Upcoming Horticultural Programs and Workshops at Sunken Gardens

July 8, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Watershed fun for Kids! 

Kids CAN make a difference & keep Florida’s water clean for the animals that live in it and those that play in it (like us!). Learn simple things you can do to help your environment by partnering with Keep Pinellas Beautiful.  From a hands-on watershed demonstration and understanding right plant right place to participating in a mini garden cleanup, this workshop is designed for kids ages 8 and up. Pre-registration required due to limited space. Call 727-551-3102 to register. Adult guardians are welcome to join in on the fun. Free with paid admission or membership.
July 15, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Hydroponic Gardening
Want to grow vegetables faster and bigger than you have before? Hydroponics make it possible and the owner of Simply Hydroponics, makes it easy as he teaches you simple techniques.  Just a few basic supplies and some tips from the expert is all you need to start growing food under conditions you control. Free with paid admission or membership. In our air-conditioned classroom.
July 29, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Raise & Attract Florida’s Native Bees
Is your garden buzzing with activity? Bring your garden or patio to life while supporting our vital pollinators. The state bee chairman for the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs will give you tips on how to raise and attract Florida’s native bees with ease while beautifying your outdoor space. Bee houses for sale after the program. Free with paid admission or membership. In our air-conditioned classroom.
August 5, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.   Frogs and Toads!
How did the hog toad get its name? Which frogs are evil invaders?  Kids learn the answers to these questions and more as they get a close up look at these beneficial creatures with the Suncoast Herpetological Society. Make a toad abode and look for frogs in our gardens, too! For children ages 4 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. $3/child in addition to paid admission or membership. Pre-registration/payment required due to limited space. Call 727-551-3102 to register.
August 19, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Colorful Caladiums
Cravinggorgeous, low maintenance pops of colorful foliage in your garden? Find out how to extend caladiums’ southern tropical charm well beyond the summer months and get more bang for your buck. Ashley Graham, owner of Ashely’s Tropical Oasis and member of the Rare Plant Network leads this program with caladium plants and bulbs for sale following!Free with paidadmission or membership. In our air-conditioned classroom.

Information courtesy of Sunken Gardens.

Staycation Spotlight: Just Let Go @ Guy Harvey Outpost

Enjoy RumFish Grill, water adventures, s’mores, pet-friendly & family fun for all!

Why fight traffic and airport security lines? TradeWinds Island Resorts (Island Grand, Guy Harvey Outpost) may be the best staycation in Florida. Here, you can enjoy the amazing amenities of two resorts for the price of one. ”We are committed to ensuring that every guest can ‘Just let go’ while visiting one of our resorts,” says President Keith Overton.

This is where the Little Mermaid would vacation if she could. In addition to getting more bang for your buck, when you vacation at St. Pete Beach’s world-renown sister hotels, you’ll revel on the same award-winning sugary sand beaches with awesome Gulf views and a seaworthy commitment to clean oceans and marine education. Amenities such as BodyWorks spa and fitness, a coffee bar, ice cream shoppe and a strolling pirate make for a jolly good time.

It’s the ultimate no-fuss vacation that NEVER ceases to amaze. You can swim with the fishes, take a behind the scenes tour of RumFish Grill’s massive aquarium, explore marine touch tanks, engage in sea-tastic activities and ogle fishy lore posted around the property. Where else can you get a learning vacation, paddleboard, relax in a hammock, get out of the sun in a covered swimming pool, enjoy delectable dining and outdoor adventures?

Whether you want adventure whooshing down the giant High Tide Water Slide, no-phone-zone family time paddleboating the lazy river or a spectacular romantic sunset stroll with champagne for two, TradeWinds Resorts is where both tourists and locals come to “Just Let Go.”

