August 2019

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Samantha Borosh, a former Corbett Prep student, teaches at the school her three kids attend. She shares tips for a magical first day of school on page 18.








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august 2019 12 // Horses that Heal The Bakas Equestrian Center, a local horse ranch near Westchase, is changing the lives of kids with physical or developmental disabilities. 14 // Moms to KNOW Julie Tingley of KNOW

Tampa and KNOW St. Pete/Clearwater introduces you to two moms who are spreading the message of positivity and empowerment.

16 // Make the Library Part of Your Family’s Routine this School Year Glazer Children’s

Museum encourages family visits to the library so your child can set off on the path to a lifetime of reading, learning and adventure.

22 // After the Bell See how the YMCA's afterschool programming is picking up where the school day leaves off. 24 // Clothes to Kids Kids in need can shop for free school clothing with dignity, thanks to a local non-profit.

26 // Libraries for the WIN Eight resources that make your local library a MUST GO destination all year long!

cover story

5 WAYS TO PREP YOUR CHILD FOR THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL Our guest editor Samantha Borosh, a teacher and mom of 3, shares her top tips for an amazing start to the school year.

fun with our handy guide and tips!

Tips, resources and ways to make it an amazing school year


47 // Family Day Dates Tara Payor shares

some of her family’s favorite ways to get out and connect in Tampa Bay!

48 // Bricks and Minifigs A love of LEGO fuels business for local veteran and father.

every issue

40 4

After Hours Pediatrics shares a checklist for families to ensure a healthy and happy school year.

44 // Dating with Toddlers It's possible and

begins on


35 // A Check List for Your Child’s Health

40 // Calling all Jedis Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opens this month at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We’re giving you the scoop on what to expect!

special section


28 // The Perks of Joining the PTA Getting involved in your child’s school’s PTA is a great way to stay connected and also make a difference in the lives of children in our community.


Publix delivered. For all your summer days. Item prices vary from in-store prices. Service fees may apply. Available in select zip codes. AUGUST 2019


GUEST EDITOR Samantha Borosh CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND EDITORIAL MANAGER Laura Byrne ASSOCIATE EDITOR Anu Varma Panchal EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sarah Stoulil CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Samantha Borosh Michelle Pratt Laura Byrne Ashley Williams Maggie Rodriguez Julie Tingley Lalita Llerena Jennifer Jacobs Jason Rogers Laura Cross Dr. Lou Romig Cassidy Gaudes Tara Payor, Ph.D. Candace Rotolo Johora Warren CALENDAR Cassidy Gaudes INTERN Cassidy Gaudes Jessica Blake ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Ralf Gonzalez Craig Collins



untouchable "magic" starts on the first day... As a teacher, I know all about first days of school! I love greeting the new families and welcoming back familiar faces. And as a mom, I’ve also experienced the excitement and anticipation of a new school year. With my oldest son Lucas, I was nervous in general for him to be starting school. It got a little less nerve-wracking when his younger brother Miles entered PreK. Now the boys are going into second and fourth grade, and their little sister Stella is getting ready for PreK3!

Based on my sons’ amazing first days – paired with their exciting school years – I only have excitement (without the nerves) for Stella to begin PreK3. I know all the incredible opportunities she has in store for her during the upcoming years. Corbett Prep remains a home for all of us. This is also where I went to elementary and middle school, back when it was Independent Day School. Now I have the chance to enjoy it as a teacher, alumna and parent. That special untouchable “magic” starts on the first day and has always continued throughout the year for my kids. I am so excited to be sending Stella to Corbett Prep for her first day of her first year!

Samantha Borosh

LAYOUT & DESIGN Nicole Barolo of Page Four Creative CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Darlene Barlows Photography Maggie Rodriguez BOOKKEEPING Employee of the Month, LLC TAMPA BAY PARENTING MAGAZINE 320 W. Kennedy Blvd. Ste. 220 Tampa, Florida 33606 Phone 813-949-4400 Fax 813-315-6688 BECOME A FAN tampabayparentingmagazine @tampabayparenting @TBParenting

Tampa Bay Parenting is published twelve times per year and distributed throughout the Tampa Bay community. Tampa Bay Parenting is not responsible for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or incorrect information (or the consequences related thereto) contained within the magazine or online; readers should not rely on any information contained in the magazine and they should always consult with an appropriate professional for guidance. Tampa Bay Parenting accepts no responsibility for the consequences of error or for any loss or damage suffered by users of any of the information or materials provided by Tampa Bay Parenting. Some content published by Tampa Bay Parenting is sponsored or paid for advertising content, and some individuals quoted or cited in articles have paid for advertising or sponsorships; this content or opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Tampa Bay Parenting.

6 AUGUST 2019

Samantha Borosh teaches a first- and secondgrade multiage class at Corbett Preparatory School of IDS. She attended Corbett Prep as a student and this year will have all three of her children enrolled at her alma mater.

Borosh with her husband, Nick, sons Lucas (9) and Miles (7), and 3-year-old daughter Stella.

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Meet our contributors

thank you advertisers and sponsors

Because of them, we are able to provide this family-friendly resource to you for FREE.

JULIE TINGLEY Julie Tingley is an 8-year


Tampa transplant who has

Cassidy Gaudes is the

found her way through

Tampa Bay Parenting

numerous professional and

Magazine intern. The New

Dr. Lou Romig is the Tampa Bay

parenting transitions by

Hampshire native will be a

medical director of After Hours

maintaining focus on her

senior at UT, where she's

daily inspirations: Ella, 5,

studying journalism with

and Kate, 2. With a vision

a minor in Spanish. She

of a better future for her

enjoys reading, writing,

pediatric emergency medicine and is one of the first group of

traveling and going on

physicians in the U.S. to earn that certification 30 years ago.

adventures. She's the A&E

She has won national, state and local awards for her work in

editor for UT's paper, The

educating EMS providers about how to take care of children

Maggie Rodriguez is a former

Minaret, and in the future,

and for her expertise and work in improving family, EMS and

network news anchor who

hopes to travel and write

hospital preparedness for disasters involving children and

now lives in South Tampa with

about world issues. Her


her husband and their two

main goal is to make a

children. She is best known


girls, she has introduced the KNOW Book + Tribe, a


women’s publication and community, to Tampa Bay.


Pediatrics Urgent Care. She is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in the specialty of

as the host of the nationallytelevised morning news program, The Early Show on CBS, as well as a substitute anchor on The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Since relocating to Tampa Bay, Rodriguez has been busy


rekindling her love for writing, Tara Payor, Ph.D. has a

volunteering and enjoying

doctorate in Curriculum

weekend adventures.



