MacDill Happenings

Things to Do in and around MacDill AFB

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Things to do in Tampa Bay!

November 21, 2014 By: Laura Category: Dining, Events No Comments →


It’s been a little cooler than normal, but it should start warming up this weekend!  This weekend is filled with plenty of holiday fun and it is still a great time to watch the sunset from the beach.

  • Enjoy the beach at Treasure Island during Sanding Ovations. This is Treasure Island’s Master Cup Sand Sculpting Competition and Music Festival, a four day competition of ten sand sculpting masters from throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
  • Even with the warm up, you can go ice skating in downtown Tampa.  Tampa’s Downtown On Ice rink opens up on Friday evening and for $10 you will receive a pair of ice skates and 90 minutes on the ice.
  • The Seaboard Seafood Festival runs on Saturday and Sunday at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa.
  • The Enchanted Tree Lighting Ceremony & Holiday Street Party takes place at Hyde Park Village in south Tampa on Saturday starting at 5pm.  This is great event for kids. Check out the food trucks, vendors and free music!
  • On Saturday in St. Pete stop by Shopapalooza and get your holiday shopping done early where you can shop from over 100 vendors!
  • Learn about the cigar making history of Ybor City during the La Verbena Festival from noon to 5pm on Sunday.

If you have suggestion on other things to do, please leave a comment.  Enjoy the weekend!

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Weekend Events Near MacDill AFB

November 13, 2014 By: Laura Category: Events, Things to do Near MacDill AFB No Comments →


The weekend is almost here. Do you have plans? Well if you are looking for something to do around the MacDill area I have some great events to share.

  • The Ribfest returns this weekend at St. Petse’s Vinoy Park. Running Friday to Sunday, ribs and music will be on the menu. Admission is $16 on Friday and $20 on Saturday and Sunday with proceeds going to local nonprofit organizations including All Children’s Hospital, Great Explorations, the Carter G. Woodson Museum and Tampa Bay Watch.
  •  The Tampa Bay International Auto Show takes place from Friday to Sunday at the downtown Tampa Convention Center. Admission is $12 for ages 13 and over, children 7-12 will pay $5 and military personnel with any type of military ID card will pay $5.
  • On Saturday at 11:30am, the Tampa Theatre will have a Backstage Tour. You will learn the Theatre’s secrets, stories, art and architecture during the 90-minute tours. It’s $7.50 for adults and $5 for ages 2-12.
  • On Saturday at 7pm, the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the New York Islanders at Amalie Arena.
  • The Sarasota Medieval Fair continues this weekend. Make sure you ask about the military discount for tickets. If you do any jousting please share the photo’s with us.
  • Are you expecting a new little one? Well you may want to check out the Mother of All Baby Showers on Friday night at the Glazer Children’s Museum.
  • If you love to read then check out Tampa’s Bookstore Day on Saturday November 15th. This a great way to visit some of the local book stores and also shop local.

So many fun things to do this weekend in the Tampa Bay area!! Please share with us any fun events I may have missed. Share here on the blog or on our Facebook page. These beautiful fall night make it a great time to watch a sunset!! Share you pictures.

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Veteran’s Day Specials

November 08, 2014 By: Laura Category: Dining, Events No Comments →

flagsforfallenvets courtesyofWFLA

Veteran’s Day is on Tuesday, but there are a number of special admission prices and discounted restaurant meals that are available to veterans starting on Monday. MilitaryByOwner has published a blog “Veterans’ Day Meals and Deals” that can be your first stop to find out what is available to veterans.

