MacDill Happenings

Things to do in and around MacDill AFB

Archive for December, 2009

Holiday Lights in the Garden in Largo

December 15, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events No Comments →

 Photography provided courtesy of Pinellas County Communications Department

Stroll through the more than 425,000 holiday lights at the Florida Botanical Gardens during Holiday Light in the Gardens in Largo. Admission is free but the suggested donation is $2 for 12 and older and free for 11 and younger.  The Florida Botanical Gardens is run by Pinellas County.  The Gardens is open everyday of the year. The Florida Botanical Gardens showcases flora, fauna and natural resources in motivational surroundings that promote environmentally friendly techniques. With over 30 acres of cultivated gardens and 90 acres of natural areas, you can spend a full day enjoying the beauty of the Gardens. Learn about the 90 acres of wetland, pine flatwoods, oak forest and critically endangered scrubland. Over 150 types of bird, mammals, and reptiles have been documented on site. Several endangered or threatened species including Bald Eagles, Gopher tortoises and Sherman Fox squirrels make their home here. There are also a number of threatened or endangered plants found on site. The Seasonal Garden Display Area show off the best flowering annuals for use in Florida Gardens and are change three times a year to match the current season. Normal hours are 7am to 7pm. For the Holiday Lights in the Garden presentation, the lights will be on from 6pm to 10pm.

Animal Coalition of Tampa Offers Discount Shot Clinic and More!

December 13, 2009 By: Laura Category: News, Pets No Comments →


For a low cost way to have your pet vaccinated or spayed or neutered, you might want to check out Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT). ACT is located at 1719 W Lemon St in Tampa, just northwest of the University of Tampa. ACT is a licensed, 501(c)3 organization that was founded in 2001 with a mission to end killing as a means to control pet overpopulation in Hillsborough County. Currently, there are close to 23,500 cats and dogs destroyed at Animal Services because there are too many for the available homes. ACT’s want to have a community where dogs and cats are safe and treated with respect and value. ACT operates a low cost, high volume and high quality pet clinic. We just had our dog receive her vaccinations at ACT. What a great place! The vet techs were very friendly and the place is very well organized. They don’t try to sell you something extra for your pet. They provide an exam of your pet and let you know what needs to be done and is nice to have done for your pet. You can also have your pet licensec at ACT. The prices are published online and there are shot packages available so you know ahead of time exactly what you will have to pay.  During the month of December, ACT has an online coupon for $5 off a service.  Although there is a drop in time available, your best bet is to make an appointment. Shot and Microchip Clinics for dogs and cats are held on Saturdays by appointment and Monday through Friday from 12pm to 2pm without appointment. An appointment requires a $5 deposit that you can pay over the phone. ACT has medications available for purchase.

“Ice Skating” and “A Christmas Story” in St Pete 12 December

December 12, 2009 By: Laura Category: News No Comments →


St. Petersburg’s North Straub Park this weekend has a “Glice” skating rink available from 6pm to 9pm. “Glice” is a plastic material coated with silicone and that’s what gives you the feeling that you are sorta, kinda on ice. It will probably still hurt a little bit if you fall, but at least it won’t be cold! It costs $5 for 30 minutes with skates provided at North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive, St. Petersburg. Plus Santa will be stopping by for a visit! You can take a break from “ice skating” and catch a free movie in North Straub Park. As part of the St. Pete Holiday Outdoor Film Festival, “A Christmas Story” movie will be playing outside for free! Just bring chairs or blankets to sit on. This would be a great time to have an picnic during the movie. Depending on the weather, you might want to bring some hot chocolate to warm you up. The 1983 “A Christmas Story” has become a holiday classic. It’s 1940, in the northern Indiana town of Hohman. 9-year-old Ralph “Ralphie” Parker wants only one thing for Christmas — an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB rifle with a compass in the stock. Between his younger brother Randy and having to handle school bully Scut Farkus, Ralphie doesn’t know how he’ll ever survive long enough to get the BB gun for Christmas. When Ralph asks his mother for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, she says, “No, you’ll shoot your eye out”. When Mrs. Shields, Ralph’s teacher at Harding Elementary School, assigns the class to write a theme about what they want for Christmas, Ralph sees a golden opportunity to express his desire to have a Red Ryder BB gun. Ralph gets a C+ on the theme, and Mrs. Shields has written “You’ll shoot your eye out” on the theme. Ralph’s next plan is to ask Santa Claus for a Red Ryder BB gun, and how does Santa respond? By saying “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” By this time, Ralph has had enough of that. When Scut Farkus and his sidekick Grover Dill start in on Ralph while he’s on his way home from school that day, Ralph knocks Grover Dill to the ground, beats Scut’s face bloody, and then pounds Scut’s head on the snow-covered ground several times. Ralph thinks he’ll never get the BB gun for Christmas now. And all of the other kids are going to be getting what they want for Christmas. But someone may have planned a surprise for Ralph. This has the classic scene where Ralphie decides to lick the frozen light pole and gets stuck.