Candace Rotolo is principal

Jason Rogers is an

and Instruction. She is a

and founder of Point of

administrative librarian with

contributing faculty member

View Communications. She

the Tampa-Hillsborough

for Walden University,

specializes in media relations

County Public Libraries. He

where she guides doctoral

Ashley Williams is an educator

and media training, PR, content

has been a public librarian

students through their

at the Glazer Children’s Museum.

creation and blogging, and

since 2006 and works with

dissertations. She is also

She’s a Tampa native with a

works with clients throughout

students of all ages.

a language arts educator.

background in art history. When

Tampa Bay. She has been a

Reach her at

she isn’t educating, you can find

contributor to the Tampa Bay

her in a local museum or traveling

Times, a freelance producer for

to new destinations.

WEDU-TV, and spent nearly 20 years working as a broadcast


journalist and magazine editor.

Story idea? Are you a local blogger or writer? If you have a content idea or a story to tell, email us.

LALITA LLERENA As senior communications director, Lalita Llerena oversees all internal and external communications for the Tampa YMCA and YMCA of the Suncoast. Before starting her public relations career, Lalita managed a 24-hour local TV news team as an executive producer. Prior to her nine years in the Tampa/St. Petersburg market, Lalita produced, reported and anchored for TV and radio outlets in Orlando and Gainesville. She lives in Riverview with her


husband, Danny, their daughter, Daniella, and son, Logan. AUGUST 2019




AUGUST By Michelle Pratt of





Beep beep! Our favorite part of the


school year is about to be in full swing --

YEAR! We’re sharing some of our favorite things that


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We came across these at Target and were thrilled to

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find an alternate to plastic baggies. It’s a great way to

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reduce your family’s use of

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without a booster and are typically at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall (and between


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to an adult seatbelt.


5/ The front seat is for teenagers! While

These see-through bags are a great way to organize a backpack,

our kids may like to think they're adults

diaper bag or purse! Fill them with school supplies, diapers or toys.

(eye roll), their undeveloped bones and

You name it, the bags can take it! Again, this is another way to reduce

muscles are not ready for the impact of a

the use of single use plastic bags. Sets of 3.

the ages of 10-12) before they graduate

you’d rather go that

200 mph airbag. 6/ If the car is moving, your child should not be. Make sure kids stay buckled until 7/ When it’s time for pickup, don’t


drive away until all kids are seated

We love these shoes so

and buckled in properly. If teachers are

much! Light up shoes are

motioning you to get a move on, find the

still the rage among some

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kids, but what makes these

it's their turn to hop out.



different is that they were


8/ If any child is riding in your car, you're

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responsible for their safety. Before they

but also have an on/off

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jump in, determine all safe seating

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Choose between the #BFF pattern featuring

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colors to choose from for

a unicorn and rainbows, or the #BRAVE

additional car seat safety devices for

girls and boys.

shoe with ‘I am the Future’ messaging on

harnesses and check booster riders' seatbelt positioning.


10 AUGUST 2019

Saucony Flash Glow shoes

the back.


Award-Winning Hillsborough County Public Schools


Florida Teacher of the Year


At Hillsborough County Public Schools, we’re passionate about music and the arts. As one of only five statewide finalists for Florida Teacher of the Year, Dr. Dakeyan Graham, Director of Instrumental Studies at King High School, understands that a love of music is a critical part of a well-rounded education. Led by teachers like Dr. Graham, a stunning 96% of Hillsborough Schools high schools received superior or excellent ratings in recent district-level band, chorus and orchestra competition. We know music helps our students grow and step into the spotlight. Hillsborough Schools offers elementary, middle and high school music classes with fully certified music teachers. From band, chorus, orchestra, jazz ensemble, show choir, percussion, guitar, keyboard, eurhythmics and music theory to our Little Kids Rock/Modern Band program and World Drumming—students at every level have the opportunity to perform and compete at the state and national levels.

Hillsborough Schools are established and proven, but also educating on the cutting edge. AUGUST 2019




A Tampa Bay program offers hope to kids with disabilities Story and pictures by Maggie Rodriguez

ucked away behind winding roads in a Westchase residential neighborhood lies a hidden treasure: 23 breathtaking acres punctuated by mature oak trees, grazing horses and a serene lake running through perfectly manicured grounds. It’s home to Bakas Equestrian Center, where horseback riding changes lives. “This is the one place in her life where there’s no complication,” says Nancy Kafka, watching her 16-year-old daughter, Ally, ride her favorite horse, Heineken. “She just gets on the horse and she can be who she is, and everything is good. That doesn’t happen a lot in the rest of her world.” Ally has autism. When she rode a horse for the first time at the age of 8, she could barely piece together a sentence. “After just one lesson, she babbled the whole way home,” Nancy says. “I knew instantly that she would continue riding.” Eight years later, a well-spoken, confident Ally says there’s nowhere she’d rather be than on a horse. “I feel awesome. Everything is not piling on my shoulders. I feel relaxed and comfortable.” “Our goal is just to be able to enrich the lives of as many people with disabilities as possible,” says the facility’s general manager, Jennifer West. Over 31 years, Bakas has provided lessons to riders with physical or developmental disabilities. The program is supported by Hillsborough County, so the cost is uncharacteristically low for horseback riding— just $10 for a 30-minute lesson. Anyone above the age of 4 can apply and get on the schedule, as long as a doctor signs off that the participant is healthy enough to handle riding. Thanks to a large staff, everyone gets individualized attention during group sessions. Research backs the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding, but West says her own experience is all the proof she needs. She remembers a student with cerebral palsy who went from barely being able to move his legs when he started riding to walking almost entirely on his own a year later. “His parents attributed that fully to horseback riding,” she says. It makes sense, she adds, since sitting upright on a horse engages and strengthens the same muscles in the core, thighs and hips that are used to walk. The change has also been dramatic for 16-year-old Gigi Zaccagnino, who has mild cerebral palsy and is legally blind. Her mother says that riding has significantly improved Gigi’s posture, balance and overall strength. But it’s her confidence that’s seen the biggest boost. When a teen volunteer remarks on what a great rider she is, Gigi proudly exclaims— “Yes I am!” As she revels in the compliment from her peer, Gigi smiles to herself and says this was the “best day ever.” On this afternoon, riding has given her what is all too rare for most of these kids: a sense of pride and accomplishment and the assurance that life does offer opportunities to succeed and be happy.


LEFT Gigi Zaccagnino with teen volunteers


ABOVE Ally Kafka and her horse, “Heineken”


SCHOOL Shop Tax Free Weekend Aug. 2-6

*Sales tax exemption valid towards footwear and handbags selling for $60 or less per item. Tax Free Event from 8/02/19-8/06/19.






