Hey, Mom and Dad- It’s not your fault.

By: Taylor Arellano

I was a brand new Mom with a sweet little newborn boy. He was the center of my whole world, my iPhone was filled with nothing but pictures of him throughout every part of our day no matter how insignificant. I lived and breathed for every involuntary smile, coo, and wiggle.

Like any new Mom, I spammed my Facebook news feed with pictures of my new baby all day, every day. I was so proud of this little life Zach and I had brought into the world, and I wanted to share his never ending cuteness (no matter how insignificant the photo really was) with the whole world.

So, the day I received a Facebook message in regards to a picture I posted of a photo of my then 2 month old son still makes me question myself to this day…

I had just started my transition out of the Military and was home often by myself with Isaac. Being a brand new, young Mom I was learning how to balance home chores with trying to feed and please a newborn, as well as apply for new jobs, buy a new home, and more. These days were absolutely crazy to say the least.

One day, Isaac was especially fussy, and I distinctly remember it was a day where I needed to be on the phone to talk to the lenders for the home we were purchasing. Wondering if it would work, I turned on a quiet T.V. Channel and placed Isaac in his bouncer in front of the T.V. Stand to occupy him while I was on the phone. To my surprise, it worked, and I actually thought it was cute that my 2 month old was so entertained by a completely random T.V. show, so of course I snapped a pic and uploaded it to Facebook thinking how cute it was that my newborn was just lounging around watching a morning talk show.

It wasn’t but a couple hours later that I signed into Facebook to find a private message from an old High School classmate that I had not even remembered speaking to in at least 8 years. But what was even more shocking, was the context of her message.

In short, the message basically read that she was attending College to be an early childhood educator, and she wanted to advise me that letting young children watch television was extremely damaging to their development and that my “adorable son” (Yeah, she tried to bring me a up a little before she kicked me down) could actually end up with a speech delay or other cognitive disabilities. There was a lot more detail and degrading comments in her message, but I will spare you those.

Immediately, I felt awful. I was a brand new Mom, I had no idea what I was doing. Was that hour of T.V. going to damage his ability to speak in a couple of years? When is he allowed to start watching T.V.? Why do they even make those baby shows? The questions in my head were endless, but I knew that I did not want to ask this “friend” the answers to these questions because I felt degraded and dumb.

Fast forward 18 months later. Isaac is diagnosed as Speech Delayed.

If you don’t think that message from my former classmate popped into my head, think again.

Zach and I were sad, we were worried, we felt so bad. Did we do something wrong? Were we failing Isaac in his development? We by no means used the T.V. as a babysitter, we played outside with him, we played games with him, we read books. Was this still somehow our fault?

The short answer to those questions- NO.

We were assured by our pediatrician, speech therapists, hearing evaluation specialists and more that THESE THINGS HAPPEN. We were good parents.

I am a believer in science and medicine, I am a Nursing Student myself, and I know there is a clinical basis for almost everything. I know that there are predisposing factors for illnesses, developmental delays, etc.

…But I also know that I am a good Mom. Zach is an amazing Dad. Our Son is a healthy and curious little boy, and his speech development is a work in progress that we see improvements in DAILY. We are doing our best as parents, and Isaac is doing his best too.

It took a long time for me to stop blaming myself. I would think back on the message from my old classmate and wonder if this was my fault. If the occasional Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode made my little boy incapable of speaking at an age appropriate level. If I should have taken our T.V. and completely left it in the garage for 3 years since according to an early education STUDENT ” a child should see no T.V. until age 3″.

I need to add that I am in no way trying to discredit the knowledge of this person. I am sure she knew a lot about the subject. I also understand that television and other factors do have significant effects on a child’s development. That is not the point here though.

I wondered if that classmate (who had no children) knew what it was like to be so burnt out from being home with an 11 month old for 7 days straight and had 1 shower in that time frame- knew what it was like to just need 30 minutes of quiet so she could be a better Mom.

In addition to understanding that we cannot blame ourselves, we also need to think about how our words may affect another parent. Whenever I feel like I have a piece of advice for another parent, I stop first. I think about how I felt when I got that Facebook message.

Is saying this going to make them feel inferior in their parenting skills and decisions? Is saying this going to be helpful? Am I going to make him/her feel like they have done something wrong? Am I stealing this Mom’s joy right now?

OF COURSE- if a child’s safety or well-being is in danger, there are appropriate ways to intervene. But unless you have A LOT and I mean A LOT of probable cause to think someone is really affecting their child’s well-being, we have to think twice before we hand out unsolicited advice to parents.

The words of someone completely insignificant to my family’s life had a lasting impact on me.

Be a good friend. Be a good fellow parent. But be considerate.

And to my fellow Mom’s and Dad’s with a child who may be needing some extra help in one or more areas of development, hang in there. Progress comes with time, and I know very well how the wait for signs of progress can seem like ages. Be gentle on yourself, and on your child. The first time they call you “Mama” or “Dada” with true recognition and affiliation with the word, you will cry. That first “I love you” will make your heart burst, and it is so worth the wait.

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My Breastfeeding Journey…

 By Jennifer Stroble

At some point in raising their child, every parent has wished they came with a manual. Don’t try to deny it. The next best thing to a manual is a tribe or support system. The kind of people that won’t judge you for wanting wine at 10:00 am, because your child cried for two hours after you gave him the wrong colored cup at lunch time. These type of people are there to lift your spirits during troubling times, and generally make your life more enjoyable.

I found my tribe, also known as my mom’s group; when my oldest son, Keagan, was just shy of a year old. They have since kept me sane in times I thought I needed to go to a loony bin. I needed them most when Oliver, my last baby was born in September. That’s when all hell broke loose in my life.

Seven months ago, I had no idea what  was in store for my son and I. We endured a whirlwind of ups and downs. We’ve overcome jaundice, torticollis, and hospitalization for bronchiolitis. Although, nothing will compare to my current struggle: breastfeeding.

Throughout my entire pregnancy I told myself, and anyone who’d listen, that I’d breastfeed exclusively for a minimum of one year. My breastfeeding journey with his older brother came to a halt after three weeks due to illness and a less than ideal support system. I was determined to have better success this time around at providing my son’s nutrition, and having those special bonding moments with him.

My inner circle of friends tried to prepare me for my journey ahead. They tried to teach me that there would be many struggles, and that breastfeeding wasn’t going to be easy. It’s something you have to constantly work towards, but in the end would be worth every frustration. Some mothers have struggles latching or dealing with reflux, forceful letdowns, clogged milk ducts, and more. Not to mention, the sleepless nights and insatiable hunger.

However, none of them could prepare me for what I was about to withstand.

Oliver was born September 17th, 2015. Those first few moments were a blur. I remember crying from overwhelming amount of joy that he was here, and being in pure bliss with my baby boy. By the time I was discharged from the hospital 36 hours later, those tears had turned dark. I was beyond sleep deprived because my sleep cycle only occurred once every 30 minutes, if I was lucky. Trying to feed my child was becoming a nightmare the more I tried.

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Oliver was miserable. He’d cry nonstop, nothing would calm him.  I was told by the doctor that he may have a tongue tie and to get it evaluated. I found myself at Dr. Sierra’s office, in Tampa,  the following day for a free consultation. As it would turn out, he had the “most obvious” lip AND tongue tie that Dr. Sierra had ever seen. He encouraged me to feed him right after the lip and tongue tie revision, to help comfort him. I noticed a difference almost immediately. It no longer hurt as badly to feed him, and a weight had been lifted.

I battled with everything my friends warned me about: the sleepless nights, the hunger, the never ending nursing sessions and more. One thing nobody had warned me about though, was food intolerance and other food sensitivities while breastfeeding. If I ate something that the baby didn’t digest well, how would I know? Would he grow horns? Cry like he’s dying? Would he bleed? Get rashes? I had no clue. I had limited knowledge with food intolerance.

At six weeks old, I was proud to have made it that long, still being his source of nutrition. After all, it was an important milestone. Most mothers give up within the first six weeks. In that time though, Oliver had always had diarrhea, and it was almost always green. It would range from neon, to ninja turtle green. He was severely moody, spitting up, gassy, and just over all unpleasant. The doctors suggested I go dairy free.

Goodbye, ice cream. Farewell, cheese. See you later, yogurt. Smell you later, baked goods.

I found myself crying during most feeding sessions. After all, it was my milk that made his tummy so upset. I was doing my best, but it just didn’t feel good enough at that moment. His pediatrician and the lactation consultants at Baby Café, said it could take upwards of another six weeks before I saw a drastic improvement in his stools and overall attitude.

As time went by, I was second guessing myself more, and more. I’d think to myself, am I eating the wrong stuff? Am I over-thinking his poop? Could there be another cause? I was feeling so out of my element. At his three month check-up, they still found microscopic traces of blood in his diarrhea. I was told to eliminate soy as well as dairy. The world of processed foods had instantly vanished. No more late night munchies of Oreos and milk, or quick take out from our favorite fast food joint. Convenience was a luxury, and I no longer had it.

I went another six weeks of trial and error. At this point, Ollie is now 4½ months old. I had become what I would consider a master at examining infant poop. This is not a title I’d want on my resume. My silver lining was that he was noticeably happier on a day to day basis. Other than his runny number twos, he was a perfectly happy and healthy baby. He was gaining a slow but steady amount of weight, which was the only thing keeping the doctors (and myself) happy.

I hit a rock wall, as I knew there was still something wrong with my baby.  I was begging and pleading for answers. No one could tell me why he had diarrhea. I was fed up with his pediatrician. They told me to start solids and/or formula, even though I told them I want to exclusively feed him myself, and those were not currently an option for me. I begged for a GI specialist referral. I was referred to Dr. Izizarry in Brandon. She gave me three options: start solids, start a total elimination diet, or give formula.

Friends and family thought I was nuts. Who in their right mind would give up everything just to breastfeed their child? They tried to comfort me, and continue to support my decisions regardless of what I chose. After crying for what felt like forever, I went home and did my research on what foods I could do during a total elimination diet. I was determined to reach my goal, and to never give up. In the end, I felt that if I couldn’t make things right within my diet, how was a container of formula supposed to help? My milk was made especially for him.

I went approximately another six weeks slowly introducing one thing after another back into his diet. I hit numerous stand still periods, but continued forward. I brought back eggs, nuts, and wheat into my diet aside from my “safe” proteins and produce.

I saw only one improvement. He went from 10+ poops a day, to 3-5 a day.

I cried. I felt lost. I had given up everything, living off of lamb and veggies. Everyone around me could tell I was unraveling and continued to push formula on me. I knew they all had very good intentions, but I still resisted.

Last month, it came back that his older brother Keagan had mild allergies to cow’s milk, peanuts, eggs, and wheat. I decided that since we were still struggling to find the culprit for his digestion issues, that we’d resume a normal diet and only avoid his brother’s allergies, with the exception of soy.

I’m happy to announce, that even though I’m still clueless as to what has been causing mayhem on my baby’s belly, he’s doing much better. He’s gone roughly a month free of wheat, peanuts, eggs, dairy and soy. He has had normal bowel movements in this time frame, as well.

Due to my determination, and overly supportive group of friends, I’ve managed to stay on track. There’s now a light at the end of my tunnel, and I hope to make my goal of one year.
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If I had struggled in silence, I likely wouldn’t have made it to my first six week milestone, let alone my six month milestone. Take it from me, find your support system to carry you through your struggles and keep you sane. I’ve had a large network of like-minded mothers to guide me through my journey thus far, and family to comfort me in moments I wanted to give up. Every hard decision I’ve made in the last six months, has been entirely worth it.

 

Jennifer Stroble.jpg I’m Jennifer, a 25 year old mother of two amazing boys. Keagan is four years old, and Oliver will be one in September. I’ve been married five years now, and have grown up in the Brandon area. I am a sarcastic, laid back stay-at-home parent with a hectic lifestyle catering to my children and two rambunctious dogs. Each day I’m simply trying to survive the never-ending ride that is parenthood. 

 

 

Weekend Events 4-13 to 4-15

 

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FRI

 

Kid Friendly Programs at Hillsborough Co Public Libraries

Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative offers a variety of ongoing programs for children each day including story times, LEGO Club, crafts, games, music, and more. Please check the website for details on the programs offered today.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  All Day, Check Website for classes offered
  • Location: Hillsborough County Public Libraries
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Open Play at Playgrounds

Come right in, order a cup of coffee, read a book, and let the little ones have a great time! We understand the needs and wants of our South Tampa clientele which is why we dedicated some space for our little toddlers. There are soft-play, age specific activities that will allow your toddler to grow both physically and mentally while in a safe and clean environment. The toddler area will be situated next to the coffee lounge so parents can also engage and keep a close eye on them while chatting with friends.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  9:00 am –  6:00 pm
  • Location: 4535 South Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL
  • Cost: $13.95 + tax for 3 years old+ $8.95 + tax for siblings (plus full-price admission) $8.95 + tax for under 3 years old
  • Website: www.playgroundsoftampa.com

Free Play Around The Center – South County Center

Children, ages 1 to 4, have fun interacting with other children through socialization, imagination, creativity and constructive play in a setting with their caregivers.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Location: Children’s Board Family Resource Centers – South County Center, 3030 East College Avenue Ruskin, FL 33570
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.familysupporthc.org

Open Play at Kidtopia

Kidtopia is a state of the art indoor playground and after school tutoring club designed for kids to play, explore and learn, while building relationships and social skills. Rain or shine, Kidtopia offers the perfect solution to keep kids active and learning, while avoiding harsh climate, insects and outdoor allergies. As the one and only indoor playground in the FishHawk area, Kidtopia has something for EVERYONE – ensuring a perfect fun-filled outing any day of the week. This facility is designed for toddlers and elementary school aged kids, to experience up to two hours of play, including: bounce houses, cannonball blasters, inflatable obstacle courses with ball pits, rock wall, climbing structures, toddler zones and MORE!

*Signed release form and SOCKS required for everyone entering Kidtopia*

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018, 10:00 am –  6:00 pm
  • Location: 15276 FishHawk Blvd Lithia , FL 33547
  • Cost: Toddlers, up to age 3 play for $8.95 per child Kids, ages 4 to 10 play for $10.95 per child
  • Website: www.kidtopiakidz.com

Open Play at We Rock the Spectrum

We offer Open Play daily, which is when children are welcome to enjoy full use of our sensory-safe gym with parent supervision. Our gym features therapy equipment, an arts & crafts area, a calming room, and more. We have a range of activities for kids no matter what they like. Our toddler section is filled with toys from trusted companies such as Melissa and Doug. Or if your child is more ambitious, he or she can jump on our trampoline or zip down our zip line. There’s plenty to do in our indoor, play, sensory gym — the best part being that weather doesn’t affect playtime!

