I received complimentary camp for my boys in exchange for this blog post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Summer is here, so parents all around Tampa are looking for ways to keep their kids busy, engaged, and happy while school is out. I was thrilled when I came across a summer day camp that met all of those requirements! Code Ninjas Carrollwood has an amazing line-up of camps this summer, and my boys had a blast at their week of Game Builders Camp!
What is Coding?
If you don’t know, code is what is written to tell a computer program, software, a robot, a website, etc. what to do. Learning how to think and problem solve is where the real value of Code Ninjas lives. But it's not only about teaching children to be problem solvers. Game Builders Club at Code Ninjas is a great place for kids to learn how to build their very own video games! Every day your kids' skills at game building will progress further, and they will have a blast while they learn how to code. Games are made on MIT's Scratch coding platform.
About the Camp
Upon arrival at Code Ninjas, we checked in and met the staff. The boys loved their name tags and were so excited to find their own laptop station ready for them! My husband and I are former educators, so my hubby had already spent some time showing the boys a couple of coding games, but neither of them have received formal instruction before. They just knew how fun it could be!
The “curriculum” at camp followed a great workbook that provided my boys with the opportunity to complete multiple activities each day. For my sometimes easily-distracted or easily-frustrated son, he was SO PROUD to share what he had created each day. They had a great ratio of “senseis” to students, and the staff were all so supportive and kind.
Do You Have a Roblox Fan?
Code Ninjas also offers a Roblox Create camp! In this camp, kids learn how to build and create in Roblox (a family-friendly, user-generated online gaming platform similar to Minecraft). By learning to use Roblox Studio, your child can create much more than just a game. Every student will design, plan, and build their own 3D world!
Would We Return to Code Ninjas?
We ABSOLUTELY would return to Code Ninjas Summer Camp! Every day, my kids asked if they were going back, and there was no whining or complaining about being away from home. I was a little worried that they would get bored doing the same thing every day, but they were able to create something different every day, and they also took breaks to use some of the other STEM toys and materials in the room.
Camp Details - How to Sign Up
The Roblox Create and Game Builders Club camps at Code Ninjas Carrollwood are offered as both half day (9 am – 12 pm) and full day (9 am – 4 pm) camps for kids ages 7 - 14. They are filling up fast, so reach out today if you’d like to sign up, and tell them Tampa Housewives in the City sent you!
Text/Call: (813) 603-6509
Also – available for our Tampa Housewives’ audience, we have the opportunity to book a free 30-minute intro to coding lesson at the Carrollwood center to learn more about their programs (especially their summer camps)! Visit http://bit.ly/housewivesinthecitycodeninjas to sign up!
We received complimentary tickets in exchange for sharing our thoughts about TreeHoppers.
As always, all opinions are our own.
We are always looking for new ways to spend a quality family day together. TreeHoppers in Dade City was a perfect way for my family to spend a fun day! My husband and I brought our three boys for a 3 hour climbing session, and everyone had a blast. Located just north of the Tampa Bay Area, TreeHoppers is an aerial adventure course with fun (and challenging!) obstacles, along with zip lines through the treetops.
What to Expect on Your Visit
At first glance, I assumed the courses would only be fun for my oldest son who is 9, but TreeHoppers made sure to design courses and elements that were suitable for the younger crowd as well. They have a total of nine different courses, and each course has a rating to designate how challenging it is. They have an amazing staff on hand to answer all of your questions! They told me that one of the things people do not realize about TreeHoppers is that it really is an obstacle course in the air. Many of their guests arrive thinking it is solely a zip line course, which is not the case. Definitely come ready to flex your muscles and have fun trying out your skills!
Upon our arrival, we checked in at the welcome counter because we had already completed our waivers online (I highly suggest doing this if possible!!). The amazing staff fitted us all with our harnesses and took us through a detailed safety orientation. I loved that they also had a small practice course for us to try out the process of using the safety clips. It was not difficult, but having the time to practice definitely helped us all feel ready for our time in the trees.
After completing our practice, we were able to proceed to the starting platform to begin the courses. All courses start in the same place, and the staff directs you to the correct level based on age. The three hour time frame allows you to complete multiple courses, but can vary based on how busy the park is and your skill level. We all had so much fun on the courses!!