Comp. at $40 Boys & Girls DYNA AIR

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ST. PETERSBURG 7121 22nd Ave N Mon-Sat 10am-9pm | Sun 11am-6pm CLEARWATER MALL 2675 Gulf to Bay Blvd Mon-Sat 10am-9pm | Sun 11am-6pm BRANDON 328 Brandon Town Center Dr Mon-Sat 10am-8pm | Sun 11am-6pm



moms meet two Tampa mamas who spread messages of empowerment By Julie Tingley, KNOW Tampa and KNOW St. Pete/Clearwater

With the start of the new school season, the first games of the football season, and the early introduction to Pumpkin Spice Latte season, there’s no question that August marks a month of exciting new beginnings for 2019. And if there was ever a pair from the KNOW Tampa Book + Tribe that know a little something about fresh starts, it’s Melanie Griffin and Alyssa Rhoads. From giant leaps within their professional careers to fulfill a personal passion to leading the charge in the Tampa community for effecting positive change and spreading empowerment, these two inspiring women prove that they are moms to KNOW!

Image by Shana Mitchell, Shana Mitchell Photography



14 AUGUST 2019

SPREAD YOUR SUNSHINE Alyssa Rhoads is an award-winning event planner/producer with over a decade of experience who has built a name for herself and her company, Eventing Tampa Bay. Since pursuing her dream in 2013 to become a business owner, Rhoads has worked with some of the largest companies and nonprofit organizations and has earned several accolades. These include: BizBash Magazine’s Corporate Event Planner of the Year, Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Up and Comer honoree, Business Woman of the Year finalist and Best in the Biz Reader’s Choice Top 5 Favorite Event Planner for 5 consecutive years. Rhoads founded a networking organization called the Professional Philanthropy Network (PPN) in 2012. PPN gives back to deserving charitable causes through monthly happy hour networking events and has raised over $100,000 since its inception. Rhoads is happily married and the mother of two girls who are regular guests at her annual signature event, “Mommy & Me High Tea” party, a pre-Mother’s Day affair that has sold out each year. This year, she turned this spectacular celebration into a charity event to benefit Redefining Refuge, a nonprofit organization lead by fellow KNOW Tampa woman, Natasha Nascimento. It was a sincerely heartwarming collaboration, a wildly successful gathering and an unforgettable day for many mothers and children in Tampa Bay.

Passionate leader. Confidence builder. Role model. A champion for the advancement of women, Melanie Griffin is a motivational speaker and author, social media and personal branding guru, sought-after mentor, business consultant and stationery-maven-turned-inspirationalproducts designer. In 2017, she expanded her ability to effect positive change by founding Spread Your Sunshine, which empowers females to break the glass ceiling and achieve their dreams. Known for her boundless energy, uplifting spirit, bright colors and love of sunshine, her meaningful work was celebrated through her receipt of the TBBJ Business Woman of the Year Angie’s Award and FSU Notable Nole Award (2016); GSWCF Woman of Promise Award, FSU Inspire Award, and FSU College of Business Recent Alumni Achievement Award (2017); and Florida Bar YLD Outstanding Woman Lawyer of Achievement Award (2018). Griffin’s mission is energizing others to spread their sunshine, allowing all to find joy and grow the best in themselves. And this year, she made her mission her full-time focus. If you noticed that the sun felt more radiant this past season in Tampa Bay than ever before, it’s because this incredible leader has been working diligently to shine it forward.

LEARN MORE about the KNOW Tampa book at

Image by Kristin Berry, The Dashing Ginger

Melanie Griffin

12th annual BACK TO SCHOOL FAIR inside the mall! ‘s

• Get your school shopping done during the Sales-Tax Holiday Weekend.

vEnt! E R o o d n I FREE

• First 500 kids receive a Free Backpack Sponsored by the Tampa Bay Bucaneers! • Characters, Face Painters, Entertainment, Giveaways and More!

Saturday, August 3, 2019 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. WestShore Plaza Presented by:



book learning The Farm exhibit at GCM has a book nook to read about plants, animals, and where our food comes from.



16 AUGUST 2019

shows that poetry for children can help develop creative language skills and thinking—an added benefit. When choosing which books to bring home, pick out some together but also allow your child to choose their own. Some of my favorite books to bring home were crafting and science experiment books. While they’re not stories, I was interested in the topics and read them intensely. Pick out a book for yourself too. Your child is always watching, so modeling positive reading practices will encourage them to want to read too! Having a designated location for the family’s library books sets a precedent for the importance of reading. The shelves on our television stand are where we keep our library books. Having them present in our living room acts as a reminder to ask each other our thoughts on the book we are reading, and we’ll often find ourselves choosing to read for the evening instead of watching television. Implementing a library routine now will help your child continue reading through the school year. Research shows that reading during the summer helps children stay on grade level. Beyond that, summer is a great time to have experiences out in your community. My childhood library hosted different weekly shows from reptile experts to one-man circus performances. At the library there is always something new to experience and discuss with your children. It’s never too early to get your child excited about books, so this August, initiate your child’s love of the library by getting them their own library card and starting a reading routine that will set the stage for a lifetime as a reader.

Photo from Glazer Museum, undefined

ack to school is such an exciting time of year, with new teachers, new schools and new books. Books were a prevalent part of my life growing up. It was always a highlight of my summer to go to the library, trekking home with a paper grocery bag full of books and a new bookmark. Making library trips a part of your family’s routine will help cultivate lifelong readers, so give it a try for the new school year. Libraries should be a positive place for your child and treating your trip as an adventure is one way to set that tone. Let your child lead the way when you walk in and discover what the library has to offer together. My local library has a dedicated reading room for children, complete with bean bag chairs, brightly colored murals and a small slide to make the space welcoming and a bit more familiar to younger guests. Once you have explored the library, take advantage of the vast collection of books. It is a great opportunity to introduce new and diverse authors and cultures, as well as experiment with different types of genres. I know from photographs that my mother and I read many stories together, but what I distinctly remember reading are poems. I loved the sing-song nature of the poems and I bounced along as my mother read. Furthermore, research


We’re raising the

Imagination Generation!

Read Together!

The month of August at GCM is all about reading! Celebrate childhood literacy with visiting authors, illustration lessons, and special story times!

