MacDill Happenings

Things to Do in and around MacDill AFB
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More Labor Day Weekend Fun!

August 29, 2014 By: Laura Category: Events, News No Comments →

This weekend is an opportunity to get out enjoy the last traditional weekend of the summer! It’s a little different in Tampa, because school has already started and the best weather of the year is just a few weeks away. No snow, but great outdoor weather will soon be here! And there still a lot of great things to do here.

 

Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays

  • The Tampa Bay Rays start a 4-game series against the Boston Red Sox tonight.  The first pitch is at 7:10pm and Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays.  Go Rays!
  • Tonight at MOSI admission is $5 after 6pm for the “After Dark and Food Truck Rally”.
  • On Saturday, the Capitol Theater in downtown Clearwater will show two classic disaster movies from the 70′s “The Poseidon Adventure” and “The Towering Inferno”.  Start time is 7pm.
  • This is also the last weekend for active duty military families to take advantage of the Blue Star Initiative for free admission to various museums.
  • All weekend long is the Tarpon Spring Docks Arts and Crafts Festival with plant, food and of course Arts and Crafts.
  • On Sunday after 5pm, the Florida Aquarium is offering $15 admission!

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MacDill AFB Base Gate Construction

August 27, 2014 By: Laura Category: News No Comments →

MacDill AFB gate-courtesy of de. wilkipedia

Have you experienced a long wait coming on to MacDill AFB? Part of it is due to having to scan ID cards, but part is due to gate capacity. Well base officials are hoping the new construction projects going on in the are will fix the capacity problems. You have probably already seen the orange cones at the Dale Mabry gate but look for projects at all the gates including the Tanker gate.  This construction is scheduled to be completed in November 2014. Here is what is going on:

  • Tanker gate will have an additional incoming traffic lane added. This will also allow for a vehicle rejection straight on to Manhattan Boulevard.
  • The Bayshore gate will extend Zemke Ave to connect to Bayshore Boulevard. Bollard will be place at CENTCOM Avenue .
  • The Dale Mabry gate will see new traffic calming measures to slow allowing for and extended reaction time should a threat arise at the gate.

For more information on this construction and any road closures that might occur keep an eye on the MacDill AFB website. I will try and share any information I may see here and on our MacDill Happenings Facebook page. If you have any information you would like to share please share it here with us on the blog or share it on the Facebook page. How about sending us a Tweet at @MacDillHappenin .

On a side note if you are new to the area and a first time reader of this blog you might want to check out this post: Newcomer. Also if you have an event or a subject you would like to see on the blog please let us know here in the comments section or message me on the Facebook page.

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Traveling Via A Space “Hop”

August 24, 2014 By: Laura Category: News, Things to do No Comments →

MacDill AFB Pax terminal courtesy of MacDILL AFB

Space-A Travel

 

It is Summer Vacation time and we are all trying to think of ways to save money on our vacation travels. Well if you are an active duty military member or retired a retired military member, then choosing to take a “hop” on a Military flight is a great way to save. This so called “hop” is actually taking advantage of space available on Military transport flights. In the MacDill AFB area, we have a unique opportunity to catch a flight from MacDill or even driving up to NAS  Jacksonville to  try out a Space-A “hop”.

Check out these great articles by our MilitaryByOwner.com staff writer Monica who at this moment is enjoying England and Ireland via a Space-A flight.

“Space-A Adventure”

“Space A Travel-Tips for Traveling Overseas”

“Space A Travel-Getting On a Flight”

For information on the MacDill AFB Passenger terminal and flights available you can go to MACDILL or to FACEBOOK  which will actually give you information on other Passenger Terminals in the area.

So with this money saving tip, there is no excuse to get out there and have a great Summer vacation!  If you have any tips on using Space-A, please share them with us here or on our Facebook page.

This page is brought to you by MilitaryByOwner.com your number one choice for Military relocation in the Tampa Bay area.

 

 

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 MilitaryByOwner.com? 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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The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportuntiy For Military Children

August 20, 2014 By: Laura Category: children, News, Schools No Comments →

two-children-going-to-schoolcourtesyofcedarpublishing

Yesterday marked the first day of school for many children in the MacDill AFB and Tampa Bay area. For a lot of our military children this may have meant the first day in yet another new school. A lot of these students have already started at a new school 5 to 6 times. This can be especially challenging for our middle and high school students who need to meet a certain criteria to graduate. Thankfully the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission was formed to address some of these issues.

The Commission’s goal is to help school districts maintain policies that would help military children with the transition from one school to another. Policies such as placement, attendance, eligibility and graduation requirements are addressed in the Compact. Military children of active duty members, National Guard and Reservist on active duty orders and service members or veterans who are medically discharged or retired for one year can gain assistance under the  Compact.