Little Lemur's Course
The course I appreciated the most was the Little Lemur's Course that is for children ages 1 - 6. I am not exaggerating when I say that my 2 (almost 3) year old was able to entertain himself in this area for nearly the entire three hours of our time there! The area is roped off and conveniently located next to the base starting point for the other courses. I was able to stay with my little guy to supervise him, but also look up and watch my other two boys with my husband on the courses above us. I also traded places with my husband so I could do a course and he took a turn watching our littlest. It was perfect!
If you're looking for a family-friendly activity in the Tampa Bay Area, make sure to put TreeHoppers on your list! Our family had a great day, and we definitely plan to return. For more details, including hours and pricing, please be sure to visit their website and social media pages.
Address: 27839 Saint Joe Road, Dade City, FL 33525
Phone: (813) 381-5400
I received tickets to attend Monster Jam World Finals in exchange for this promotion.
As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Monster Jam®, the unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable larger-than-life sport, is proud to announce Orlando, Florida as the first host city in Monster Jam World Finals® new schedule! World class drivers compete in both monster truck racing and freestyle competitions. Monster Jam features the most recognizable trucks in the world including Grave Digger® , Max-D, El Toro Loco® , Monster Mutt® and many more. Monster Jam, City of Orlando and Orange County Officials announced plans for Monster Jam World Finals XX in 2019 and XXI in 2020.
“We are thrilled to announce the next step in the evolution of the Monster Jam franchise as we embark on a new chapter. Like other major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four, Feld Entertainment will bring our marquee event to world class destinations across the U.S., starting here in Orlando with our 20th Anniversary Monster Jam World Finals,” said Kenneth Feld, Chairman & CEO, Feld Entertainment. “Orlando is a city that is not only a premier sports destination, but it’s a city synonymous with family entertainment. We’re excited to make Monster Jam World Finals accessible to even more fans, with the anticipation of over 50,000 fans from around the world converging on “The City Beautiful.”
“Bringing the Monster Jam World Finals to Camping World Stadium next year is a big deal for Orlando and further proof we are one of the country's premier sports event destinations,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We’re grateful for our longstanding partnership with Feld Entertainment and can’t wait to see our stadium packed with fans of Monster Jam's premier event.”
"We are thrilled to host the Monster Jam World Finals in Central Florida,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “There’s simply no place like Orlando when it comes to a family and fan-friendly environment. We welcome fans from around the world to our great community for this action-packed event.”
“On behalf of our board of directors and community partners, we are looking forward to hosting Monster Jam World Finals in 2019 and 2020,” said Jason Siegel, CEO of the Central Florida Sports Commission. “We want to thank the Feld family for the opportunity to welcome one of their premier events to Camping World Stadium, and we know their fans and athletes will have a tremendous experience here in Central Florida.“
Monster Jam World Finals XX will be held at Camping World Stadium May 10–11, 2019 featuring all-new competition formats, including an elevated starting line above the seats and seven championship crowning moments. The championship weekend will deliver unprecedented access to the most Monster Jam athletes and the larger-than-life Monster Jam trucks they drive. Receive 20% off select seats with code BLOG20. Not valid on VIP seating. Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires May 9, 2019.
For more information, visit MonsterJam.com
Attention, Tampa Disney fans!! Disney’s Moana voyages onto the ice for the first time as Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, produced by Feld Entertainment Inc., brings courage and adventure to hometowns across North America. Hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse bring audiences on an expedition across raging seas and snow-covered mountains in this action-packed extravaganza when beloved characters from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, Tangled and Cinderella visit Tampa from March 21-24, 2019 at Amalie Arena. Tickets are on sale to the public now!
Believe in what’s possible as five Disney heroines spark the courage inside us all in Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream! In her Disney On Ice debut, see how far Moana will go in an epic adventure with demigod, Maui, to save her island and discover her true identity. Join Belle as she fearlessly befriends the enchanted castle staff and reveals the Beast’s gentleness. Experience Anna’s devotion to her sister, Elsa, on her life-changing journey to stop an eternal winter. Explore with Rapunzel, Flynn Ryder, Cinderella and friends from around the Disney Kingdom as they find the heart and determination to overcome obstacles and make their dreams come true. Journey with Mickey and Minnie to uncover why no goal is too big when we find the strength to shape our own destiny at Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream!