110 W Gasparilla Plaza Downtown Tampa

Illustrate Stories! AUGUST 2019







TO PREP YOUR CHILD By Samantha Borosh


nviting reading nooks. Cubbies brightly labeled with each student’s name. Learning centers stocked with colorful art supplies, puzzles, blocks and more. As parents approach the door with cameras ready, smiling teachers and cheerful classrooms wait, ready to welcome a new class. The first day of school is an occasion worth celebrating every year. But for students starting school for the first time ever, it’s an exciting – and maybe overwhelming – milestone. While you may look forward to the


friendships, independence and discoveries that await your future scholar, enrolling in school also means leaving the comforts of home and adjusting to different routines. Teachers know families often struggle with conflicting emotions as their kids embark on new adventures in prekindergarten. A little preparation ahead of time can help the first day and the days following run smoothly. Corbett Prep teachers offer their top 5 tips to help families make a positive transition to student life.




gone in minutes; sometimes it takes a few days. “Separation anxiety is normal,” says Corbett Prep PreK3 teacher Lauren Fopp. “Trust your teacher, and they will handle it.” Parents want to walk their children to their classrooms on the first day(s) of school. But long goodbyes at the door can make those first few mornings difficult. Give your child a hug and a kiss, and then make your exit. Most of the time, even a sobbing child will calm down quickly once he or she can focus on new friends or interactive learning centers and will mimic other students who are adjusting more easily. And if you are tempted to sneak a peek in the classroom window, try to stay hidden. A glimpse of mom or dad can start the waterworks again.



books today help children process complicated feelings. Scholastic’s online list “14 Books to Get Kids Excited About the First Day of Kindergarten” offers recommendations appropriate for younger children. Fopp loves Audrey Penn’s “The Kissing Hand” with its sweet message of a raccoon mother who reassures her nervous kid with a kiss. The raccoon tells her son he can hold that kiss in his hand and press it on his cheek when he needs a reminder of her love. To introduce themselves and ease the transition before the start of school, the Corbett Prep’s kindergarten team shares “The Night Before Kindergarten,” a sweet take on the classic Christmas poem, with their incoming students via video before the start of school. The kindergarten teachers read the re-imagined story together and email the video to families.

Images from Corbett Prep



MAKE A “HUG BUTTON.” A mom in England

shared online a clever idea to give a child an instant connection to home: Draw a “hug button” on your child’s hand. She drew matching hearts on her hand and her 4-year-old son’s hand and told him he could press the heart to send a hug to her anytime during the day, and she would do the same. The idea went viral, and for good reason. Like the “Kissing Hand,” a thoughtful reminder such as the “hug button” gives kids a tangible way to feel connected when they are away. Fopp also suggests students pack a family photo in their tote bag to peek at if needed.


A relaxed summer routine is great until you have to get out the door on time in the morning. A few weeks before school begins, gradually shift your schedule to mirror school days. If your family is used to leisurely mornings, your adjustment to the school year will go better if you start waking up at a set time and having breakfast right away. Students in Corbett Prep’s Early Primary classes – PreK3, PreK4 and kindergarten – have busy days packed with learning, play, arts and physical education and are often famished by the time their snack break rolls around. It’s important for students to arrive at school having eaten something because they will be burning a lot of energy during the day. Spending some weeks in advance of school helping kids acclimate to eating at a certain time of day will help when that school day alarm clock goes off. Find out when snack and lunch time are and move toward that schedule as well.


Occasionally, the second day may pose more of a challenge than the first, says kindergarten teacher Marla Vildostegui. Excitement and special firstday-of-school activities can carry students through day one. But new students may be surprised to find out they are returning every day! If your first dropoff was great and the second a struggle, just give it time. Stick to your routine, make sure your kids head to bed early and be ready to offer extra hugs and reassurance. Before you know it, you will all feel like school is a natural part of your family’s week. It’s also possible that your child is more than ready to begin his or her school career. You may be the one who needs help coping with the transition. “It’s almost always harder for the parents than the kids,” Vildostegui says. If that’s the case, try to remember that you chose this school for a reason. Your child is in great hands, surrounded by teachers who value them in an environment that introduces them to the wonders of learning. AUGUST 2019


PreK3-8th Grade

Call for a personal tour! (813) 961-3087 12015 Orange Grove Drive Tampa, Florida 33618 20 AUGUST 2019


ildren h c d l o -year 4 culum r i o r f r u E c E e FR opriat r p p a y entall m p uctors o r l t e s v n i De d qualifie d n a d tiale sizes s s a l c Creden agable n a m e r , mo Limited ment! l l o r n e line Easy on

For more info rmation on e ligibility and enrollment, visit us at ww or call 813-9 06-5041.


Prepare your child for successful entry into kindergarten!

Our NEW add ress is: 6302 E. Dr. M LK Jr. Blvd., S uite 100 Tampa, FL 33 619 AUGUST 2019



AFTER the bell By Lalita Llerena

The YMCA's afterschool programming picks up where the school day leaves off

hen the school bell rings, many students and teachers call it a day. But for the YMCAs of Tampa Bay, it signals the start of some of their most important work. When it comes to preparing children to succeed, what happens outside the classroom is just as important as what happens inside. In fact, studies show participation in out-of-school enrichment helps boost school attendance and academic performance. The Y’s before and afterschool programming is much more than childcare. As the nation’s largest school-age childcare provider, the YMCAs of Tampa Bay provide a wholesome environment where trained instructors provide academic enrichment and homework help while caring for the total child. This benefits the entire family by infusing successful values in every student. At the same time, every child receives healthy snacks and participates in fun, physical activity as part of the Y’s commitment to fight childhood obesity. With an emphasis on caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, Y programs include character development, international education, health and fitness, environmental awareness, school readiness, diversity and community service. In Hillsborough County, the Tampa YMCA conveniently offers its Before and Afterschool Enrichment at 25 public elementary schools and four Y facilities. This year’s newly-enhanced curriculum offers project-based learning with a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math). Trained and experienced staff engage students in cultural arts and service learning projects. Children also participate in an evidence-based physical fitness and health curriculum. Free healthy snacks are served daily with group discussions about nutrition. Participating families also have access to family programming at their local Y. Under new leadership, the Tampa Y’s revamped curriculum promotes positive social and emotional experiences while reducing behavior concerns. “At the Y, children are cultivating the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement - all while having FUN,” says Executive Director Sarah Hays, of Before and Afterschool Enrichment. In Northern Pinellas, Pasco, Citrus and Hernando counties, the YMCA of the Suncoast partners with local school districts to offer Before and Afterschool Programs in 60 school sites. Well-trained staff provide safe, affordable, high-quality programs so you can have peace of mind while you work. Children engage in activities that benefit them emotionally, socially and physically. In Southern Pinellas County, the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg has a long history of helping children grow in spirit, mind and body through their programs at 23 public elementary and middle schools and three Y resource centers. In addition, several programs offer expanded educational enrichment, such as YMCA Reads!, Prodigy Cultural Arts Program and Y Achievers academic program. These offerings encourage youth to become the leaders of tomorrow through fun programs that help develop important social, scholastic and critical thinking skills.