Book your staycation NOW: 866-JustLetGo or JustLetGo.com

Guy Harvey Outpost

Guy Harvey Outpost is where adventure begins. Relax at The SandBox beach lounge with live entertainment, VIP Cabanas, open fire tables and the popular SandBar. Dine on cutting-edge seafood at RumFish Grill showcasing a 33,500 gallon aquarium featured on Animal Planet’s hit show Tanked, indoor/outdoor bars, live entertainment and a retail store carrying the area’s largest selection of Guy Harvey merchandise. Explore the shore, master a stand-up paddleboard, take flight with JetLev, go on a fishing or diving adventure … or unwind around the whirlpool and two swimming pools, one for adults only, while the kids dive into an ocean of fun, try their skill on the Surf WipeOut, go on a seashell scavenger hunt, or spot dolphins on the marine bio camp. There’re even free s’mores around the campfire and biggie/little matching Adirondack beach chairs.

The Guy Harvey Outpost suites are more than rooms, they’re retreats beautifully decorated like something out of Coastal Living magazine. The standard room comes with two double beds, wireless internet access, HDTV, wet bar area with mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker, toaster and dishware. Suites have a separate bedroom, and the resort fee covers daily deluxe beach cabana, overnight parking, unlimited rides on the High Tide Slide and Surf WipeOut, campfire s’mores, paddleboat rides and more.

Dining Galore

TradeWinds Island Resorts serves up a variety of palate-pleasing casual restaurants and bars, many with live music. Enjoy sports-driven entertainment bistros, relaxed poolside dining and tantalizing salads, steaks and seafood plus frozen boat drinks like the banana Island Escape or chocolate Mudslide.

RumFish Grill’s outstanding cuisine draws local and visiting food fanatics and fish lovers. Enjoy the finest Florida seafood (shrimp, grouper, cobia), delectable salads (wedge, chopped) and eclectic flavors (mango salsa, smoked tomato aioli). Don’t miss the grilled jerk swordfish burrito, sour orange mojo braised pork sandwich, paella, blue crab cakes or Gulf shrimp with stone ground grits.

Enhancing the dining experience is the mesmerizing aquarium, lionfish and juvenile tanks, live entertainment nightly plus indoor/outdoor bars that are worth visiting whether you’re staying at the Resort or just want a fun night out.

Pups & Pals Welcome

What’s a family vacation without the family pet? At TradeWinds, pets play and stay, and can even admire a quirky dog sculpture in their honor that benefits Southeast Guide Dogs. In addition to pet friendly suites, there’s a leash free Pet Play Zone and Doggie Accessory Center at Island Grand and walking area at Guy Harvey Outpost that will put an extra wag in every tail. There’s even a doggie drinking fountain and room service from the hotel’s “Paw Court Bistro.”

Sit. Stay. Play. This 3-night package includes discounted room rates in a pet-friendly suite and a resort amenity fee built right in! Fido can don this season’s hottest resort trend – a TradeWinds signature bandana and enjoy plenty of fetching amenities. Visit JustLetGo.com/Fido.

Who Is Guy Harvey?

The man behind Guy Harvey Outpost is Guy Harvey, a unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist and explorer. He is also a fiercely devoted father and lover of the sea. Growing up in Jamaica, Guy spent many hours fishing and diving with his father along the island’s south coast. Obsessed with the creatures of the sea, he began drawing pictures of the many different fish he observed. After his drawings of Ernest Hemingway’s famous fishing story The Old Man and the Sea received positive reviews, Guy began painting full-time, and provided custom artwork for use on a variety of products. Guy Harvey’s natural gift to recreate marine life has propelled him from Professor of Marine Biology to an internationally acclaimed wildlife artist and photographer and is widely known as the John Audubon of marine art.

Article by Nanette Wiser

Staycation Ideas!

It’s Official.

According to national trends, Tampa Bay is among the top TEN spots to staycation in the U.S. But you knew that. Who would leave these sugary sand beaches, warm inviting Gulf waters and delicious spots to drink and eat this time of year? After all, when the snowbirds go home (and yes, we miss you), we have Paradise all to ourselves.