Fans are encouraged to arrive early to celebrate family and tradition with Miguel from Disney Pixar’s Coco in a special sing-a-long guest appearance. Discover your inner hero when Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream comes to Tampa!
Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream are available at www.disneyonice.com, 800-745-3000 or at the Amalie Arena Box Office. To sign up to be a Feld Preferred member and to receive presale alerts please visit https://www.feldentertainment.com/preferred-customer-page/ To discover more about Disney On Ice, go to DisneyOnIce.com.
Where: Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Dr., Tampa, FL 33602
Date and Times of Performances:
Thursday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 23 at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 24 at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m.
Stay current on the latest developments through social media:
Twitter: @DisneyOnIce #DisneyOnIce #100YearsofMagic
Stageworks, Tampa’s longest-running professional theatre company, welcomes you to experience its first main stage production of 2019, Ready Steady Yeti Go, from February 8th – 24th, 2019, written by David Jacobi and directed by Dan Granke.
In the aftermath of a hate crime, Goon befriends Carly Uhlenbeek, the only black girl in school. Things start to go south when bad parental advice, passive-aggressive acts, and ill-formed gestures of kindness create a “White Guilt Perfect Storm” that threatens to drown their relationship.
This play is charming and funny with a sharp edge of heartbreaking truth. It’s clever, moving and ingenious. It takes on our assumptions about people's character and the painful sacrifices we make for love and family. At its heart though it is an uplifting story about young star-crossed lovers wrapped in a comedy wrapped in a satire with a healthy streak of political commentary.
Middle School Bullying, Parent & Child Relationships, Racism, Personal Safety
This play is a rolling world premiere as part of the National New Play Network and will bring playwright, David Jacobi to Tampa opening week (Feb.4-8) to work with the cast and production. Ready Steady Yeti Go features young actors from Blake High School’s Magnet Program of the arts and is sponsored by community partner Safe & Sound, Hillsborough County’s violence prevention collaborative.
For more information: http://stageworkstheatre.org/ready-steady-yeti-go
Stageworks Theatre is located at 1120 East Kennedy Blvd, Suite 151, Tampa Florida 33602
The Florida State Fair – always in Tampa, always in February – begins its 30-day countdown to its opening day on Thursday, February 7, 2019. The Florida State Fair is hosted at the Florida State Fairgrounds on February 7-18, 2019 and features acres of incredible entertainment, the largest Midway in the United States and all of the fun fair foods people have come to love! As the first State Fair of the year, the Florida State Fair is the first to debut new and unique fair food such as the Cuban Pizza, Deep Fried Cookie Dough, Buffaloaded Quesadilla and so much more! It’s affordable family fun at its best.
The Florida State Fair will have all day entertainment including Lady Houdini, All-Star Stunt Dogs Splash, Bello Nock Super Stunt Show, the Budweiser Clydesdales, Circus Hollywood, Demolition Derby, Extreme Illusions & Escapes, Kachunga Alligator Show, Hollywood Racing Pigs, Moto Maniacs Xtreme, Tyzen the Comedy Hypnotist, Zaji Amazing Acrobats of China and so much more!
“We are incredibly excited to bring you the 2019 Florida State Fair. The entertainment, food,
agriculture and music are sure to bring smiles to the faces of everyone this year. We cannot
wait to unveil all that we have in store for you this year!” says Cheryl Flood, Executive Director
at the Florida State Fair Authority.
The Florida State Fair, held February 7-18, 2019, will sell advance tickets and ride armbands at
participating Publix locations starting on January 2 through February 6, 2019 and online at
floridastatefair.com. Advance ticket prices are $9 for adult admission, $5 for a child and $7 for
seniors. Weekday Ride Armbands are $20 and Any Day Ride Armbands are $30. Advance ticket
sales for the $79 Mega Pass which provides unlimited admission and rides throughout the
entirety of the Fair, and the Senior Five Day Pass, will only be available through
www.FloridaStateFair.com or at the Box Office starting December 1.
