The Florida State Fair – always in Tampa, always in February – will be held on February 8-19, 2018. The Florida State Fair attracts more than 500,000 people over the course of its twelve-day event. Covering fifteen acres, the Florida State Fair boasts the largest Midway in North America with 110 different rides. The Florida State Fair was founded 114 years ago in 1904 and was originally housed at the Tampa Hotel, now known as The University of Tampa.
The Florida State Fair employs 65 full-time staff members and nearly 800 seasonal staff to ensure guests have the most fun, educational and entertaining experience possible. In 2018, the Florida State Fair is unveiling thirteen new attractions including meet and greets with Paw Patrol and Rusty Rivets; Teen Stars Live; Florida State Fair Dance Championships featuring stars of Dance Moms; Little Farm Hands presented by Mosaic; BMX/FMX Freestyle Madness, The Ninja Experience, Mini Monster Trucks and so much more. The ever-enticing Fair foods for 2018 include a Surf N Turf Sundae, Southern Catfish Sundae and Barbeque Pulled Pork Ribbon Fries. Musical acts at the Florida State Fair include Country Gold Tour, Kazual, Screaming Orphans, Fuel on Fire, Dennis Lee, Vocal Trash and local Tampa bands including Kenzie Wheeler, Reverend Barry & the Funk, Alex Lopez, Nathan Hager, Taylor Reed and many more.
Tickets can be purchased at any participating Publix Supermarkets in the Tampa Bay area or online at www.floridastatefair.com.
For more information, please visit:
Website | www.floridastatefair.com
Facebook | www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds
Instagram page | www.instagram.com/flstatefair
On January 22, the Florida State Fair launches its Half-Price Hookup featuring one all-you- can-ride armband plus Gold Access, good for any one Fair day for only $25. The all-you- can- ride armband plus Gold Access is valid to ride any ride in the largest Midway in North America with 110 different rides and the largest traveling Ferris wheel – the Midway Sky Eye. Gold Access will enable guests to use special express access at midway rides and 10% off on selected food and beverage – a $15 value (only on Saturdays and Sundays)
We attended our first Monster Jam show on January 13 at Raymond James Stadium, and now we have a family full of monster truck fans! Our boys have always loved vehicles of all kinds, but with our oldest being sensitive to loud noises, we never wanted to bring him to a show. Wow, were we missing out! We all had so much fun!
Pre-show Pit Party
The Pit Party took place in the field adjacent to the stadium (parking area) from 2:30 - 5:30 pm. We had the chance to meet the drivers, and they were so wonderful with their fans! Our boys (ages 7 and 5) were amazed with seeing the trucks up close. They then became ‘experts’ and were familiar with all the drivers. It gave them a real connection to the rest of the show even though we had never seen any of the cars or drivers before this event.
The Pit Party had a ton of ‘extras' such as food, merchandise, build your own monster truck out of wood, ride on a mini Grave Digger (like a Power Wheel), ride in the back of a full sized Grave Digger, a bounce house and a slide. The extras cost extra, but our boys enjoyed just walking around, seeing the drivers, and doing the free things at the different vendors. The free activities included making a pit party sign from Dairy Queen, playing corn hole and winning a free pizza from Papa Johns, free tattoos, and there were many vendors who gave out fun swag.
There were 3 parts to the event. In the first part, the trucks raced each other around the track and one winner was crowned. We loved cheering on our favorites! In the second part, the trucks did tricks on 2 wheels and the crowd did the scoring. I thought this was such a fun, engaging way to get the audience involved! The final part of the show was a freestyle event when the audience was able to provide the scores again.
We were surprised to see how many trucks needed repairs during the show. They show them on the big screen getting fixed and rush them back in from outside like its WWE - so fun!
Tips and Tricks!
As long as you have ear plugs or headphones, it is better to sit closer to the action. The jumps would be amazing to see from the 100 or 200 level. Being higher was better for us because it was not as loud, but it’s a tradeoff. They were also doing some great giveaways in the lower section!
Make sure to bring food to tailgate before/after the pit party. People were partying at this event like it’s a football game! I saw people with grills, tables of foods, pop up tents, and drinking games. Packing your food and drinks is a great way to save a bit of money, but also can ensure you have your kids' favorite foods. I stopped at the store on our way and bought a delicious Publix Cuban Sandwich and my boys' favorite- popcorn chicken. I also let them each pick out a few special treats for the show. It was the first time we have gone somewhere and they didn’t ask for food.
