MacDill Happenings

Things to Do in and around MacDill AFB
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Archive for the ‘Communities’

39th Annual Mainsail Arts Festival

April 18, 2014 By: maclaura Category: children, Communities, Events No Comments →

Come out the waterfront in St. Pete for a fun time this weekend! The weather is supposed to be good! The Vinoy Waterfront Park is the location of the 39th Annual Mainsail Arts Festival.

This is a free event. The Festival is open from 9am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday. This is one of the premier cultural events in St. Petersburg with over 100,000 visitors from near and far coming to enjoy and purchase quality art and enjoy top name entertainment. Exhibiting artists are competing for $50,000 in prize money. For children, volunteers from the Junior League of St. Petersburg offer future artists the chance to unleash creativity with free activities: fish prints, magical star wands, watercolor butterflies, marble artistry, and to celebrate Earth Day, plant your own bean stalk. Come and enjoy the music. There will be free live music during the entire weekend. Pets and outside coolers are not allowed. But there will be food and drinks for sale. Here is a map of the Festival. There is paid parking at the following lots: the Pier Parking Lots (Take 2nd Ave. N.E. heading towards The Pier), Baywalk Parking Garage (Enter from 2nd St. N. between 1st & 2nd Avenues North) and Southcore Parking Garage (Enter from 1st Ave South between 1st & 2nd Streets South). The other parking options are Paid parking available at the Pier’s Pelican or Dolphin Lots, Baywalk & South Core garages, or Free Event Shuttle Vehicles run from First St. and Central Ave. & from the Pier’s Dolphin Lot to Vinoy Park. St. Pete is just across the bay from MacDill AFB and so it is about a 30 minute drive. St. Pete is wonderful place to live at if you’re just moving to the Tampa area. With housing options from single family homes to condos to the numerous museums and restaurants, St. Pete should be place that you check out!

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Tampa Top 10 City in America

April 17, 2014 By: maclaura Category: Communities, News No Comments →

If you trying to decide where ask for a PSC move to or may be trying to decide a future retirement location, then you should consider Tampa as an option. Numerous articles from leading magazines and websites have included Tampa as one of the Top 10 Cities to live in for the United States.

Courtesy of City of Tampa

For military personnel, there are a number of major commands at MacDill AFB that any service member can be assigned to including Central Command and Special Operations Command. The abundance of service members and the increase in local hiring has also made Tampa one of the Top 10 Hottest Housing Markets in the U.S. Home prices are predicted to rise in the Tampa area. Because of the number of military personnel in Tampa if you decide to buy a home and then rent it out,  there is a plentiful supply of ready renters. Tampa also offers a wide variety of existing homes and newly made homes for sale.

Communities popular with military families include FishHawk Ranch in Lithia, Brandon, Citrus Park and New Tampa. There is a commuter express bus system that serves the Lithia, Riverview, Apollo Beach, Valrico and Brandon areas. Service members can receive a free monthly bus pass from MacDill AFB.

Tampa has a small but always fun and busy downtown that offers unique dining, theater, parks and NHL hockey.

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“The Karate Kid” at the Tampa Theatre

April 16, 2014 By: maclaura Category: children, Communities, Events No Comments →

As part of Family Favorites Classic Series, the 1984 original movie “The Karate Kid” will be shown on Sunday at the Tampa Theatre.

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When the new kid in town, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) takes an interest in Ali (Elizabeth Shue), her ex-boyfriend (William Zabka) and his friends start harassing Daniel. But Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita), an elderly Japanese handyman, comes to his rescue and takes on the bullies by himself using karate. Daniel begs to learn this ancient martial art, and Miyagi begins the boy’s training, teaching him that there is more to karate than fighting. Do you remember the classic line “Wax on, wax off”? The start time of the movie is 3pm, but doors open at 2pm. Tickets are $10 for the General Public. There is a military discount of $1 per ticket. Chosen by LIFE magazine as one of “America’s 21 Wonders,” Tampa Theatre is one of America’s best-preserved examples of grand movie palace architecture. The Theatre hosts 650 events annually including first run and classic films, concerts by touring artists, educational programs, summer camps, and community celebrations. 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 night time sky replete with twinkling stars and floating clouds. Tampa Theatre was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and is a member of the League of Historic American Theatres. There is on-street parking nearby and parking lots within walking distance. Just across the street from the Marriott Courtyard at Cass and N. Florida is a self-service parking lot that charges $5 for parking before 6pm and $3 after 6pm. Tampa Theatre is about 30 minutes away no matter if you live in Brandon, FishHawk Ranch, New Tampa, St. Pete or Westchase!

