Mother’s Day is such a special event, we almost forget about that other day the following month. But Father’s Day is just as important, and a great holiday for people who like to do things on the cheap. After all, who was better at pinching pennies when you were growing up than dear old dad?
So, if you can celebrate Father’s Day and save some money at the same, you’ll earn his admiration and respect. You’ll be a chip off the old block. And we’ve found a few bargains this weekend you both might enjoy.
First things first: if you read last month’s Mother’s Day article (and you really missed out if you didn’t), you read about a bunch of great places to take mom at a big discount. Lowry Park Zoo, the Museum of Science & Industry, and the Florida Aquarium all had specials where mom got in free with a paid admission. And the deal was good for Saturday and Sunday, so you could spread things across the weekend.
Well, good news: The same deal applies for Father’s Day, too. Pay for an admission, and dad get gets in free this weekend. So whether he likes safari animals, marine life or science and technology, you have dad covered. And you save a lot of money, too. All of those tickets cost more than $20 per person. So if you visit all three, you’ll save around $70 and get a weekend full of fun memories.
That could be a full column right there, but we already covered those places last month. So how about a couple more we didn’t mention earlier that also have specials running for Father’s Day?
For the Jurassic dad
Does dad like dinosaurs? If so, Dinosaur World, 5145 Harvey Tew Road in Plant City, might be the perfect Father’s Day destination.
Think of Dinosaur World as Jurassic Park without all the mayhem and chaos of live dinosaurs attacking the patrons. Instead, there are around 20 acres filled with hundreds of life-size dinosaur models in a garden setting. They’re very detailed, and many of them tower over you, giving visitors an idea of what it would be like to come face to face with a Brontosaurus, Velociraptor or Tyrannosaurus Rex.
If that isn’t cool enough, they have motion-activated animatronic dinosaurs inside (like a Stegosaurus and Pterodactyl), as well as a museum with real dino fossils. There’s even a Florida Fossil section with a display of fossils native to our state.
It’s all definitely entertaining, but education is a big deal at Dinosaur World. With interactive shows and paleontologists on hand to answer questions, there’s a lot see and learn. And if you go on Father’s Day, dad gets in absolutely free, when accompanying someone with a paid admission ($16.95 for adults, $11.95 for children ages 3 to12).
For the museum dad
Suppose dad likes history, but doesn’t want to go back to the Mesozoic era. How about the Henry B. Plant Museum, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., in Tampa? The national historic landmark was a state-of-the-art hotel in the late 1800s, and while most of it is now the campus of the University of Tampa, a section has been preserved and restored as a museum. Each room is a piece of elegant history, with Moorish Revival (I think that means really fancy) architecture, and some original furnishings. And the self-guided audio tour gives you information and cultural perspective to what you’re seeing. If you want to experience the height of luxury around 125 years ago (it is still pretty luxurious), this is a great place to bring dad on Father’s Day. He gets in free, when accompanying someone with a paid admission ($10 for adults, $5 for children ages 4 to 12).
Remember, these two places are in addition to what we mentioned for Mother’s Day. All you have to do is pick what dad would like most, get ready for a fun weekend and receive endless praise for being so wise with your money. Happy Father’s Day.
Published June 17, 2015