To ensure everyone has a chance to benefit from out-of-school programs, the Y offers scholarships to qualified families. To see how your kids can learn, grow and thrive at the Y, visit and select the location most convenient to you! And if you’re interested in joining the Tampa Y’s Afterschool team, check out available positions at tampaymca. org/jobs. The Tampa Y is an equal opportunity employer and drug-free workplace. Images from YMCA

22 AUGUST 2019

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•Challenging Academics •Competitive Athletics •Performing and Visual Arts •Foreign Language Instruction •Religious Education •Advanced Technology •Video Production Activities •Global Studies •Community Service •Exciting Enrichment Opportunities

Please join Admission Information Night November 4, 7 p.m. us at our Monday, Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade 2101 S. Hubert Avenue, Tampa (813) 258-5508


BE R K E L E Y P R E P. OR G / OP E NHOU S E An Independent Episcopal Day School for Boys and Girls in Pre-K to Grade 12




clothes to kids CHANGE A WARDROBE, CHANGE A LIFE By Jennifer Jacobs, Executive Director of Clothes to Kids, Inc.

ode Frisbie Eye and Marie Bouchard McClung created Clothes To Kids, Inc. out of a passion for helping children in need. Their idea was to provide a cheerful store environment where families and children could shop with dignity and respect and receive school clothing free of charge. More than 175,000 kids in the Tampa Bay area are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. These are the students who shop at Clothes To Kids. Research shows that children who go to school wearing clothes that make them feel like they fit in perform better academically than those who do not. We want all our kids to go to school feeling good about themselves and ready to learn!


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT OR SHOP AT CLOTHES TO KIDS, VISIT CLOTHESTOKIDS.COM. Clothes To Kids, Inc. operates in the Tampa Bay area serving both Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties with stores located in Clearwater (2003), St. Pete (2009) and Tampa (2018). To date, Clothes To Kids, Inc. has distributed more than 142,000 wardrobes to kids in our communities, all free of charge, but we cannot do it without your help! Clothes To Kids needs YOU! Clothes To Kids needs your clothes, time, enthusiasm and expertise to clothe kids in our community. Donations can be dropped off at any of our store locations (Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Tampa) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday, or in a clothing bin at each store for use after hours.

GOT KIDS CLOTHES? WE NEED 'EM! WHAT IS CLOTHES TO KIDS? We are a non-profit organization where kids eligible for free or reduced price lunch or in crisis shop for a week's worth of clothes, free of charge.


Kids clothes (sizes 4 - 16) Adult size clothes (think pre-teens & teens) Young women - sizes 0 to 22 Young men - sizes 18 to 26 New underwear and socks Shoes: children's size 9 to adult Bras, belts, purses, hats, jewelry, and backpacks

WHERE TO BRING? Clearwater Store 1059 N Hercules Ave Clearwater, FL 33765 727-441-5050


St. Pete Store 2168 34th Street S St. Pete, FL 33765 727-441-5050 AUGUST 2019

Tampa Store 5011-H W Hillsborough Ave Tampa, FL 33634Â 813-616-6430


CALL NOW TO SCHEDULE A VISIT! Mention “TBP Ad” to receive a surprise gift at your visit!

September 10 (10am-noon) September 17 (10am-noon and 5pm-7pm) September 24 (10am-noon)

813.839.4297 3909 South MacDill Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33611 @bcstampa

LIBRARIES By Jason Rogers

n August, a summer filled with exploration, family time and fun gives way to the hustle and bustle of back to school. Reading hours are tallied and summer reading celebrations wrap up. Goals for summer learning are achieved and we count the days to the start of a new school year. As you purchase supplies, plan lunches and pack bags, remember to include the library in your back-to-school planning. Check out these easy-touse library resources to support student success.




resources to support your student's success


through a live online tutoring service with Students log in and start a help session on any subject from a computer at home or at the library. During a session, students can upload a photo of a homework assignment and then work through the assignment with an experienced tutor. The interactions are anonymous with no personal information shared. hcplc. org/research/homework-help

READ STORIES ABOUT THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL to help ease nerves of first-time

HELP YOUR STUDENT COMPLETE ASSIGNED READING LISTS THROUGH A NEW APPROACH . Try streaming or downloading the must-read titles for listening around the house or on the go.



(Hillsborough All Access Library) Pass to access tutors and other resources. Take practice tests, find research articles and borrow eBooks with HAAL Pass.

26 AUGUST 2019



4 6


help restore bedtimes and ensure students get enough sleep.


educational and enriching experiences together. Students of all ages can participate in a variety of after school programs. STEM, maker and craft classes, gaming events and movie showings are a small sample of the many programs offered. Slime making without the clean-up.

The school year moves quickly and before you know it, students will be working on science fair projects. LOOK TO

THE LIBRARY FOR BOOKS ON PROJECT IDEAS AND EASY EXPERIMENTS. Print and digital tools are available for researching scientific concepts and writing papers.


images from Hillsborough CountY Public Libraries , Karolina Madej, /Mai Vu, /Helen_Field


students, provide reassurance, and help students adjust to the school environment.

Take your lunchpacking skills to the next level with

A values-based education in South Tampa for grades K(4) to 8th.


Contact Admissions for information on how to apply.

Experience the “Academy Difference.” Conquering the world takes a lot of practice. We offer a different way to prep.

