the coastal environment and the history of Weedon Island Preserve. Bring water and a snack. A hat and closed-toe shoes are also recommended.

Train Weekend
Date: Sat, Aug. 4 and Sun, Aug. 5
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Largo Central Park, Largo
Price: Free (donations recommended)
For more information: www.largo.com
Ages: All

This is your opportunity to ride Largo Central Railroad’s miniature trains. This is a free event, but donations are recommended – they are what help keep the trains running. Bring a picnic and spend the day enjoying all that Largo Central Park has to offer. From the Largo Rotary Rainbow Playground to the tranquil water feature and numerous shady patches, there is something for everyone.

Yoga in the Park
Date: Sun, Aug. 5, 12, 19, and 26
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, downtown Tampa
Price: $5 suggested donation
For more information: http://www.yogadowntowntampa.com
Ages: All

Join Yoga Downtown Tampa for yoga in the park. This is a great activity to enjoy as a family or with friends. The class will be held rain or shine. On sunny days, join the class on the grass in front of the Tampa Museum of Art. When raining, the class will take place under the overhang of the Tampa Museum. Bring your mat, towel, water, friends and family.

Movies in the Park
Date: Friday, Aug. 10
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Baybridge Park, Westchase
Price: Free
For more information: http://westchasewca.com
Ages: All

Westchase’s free family Movies in the Park continue all summer long. Movies start at sundown. Bring chairs and blankets and insect repellent and settle in for a great movie night. The Muppets/PG will be showing in August.

Back to School Fair
Date: Sat, Aug. 11
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Glazer Children’s Museum, downtown Tampa
Price: $5 per person (free for museum members)
For more information: http://tampabayparenting.com/backtoschoolfair
Ages: All

Gear your kids up for the upcoming school year at the annual Back to School Fair! The event will feature live entertainment, informational speaker sessions, karaoke, games, arts and crafts, face painting, a balloon artist, workshops and a whole bunch of fun! Plus, fair goers will be able to enjoy the entire museum for only $5 per person.

Backyard Aliens
Date: Sat, Aug. 18
Time: 10 a.m.-noon
Location: Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center, Tarpon Springs
Price: Free
For more information: http://brookercreekpreserve.eventbrite.com
Ages: Adults and families welcome

This program, conducted by Sensing Nature, will help attendees differentiate whether a species is exotic or native. Learn how Backyard Aliens are moving in and what we can do to help our true Florida natives. The presentation will take place indoors and then participants will enjoy a nature walk to help distinguish natives from exotics while discussing the importance of helping Florida’s natural ecosystem.

Family Movie Series at Capitol Theatre
Date: Sat, Aug. 25
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Capitol Theatre, Clearwater
Price: $5 per person
For more information: www.rutheckerdhall.com/tickets-and-events/venues/capitol-theatre
Ages: All

Join the fun at a series of family-friendly movie classics brought to you within the confines of a classic Hollywood-style theater. Showing in August is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (starring Gene Wilder).

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Special Events, July 2012

Check out these free (or nearly free) events for July.

Regal Summer Movie Express
Date: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, July 3-Aug. 8
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Citrus Park Stadium 20, Park Place Stadium 16 and Largo Mall Stadium 8
Price: $1 admission
For more information: www.regmovies.com/summermovieexpress
Ages: All

Treat your kids (and yourself!) to a break from the heat and enjoy selected G or PG films for only $1. Check with participating theaters for complete movie schedule.

The Stars of Summer Planetarium Shows
Date: Fridays, July 6, 13 and 20
Time: 7 and 8:15 p.m.
Location: The Planetarium at St. Petersburg College
Price: Free
For more information: www.spjc.edu/spg/planetarium.htm
Ages: 5 and up

Resident astronomer and Planetarium Director, Dr. Craig Joseph, hosts these free shows in the planetarium’s star theater, which can accurately simulate the night sky at any time or location on Earth. Weather permitting, the rooftop observatory will be open for telescope viewing after the shows.