I recently spoke with Karen who serves as the Deputy Director of Government Relations (Military Family Issues) for MOAA. I asked Karen why this Compact is so important to our military families and her response was “This is a great win for military children! On average a military child will attend 6 to 8 different schools between the grades of kindergarten through 12th grade. These highly mobile military children need legislation that helps level the playing field for seamless transition. We are so pleased to see that all 50 states are now participating with the compact. But, now parents must do their homework and read the legislation and understand who is covered and what is covered. As a parent if you come up against a situation this legislation would cover make sure you armed with the right tools so you can effectively advocate for your children.” If you would like to read more on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children take a look at Karen’s blog on the this subject. Her blog shares more details of why this legislation is so important to our youngest heroes.

Another great resource when moving to a new school with a military child is your school liaison office. Nelly Richards is the liaison officer for MacDill AFB. She will be able to help you with information on the Compact and how it works with Hillsborough Public Schools.

Tips to Enroll in Hillsborough County Public Schools” is another great resource for information on schools in the MacDill AFB area.

Karen and I have both experienced moving a high school student to a new a school in fact my youngest son attended 3 high schools in 4 years. I was lucky enough to not have to use any of the guarantees the Compact protects. Please share with us your experiences and how moving to a new school has impacted your child’s education.

You can comment here on the blog page or leave a comment on the MacDill Happenings  Facebook page.

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Tips for Employment in the Tampa Bay Area

August 19, 2014 By: Laura Category: News, Self Improvement No Comments →

Money

If you just moved to MacDill AFB with your spouse and you want to find a job, then there are plenty of resources to help you!

Next week on Thursday the 28th is the Recruit Military Veteran Career Fair, sponsored by USAA. It will take place at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa. This job fair is geared towards veterans and spouses and is scheduled to start at 11am and run until 3pm. This event is being held in partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program.

Career Source Tampa Bay now located at the MacDill AFB Exchange food court. The center is open to Military personnel who are within a year of leaving the service, retired from the military, and spouses.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center has two locations: MacDill AFB: 8105 Condor St (next to the MacDill Post Office) and Brandon: 710 Oakfield Dr, Suite 153. They can provide assist with looking for employment.

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 MilitaryByOwner.com your one stop source for Military relocation information.

Kayaking and Standup Paddleboard Lessons on MacDill AFB

August 13, 2014 By: Laura Category: Events, News No Comments →

Courtesy of Club Kayak

In the Tampa Bay area, we are surrounded by water.  MacDill AFB has water on three sides. You just can’t get away from it. Recreation on the water dominates the area from boating to fishing.

The MacDill AFB Outdoor Recreation office helps you get out and enjoy the water by offering two classes designed for beginners. You can sign up at the Outdoor Recreation office.

The “Into to Kayaking Class” on 23 Aug will teach you the basics of kayaking. You will learn about the kayak, equipment, emergencies, and wet exit. This lesson combines classroom and water time and is for beginners.  The minimum age is 12, but youths ages 12 to 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The class runs from 9am to 1pm and costs $30 per person. The class will meet at the MacDill AFB Marina Activity Room.

The “Stand Up Paddleboard Lessons” on 24 Aug will teach beginners the basics of the stand up paddleboard. Learn about the proper use and care of the equipment along with correct paddling and turning techniques. Then participants will learn the fundamentals of stand up paddling. The cost includes board and safety equipment. The minimum age is 12, but youths ages 12 to 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The class runs from 9am to 11am and costs $30 per person.

The Outdoor Recreation office is located on Marina Bay Drive which the road out the Marina and SeaScapes. After the lessons don’t worry about buying the gear because Outdoor Recreation has kayaks and stand up paddleboards for rent along with a lot of other gear.

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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Moving and Your Spouse’s Career

August 11, 2014 By: Laura Category: Events, News No Comments →

road-trip courtesyof myclubs worldmarksp

When you’re married to an active duty military member, you realize that those PCS moves can make it difficult on your career. Sometimes you maybe lucky and you can transfer to another location with your company. Sometimes your job is done online and where you work is not an issue. Sometimes your job skills are transferable and it is relatively easy to find a job at a new location. If you are in the latter situation, it can still be stressful to find and interview and start all over again at a new company.

There are resources to help you no matter what employment situation you are in. Your base Family Resource Center as well as the base Transition Center can help you.

MOAA has an excellent online resource center with great sources of information that help you.

Moving can be stressful, but it can also be exciting if you look forward to the new adventures.

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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It’s Still Hurricane Season!

August 10, 2014 By: Laura Category: Events, News No Comments →

h

Hurricane season in Florida started on 1 June.  But so far the weather been pretty good with not even a tropical storm coming near Florida.  But since a tropical storm and a hurricane recently threatened to hit Hawaii, it’s probably a good time to not be complacent and make sure that you are ready for bad weather. Since you never know about the weather, I thought it would be a good idea to share a previous post about hurricane preparedness tips.

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 MilitaryByOwner.com your one stop source for Military relocation information.

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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