MacDill Happenings

Things to Do in and around MacDill AFB

Archive for the ‘Communities’

Communities Around MacDill AFB

August 18, 2014 By: Laura Category: Communities No Comments →

MacDill pic courtesyofAJtrips blogspot

If you’re getting ready to move to the MacDill AFB area, then you will find a large number of communities in buy or rent a house. Because of the relatively central location of the base and traffic patterns, you will find that driving time from most communities is almost similar depending on distance. So if you live north of the base in the Westchase area or east in the Brandon/Valrico area, you will find driving times from either location will be 30 to 40 minutes.

You will find most of Tampa is suburbia as described by the MilitaryByOwner staff writer, Karina, in here recent blog “Are we witnessing the return to Suburbia?” There is thriving downtown in Tampa and St. Pete, but you find that these are primarily targeted for young singles or couples. The majority of active duty families at MacDill AFB live in surrounding suburbs.

MacDill AFB is located in the southern part of Tampa. Main roads into the base are Dale Mabry and Bayshore. Known as “South Tampa” which is usually defined as the part of Tampa south of Kennedy Blvd, this community has homes that are within 5 to 15 minutes of driving time to the base.

West of the base is Pinellas County with the major communities of St. Petersburg, Clearwater and numerous smaller towns in between.

North of the base in Hillsborough County are the communities of Westchase, Citrus Park, Lutz and New Tampa. Access to these communities are aided by the Veterans/Suncoast Expressway and I-275.

East of the base in Hillsborough County are the communities of Brandon, Valrico, Riverview and Lithia. Using the Selmon Expressway aids in travel time from these areas. Hillsborough Area Rapid Transit (HART) has commuter express buses from this part of Hillsborough County.

You can share here in our comments section or on our Facebook page. You can also send us a tweet @MacDill Happenin.

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Swimming Pool Safety Revisited

August 16, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Communities, Self Improvement No Comments →

Floating Around

Did you know that Florida is ranked as the state with the highest drowning rate in children? With Summer ending most of the United States will close the pools up and the risk for drowning will go down. But here in the MacDill AFB area we love to swim pretty much year round. With that in mind I though I would share a previous article written about swimming safety.

Take a look at the article Swimming Pool Safety and share it with your family and friends. This also a great article to share with friends who may have just moved or PCS’ed to the Tampa area. These tips can also apply to any bodies of water such as the beach or a lake.

Another water concern we have write now in the MacDill AFB area is the condition of the water at the beaches. Vibrio vulnificus, which is related to the bacterium that causes Cholera, can be found in the waters off of the coast because it thrives in warm saltwater. If ingested, it can cause stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. But it can also infect open wounds and lead to skin breakdown and ulceration. It’s okay to go in the water, just make sure that you don’t have any open cuts or wounds. If you have a suppressed immune system due to things like cancer, diabetes or cirrhosis of the liver, you are better off just walking on the beach and staying out of the water.

Use this information and stay safe near the water not just during the summer months but all year.

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Things to do in the Tampa Bay Area

August 07, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Communities, Events, News, Schools No Comments →

vacation tips courtesyofcenyt

There always a lot of fun things to do in the Tampa Bay area.  This weekend also offers somethings to do to get the children ready for school! Pinellas County Schools start on 18 Aug!  Hillsborough County Public Schools start of 19 Aug!

The annual Back to School Fair takes place on Saturday at the Glazer Children’s Museum.  The Museum is located right next to Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa. An admission fee of $5 is required, but you will get full access to the Museum along with the Fair. There will be live entertainment, speakers, crafts, face painting, balloon artist, and workshops.  The first 150 children will be a free school backpack loaded with school supplies and other goodies.  The Fair runs from 9am to 4pm.

The Camp Cristina YMCA will have a “YMCA Backpack Outreach” this Saturday at 9am in Riverview. Admission is free.  There will be free haircuts, blood pressure screenings, dental and vision check ups, seat belt safety, scoliosis screenings and pedestrian safety tips. There’s also dance performances, games, and activities for children.