LIST OF PROMOTION DAYS INCLUDE:
HEROES DAY | THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2019
Military and Emergency Responders (police, fire and first responders) receive free admission for
themselves and up to three guests with their official ID.
$2 TUESDAY AFTER 2 PM | TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2019
Guests receive $2 admission, $2 Midway rides, $2 select food and games.
Midway opens at 1:00 p.m.
$5 ADMISSION AFTER 5 PM | FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019
The perfect night for dinner and a fun filled evening with family and friends.
Guests receive $5 admission after 5:00 p.m.
FAIR CARES FOR THE HUNGRY DAY | MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2019 (PRESIDENTS DAY)
Sponsored by Publix & Feeding Tampa Bay
$5 admission with the donation of two or more non-perishable/canned food items from Publix
For More Information:
For more information about the Florida State Fair, visit www.floridastatefair.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram.
What an amazing event! Yesterday, my family had the pleasure of attending one of our favorite shows, Monster Jam! It was our second time viewing the show at Raymond James Stadium, and my littlest guy's first time seeing Monster Jam ever. He's about 2 1/2 years old and I was nervous he would be too young for it, but he is now already a dedicated super fan!!
Don't be sad if you missed out - Monster Jam returns to Raymond James Stadium in just a few short weeks on February 2nd!
We always start our Monster Jam experience in the Pits with the drivers and trucks. With the beautiful weather (unlike last year's very cold weather for the show), the Pit Party was full of fans of all ages. The lines were long to meet the drivers, so we opted to enjoy the activities and pose for pictures in front of our favorite trucks.
A nice touch was from one of the truck sponsors, Great Clips. My older two boys let them style and (temporarily) color their hair! They LOVED it, and it was a nice touch from the sponsor.
There were some free activities such as a sand pile set up with a few trucks to play with, and then there were multiple activities available for an additional charge. The longest line was for the opportunity to ride in a monster truck, which looked like a blast! My little guys did not have the patience for the line, unfortunately.
Overall, we enjoyed the Pit Party! There was a lot to see and do. I will add that a couple of us mentioned preferring the set-up at the Pit Party at Amalie Arena over the summer. I think it was because it was a smaller crowd and we chose to wait in line to meet the drivers.
One thing Monster Jam always delivers on is a high-energy, action-packed event. It was a three part event with races, two-wheels skills challenge, and freestyle. It was so much fun cheering on our favorites and also being able to play along online to rate the performances. While I have very little interest in trucks in my day-to-day life, I LOVE these shows and can completely understand why fans of all ages, backgrounds, and genders are fans!
If You Go
A few tips - the set-up at Raymond James is perfect for tailgating between the Pit Party and the show. We packed snacks and the kids played for a bit before we went into the stadium. Also, if you plan to meet the drivers during the Pit Party, bring something for them to sign! Over the summer we used our headphones and it has been a great keepsake that they use for every show. And finally, due to the added fun of voting during the show, make sure your phone is fully charged beforehand! Between taking photos, capturing video, and then voting, it was a stretch to make mine last for the duration of the show!
Tickets and show info for February 2nd: www.monsterjam.com/en-US/events/tampa-fl/feb-02-2019-feb-02-2019
Cirque du Soleil CRYSTAL is in Tampa for just a few short days right now. My husband and I enjoyed a date night to check out this show, and it was great! It is Cirque du Soleil's first performance on ice, which makes it unique, but of course the show stays true to the artistry and skill of all other Cirque du Soleil performances.
The story follows a girl named Crystal as she goes on a journey of self-discovery. The performers are on a stage of ice with incredible light projections to enhance the set. Our eyes were immediately drawn to the multiple ramps on the set, and we were amazed by the skill of the performers who skated and sped around the arena.
I don't want to give away the entire show, but I will share some of my favorite moments in photos.
If you are able to go (and you should go!), the show will be at Amalie Arena through December 23, and tickets are available here.