PREPared for Life

PreK3 - Grade 12

Contact us to schedule a private tour. | (813) 909-7919 | AUGUST 2019


the perks

OF JOINING THE PTA E By Laura Cross, Hillsborough County Schools

ducation, curriculum, report cards—think of that as the meat and potatoes of a school. The teachers and staff are all over this. Muffins with Mom, fundraisers, Spirit Nights—think of that as the dessert. They’re awesome extras that make school magical, but the school’s staff members are all busy making those meat and potatoes. The PTA is the one who serves up all that delicious, magical dessert! Michelle Spiess is the president of the Parent Teacher Association at Collins Elementary School in Riverview. She went to her first meeting eight years ago when her oldest was in kindergarten. Immediately, she knew it was an important place for her to be. “I just wanted to be active in my child’s school,” Spiess says. “I think it’s a good way to know what’s going on in the school, meet friends and get to know the teachers and the staff. I like being able to be there for the kids and help the teachers.” Spiess admits that being president of the PTA, or even serving on the board, may not be for everyone. As president, she is at Collins constantly, and when she’s not there, she’s usually working on a PTA project from home. She compares it to a really rewarding full-time job. But it doesn’t have to be that way—for volunteers, there is zero commitment. Some parents simply collect box tops for fundraising, others volunteer during conference nights and others will help get sponsors for the school’s big events. Regardless of involvement, the benefits of belonging to the PTA are plenty. First and foremost, you are on the ground floor of your child’s education. You know what’s going on at the school, and, even more importantly, you have a say. You are also in a position to HELP your child’s school. Fundraisers are a crucial part of the PTA’s mission. Spiess is very proud of the improvements the PTA’s fundraisers have brought to Collins. Thanks to the PTA (at some schools, it’s called the PTSA), Collins has sun shades for its playgrounds, new testing computers for the media center, $10,000 worth of library books and overhead projectors in every classroom. But this final benefit may be the key. According to the National Parent Teacher Association, no matter their income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to have higher grades and test scores, have better social skills and adapt better to school. And, as Spiess says, being part of the PTA can be a lot of fun! “I hear women saying they have a hard time making friends at this age because they are consumed in their house, family and jobs. Joining the PTA lets you meet other parents that have kids around your child’s age and who share the same mindset as you—of wanting to do what they can to improve their child’s school!”

28 AUGUST 2019 Karolina Madej




Years of


Register NOW for the Fall


©2019 Panera Bread. All Rights Reserved.







DANCE • THEATER • MUSIC 30 813.222.1040 AUGUST 2019



k r k a r a D D r e r t e f t A f A e c e n c e n i e SS cc i Friday, August 23 rd • 6pm to 9pm Jealous of your kids always having fun at camp? Now it’s your turn! MOSI is offering a fun, hands-on experience for adults over the age of 18. Explore your inner child with exciting science activities ranging from rockets, robots, astronomy and more! Join us from 6pm–9pm for an out of this world experience!

Tickets include:

Light Appetizers • Beer and Wine Samplings MOSI Exhibits • Hands-On Activities


Adult - $14.95 • Member - $12.95

In addition to exhibits:

Rockets • Occulus Rift Beat Saber Station • Van de Graaff • Liquid Nitrogen Demos

Purchase tickets at or call 813-987-6000 today! 4 8 0 1 E A S T F O W L E R AV E • TA M P A • 8 1 3 - 9 8 7 - 6 000 • MOSI.ORG AUGUST 2019 31

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Summer Camps ctivities A ly d n ie r F y il m Fa s Birthday Partie Kid’s Night Out

730 S. Village Circle, Tampa, Fl 33606 813-258-8368



! g n i l l o r n E w







Project-based Learning • Mentorship Program • Power Hour Development Period • Whole Development of Students • Integration of 21st Century Knowledge and Skills • 600 Student Enrollment Capacity


I-75 and S. Fowler Ave., | Off of U.S. 301 | Tampa, Florida | | AUGUST 2019

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Lose up to 10 pounds the first week and up to 20 pounds the first month!†

FREE ASSESSMENT Brandon: 813.654.1110 Lutz: 813.909.1700 Tampa: 813.473.2973

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†On average, patients compliant with the Medi-Weightloss Program lose 6.4 pounds the first week and 14 pounds the first month. Rapid weight loss may be associated with certain medical conditions and should only be considered by those who are medically appropriate. © 2019 Medi IP, LLC. All Rights Reserved. ®

Who We Are

Pediatric Cardiology Associates provides unsurpassed, state-of-the-art medical care with compassion and understanding spanning the life of a child, from before a baby is born through adulthood. We believe in our vision and values just as strongly now as we did when our practice originated in 1977. Based in Tampa Bay our cardiology team provides comprehensive cardiac care at convenient locations and through-out all of West and Central Florida.

Our Programs

Fetal / Perinatal Cardiology Adults with Congenital Heart Disease Non-Invasive Cardiology Pacemaker Clinic Interventional Cardiology Cardiomyopathy Clinic Sports Clearance Electrophysiology / Arrhythmia Syncope Clinic Pre-and-Post Cardiac Surgery Management Preventive Cardiology & Weight Managment

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Offices Brandon Clearwater Lakeland North Tampa

Sarasota St. Petersburg Tampa Wesley Chapel

Toll-Free: (877) 537-4787 HIllsborough: (813) 554-8701 Pinellas: (727)322-4830 Polk: (863) 614-0769


A CHECKLIST FOR YOUR CHILD’S HEALTH By Dr. Lou Romig, Medical Director, After Hours Pediatrics Urgent Care

Obtain school and sports physicals and update vaccinations as needed. If your child takes medication every day, make sure you have an adequate supply. If your child takes prescription medications only when necessary (such as allergy medications), make sure you have it stocked at home so your child doesn’t need to wait for a doctor’s appointment to get the medication when it’s needed. Start moving your child’s sleep and wake times to their school year hours 1-2 weeks ahead of time. Cutting off all screen time at least one hour before bed will help your child fall asleep faster. Cell phones should be turned off at night. Emphasize to your child the importance of hand washing/sanitizing as a way to keep from getting sick. Teach them to let you or a teacher know if they’re not feeling well. Try to ensure that your child gets a healthy breakfast on school days.

Preparing for your children to go to school in the fall means more than buying new clothes and school supplies. Here’s a checklist of a few things that will help your child stay healthy and happy during the school year.

Ask your child if they have any concerns or fears about starting school. Let them know you hear them and are always willing to listen and help when you can. If your child has food or other allergies and is old enough to understand their allergy, make sure they know what to avoid. If your child has had or may have anaphylaxis (a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction) and has been prescribed an epinephrine autoinjector, make sure they have it with them or that it’s kept in the school office or clinic. Make appropriate arrangements with the school to have medications like epinephrine (“Epi-Pen”) and albuterol inhalers available for your child and/or staff to use. Ask if there’s always someone at school who knows how to use an Epi-Pen. Remind your children about the dangers of heat and dehydration. Athletes should not be compelled to overexert themselves in the late summer and fall heat. Talk to your school’s coaches and/or athletic trainers about their policies about exertion in the heat and access to adequate hydration during activities. Make sure middle and high school Athletic/PE Departments have an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Make sure your child’s school has all appropriate emergency contact information as well as your child’s medical information. Let them know which hospital you prefer your child to go to in an emergency. Speak with your child about their knowledge about bullying and ask if they’ve ever been bullied. Know your school’s policies on bullying.



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A NEW Pediatric ER for your family’s emergencies! Tailored exclusively for young patients, the Pediatric Center at Brandon Regional Hospital provides advanced pediatric care for kids of all ages.