We are an inclusive facility. This means that the programs and services we offer are designed to include children of all abilities. Our equipment has been specifically chosen so that children with autism or special needs can benefit from using it. Neurotypical children will also find our gym to be a safe and fun place to play! We believe in accommodating everyone.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018, 10:00 am –  6:00 pm
  • Location: We Rock the Spectrum – Tampa 1076 E Brandon Blvd Unit 102, Brandon, Florida 33511
  • Cost: $12 per child. Siblings discounted to $10 each. Baby Rockers – $6 under age of 1 (without siblings)
  • Website: www.werockthespectrumtampa.com

Fine Motor Skills Friday at Lolo’s Play-Place

This class uses fine motor play activities to promote strength, dexterity, and improved grasp in small children. 8 months-3 years

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018, 10:30 am
  • Location: 1040 E. Bloomingdale Avenue, Valrico, Florida 33596
  • Cost: Free with paid admission
  • Website: www.playplacetampa.com

Infant Free Play Around The Center – North Tampa

There is nothing more exciting than watching a baby as they discover how something works for the very first time. During Infant Free Play, pre-crawling, crawling and toddling babies birth to 14 months can have fun learning and exploring in a playroom setting with their caregivers.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Location: Children’s Board Family Resource Centers, 116 West Fletcher Avenue Tampa, FL 33612
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.familysupporthc.org

Free Play Around The Center – Plant City

Children, ages 1 to 4, have fun interacting with other children through socialization, imagination, creativity and constructive play in a setting with their caregivers.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: Children’s Board Family Resource Centers East County, 639 East Alexander Street Plant City, FL 33563
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.familysupporthc.org

Pump It Up of Westchase Open Play

Our Imagination Blocks, Digital Floor with 30 interactive games and 7 inflatables are perfect for mom’s groups with toddlers, home schooled groups and visitors looking for an indoor activity.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018, 12:00 pm –  6:00 pm
  • Location: 12878 Commodity Pl Tampa, FL 33626
  • Cost: $10.00 per child with an airbrushed Tattoo
  • Website: www.pumpitupparty.com

2018 Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

Located just south of Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach, 1,000 tons of Clearwater Beach’s world famous sugar sands will be creatively carved into the Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit, an artistic walk-through display in a 21,000-square-foot tent. The ten-day festival will also include a variety of free activities on Clearwater Beach including free concerts, fireworks, professional sand sculpting competition, sand sculpting classes, speed sand demonstrations, a children’s play area, extended Sunsets at Pier 60 hours, amusements, and entertainment.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  1:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival 1 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater, Florida 33767
  • Cost: * Adult: $10 * Senior (55 & Older), Military, Police, Firefighters, Teachers: $8, * Students (Ages 6-17): $6 * Children (5 & Under): Free, with adult purchase
  • Website: sugarsandfestival.com

Art on the House at Tampa Museum of Art

Art on the House on Friday evenings from 4pm to 8 pm, in partnership with GTE Financial. Pay-as-you-will admission to the museum.

Come visit the Museum on Friday night to enjoy all the exhibitions on display.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  4:00 pm –  8:00 pm
  • Location: 120 W Gasparilla Plaza Tampa, FL 33602
  • Cost: Pay-as-you-will admission to the museum
  • Website: tampamuseum.org

Kids Code at SouthShore Regional Library

Learn new tech skills with KidsCode! Students currently enrolled in grades 4-8 can learn to write code, program robots, and more. Join instructors from Computer Mentors, Inc. at the SouthShore Regional Public Library to learn important STEM skills and have a great time. To apply, visit http://computermentors.org/kidscode/ and click “Apply to KidsCode.” A completed registration form will need to be completed and registration is limited.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  5:00 pm –  6:00 pm
  • Location: 15816 Beth Shields Way Ruskin, FL 33573-4903
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Tween: Watercolor Art at Learning Express Toys – South Tampa

Tween Friday is here again! Join us for Watercolor Art. We supply the art supplies and you bring your awesome ideas! Use your imagination to paint whatever you’d like. This is a free event and does not require a reservation. Must be 8 or older to participate in this craft.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  5:00 pm –  6:00 pm
  • Location: 1910 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, Florida 33629
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.facebook.com

2nd Annual Daddy/Daughter Mother/Son Spring Fling Dance

Join us for a special evening for children ages 4 and up daddy/daughter and mother/son couples all while raising money for an amazing cause! Dress up with your child for a special evening neither of you will forget! In instances where a parent is unable to attend, special adults welcome (ie grandparent, uncle/aunt, etc). There will be Dancing, Desserts, Raffle Auction, Photos and More! All proceeds will go to Autism Speaks Walk.

Each couple ticket (1 Adult/1 Child) includes: Hors d’ouevers, Dessert Table, Photo, 1 Swag bag per child. Autism Speaks is a national non-for-profit organization that works towards increasing family services, science, advocacy and awareness for the ASD community. Their funding is solely generated from the fundraising conducted through events.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  6:00 pm –  9:00 pm
  • Location: The Barn at Winthrop, 11349 Bloomingdale Avenue, Riverview, FL 33578
  • Cost: $40 per couple
  • Website: www.amazingkidztherapy.com

MGCA National Parents’ Night Out

Join us for a “Date Night for a Cause” at My Gym Brandon

Parents’ Night Out gives Moms (and Dads) the opportunity to take a well-deserved break. Go out for a night on the town feeling confident that your little ones are safe and having the time of their lives with their favorite My Gym teachers. Your kids will enjoy themed activities, games and watch a movie

We will donate a majority of all admission costs to MGCA and welcome additional contributions at the door.

Great for Kids ages 5 – 12.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  6:30 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: 2060 badlands Dr, Brandon FL 33511
  • Cost: $33
  • Website: www.mygym.com

Dick Rumore & the Jazz Cellar Orchestra – Friday Concerts in the Park

The return of spring means the return of Tampa’s longest running and most beloved concert series. Friday Concerts in the Park has music to satisfy all tastes – from country to jazz to swing to blues to classic rock. All concerts are free and are held every Friday from 7-9 p.m. weather permitting. Concerts take place at Water Works Park and concerts in May take place at River Tower Park.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  7:00 pm –  9:00 pm
  • Location: Water Works Park Tampa 1710 N Highland Ave, Tampa, Florida 33602
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.friendsoftamparec.org

Friday Night Friendzy at Altitude Trampoline Park

Friday Night Friendzy includes a slice of pizza, a bottled water, and a live DJ with a laser lights!

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: 4340 W. Hillsborough Ave., Suite 350, Tampa, Florida 33614
  • Cost: $19.95 for 3 hours
  • Website: www.altitudetampa.com

Glow Zone at Sky Zone

We’re different after dark. Lasers, music and blacklight transform the whole park and even your party into a crazy jumping dance club. Flips are limited to Foam Zone during Glow. Waivers are required for all persons entering the park during Glow.

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  7:00 pm – 11:59 pm
  • Location: Sky Zone Tampa 10137 E Adamo Dr, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: $19.99 for two hours
  • Website: www.skyzone.com

Friday The 13th Gross-Out Skate at United Skates

Take part or just watch, as we play our favorite Gross-Out games and contests! Win Great Prizes!

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
  • Location: United Skates Tampa 5121 N Armenia Ave, Tampa, Florida 33603
  • Cost: $12 per person (includes skate rental) or $10 if you have your own skates
  • Website: www.unitedskates.com

Friday the 13th Skate at Astro Skate of Brandon

Join us for our Friday the 13th Skate! 8-11pm, If you wear a black shirt, you will receive free pizza for the first hour. If you wear a black shirt and black pants, you will receive free pizza and free soda for the first hour! PLUS, we’ll be having horror movie trivia!

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
  • Location: 750 W Robertson St, Brandon, Florida 33511
  • Cost: $8 (skate rental extra)
  • Website: www.facebook.com

Movie Under the Stars at Avalon Park West

Enjoy a free family movie with friends and family on Friday, April 13th during our monthly Movie Under the Stars event! This month we’ll be playing COCO! Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy some free popcorn as well!

See you there!

  • When: Friday, April 13, 2018,  8:00 pm
  • Location: 5227 Autumn Ridge Dr, Wesley Chapel, Florida 33545
  • Cost: Free entry and free parking
  • Website: www.facebook.com

 

Friday, Jan. 12 Events

Kid Friendly Programs at Hillsborough Co Public Libraries

Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative offers a variety of ongoing programs for children each day including story times, LEGO Club, crafts, games, music, and more. Please check the website for details on the programs offered today.

  • When:  All Day, Check Website for classes offered
  • Location: Hillsborough County Public Libraries
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Sixth Annual Tampa Bay Kids Triathlon

The Event Development Institute (EDI), in conjunction with Adventure Island® and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission (TBSC), are proud to present the Tampa Bay Kids Triathlon (TBKT)! The TBKT offers participants the opportunity to swim, bike and run in and around Busch Gardens’® premier water park, Adventure Island.

Boys and girls ages 6-10 (junior varsity division) and 11-14 (varsity division) are eligible to participate. The first 400 registrations will receive a complimentary, race-day ‘Stay and Play’ ticket to Adventure Island. Participants will receive a race-day ‘Swag Bag’, including an Under Armour T-shirt. All competitors will be awarded a finisher’s medal upon completion of the race and the top three finishers in each category will earn a trophy along with an additional Adventure Island ‘Stay and Play’ ticket.

Additionally, all on-site participants will have the chance to enter and win a youth ‘Specialized’ brand road bike, courtesy of Cycle Sports Concepts. Cycle Sports Concepts will also serve as the official bike technicians for this USA Triathlon sanctioned event.

Registration, entry fees, course maps, athlete guide, parking directions and other critical information can be found on the event website, TampaBayKidsTriathlon.com.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  7:15 am – 10:00 am
  • Location: Adventure Island 10001 N McKinley Dr, Tampa, Florida 33602
  • Cost: See Website
  • Website: tampabaykidstriathlon.com

11th Annual Blueberry Festival – Keel & Curley

The 11th Annual Blueberry Festival is happening at Keel & Curley in Plant City in 2018 on April 14th & 15th as well as April 21st & 22nd. Live entertainment, craft and food vendors, kids zone, and U-pick blueberries.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  8:00 am –  6:00 pm
  • Location: 5210 Thonotosassa Rd, Plant City, Florida 33565
  • Cost: Free Admission
  • Website: keelandcurleywinery.com

Second Saturday Paddle Hillsborough River State Park

Take a leisurely 90 minute paddle down the Hillsborough River and learn about the natural history and communities that make the Hillsborough River watershed so unique and important. This volunteer-led tour will be enjoyable for individuals, families and groups.

The focus changes for each month’s tour. Themes will be:
The human and natural history of the Hillsborough River
Photography
Adaptive paddling; as well as
Project days to remove invasive exotic plants and river clean-up.

You can bring your own kayak or canoe or rent one from the park’s concession.

We have a limited amount of kayaks (tandem and single) available for reservation without charge. Reservations are recommended! We ask that paddlers “Sign Up” through Sign Up Genius to reserve a kayak.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  8:45 am
  • Location: 15402 US 301 N. Thonotosassa, FL 33592
  • Cost: Regular park admission fees apply
  • Website: www.floridastateparks.org

Beginning Bird Walk at Lettuce Lake Park

The second Saturday of every month, the Tampa Audubon Society offers a beginning birding program. The walk is a 2-hour stroll through the park. We have binoculars to loan, and the leaders usually have a spotting scope for close-up looks at our local birds. Children are welcome if accompanied by a parent.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  9:00 am
  • Location: 6920 East Fletcher Avenue Tampa FL, 33637
  • Cost: The program is free, but there is a $2 per vehicle park entry fee
  • Website: www.hillsboroughcounty.org

Student Study Time Around The Center – Central Tampa

The Computer Lab provides computer access for children only who may not have access to such technology at home or elsewhere and a quiet place to do research, study and class assignments after school. The Student Study Time is available to all children Kindergarten through 8th grade.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: Children’s Board Family Resource Centers in Central Tampa, 1002 East Palm Avenue Tampa, FL 33605
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.familysupporthc.org

Yoga (Spring Season) at Glazer Museum

In this practice, we embody the energetic qualities of nature with outdoor yoga. With a combination of mindfulness and movement, students will develop purposefulness, balance, and flexibility. This is suitable for students of all ages and abilities! This is part of our Mindfulness program with Evolve Personal Health.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  9:00 am – 10:00 am
  • Location: Glazer Children’s Museum – 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, 33602
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: glazermuseum.org

The Florida Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Days

Join us for Sea Turtle Days at The Florida Aquarium where you’ll learn about these amazing and ancient sea creatures that play an integral role in ocean ecosystems – from coral reefs to the open ocean. Enjoy fun educational activities for all ages and learn more about the Aquarium’s sea turtle rescue, research, rehab and return-to-ocean programs. You’ll also find out how you can help save sea turtles by reducing your environmental impact.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  9:30 am –  5:00 pm
  • Location: 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, Florida 33602
  • Cost: Included with general admission
  • Website: www.flaquarium.org

Children’s Art Studio at Firehouse Cultural Center

Activities range from printmaking to kaleidoscopes to mobile making and much more. Fun & Creative Activities for Grades 1 – 6. Space is limited. Registrations are encouraged.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 1st Ave NE, Ruskin, FL 33570
  • Cost: $15 Non-member $10 Member
  • Website: hcplc.org

Game of S.K.A.T.E.

The game of S.K.A.T.E is like H.O.R.S.E. in basketball, but you earn letters by doing tricks on your skateboard.
Things to know

Free entry
Free food available
Prizes awarded

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: Providence Skate Park 5720 Providence Road Riverview FL, 33534
  • Cost: Free Entry
  • Website: www.hillsboroughcounty.org

Jump!Zone Tampa Open Play

There is no time limit to your admission. Play time is unlimited. – Socks are required for all guests playing on the inflatables! – Parents are required to stay. – No drop-offs allowed. Times are subject to change. Please check this calendar before you plan to attend a weekend open play session. Open Play prices do not include sales tax.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10:00 am –  7:00 pm
  • Location: 12402 Race Track Road Tampa, FL 33626
  • Cost: Rate: $8.95
  • Website: www.jumpzoneparty.com

Michaels Kids Club Saturday Crafts

Kids 3 and up can enjoy a quick project. New craft project each week. Sign up in store, online or just drop in. Parent or guardian must remain on premises. Supplies are included. Please see website to find a location near you.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: At participating Micheal’s locations.
  • Cost: $2 per child
  • Website: www.michaels.com

Open Play at Kidtopia

Kidtopia is a state of the art indoor playground and after school tutoring club designed for kids to play, explore and learn, while building relationships and social skills. Rain or shine, Kidtopia offers the perfect solution to keep kids active and learning, while avoiding harsh climate, insects and outdoor allergies. As the one and only indoor playground in the FishHawk area, Kidtopia has something for EVERYONE – ensuring a perfect fun-filled outing any day of the week. This facility is designed for toddlers and elementary school aged kids, to experience up to two hours of play, including: bounce houses, cannonball blasters, inflatable obstacle courses with ball pits, rock wall, climbing structures, toddler zones and MORE!

*Signed release form and SOCKS required for everyone entering Kidtopia*

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10:00 am –  6:00 pm
  • Location: 15276 FishHawk Blvd Lithia , FL 33547
  • Cost: Toddlers, up to age 3 play for $8.95 per child Kids, ages 4 to 10 play for $10.95 per child
  • Website: www.kidtopiakidz.com

Open Play at We Rock the Spectrum

We offer Open Play daily, which is when children are welcome to enjoy full use of our sensory-safe gym with parent supervision. Our gym features therapy equipment, an arts & crafts area, a calming room, and more. We have a range of activities for kids no matter what they like. Our toddler section is filled with toys from trusted companies such as Melissa and Doug. Or if your child is more ambitious, he or she can jump on our trampoline or zip down our zip line. There’s plenty to do in our indoor, play, sensory gym — the best part being that weather doesn’t affect playtime!

We are an inclusive facility. This means that the programs and services we offer are designed to include children of all abilities. Our equipment has been specifically chosen so that children with autism or special needs can benefit from using it. Neurotypical children will also find our gym to be a safe and fun place to play! We believe in accommodating everyone.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10:00 am –  6:00 pm
  • Location: We Rock the Spectrum – Tampa 1076 E Brandon Blvd Unit 102, Brandon, Florida 33511
  • Cost: $12 per child. Siblings discounted to $10 each. Baby Rockers – $6 under age of 1 (without siblings)
  • Website: www.werockthespectrumtampa.com

Saturday Open Play

Saturday open play!
$15 walk in per family or use your packages/ unlimited!
We happily add extra fun for you as time permits! Thank you for your requests! Come and enjoy!

ideal space designed for ages 6 and under. Older siblings welcome. Remember your socks and you may like to bring lunch to enjoy in our eating area!