Thursday, December 20 at 7:30 pm
Friday, December 21 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 22 at 4:00 pm and 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 23 at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm
I received two tickets in exchange for promoting this show. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Get excited, Monster truck fans! Monster Jam® is returning to Tampa for two shows: Saturday, January 12, 2019 and February 2, 2019 at Raymond James Stadium. The 2019 season will bring a new level of high-flying, four-wheel excitement to the entire family with racing, two-wheel skills and freestyle competitions. Monster Jam events are affordably priced for the whole family with seats starting at $15 each. Monster Jam drivers are trained, world-class male and female athletes who have mastered not only the physical strength and mental stamina needed to compete, but the vital dexterity to control 12,000-pound machines capable of doing backflips, vertical two-wheel skills and racing at speeds up to 70 miles per hour to produce jaw-dropping, live motor sports action seen around the world.
Now across all Monster Jam events, fans in every city will have the chance to vote for the winner in the two-wheel and freestyle competitions by real-time, in-stadium fan voting on their smartphones. Fans also have the opportunity to get up close and personal to the Monster Jam trucks and drivers by purchasing a Pit Party pass that allows them early access to the event for photo opportunities and autographs. The Tampa shows will feature Monster Jam’s most popular monster trucks including: Grave Digger, Brodozer, Max-D and El Toro Loco. Each show each will feature a different monster truck line up. For more details on Monster Jam’s full truck lineup, please visit www.monsterjam.com.
SHOW DETAILS: Saturday, January 12, 2019
Pit Party Early Access starting at 1:30pm
Pit Party from 2:30pm–5:30pm
Show begins at 7:00pm
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Pit Party Early Access starting at 1:30pm
Pit Party from 2:30pm–5:30pm
Show begins at 7:00pm
LOCATION: Raymond James Stadium 4201 N. Dale Mabry Highway Tampa, FL 33607
TICKETS: Tickets start at $15
Pit Party Early Access starts at $35 per person, General Pit Party Passes start at $20 each Tickets & Pit Passes will be available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or in-person at the Raymond James Stadium Box Office in advance. **ticket prices subject to change –venue/ticketing fees may apply. Same day event ticket and pit pass required for entry to pit party.
Clearwater Beach Uncorked, one of my favorite food and wine events, was another great success in 2018! My husband and I enjoyed a day full of sampling while in the picture-perfect setting of Clearwater Beach, and I already know we won't want to miss this event in 2019. We arranged for my dad to hang out with my little guys for the day so that we could enjoy a day date. I loved that everything is included in admission so we could enjoy ourselves without making decisions about which samples to purchase!! Thinking of checking it out next year? Here are some details of why I always look forward to Clearwater Beach Uncorked:
The VIP tickets are absolutely worth the extra money if you want to make the most of the day. We gained entry to the main tent an hour before the general admission guests, and it allowed us the chance to sample what we knew would be the most popular items before the lines were long. Our favorite stop during this time, and I hope they offer it again next year, was the beer and cheese pairing with Castello Cheese. They allowed 12 guests into their booth area and shared details about three different beers paired with three cheeses. It was a great way to slow down the hustle of going from booth to booth, and we loved learning more about the items we tasted.
VIP tickets also allow you access to the Spirits Lounge at the host hotel, the Wyndham Grand. After a short walk from the main tent near Pier 60, the Spirits Lounge is pool side with a variety of alcoholic beverages in a smaller setting. Heading over there during peak crowds in the main tent allowed us a brief break from the lines and further variety of samples.
Beer and Wine Sampling
One of my favorite things to do when we lived in Virginia was to visit wineries and sample their different wines. I love trying new brands, but it's not easy to choose when just visiting our local Publix. Uncorked provides the opportunity to sample beers and wines from all over, and all of the brand representatives were helpful in sharing where to find their brands locally. I probably never would have taken the plunge to try Fitvine's selection out of fear that their low-calorie wines might not taste good, but I was really impressed with their wine! I plan to grab a bottle the next time I'm at Whole Foods.
This year's Clearwater Beach Uncorked was a cheese-lover's dream! We sampled cheese from so many brands, and they were the perfect items to grab and snack on while wandering the tent. For more hearty options, we found Shephard's lobster empanadas were a good choice, along with many other seafood offerings. My easy favorite was Jeni's ice creams, and somehow I ended up with three different scoops!! Delicious!!
For more details and information, visit Clearwater Beach Uncorked's website: http://clearwaterbeachuncorked.com.
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!