MacDill Happenings

Things to Do in and around MacDill AFB

Archive for the ‘News’

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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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.


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.

MacDill Happenings is brought to you by Militarybyowner Advertising, Inc., your resource for MacDill AFB Off-Base Housing!

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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PCS moves and a Partial DITY

March 18, 2014 By: maclaura Category: News No Comments →

If your PCS moves includes you driving your vehicle, then you should always make a partial Do-It-Yourself move or better known as a partial “DITY” move!

Moving Day

This is not about doing a whole DITY move where you pack and move your own household goods. This about getting paid for the items that you have already planned to pack in your car and move anyway! You should always do a partial DITY move when you are driving! However, the total weight your goods moved by the Government and the weight of the goods that you are packing your vehicle cannot exceed the total amount that you are authorized to move.

It is usually a simple process. Just let the customer service representative know at the Traffic Management Office (TMO) that you want to do a partial DITY and they can help you. The only thing you need to do is get your vehicle weight empty and then full.

MilitaryByOwner has a great example of one staff member’s experience of doing a partial DITY.

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Looking to Rent Near MacDill AFB?

March 15, 2014 By: maclaura Category: Communities, News No Comments →

If you have PCS orders to MacDill AFB and want a short commute or are looking to move closer to MacDill AFB to turn a long commute into a short commute, then a great location to look at is in South Tampa. South Tampa is usually considered the area south of Kennedy Boulevard.


The townhouse pictured above is in a gated community located on MacDill Avenue. It is a great example of a home that has a great location and with 1850 sq ft has a lot of room.  And there is a community pool to help you relax and cool off during those Florida summers. 

The MacDill Avenue Gate is open in the mornings and evenings during the week and usually has a shorter wait in the morning compared to the Dale Mabry Gate and the Bayshore Gate. With the cost of gas, living near your job on MacDill AFB has a lot of advantages.

The South Tampa area has everything a family or couple could want with all the shopping, schools, parks, recreational activities, and dining in the area or nearby. A beautiful landmark in South Tampa is Bayshore Blvd. This 6 mile plus single stretch of sidewalk is billed as the longest continuous sidewalk in the United States. Bayshore Blvd is lined with million dollars homes on one side and Hillsborough Bay on the other side. You can always see runners, walkers and bicyclists enjoying Bayshore especially during the evening.

If you will be making a PCS move to the MacDill AFB area check out our MacDill AFB page. Make sure to check out the business resource information and useful links sections located to the right of the page.

Congratulations on your move to the Tampa Bay area! You will enjoy it!

MacDill Happenings is brought to you by Militarybyowner Advertising, Inc., your resource for MacDill AFB Off-Base Housing!

Military Discounts for Valspar Championship

March 12, 2014 By: maclaura Category: Communities, Events, News, Sports No Comments →

The PGA tour comes to Tampa with the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club this week. Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is located in Palm Harbor which located on the Gulf just north of St. Petersburg. The tournament starts on Thursday and runs until Sunday. Gates will open at 7am each day.


Among the top rated players who will be there include Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker, Webb Simpson, Jim Furyk and Luke Donald.

Active duty, reservists and military retirees can receive up to 8 complimentary tickets. Military veterans can receive 4 discounted tickets at $20 per ticket. Tickets must be ordered online and verification is required.

Parking will cost $10 a vehicle. Innisbrook is located off of US Highway 19, so you can plan your travel based on how long it takes you to get to the Highway.

There will be concession stands located throughout the course, but make sure you silence your cell phone when someone is playing.

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Putting Down Sod in Florida

March 10, 2014 By: maclaura Category: News No Comments →

The quickest and easiest way to establish a lawn in Florida is by laying down sod. In the Tampa area, the most popular sod is St. Augustine.


Expect to pay about 30 to 35 cents a square foot for sod. You can buy sod at various sod farms in Tampa and you can find the locations by Googling them. Sod farms will be sell by the pallet. Usually a pallet is around 400 square feet. Delivery is around $75 or you can pick up a pallet yourself. If you do pick up sod yourself, remember to drive slow or cover the sod with a tarp so that the sod doesn’t blow away. It’s a very good idea not to drive on the freeway unless the sod is covered.

Rake away the existing lawn or weeds so that the sod roots will be able to make contact to the soil. The hardest part of doing it yourself is the preparation.

The actual installation of sod is very easy. It like building LEGOS! Make sure you alternate the sod like bricks so that there is no long seam in the yard.

