MacDill Happenings

Things to do in and around MacDill AFB

MacDill Happenings Is Moving!

August 31, 2015 By: Laura Category: Events, Military Life, Military Spouse, News, Things to do Near MacDill AFB

MacDill Happenings is Moving!

MacDill Happenings Is Moving!

Yes, MacDill Happenings is moving in a new direction. After today, we will no longer be blogging here on this page. We have enjoyed bringing  great information and resources about the MacDill AFB/Tampa Bay area to all of you and will continue to do so in a different format. Here is a rundown of where MacDill Happenings is moving to.

  • We will continue to keep you updated on current events and MacDill AFB information via our MacDill Happenings Facebook and Twitter @MacdillHappenin.
  • We will still provide great info about resources in the area for our Military families, Veterans, and civilian friends on the and blog.
  • We’ll still be sharing great stories and ideas on our Pinterest board, so take a look and do some pinning!
  • Visit our parent site,, for content regarding military life, military families, home buying, renting, and many other resources!

I look forward to seeing all of your comments and shares in our new formats!

Remember, if you ever have an event or topic you would like us to share to please send us a note on our Facebook page.

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Things to Do in the Tampa Bay Area

August 28, 2015 By: Laura Category: children, Dining, Things to do Near MacDill AFB

vacation tips courtesyofcenyt

There are a lot of things to do in the Tampa Bay area and some unique events. Maybe spend a little of bit time around the house doing work, but don’t forget to get and enjoy yourself. Before the rain and maybe a hurricane comes out to town, take the opportunity to enjoy everything the Tampa Bay area has to offer.

    • The Tampa Bay Rays are still in the hunt for the second wild card.  The series against the Kansas City Royals continues this weekend.  The Saturday game starts at 6:10pm with a free Kevin Kiermaier doll free giveaway and the Sunday game starts at 1:10pm with a free giveaway for kids 14 years and younger.  Plus Ray alum, Ben Zobrist, is back in town with the Royals.
    • The Tampa Museum of Art is having a “pay what you will” day on Saturday for admission.  The Museum is also a Blue Star Museum which offer free admission for active duty military personnel and their families.
    • The 1925 silent movie classic “Phantom of the Opera” will be playing at the Tampa Theatre on Sunday at 3pm.  Theatrical organist Dr. Steven Ball will be playing Tampa Theatre’s original 1926 Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ during the movie. Make sure you get there early to get a good seat.  On street parking is free on the weekends in downtown Tampa and should be able to find parking within a couple blocks of the theatre.

Hope you enjoy the weekend!  And if you have any events or ideas to share, please let us know.

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Pets And The Military Family

August 26, 2015 By: Laura Category: Military Life, Military Spouse, PCS Move, Pets, Travel


Having a pet can be very important to military families. Our pets give us an anchor through many moves and deployments. For me, my dog especially gave me a sense of security; she was my watch dog! But, unfortunately, having pet and being a military family is not always easy. Military families have to consider many factors when getting a pet including housing breed restrictions, long deployments, and cost of moving their fur babies.

If you live in base housing or think you may in the future, you’ll want to check with housing before you adopt. Military housing has many rules on the types of pet you own along with breed restrictions. I hope one day housing will re-evaluate these restrictions because so many rescue dogs fall in these categories.

Another factor that military families have to deal with is deployments. For single family members who deploy, finding a foster family to look after their fur babies can be a challenge. I have even seen a servicemember looking for someone to care for his pet snake. Yikes! Dogs on Deployment is a great organization helping service members locate foster families for their pets. If you know of other organizations of this type, I would love for your to share them with me on our Facebook page.

Cute happy reddish havanese puppy dog is looking out from a blue and gray pet crate, isolated on white background

Moving with your pet can be costly, whether it be across country or overseas. This is something to definitely think about when adopting a pet. The bigger the pet, the more the cost. If you will be moving your pet overseas, your best bet is to get in touch with your base installation veterinarian to inquire on what is required to get your pet overseas. These rules seem to change constantly, so getting up to date information from the right source is important. I have known of friends who have gotten all the necessary shots and blood tests done for their pets to only find out they did them too soon or too late. When I took my dog and cat to Guam, the vet here at MacDill was great and made sure my pets had all the necessary papers and shots to get to the island. Also, the vets office at Naval Base Guam and Andersen AFB were also helpful. Do your research! You will also need to consider the price of your pets airfare and boarding. Again, do your research check with the airlines on what they charge and require to ship your pet.

Owning a pet can be a great and stressful experience. Being a military family and owning a pet can be an even greater and stressful experience. To keep your stress down and be able to just enjoy your pet, do your research and use the resources available to you.

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photo credit: Placid Oliver via photopin (license)

5 Tips to Enjoy Back to School

August 25, 2015 By: Laura Category: children, Events, Military Spouse, Schools


For most of the MacDill AFB area, school is back in session. I am sure some parents are jumping for joy and others are probably crying their eyes out on this first day of school! I know I was crying on my oldest child’s first day and had an ugly cry Sunday night after dropping my baby at college! That is when the I decided it was time to find ways to enjoy back to school. Here are my 5 tips to enjoy back to school.

  1. Take a deep breath. Just enjoy the moment and be proud of your child and yourself for getting to the first day of school.
  2. Take a nap. After all that shopping, getting hair cuts, and school physicals we are all exhausted. If you are now alone in the house woo hoo great time for a nap!!
  3. Time for a pedicure and a manicure or maybe a massage! If you still have little ones at home, a trip to the beach or park might make up for the massage. Get your spouse to watch the kids one evening and do the pedicure or massage then; you deserve it!
  4. Get organized. Now you may be thinking, how is that enjoyable? Well, if you get organized now, you will have more free time to enjoy later. Buy a calendar, planner, or a dry erase board to keep all those dates and activities organized. I always had a folder for each child to keep all those school papers organized and in one place.
  5. Write down your memories. Along with all those first day pictures, you will want to record those special moments. For instance, when your son comes home and tells you he has a girlfriend on his first day of kindergarten!

Now go take your nap or get your pedicure and enjoy these first days of back to school. You will be glad you did once all those school activities get started. Share your back to school pics with us on our Facebook page.

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Flea Market Shopping Near MacDill AFB

August 25, 2015 By: Laura Category: Events, Military Life, Military Spouse, Things to do Near MacDill AFB


Flea market shopping is all the rage these days, including here in the MacDill AFB area. Florida’s great weather means we can catch Flea Market fever all year long. Shopping the local flea markets and resale stores is a great way to furnish a home on a budget.

As a military spouse, being able to find fun decorative pieces along with furniture not only helps with the cost of a PCS move but gets me out to discover my new town. Watching way too much HGTV and DIY has encouraged me to buy items I may have turned my nose up at a few years ago. With a recent adventure in downsizing, I have really been hitting the flea markets and resale stores here in the MacDill area. Here is a list of some of the great flea markets in the area:

Along with these great flea markets, Tampa is home to several great thrift stores such as The Salvation Army and The Sunshine Thrift Store. With all of these options, the flea market shopper in you will never be bored!! If you have a favorite place to shop for bargains, please share them here with us on the blog or on our Facebook page. So, get the suntan lotion and a bottle of water and head on out to find the bargains.

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photo credit: DSC_0215 via photopin (license)

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