In this issue, travel with us as share the best places to go boating, hiking or kayaking parks and preserves and more, from cool coffeehousesto sweet frozen licks. We’ll even help you plan a stay at the Tradewinds’ Island Grand or Guy Harvey Outpost, where the family-friendly beaches, waterslide, aquarium, delectable dining, awesome entertainment and seaworthy activities beckon—really two resorts for the price of one stay!


Nothing cools you off on a hot summer day than a frozen delight. From gelato to sorbet, homemade ice cream to traditional custard favorite Rita’s, there’s a flavor for everyone, even the vanilla lovers. At the beaches, check out Larry’s Ice Cream, Super Scoops, Mikki’s Mr. Ice Cream, Beach SnoBalls and The Candy Kitchen.

If you’re downtown, The Hippo gourmet Popsicles come in every flavor while Paciugo Gelato Café’s coconut, espresso and caramel gelatos make you swoon with delight. Urban Creamery’s +peanut butter crunch is for Reese’s Pieces lovers.


You can swim or skim board at the beach, kayak or paddleboard with rentals from the local surf ships, take a surf lesson or snorkel. St. Pete Beach Community Center’s pool and Walter Fuller are always inviting, with lots of activities for

tykes of all ages, even water aerobics for adults. Treasure Island Yacht Club, Pasadena Yacht Club and Isla del Sol also offer limited summer memberships for families to use.

But nothing says summer fun more than a water park with Busch Gardens’ Adventure Island, being the most rip-roaring spot in Tampa Bay. High speed slides, corkscrews, a giant wave pool, waterfalls and a rambling river with sandy beaches makes it a tropical paradise.

Closer to home, Splash Harbour Water Park adjacent to the Holiday Inn Indian Rocks Beach is all the rage. Attractions include Smuggler’s Run tube ride down a 42 foot tall slide with twists, turns and an exciting bowl feature.

Pirate’s Plunge is a single rider body slide that ends in riders plunging in to the cool blue water. Great White Lazy River is a 600 foot long relaxing lazy river featureing waterfalls, sprays, and mists to keep you cool while you’re soaking up the Florida sun. There’s a Treasure Cove Splash Zone featuring three slides, interactive water activities, and a dumping bucket that will keep kids coming back for more. Kids can mine for treasure, play in the pool and adults can enjoy a nice rum boat drink at the Cruzan Shack while kids nibble some lunch.

If you love sea critters and aquariums, Guy Harvey’s Rumfish Grill offers a cinema-tastic view of fish while you dine.

Want interactive? Check out Clearwater Marine Aquarium and a behind-the-scenes tour of Dolphin Tale. www.seewinter.com

At the Sarasota’s Mote Aquarium, you can get up close and personal with sharks, manatees, sea turtles, sting rays and sea horses. www.mote.org

In addition to Ft. DeSoto and Weedon Island, kayaking Caladesi Island State Park’s paddling trail is an Old Florida voyage through mangroves and wild birds. Ditto Honeymoon Island for great bird-watching along the 2.5 mile Osprey Trail where you can also bike or hike. Lots of snorkel and scuba activity in Tampa Bay, but some of the best is just a kiss away. Tampa Bay Aviation offers scuba charters for quick access to Key West & the Bahamas. charters@tampabayaviation.com


Without even leaving St. Pete Beach, there’s the Beach Escape Game. Small groups of friends, family members, and coworkers find themselves locked in a room with

60 minutes on the clock. In that time, they must work together to crack codes and solve themed puzzles to find the way out. In the Honky Tonk, for example, you’re trapped inside a roadside bar, while Lost Treasure puts the group on an ill-fated ship sailing toward riches. The rooms are designed to immerse players in these scenarios, but there’s always a panic button if you need to call it quits before time runs out.

In Tyrone Mall, PlayLive Nation is a social gaming lounge featuring the newest games for play and is a hot new place for parties and tournaments.