Leave us your handprint and let us know where you’re from! It’s great meeting our neighbors and vacationers!

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10:00 am –  1:00 pm
  • Location: K Peas Place 13966 Lynmar Blvd. Tampa, Fl 33626
  • Cost: $15
  • Website: www.kpeasplace.com

The Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum RailFest 2018

Live auction of railroad memorabilia, live music, BBQ, door prizes, hot dogs & popcorn for the kids, shaved ice, games, bounce houses, balloon art, face painting, mini train rides, goodie bags. (while supplies last)

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10:00 am –  2:00 pm
  • Location: 102 N Palmer St, Plant City, Florida 33563
  • Cost: Free Admission
  • Website: www.willafordrailroadmuseum.com

2018 Diversity Fest

Come join us for the One Hillsborough Diversity Fest.

Free to the public
From 11 AM to 3 PM
Food trucks
Entertainment

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 11:00 am –  3:00 pm
  • Location: Joe Chillura Courthouse Square 600 E. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa FL, 33602
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.hillsboroughcounty.org

Art Classes at Learning Express Citrus Park

All month long Learning Express has fun crafts! Visit their website and/or Facebook page to see the projects they have scheduled for this month. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. This event is FREE however please call (813) 926-9380 to reserve a spot for your child. Space is Limited.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 11:00 am
  • Location: Learning Express Toys of Citrus Park: Westfield Citrus Park Mall, 7814 Citrus Park Town Center Mall Tampa, FL 33625
  • Cost: Free but RSVP is required
  • Website: learningexpress.com

Arts & Crafts – Central Tampa Center

Children’s Board Family Resource Centers in Central Tampa. Come join us for Arts & Crafts at the Center. The projects help develop your child’s creative side !
Let’s have fun together! Children must be accompanied by an adult. Light refreshments will be served.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: Children’s Board Family Resource Centers in Central Tampa, 1002 East Palm Avenue Tampa, FL 33605
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.familysupporthc.org

Craft Class: Paper Plate Beaded Snail at Learning Express Toys of Citrus Park

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Children will enjoy making these adorable Paper Plate Beaded Snails during our Craft Class. This event is FREE however please call (813) 926-9380 to reserve a spot for your child. Space is Limited.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: Learning Express Toys of Citrus Park: Westfield Citrus Park Mall, 7814 Citrus Park Town Center Mall Tampa, FL 33625
  • Cost: Free must RSVP
  • Website: learningexpress.com

Lakeshore Learning Crafts For Kids

Our Free Crafts for Kids event will be held at all Lakeshore Learning locations. Kids have a blast creating a new craft project every Saturday!

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 11:00 am –  3:00 pm
  • Location: 4501 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33609
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.lakeshorelearning.com

Spring Fling 2018 Primrose School of South Tampa

Join us for fun and a good cause! All proceeds from Spring Fling 2018 benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay, Save the Children and The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation!

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 11:00 am –  2:00 pm
  • Location: 1700 West Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, Florida 33606
  • Cost: See Website
  • Website: www.facebook.com

2018 Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

Located just south of Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach, 1,000 tons of Clearwater Beach’s world famous sugar sands will be creatively carved into the Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit, an artistic walk-through display in a 21,000-square-foot tent. The ten-day festival will also include a variety of free activities on Clearwater Beach including free concerts, fireworks, professional sand sculpting competition, sand sculpting classes, speed sand demonstrations, a children’s play area, extended Sunsets at Pier 60 hours, amusements, and entertainment.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  1:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival 1 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater, Florida 33767
  • Cost: * Adult: $10 * Senior (55 & Older), Military, Police, Firefighters, Teachers: $8, * Students (Ages 6-17): $6 * Children (5 & Under): Free, with adult purchase
  • Website: sugarsandfestival.com

Dirt Day at Learning Express Toys – South Tampa

Stop in for Dirt Day! We’ll be challenging the kids to see who can make the best Play Dirt Sculpture. The winner will receive a prize! The Contest will begin promptly at 1pm. This is a free event and does not require a reservation. Ages 5+.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  1:00 pm –  2:00 pm
  • Location: 1910 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, Florida 33629
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.facebook.com

Michaels MAKEbreak Personalized Pots

Give your plants a pot that pops! Join us as we decorate colorful clay pots in store this Saturday.
Buy the clay pot and the rest of the supplies will be provided! *Succulents not included.

All Michaels Store locations, 1-3PM local time
Age 3 and up welcome
Pre-registration is not required, first come, first served, please arrive in enough time to complete project prior to 3 pm.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  1:00 pm –  3:00 pm
  • Location: At participating Micheal’s locations.
  • Cost: See Website
  • Website: www.michaels.com

The Big Draw at Firehouse Cultural Center

Have Fun with ART, with your friends & family. Free Art “Make & Take” Activities include: Drawing with Light ● Photography ● Mobiles Printmaking ● Drawing ● Chalk Drawing ● Painting

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  1:00 pm –  4:00 pm
  • Location: Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 1st Ave NE, Ruskin, FL 33570
  • Cost: FREE for all Ages!
  • Website: hcplc.org

Defying Gravity at Sky Zone

Second Saturday of the month! A time for individuals with special needs and disabilities to jump and to learn new skills in a safe, controlled environment. 60 Minute Jump passes $11.99/jumper (plus one helper allowed).

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  6:00 pm –  7:00 pm
  • Location: Sky Zone Tampa 10137 E Adamo Dr, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: 60 Minute Jump passes $11.99/jumper (plus one helper allowed free of charge)
  • Website: www.skyzone.com

Movies in the Park – Guardians of the Galaxy

Free, family-friendly movies in Water Works Park each Saturday in April.

What can I bring: Family & friends; low back chairs & blankets, and picnic baskets. Minors must be accompanied by a guardian.
Will food be available? A variety of concessions will be available. The City of Tampa’s Teens Leading Change (TLC) will be selling popcorn, candy and drinks to raise funds for scholarships and a food truck.
What items are prohibited: Alcoholic beverages, glass bottles and glass containers.
Can I bring my dog? Well behaved dogs are welcome, but they must be on a leash at all times unless visiting the dog park.
Will the splash pad be on? Yes, it will be on until 10 p.m. Remember to bring a towel and dry change of clothes.
Is there an ATM on site? No, and the concessions only take cash so please plan accordingly.

  • When: Saturday, April 14, 2018,  8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: Water Works Park, 1710 N. Highland Ave. Tampa, Florida 33602
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.tampagov.net

 

 

Friday, Jan. 12 Events22

Taste of Carrollwood

Come savor free food tastings, purchase adult beverages, watch dynamic presentations, shop local vendors, listen to live music and more! Fun and games for the entire family, including a scavenger hunt to win a great prize. A FREE PUBLIC EVENT!

  • When: Sunday, April 15, 2018, 12:00 am –  4:00 pm
  • Location: George M. Steinbrenner Field 1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa, Florida 33614
  • Cost: Free Admission
  • Website: www.facebook.com

11th Annual Blueberry Festival – Keel & Curley

The 11th Annual Blueberry Festival is happening at Keel & Curley in Plant City in 2018 on April 14th & 15th as well as April 21st & 22nd. Live entertainment, craft and food vendors, kids zone, and U-pick blueberries.

  • When: Sunday, April 15, 2018,  8:00 am –  6:00 pm
  • Location: 5210 Thonotosassa Rd, Plant City, Florida 33565
  • Cost: Free Admission
  • Website: keelandcurleywinery.com

Toddler Time at Sky Zone

Toddler Time is a great shared experience for child and parent. A time for your little ones to discover the joy of being active, bouncing under the supervision of their parents, and without interference from the big kids.

  • When: Sunday, April 15, 2018,  9:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Location: Sky Zone Tampa 10137 E Adamo Dr, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: Toddler $12.99 and one adult jumps Free
  • Website: www.skyzone.com

2018 Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

Located just south of Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach, 1,000 tons of Clearwater Beach’s world famous sugar sands will be creatively carved into the Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit, an artistic walk-through display in a 21,000-square-foot tent. The ten-day festival will also include a variety of free activities on Clearwater Beach including free concerts, fireworks, professional sand sculpting competition, sand sculpting classes, speed sand demonstrations, a children’s play area, extended Sunsets at Pier 60 hours, amusements, and entertainment.

  • When: Sunday, April 15, 2018,  1:00 pm –  9:30 pm
  • Location: Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival 1 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater, Florida 33767
  • Cost: * Adult: $10 * Senior (55 & Older), Military, Police, Firefighters, Teachers: $8, * Students (Ages 6-17): $6 * Children (5 & Under): Free, with adult purchase
  • Website: sugarsandfestival.com

Plus Plus Building Contest at Learning Express Toys – South Tampa

Put your building skills to the test… We are challenging the kids to see who can create the best sculpture out of Plus Plus pieces! We’ll get started promptly at 1pm. This is a free event and does not require a reservation. Ages 5+.

  • When: Sunday, April 15, 2018,  1:00 pm –  2:00 pm
  • Location: 1910 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, Florida 33629
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: www.facebook.com

MAKE A WISH with Mr. Tommy at Carrollwood Cultural Center

Children will dance and sing as they enjoy sing-along songs brought to life by masterful storyteller and guitar player, Mr. Tommy.

Mr. Tommy’s CDs include Little Songs and Versus for Little (and Big) Kids, If I was a Fish, Goodnight, Goodnight and Christmas Time is Here Again. Join us for this special concert when we celebrate Mr. Tommy’s fifth CD, Make a Wish.
About Mr. Tommy

Composer and Author Tommy Girvin has been touring the world as writer, lead guitarist and musical director for the rock singer Eddie Money for the past 30 years. He has also played on many hit recordings, and his songs are cues are currently being played on hit television shows like Ellen, Tyra Banks, Extra, Fox sports, and the National Geographic Channel, to name just a few.

  • When: Sunday, April 15, 2018,  2:00 pm
  • Location: Carrollwood Cultural Center 4537 Lowell Rd, Tampa, Florida 33618
  • Cost: $7 member / $8 general admission / $28 Family 4-Pack
  • Website: www.carrollwoodcenter.org

Kids Code at SouthShore Regional Library

Learn new tech skills with KidsCode! Students currently enrolled in grades 4-8 can learn to write code, program robots, and more. Join instructors from Computer Mentors, Inc. at the SouthShore Regional Public Library to learn important STEM skills and have a great time. To apply, visit http://computermentors.org/kidscode/ and click “Apply to KidsCode.” A completed registration form will need to be completed and registration is limited.

  • When: Sunday, April 15, 2018,  5:00 pm –  6:00 pm
  • Location: 15816 Beth Shields Way Ruskin, FL 33573-4903
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

 

 

Airplane Travel With Kids

We recently took our two kids on their first cross-country airplane ride- 4 hours and 20 minutes in the air!!

Here are some of the things I packed to help keep them busy and help us keep our sanity!

Play-Doh 

Don’t get me wrong, I hate Play-Doh as much as the next mom, but I packed a snack-sized Ziplok with three small containers of it as well as some toothpicks so my kids could make cacti with them (we were going to Arizona).

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Felt

I cut out some green felt (also in a cactus shape) and put some velcro on the back of some buttons for them to play with.

Playmats

I created two playmate for my kids. One was Disney Cars theme and I had the Hot Wheels type cars to go with it.

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The other one was a desert scene and I bought a tube of animals to go with it.

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Legos

These got played with more in our hotel but I bought the Disney Cars Legos also.

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Shapes

I brought our shapes in a Ziplock as well and while we were waiting for our plane to board, we created flowers, cacti and suns.

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Coloring book

For adults too! I got us special Arizona coloring books as well as ones from the dollar store. We brought markers and colored pencils.

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Pillows/ blankets/ pajamas 

In other words, COMFY!

Magnetic Tic-Tac-Toe

Velvet Art Posters 

iPads!!!!!

Seriously, a lifesaver. Loaded up with movies and games.

Snacks

We had applesauce pouches, bags of chips, granola bars, lollipops, pretzels, Teddy Grahams, raisins, mini muffins, animal crackers, gummies, Pringles, etc.

Water bottles

We got the ones with the straw that snap close so we didn’t have to worry about any spills.

Hope these tips help!

Happy flying!

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Jennifer Silverstein is a SAHM of two infuriating girls, one husband, one dog, six chickens and a tortoise. She lives on 6 acres in Plant City and her hobbies include: Disney, hiking & camping, running, gardening and reading. She loves tacos, tea time and the beach. Her bucket list includes holding a baby cow. Follow along at http://www.growingupsilverstein.com.

 

My world famous secret recipe for Strawberry Jam

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March.

March is now over, our days are longer which means later bedtimes, whiny kids and even grumpier parents. Making the adjustment is often hard around here. While the kids and I don’t have to get up to an alarm clock, the hubby still does and 3:45a comes even earlier when it doesn’t get dark until after 8pm.

In Florida, March is also synonymous with strawberries. You will start to see them everywhere. Every corner will have a stand of someone selling flats, the u-pick places are all over and the Strawberry Festival is celebrated with all things fried, colored lights and retired country stars.

Strawberry season means one big thing in my house, jam time. Every year I try to put away about 12 pints of strawberry jam to give as gifts, make pb&j’s with or just eat with a spoon straight out of the jar. I’m not sure which I love better strawberry or muscadine!

I always have fantasy filled dreams of the kids and I singing in the kitchen canning jam together, but really my anxiety kicks them out about the time I start to put the strawberries on the stove. Sometimes I can’t think and mom at the same time. Besides they usually help with the hard part of squishing the berries. This year was no different!


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/261487132″>60 Second Film Project {March}</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user49150923″>Momma G Soul</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Wanna know my family secret recipe for making jam?

First, you need a giant pot to process your jars for shelf keeping OR lots of freezer space for freezer jam! There are some handy accessories for hot jars like a jar handler, a long-stemmed magnet and a wide mouth funnel that fits the jars perfectly. All easily found in the canning aisle at Walmart!

I start with 2 flats of strawberries of which half of one is promptly eaten while it’s still sitting on the counter. The rest has the tops cut off and the berries cut into chunks. They are then well hidden in the outside fridge to keep them from grubbing little kid hands.

Next, wash in hot soapy water (or rinse on high in the dishwasher) 24 half pint mason jars. I always try to have extra on hand just in case. I usually dunk the lids in the boiling water right before canning starts to clean them.

You will need a 5lb sack of sugar and I always try to use the surejell low sugar pectin. SureJell has always worked the best for me. You need one box per 12 half pint jars in general.

Mash your fruit for jam or use the fruit processor on your kitchen aid for jelly. I like the bits, so I just use my hands or a potato masher to squeeze the berries.

Then just follow the directions in the package. It’s really pretty darn easy. A few lessons I have learned. Read the directions twice. Measure everything out in advance, stir, stir, keep stirring, and don’t walk away.

Then if you are a Pinterest Mom you can put pretty labels on your jam and give them away in nice baskets to your friends. If you are like me I might write the date on the top and an S to indicate strawberry, but I still give them away to friends. Either way they taste the same! Please let me know in the comments if you try to make our own jam this year or if you have any questions!