The Patel Conservatory which is part of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts along the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa will host “Rock School Blowout” and the “Patel-A-Cappella Showcase” on Saturday at 1pm.  Admission is $5.

The historic Tampa Theatre in downtown Tampa will screen the 1934 classic “Citizen Kane” starting at 3pm on Sunday. Admission is $10.  The Tampa Theatre built in 1926 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This might be a perfect time to just enjoy the weekend at the beach before school starts!

We hope you enjoy your weekend and please share any ideas you have on fun things to do this weekend with us! You can share here in our comments section or on our Facebook page. You can also send us a tweet @MacDill Happenin.

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Things to do in Tampa Bay for the Weekend

August 01, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Communities, Events, News, Schools, Sports, Things to do No Comments →

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The weekend starts tomorrow and there is plenty of things to do! From baseball to shopping and everything in between, you will be amazed at the variety of opportunities.

  • The red hot Tampa Bay Rays are climbing back into the playoff picture!  On Friday, they begin a 3-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.  Game time is 7:10pm on Friday at the Trop. All series are important and this will be a big test against the powerful Angels.
  • Comic Con starts on Friday and runs all weekend at the Tampa Convention Center. Admission is $30 for one day or $60 for all three days.
  • NFL football fans have an opportunity on Friday at 5pm to watch the Bucs practice for free!
  • On Saturday starting at 5pm, Channelside Bay Plaza continues their “Light Up Channelside: Summer Fireworks” event with music and food. Fireworks start at 9pm.
  • On Saturday and Sunday, you can check Tampapalooza at the State Fairgrounds.  This free event celebrate everything the local area has to offer including local bands, food, craft beers, face painting and plenty of activities for the kids.
  • On Sunday at 3pm, take a look at the original “Dirty Dancing” movie on the big screen at the historic Tampa Theatre in downtown Tampa.

We hope you enjoy your weekend and please share any ideas you have on fun things to do this weekend with us! You can share here in our comments section or on our Facebook page. You can also send us a tweet @MacDill Happenin.

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August Golf Specials at MacDill AFB Bay Palms Golf Complex

July 30, 2014 By: Laura Category: Communities, Sports No Comments →

At the MacDill AFB Palms Golf Complex, if you have a valid ID that has a Brandon, Seffner, Riverview, Valrico, or Lithia address you will receive $5 off the cost of green fees during the month of August .


If you want to learn or need some help getting the rust out of your game, then sign up for the “Get Golf Ready” classes for $99. There is a free active duty clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 1pm, but you have the buy a bucket of balls. There is a drop-in junior clinic every Saturday for $3. It runs from 8:30am to 9:30am.

Bay Palms Golf Complex was named ‘Best Golf Program in the Air Force’ for 2002. There are two 18-hole, par 72 courses. The challenging South Course runs along the bay. The North Course offers a perfect opportunity to work on your game. The complex has a lighted practice putting green, a 24-hour-a-day lighted driving range where a small bucket of balls is only $2, a practice chipping green and sand trap areas. The clubhouse has an excellent pro shop with a great friendly staff ready to help you. The snack bar serves a great variety of food and has an especially nice breakfast menu! The Complex is open daily from 6:30am to 6pm. The Grill is open for breakfast daily from 6:30am to 10:30am, lunch daily from 11am to 1:30pm and the Express is open from Sun-Fri, 1:30-3 pm, and on Sat, 1:30-5 pm. Whether your home is in Brandon, FishHawk, St. Pete or New Tampa, you can’t find a more affordable golf course. It’s a great place to stop in after work and play a couple of holes or hit a bucket or two at the driving range before going home!

If you have a tip to share about golfing on MacDill AFB, please leave us a comment or share it on the MacDill Happenings Facebook page. If you tweet you can send us tweet to @MacDill Happenin.

