By Barbara Ann Kelley,

Having fun in your spare time should be a priority for anyone who wants better health, greater happiness and less stress. Since Tampa Bay is so large it is hard to be tuned into all that is going on. We have done the research  for you and come up with our 4 best bets to let some steam off this weekend and have a blast.

4.  Comics Night Out With a Open Mic

Channel the inner comic in you at open mic night at Side Splitters. If you have always wanted to be a comic here is the chance to try out those jokes of yours that everyone you know laughs at. Sunday (1/29) at 9 p.m. General admission for the audience is $10 when purchased online. It may be higher at door. Price includes drink and Dominoes Pizza. Side Splitters 12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa; (813) 960-1197. Sign up for Open Mic by emailing:

3.  BBQ and Country Music

Find your Country Roots at the Amp with Zac Brown Band – One of Country musics hottest country/Rock bands with be making a stop at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Ampitheater on Saturday night (1/28). Tickets: $42 – $71. If you are one of the lucky 100 fun club members you will be chowing down on home BBQ before the concert at the Bands famous ‘Eat and Greet’. For the rest of the concert goers getting take out at Mike’s Southern Classic BBQ on US-301 is the next best thing. Ask about their concert and take out specials. They have 99 cent cold draft beer in frosty mugs that will hit the spot just right before the concert! Mike’s is located at 7117 N. US-301, Tampa, FL, 33610 (813) 626-5222. If you’re still fired up after the concert check out the Dallas or the Round Up in Oldsmar to finish your night off with some line dancing.

2.  UniverSoul: Soul Circus

The awe-inspiring UniverSoul Circus is heading to Tampa, FL, bringing the most electrifying and interactive single ring extravaganza to the parking lot of Raymond James Stadium, Jan. 27-29.This circus has the market cornered on Soul. UniverSoul is a hip interactive circus that blends traditional circus acts with theater and music that spans genres. Music like: Pop, Classic R&B, Latin, Hip Hop, Jazz and Gospel. This is a circus where you can dance in the aisles, and be amazed by world-class acts from around the globe, including Chinese aerialists, pampered pooches, contortionists from Africa who contort their bodies to hip-hop and R&B, along with Caribbean stilt walkers, motorcycle acts and more.Tickets prices $15 to $28.00. Children under 1 are free.

1.  Gasparilla Pirate Invasion and Parade

Pirate ship Jose Gasparilla and hundreds of pleasure boats will invade the south end of the Hillsborough Bay on Saturday (1/28). This yearly alcohol fueled invasions marks the beginning of Tampa Bay’s Gasparilla Pirate Festival. The pirate invasion will begin approximately 11:30 a.m. on Saturday with a parade complete with a New Orleans style bead throwing frenzy that starts at 2 p.m. near the convention center. To Learn more about this Tampa pirate invasion go to our Gasparilla 2012 survival guide by clicking here.