Remember that this event is outdoors. It was an unusually cold Tampa night for our show, and we showed no shame and wore many layers along with our winter coats from our time up north! I saw people with blankets, wool caps, and gloves!
My family and I recently had the opportunity to stay at the new Marriott dual-branded Residence Inn and SpringHill Suites on Clearwater Beach and LOVED our experience! We spent one night in the Residence Inn side of the property and my boys are already asking to return.
The brand-new property opened in the summer of 2017 and boasts oversized guest rooms with a coastal vibe, flexible living, working and sleeping space, stunning views of Clearwater Bay and a wide array of shared amenities. Both brands stay true to themselves: SpringHill Suites offer stunning décor from West Elm and comfortable features, while Residence Inn offers a kitchenette and ample space for extended stays and families. They share the lobby, pool, business features, and exercise room.
Our family of five was very comfortable in the Residence Inn room. My husband and I were able to share the king sized bed, and our boys enjoyed the sofa bed. We still had room for the Pack n Play for our baby too. We had a beautiful view of Clearwater Harbor and the Intracoastal, and were just across the street from the beach.
We started our evening with an appetizer and drinks in the lobby. The wings were delicious – we ordered 10 and asked for a box when they arrived… then we didn’t need the box because we ate them all!
I was worried that the kids would be unwelcome in the beautiful lobby, but there were numerous families and the staff was particularly accommodating. Cecil at the front desk even taught us a new trick to keep my son’s shoelaces tied (a double bow instead of double knot!). We decided to pick up a pizza for dinner and were referred to King’s Pizza just a block away from the hotel. We walked there and brought it back to our room for a delicious pizza picnic! With it being the holiday season, we used the in-room Smart TV to access our Netflix account and watch Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was the perfect ending to our evening!
The next morning we enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast in the lobby. The staff did a phenomenal job of keeping up with the Sunday morning high-demand, and we all enjoyed our own breakfast choices. They offer scrambled eggs, both pork and turkey sausage, make-your-own waffles, toast, yogurt, fruit, juices, and more! I was especially impressed by the coffee bar with a selection of flavored syrups to add to your coffee.
After breakfast, we took a walk on Florida’s award-winning Clearwater Beach, just across the street. Our stay was during the coldest weekend in December, so we bundled up and went exploring. Living in Tampa, it sometimes is easy to forget how lucky we are to live so close we to these beaches. We will be planning many more return trips!
SpringHill Suites Clearwater Beach
Residence Inn Clearwater Beach
The properties share their address:
309 Coronado Dr.
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
Residence Inn/SpringHill Suites provided me with a complimentary stay in their hotel in exchange for this blog post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
During the first weekend of December, my husband and I attended Clearwater Beach Uncorked and it was so much fun! We were not sure what to really expect, but I can tell you that you will never go wrong with unlimited food and drink tastings on the white, sandy Clearwater Beach!
Our VIP experience started an hour before the General Admission began with a meet and greet with Norman Love. I had personally never heard of this talented chocolatier, and now I’ve already ordered his unique, delicious chocolates as gifts for family members! We were also treated to a presentation from Duncan Hines about some of their new products (have you checked out their Perfect Size cakes yet??).
Although there is no better way to start the day than with dessert, we loved our next opportunity to make our way around the other chef’s tables with the smaller crowd. My husband and I usually have different tastes – he loves seafood but doesn’t care for veggies, I’m the opposite – so a tasting tent is perfect for us! He is still raving about Tampa Bay Brewing Company’s sushi and their shrimp, and I loved Dandy’s corn gazpacho. Many of the vendors were offering samples that we were able to bring home such as chips made from pasta or veggies. So interesting!
I was not sure how the tent on the beach would work with all of the food, but it made for the perfect setting to mingle and sample for the afternoon! We also enjoyed the VIP Spirits Lounge at the official host hotel Wyndham Grand, just across the street from the tasting tent at Pier 60. I am personally not a big fan of liquor, but the vendors offered some delicious cocktails and the Patron Pops were not to be missed!
I will definitely look forward to attending Clearwater Beach Uncorked next year! They also have a sister event on Florida’s other coast – Cocoa Beach Uncorked!