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Cypress Point Park Tampa’s Hidden Beach

July 26, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Communities, Things to do No Comments →

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Tampa Bay has some of the best beaches in the country and most are within a 45-minute drive from MacDill AFB.  But there is a hidden gem of a beach in Tampa that is just minutes away from Westshore Plaza Mall and Tampa International Airport.

If you travel to the end of Cypress Blvd. you will be surprised to find Cypress Point Park. Now when you get to the end of the street don’t stop at the business park, but continue on following the signs that lead you to the park. My husband and I recently read an article in the Tampa Bay Times about this hidden gem.


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On a Sunday morning after dropping our daughter at the airport we made a quick stop. I was very surprised at how nice the park is.  The beach area is small but if you need something to do with the kids this would be the perfect quick beach trip. The beach area is not as big as the beach on MacDill AFB but it was very pretty and had a great view. If your kids are into airplanes then they will love it, the flight path of the Tampa International Airport is right over head. The park included several pavilions that you can rent for parties etc.. they included tables and grills. The park also had nice bathroom facilities that my husband said were very clean. In fact a cleaning crew was arriving when we left. For the kids the park had an amazing playground. You could also play volleyball and extreme Frisbee. According to the parks website you can also use the .90 mile asphalt trail and hike the .44 mile nature trail.  You can also use the canoe launch to go kayaking and canoeing in the bay.  If you live in the MacDill AFB area and just don’t want to make the hike out to Clearwater or St Petersburg this is a perfect alternative. I think it would be a lovely spot to have a sunset picnic. Also if you work in the area I think it would be a great place to eat your lunch and take a walk. Better yet you may want to rent or buy a home in the area.

Have you visited  Cypress Point Park? If so leave us a comment or you can post pictures and comments on our Facebook page.

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Things to do in Tampa for the Weekend

July 24, 2014 By: Laura Category: Communities, Dining, Events, Things to do No Comments →


Looks like the weather should cooperate this weekend, so you take advantage of all the things going on this weekend in the Tampa Bay area. There are always things to do outside like going to the beach or to Busch Gardens and things to do inside like visiting one of the many museums!

    • Today at 5:30pm at the MacDill AFB movie theater “The Lego Movie” will be shown.  It’s free to attend and you can bring your own snacks.  Just make sure you clean up after yourselves.
    • The red hot Tampa Bay Rays are back in town and take on the Boston Red Sox for a 3-game series starting on Friday at the Trop.  The first pitch will be thrown at 7:10pm with David Price scheduled to start!
    • Check out the beach during Flip Flop Fourth Friday at Madeira Beach.  Starting at 5pm, Madeira Way will be full of music, fun, food and vendors!  Plus you will get a great view of the sunset!
    • On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays open up the Trop for invite local youth ages 12 to 17 to Tropicana Field to participate in a morning of exercise and fun. This event runs from 10am to noon.  There is a limited number of spaces available, so make sure you call  727-825-3306 to reserve a spot.
    • Also on Saturday at the Trop, from 10:30am to noon, join DJ Kitty and the Ray team to celebrate National Dance Day.
    • On Sunday, the historic Tampa Theatre will show the comedy classic “Blazing Saddles”  at 3pm.

We hope you enjoy your weekend and please share any ideas you have on fun things to do this weekend with us! You can share here in our comments section or on our Facebook page. You can also send us a tweet @MacDill Happenin.

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5 Things to Do at MacDill AFB This Week

July 09, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Communities, Things to do No Comments →

Macdill AFB

There are a few things to do on MacDill AFB this week that are free or inexpensive to do.