Why not cool off with a movie or crafts? Cobb Theatres at Tyrone Mall, Regal Theaters in Pinellas Park, Carlyse at Sundial, have video arcades for siblings to battle before this summer’s minions.

Creative Clay’s Summer Camp promises hands-on fun for budding artists.

Legoland is a quirky Scandinavian toy come alive in a million themed adventures. Just 45 minutes from downtown Tampa, this kooky theme park serves up an Imagination Zone, Lego Technic, Pirates Cove, Mini-Land, Driving and Boating School, Cypress Gardens and Leto Kingdom, and yes, Batman!

Perhaps the craziest fun zone of all is Tree Hoppers Aerial Adventure Park with eight courses over 100 elements and Florida’s largestzipline adventure park located in Dade City. www.treehoppers.com

Finally, for those of us raising booklovers, perhaps the ultimate imagination zone is the local libraries and Barnes & Noble bookstores where kids can enjoy having a book come alive as its read to them and dozens of other activities. http://www.splibraries.org.


Lowery Park Zoo, in Tampa was Named the #1 Zoo in the U.S. for kids by Parents Magazine. You can spend the day visiting 1,300 animals on 56 lush acres. You can feed a giraffe, hold a lorikeet, pet a stingray, touch a giant tortoise and walk with the wallabies.

Closer to home, the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary in Redington and the McGough Nature Park’s rescued animals (hawks, eagles, owls) and plethora of snapping, alligator and softshell turtles showcase the importance of rescue havens.

Some animals don’t have a voice, but they still mesmerize. Dinosaur World may be silly but my grandkids love the 150 life-sized dinosaurs and know a Rex from a brontosaurus. The Plant City classic offers a boneyard, fossil dig, museum and dinosaur walk back in time.

Safari Wilderness Ranch in Lakeland is a safari through large herds of exotic game over 260 acres. If you can’t plan a trip to Africa, stop in here. In Orlando, the Wild Florida Airport and Wildlife Park Kenansville gives you a chance to ride an airport and see the gator wildlife park. At Gatorland Orlando, you can take a screaming death-defying zipline over a gator pit.

Of course, Walt Disney World and Sea World offer more animal adventures, both animated and real. There is nothing like walking through the shark tank in Sea World or enjoying an encounter with penguins.


Your car, some Jimmy Buffet tunes and off you go to explore Tampa Bay.

No airport security lines, just you and your honey (& a kid or three).

  • At Tarpon Springs, you can watch sponge diving demonstrations, go deep sea fishing and explore the lively Greek traditions, from cuisine to historic exhibits.
  • Safety Harbor Resort & Spa offers day packages for men and women, and the picturesque community serves up French, Mexican, Seafood and other ethnic delights.
  • Anna Maria Island may be my favorite place on earth, from The Sandbar Restaurant and beach to the kitschy boutiques and Anna Maria Cottages.   PN

Article by Nanette Wiser

Editor’s Note: Please check Yelp for location & hours. Menu items subject to change.

2017 Summer Dive-In Movies at St. Pete Beach Aquatic Center

Bring your noodles, floats and chairs to lounge by the pool while watching a movie on our inflatable screen out under the stars. Snacks, drinks and glow jewelry will be sold. No outside coolers or food allowed. Event will be cancelled in inclement weather.

June 2- Moana
June 16- Jungle Book
June 30- Lego Batman
July 14- Finding Dory
July 28- Doctor Strange

–  Tickets on sale at 7pm; Gates open at 8pm.
–  Admission is $5.00 per person

Find out more at http://www.spbrec.com/special-events/.

Academy of Performance Arts – Off To A Great Start  


As schools kept cutting funds for the arts, “Mr. Lu” Alatorre retired from 40-years in  television production. He and wife Michelle, wanted to “give back” to the arts, which he had set aside for his career.

They have created a place where performers can have fun while unleashing their  inner creativity.

Celebrating an anniversary in June at 7525 Blind Pass Rd. in St. Pete Beach, their Mission Statement is simply: Providing opportunities, quality instruction, and hands-on training for performers of all ages so they may develop their inner creativity and gain appreciation for the arts.