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Rays Take on the Yankees!

April 15, 2014 By: maclaura Category: children, Communities, Events, Sports No Comments →

The Tampa Bay Rays open a homestand with 4 game series against the Yankees starting on Thursday. The first pitch on Thursday will be at 7:10pm. Good tickets are still available for Thursday. It’s Italian night and you can purchase a commemorative t-shirt to celebrate the night. And if you want to tailgate before the game get there early to get a good spot!

Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays

Inside the Trop, check out the Ray tank in centerfield. The walkway around the outfield will be open. In the Left Field Street area, fans can participate in a baseball-themed game show, take their picture on a Topps baseball card, have their name inscribed onto a Louisville Slugger bat, touch and feel real game-used equipment, and broadcast play-by-play of baseball highlights. At Right Field Street kids can experience the magic of baseball in the Rays Baseball Carnival, a real working carnival that includes plinko, spin the wheel, ring-a-bat and skee ball. Or take a swing against a computer images of real Major League pitchers in a batting cage or test their arms in the speed pitch, both found in the T.G. Lee Rookie Challenge area of the Carnival. There is also kids-themed areas such as “Bats, Balls, and Brushes”, “St. Petersburg Times Pressbox” and “The Science of Baseball.” Centerfield Street has the Cuesta-Rey Cigar Bar, baseball’s first in-stadium cigar bar, as well as the Batter’s Eye Restaurant, located in the “batter’s eye” in center field. Centerfield Street also has the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall-of-Fame. The Trop is about a 30 minute drive from MacDill AFB, but remember to give yourself some extra time because of the expected crowds!

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Get Ready to Rent Your Home!

April 14, 2014 By: maclaura Category: Communities, News No Comments →

It’s almost time for the summer PCS moves! If you own a home, you’ve got to make a big decision on whether to sell or to rent you home. Sometimes it’s an easy decision, sometimes it’s complicated. If your house has appreciated in price, then selling might be the right move. If it hasn’t appreciated, then you will have to decide if you can afford to lose money.

MBO

If you decide to rent, then there are a few things to do to get your house ready to rent. A Military By Owner staff writer has written an article that you help you prepare the house and yourself to rent your home!

Despite the housing market problems in the past, real estate will usually always appreciate. And you might have a home that you want to come back to in a few years after another PCS move or maybe even come back to it when you retire!

Renting or selling is not an easy decision, but some research will help you make an informed decision.

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Spring Fling at Little Manatee River State Park on Saturday

April 11, 2014 By: maclaura Category: children, Communities, Events, News No Comments →

The Little Manatee River State Park is hosting “Spring Fling” this Saturday. From 9am to 4pm, the Fling will highlight all the great activities and resources the park has to offer the public. There will be up to 25 vendors and exhibitors on site along with games for the kids and live music.

Little Manatee River Courtesy of Fl State Parks

This eco-friendly family event includes a little something for all park guests to do. For the kids there will be fun activities located near the playground including fish printing, face painting, a coloring contest and more. For guests of all ages, there will be ranger led guided hikes, guided horse-back rides, live music, eco-friendly vendors and more. Food will be available by the Friends of Little Manatee River for a small donation.

There is no admission fee, but there is a vehicle fee. The vehicle fee is $5 per vehicle for 2-8 people and $4 for a single occupant vehicle.

Little Manatee River State Park is located four miles south of Sun City Center off of US 301 and can be easily reached from most locations from I-75.

Visitors can fish along the banks of the river. Wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy hiking a six-and-a-half mile trail through the park’s northern wilderness area. For those who prefer their hikes on horseback, the park has 12 miles of equestrian trails and four equestrian campsites. Campers can spend the night in a full-facility campground or hike out to a primitive campsite along the trail. A youth/group campground accommodates up to 20 people. The scenic picnic area along the river has tables, grills, and pavilions. Pavilions can be reserved for a fee. Unreserved pavilions are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

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Tango in the Park on Thursday!