You are going to need to water the sod daily during the first 30 days of installation. This will keep the sod moist so that the roots can grow. In Hillsborough County, you are allowed to water new sod daily for the first 30 days after installation.

You will know that your sod is ready to take less water when it becomes green and you can pull on the sod and feel that the roots have taken hold into the soil.

Good Luck!

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$6 Admission to Lowry Park Zoo

February 20, 2014 By: maclaura Category: children, Events, News No Comments →

Sunday is $6 Admission Day at Lowry Park Zoo!

Located in the northern part of Tampa off of W. Sligh Ave, it is easily accessible from I-275. The zoo is about a 40 minute drive from MacDill AFB. Lowry Park Zoo has been named the #1 zoo in America by “Parents” magazine and “Child” magazine. There are more than 2000 animals on 56 acres of natural habitats in seven main exhibit areas. There is a combination of natural habitat exhibits and caged exhibits in each area. The seven exhibits are Asian Gardens, Primate World, Manatee and Aquatic Center, Native Florida Wildlife Center, Free-Flight Aviary, Wallaroo Station children’s zoo and Safari Africa. At some exhibits you have the opportunity to feed the animals. There are two water play areas and you can see educational shows. Check out the Zoo School for exciting programs for everyone, from tots to teens, adults, families, teachers and more. The Zoo’s conservation education programs are designed to meet Sunshine State curriculum objectives for Florida state schools. There are also rides for an additional fee. Expect to spend at least 4 hours to see all exhibits. You can bring a picnic basket to enjoy before or after the visit at Lowry Park. Of course, there are plenty of restaurants in the zoo. Parking is free. Normal ticket price is $24.95 for adults, $22.95 for seniors and $19.95 for ages 3 to 11. If you can’t go today, then the Zoo offers a military discount to active duty Service members with a valid military ID. The Service member and up to three people in their immediate family/direct dependents discounts on tickets at the Zoo’s ticket windows daily with valid military ID. If you’re not an active duty Service member, then stop by the MacDill AFB ITT office for discount tickets.

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Painting Your House

February 10, 2014 By: maclaura Category: News, Things to do No Comments →

If you’re getting ready to sell your house, one of the easiest things to do to freshen up your house and get it ready to sell is to paint! Although it maybe a little chilly outside, you can still paint the inside of your house.

Paint Brush

What color should you paint? Although you might like that green accent wall, you have to remember that you are selling your house and you have to make the color appealing to a wide range of people. The buyer needs to feel like they are going into a house that can be theirs. Beiges, warm beiges and yellows are recommended colors that can appeal to those potential buyers.

Now, should you hire someone or paint it yourself? It may be easier and more convenient to hire a professional painter, but it can be expensive. You need to determine how much time you have to paint and how much money you can spend which will help you determine what you can afford. It may be that a combination of painting some rooms yourself and hiring a painter for the rooms with the high walls is right for you!

If you do paint yourself, then preparation before you start painting will help lower the frustration level as you paint. It’s a lot easier to paint a room that is empty or has very little furniture in it. If you can’t empty the room, then place furniture in the middle of the room. Make sure you cover furniture as well as flooring with those inexpensive plastic sheets. Taping the edges may take a lot of time, but it will make painting faster and you won’t have to worry about painting getting on another surface. You don’t want to overspend on paint, so take a look at this calculator to help you figure out how much to buy. To help make sure that paint doesn’t collect in the lip of the paint can, use a nail to put a few holes in the lip so that the paint will drip back into the can.

The most important thing about painting yourself is to have patience and take your time!

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Discount Daytona 500 Tickets at MacDill AFB ITT Office

February 09, 2014 By: maclaura Category: Events, News, Things to do No Comments →

The MacDill AFB ITT office has discounted admission tickets to the Daytona 500 for sale! Daytona 500 ticket sales are for the 20th to the 23rd of February. Ticket prices start at $20 for the Fanzone to $209 for Petty Tower and everything in between. You also save more money because you don’t have to pay sales tax on your purchases! If you haven’t been to Daytona, plan on driving about 3 hours or so to get there by taking Interstate 4 through Orlando and then going north on Interstate 95.


ITT office has discount admission tickets to all the major attractions in the Tampa Bay area and in Orlando. So plan ahead and save a few dollars that you can use for Spring Break! Don’t forget that you can also purchase discount AMC movie theater tickets here! The ITT office is located in the MacDill AFB Exchange Mall. Office hours are Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 3pm and closed on Sunday and holidays.

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