The Florida Aquarium will open early on June 26 for individuals with sensory differences, as part of its Day of Discovery series. The entirety of the campus will be open with lights and sounds adapted accordingly from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Tickets are available by visiting flaquarium.org/attendanevent. Parking will be free in aquarium parking lot. Highlights will include three touch experiences: Moon Bay, Stingray Beach and No Bone Zone. The Splash Pad will be open early for the event. Traveling from a galaxy far, far away to attend Day of Discovery is the 501st Tampa Bay Legion (this cast of characters will safely roam the aquarium for an unforgettable adventure and great photo ops). The first 100 children will receive a complimentary Osmo Sampler, for kids ages 4 to 10, that includes five games available (as part of a 7-day trial) to enhance the functionality of an iPad as a hands-on learning tool. Guests can continue to enjoy the aquarium after the conclusion of the event. Lights and sounds will start at 9:30 a.m., for general admission. Admission for the hours of Day of Discovery are reserved only for families and children with sensory differences and/or accessibility challenges. In line with the latest CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated guests may forego wearing a mask; masks are still required for unvaccinated guests, including children (between the ages of 3 and 11) while inside the aquarium.
The GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club has announced that there will not be a Lutz 4th of July parade and celebration this year. The club is the major sponsor of the popular annual event, but will be unable to execute the planning due to the ongoing stringent Hillsborough County COVID restrictions. The sanctions only recently have been relaxed, but did not permit sufficient time to arrange or to have the use of the county facilities necessary for the production. The woman’s club is looking ahead to July 2022, in which the event once again will include the Lutz Guv’na race, the parade, the cake bake contest, the foot race, and food and activity booths.
The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative will present a Story Time with ZooTampa: Amphibians on June 24 at 9:30 a.m., for ages 3 to 6. The program will include stories, action rhymes, songs and interactive online activities, combined with an animal encounter, to promote literacy skills, reading readiness and social interaction. Registration is through the calendar feature at HCPLC.org.
The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative will present “Mama Griot’s Tall Tales” on June 22 at 2 p.m., for ages 5 to 12. Participants can learn about the history of the American tall tale, and hear stories about John Henry and his singing hammer, Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox babe, and the modern-day fable about the Swamp Angel. Registration is through the calendar feature at HCPLC.org.
The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative will present a virtual play, “The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus,” on June 19 and June 26 at 9:30 a.m., June 21 at 6:30 p.m., June 24 at 11 a.m., and June 29 at 4:30 p.m., for ages 4 to 8. The play centers around an 8-year-old girl and her pals who build a junkyard fort that draws the attention of a talking coyote. There will be a Q&A session after the performance. Registration is through the calendar feature at HCPLC.org.
The Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center will host Tail Waggin’ Tuesdays at 2 p.m., every other Tuesday, through a series of Facebook Live videos.
The programs aim to give residents a behind-the-scenes look at how the pet center cares for its pets.
Upcoming videos include:
- June 15: “What Should You Do When You Find a Stray?” — View the steps the center’s team takes to help the dogs from intake to adoption, and get an explanation of the actions to take when finding a stray.
- June 29: “Kitten Season and the Importance of Wait Until 8” — Learn what it means for the shelter when kitten season brings a lot of cat and kittens to its doorstep.
Dates and times are subject to change, so respond to the Facebook events to stay up to date and receive a reminder when videos go live.
The Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System kicked off its Tails and Tales 2021 Summer Reading Program on June 1, for all ages. The program includes a series of reading challenges, activities and online presentations that will feature animal encounters, magic, music, science, trivia and more. Participants can be eligible for prize drawings that include books, Bluetooth speakers, cameras, gaming consoles, headphones, robotics, tablets and other items. Visit HCPLC.org, and click on the “Online Events and Classes” tab, to find live or pre-recorded programs. For information, call 813-273-3652.