Mom and Daughter Selfie

The momma behind Momma Got Soul Photo and Films, Tampa Bay Family Photographer. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a storyteller. I stay up late, try to sleep late, and drink lots of coffee and beer (usually in that order, but not always). I grew up in sunny (which means really hot) central Florida, never go to the beach or Disney, but try to hike in the woods as much as I can. I remember a time when I said I would never photograph people, now that’s all I do. I think it started with wanting to explore the world and capture that to share with people. Now I want to capture people to share with the world. -Kelly

Post Partum Depression + Anxiety. Yup, I have it.

Post partum depression and anxiety. Yup, I have it.

It comes in waves…it was here, and then it’s not. I was fine. And now I’m not.

I denied it when it was brought to my attention that I may have it. Of course, I don’t have it… look at me! I’m not doing anything “crazy”, I’m getting out of bed. I feel “fine”.

To me, in my world, i have the perfect little life, so why do I feel this way? I practice mediation, I am spiritual, i am aware of my energy, thoughts and feelings.

Why is this happening to me??

Well it all started when the last time change happened in November. It got darker earlier. Mike is still working and I’m a FTM, in a new house with lots of windows and doors, all myself.

All of a sudden, every dateline, forensic files, and Law & Order episode would flash through my mind and made me so paranoid that something would happen to me and my new baby and I would be helpless.

My mind would race in protection mode. I was HYPER-VIGILANT.

“Hypervigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors whose purpose is to detect activity. Hypervigilance may bring about a state of increased anxiety which can cause exhaustion”

That and I was a bunch of other things cus now I’m a mom. I was getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night for months.

It’s affected my eating, my digestion, my water intake. Everything.

And again, it comes in waves.

It pisses me off more than anything because this is HORMONES. This is not me!!! I can not control this!!!

It manifests itself in so many ways… OCD… picking things up around the house just putting them in a specific spot or in order but not putting it away, paralyzing thoughts and fears and unable to make decisions, rage “where the fuck are my keys!!!”, am I doing this mom thing ok?, loss of appetite, intense irritability at times, panic attacks, crying for no reason.

It’s the inability to think or make a grocery list or be able to have complete thoughts and not forget things and have it interfere with your life.

I know this sounds crazy, or that I am crazy, but I know I am not. I know this “normal” and this will pass. I know that other moms go through the same thing, but I really, truly, honestly, thought it wouldn’t happen to me because I am so in tune with myself that I would recognize it and stop it.

It’s important for husbands, partners, friends, family, coworkers, and even yourself as mothers going through this, that it is the hormones it is not you. Please give the mother in your life grace, compassion, understanding, support, love, and reassurance.

But here I am 9 months later and another wave is attacking me when everything was just going so good. It sucks.

I will get thru this but I feel the need to share, because I know I am not alone, And I don’t want any of my mom friends to feel alone if you are secretly going through this. I have been feeling like I don’t want to expose but I can’t hide it and feel guilty any more so maybe sharing will help me and you 💜

Summer Camp Guide 2018

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If you would like your summer camp included in our guide, please email all details to shinetaarmour@yahoo.com, with EM Summer Camp in the subject line.

Summer Camp Guide 2018

Sports Camps/Sports Clinics/Cheer Camp/Dance Camp/Gymnastics

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CAMP IDS offers more than 60 camps during seven weeks of options! The Tampa summer camp, staffed by Corbett Prep’s dynamic counselors, provides extraordinary experiences in Sports, Academics, Recreation, and Field Trips in an exciting, fun, and supportive environment. Open to PreK3-high school campers from all over the Tampa Bay area, the campsite is located on beautiful Lake Lipsey, providing an idyllic setting for a terrific summer experience.

  • Camp Week: 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, Weekly Sessions June 11th – July 27th 2018
  • Hours: Half Day Camps: 8:30-11:30am & 12-3pm | Full Day Camps 8:30am -3p
  • Extended Care: FREE morning care 7:15am -8:15am | Afternoon care 3-6pm for $12/day
  • Ages:  Preschool, Elementary, Middle School, High School
  • Address: 12015 Orange Grove Drive, Tampa, Florida, 33618
  • Contact: (813) 961-3087
  • https://www.corbettprep.com/community/camp-ids

 

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With a huge catalogue of over 100 unique camps and classes, Berkeley Summer Programs has something for everyone, and we can cater to a child’s diverse interests or singular passion. We offer full-day sessions in a variety of areas, including sports, academics, fine arts, and enrichment, or you can opt for our one, two, and three-hour à la carte selections. Perhaps your child would love to try Water Polo one week and Chess Camp the next, or Maker Camp in June followed by Baseball in July. We also offer coding camps, such as Jumping Jeroo Programming with Mr. Coup, as well as such exciting hands-on classes as Visual and Augmented Reality Filmmaking. June and July are also ideal for older students to take a credit course, such as World History, Physics, or Ethics. Don’t forget other popular high school offerings like Driver’s Ed, Intro to Fine Woodworking, or the always timely (and perennial parent favorite) Fundamentals of Financial Literacy seminar. We are especially excited this year to introduce the Berkeley Summer Arts Institute, which includes Artists of Tomorrow day camps and visual and performing arts intensives, such as Pottery and Musical Theatre.

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27 Weekly Sessions in June and July except July 4th week
  • Hours: Varies by program. Visit website for details
  • Extended Care: Early care from 8-9 for $30/week | Aftercare till 5:30 for $50/week
  • Age: Ages 4yrs – 12th Grade
  • Address: 4811 Kelly Rd, Tampa, Florida, 33615
  • Contact: (813) 885-1673 Ext. 2239
  • https://www.berkeleyprep.org/page/school-life/summer-camps–programs

 

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All camps include daily snacks, a free camp shirt and a show for parents.

Non-Stop Hip Hop Camp
Dance Sampler Camp
Princess Camp
Musical Theater Camp: Newsies
Ballet and Point Prep Intensive
Contempo Dance Team Camp

  • Camp Week: 6/18-6/22, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27
  • Hours: Varies by camp. Visit website for details
  • Age: 3 and up
  • Address: 24148 State Road 54, Lutz, Florida, 33559

  • Contact: (813) 948-3262

  • http://www.contempodance.com/Schedule.html
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Come dance with us. We have camps and weekly intensives for ages and levels. If you are new to our studio, summer camp is a great way to try different styles of dance and meet new friends.

  • Camp Week: 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3
  • Hours: Varies by program
  • Age: Ages 3-16
  • Address: 2711 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, FL, 33629
  • Contact: 813-515-7993
  • http://www.danceboxtampa.com/summer-program/

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Summer at Carrollwood Day School is a time of learning and fun! Kids of all ages “TURN IT UP” as they extend their academic learning, follow their passions, and explore new horizons. The programs are led by our own faculty and year round staff along with other professionals who want to share their talent and passion for their field. CDS summer programs are offered at our two campuses: 
The Early Childhood Campus (ECC) is home to the ECC Summer Camp, a fun-filled, exciting program for children ages 3 through 6. Campers must be at least 3 years old. You may choose weekly half day camps (8:30 a.m. – Noon) or full day camps (8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.). 
Bearss Avenue Campus summer programs include all-day themed camps (with a CIT program) and a robust selection of enrichment programs. The all-day camp runs from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. for students entering grades 1 – 8. Enrichment programs include programs that focus on the arts, athletic skills, STEM, and study skills and are offered for all ages from entering first grade through 12th grade. Enrichment programs include half-day morning and afternoon activities as well as all-day programs.

  • Registration Deadline: Online enrollment for camp will end the Friday prior to the camp start date.
  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27        ( No camps July 2-6)
  • Hours: 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., 8:30 a.m. – Noon, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m
  • Age: 3 years – 12th grade
  • Address: 1515 W. Bearss Avenue, Tampa, Florida, 33613
  • Contact: (813) 920 2288
  • https://www.carrollwooddayschool.org/page.cfm?p=1068

 

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We offer two types of camps during the summer season. Recreate, Educate, and Create (R.E.C.) is our traditional summer camp, while we also have a variety of specialty. What’s the difference between our R.E.C. and specialty camps? 
R.E.C. Camp (a.k.a. Traditional Camp)
Time Frame: 10-week period Full Day Camp
Price per Participant: $80 for the time frame above (some locations have field trips included and are not part of this fee). Fee includes 1 t-shirt.
Description: Each year a Parks and Recreation committee decides a traditional summer camp theme. They put together activities, crafts, games, etc. to go along with the year’s theme. Most locations will go on field trips an average of once a week. Field trip locations vary by site and the majority are within the Tampa/Hillsborough County area. Unless otherwise specified, field trips are not mandatory and may cost an additional fee.
Specialty Camp
Time Frame: 3 days up to 2 weeks Half Day and Full Day Camp
Price per Participant: $40 – $200 for the time frame above
Description: Specialty Camps are really just that. For the designated time frame they cover a specialized category, such as Fine Arts, Sports, and Aquatics related themes.

 

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Jesuit High School varsity head coaches and assistant coaches, with help from Jesuit athletes, offer numerous one-week elite sports camps to elementary and middle-school aged children throughout the summer. Jesuit welcomes hundreds of kids to participate in baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, and wrestling, with most sports offering multiple weeks to choose from, while utilizing Jesuit’s outstanding athletic facilities.

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3   Monday – Thursday
  • Hours: 9am – 12pm, 9am – 2pm
  • Address: 4701 North Himes Ave, Tampa, Florida, 33614
  • Contact: (813) 877 5344
  • https://www.jesuittampa.org/page.cfm?p=590

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Camp Objectives: To give your child a better understanding of the game of baseball, through instruction, drills, and games. Having a good time while learning the fundamentals will be the main focus of this camp. What to Expect: Daily fundamental drills and activities for: Throwing, Pitching, Hitting, Fielding, Base Running, and Mental Game. There will be games at the end of the week to evaluate progress.

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 7/9-7/13, 7/23-7/27
  • Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m
  • Age: 7 – 15 Yrs
  • Address: 16120 Fishhawk Blvd, Lithia, Florida, 33547
  • Contact: 813.737.3000
  • ostingbaseball.com/baseball-summer-camp/

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The Spartans Baseball Camp is geared to improve each camper’s overall baseball skills!​
Emphasis will be placed in the following areas:
*Fielding
*Throwing
*Hitting
*Base running
*Game situations

We reserve the right to arrange groups according to playing experience and baseball ability

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27
  • Hours: Monday-Thursday: 9:00am-4:00pm Friday: 9:00am-12:00pm
  • Age: boys aged 5-14
  • Address: 401 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL, 33606
  • Contact: 813.257.3673
  • https://www.tampabaseballcamps.com/

 

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USF Baseball Camps and Clinics at the University of South Florida are dedicated to providing baseball camps that are both instructional and informational along with creating a great atmosphere to learn! The coaching staff at USF take pride in teaching the sport of baseball to players of all ages and ability levels. The mechanics and drills that are taught at our camps are used with our college players. We are determined to provide the best possible learning experience for our campers.

  • Camp Week: 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27
  • Hours: Monday-Thurs: 9:00am-3:00pm Friday: 9:00am-12:00pm
  • Age: Grades: K-8
  • Address: 11777 USF Bull Run Drive, Tampa, Florida, 33617
  • Contact: 813-974-2995
  • http://collegebaseballcamps.com/usfbaseball/

 

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Academy at the Lakes invites all children in the Tampa Bay community to join us this summer for day camp and summer school. Our Summer Camp program includes more than 60 offerings in art, sports, recreation, and enrichment. We also host Camp Invention®, a nationally recognized one-week long S.T.E.M. enrichment program for students entering grades 2-6. Our Summer School program offers both noncredit and for-credit courses.“Exploration” (noncredit) courses strengthen students’ knowledge and skills in key areas like math, reading, and writing. These courses are specially designed for students entering K-8th grade and 9th-12th grade.
“Acceleration” courses are for-credit high school courses. Course offerings include math, science, English, foreign language, and more. These courses are for grade replacement or acceleration.

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3
  • Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m, Campers age 3-rising 9th graders can enroll in either full or half day sessions
  • Extended Care: Extended care is available from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m
  • Age: age 3-rising to 12th grade
  • Address: 2331 Collier Parkway, Land O’Lakes, Florida, 34639
  • Contact: 813-909-7919
  • https://academyatthelakes.org/community/summer-camp/#brochure

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Our exciting summer sports camps programs are available for 2nd through 8th grade and include Basketball, Flag Football and Volleyball. Participants do not need to be students at BSBA to attend but need a notarized medical release form to participate.

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Camp JCC offers a multitude of incredible specialty camps that your children will be able to develop a range of skills in a fun and supportive environment. Camps include: basketball, volleyball, indoor hockey, dance, art, i-movie, multi-sport and musical theater. Our goal is for every child to have a meaningful experience at Camp JCC. Our well-trained staff are constantly striving to ensure that your child feels at home.
At Camp JCC your camper will make life-long friends, explore new adventures, and create memories they will treasure forever!

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3
  • Hours: 9 am to 4 pm
  • Extended Care: 7:30 am – 9 am & 4 pm – 6 pm – additional fees
  • Age: Grades K-8
  • Scholarships Available: Yes
  • Address: 13009 Community Campus Drive, Tampa, Florida, 33625
  • Contact: 813-769-4748
  • https://www.bryanglazerfamilyjcc.com/programs/art/k-8/camp-jcc

 

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Half & full day specialty camps: Acting, Math Star, Bricks for Kidz, Myth Busters, Cheer, Outdoor Adventure, Cooking, Creative Comics, SCUBA, Dance, Sports, Day Camp, Gaming Galore, Travel, Golf, H20 Sports, Martial Arts and more open to everyone!

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27
  • Hours: Varies by program
  • Extended Care: Available
  • Age: all ages
  • Address: 4142 Cheval Blvd, Lutz, Florida, 33558
  • Contact: 813.279.5122
  • http://www.chevalgac.com/index.php/youth/camp-cheval

 

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Daily activities include arts & crafts, dance, and theatrical movement classes centered on a weekly theme. Snacks are provided. Registration Deadline: A non-refundable deposit of $30 (will be deducted from tuition payment) for each week enrolled is due at time of registration. Remaining balance due on the first day of each camp selected.

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3, 8/6-8/10, 8/13-8/17
  • Hours: 9am-12pm
  • Extended Care: After Care is provided Monday through Thursday for an additional rate until 3:00
  • Age: 3-6 years & 6-13 years
  • Address: 3805 W. San Miguel St., Tampa, Florida, 33629
  • Contact: 813-326-8466
  • http://www.mslisasdancestudio.com/classes/camps/

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The Patel Conservatory provides the finest performing arts training in an inspirational setting. All Patel Conservatory students have performing opportunities through open classrooms, showcases or performances in one of the studios, spaces or stages at the Straz Center.

DANCE: The Patel Conservatory dance department offers both enrichment and pre-professional training through Next Generation Ballet (NGB), Patel Conservatory Youth Ballet (PCYB), Patel Conservatory Popular Dance (PCPD) and the Open Dance program.
THEATER: The Patel Conservatory Theater department offers training in musical and non-musical theater hrough
productions, performance classes and technical theater programs.
MUSIC: Summer music offerings at the Patel Conservatory allow students to experience singing in a choir,
forming a rock band or playing in a chamber ensemble. Instrumentalists and vocalists of all ages have fun while developing their talents.

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3
  • Hours: Varies (9AM – 4PM)
  • Extended Care: Available
  • Address: 1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa, FL, 33602
  • Contact: (813) 222-1040
  • https://www.facebook.com/PatelConservatory

 

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The USF Summer Color Guard Camp provides students with experiences that will allow them to expand their performance techniques at the individual and ensemble levels. The focus of our camp centers around building guard members into well rounded performers. Throughout the week, campers will refine basics in flag, rifle sabre, dance and body movement. In addition to fundamentals, campers will learn integrated exercises and a full ensemble routine that will be performed at Friday’s exhibition. Campers will also have their choice of Leadership, Pom, Rifle and Sabre as an extra elective.

