Because the weather in the Tampa Bay area is so beautiful, especially during the winter months, kids have numerous activities they can do outdoors as well as indoors. There are, however, a variety of special events for children that will take place this winter. The Lowry Park Zoo, in Tampa, and MOSI (the Museum of Science and Industry), also in Tampa, are two venues that have planned some events for kids that sound especially exciting.
The Lowry Park Zoo, voted number 1 zoo in the country, is a great destination for children throughout the year. This December there are a few special events planned for very young kids. On Friday December 17 at 11 AM the zoo will present a show called “Presents for Primates.” Visitors can get into the holiday spirit watching the monkeys open presents from the zoo staff. The show is free with the price of admission to the zoo.
On December 28 and 29, at noon, the zoo will present the “Fisher Price Little People Holiday Show.” The show promises much singing, dancing and surprises. It is geared toward toddlers and is about 40 minutes. This show is also free with the price of admission.
Finally, on New Year’s Eve day from 9:30 AM til 12 PM, parents and young children can celebrate a family New Year’s Eve. The celebration will include noisemakers, hats and a juice toast when a giant clock will strike twelve (noon not midnight.) This, too, is free with the price of admission. You can read about these events here.
I was surprised to learn that the price of admission to the zoo, unfortunately, increased quite a bit in September of this year. General admission is now $20.95 for adults, $18.95 for seniors (over 60) and $15.95 for kids (3-11), free for children 2 and under. This is a significant increase. The park is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa and parking is free.
MOSI, also in Tampa and also an interesting destination for children all year long, will be hosting “The Festival Of Chocolate” on January 15, 16 and 17, 2011. The festival is all about chocolate, the tasting of chocolate, demonstrations of chocolate recipes by pastry chefs and a “Kids 4 Chocolate” creative workshop with chocolate crafts. Not only will you be able to taste gourmet chocolate, cookies, brownies, cakes, cupcakes, chocolate drinks and more; you will be able to learn all there is to know about chocolate in an educational chocolate museum. You can learn more about this event here .
If chocolate isn’t your bag, MOSI offers over 400 hands-on displays to fascinate children of all ages. There is a butterfly garden on sight as well as a planetarium and an IMAX theater, which is now showing the new Harry Potter film. Admission to the museum is $20.95 for adults (13-59), $18.95 for seniors (60+) and $16.95 for children 2-12. This includes all galleries, one planetarium show, one standard IMAX film (not the Harry Potter movie) and Kids in Charge which is the science center. The museum is located at 4801 E. Fowler Avenue in Tampa.
One final special winter event for children is a new ice skating rink which opened in Tampa Thursday, November 18. According to an article in the Tampa Tribune, by Rob Shaw, the mayor of Tampa, Pam Iorio, helped to christen the new rink on the opening day. The rink will be open Monday through Thursday 11 AM to 10 PM, Friday and Saturday 10 AM til 10 PM and Sunday from noon til 8 PM. Cost for a 90 minute skating session is $10 and that includes skate rental. Located at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, the rink will be opened through January 2.
So if biking, fishing and boating become boring, there are always these special events to keep the kids happy. That is one of the benefits of living in Florida, there are so many things to do outside in the winter. On the odd day that it does rain you can be grateful for a good book or a good movie.
Sources: 1. Tampa Tribune article by Rob Shaw, “Gliding into Winter Fun.”
2. Links embedded within the article.