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Mom to Mom
Summertime fun on a budget
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The kids are out of school and if you are like me, you are looking for fun things to do that won’t cost you ton.

Every year I browse the paper, Internet and flyers sent home from school to find some of the best and cheapest things to do. Here are some of the activities I’ve done with my two girls over the years, and a few new ones I’ve found.

My kids love going to the movies, but they can be so expensive. During the summer, you can go to the movies for $1. This is part of the Regal Summer Movie Express. It runs for nine weeks starting June 10 in our area. The movies are Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.

The movie theaters locally are Park Place Stadium 16 and Regal Largo Mall 8. The movies are rated G or PG and start at 10 a.m. Some of the movies this year include: Smurfs 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Arthur Christmas and more.

For more, visit

My girls love to bowl. Kids can go bowling for free all summer long as part of the Kids Bowl Free program. Bowling alleys all around the United States participate. Locally, kids can bowl free at Liberty Lanes in Largo, Ten Pin Lanes in St. Petersburg, Dunedin Lanes in Dunedin and Lane-Glo Lanes North in Port Richey. Kids get to bowl two games free a day.

You must register at Remember to bring bowling shoes, or you can rent them.

We are so fortunate to have baseball all around us. Not only do we have the Tampa Bay Rays, but we also have four minor league baseball teams in the area. If your kids like baseball, the minor league team tickets very affordable.

The Clearwater Threshers have dollar Tuesdays, where the tickets and food sell for $1. The Tampa Bay Yankees have a great kids club where you pay $10 and all Wednesday and Sunday games are free. The Dunedin Blue Jays have a Junior Jays Kids Club and have some free admission days for kids with a paying adult. The Lakeland Flying Tigers offer Sunday games free for kids and on Mondays, tickets are $1 along with food. Go to the team’s websites for more information.

If your kids like to read, they can read their way around the bases with the Reading with the Rays program. If kids read a certain number of hours during the summer, they can get a free ticket to a Ray’s game. You can find out more at your local library.

Kids also can earn a free book at Barnes and Noble with the Barnes and Nobel Summer Reading program. If your child reads eight of their own books and journals the books, they can get a free book at the store. You can find out more at

One place my two girls love going to is the beach, and it’s free. Did you know that on Friday nights there’s a place on North Redington Beach that offers hula dance lessons to kids and adults? It is at Mango’s Restaurant and Tiki Bar, 17120 Gulf Blvd., which is right behind DoubleTree Beach Resort. You can listen to tropical music on the beach. Right before sunset on Friday nights, the Sunset Island Dances come out and put on a fabulous hula show. They even do the limbo. It is a lot of fun.

I know the summer can be long if you don’t have things to do with your kids. Hopefully this gives you a few ideas for the summer, and you won’t have to spend too much money.

Kadi Hendricks Tubbs, mother of two girls ages 8 and 9, lives in Seminole. Visit her blog at
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