Things to Do

For cheapest gas prices, visit

Saturday, December 3 – Christmas Parade in downtown Tampa.  See City of Tampa news release below on street closures from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There will be multiple road closures downtown this Saturday for the annual Christmas Parade. A portion of Cass St, Ashley Dr, Tampa St, Pierce St and all of Madison St will be closed for this event. Cass St will be closed in both directions from North Blvd to Ashley Dr. Ashley Dr will be closed in both directions from Cass St to Kennedy Blvd. Tampa St and Pierce St will both be closed from Cass St to Kennedy Blvd. All of Madison St will be closed from Ashley Dr to Pierce St. These closures will be staggered in times and in affect from approximately 8am to 1pm on Saturday, December, 3rd. Please see the first map below for suggested alternate routes to avoid traffic congestion. Please see the second map below for the approximate closure times of the road segments.
For additional event information, please contact:
Office of Special Events
City of Tampa Parks & Recreation Department
(813) 274-8854

Grand Canyon 001 Old Faithful 001

The National Park Service celebrates its centennial this year and its 100th birthday on August 25, 2016.De Soto National Memorial Park

The nearest national park to the Tampa Bay area is De Soto National Memorial Park – Take Florida 64 West for about 5 miles from downtown Bradenton, Florida. Turn north (right) on 75th St. West and follow it 2 miles to the park. From Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater, take  I-275 South, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to Bradenton. The park is open daily and parking is free.  For more information, call 941-792-0458 or visit

For information on Asian community events in Orlando and the Tampa area, go to

For Philippine Cultural Foundation events in the Tampa Bay area, visit

For Chinese, Indian, Korean, Taiwanese, Thai, Vietnamese community contacts in Tampa, visit  Visit local Asian-American churches, groceries, restaurants and businesses for local festival and events information or

For Japanese community events in Tampa, go to For Japanese community events, go to


If you have a  free, cheap family-friendly, community event for the public to enjoy, mail or tweet your news release to us. 

Clearwater Today 001Clearwater Today 011Clearwater Beach – From Tampa, take the Courtney Campbell Causeway (Hwy 60) to Clearwater via Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard.  To take the ferry, turn right at Cleveland Street and go thru downtown all the way to the end.  Park free at the Harborview Center at Osceola Avenue & Cleveland.  15-minute ride each way to Clearwater Beach and back. Roundtrip ticket is $4 per person.

Beach Wedding 003St. Petersburg Beach in Pass-A-Grille — Less crowded with nice views of the Gulf of Mexico and Don Cesar Hotel for your visit or a sunset wedding. Take I-275 south via Howard Frankland Bridge toward Bradenton and Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Take Toll road to Tierre Verde, Fort Desoto Park to Gulf Boulevard in St. Petersburg Beach. Take Gulf Boulevard south to end and turn right to beach. Street metered parking available.


Free places to visit for the family

1. The  Courtney Campbell Causeway multi-use trail for walking,  jogging, biking, picnics and fishing from both Hillsborough and Pinellas county sides of the causeway. Enjoy views of Tampa Bay from Clearwater to Tampa. Parking is free in designated areas.  Nearby Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa also has picnic shelters and restrooms for family gatherings. The City of Tampa charges 50 cents/hour for parking at the beach parking lot. Bring your own food and drinks to save money. There’s also a concessions vendor in the Ben T. Davis beach parking lot.

2. Tampa’s River Walk – Stroll along the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa. City metered parking or garages, museums, the University of Tampa are nearby.  If you’re on a budget, bring your own food. There are covered areas with benches to relax, enjoy the view and eat.  There also are outdoor tables at Curtis Hixon Park.  Most casual, fast-food dining for families and visitors are a few blocks walk into downtown.

3. Outlet Shopping – Tampa Premium Outlets (I-75 North, exit at first exit to State Road 56 and turn left).

Headed to Orlando? Visit Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) in Lake Buena Vista, Florida – Disney Springs has free admission and free parking. Lots to see and do for the family with restaurants, shopping, boat rides. There’s also Outlet shopping near Disney World in Lake Buena Vista and near Universal Studios at the north end of International Drive in Orlando. Take I-4 east from Tampa. It’s about a 1 hour 15 minute drive from Tampa. WDW also announced the Main Street Electrical Parade is ending its run on October 9, 2016.  The classic and magical parade is returning to Disneyland in California.

4. Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach, Florida — The Manatee Viewing Center is open daily November 1 – April 15th.  Free admission and free parking.  There is a nature trail and a viewing tower to see manatees, stingrays and Florida wildlife. The center also has a hands-on educational center. Visitors say the best time to see the manatees is during the winter months when they seek the warmer waters of the Big Bend power plant canal.  The address is 6990 Dickman Road, Apollo Beach, Florida 33572. Phone: 813-228-4289. For more information and directions,

5. Fort Desoto Park – 3500 Pinellas Bayway South, St. Petersburg, FL 33715.  Phone: 727-582-2267. It’s $5 per vehicle to park daily and explore the wildlife, the historic fort ruins and 7 miles of white sandy beaches. The Pinellas County operated park also has trails, picnic shelters, a fishing pier and 2 concessions areas with snacks, food, fishing bait and tackle. Take I-275 South toward Bradenton exit and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Exit onto the Pinellas Bayway South toward Tierra Verde. Follow signs to Fort Desoto Park.


“Things to Do” is proudly sponsored by

Happy Eating Cookbook Covers - 50%

  Kindle, Nook and paperback editions of Happy Eating! Chinese and American Recipes by Chung, Lee and Lim are available at, and

John 3:16-17

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