As your family grows, our Pediatric Center experts are here for you:

All NEW Pediatric ER with dedicated entrance and family areas Advanced Pediatric Inpatient and Intensive Care Units Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) NICU and Pediatric Surgical Care from All Children’s Specialty Physicians

For more information on the Pediatric Center, or to find a pediatric specialist for your child call (813) 653-1065. 38 AUGUST 2019

119 Oakfield Drive I Brandon, Florida






EVER DREAMED OF OWNING YOUR OWN LIGHTSABER AND EXPERIENCING A RUN WITH HAN SOLO? NOW, YOU CAN. ack in August 2015, Disney announced plans for a Star Wars Land in Disneyland and Disney World. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in Disneyland on May 31, 2019 and the Galaxy’s Edge in Orlando’s Hollywood Studios is set to open Aug. 29, 2019. The parks are both 14 acres and look almost identical. Star Wars fans can now visit the planet of Batuu, a planet on the Outer Rim, and live the life of their favorite characters, if only for a few hours. Batuu has never been seen in a Star Wars film, so fans will get to see a new world for the first time and explore all that it has to offer! Image from Disney Parks



1 RIDE MILLENNIUM FALCON: SMUGGLERS RUN Upon arriving at Batuu, guests will see a to-scale Millennium Falcon. Fly in the spaceship that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, making it the fastest spaceship in the galaxy, as you try to deliver smuggled goods without getting caught. Riders can be pilots, gunners or engineers on their flight around the galaxy in Han Solo’s spaceship. Image by Joshua Sudock/Disney Parks


BUILD A LIGHTSABER The lightsaber is one of the Jedi’s most important weapons and guests to Galaxy’s Edge can build their own. Ask an employee outside Savi’s Workshop if you can peek at the options, provided there are not any stormtroopers around, and receive a time to build. Once inside, you can see a show


LOOK FOR HIDDEN GEMS AND PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL Star Wars enthusiasts will find plenty of hidden gems in Batuu to get excited about. Try and spot a dianoga, the octopus-like creature that tried to eat Luke in the famous trash compactor scene in Episode IV (Hint: Look up into the tank above the water fountain in the Black Spire Outpost). At Resistance Supply, true fans may want to examine the ration kit, which is based off Mark Hamill’s recollections.

40 AUGUST 2019

and receive all the materials needed for each new Jedi to make their lightsaber. When everyone has finished, guests will lift their sabers up together and feel the force within. At the Droid Depot, guests can design and make an interactive droid that they can take with them on their quest around Batuu and home.

USE THE DISNEY PARKS APP The Disney Parks Mobile App is fully integrated with Galaxy’s Edge so guests can turn the app into a Star Wars: Datapad. From there, they can earn galactic points for things they do within Batuu. The app will let guests interact with specific droids, scan things and collect items, translate Star Wars languages and pick up on character’s conversations. The app also has a multiplayer game, “Outpost Control,” where guests can work as the Resistance or the First Order and help their team hack into the opposing side’s door panel for some ultra-secret spying!

Image by Richard Harbaugh/Disney Parks


SHOP IN THE BLACK SPIRE OUTPOST The Black Spire Outpost is Batuu’s prime shopping market and one of the last places to get supplies before entering Wild Space. The Outpost has an array of stores with items ranging from plush creatures, Star Wars clothing and more. Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiques sells rare items from across the universe, including Princess Leia’s necklace.


OGA’S CANTINA Take a break and grab a drink at the local cantina. The drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are made with ingredients from all around the galaxy, so the variety of drinks depends on the time of day. This bustling cantina is the perfect place to swap stories about adventures throughout the galaxy, and patrons never know who they are going to meet. Remember: Luke met Han in a cantina on Tatooine.

The Magic of Dance Awaits! Enrolling Now Ongoing enrollment Drop by our current location Plantation Town Center, 4802 Gunn Hwy. Ste 158 or call 813-933-9321

Be a part of the magic! Like us on Facebook @frankreydance



Plastic Bags

• Automated equipment cannot remove items from plastic bags • Plastic bags tangle up processing equipment

Ruin Recycling

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KISS A GATOR 60+ Alligators and Crocodiles 30+ additional reptiles and small mammals Atlantic Stingrays and Tropical Fish 95% Rescued animals or surrendered pets

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keeping children safe dUring hUrricane season Florida’s Hurricane season runs From June 1st-november 30tH.

Whether you are evacuating to avoid a hurricane, or staying home, here are some safety tips to avoid a 100% preventable death due to Infant Unsafe Sleep and Drowning.

Use this checklist as yoU

prepare for the hUrricane season. • Pack ‘n Play or bassinet: Providing a safe sleep environment for infants is always important. Use a tight-fitting crib sheet and remember the ABCs of Safe Infant Sleep: Alone, on their Backs, and in a Crib. • Barriers: Install a pool or yard fence to prevent children from accessing bodies of water when doors are propped open for generators or air flow. • Hidden drowning hazards: Eliminate drowning hazards by immediately draining buckets, pets’ water bowls, baby pools or any other standing water. Children can drown in as little as 1 inch of water.





44 AUGUST 2019

Story and images by Johora Warren

ating with a toddler is difficult. Dating with TWO toddlers feels darn near impossible. Baby-sitting can be a costly option that just isn’t accessible to everyone. What does this leave us with? Sitting together on the couch in baggy sweats, watching TV while the kiddos run amok? NO! Listen to me. It does NOT have to be this way. BACK AWAY FROM THE SWEATPANTS. #nosweatpantscouples Don’t get me wrong- Netflix and Chill certainly has its merits. (Netflix is killin’ it with their new original romcoms!) But, just because you’re a parent does not mean your dating life needs to become a thing of the past. It’s going to look a bit different- and that’s ok! To begin, of course, you should absolutely try to plan at least one date night a month sans children. Schedule these way in advance to account for finding reliable daycare, whether that be through grandparents, aunties or a babysitter through a reputable website. Make sure nothing gets in the way of these solo dates as they are without a doubt fewer and more far between than years past. Next, there are plenty of ways to date WITH your children but not WITH WITH your children. Let me explain. Purposely schedule outings with your toddlers during nap times. While they sleep peacefully in your arms, lay them comfortably in their stroller or in a makeshift cot—or on a chair or towel by the pool or at the beach—so you and your partner can have some one-on-one time unpacking the latest Avengers movie you were able to schedule during your monthly date night. Also, just so you know, my OBGYN totally gave the A-OKAY on bringing my newborn to the movies. She said the newborn to 3-month-old stage is actually the best time to go because they mostly sleep all day! * Now, without further ado, let’s discuss how to date “WITH WITH” your toddlers! First, you need to change your perspective a bit. While toting toddlers along can be a drag sometimes, (#threenager)