I was given complimentary tickets for this event in exchange for promotion on my blog. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
The holiday season has officially begun in the Tampa Bay area! I have been researching fun family activities to celebrate Christmas, and I was thrilled to find Christmas Lane in Plant City. Christmas Lane is an amazing winter wonderland light display with something for everyone to enjoy! We had the pleasure of visiting and I am excited to share our experience with you.
When we entered the Charlie Grimes Family Agricultural Center at the Florida Strawberry Festival® grounds, we were greeted by a massive, beautiful display of over 1.5 million lights and life-sized decorations. From trees to trains, Christmas Lane has it all! There were even characters such as a gingerbread man and Rudolph walking around to pose for pictures with the guests!
Our first stop was to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. It was a perfect way to start our visit to get us in the Christmas mood. They have a beautiful display with fun props to use, just like a photo booth! They took amazing photos for us and we were able to buy them right there. You can also use your own camera to capture the visit.
My boys next wanted to check out the carnival rides. They had about 7-8 carnival attractions, and be advised – there are height restrictions. My older two boys had a blast riding and never had to wait in line (we visited on a Thursday evening). My 18 month old enjoyed the carousel ride the most!
I was worried at this point that we wouldn’t have much more to do before the Living Nativity started, but wow, was I wrong! We made our way over to the other side of the complex where we enjoyed face painting, ornament decorating, and letters to Santa! We indulged in some popcorn and I was impressed with the affordability of all of the snacks. This area of Christmas Lane included the stage where they have nightly performers. We were mesmerized by the performer on a unicycle!
After the stage performance, we enjoyed the Living Nativity outside. The boys loved seeing the animals and the live angel who performed. My favorite part was the live performance of "O Holy Night" and "Silent Night." The Living Nativity is presented by local churches every Thursday and Saturday of the season.
Christmas Lane was the perfect way for us to kick off the holiday season. It was fun for our entire family!
Where: On the grounds of the Florida Strawberry Festival® inside and around the Charlie Grimes Family Agriculture Center at 2508 West Oak Avenue, Plant City, FL 33563.
When: Open November 24 through December 24. Operating hours are Thursday through
Sunday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night.
Price: Tickets are $5 for adults. Children ages 4 to 12 are $3. Children 3 and under receive
free entry. Free admission will also be available on Thursdays for current and former
members of the military. Our Community Night will offer free admission to Teachers,
First Responders and Law Enforcement on Fridays. Saturdays will be Youth Sports
night. Every child who wears his/her league jersey or shirt will receive free popcorn.
Sundays will be Senior night and all Seniors will receive a complimentary cup of coffee.
Parking is free and can be accessed from Lemon St. and Oak St.
More details can be found on the Christmas Lane website at ChristmasLane.com and on
Facebook at facebook.com/visitchristmaslane.
ABOUT CHRISTMAS LANE
In 1984 at his own home, Lane Wetherington founded Christmas Lane for the Dover,
Florida community. Sparked when he was a young boy, Lane’s passion for Christmas
led him to ask for Christmas lights to decorate the family home. Over the last 33 years,
his passion has grown exponentially to become a holiday favorite for people around
Central Florida. Initially an ever-expanding light display at the Lane family home,
Christmas Lane found a new home at the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds in 2015
and includes over one hundred Christmas trees ranging from four to forty feet in height.
There are elaborate displays and over 1.5 million lights accompanying its
larger-than-life decorations that use more than 168,000 watts of power. Christmas
Lane is a non-profit organization. Volunteers work more than 1,800 hours to set up the breathtaking winter display.
Thank you to Christmas Lane for hosting our experience in exchange for the blog post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Marvel fans, assemble for this live, legendary battle to defend the universe from evil. The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man join forces with Doctor Strange, master of the mystic arts, in a race against time to recover the Wand of Watoomb before it falls into Loki’s hands in this all-new, spectacular arena stunt show.
Produced by Feld Entertainment, Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes is performing at Amalie Arena from January 5 - 7, 2018 for six performances. Tickets go on sale Friday, October 27!
Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Groot and Drax make their live production debut bringing their courage and misfit wit to Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes. Alongside Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, Hulk, Black Widow, Wasp and Iron Fist, the Guardians of the Galaxy help fight the scheming, menacing and loathsome villains Loki, Yondu and Green Goblin. Audiences will join in the quest that sparks new feuds with old foes, pitting student against mentor, sister against sister and brother against brother.