April 08, 2014 By: maclaura Category: Communities, Events No Comments →

Curtis Hixon Park is the location this Thursday for “Tango in the Park”. The Tampa Bay Tango Club and Tampa Downtown Partnership offer a one-hour free tango class in Curtis Hixon Park starting at 6pm. This class is for all levels and takes place on the wood platform in the northeast corner of the park, adjacent to the Glazer Children’s Museum. No partner, experience or special shoes required. Non-rubber soled shoes are the best things to wear. Flip flops are definitely not the footwear for the Tango.

Courtesy of Barcelona Photoblog

Food is available at nearby restaurants including the Taco Bus near the Park and a Urban Cantina located at the corner of Madison and South Tampa. Curtis Hixon Park has a fenced animal park along the water. This park is one of nicest parks in Tampa. With an interactive playground, wide open flat grass play area, a view of the University of Tampa, and cooling water fountains, this is a great place to relax on a Thursday evening or any evening! Parking is available at the Curtis Hixon parking garage or at nearby public parking lots. On street parking is free in Tampa after 6pm, so you don’t have to place any quarters into the meters! If you’re lucky, you can get a parking spot in front of Five Guys Hamburgers right across the street from the Park at the corner of Ashley and Polk. The good thing about this park is that is centrally located in Tampa. Just a 15 minute drive from MacDill AFB and about 20 to 30 minutes from Brandon, FishHawk Ranch, New Tampa, Clearwater and St. Pete.

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April Golf Specials at MacDill AFB Bay Palms Golf Complex

April 07, 2014 By: maclaura Category: Communities, Sports No Comments →

At the MacDill AFB Palms Golf Complex, a military member and 3 guests can play for $125 which includes greens and cart fees. The per person cart rate for 18 holes is $12 and for 9 holes it is $7.

Golf

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. The free active duty clinic runs 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 prefect 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!

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Friday Extra Concert Series at Curtis Hixon Park

April 03, 2014 By: maclaura Category: Communities, Dining, Events No Comments →

Tomorrow at Curtis Hixon Park is the Friday Extra Concert Series. The Concert Series will showcase local Tampa bands. Sydney will open the night at 7pm.  Closing out the night will be the Dunedin based rock band the Ken Petersen Band.

Curtis Hixon

This free event is a perfect way to spend a Friday evening. Food is available at nearby restaurants including the Taco Bus near the Park and a Urban Cantina located at the corner of Madison and South Tampa. Get it to go! You can also bring a picnic dinner and don’t forget the blankets and chairs! Alcohol is not allowed but well behaved pets are! Curtis Hixon Park has a fenced animal park along the water. This park is one of nicest parks in Tampa. With an interactive playground, wide open flat grass play area, a view of the University of Tampa, and cooling water fountains, this is a great place to relax on a Thursday evening or any evening! Parking is available at the Curtis Hixon parking garage or at nearby public parking lots. On street parking is free in Tampa after 6pm, so you don’t have to place any quarters into the meters! If you’re lucky, you can get a parking spot in front of Five Guys Hamburgers right across the street from the Park at the corner of Ashley and Polk. The good thing about this park is that is centrally located in Tampa. Just a 15 minute drive from MacDill AFB and about 20 to 30 minutes from Brandon, FishHawk Ranch, New Tampa, Clearwater and St. Pete.

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FishHawk Ranch Community Garage Sale!

April 02, 2014 By: maclaura Category: Communities, Events No Comments →

The FishHawk Ranch Community Garage Sale takes place this Friday and Saturday. On Friday from 3pm to 7pm, there will be a twilight pre-sale. On Saturday, the sale will run from 8am to noon. This is open to everyone! Take a look for some bargains. You never know where you can find a special gem! Maybe a chair will fit perfect in your house or maybe a good used bike for some exercise! You can always count on finding something at a garage sale and having a community wide sale gives you more opportunity to find something!

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Located within a 40 minute drive to downtown Tampa and MacDill AFB, FishHawk Ranch is a unique community with walking and biking paths throughout the neighborhood. You’ll find shops and grocery stores all around the neighborhood for your shopping convenience with a wide variety of restaurants for every taste. The FishHawk Aquatic Club has a competition swimming pool, a lagoon pool with an amazing water slide. There is also an outdoor aerobics stage, a massage room and a gathering room in the clubhouse. Top rated elementary, middle and high school are nearby with a new sports park close to Randall Middle School. Hillsborough Area Rapid Transit also offers express bus service to MacDill AFB from FishHawk Ranch. MacDill AFB also provides free monthly bus passes to military and civilian DoD personnel. If you have to pay for a 31-day pass, then it will cost you $91.

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