Three MAJOR items differentiate the Academy of Performance Arts philosophy from  other such schools:

  • The Academy offers ALL of the Arts, to ALL Ages, All in One Place!
  • The Academy features LIVE outdoor public performances in addition to “in-house” productions.
  • Performances are for FUN, not competition. With 6 studios featuring Dance, Art, Acting, Tutoring and 2 Music Studios, a variety of the arts can be conducted all at the same time… all day long.

Students from the Academy performed at the Fish Broil in Horan Park in November,  on the streets of Gulfport at the Holiday Hoopla in December, in March at the Pass-A-Grille Island Festival and in April at the SouthPasadena Block Party. They will be performing several shows during the summer, beginning Saturday, May 20 in the Bandshell in Bay View Park on Sunset Dr.,South Pasadena.

Spring, Summer & Holiday Camps provide great opportunities for young performers to find inner creativity while making lasting friendships. Summer camps start May 30. Teen Theater Workshops are planned for Tues. & Thurs. 4 – 7pm for most June and/or July, with performances Fridays, June 30 & July 28 at 6pm.

Dance, Art, Acting & Music evening classes continue all summer. The Academy aims for teamwork and fun while fulfilling performers dreams, drive and ambition, rather than at competition.  While other studios may boast about their awards, trophies and medals, the Academy boasts only of bringing out the best in their performers.

Questions? Visit www.academyofperformancearts.com  for information about the Academy’s summer camps, various dance, music singing, art, and acting lessons & watch videos of outdoor performances. If the website doesn’t answer them, call (727) 350-4644.

Skyway Marina District Holds Third Annual May Day Race with Free Registration for Maximo Elementary Students

The Skyway Marina District will host its third annual May Day Race and Kids Dash for Cash on Saturday, May 6. The races will start and end at Ceridian, the main sponsor, and will showcase the beautiful Skyway Marina District via competitive and fun run/walks. Ceridian is located at 3201 34th Street South, St. Petersburg. Last year, proceeds from the race were donated to schools surrounding the district and district improvement projects.

This year, students from Maximo Elementary and their families will have the opportunity to participate in the race at low or no cost compliments of a sponsorship from Jeff Joyner and Associates Realtors. Students enrolled in 21st Century Learning Center’s iClass program will be provided training through their fitness program facilitated by Jump For Kids. 21st Century is an after-school program that provides extended learning opportunities in four Pinellas County Schools elementary schools. Debra Canning, coordinator of the program believes that events that bring the community, students and their families together are invaluable to the growth and success of her students.

The May Day Race event features a 5k, 10k and Kids Dash for Cash (distances range on age and ability up to 1 mile). Every participant will receive a race T-shirt and a beautiful finisher’s medal. Participants in the 5 and 10k can also compete for awards. Runners in the Kids Dash will have the opportunity to enter the cash grab machine for a chance to grab up to $100! There will be food, vendors and activities for the kids. Visit  www.active.com to register for the race and show your support.

Not interested in running or walking, but willing to help out with the event? We love volunteers and sponsors! Volunteers can register at  www.active.com or contact us at MayDayRace@yahoo.com.

This will be a fantastic event, so let’s tell everyone about it! Help us spread the word via Facebook (“May Day Race”), by telling a friend, or by bringing your whole family!

Join the community in showing your support for the Skyway Marina District! Find out more about this association at skywaymarinadistrict.org.

You won’t want to miss this fantastic event! Let’s start the summer off with some fun. See you on May 6 at Ceridian!


Suntan Art Center Summer Camp

Suntan Art Center, located at 3300 Gulf Blvd. on St. Pete Beach, will be hosting its 8th Annual Summer Art Camp for elementary age students with Art Instructor Linda Griffin. Ms. Griffin is a K-12 certified instructor in the Pinellas School District. Art camps give young artists the chance to have fun while exploring painting, drawing, and sculpture as well as  developing and enhancing their confidence in creative skills. Students also will work together to explore art history and the different art mediums.

