In the 7-to-17 section of our Seven Ages of Summer Guide, we offered you suggestions on where to drop your kids and run (read: day camp). Here, we're offering options where parents can have fun with their youngsters, beyond the usual suspects like the Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens and even the Glazer Children's Museum. All three are practical but predictable diversions, and not necessarily always cost-effective ones. So here are some recommendations for outside-the-box family-friendly fun.
Freedom Fest IV
Celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at this Memorial Day weekend street party in Oldsmar with live music, tasty eats, a big tent for shade, arts and crafts, and plenty of fun activities for the chitlins. May 23-25, State Street, Oldsmar.
Rock the Park
The Thursday night live music series is always free, always full of kids bounding about the Curtis Hixon playground, and always delivers on food truck fare and solid live music options. Schedules vary; June 5 features Paleface, The Heavy Metals and Beartoe. Every first Thursday of the Month, Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa.
8th Annual AMIkids Fishing Tournament
Take your kids out for a day of boat fishing and support local nonprofit AMIkids, which offers an array of community-based treatment interventions for at-risk and delinquent youths. Holy Hog Barbecue caters the after-fishing meal. June 6, The Getaway, 13090 Gandy Blvd N., St. Petersburg.
Breakfast with Dali
This interactive tour is geared toward introducing the Dali museum to families with children (recommended ages 5-12), and is led by a Dali docent along with select junior docents who present paintings and other works that appeal to children in particular. A Spanish-themed breakfast buffet and hands-on activities follow. June 7, Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg.
Go Skate St. Pete
A celebration of national Go Skateboarding Day that features art, music and food as well as Half Pipe and Street Skate contests, a fun run on the Pier, and a Push Race throughout the streets of downtown. June 21, The Pier approach, St. Petersburg, goskatetees.com.
Sing-Along Mary Poppins
Introduce the kids to the 1964 musical film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. Dress as your favorite Mary Poppins characters, participate in a pre-screening costume parade, then sing along at the top of your lungs to the lyrics displayed on the screen. June 21-22, Tampa Theatre, downtown Tampa.
The Voice Tour
The top three finishers from Season 6 of NBC's hit reality singing competition, which concluded Tuesday, perform live: winner (and Florida native) Josh Kaufman, Jake Worthington, and Christina Grimmie. Also on the bill: favorite past artists like The Voice
Season 5's champ Tessanne Chin, runners-up Jacquie Lee and Will Champlin, as well as Season 1 runner-up Dia Frampton. June 25, Carol Morsani Hall at Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa.
Marvel Universe Live!
More than 25 true-to-comic characters from the Marvel Universe — from Wolverine and The Avengers to Loki and Green Goblin — are brought to life in this ambitious touring presentation. Special effects, aerial tricks, pyrotechnics and 3D projections put you and your brood in the middle of the action during this first-ever live Marvel tour. July 10-13, Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa.
American Idol Live
A live touring version of the Fox reality singing competition for those families addicted to the show. This tour features Season 13 finalists C.J. Harris, Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse, MK Nobilette, Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts, Majesty Rose, Malaya Watson and Bradenton-bred Sam Woolf. July 18, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater.