Tampa Bay’s Best Inexpensive Things To Do With Children

By Barbara Ann Kelley, CBSTampa.com
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Prince Christian of Denmark's First School Day

It may your turn to take the kids, or you are vacationing in the Bay Area, or possibly you just relocated and are unfamiliar with what the area has to offer for children’s activities.  What fun things can you do with them that will not break the bank? Here are our top inexpensive and fun activities to do with kids on the weekday or weekend.

Clearwater Beach Family Aquatic Center
51 Bay Esplanade
Clearwater, FL 33767 | www.clearwater-fl.com
(727) 462-6020

The Clearwater Beach Family Aquatic Center will definitely be a big hit for everyone in the family. The Family Aquatic Center’s swimming facility features six 25-yard lap swimming lanes and a children’s play area. It’s only a short drive from Tampa and it’s near the world class sandy shores of Clearwater Beach. Fees range from free to about $6, depending on various factors.

Vertical Ventures Rock Climbing Gym
5402 Pioneer Park Blvd · Suite E
Tampa, Florida 33634 | www.verticalventures.com
(813)  884 – ROCK

Do the kids and you need to burn off some energy? Do they love to climb things? Vertical Ventures is the place for you! 6,000 sq. ft. of rock climbing excitement. Never climbed before?  Don’t worry they offer introductory classes in which you and the kids can learn the basics. Vertical Ventures is open six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday. Their hours are: Tuesday – Thursday from 12pm – 10pm. Friday there are two sessions, 12pm – 7pm and 8pm – 12am. Saturday and Sunday they are open 10am – 6pm. They are closed on Mondays.  Admission: Daily $14. Kids 8 and Under $7. Belay Class for 1 (includes all equipment, admission and return visit)  $35. Belay Class for 2+(includes all equipment, admission and return visit)  $25 each.

Great Explorations Children’s Museum
1925 4th St N
St Petersburg, FL 33704
(727) 821-8992 | www.greatelporations.org

Open Mon-Sat 10am-4:30pm; Sun 12pm-4:30pm

Great Explorations Children’s Museum, is one of Florida’s top museums and one of America’s top museums for children. The museum is 24,000 square feet with 18,000 square feet of exhibits that are continually upgraded. Some of the exhibits include: a veterinary office and how to make sound waves. Great Explorations  is a fun family educational experience that makes learning exciting for visitors of all ages.  Free for children under 2 years. $10 for ages 2 to 54 years. $9 for ages 55 and up.  Every adult 18 and over must be accompanied by a child, and every child 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

Minor-League Baseball’s All American Deals

www.minorleaguebaseball.com

Florida is home to many minor-league baseball teams. What kid wouldn’t enjoy a day watching Baseball. During Baseball Season, the minor-league teams tickets are usually no more than $10. The Clearwater Threshers have dollar Tuesdays where the ticket and all the food sell for a dollar each. Kid’s eating free is always the best deal around and it saves big time. At ball games it’s the ticket prices plus the food that keeps most families from attending often. Not at the Tampa Yankees games. Wednesdays the Tampa Yankee’s have Kids Night. Kids 14 and under can chow down on a free hot dog, ice cream, and soda with the purchase of a reserved $5 ticket. Tampa Yankee ticket specials can only be purchased at the Steinbrenner Field Box Office. The Dunedin Blue Jays sell dollar dogs on Wednesdays and dollar refreshments on Thirsty Thursdays.

$5 Days At Lowry Park Zoo
1101 West Sligh Ave | Tampa, 33604
(813) 935-8552 | www.lowryparkzoo.com

Hang with the kids and the animals at the Lowry Park Zoo. Normally ticket prices at the Zoo are; $23.95 for Adults, Kids 3-11 are $18.95, Seniors 60 + are $21.95 and children 3 and under are free. Certain times of the year they give huge savings, all tickets are $5. $5 days are packed! Most Zoo rides and animal food are not included in the ticket price on $5 Days.

Largo Central Railroad
225 Central Park Dr
Clearwater, 33755
(727) 585-9835 | www.lcrailroad.com

All aboard everyone! Big kids and little kids of all ages will giggle with delight when they climb on board Largo Central Railroad’s miniature trains. The first weekend of every month they open up and offer free public run days. Everyone is welcome. Over a mile and a half of tracks run through Largo Central Park. They operate from 10am to 4pm. Bring a picnic or buy lunch from one of the vendors. Children must be at least one year to ride the trains.

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