 

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This year, campers can customize their summer camp adventure with our new Summer Camp Options. There are so many choices, campers have the opportunity to experience something new each week!
FULL DAY CAMP EXPERIENCE: Get Ready for the BEST SUMMER EVER! Our fun-filled Day Camp Experience immerses campers in a new, exciting theme each week! With this option, campers will enjoy days full of themed camp fun like arts and crafts, swimming, games and more!
FULL DAY CAMP EXPERIENCE PLUS SPECIALTY: Looking to amp up the Summer Camp FUN? It’s easy to enhance any week with new and engaging adventures and experiences by simply choosing one of our many Day Camp with Specialty options. With this, campers will enjoy all the fun of the Day Camp Experience PLUS time throughout each day spent engaged in activities specific to their added Specialty.
AQUATICS, SPORTS, TEEN AND GYMNASTICS CAMP: Choose one of our Specialty Day Camps – Aquatics, Sports, or Gymnastics, and your camper will spend each day learning skills and having fun specific to the Specialty chosen.
UNIQUE DESTINATIONS:YMCA CAMP CRISTINA AND FIRST TEE OF TAMPA BAY: YMCA Camp Cristina is our 65-acre outdoor center equipped with zip lines, paintball, archery, shing, and more. The First Tee of Tampa Bay is available for beginners and advanced golfers.
PRESCHOOL AND ADAPTIVE CAMP: Preschoolers enjoy themed weeks of camp with indoor and outdoor activities, arts and craft projects, interactive story time, enrichment centers and more. Adaptive Camps are designed specifically for campers with special needs. These adaptive camps will ensure fun and inclusion for all!

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3
  • Hours: 9am – 4pm
  • Extended Care: Yes
  • Age: Varies by program
  • Contact: (813) 224-9622
  • https://www.tampaymca.org/summer-camp2018/

 

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Our Tampa football training camp at University of South Florida has been engineered to accelerate the development of players at every skill level, from youth to middle school to high school and beyond. Our program focuses on the fine tuning of fundamental skills through the utilization of patented and dynamic football drills that will revolutionize the way you play football. Whether you’re a beginner or already a standout player on your team, we will take your game to the next level!
Camp Type Options
See the Pricing Page for full details on additional options, payment plans, and crowdfunding resources!

  • Camp Week: 6/25-6/29
  • Hours: Day and Overnight Camps
  • Age: GRADES 1-12
  • Address: 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida, 33620
  • Contact: 843-903-1888
  • https://o-d.com/football-camps/Tampa

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Gymnastics, Cheerleading, and (boys) Ninja Fitness recreational camps are fun for boys and girls! You do not need to be a gymnast to enjoy summer camp. Individual progress is emphasized, but camp is a fun learning experience for beginners and experienced gymnastics students.

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3, 8/6-8/10
  • Hours: Full Day 9:00am-3:30pm, Half Day 9:00am-12:00pm or 12:00pm-3:30pm
  • Extended Care: Before and After Care Available
  • Age: Boys and Girls 4+
  • Address: 23633 Venezia Drive, Land O Lakes, Florida, 34639
  • Contact: (813) 949-7875
  • http://dgatampa.com/camp/

 

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LaFleur’s Summer Camp is fun for kids of all ages. Our curriculum is full of gymnastics instruction, games, ball skills and more, and offers kids a real fitness boost.
Boys and Girls all Abilities
Ages 4 and up (4 year olds ~ 1/2 Day only)
Low Student / Teacher Ratio
Trained, Adult Instructors
USA Gymnastics Safety Certified Director
Campers stay in our air conditioned facility for all activities
Camp activities include:
Gymnastics
Physical Fitness Games
Obstacle Courses
Ball Skills
Arts & Crafts
During the Summer: Swimming (PM Only – For Campers 5 years old and up)
Drink & Snack Provided
Friday is Pizza Day ($1.00/slice)

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3, 8/6-8/10
  • Hours: Full Day: 9:00am – 3:30pm, AM Half Day 9:00am – 12:00pm, PM Half Day 12:30pm – 3:30pm
  • Extended Care: $5.00 / hour must be paid on Friday
  • Age: Ages 4 and up
  • Address: 10205 Anderson Rd, Tampa, Florida, 33624
  • Contact: (813) 264-5000
  • http://www.lafleurstampa.com/camps/

 

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Join legendary player Casey Powell to improve this summer at this Tampa lacrosse camp. Campers will stay on-campus in the dorms and eat their meals in the campus dining hall. Lacrosse skills training and scrimmages will be held on the school’s athletic fields.

  • Camp Week: 6/11-6/15
  • Hours: Overnight and Extended Day Campers check in at 12pm on the first day and Check out at 12pm on the last day
  • Age: Camp is open to ages 8-17 of all ability levels
  • Address: 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida
  • Contact: (800) 944-7112
  • https://laxcamps.com/lax-camps/tampa-boys-lacrosse-camp/

 

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Overnight Fishing Camp
This overnight camp is one your camper will never forget. Sign up for up to three consecutive weeks of intense saltwater fishing! Our campers fish with professional fishing guides on comfortable bay boats everyday catching snook, redfish, trout, mackerel, snapper, jacks and sharks! In addition to daily fishing trips, young anglers learn about spin casting, baits and lures, knot tying, cast netting, fishing techniques and tackle rigging. Other camp activities include a night of beach camping, shore fishing, log rolling, canoeing, kayaking, marine biology, fly casting, fly tying and much more.
Session 1: Sun-Sat; June 3-9
Session 2: Sun-Sat; June 10-16
Session 3: Sun-Sat; June 17-23
Session 4: Sun-Sat; July 8-14

Day Camps:
Scuba Day Camp
Send your camp on an underwater adventure as they work towards a scuba certification! Five days of pool dives, river dives and spring dives where campers complete PADI scuba diving certifications in a week. All transportation from the dive shop is included. *This camp requires the completion of the PADI open water dive book and quizzes before the first day of camp (approx 6 hours of pre work).
Session 1: Mon-Fri; June 4-8
Session 2: Mon-Fri; June 25-29

Offshore Day Camp
Designed for offshore fishing enthusiasts, the offshore day camp is perfect for campers who want to fish deep and keep their catch! It includes fives days of guided offshore fishing catching grouper, snapper, barracuda, sharks and more. 10 to 12 campers will fish on an exclusive and comfortable 45-foot offshore vessel with a professional guide and mate. Campers will also have their catch filleted and bagged each day. Each camp is capped with a comprehensive awards ceremony.
Session 1: Mon-Fri; July 23-27
Session 2: Mon-Fri; July 30-Aug 3
Session 3: Mon-Fri; Aug 6-10

Inshore Day Camp
Our most popular camp great for all skill levels! The inshore day camp includes five days of guided inshore fishing catching snook, redfish, trout, sharks and more! Three to four campers per boat will fish with professional guides on comfortable bay boats. This camp also includes lessons in marine biology, boating safety, knot tying, target casting and more. Each camp is capped with a comprehensive awards ceremony.
Session 1: Tues-Fri; May 29-June 1
Session 2: Mon-Fri; June 4-8
Session 3: Mon-Fri; June 11-15
Session 4: Mon-Fri; June 18-22

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3, 8/6-8/10
  • Hours: Residential (Sunday 2pm to Saturday 11am), Week long day camp hours vary by program
  • Age: Ages 9-16
  • Contact: (813) 244-4682
  • http://fantasyfishingcamp.com/

 

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Summer Fun Learn to Skate Camp: Camp designed for the beginner to intermediate skater who just wants to have fun. Our team of skating counselors will introduce new skating skills in a safe and supervised setting. Summer Fun Learn to Play Camp: Camp designed for the skater who has passed Hockey 1 or higher and wants to learn the fundamentals of the game in a safe and supervised setting. Campers will learn hockey skills that are needed to become great hockey players.

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm
  • Age: Girls and Boys ages 6-13
  • Address: 3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd, Wesley Chapel, Florida, 33544
  • Contact: 813-955-1273
  • http://www.floridahospitalcenterice.com/sports/lts-camps/

 

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Learn how to Ollie. Find out if you prefer the regular or goofy stance. Become a top-notch shredder. We have 4 two week session skate camps at Brandon Skate Park and at our Apollo Beach Skate Park. The sessions are broken up into two age groups, 8 – 12 and 13 – 16, alternating parks each session. Programs run from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Apollo Beach Skate Park Session 1 & 3 ages 13-16 / Session 2 & 4 ages 8-12
Brandon Skate Park Session 1 & 3 ages 8-12 / Session 2 & 4 ages 13-16

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Pin Chasers camp programs get kids away from screens and onto the lanes. Counselors and exciting activities encourage children and young adults to unplug, make new friends, and learn a sport they can enjoy throughout their lives. Pin Chasers encourages parents to enrich their kids’ summer with active, exciting camp activities. Children benefit from safe, supervised sports and games, and the opportunity to make lifelong friends outside of the constraints of the regular school year. Camp is Monday-Friday, from 9:30-3:30 for just $199 a week. Early drop-off and late pick-up is available!

Summer Camp Includes:
– Daily Snack and Lunch
– Bowling and Competitions
– Indoor and Outdoor games
– Movies, Arts and Crafts
– Arcade Games and Camp Party
– All Campers get their own free personalized bowling ball, t-shirt, and pin water bottle!

Choose from our Midtown or East Pasco location!

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 7/9-7/13
  • Hours: 9:30-3:30
  • Extended Care: Yes
  • Age: 5-15
  • Address: 4847 N Armenia Ave, Tampa, FL, 33603
  • Contact: 813-291-3310
  • pinchasers.net/summer-camp/

 

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Challenger Sports’ British Soccer Camp is the most popular soccer camp in the country based upon one of the most innovative approaches to coaching youth soccer in the US and Canada. Our experienced International staff study the game at all levels and will help players improve their core techniques and become more confident on the ball.
With programs for each age, the curriculums includes a variety of foot skills, technical drills, tactical practices, freestyle soccer, small-sided games and coached scrimmages. World Cup style games are held each day where campers compete for their adopted country and are encouraged to learn about different customs and cultures, and our core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, sportsmanship and leadership.

Most camps will include a free soccer ball, T-shirt, Poster and Certificate, but please check your individual sessions on the next page to confirm this.

Westchase British Soccer Camp Shimberg Fields
7022 SOCCER AVE
TAMPA, FL 33634

MacDill AFB – British Soccer Camp MacDill AFB Soccer Field
6801 South Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33621

Tetra Brazil Soccer Academy Camp: July 16-20 at Town & Country Soccer Fields
The TetraBrazil Camp combines traditional Brazilian technical practices with the flair, passion, and creativity of South American soccer.
The TetraBrazil curriculum has been designed by an organization of professional soccer educators in Brazil to provide teams, coaches and players in North America with the same expert level of training received by the Professional Brazilian Clubs.
Campers will warm up to samba music, learn Portuguese phrases and discover what it is like to grow up in a country where playing soccer is treated like a religion.

Registration Deadline: Please note that there will be a $10 late fee for campers registering within 10 days of the camp start date.
  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/25-6/29, 7/16-7/20
  • Hours: Mini Soccer 8:00 AM 9:00 AM,vHalf Day Camp 9:00 AM 12:00 PM
  • Age: 3-5, 6-14
  • Contact: 800-878-2167 ext 281
  • https://challenger.configio.com/

 

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Tampa Bay United is offering summer soccer camp.

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20
  • Hours: 9 am to 3 pm
  • Extended Care: Early drop-off at 8:30am
  • Age: 5-13 years
  • Address: 14805 Ed Radice Dr., Tampa, Florida, 33626
  • Contact: (813) 792-7757
  • http://www.tbusc.com/Default.aspx?tabid=155671

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This coming summer, the tennis camp in Tampa will be directed by Head Women’s Coach Cristina Moros, Head Men’s Coach Ashley Fisher, and Assistant Men’s Coach Gary Needleman.  Each camper receives personal attention, advanced teaching techniques, intensive drill work and game / match play, all in a fun and competitive environment.

We break the campers into small instructional groups of similar age and ability so each child is working in a group that is commensurate with their experience level. We tailor each program to the level of the players. Beginners would get a heavier dose of swing technique and fundamentals, while more advanced players would have more focus on strategy, point building and percentage tennis etc. Wilson Collegiate Tennis Camps are the premier camps for young players who strive to learn the game, improve their skills and/or participate in middle school, high school, USTA team tennis or tournaments.

 

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All Skills Day Camp 1 • May 29-June 1, 2018 (9:00-4:30) • Ages 9-16
An all skills camp recommended for players of all ages and skill levels. All campers will be grouped with individuals of their similar age and skill level in order to maximize their learning potential. The camp will focus on all of the fundamentals of the game and provide each camper with playing opportunities.

All Skills Day Camp 2 • June 4-7, 2018 (9:00-4:30) • Ages 9-16
An all skills camp recommended for players of all ages and skill levels. All campers will be grouped with individuals of their similar age and skill level in order to maximize their learning potential. The camp will focus on all of the fundamentals of the game and provide each camper with playing opportunities.

Youth Bulls Camp • June 4-6, 2018 • Ages: 6-12
Our Youth Bulls Camp is a half day camp ending at noon each day. This camp will give campers the opportunity to learn the sport of volleyball in a fun camp environment. This is a great camp for those who are just starting out or first time players. We will focus on teaching each camper the fundamentals of the game, while developing a love for the sport.

All Skills Day Camp 3 • July 23-26, 2018 (9:00-4:30) • Ages 9-16
An all skills camp recommended for players of all ages and skill levels. All campers will be grouped with individuals of their similar age and skill level in order to maximize their learning potential. The camp will focus on all of the fundamentals of the game and provide each camper with playing opportunities.

Elite Camp • July 20, 2018 (12:30 PM) to July 22, 2018 (4:30 PM) • Ages: 11-14
This is an overnight camp tailored to the younger player who wishes to take their game to the next level. The focus of this camp will be to build a strong foundation with the game of volleyball. All campers will be grouped with individuals of their similar age and skill level in order to maximize their learning potential. The camp will focus on all of the fundamentals of the game and provide each camper with position training and playing opportunities. The camp is open to 11 to 14 year olds, some club experience is recommended. Dorm space is limited and we expect this camp to fill fast.

Elite Camp • July 23, 2018 (12:30 PM) to July 25, 2018 (4:30 PM) • Grad Years: 2018-2022
This is an overnight camp tailored to high-level players with a strong desire and potential to play at the next level. The camp is open to incoming Freshmen to Seniors. Current USF players will also be involved with camp. Space is limited and we expect this camp to fill fast.

​*If you are planning to participate in both our Elite (High School) Camp and Bulls Team Camp. We will provide housing, meals, & supervision for the night in between these two camps at a cost of $35. Please be sure to select this option when registering for camp.

 

All Other Camps

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Summer Camp is JUMPING at Altitude Trampoline Park! Our background checked counselors will be providing physical activities, as well as team building, educational, and creative activities. Our program will include open jump, dodgeball tournaments, battle beam championships, dunk contests, and Altitude Olympics, to name a few. Snacks will be provided for half day camps, and lunch will be provided for our full day campers. Limited space is available!

