MacDill Happenings

Things to Do in and around MacDill AFB

Archive for the ‘Communities’

Rays Take on the Yankees!

September 14, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Communities, Events, Sports No Comments →

The Tampa Bay Rays open a homestand with 3 game series against the Yankees starting on Monday. The first pitch will be at 7:10pm. It’s the final time that Derek Jeter will be playing shortstop in a Yankees uniform.

Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays

It hasn’t been the season that was expected out of the Rays, but they need to finish strong and get ready for next season! 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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Is It Time To Buy A Home?

September 02, 2014 By: Laura Category: Communities, Self Improvement No Comments →

sold courtesyofactiverain

Could this be the right time to buy home? It seems to me as I am driving around the Riverview area that home builders think it is. According to Susan Gilbert of Double A Mortgages the mortgage rate is fluctuating around 4.25%  Also, some of the home builders such as Newland Homes at Waterset are offering great incentives. Maybe you just moved to the area for a job transfer or a PCS move with the Military and you just don’t know if the time is right. Here are some signs you may be ready to purchase a new home:

  • You are tired of renting and would like to own your home. You feel it is time to build some equity or if you are a military family you might think the MacDill area may be your forever home or a great place to buy and investment property.
  • You would like to be in a specific school district or area to make your commute easier.
  • You have been saving for your down payment and you have reached your goal.
  • You need to downsize or up-size. The kids have all moved out or you have a new little one on the way.
  • You are new to the area and want to put down roots and be a part of the community.

If any of these points apply to you then maybe it is time to buy a home! Now that you think you are ready make sure you do some research on the best mortgage rates, best loan ideas and the perfect location. The blog has lots of information on buying a home. The next step is to find that perfect home!

Good luck and please share any thoughts or comments you might have on making the big decision to buy a home here in the comments section or on the MacDill Happenings Facebook page.

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Things to do in Tampa Bay

August 22, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Communities, Dining, Events, News, Things to do No Comments →

Courtesy of the Plant Museum
Lots of fun things happening this weekend August 23rd and 24th. For most of us in the MacDill AFB area it was back to school this week so some school shopping might be in order. Or maybe you just want to enjoy some family time enjoying the Tampa Bay area. Here are some great events going on:

  • Saturday is the Tailgate Taste Festival in downtown Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park. Purchase wristbands for $25 to take a taste of area restaurants best tailgating food. Get ready for football season with everything from chicken to sliders to ribs with entertainment, and family fun. The event opens at 11am with a live video showing of the Tampa Bay Bucs taking on the Buffalo Bills at 4:30pm.
  • This is the second to last weekend of the Blue Star Museum initiative for active duty military members and their families. MOSI and the Henry B Plant Museum are participating along with several St. Pete museums.
  • Saturday evening at Al Lang Park in downtown St. Pete, the Tampa Bay Rowdies professional soccer team take on the Carolina Railhawks at 7:30pm. It’s also $2 hotdog night!
  • On Sunday at 3pm, the Tampa Theatre will play the 1926 silent movie “The Black Pirate”. This classic movies stars Douglas Fairbanks in the lead and will be accompanied by music from the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ just like when it was originally released.
  • If you want to play golf this weekend, the Bay Palms Golf Complex on MacDill AFB is offering a $5 discount off of green fees if your driver’s license has a Brandon, Riverview, Valrico or Lithia address. This offer is good during August.

Speaking of golf have you checked out the great listing of golf course homes on This site can also help you find homes near the beach or with a pool.

Have a great time this weekend and please share with us any fun events you are going to attend. Share them here in the comments section or on our MacDill Happenings Facebook page. You can also Tweet at us at @MacDillHappenin.


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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.

This page is brought to you by your one stop source for Military relocation information.

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