Movies at MacDill AFB 11 & 12 December

December 10, 2009 By: Laura Category: News No Comments →


For an inexpensive night out, stop by the MacDill AFB movie theater this weekend.  Admission is only $4 for 12 years and older and $2 for children 5 to 11 years old.  Refreshments are half the price of refreshments out in town.  You can purchase a medium popcorn and soft drink for $7.50 with free refills on the soft drink. On Friday at 7pm, the movie “Law Abiding Citizen” will be playing. This movie is rated R for strong bloody brutal violence and torture, a scene of rape and pervasive language and has a run time of 109 minutes. Clyde Shelton is an upstanding family man whose wife and daughter are brutally murdered during a home invasion. When the killers are caught, Nick Rice, a hotshot young Philadelphia prosecutor, is assigned to the case. Over his objections, Nick is forced by his boss to offer one of the suspects a light sentence in exchange for testifying against his accomplice. Fast forward ten years. The man who got away with murder is found dead and Clyde Shelton coolly admits his guilt. Then he issues a warning to Nick: Either fix the flawed justice system that failed his family, or key players in the trial will die. On Saturday, there is an afternoon matinee featuring the animated movie “Astro Boy“. This movie is rated PG for some action and peril, and brief mild language and has a run time of 94 minutes. Astro Boy is a young robot from futuristic Metro City. Created by a brilliant scientist named Tenma, and powered by pure positive “blue” energy that gives him such abilities as x-ray vision, inhuman speed, and flight, the wide-eyed android longs to find his true place in the world. He sets out on an epic journey that brings him face to face with an underworld army of robots and some of the strangest creatures ever to walk the Earth, and along the way learns to experience human feelings and emotions. Astro Boy’s remarkable mission of discovery is suddenly cut short, however, when he learns that his friends and family back in Metro City are in grave danger. On Saturday at 7pm will be the horror movie “Saw VI“. This movie is rated R for equences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and language and has a run time of 93 minutes. With the now-deceased Jigsaw still directing events from beyond the grave, Hoffman emerges as the next heir to the killer’s twisted legacy. But as the FBI closes in, Hoffman sets in motion a game that is designed to reveal Jigsaw’s grand scheme.

Wild Wonderland at Lowry Park Zoo 10 December

December 08, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events No Comments →

Logo courtesy of Lowry Park Zoo 

On 10 December, the Lowry Park Zoo will present Wild Wonderland from 6pm to 9pm. Come out and enjoy the annual evening winter festival featuring holiday lights, live reindeer and penguins, visits with Santa, Frosty’s Foam Factory, free rides and Jingle Bell horse-drawn carriage rides. Admission is $13, $11 for ages 3 to 11, free for ages 2 and younger. Located in the northern part of Tampa off of W. Sligh Ave, it is easily accessible from I-275. Lowry Park Zoo has been named the #1 zoo in America by “Parents” magazine and “Child” magazine. Not all exhibits will be accessible during this event. However, there are more than 2000 animals on 56 acres of natural habitats in seven main exhibit areas. There is a combination of natural habitat exhibits and caged exhibits in each area. The seven exhibits are Asian Gardens, Primate World, Manatee and Aquatic Center, Native Florida Wildlife Center, Free-Flight Aviary, Wallaroo Station children’s zoo and Safari Africa. At some exhibits you have the opportunity to feed the animals. There are two water play areas and you can see educational shows. There are also rides for an additional fee. During normal operating hours, you can expect to spend at least 4 hours to see all exhibits. You can bring a picnic basket to enjoy before or after the visit at Lowry Park. Of course, there are plenty of restaurants in the zoo. Parking is free.

