10 Family Fun Adventures Before The Summer Ends

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Florida Aquarium Splaspad

Summer Guide To Cool

Every Floridian family knows the ‘real’ summer doesn’t hit until mid-July and can go into September.  METRO gives you great ways to beat the heat and enjoy the hot summer days and nights with style.


Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens
Ride the brand-new thrilling roller coaster at Busch Gardens that features a 30,000-pound snake king icon and 70-foot vertical lift. The coaster travels 40 mph and travels backward, forward and spins creating a new spin experience each time you ride.



TLPZ giraffe feeding 2012

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Time to take the family for a date night at the Zoo. Every Friday and Saturday through August 6 enjoy the all-new Sunset Celebration, with live music and entertainment, dining in the beer & wine garden and top off the evening with a dazzling light show.



girl on bike looking straight

Coast Bike Share
Explore and get healthy at the same time with a ride around town with a Coast Bike Share. Located in downtown Tampa, Ybor and Hyde Park, these bikes are available to reserve on a mobile app, the web or using the bike keypad. Start wheelin’ now.



Florida Aquarium Splaspad

Florida Aquarium
Beat the heat with the little ones this summer at The Splash Pad, the new water play area with a rain forest theme, zero-depth water play, dumb buckets and spray zones. For the extra adventurous, get close and personal with the Dive with the Sharks program.




TradeWinds Island Resorts
Plan a week or just a weekend escape at St. Pete Beach’s family-friendly, Tradewinds Island Resorts and you’ll never be bored. From RedBeard’s Pirate Adventures, to Space and Marine-Bio Camps for the kids, relax and re-charge with a family vacation.



Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Home to movie star dolphins, Winter and Hope, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium works to rescue and rehabilitate injured wild life. For an extra adventure, Experience the Dolphin Encounter and work with a CMA trainer during a feeding or training session.



Summer fun starts with the “Topgolf Nights” series at Topgolf in Tampa where guests will enjoy a live band or DJ every Friday and Saturday night thru Labor Day. The drinks are cold and the music is pumping.



Glazer Museum Engineers

Glazer Children’s Museum
The museum has partnered with the Gasparilla Music Festival to bring family entertainment on the first Saturday of the month with the Summer Jam Session. On August 6, enjoy a performance by Capoeria — a blend of martial arts, game, music and dance.




Sponge Docks

Explore the area that helped build a Greek community famous for its sponges, Greek restaurants, sightseeing cruises, aquarium, shopping and more. Don’t miss Tarpon Sponge Docks Hippie Fest on August 13, featuring a VW Bug show, food and beer vendors, live music and more. Or the Night in the Islands held monthly.



The Flock-104

Great Explorations Children’s Museum & Sunken Gardens
The Museum is designed for kids under 10 to have fun and explore through interactive exhibits. Parents can enjoy a date night at Parents’ Night Out on the second Friday of the month. Next door at Sunken Gardens, stroll through the beautiful gardens and see the new flock of 20 Flamingos.







© Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog  |  A Metro Life Media, Inc Publication



Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

July 27, 2016 |

#BabyBolt Nikita Franklin born hours before Game 6

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Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning had a tremendous compliment paid to him Tuesday.

  • Baby girl born Tuesday named after Nikita Kucherov
  • Nikita Franklin was born weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces

A baby girl born at Florida Hospital Tampa was named in his honor, hours before the Bolts were set to play the Pittsburg Penguins in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

"Florida Hospital Tampa is so excited for the Franklin family as they welcome their new daughter Nikita on game day," Director of Media Relations Jennifer McVan said. "The mom said she’s excited to take a nap and watch the game from the hospital room."

McVan said the Franklins were originally planning to go to the game, but baby Nikita had other ideas.

Nikita Franklin’s parents said they were watching the Lightning play when they found out they were pregnant. Whoever made the next goal, they said, would be the inspiration for their child’s name.

Nikita was born weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces.

Bay News 9 – local-news

May 24, 2016 |

Investigators: Smoke detected on Egypt jet just before crash

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Smoke was detected in multiple places on EgyptAir flight 804 moments before it plummeted into the Mediterranean, but the cause of the crash that killed all 66 on board remains unclear, the French air accident investigation agency said on Saturday.