  • MOSI is offering a discounted admission price that actually starts on Saturday for $5.  This is good for veterans and all active and retired military personnel, EMTs, firefighters and police officers.
  • The Florida Aquarium is offering 2 free tickets and discounted half-price admission for 4 other family members on Tuesday.  All Veterans, active duty or drilling reservist or National Guard members are eligible.
  • Ruby Tuesday is offering a free appetizer to active duty, reservists and veterans with proof of service on Veteran’s Day.
  • On Tuesday, veterans, active duty and reservist will receive free admission to Lowry Park Zoo. With a military ID card, 3 dependents can also receive free admission.
  • The South Florida Museum in Bradenton offers free admission to veterans and active duty military members free admission the entire month of November.
  • On Tuesday, the Glazer Children’s Museum is offering free admission to military members and their family with proper military ID.
  • Joanne’s Fabric 20% off with Military ID thru Tuesday November 11th.
  • For more discounts check out and

There will various Veteran’s Day services at location including the Veterans Memorial Park in Tampa, the Florida National Ceremony, and the National Cemetery at Bay Pines Cemetery.  All starting at 11am. Local VFW and American Legion posts will also have ceremonies.

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Tampa Bay Veterans Day Parade

November 07, 2014 By: Laura Category: Events, Things to do Near MacDill AFB, Uncategorized No Comments →


More Events for Memorial Day 2014

Tampa Bay Veterans Day Parade

Every year since 1918 the United States has honored Veteran’s on the 11th day of the 11th month. The holiday was first name Armistice Day and celebrated the end of World War 1. In the year 1921  the first soldier to be buried in the Tomb Of the Unknown soldier was  buried on November 11. Armistice Day was not recognized as a national holiday until 1938. Raymond Weeks was the first to organize a “National Veterans Day” after the end of the World War II. Raymond held a parade and other festivities to honor all veterans and he held the event on Armistice Day. In 1954 Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill proclaiming November 11th as Veteran’s Day.  For 21 years Tampa has honored the cities veterans with the Tampa Bay Veterans Day Parade.

This year the parade will start at 10:00 a.m. and end around 12:30 p.m. The parade takes place in Town & Country on Hanley Rd.  The start of the parade will be at the intersection of Hanley Rd. and Barry Rd. ending at the intersection of Paula Drive.

Every year the parade honors a local veteran. This year USN (RET) Petty Officer Artricia James-Heard will be honored.  Col. Daniel H Tulley commander of the 6th Mobility Wing MacDill Air Force Base will be the grand marshal of the parade.

I would recommend getting your seats early over 25,000 people attended last years parade. The parade route will be shut down at 8:30 a.m. so check the website for the parade for parking information. Look for the Tampa Bay Veterans Toy Drive vehicle near the information booth to donate a new toy .

Happy Veterans Day from MacDill Happenings. I hope all of the Veterans will relax and enjoy this day that was created for them and know how much their efforts and sacrifices are appreciated. If you should happen to participate in the parade or go to watch please share your pictures and thoughts with me on the MacDill Facebook page. If you know of a Veterans day event that we should share please post it here in the comments or on the Facebook page.

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Things to Do in Tampa Bay

November 06, 2014 By: Laura Category: Events No Comments →

vacation tips courtesyofcenyt

The weekend is just around the corner and Fall weather is great in the Tampa Bay area.  For some people, it is a 4-day weekend since Veteran’s Day is on Tuesday.  But some people will only have Tuesday off to celebrate Veteran’s Day.  Either way you can still enjoy Saturday and Sunday off! Looks like Christmas is just around the corner and you can get ready with some special shopping events around Tampa Bay.

  • The Tampa Bay Home Show at the Trop in St. Pete starts on Friday and runs through Sunday. This free show lets you see the newest ideas to improve your home and talk to contractors about what you want to do.
  • Check out the Dunedin Downtown Market on Friday and Saturday.  There will be locally grown produce, arts and crafts and free music.
  • The St. Pete Salvation Army at 3800 9th Ave will host a Holiday Bazaar on Saturday.
  • If your a Rays fan, then check out Alex Cobb who will be signing autographs at Elder Ford in Tampa on Saturday starting at 10am.
  • On Saturday at 10am, the 5th Annual Tampa Bay Veg Fest takes place on the Tampa waterfront at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park. Check out the best vegetarian meals and options in Tampa.
  • On Saturday at 2pm, the 4th Annual Tampa Pig Jig takes place at Curtis Hixon Park. Come and try a little bit of barbeque!
  • Clearwater will host the 38th Christmas Under the Oaks at Coachman Park on Sunday. Get your Christmas shopping done early!
  • Go back in time at the Sarasota Medieval Fair on Sunday.