Saturday Sunsets on the Trail
Date: Saturdays, July 7 and 21
Time: 1-9 p.m. (weather permitting)
Location: Treasure Island's gulf front beach trail
Price: Free
For more information: www.mytreasureisland.org
Ages: All

This free family event features artisans, crafters, street performers and live musical entertainment – all taking place in one of the best sunset-watching spots around!

The Sunsets at Pier 60 Weekend Movies
Date: Fridays and Saturdays, July 6-28
Time: Movies start at sunset
Location: Pier 60, Clearwater
Price: Free
For more information: www.sunsetsatpier60.com
Ages: Check movie schedule for film rating

Bring your beach towels, blankets and low beach chairs to enjoy free family-friendly films on the beach. Check Web site for film schedule and ratings.

Dunedin Orange Festival
Date: Saturday, July 7
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Edgewater Waterfront Park, Dunedin
Price: Free
For more information: http://dunedinorangefestival.com
Ages: All

Celebrate Dunedin’s history at this old fashioned downtown celebration. There will be live entertainment on stage throughout the day, as well as a kid zone, farmers’ market, silent auction, and, of course, the crowning of the Miss Dunedin Orange Queen.

Westchase Food Truck Rally and Movie in the Park
Date: Friday, July 13
Time: 6-9 p.m. Food Truck Rally; 8:30 p.m. Movie in the Park
Location: WCA Office Parking Lot (Parley Drive) and Baybridge Park
Price: Movie is free
Ages: All

Join the delicious fun at Westchase’s own food truck rally. Every second Friday of the month this summer, also bring the kids for the Movie in the Park at Baybridge Park. The movies start at sunset.

Birds of Brooker Hike
Date: Saturday, July 14
Time: 8-10:30 a.m.
Location: Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center, Tarpon Springs
Price: Free
For more information: www.brookercreekpreserve.org
Ages: All

If you have ever wondered which birds are singing in your backyard or wanted to be able to identify the various birds that populate your neighborhood, then Beginning Bird Hikes are for you! Learn how to identify common birds as you are guided along a one-mile trail. Bring water and binoculars if you have them.

Westchase Concert in the Park
Date: Friday, July 20
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: West Park Village Town Green on Montague Street
Price: Free
Ages: All

Bring your coolers, snacks and blankets and enjoy the Shaney Magee Band’s jazz and blues sound. The concert is sponsored by the Westchase Community Association (WCA).

Clearwater Threshers $1 Tuesdays
Date: Tuesdays, July 17, 24, and 31
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Bright House Field, Clearwater
Price: $1 berm seats
For more information: www.milb.com
Ages: All

Come cheer on the Clearwater Threshers on Tuesdays (excluding July 3) and pay only $1 for berm seats (the grassy area beyond outfield). Hot dogs, 12-ounce draft beers, 16-ounce soft drinks, popcorn, peanuts and ice cream sandwiches are all only $1 as well!


Downtown Safety Harbor Third Friday Music Series
Date: Friday, July 20
Time: 6-10 p.m.
Location: Downtown Safety Harbor
Price: Free
For more information: www.cityofsafetyharbor.com
Ages: All

There is something for everyone at this evening event filled with shopping, dining and entertainment. Enjoy a musical performance by Impulse Reggae while you browse arts and crafts. Area businesses and restaurants are open late.

Temple Terrace Family Fun Day and Wellness Fair
Date: Saturday, July 21
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Location: Temple Terrace Recreation Center, Tampa
Price: Free Entry; $3 lunch
For more information: 506-6600
Ages: All

Come enjoy fun games and delicious food at this year’s Family Fun Day. There will be competitive games to encourage kids and adults to join the fun with this year’s theme: Summer Games. Pre-register your team or family for a chance to win a door prize!

$5 Day at Lowry Park Zoo
Date: Friday, July 22
Time: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa
Price: $5 per person
For more information: www.lowryparkzoo.com
Ages: All

Visit all of your favorite animals on a budget, with Lowry Park Zoo’s $5 Day. Free extra parking is available this day only next to the Tampa Greyhound Track, with free shuttles running continuously from that lot to the zoo between 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

If you have a free or mostly free event in the Westchase area, send the information for consideration to editor@westchasewow.com.

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