  • Investigators said smoke was detected moments before EgyptAir flight 804 crashed
  • Photos of the wreckage was released by the Egyptian Army
  • The cause of the crash remains unclear

Agency spokesman Sebastien Barthe told The Associated Press in Paris that the plane’s automatic detection system sent messages indicating smoke a few minutes before the plane disappeared from radar while flying over the east Mediterranean early on Thursday morning.

The messages, he explained, "generally mean the start of a fire," but he added: "We are drawing no conclusions from this. Everything else is pure conjecture."

Looking for clues to whether terrorists may have brought down the Airbus A320, investigators have been poring over the passenger list and questioned ground crew members at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, from which the plane took off.

The aircraft had been cruising normally in clear skies on a nighttime flight to Cairo early Thursday when it suddenly lurched left, then right, spun all the way around and plummeted 38,000 feet (11,582.4 meters) into the sea, never issuing a distress signal.

Search crews are scouring for further wreckage of the aircraft. Experts said answers will come only with an examination of the wreckage and the plane’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders, commonly known as black boxes.

Planes and vessels from Egypt and five other countries – Greece, Britain, France, the United States and Cyprus – continued searching a wide area of the eastern Mediterranean on Saturday, a day after the Egyptian military found debris from the passenger jet in the sea 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of the Egyptian port city of Alexandria.

The waters in the area are 8,000 to 10,000 feet deep (2,440 to 3,050 meters), and the pings from the black boxes can be detected up to a depth of 20,000 feet (6 kilometers).

On Saturday, the Egyptian military released photographs of the debris from EgyptAir flight 804. The photos were posted on the Facebook page of the chief military spokesman. They appear to show the heavily-damaged remains of plane seats, life jackets – one of which was seemingly undamaged – and a scrap of cloth that looks to be part of a baby’s purple and pink blanket or sleeping bag.

The spokesman’s Facebook page later posted a brief video that showed more debris, including what appeared to be a piece of blue carpet, seat belts, a shoe and what looked like a woman’s white handbag. The short clip opened with aerial footage of an unidentified navy ship followed by a speed boat with five service members aboard heading toward floating debris.

Egyptian authorities said they believe terrorism is a more likely explanation than equipment failure, and some aviation experts have said the erratic flight suggests a bomb blast or a struggle in the cockpit. But so far no hard evidence has emerged.

No militant group has claimed to have brought down the aircraft. That is a contrast to the downing of a Russian jet in October over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that killed all 224 on board. In that case, the Islamic State group’s branch in Sinai issued a claim of responsibility within hours. On Friday, IS issued a statement on clashes with the Egyptian military in Sinai, but said nothing about the plane crash.

Three European security officials said on Friday that the passenger manifest for Flight 804 contained no names on terrorism watch lists. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation. The manifest was leaked online and has not been verified by the airline.

Further checks are being conducted on relatives of the passengers.

French aviation investigators have begun to check and question all baggage handlers, maintenance workers, gate agents and other ground crew members at Charles de Gaulle Airport who had a direct or indirect link to the plane before it took off, according to a French judicial official. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Whatever caused the aircraft to crash, the tragedy will most likely deepen Egypt’s difficult predicament as it struggles to revive a battered economy and contain an increasingly resilient insurgency by Islamic militants.

In the five years since the country was first mired in turmoil caused by a popular uprising against longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, the lucrative tourism sector has been decimated, the value of the local currency has progressively fallen and domestic debt has mushroomed.

While the latest tragedy may not reflect directly on security at Egypt’s airports, as the Russian jet crash did in October, the country’s association with another air disaster will impact negatively on tourism and the flow of foreign investment.

In Paris, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Saturday that he and other officials – including representatives of Paris Aeroport, the French prosecutor, EgyptAir, and the Egyptian ambassador to Paris – had met with about 100 family members to express "our profound compassion" over the crash.

In a statement delivered to reporters following the meeting, he said: "All the hypotheses are being examined – none are being favored."

"In the name of France, once more, I am expressing my solidarity, but also our affection … for all those people who learned that a loved one, or even an entire family, have drowned in the sea – and who want to know, to know to be able to grieve. It’s a difficult moment, a painful moment. I wanted to say it again: We’re on their side."

Satter reported from Paris. Associated Press writer Angela Charlton contributed to this report from Paris.

Bay News 9 – local-news

May 21, 2016 |
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