For those Marines out there, Happy Birthday!  The 239th Birthday of the Marine Corps is Monday 10 November.
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Things to do in Tampa Bay

October 30, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Events No Comments →

mickey  halloween courtesy of piniterest

The big event to start the weekend is Halloween on Friday evening.  Remember to watch out for those trick-o-treaters running around your neighborhood if you are driving.  If you are taking out trick-o-treaters, make sure you watch out for those cars not paying attention.  The weather has really cooled down so it’s an ideal time to get out and enjoy yourself.  The other big event this weekend is daylight savings time starts on Sunday. So make sure you set your clocks an hour back when  you go to bed on Saturday night.

But here are some great things to do this weekend:

  • On Friday, Chipotle will have a Boorito Benefit with $3 burritos and other specially price items on the menu if you come dressed in a costume.
  • Tampa Theatre will show “Nightmare on Elm Street” on Friday at 7:30pm.
  • Now that it is cooler, checkout the Downtown Saturday Morning Market in downtown St Pete at Al Lang field.
  • The Lightning take on the Washington Capitals at 7pm at Amalie Arena in the Channelside District.
  • The 26th Annual Ruskin Seafood Festival starts on Saturday and runs through Sunday.
  • St. Pete’s Vinoy Park is the location of the 4oth Annual International Folk Fair on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Starting on Sunday, the South Florida Museum is offering free admission for active military members and veterans for rest of November in honor of Veteran’s Day.
  • On Sunday at 1pm, Curtis Hixon Park on the downtown Tampa waterfront will offer Opera Tampa singers performing familiar arias and show tunes as part of Picnic in the Park. Food trucks and local visual artists, with items for purchase, will add to the fun.

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Things to Do in Tampa Bay

October 23, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Events No Comments →


The cool weather has finally arrived in Tampa! The humidity during the day is almost non-existent and it’s almost cool enough in the evenings for a light jacket! There are always a lot of things to do in Tampa.

  • John’s Pass Seafood Festival starts on Friday at 3pm with a Halloween Block Party. The Festival runs through Sunday.
  • In St. Pete on Friday and Saturday is Howl-O-Fest at Boyd Hill.  This family friendly event will have hay rides, arts & crafts, and a spooky trail.
  • On Saturday starting at 11am, Ybor City’s Centro Ybor will host a free Pumpkin Patch.  There will be free pumpkins for kids while they last.  And kids can go trick-o-treating at the shops in Centro Ybor.
  • The Hyde Park Village Art Fair will start at 11am on Saturday in south Tampa.
  • This will be the last weekend before Halloween so you may want to go out and get scared! Florida Haunted Houses will give you a list of many scary attractions to visit including haunted houses, hay rides and a haunted lake!
  • Do you still need t visit a pumpkin patch? Pumpkin has all the information you need to find pumpkins and corn mazes in the MacDill AFB area.
  •  The local amusement parks and the Lowery Park zoo will be holding the last of their Halloween events. Remember to check the IT&T office on MacDill for discount tickets and share your pictures with us on our Facebook page!
  • Check out a sunset! They have been spectacular the last few days!! Share with me your favorite beach to watch the sunset! Mine is Holmes Beach on Ana Maria island.

Lots of fun and scary things to do this weekend! If you have an event you would like me to share leave me a comment here on the blog. (See comments section below) or leave a comment on Facebook or tweet to @MacDillHappenin.

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Mac”Thrill”ville Haunted House Tonight!