  • The free movie this Thursday at the MacDill AFB Movie Theater is “Alice in Wonderland”. This 2010 version stars Johnny Depp and has Alice returning to Wonderland as a 19 year old. You can bring your own snacks and anyone is welcome to attend. Just make sure you clean up after yourselves. Sometimes it gets a little chilly in the theater so you might want to bring a jacket or a blanket. Show time is 5:30pm. The movie theater is located on Florida Keys Ave near Grow Financial Credit Union.
  • Also on Thursday from 5pm to 8pm at MacDill Lanes, you can bowl all you want for only $6. Or on Friday if you are a AF Club member, you can bowl for freee from 6pm to 8pm.  Call 828-4005 to make a reservation.
  • Sign up your child by Friday to participate in “Say It With Music” camp.  This Recording and Music Video Camp takes place next week. Cost is $25 per child and you can sign up at the Youth Center front desk.
  • One thing that is always available and free is the use of the Short Fitness Center!
  • If you want to talk a walk along a scenic route, then checkout the rubberized path along Bayshore Blvd. During the evening make sure you put on insect repellant!

If you know of any events taking place on MacDill AFB, please consider sharing them here.

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Things To Do 4th of July Weekend Near MacDill AFB

July 03, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Communities, Concerts, Events No Comments →



flag-fireworks courtesy of crazycrawfish

Things to do in Tampa


It is a four day weekend and the MacDill AFB and Tampa Bay area will be offering lots of fun things to do. Many of us will be heading to the beach, parks and amusement parks in the area but you may still need some other ideas here is a list of some events happening in the area.

  • If you live in the Riverview/Appolo Beach area you should check out the Band Stormbringer playing at the Concerts for A Cause event being held at Waterset, a new planned community located in Apollo Beach. The cost of admission is non-perishable food for donation. Event begins at 6:00.
  • If you live in the FishHawk/Lithia area a similar event is being held at Central Park FishHawk. The band will Frequency and the event will kick off at 6:00 and admission will be non-perishable food items for donations.
  • Visit MOSI where active duty and retired military and up to 5 of their family members can enter for free.
  • The Tampa Bay History Center in the Channelside District of Tampa is offering free admission to everyone on Friday in celebration of 4th of July.
  • The Lowry Park Zoo is offering free admission to active duty, retired and former military members and up to three family members from Friday to Sunday.
  • Check out the SS American Victory ship next to the Florida Aquarium and take a tour of the ship and watch fireworks at Channelside. Admission is $10 for military members.

Enjoy your long weekend and please be safe when it comes to setting off fireworks. Please share a comment with us if you know of any more great events in the area. Also, share your Independence Day events with us on our Facebook page or send us a Tweet at @MaDill Happenin.

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Fireworks Near MacDill AFB

July 02, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Communities, Events, News No Comments →


Wondering where to watch the fireworks in the MacDill AFB area? Living in the Tampa Bay area we have lots of choices. You may want to go to the beach or you may want to go to Channelside. Fireworks displays start around 9pm.  Here is a list of firework events in the area:

Hillsborough County

-Tampa: Channelside Bay Plaza, 615 Channelside Drive; Hogan’s Beach, 7700 Courtney Campbell  Causeway
-Plant City: Plant City Stadium, 1810 E Park Road
-Brandon: Brandon Towne Center Mall

The Florida Aquarium is an venue to watch the fireworks at Channelside. The Aquarium will be open until 9:30pm. Another good spot to watch the fireworks at Channelside is from the parking structure.

Pinellas County

-St. Petersburg Spa Beach at the Pier approach, 615 Second Ave. N.
-St. Pete Beach: Upham Beach, 6850 Beach Plaza
-Clearwater:  Coachman Park, 301 Drew St.
-Treasure Island: Bilmar Beach Resort, 10650 Gulf Blvd.
-Tarpon Springs: Fred Howard Park, 1700 Sunset Drive
-Gulfport: Beach Boulevard
-Madeira Beach: Archibald Park, 15100 Gulf Blvd.
-Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive
-Safety Harbor City Marina, 110 Veterans Memorial Lane

Sarasota County

-Palmetto: Sutton Park, Sixth Street and 10th Avenue W
-Sarasota: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 S Palm Ave.

Pasco County

-Dade City: Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52
-Wesley Chapel: The Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive

If you have some tips on where to watch fireworks or some hints about parking, can you share them with us?

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