  • Session 1:  “Nature’s Wonders” – June 19-23
  • Session 2:  “Explorations in Paint” – June 26-30
  • Session 3:  “Art Around the World” -July 10-14
  • Session 4:   “Printmaking: The Art of Ink” – July 17-21

All sessions are 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and cost $225. per week. To register, please call  Ms. Griffin at (727) 422-7229.

Splash Harbour Water Park Is Offering Free Admission To All Military, EMS, Nurses, Firefighters And Police Officers For The Month Of May

Today Splash Harbour Water Park announced that during the month of May they will be offering free admission to all Military, EMS, Nurses, Firefighters and Police Officers. In addition to free admission for individuals in these professions, Splash Harbour Water Park will also offer a discounted admission price of $18.95 for each member of their party. This offer will run May 1, 2017 through May 31, 2017. First responders will need to provide an ID at the time of purchase.

In response, Splash Harbour Water Park’s Marketing Communications Manager Ashleigh Crowe said, “We recognize that many of the men and women in these professions sacrifice a great deal to keep us safe. That is why military and first responder’s always get a discounted rate at the water park. During the month of May we are offering an extra special thank you to them. We hope that they will take this opportunity to enjoy a splashtacular day of fun with their friends and families.”

About Splash Harbour Water Park

Splash Harbour Water Park is located in Indian Rocks Beach, FL just steps away from the Gulf of Mexico. Splash Harbour opened its doors in 2016 and has since committed to insuring that visitors enjoy a splashtacular day of fun. It is open year round, weather permitting. In the water park you will find 42 foot tall waterslides, lazy river, zero entry pool, splash zone, extra-large sundeck, private cabana’s, Iguana Falls, Cruzan Rum Shack, Snack Shack,  Key West Mining, miniature golf, game room, and so much more!

St. Pete Beach Aquatic Center Tidbits

Spring Swim Lessons at SPB Pool

Registration is going on now at The St. Pete Beach Aquatic Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Dr, for “Learn to Swim Classes” through the American Red Cross.  From three years of age and older, classes will teach proper technique and tips for safety in any water environment.  Classes are held Monday through Thursday and run in two-week sessions of 30-minute classes.  Classes are available at 5:00pm and 5:35pm.  A two-week session is only $40 for Residents of St. Pete Beach and $45 for Non Residents. For more information visit www.spbrec.com or call (727) 363-9264.

Kiwanis ‘Every Child a Swimmer’ Program

The City of St. Pete Beach is proud to announce our partnership with Kiwanis of Gulf Beaches to offer the Every Child A Swimmer program. The Kiwanis family offers the Every Child A Swimmer (ECAS) Project to Elementary School age children.  The mission of the program is to reduce the number of child deaths from drowning by teaching them water safety and swimming basics. The program runs from May 1th to May 16th with classes held Monday and Tuesday of each week and those selected will have a choice of a 6:00pm or 6:30pm class time.  Registration is limited and those interested can sign up on a first-come basis at The St. Pete Beach Aquatic Center from 6:00pm to 7:00pm on Friday, April 28th.  A parent or guardian must be present to complete paperwork and each child will be water tested at this time. For more information visit www.spbrec.com or call the St. Pete Beach Aquatic Center at 727-363-9264.

Information Courtesy of the St. Pete Beach Recreation Department and the City of St. Pete Beach.

Tampa Bay Watch 2017 Summer Camps

Tampa Bay Watch announced their 2017 Summer Camp Dates on Friday, February 2017.  Online registration for Tampa Bay Watch members begins on March 6 and the public can begin to register on March 13.
Click here to visit the TBW summer camp webpage with more information and pricing.
PLEASE NOTE: Tampa Bay Watch Summer Camps fill up quickly. Sign up early to secure a spot for your kids.
For more information contact Katie Mastenbrook at(727)867-8166 x246.