October 17, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Events No Comments →

Scary Halloween

You don’t have to go to far tonight for a good scare!  MacDill AFB has its own haunted house, the Mac”Thrill”ville Haunted House is open for business this evening.  Unlike those haunted houses out in town, you can get scared for free. The haunting starts at 5pm and runs until 8pm.  The haunted house will be at Bldg 65 which is across the street from the Bay Palms Golf Complex.  There will be plenty of parking.  This is a free event and is open to everyone.  The house isn’t too scary so little children should be okay with the house.  It’s a place to have fun!  There will also be a children’s activity and crafts area!

If you do want to see what is available out in town, then you have some great options.

      • Zoo Boo at Lowry Park Zoo runs from Friday to Sunday.  It’s $18 for adults and $14 for children ages 3-11.
      • Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens is great place for a scare!  Tickets run from $65 to $50.
      • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Party at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World starts at 7pm this weekend.
      • Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios offers some great thrills!

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Things to Do in Tampa Bay

October 16, 2014 By: Laura Category: Concerts, Events, Pets No Comments →

vacation tips courtesyofcenyt

The weather has started to cool down and it looks like there is no rain in the forecast.  Looks like a great time to get and see the sights and event in Tampa Bay!

  • The Clearwater Jazz Festival starts today and runs through the weekend.  This is one of the biggest Jazz events in the country with some of the biggest names in music.
  • On Friday,  the Humane Society of Tampa Bay is having a Pumpkin Patch for Dogs. You can bring your pets for photos among pumpkins, gourds and Halloween decorations.  It’s free.  You only pay for the cost of pumpkin if you want to take one home.  Proceeds from the pumpkin sales support homeless pets.
  • Hyde Park Village in south Tampa has a pumpkin patch that open all week at various times.
  • On Friday, Tampa Theatre starts its 15 nights of fright during as part of their A Nightmare on Franklin Street Series with a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • On Friday night and Saturday afternoon, Collective Soles in New Tampa will present their first mixed repertory concert of the 2014-2015 season titled, Unmasked, to celebrate the Halloween season.
  • On Saturday, take a ride on the streetcars during the TECO Streetcar Fest with rides only costing a quarter from 10am to 1:30pm.
  • On Sunday, the Tampa Bay History Museum will host “A Night at the Museum: Family Trick or Treat” from 4pm to 7pm.
  • On Sunday evening at 7pm, River Tower Park in Seminole Heights will be the location of the Florida Orchestra’s Pops in the Park. It’s free, so bring some chairs and dinner and enjoy the music.

Hope you enjoy the weekend! Share with us any fun events you are hosting this weekend.

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Hockey and a Movie in Tampa

October 12, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, Events, Sports No Comments →


Courtesy of the Tampa Theater

Columbus Day is a Federal holiday, but kids still have to go to school on Monday.  But parents if you have the day off there are some things that you can go to during the school day or even wait and take the kids. Later in the week, take in a free movie.

If you’re a golfer, then during the day would be a prefect time to play a few holes of golf at MacDill AFB’s Bay Palms Golf Complex.  Don’t forget about the excellent Fairway Grill for a great breakfast or lunch.

If you want wait until after school, then the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Montreal Canadians at 7:30pm at Amalie Arena in the Channelside District. The ticket special tonight is the Bolts BBQ Package which includes your choice of 2 Promenade (lower level) or 2 Terrace (upper level) seats, 2 BBQ sandwiches and sides and 2 non-alcoholic beverages. Regular ticket prices start at $34.75.

Help the Tampa Theatre celebrate its 88th birthday by attending a free screening of the “The Grand Budapest Hotel” on Wednesday. Start time is 7:30pm. Built in 1926 as one of America’s most elaborate movie palaces, the Tampa Theatre is designated a historical landmark. The theatre has a lavish, romantic Mediterranean courtyard, replete with old-world statuary, flowers and gargoyles. This is definitely a must see place of Tampa.

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