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Free and Family-friendly in Tampa

The words “free” and “family” rarely show up side-by-side – unless you happen to live in Tampa. All-ages fun isn’t just a pipe dream for Tampa Bay parents who dream of outings with no theme-park lines and overpriced memorabilia. Here are some hands-on, relaxing things to do, with no wallet required.

Manatee Viewing Center

It’s time again for the most family-friendly place in Tampa, especially when you count the fact that parents love this place as well. It’s the Manatee Viewing Center sanctuary, which opens every November for the winter viewing season. It’s the best time to see manatees in their natural habitat, primarily because of the nearby power plant. It provides environmentally friendly power to Tampa and warms the waters, giving the manatees a break from the chilly bay. You’ll find interactive exhibits, a habitat loop trail, butterfly gardens and a wildlife observation tower. Best of all, everything is free to the public every day.

Art Spot at Tampa Museum of Art

You’d think that art activities in one of Florida’s most prestigious art museums would take a big chunk out of the family budget. Not so at Tampa Museum of Art. The free drop-in Art Spot program is open every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for children and families to get their creative juices flowing. A different self-guided guided project is introduced each week, typically inspired by the works of art displayed throughout the museum galleries. Supplies are free as well, and there’s no registration required.

Afterward, take the little ones across the street for a romp at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. If you’re in the area on Thursday, Nov. 7, you can enjoy the free family-friendly “Rock the Park” concert starting at 6:30, which features Catherine Leigh, Shevonne & The Forces, and Jodan Esker and The Hundred Percent.

Free Fourth Fridays

Downtown Tampa knows how to throw a free mini-party, and they do it every Fourth Friday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. The activities change out every month, but always include free activities and entrance to attractions such as Tampa Theatre, Henry B. Plant Museum, Stageworks and Tampa Bay History Center. Live music floats throughout downtown streets, parks, and food and drink venues (which offer specials and reduced prices). Just pick up a wristband at no cost from any of the participating venues for entrance to anything that’s going on. Bicycle rentals are free for an hour.

Whether venturing out or staying in, you’re always at home when living in one of our Tampa apartment communities. Call today for a free tour and move-in information.