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27
  • Hours: Half day options: 10am-1pm or 1pm-4pm, Full day: 10am-4pm
  • Age: 6-14
  • Address: 4340 W. Hillsborough Ave Suite 350, Tampa, FL, 33614
  • Contact: 813-399-1529
  • www.altitudetampa.com/

 

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This summer, Bullseye Learning will host Camp Exploration & Adventure with every week a new exploration and every day a new adventure. Experience adventures throughout the world and even in outer space with super heroes, spies, detectives, world travel, animals, chemistry, electricity and more creating super heroes that save the cities they built, dusting for fingerprints to catch villains, exploding two-liter bottles like mad scientists and racing across the globe to unwrap real-life mummies.

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3
  • Hours: 8:30am-4pm
  • Extended Care: free before and after care 7:30am-6pm
  • Age: 6-16
  • Address: Presbyterian Church of Bloomingdale 710 E Bloomingdale Ave,, Brandon, Florida
  • Contact: 1-844-430-1645
  • https://www.bullseyelearning.com/eanda2018

 

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Busch Gardens’ Summer Day Camp is a time to make new friends, try new things, come face-to-face with a giraffe and challenge North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower.
For more than 25 years, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has provided children with inspiring, exciting and educational experiences with some of the best Tampa summer camp options found anywhere! We have a variety of Summer Day Camps to fit your student’s grade level and interest, and we look forward to having your child join us again this year.

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3
  • Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (Some hours vary.)
  • Extended Care: 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. for $20 per camper per day
  • Age: K12th Grades
  • Address: 10165 N Malcolm McKinley Dr, Tampa, Florida, 33612
  • Contact: (813) 987-5000
  • https://buschgardens.com/tampa/summer-camps/day-camps/?from=Additional_Options

 

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Camp Idlewild of Florida offers a variety of camping experiences for 6 to 17 year-olds with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other unique challenges. Campers may choose a week-long summer camp (day or residential), multiple weeks, a specialty
camp, or family camp. Our programs are designed to be inclusive and respectful of
individual needs and interests. A variety of experiences and activities are offered in a traditional summer camp environment. Diversity is highly valued at Camp Idlewild and our staff and volunteers appreciate kids with differing abilities, backgrounds, and interests. Camp is a place for kids to make friends, experience new or favorite activities, and create lasting memories. Together, campers learn, laugh, and play in the safety of a natural environment. Our programs include Nature, Sportsmanship, Creative and Performing Arts, and Waterfront experiences such as swimming, boating, and fishing. Our goal is to offer fun activities that promote confidence, relationship building and lasting friendships. Registration Deadline: June 1, 2018

  • Camp Week: 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3
  • Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
  • Age: 6 – 17 year-olds
  • Address: 7602 Henry Drive, Land O’ Lakes, FL, 34638
  • Contact: (813) 996-1226
  • http://www.campidlewildofflorida.com/

 

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Children are presented with fun, hands-on challenges that encourage creative problem solving, teamwork, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Camp Invention is led by experienced local educators and new curriculum is introduced each year, inspired by the Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame!

 

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The Cedarkirk Experience: Regardless of the particular program you and your child select, EVERY camper will be part of our small-group camping experience. The greatest strength of our summer program is the community that forms here each week among staff and campers in these small groups and we make sure every camper is a part of it!

Even our specialty camps (i.e. Culinary Camps, Adventure Camps, etc.) have only one block of specialty time each day, at most. The rest of the day is spent as a small group at activities like archery, canoeing, Bible study, swimming, cook outs, and more. After dinner, small groups in the same age range will come together for supervised free time, worship, and night activities.

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27
  • Hours: Overnight & Family Camping Programs
  • Age: All Ages, varies by program and dates
  • Scholarships Available: Yes
  • Address: 1920 Streetman Drive, Lithia, Florida, 33547
  • Contact: (813) 685-4224
  • http://cedarkirk.org/

 

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CampTastic is a fun, action-packed and educational summer camp for school age campers. Each week is filled with special themed programs, games, crafts, field trips, snacks, and more!
Check out each of the themes listed on our website for a preview of our summer camp fun!

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3, 8/6-8/10
  • Hours: 6:30 AM – 6:30 PM
  • Age: 5-12
  • Contact: (813) 996-3100
  • http://www.creativeworldcamp.com/

 

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Discovery Camp will be a one-week program for kids entering Kindergarten through 5th Grade from 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM. Kids will have a chance to discover what gifts and talents are inside them by exploring their interests in hands-on ways. They will learn skills and techniques to refine current skills while also practicing and experiencing topics that they are interested in. Each day, kids will experience both tracks they have chosen. In addition to tracks, kids will experience fun music, interactive Bible lessons, and building relationships with new friends!

  • Camp Week: 7/16-7/20
  • Hours: 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Age: Kindergarten through 5th Grade
  • Address: 19862 Amanda Park Dr., Lutz, Florida, 33559
  • Contact: (813) 545-9420
  • https://northpointefl.org/discovery/

 

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Discover the Possibilities with Our Child Care Centers
Summer is an exciting time in every kid’s life—full of fun, friends, play, new experiences, and adventures! Everyone deserves cherished memories from their childhood summers. At Discovery Point, we want to become part of your child’s most beloved summer memories. Our summer camp programs are an exciting way for your child to get the most out of summer with plenty of learning, field trips, and fun.
Discovery Point hosts a number of summer camps for kids, allowing them the opportunity to enjoy new experiences and adventures during the summer months! We know that your kids will absolutely love our exciting, action-packed programs, full of learning, fitness, and exciting adventures. Every Discovery Point Child Development Center offers unique summer camps and enrichment programs, so be sure to call your local facility to learn more about the programs in your area.

Our summer camps include a number of exciting opportunities, including:
Cooking projects
Physical fitness challenges / activities
Science experiments
Hands-on activities
Field trips to local attractions, historical landmarks, museums, and parks
Weekly lesson themes
Engaging, educational talks from teachers and guest speakers
Fun competitions

 

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A total of 10 weeks of Summer Camps to offer this year which start Monday, June 5 and end Friday, August 11 in Tampa. You can choose from 20 individual weekly camps based on Drawing / Creative Animation or Digital Animation. Small Camps – Book Early – Summer Camps will sell out!

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3, 8/6-8/10
  • Hours: 10am – 3pm – One hour break for lunch
  • Age: Ages 8 and up
  • Address: 5215 West Laurel Street, Tampa, Florida, 33607
  • Contact: (813) 321-3939
  • https://eliteanimationacademy.com/2018-summer-camps-tampa/

 

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Firehouse Cultural Center is offering 3 art summmer camps in 2018:
July 2 – July 6
No Camp on Wednesday, July 4th
Art Studio
Explore drawing, painting and watercolors. Campers will make their mark with a creative and imaginative variety of unique drawing, painting and watercolor activities. Culminates with a ‘Show-off’ for Family and Friends.

July 9 – July 13
The Art of Printmaking
The beautiful environment of Florida serves as inspiration for this creative camp. Campers will participate in an artistic adventure covering a variety of printmaking techniques. Culminates with a ‘Show-off’ for Family and Friends.

July 16 – July 20
Cartooning & Animation
Campers bring their favorite characters to life and create their own characters, as they develop basic cartooning, animation and storytelling skills. Campers will create a comic strip and an animation movie. Culminates with a ‘Show-off’ for Family and Friends.

 

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Join us for exciting Weekly Adventure Themes!

 

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Hillsborough county offers numerous camps.

 

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All day adventures. All summer long.®

At Kiddie Academy,® we aim to make your child’s summer as educational as it is fun. Our CampVenturesSM program and curriculum do exactly that through themed events, activities and trips. From preschool through elementary school, your child will enjoy playing developmentally appropriate games. Throughout the summer we reinforce what your child has learned in school. With CampVentures, your child’s ordinary summer vacation is transformed into a fun and strong foundation for the future.

 

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We offer several fun and engaging themes over the course of the summer to ignite children’s imagination and curiosity. Enroll in one week, a few weeks, or all 12 weeks—and if you have more than one child, enjoy the convenience of having them in one safe place together all summer.

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3, 8/6-8/10
  • Age: 6 weeks to 12 years
  • Contact: 1-855-832-7784
  • www.kindercare.com/lp/summer

 

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We don’t just offer summer programs for school-age children, we offer great child care and exciting summer fun for toddlers and preschoolers, too! Forget about regular daycare. Here, children from ages six weeks to five years old can learn and grow all summer long with fun-themed activities and special guests. In our summer camp program, school-age children participate in a variety of fun and educational activities each week. Discover new things daily with our interesting, exciting weekly camp themes, including:

Spy Camp
On the Stage Performing Arts Camp
Experiments in Science Camp

 

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Who says learning has to end during the summer months? At The Learning Experience® (TLE®), all children can stay engaged in hands-on learning activities throughout the summer. Children complete science experiments, learn new sign language and create exquisite art projects while still having plenty of time for sun and fun in one of our state-of-the-art outdoor playgrounds. To provide further entertainment, centers are visited by special guest performers throughout the summer weeks. Things you can expect from a summer full of memories at TLE®:

Weekly themes
Exciting visits from entertainers such as the “Reptile Guy” and “Peas and Carrots Musical Group”
Awesome Art Projects
Outdoor Sports and Activities
Water Play Days
An Educational Curriculum
New Friends
Summer T-shirts and Backpacks
Fun in the Sun, and Much More!

*Centers may provide off-site field trips for children four years and older. Summer programs may vary by location.

 

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Get ready for FUN!! We are now accepting a limited number of children ages 5-11 to join us this summer! We will take daily trips to the New Tampa Parks in our passenger van, but thanks to our large indoor/air conditioned space we can still have lots of fun on rainy days! Our training studio is 1,300 sq ft with padded floors perfect for Martial Arts/Tumbling/Indoor Sports and we are opening up a 700 sq ft Classroom designed specifically for our Summer Camps. All of our Coaches/Teachers are adults who have extensive experience teaching Kids Martial Arts and Sports and they must pass the same DCF local and federal background checks that Hillsborough County Schools requires.
You are going to love this summer camp because we offer the following fun and safe activities at no extra cost!
Sports:
Martial Arts Classes! Through our daily self-defense training your child will learn important Self-Defense skills, gain Confidence and enhance their Focus! This program is perfect for beginners and experienced martial artists!
Tumbling/Gymnastics! Boys and Girls love our tumbling and gymnastics classes!
Basketball! Learn how to dribble, pass, and make 2pt and 3pt baskets this summer!
Football! Learn how to pass the football, catch touchdowns, and run exciting plays!
Soccer! Have a blast learning how to pass, and shoot goals!
Kickball! Learn about team work and try to kick home runs!
Water Fun! Water fun activities in the park every Friday!
Educational Activities:
Math Competitions! Your child will have a blast practicing their math skills each week!
Science Projects! Our science projects will give your child the opportunity to think outside the box!
Exciting Arts and Crafts! Improved creativity, imagination, and much more are a results of weekly Arts and Crafts!
Games:
Indoor Obstacle Course & Rock Wall! Strength and agility training that’s super fun!
Video Game Systems! Your child will love our Minecraft and Wii Fit stations!
Lego Building Stations! Your child’s creativity will soar!
Checkers, Chess, Card Games and more! Develop winning strategies and boost brain power!
And much more!

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3, 8/6-8/10
  • Hours: 8am-5pm
  • Extended Care: FREE extended care available 7:15 – 8am & 5 – 6:30pm (for Full-Day Campers Only)
  • Age: Kids ages 5-11
  • Address: 10329 Cross Creek Blvd, Suite I, Tampa, Florida, 33647
  • Contact: 813-956-KICK
  • https://www.facebook.com/manamartialartsflorida/

 

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Martial Arts Summer Camps are the perfect way for kids to have fun all Summer long and get introduced to the Martial Arts, even if they’ve never trained before! Our camps have weekly themes to keep things exciting week to week. Your youngster will train like a ninja, swing light sabers like a jedi, and build like they’re in MineCraft. We have the coolest themes for the hottest Summer Camp in all of Tampa Bay!

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3
  • Hours: Camps START at 9am (early drop off at 8:30am) and END at 1pm (Half Day) or 6pm (Full Day).
  • Contact and Address: 
  • Martial Arts Advantage North
    234A E Bearss Ave. , Tampa, FL
    813-977-8800
  • South Tampa
    3311 S. Dale Mabry Hwy.
    813-832-8800
  • http://martialartsadvantage.com/summer-camps/

 

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We are a Catholic Camp for Boys & Girls. We have all the activities that your child will want this summer: kayaking, waterskiing, horseback riding, team sports, an olympic sized swimming pool and so much more. But we also teach through action, prayer and daily catechesis how Christ is present and alive in each one of us.

  • Camp Week: 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20
  • Hours: 8am-5pm
  • Age: 5-15
  • Address: 400 East Chelsea Street, Tampa, Florida, 33610
  • Contact: (813) 626-6191
  • http://www.mhctampa.org/about-our-camp/

 

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MOSI’s Summer Science Camps bring science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) alive through hands-on experiments and building projects. From extracting DNA to launching rockets and building robots, we are about creating the experiences that expand interests and make dreams a reality. Doing real science with the tools and technologies used by industry professionals is just one way MOSI Summer Science Camps inspire our campers with a can-do attitude that can last a lifetime. Real science coupled with exciting experiments, simulations, explorations, and inventions will help you discover the innovator within.

  • Camp Week: 5/28-6/1, 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/2-7/6, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3, 8/6-8/10
  • Hours: preschool – 8th grade – 9am – 4pm. Younger kids camps are 9am-noon or 1-4pm
  • Age: 4 years old-8th grade
  • Address: 4801 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL, 33617
  • Contact: (813) 987-6000
  • https://www.mosi.org/events-programs-camps/

 

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Get ready for a world of discovery in the Primrose Schools Summer Adventure Club. New adventurers and old friends power up imaginations with fun experiences and exciting activities like building robots, creating digital art, taking on engineering challenges and playing sports. Contact your local Primrose School to find out more and sign up.

 

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Rockatar Music Academy & Studios is pleased to once again offer Music Summer Camps! Last summer our camps were a phenomenal success, and we are looking forward to having more fun this summer. Our students will learn music and singing, and play a variety of musical instruments, including, guitar, keyboard, bass guitar, drums and voice. Join us and try all of these instruments, find out which is your favorite – all levels of experience are welcome. Our students will jam, create music, write songs, and have fun performing as a band! During each session, our students will learn to play real instruments of their choice and learn how to perform in a band. On Friday, the last day of the camp session, friends and families are invited to join a rockin’ music jam to enjoy a band performance by our students. The band performances are generally scheduled into two one hour shows on Friday between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Rockatar T-Shirt included (please indicate t-shirt size on your enrollment form).

We have two locations in Tampa:
Rockatar Music Academy
South Tampa
4205 South MacDill Ave, Tampa FL 33611

Rockatar Music Academy
Westchase
12631 Race Track Road, Tampa, FL 33626

  • Camp Week: 6/4-6/8, 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27, 7/30-8/3
  • Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m
  • Age: 4 and up
  • Contact: (813)-404-9194
  • http://rockataracademy.com/summer-camp/

 

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Explore the Zoo like never before! Get nose-to-horn with a majestic Indian Rhino or hand-to-fin with playful stingrays. Learn from professionals what it takes to become a zoo keeper, veterinarian or animal trainer. Or test your wildlife photography skills with the coolest animal subjects. Get ready to experience VIP access, up-close animal encounters and soaking splashes on our all-new water adventure, Roaring Springs.