SeaScapes Christmas Party 11 December

December 07, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events 1 Comment →


SeaScapes Beach Club will be hosting a Christmas Party on 11 December. The fun starts at 6pm. If you are a club member it is free. If not, then it is $9.95. Take in the scenic view of Tampa Bay, while dining in the tropical atmosphere of SeaScapes. You don’t have to face the traffic or crowds like you find at other waterside venues. Sip delicious cocktails, or dine on delectable fare, while enjoying a magnificent view of the setting sun on the bay. There will be buffet which is included in the price of admission. Try out the turkey, ham, fish, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes and potatoes wedges. For dessert, try out the pumpkin pie, cookies or other sweet treats. Soda is available for $1 with free refills. Draft beer will be $2 all night! You can’t beat the bar prices! Tommy Bahama will providing live music. SeaScapes is located at the MacDill AFB base beach and next to FamCamp. It’s a real casual atmosphere so beach wear is fine, remember this is Florida! It’s a great place to enjoy as a couple or bring the whole family!

Movies at MacDill AFB 4 & 5 December

December 03, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events No Comments →


For an inexpensive night out this weekend, stop by the MacDill AFB movie theater.  Admission is only $4 for adults and $2 for children.  Refreshments are half the price that you would pay out in town.  On Friday at 7pm, the movie of the classic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” will be playing. This movie is rated PG for mild thematic elements, adventure action, and brief language with a run time of 94 minutes. Misunderstood at home and at school, mischievous Max escapes to a land populated by majestic, and sometimes fierce, creatures known as the Wild Things. The Wild Things allow Max to become their leader, and he promises to create a kingdom where everyone will be happy. However, Max soon finds that being the king is not easy, and that his relationships with the Wild Things are much more complicated than he originally thought. On Saturday at 3pm, the suspense movie “The Stepfather” will be playing. This movie is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, disturbing images, mature thematic material and brief sensuality) and has a run time of 141 minutes. When Michael Harding returns home from military school, he discovers that his mother has a new man named David in her life. Though David makes Michael’s mother very happy, Michael cannot seem to shake feelings of distrust. He becomes increasingly suspicious of David, and wonders if the man’s pleasant exterior hides a sinister side. On Saturday at 7pm, the vampire movie “Cirque du Freak: Vampire’s Assistant” will be playing. This movie is rated PG-13 for intense supernatural violence/action, disturbing images, thematic elements, and language and has a run time of 137 minutes. 16-year-old Darren was like most kids in his suburban neighborhood. He hung out with his best friend Steve, got decent grades and usually stayed out of trouble. But when he and his buddy stumble upon a traveling freak show, things begin to change inside Darren. That’s the exact moment when a vampire named Larten Crepsley turns him into something, well, bloodthirsty. Newly undead, he joins the Cirque Du Freak, a touring sideshow filled with monstrous creatures from a snakeboy and a wolfman to a bearded lady and a gigantic barker.

Tampa Theatre Holiday Revue & Picture Show 6 December

December 02, 2009 By: Laura Category: Events No Comments →

 Courtesy of the Tampa Theater

Stop by the Tampa Theatre in downtown Tampa this on Sunday 6 December for the Holiday Revue and Picture Show. The show starts at 3pm. Listen to Liz Hollister as she sings holiday favorites. Lipi the Juggler will liven up the season with a whirl of juggling, unicycling, comedy, and his popular canine sidekick, Rosie the Wonder Dog. Liston to Mrs. Claus as she tells us Christmas stories and then entertains us with her funny interactive spin on “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Join in on a holiday sing along with The Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ. All the words will be projected on the big screen. Then watch Laurel & Hardy In the 1929 silent comedy classis, Big Business. There will be live musical accompaniment featuring Cliff Shafer at The Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ. While selling Christmas trees door to door, a minor tussle with a grumpy homeowner escalates into full on tit-for-tat property destruction. Big Business is widely considered one Laurel and Hardy’s funniest films and was added to The Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1992. Built in 1926 as one of America’s most elaborate “movie palaces”, the Tampa Theatre today is a historical treasure of Tampa. Located in downtown Tampa, the Theatre is easily accessible from I-275 and I-4. Designed by famed theatre architect John Eberson, the Tampa is a superior example of the “atmospheric” style of theatre design. Inside the Tampa, audiences are transported to a lavish, romantic Mediterranean courtyard replete with old world statuary, flowers, and gargoyles. Over it all is a nighttime sky replete with twinkling stars and floating clouds. Tampa Theatre was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, is a Tampa City Landmark, and is a member of the League of Historic American Theatres. There is on street parking nearby and parking lots within walking distance. Remember the street parking meters are not in service during the Federal holilday so parking at street meters is free. Just across the street from the Marriot Courtyard at Cass and N. Florida is a self-service parking lot that charges $3 for parking during non-working hours. If you ever come to watch a show it’s a tradition to hang out at The Hub, downtown Tampa’s classic dive that’s located two doors down, before or after a theater outing.