Witness cutting-edge special effects, aerial maneuvers, pyrotechnics, martial arts, motorcycle stunts and vast 3D video projection mapping in this completely new thrilling adventure. Fans of all ages will be immersed in the Marvel Universe and experience it all with their family...LIVE!
401 Channelside Dr., Tampa, FL 33602
Performance Schedule of Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes in Tampa:
Friday, January 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 6 at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, January 7 at 11:00 a.m., 5:00 p.m.
Marvel Universe Live! Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube
This the first time ever the Florida State Fair Mega Pass has been offered. The new ticket option for the 2018 Florida State Fair is a savings of over $500! Very limited quantities available.
This Florida State Fair Discount Flash Sale begins at 10:00 a.m., on Wednesday, November 8, while supplies last. To purchase the flash sale combo package, visit the Florida State Fair Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds/
General Admission tickets are $65 per person, per day. All guests will receive a limited-edition wine glass, custom tote bag and enjoy the Grand Tasting Village with unlimited tastings from 1 to 4 p.m.
VIP Access is $95 per person, per day. Guests who purchase a VIP ticket will also enjoy one-hour early admission to the Grand Tasting Village and exclusive access to the Spirits Pool Lounge at the Wyndham Grand pool deck from 1 to 5 p.m. to sample exciting and intriguing crafted libations.
Want to score General Admission tickets at a discount?? Use the Clearwater Beach Uncorked promo code CLBU17 to purchase tickets for only $40 each (savings of $25 per ticket!!).
Purchase tickets: http://www.etix.com/ticket/v/10756/clearwater-beach-uncorked
For more information on Clearwater Beach Uncorked 2017 or to purchase tickets, visit http://clearwaterbeachuncorked.com/.
Follow Clearwater Beach Uncorked on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
I am receiving tickets to Clearwater Beach Uncorked through my relationship with the event. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Florida State Fair, always in Tampa, always in February – announced a one-day flash sale for the upcoming fair, February 8-19, 2018. In celebration of four months until opening day, the Florida State Fair is offering a combo package of one admission and ride armband good for unlimited Midway rides for only $20. The combo package is good for any day for a savings of up to $28! Limited quantity available.
The Florida State Fair is 12 Days of Fun featuring rockin' rides, amazing agricultural exhibits featuring over 5,000 animals – and fantastic Fair food. The Fair also showcases great games, superior shopping, cultural exhibits and FREE entertainment. Go to www.floridastatefair.com for more info.
Flash Sale begins Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.
TICKET INFO: To purchase the flash sale combo package, visit the Florida State Fair Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/floridastatefairgrounds/
Get a break from our summer heat with Disney On Ice presents Frozen, coming to Tampa's Amalie Arena from Sept 29 – Oct 1, 2017! You’ll be magically whisked away into the wintry world of Arendelle, where you will be dazzled by amazing special effects and astonishing skating. Sing and dance along to inspiring songs, including “Let It Go.” Join royal sisters Anna and Elsa, the hilarious snowman Olaf, Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven and the mystical trolls as they journey to discover that true love is ultimately the most magical power of all!
Hosted by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, with special guest appearances by your most beloved Disney Princesses and characters from favorites like Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King, this unforgettable celebration of love and friendship will leave your family with memories to last a lifetime.
Ticket prices start at $18!
Sep 29, 2017
Sep 30, 2017
11:00AM , 03:00PM , 07:00PM
Oct 01, 2017
11:00AM , 03:00PM
Purchase tickets by phone:
Group Sales Info:
To create a completely immersive experience for the audience, the set design will encompass the space from the ice surface up through the air, drawing everyone into the story and closer to the characters. Families will feel that they are trekking up to the North Mountains with Anna, Kristoff and Sven, and they will tangibly experience the storm inside Elsa. Elsa’s magic will be enhanced by state-of-the art special effects while her emotions will be conveyed through powerful skating.
Producers Nicole Feld and Kenneth Feld have selected the brightest and most creative minds in the industry to put together this spectacular show.
Hi! I'm Diana. I love the beach, my family, chocolate, coffee, and meeting new people. I host monthly events in the Tampa area and cannot wait to meet all of you!
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Copyright © 2016, SOCIALLY FUSED LLC