  • Camp Week: 6/11-6/15, 6/18-6/22, 6/25-6/29, 7/9-7/13, 7/16-7/20, 7/23-7/27
  • Hours: Academic day starts at 9am and continues until 4pm.
  • Extended Care: All camps include extended care (7 am to 6 pm) and lunch at Safari Lodge!
  • Age: Summer camps are for children who have completed grades K-8
  • Address: 1101 W. Sligh Avenue, Tampa, Florida, 33604
  • Contact: (813) 935-8552
  • https://zootampa.org/camps/

 

Mom Squared Nanny Agency http://www.momsquarednanny.com/

 

College Nannies https://www.collegenanniesandtutors.com/lithiafl

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Artsy Academy in Fishhawk

Summer Art Camp, ages 4 to 14. Each Week is a different theme. Art work includes, working with watercolors, acryrilcs, pastels, drawing, oil painting, clay work, and much more.

  • Camp Week: June 11 – June 14, June 18 – June 21, June 25 – June 28
  • Hours: 9 am – 1 pm
  • Ages: 4 to 14
  • Contact: 813-817-9037 or subhadraraju08@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Happy “Easter Fool’s” Day!

This year, Easter falls on April Fools’ Day! This is actually a very rare event. The last time Easter fell on April 1st was in 1956. That has given us plenty of time to come up with fun ways to celebrate both holidays! Many families start their Easter morning celebration with a basket full of sweet treats and chocolate bunnies! This year, keep that special basket hidden for after the prank (we don’t want any tears or disappointed faces)! Instead, create a basket full of “treats” that will confuse the kids like socks, toothpaste, and shampoo. At the bottom of the Easter basket you can include a note that says “APRIL FOOLS!” to set the tone of the day they will be having!
You can also adapt traditional Easter fun to include a little April Fools’ twist! For example, everyone knows that Easter egg hunts are a favorite activity on this special holiday. With a little creativity, you can turn this exciting game into laughs and memories for everyone! Try hiding eggs with nontraditional treats inside like baby carrots, peas, and lima beans! Imagine their faces when they finally find that egg only to discover vegetables inside! Tell them the Easter Bunny is trying to be more healthy this year!
april fools easter pranks
Or maybe you can make “yummy treats” that look delicious but pack a surprise! How about a delicious broccoli pop! I found this idea on The Decorated Cookie, and it is fantastic! You spear a broccoli floret with a lollipop stick. Then cover with a pretty colorful parchment or tissue and tie with a bright ribbon. Place all of the “lollipops” in a cup for display and when your child asks for a lollipop, you can tell them with a wink, “only if you promise to eat the whole thing!”
broccoli lollipop easter april fools prank

 

You can also find a fun way to surprise your little Easter bunnies by having an Easter bunny piñata, but instead of the traditional candy and trinkets, fill it with paper clips, plain erasers, and other boring office supplies (just leave out the thumbtacks!).  Imagine the laughs when all of the hard work of breaking the pinata results in a hurried frenzy to grab up the goodies, only to realize they are office supplies and not candy! Keep those video cameras ready to capture the confused expression on their faces!

Of course, you will want to reward your bunnies with treats after the tricks are over! After all the fun is done, be sure to share your regular Easter traditions as a family, and talk as a family of how rare it is for these holidays to fall on the same day- and come up with ideas to celebrate when this rare event rolls around again, on April 1, 2029!

Happy “Easter Fool’s” Day!

-Jessica Frigo

Easter 2018

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Egg Hunts, Spring Events and Visits w/the Easter Bunny

**Some events may cost money, please visit websites for more info.**

 

3/9 – 3/31 The Easter Bunny at Westfield Brandon

  • Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 11am-6pm
  • Where: 459 Brandon Town Center Dr, Brandon, Florida, 33511
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/9 – 3/31 The Easter Bunny at Westfield Citrus Park

  • Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm
  • Where: 8021 Citrus Park Town Center Mall, Tampa, Florida, 33625
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/16 – 3/31 The Easter Bunny at Westshore Plaza

  • Hours: During Mall Hours
  • Where: 250 WestShore Plaza, Tampa, Florida, 33609
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/24 Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Egg Hunt at Campo Family Y

  • Hours: Breakfast served from 9-10:30AM (must sign-up at the Welcome Center by March 21st.)
    Easter Egg Hunt Times:
    0-3 years old: 9:30
    4-7 years old: 9:50
    8-12 years old: 10:10
  • Where: 3414 Culbreath Rd, Valrico, Florida, 33596
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/24 Bunny Hop at Land O Lakes Recreation Complex

  • Hours: 10 am – 12 Pm
  • Where: 3032 Collier Pkwy, Land o’ Lakes, Florida, 34639
  • /More Info: facebook.com

3/24 Easter Egg Hunt at Hyde Park Presbyterian Church

  • Hours: 10 am – 11:30 am
  • Where: 1309 W Swann Ave, Tampa, Florida, 33606
  • More Info: facebookevents.com

 3/24 Easter Egg Hunt at Seminole Heights United Methodist Church

  • Hours: 10 am – 2 pm
  • Where: 6111 N Central Ave, Tampa, Florida, 33604
  • More Info: facebookevents.com

3/24 Easter Extravaganza at FishHawk Fellowship Church

  • Hours: 10 am – 2 pm
  • Where: 16132 Churchview Dr, Lithia, Florida, 33547
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/24 Free Community Egg Hunt at Life Church

  • Hours: 11 am – 1 pm
  • Where: 6105 Wesley Grove Blvd, Wesley Chapel, Florida, 33544
  • More Info: facebookevents.com

3/24 Riverview Easter Egg Festival

  • Hours: 11 am – 3 pm
  • Where: 13050 Summerfield Blvd, Riverview, Florida, 33579
  • More Info: facebookevents.com

3/24 St. Andrew’s UMC 2018 Egg Hunt

  • Hours: 2pm – 4 pm
  • Where: 3315 South Bryan Road, Brandon, Florida, 33511
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/24 – 4/1 Easter Bunny Photos and Easter Crafts

**EGG HUNT ON MARCH 31ST**

  • Hours: Saturday, March 24th, Photos: 11 am – 6 pm ,Crafts: 1 – 4 pm
    Sunday, March 25th, Photos: 11 am – 4 pm, Crafts: 1 – 4 pm
    Monday, March 26th – Thursday, March 29th, Photos: 6 – 8 pm
    Friday, March 30th, Photos: 2 -8 pm, Crafts: 2 -5 pm
    Saturday, March 31st, Photos: 11 am – 6 pm, Crafts: 1 – 4 pm, Egg Hunt: 2 pm
    Sunday, April 1st, Photos: 11 am – 4 pm, Crafts: 1 – 4 pm
  • Where: 10501 Palm River Rd, Tampa, Florida, 33619
  • More Info: facebook.com

3/25 Boyette Springs Easter Event & Food Trucks

  • Hours: 1 pm – 3 pm
  • Where: 10180 Sedgebrook Dr, Riverview, Florida, 33569
  • More Info: facebook.com

3/30 Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Photos with the Easter Bunny

  • Hours: 11 am – 12 pm
  • Where: 851 W Lumsden Rd, Brandon, Florida, 33511
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/30 Easter Craft Time at Community Roots

3/30 Easter Egg Drop & Jam at All that Glitters

  • Hours: TODDLER DROP + ROMP 5-6p
    AGES 3+ DROP + FIND 6-7p
  • Where: 3802 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, Florida, 33611
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/31 9th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Kerby’s

  • Hours: 10 am – 10:30 am
  • Where: 2311 S Parsons Ave, Seffner, Florida, 33584
  • More Info: kerbysnursery.com

3/31 Beaumont Ranch Helicopter Egg Drop

  • Hours: 11 am – 4 pm
  • Where: 19765 state rd 52, Land o’ Lakes, Florida, 34637
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/31 Easter Egg Hunt at APW

  • Hours: 10 am – 2 pm
  • Where: 5227 Autumn Ridge Dr, Wesley Chapel, Florida, 33545-3210
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/31 Easter Egg Hunt at Brandon Regional Hospital

  • Hours: 10 am – 12 pm
  • Where: 119 Oakfield Dr, Brandon, Florida, 33511
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/31 Easter Egg Hunt at R E Olds Park

  • Hours: 9 am – 10 am
  • Where: 107 Shore Dr W, Oldsmar, Florida, 34677
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/31 Easter EGG HUNT at St. Paul Catholic Church

  • Hours: 10 am – 12 pm
  • Where: 12708 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, Florida, 33618
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/31 Egg Hunt at Land of Delight Natural Farm

  • Hours: 1:30 pm – 3 pm
  • Where: 2514 Leaning Pine Ln, Plant City, Florida, 33565
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

3/31 Helicopter Drop at Calvary Chapel Worship Center

  • Hours: 9 am – 3 pm
  • Egg Hunt Schedule:
    2 & 3yrs – 10am
    4 & 5yrs – 10:30
    6 & 7yrs – 11am
    8 & 9yrs – 11:30am
    Middle Schoolers- 12pm
  • Where: 6825 Trouble Creek Rd, New Port Richey, Florida, 34653
  • More Info: facebookevent.com

 

 

 

 

Out and About {Little Manatee River Trail}

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Because spring is in the air, which means super hot weather is right around the corner. Now is the time to spend in the woods in Florida. There are many great hiking trails around the around. No, there are no mountains, but we do have pretty rivers, winding trails and tree-lined oases to get your nature on.

I am an on again off again avid hiker. I love to go. I love the solitude of the woods, the wondering of whats around the next bend, or the chance meeting with some Florida wildlife. When my son was little we spend hours in the woods with him on my back, but as he grew older it became harder. That in-between stage when he just couldn’t hike 5 miles, but I had his sister to carry. The desire to go just didn’t outweigh the reality of hauling two kids in the car and dealing with the “are we there yet” or “how much longer questions” whining.

Now he can go 5+ miles, keep up with me and not scream about it too much and she can go some and still fit on my back in my Tula. It’s time for me to break out the walking sticks and hit the trails again. We hit a few trails close to the house to get our feet wet and then struck out for a drive, headed south. Little Manatee is a favorite of mine because it’s a loop trail with great access to the river and lots of shade. The river is shallow enough to play in, plus there are creeks and great climbing trees. Make sure to bring bug spray and water plus a little snack for the littles if they are travelling with you. Keep your eyes peeled for gators and turtles resting on the bank, plus lots of canoers and kayakers from the outpost on the river. Early morning or late evening hikes would probably elicit some other wildlife viewing if you didn’t have screaming kids giving their best firetruck siren impression. Needless to say, wildlife sightings are rare for me.

Overall the about 5 miles didn’t take long and the well-groomed trail allowed us to hike back barefoot. This was a pretty big plus since someone was in jeans and shoes when he jumped in the creek. I really should put him in a bathing suit no matter what the weather. We did see a few other hikers, but the foot traffic was fairly quiet. We also say 2 groups floating down the river.

Want to see more of our adventure?

Are you looking to hit the woods with your kiddos (or if you are lucky alone)? Here are some great resources to find places to go:

Now get out into nature and post your pictures of just how much fun you had in the great outdoors! Find any great spots to hike? Make sure you share them!

Remember to take only pictures and leave only footprints!

Mom and Daughter Selfie

The momma behind Momma Got Soul Photo and Films, Tampa Bay Family Photographer. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a storyteller. I stay up late, try to sleep late, and drink lots of coffee and beer (usually in that order, but not always). I grew up in sunny (which means really hot) central Florida, never go to the beach or Disney, but try to hike in the woods as much as I can. I remember a time when I said I would never photograph people, now that’s all I do. I think it started with wanting to explore the world and capture that to share with people. Now I want to capture people to share with the world. -Kelly

March 2-4, Weekend Events

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Here is your weekend roundup of family friendly events! Enjoy!

 

FRI

 

Family-Oriented Programs at Hillsborough Co Public Libraries

Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative offers a variety of ongoing programs for children each day including story times, LEGO Club, crafts, games, music, and more. Please check the website for details on the programs offered today.

  • When:  all day
  • Location: Hillsborough County Public Libraries
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

Open Play at We Rock the Spectrum

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018,  9:00 am –  6:00 pm
  • Location: We Rock the Spectrum – Tampa 1076 E Brandon Blvd Unit 102, Brandon, Florida 33511
  • Cost: $12 per child. Siblings discounted to $10 each. Baby Rockers – $6 under age of 1 (without siblings)

We offer Open Play daily, which is when children are welcome to enjoy full use of our sensory-safe gym with parent supervision. Our gym features therapy equipment, an arts & crafts area, a calming room, and more. We have a range of activities for kids no matter what they like. Our toddler section is filled with toys from trusted companies such as Melissa and Doug. Or if your child is more ambitious, he or she can jump on our trampoline or zip down our zip line. There’s plenty to do in our indoor, play, sensory gym — the best part being that weather doesn’t affect playtime!

We are an inclusive facility. This means that the programs and services we offer are designed to include children of all abilities. Our equipment has been specifically chosen so that children with autism or special needs can benefit from using it. Neurotypical children will also find our gym to be a safe and fun place to play! We believe in accommodating everyone.

Celebrate Dr Seuss’s Birthday Preschool Party

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018,  9:30 am – 11:00 pm
  • Location: Miss Anita’s Crafts 11811 N. Armenia Ave., Tampa, Florida 33612
  • Cost: $3 all supplies included

Preschoolers join us for a fun filled morning! Make a Lorax craft, enjoy Dr Seuss story telling , cupcakes and lots of fun. Only $3, including all supplies 🙂 see ya there!

Baby/Toddler Programs at Hillsborough County Public Libraries

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018, 10:00 am –  3:30 pm
  • Location: Multiple Locations
  • Cost: Free

Baby Time, Motion Commotion, Toddler Time, Jump, Jive And Jam!, Story Time, Alphabet Club, Movin’ and Groovin’, Baby & Toddler Yoga, Wee Artists, Bilingual Story Time, and Baby Sign Language. These are just a few of the 30 minute pre-school activities provided by your local library. Please visit the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative website to find the location and time most convenient for you. Daily programs vary by location. Check it out and find some hands on fun with your little ones!

First Friday Mall Meetup at Westfield Citrus Park

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018, 10:00 am
  • Location: 8021 Citrus Park Town Center Mall, Tampa, Florida 33625
  • Cost: Free

Join TBMG members in the food court play area at 10am for a relaxed play date. Let the kids play and if you’re up to it stay for lunch.

Florida Strawberry Festival

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Location: 303 North Lemon St. Plant City, FL 33563-4706
  • Cost: Adults (ages 13+): $10 Children (ages 6-12): $5 Children (ages 5 and under): FREE with paid adult admission

We will have 11 full days of strawberries, shortcake, big name concerts, rides, stage shows, attractions, food galore, exhibits, displays, contests, competitions and a berry sweet time for the whole family!

Music & More at Layla’s House

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Location: 1506 E Eskimo Ave, Tampa, Florida 33604
  • Cost: See Website

Does you child love moving to music? Come join us with you 1-5 year old to have fun with music and improve their development skills.

Toddler Time at Altitude Trampoline Park

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018, 10:00 am –  1:00 pm
  • Location: 4340 W. Hillsborough Ave., Suite 350, Tampa, Florida 33614
  • Cost: $8.95 per child. $2/hr for 1 adult.

Toddler time at Altitude. We are open to the general public at this time, but sections of our main court areas may be coned off for toddlers depending on capacity. Except for weekends, holidays and school vacations.

Fine Motor Skills Friday at Lolo’s Play-Place

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018, 10:30 am
  • Location: 1040 E. Bloomingdale Avenue, Valrico, Florida 33596
  • Cost: Free with paid admission

This class uses fine motor play activities to promote strength, dexterity, and improved grasp in small children. 8 months-3 years

Wonder Years at Layla’s House

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018, 11:15 am – 12:15 pm
  • Location: 1506 E Eskimo Ave, Tampa, Florida 33604
  • Cost: See Website

Do you have a 2-3 year old who enjoys exploring and wonder about how things work? Caregivers, parents, and children, join us on Fridays at 11:15 for a fun and learning

Art on the House at Tampa Museum of Art

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018,  4:00 pm –  8:00 pm
  • Location: 120 W Gasparilla Plaza Tampa, FL 33602
  • Cost: Pay-as-you-will admission to the museum.

Art on the House on Friday evenings from 4pm to 8 pm, in partnership with GTE Financial. Pay-as-you-will admission to the museum.

Come visit the Museum on Friday night to enjoy all the exhibitions on display.

First Friday at Henry Plant Museum

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018,  5:00 pm –  7:00 pm
  • Location: Henry Plant Museum 401 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, Florida 33606
  • Cost: Free

Meet us at the Minarets for First Friday on the first Friday of each month (January – November). The Museum will be open with free admission from 5 – 7 PM. Visitors can explore the nation’s only Victorian railroad resort hotel museum, enjoy live music on the veranda, and share a treat at our tastings table. Underwritten by SunTrust.

Golden City Gymnastics Open Gym

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018,  6:30 pm –  8:30 pm
  • Location: 930 Lithia Pinecrest Rd Brandon, Florida 33511
  • Cost: $10

At open gym we offer structured free time for gymnastics, acro, tumbling and more! It’s an event that Golden City offers every Friday night! During this time, participants will be able to enjoy structured free time in the gym and Coaches will be available to spot the athletes. This is a great time for athletes to get extra time in the gym to work on whatever it is they need to work on. This time is open to anyone from the ages of 5-18 years. You do not have to be a gymnast to participate, anyone is welcome!

Friday Night Friendzy at Altitude Trampoline Park

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018,  7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: 4340 W. Hillsborough Ave., Suite 350, Tampa, Florida 33614
  • Cost: $19.95 for 3 hours.

Friday Night Friendzy includes a slice of pizza, a bottled water, and a live DJ with a laser lights!

Glow Zone at Sky Zone

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018,  7:00 pm – 11:59 pm
  • Location: Sky Zone Tampa 10137 E Adamo Dr, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: $19.99 for two hours

We’re different after dark. Lasers, music and blacklight transform the whole park and even your party into a crazy jumping dance club. Flips are limited to Foam Zone during Glow. Waivers are required for all persons entering the park during Glow.

 

Friday, Jan. 12 Events

 

Family-Oriented Programs at Hillsborough Co Public Libraries

Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative offers a variety of ongoing programs for children each day including story times, LEGO Club, crafts, games, music, and more. Please check the website for details on the programs offered today.

  • When: Friday, March 2, 2018, all day
  • Location: Hillsborough County Public Libraries
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: hcplc.org

1st Annual Stepp’s Towing Accelerate to Give Car Show

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018,  9:00 am –  3:00 pm
  • Location: 11024 Causeway Blvd, Brandon, FL 33511-1998, United States
  • Cost: See Website

Car Shows for Charity is presenting the 1st annual Stepp’s Towing and Heavy Transport -Accelerate to Give Car Show Saturday March 3rd, 2018. Thank you Ed Morse Brandon for your partnership on this event. This year 100% of the proceeds will benefit What The Buc Really Matters Foundation. Whether you want to register for the show or come out as a spectator, you won’t want to miss this. Food, Music, Auctions, Prizes and plenty of beautiful cars!

48th Annual Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018,  9:00 am –  6:00 pm
  • Location: Gasparilla Festival of the Arts 600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, Florida 33602
  • Cost: Free Admission

Mark your calendars for a weekend packed full of the arts, free to the public! More than 250 visual artists will showcase their work alongside performing artists in Curtis Hixon Park and Kiley Garden in downtown Tampa. Please join us in our 48th year of celebrating art and the artists who create it.

Additional features include:
-Carmada
-Children’s Activities, including the Art Collectors in Training Program
-Live entertainment
-Local food & beverage vendors

Bowl For Kids’ Sake 2018 TAMPA

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018,  9:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Location: Pin Chasers Veterans 5555 W. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, Florida 33634
  • Cost: See Website

Bowl For Kids’ Sake is easy and FUN! Make a team, collect donations, and bowl. It’s time for our 2018 Bowl For Kids’ Sake campaign. This is our largest annual fundraiser that helps kids in our community. This year we are trying to raise $300,000! We need your support to make it happen. Spread the word by sharing via social media. (It really helps!)

Register your team or donate today:
1. Rally your friends and have them join your team!
2. We ask for each person to set a goal of at least $100 during the campaign, or about $500 per team. Donations can be made online, or via cash and check.
3. When registering, Team Captains will pick their ‘Thank You’ bowling party date. At the party, each team will get 2 hours of bowling, pizza, drinks, Bowl For Kids’ Sake T-shirts, SWAG Bags, raffle prizes and more!

MiraBay Dragon Boat Festival

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018,  9:00 am –  2:00 pm
  • Location: 428 Mira Bay Blvd, Apollo Beach, FL 33572
  • Cost: See Website

Dragon boat racing with solid, but friendly competition & the home
turf of the Leviathans (MiraBay Dragon Boat Club)! Spacious venue, calm and protected water, so bring your team tent, family and enjoy this season opener! Parking is plentiful and close at hand (in the same grassy area as the race site). An easy drive from anywhere in Florida. Kick off the year with this sociable, hard driving race. Best Florida season opener!

So much to choose from, with our friendly neighborhood MiraBay Market providing food vendors, kid friendly activities; something for the entire family! At the MiraBay Dragon Boat Festival, there will be multiple local businesses offering delicious food, cold drinks, fashion, accessories, bath & beauty products and more! These vendors benefit the local economy, community, and environment by giving attendees a chance to shop local while enjoying the main event.

• Bring the kids for a BoUnCe in the BoUnCe House
• Farmers’ Market
• Live DJ!
• Free Beer Samples
• Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally
• 2 large spectator tents
• Bring your cooler for the post party & awards ceremony

Bay Area Renaissance Festival

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10:00 am –  6:00 pm
  • Location: 11315 N. 46th Street Tampa, FL 33617
  • Cost: $17.95-$89.95

Take a time-travel adventure into the 16th century at the annual Bay Area Renaissance Festival! Join our Queen in a jubilee! Journey back in time as more than 100 merchants contribute to the atmosphere of this charming 16th century village. Experience live armored jousting, 12 stages of entertainment, 7 theme weekends, and fun and food for the whole family! The Festival is open weekends, with a special day for schools and seniors on Festival Friday, March 23rd, 2018. The Festival is open from 10 am – 6 pm, Rain or Shine. Parking at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival is always free! Discount tickets are available at participating Circle K stores.

Children’s Art Studio at Firehouse Cultural Center

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 1st Ave NE, Ruskin, FL 33570
  • Cost: $15 Non-member $10 Member

Activities range from printmaking to kaleidoscopes to mobile making and much more. Fun & Creative Activities for Grades 1 – 6. Space is limited. Registrations are encouraged.

First Annual Spring Fling

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10:00 am –  2:00 pm
  • Location: Creative World School (Tampa Palms, FL) 5365 Primrose Lake Circle, Tampa, Florida 33647
  • Cost: Free Asmission

Bring your family and friends for a FREE day of fun at Creative World School! We will have games and activities for all ages. We can’t wait to see you there!

Florida Strawberry Festival

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Location: 303 North Lemon St. Plant City, FL 33563-4706
  • Cost: Adults (ages 13+): $10 Children (ages 6-12): $5 Children (ages 5 and under): FREE with paid adult admission

We will have 11 full days of strawberries, shortcake, big name concerts, rides, stage shows, attractions, food galore, exhibits, displays, contests, competitions and a berry sweet time for the whole family!

Largo Central Railroad Public Runs

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10:00 am –  4:00 pm
  • Location: Largo Central Park 101 Central Park Dr Largo, FL 33771
  • Cost: free

The first full weekend of each month, The Largo Central Railroad provides free public runs of their mini train.
The train tracks cover 1.2 miles through the beautiful Largo Central Park. Train hours are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the first Saturday and Sunday of the month. Children must be at least one years old to ride. Pregnant women can not ride the trains due to insurance regulations.

 

 

Lakeshore Learning Crafts For Kids
When: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: 4501 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33609
Cost: Free
Our Free Crafts for Kids event will be held at all Lakeshore Learning locations. Kids have a blast creating a new craft project every Saturday!
Website: http://www.lakeshorelearning.com

 

Kids’ Fishing Workshop

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 12:00 pm –  5:00 pm
  • Location: 10501 Palm River Rd, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: Free Admission

Kids can enjoy fishing at our outside store pond from 12 – 5 PM (weather permitting) and then we’ll have a seminar pond-side where kids can learn from our in-house experts. The first 50 kids in attendance will receive a free patch!

Adaptive Family Night @ Highland Rec Complex

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018,  4:00 pm –  6:00 pm
  • Location: Highalnd Recreational Complex, 400 Highland Ave Largo, FL 33770
  • Cost: $15/Family

Activities will include a private party at Playworld, Exerplay, Game Room and Open Gym time. This is a party for children with physical and intellectual disabilities and their families. The snack shop will be open for small treat purchases. Only $15 per family. Program on Jan6, Feb3, and Mar3

Parents Night Out at Sky Zone

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018,  6:00 pm –  9:00 pm
  • Location: Sky Zone Tampa 10137 E Adamo Dr, Tampa, Florida 33619
  • Cost: Only $24.99, each additional hour just $9.99.

PARENT’S NIGHT OUT 1st Saturday of the month (Additional Hours Available) Parents, hate leaving your kids at home with the babysitter to just stare at the TV? Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park is redefining Parent’s Night Out. Drop off the kids at Sky Zone for a fun night of games and activities while you are out on the town! Kids get to participate in Open Jump, Dodgeball, Sky Slam, Foam Zone, AND Glow! Don’t want to make dinner? No problem! Add on 2 Slices and a drink for your child, just $4.99! Spots fill up quick! Register your child today! Call (813) 694-2275!

Saturday Night Open Gym at Jubilee Gymnastics

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018,  6:00 pm –  8:00 pm
  • Location: Jubilee Gymnastics 89 7th Ave NE, Ruskin, Florida 33570
  • Cost: $15 at the door.

Great way to get energy out and work on their gymnastics skills! 2 hours of Gym and Ninja Obstacle Time while you enjoy a night off! Ages 5 and up. $10 Pre-Register on our Parent Portal up till Friday night midnight. OR $15 at the door.

Teen Nights at Altitude Trampoline Park

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 2018,  7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Location: 4340 W. Hillsborough Ave., Suite 350, Tampa, Florida 33614
  • Cost: $19.95 for 3 hours.

Teen Nights on Saturday include a slice of pizza, a bottled water, and a live DJ with a laser lights!

 

{DIY} Homemade Elderberry Syrup

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Have you ever wondered what all this craze over elderberry syrup is all about?

Why is everyone OBSESSED with elderberry syrup?

Never heard of it before? Me either! Well, that was until I joined a few “crunchy” mom groups, and I kept seeing it over and over and thought I had to research the interwebz and try some for myself.

MY  household was struck with the flu and It was perfect timing for me to finally get my hands on some, as I went to my all-natural approach to beating the sickness, and without going to the doctor.

So, What are the benefits of elderberry?

there are some AMAZING benefits of elderberry:

  • major cold and flu relief. Elderberries help shorten the severity and duration of symptoms. Black elderberry contains a unique compound called antivirin that can help protect healthy cells and inactivate infectious viruses.
  • protection from free radicals
  • strengthens immune system
  • Helps clear up sinus infections
  • Natural diuretic AND laxative
  • lowers blood sugar
  • reduces cholesterol
  • high in antioxidants and rich in Vitamins A, D, & C
  • eases allergies
  • anti-inflammatory properties
  • anti-carcinogenic properties

Other uses for Elderberry:

elderberries can be consumed in a variety of different ways, not just a “syrup” for medicinal uses. Here are a few other ways you can consume elderberries:

  • teas
  • juice
  • jams + jellys
  • wine
  • lozenges
  • syrups

I imagine its like Mary Poppin’s spoonful of sugar, because this is what it looks and {probably} tastes like. Except, our modern day version doesn’t have sugar; I showcase my local farmers market honey instead, and use all fresh ingredients, including certified organic European elderberries.

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I package the syrup in pint-size (16oz) mason jars and water bath them then cool and give away, and make for friends, family, and of course my own, and I want to share with you, too, this amazing-ly easy recipe for Elderberry syrup. I added my own twists to it. ie a pinch of nutmeg, my local honey and fresh squeezed lemon.

I really enjoyed making this, my house smelled good, and just knowing that I am creating something GOOD, made me feel GOOD. I had to order my elderberries online, as I am not sure where I can get them locally yet, and with this flu season running rampant, I just decided to get them online.

Here is a step by step tutorial for making  your very own Elderberry syrup. #MomOn

For the supplies you need:

  • a mesh strainer
  • cheese cloth, or you can use coffee filters if you’re in a pinch and need some kind of strainer.
  • metal spoon to stir (wooden spoon will stain as I learned through my own experience)
  • medium sauce pan with a lid
  • various sized mason jars. the most popular for this type of recipe is anywhere from 6 or 8oz portions up to a quart (32oz). I did 4oz jars and 16oz (pint size) as that is what I had on hand. you can buy at Walmart, ace, amazon, etc.
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  • measuring tools
  • sautee pan for water bath

Besides ordering the elderberries, everything else you can get at your local grocery store.

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Elderberries, cinnamon powder, cinnamon stick, cloves, fresh ginger, local honey, + lemon. Not pictured is the filtered water.

you’re going to put the water in the saucepan on HI and add ALL your ingredients except for the HONEY, a very important step to remember! Bring everything to a boil…

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add all ingredients to your saucepan: filtered water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, cinnamon (stick & powder), cloves, fresh grated ginger, and elderberries. Everything EXCEPT for the honey.

Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes or until reduced by about half. Before I strain it I crush the berries with a flat utensil in the saucepan, then pour my batch into a larger mason jar to then dispense into the individual 16oz jars.

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After you mash it, then strain it, you’ll want to let it cool a little bit so you can add the honey without scorching it.

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I am showcasing my local raw unfiltered honey from Boyette Family Farms. I could literally see the beehive I got the honey from, so cool! I love supporting our local farmers for fresh ingredients.

After you stir in the honey, I portion them out into the according jars and then put the lids on and water bath them for about 15-25 minutes. Then put them in the fridge. And that’s it- you have made your very own Elderberry syrup.

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The whole process in my opinion was very easy, and I love that I crafted something healthy for my family.

If you’d like to checkout Boyette Family Farms, check out their facebook page❤ Its my favorite place to go to for FRESH fruits + veggies.

I truly enjoyed making my own elderberry syrup, and I know you will too. You can follow more of my journey with me here

Xoxo

Lisa Marie

INGREDIENTS:

This recipe makes a Quart.

  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 2/3 cup of dried elderberries
  • 2 tbsp ginger
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon powder or 1 stick
  • 1 tsp of cloves
  • half fresh squeezed lemon
  • 1 cup of local honey

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring the water to a boil and add all ingredients EXCEPT for the honey. You don’t want to “cook” the honey, so we are adding it in at the end
  2. once it is boiling, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes
  3. take of the heat, and let cool a little bit then mash the berries in the saucepan with any utensil that will work
  4. pour whole mixture through a mesh strainer into a big container  then mash the berries in the strainer as well to get any “juice” left out from the berries
  5. add the honey and stir until combined
  6. from here you are done! OR if you are going to be canning multiple batches for gifts etc, you will want to portion out into various sized jars, leave 1/4 inch head space, put the lids on and put into a large pot where the water is just below the lids for about 20-25 minutes, then into the fridge for cooling!