Image from Legoland Florida

it can also be hilarious and fun! The trick is to find events the entire family can enjoy. For example, my son and my husband love Legos so we take family outings to Legoland Florida. My 3-year-old runs around and gets on several rides while my 1-year-old and I go in the indoor playground or on the merry-go-round. My husband enjoys walking around looking at all of the Lego structures and I can cater to my sweet tooth with delicious treats. We also do our research and find out if there are any “Baby Care Centers” at our theme park of choice and are able to have a quiet and clean place to change our children or to breastfeed/pump. When the babies are all tuckered out on the drive home, my husband and I are able to have uninterrupted time to reflect, chat and laugh about the experiences of the day. The babies sleep better at night after these outings so we are able to also have uninterrupted Netflix and Chill time too. See? Balance. We also try and venture out on the weekends to take advantage of what Tampa Bay has to offer. There is a festival going on nearly every month at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. (Seafood, Margarita, TacoFest, oh my!) We stroll together, hand in hand, enjoying delectable food and a cold beverage while our children safely enjoy the “spraygrounds” and run around the Great Lawn. Finally, (and this is the most difficult part) don’t be afraid to venture out with your children because of the “mays” or “mights.” You know- She MAY throw a tantrum; he MIGHT knock things off the shelf. Our children are only children once. We are not doing them any favors by putting our lives on pause because of what could “potentially” happen. Babies cry and throw tantrums because of their inability to communicate in other ways. Also, our children are learning about the world around them which is why they may do things that are not socially acceptable (like run through the clothes racks at Marshall’s. Entertaining, but not appropriate). THAT IS OK! They will not learn the proper way in which to behave if we do not give them opportunities to test it out. We have taken our children to

sporting events with us (keep them fed and let them yell along with you) and even the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Saint Louis! While my husband enjoyed the complimentary brews, I took my babies to see the horses. As your children get used to being out in public, their behavior will become more acceptable- or, you’ll develop thicker skin/coping mechanisms. Overall, dating with toddlers is totally doable. It just takes some finessing. Just remember to find things the entire family can enjoy. You’ll have plenty of alone time when your kids are teenagers and literally want nothing to do with you. Embrace this season, potential tantrums and all. *Disclaimer: You know your baby and if this would work or not! Always discuss your options with your doctor especially if your child’s immune system is compromised. has more date night ideas.



Family Fun at Medieval Times! • Two-Hour Tournament • Four-Course Feast • Magnificent Horses • Authentic Sword Fights & Jousting • Air Conditioned Arena





Kids (12 & under)




Use Code: TBP19

*Must mention or enter code TBP19 at time of purchase. Discount is valid only off of full-priced admission rates. Not valid with other discounts, offers, or group rates. Upgrade packages, tax, gratuity, and applicable fees are additional. Restrictions may apply. Valid only at the Florida location thru 9/30/2019.

4510 W. Vine St., Kissimmee FL 34746 • 888-WE-JOUST | 46 AUGUST 2019

family dates


ntil a recent conversation with a friend, I hadn’t conceptualized experiences with my kids as dates. Significant others understand the importance of dating each other, no matter how many years into the relationship. As children grow, it’s key we make time for special experiences with them. If experiences can be one parent to one child, all the better. Special doesn’t mean expensive. Experience isn’t synonymous with theme park. Following are date night and date day ideas to try with kids of all ages.


Tara Payor and her son, Hendrix, spend time in their backyard pool.




alternative options, like one of the drive-ins still around. Or, stay in, wear PJs and make popcorn the oldfashioned way.

TAKE ON THE GREAT OUTDOORS (even if it’s your

scooter down the picturesque sidewalk. Let the surroundings drive conversation. Utilize the exercise equipment. Take pictures of marine life, birds and the skyline along the way. Don’t let in-the-moment, social media posting distract you.



Having grown up in Tampa, many restaurants here hold special memories for me. Sharing meals with my kids at those special places is a treat. Recently, my daughter and I had our dinner date at Ybor City’s Columbia Restaurant (where her baby shower was held). Along with our Spanish meal, we enjoyed the flamenco show. She was wide-eyed as sounds of castanets joined the aroma of paella filling the air. Consider restaurants that are special for you. Can you re-create photos when you take your child? What stories can you share about your memories there? A simple game of hangman, while waiting for food, might be more meaningful for your child than you realize.



Kids need and deserve our undivided attention. Go on dates with one child (or as few as possible) at a time, not for the gram, but, for the precious gifts of shared experiences and connection. How many summer, spring and winter breaks do you have left with your kids?

Head to the 600 block of St. Pete’s Central Avenue for a free activity. You won’t miss the colorful building facades. Murals can fuel conversations about artistic expression, photography and interpretations of artists’ chosen words. If you visit on the second Saturday of the month, you can pop into art galleries for the Second Saturday ArtWalk. The first Saturday of each month affords an opportunity to visit the Brocante Market—conveniently located across from Three Daughters Brewing, which has great music and outdoor games.


backyard). Grill your meal together, including a s’mores dessert. Eat al fresco and talk about the surroundings.



1 This mural spoke to us because we love flamingos and owls. 2 Harlow and I enjoyed the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City. 3 Hendrix and I ate at American Social and then walked over the bridge to the water taxi ticket booth.

First, accept you’ll sweat. Then, apply sunscreen and go. Tampa’s Riverwalk has blossomed and was an ideal backdrop for a couple of riverside day-dates with my daughter. Soaring temperatures swayed us to utilize the Pirate Water Taxi, and the Tampa history the captain shared was a swell surprise. We hydrated with cold juice at The Sail while waiting for our taxi. The Riverwalk opens way for conversations about wildlife (you may see dolphins) and quotes by notable figures (like Mother Theresa) on the bricks. If you go, pack bikes or scooters. Take a picnic or grab smoothies at the Straz Center’s SIP—a 1966 Airstream Safari Land Yacht. Check out event calendars for places like Armature Works and Curtis Hixon Park as some events may align with your date.



bricks and minifigs


pending six months away from your wife and young sons isn't ideal. But that's the life of an active duty Navy sailor. When Adam Smyk returned home from deployments, it took some time to get reacquainted with his children, James and Andrew. To reconnect, Smyk always brought home Lego sets. Brick by brick, the three spent hours building structures that were only limited by their imagination. “It was such a fun way to spend time with them, and it really allowed us to bond as father and sons,” Smyk recalls. Little did Smyk know that the hobby he enjoyed with his sons, now 11 and 8, would turn into a business. After he retired from the military in 2016, Smyk opened Bricks and Minifigs, a first-ofits-kind business in Florida devoted to Lego. Bricks and Minifigs is a Lego lover’s dream. True to its motto, shoppers young and old get to “rebuild, reuse and reimagine” the colorful interlocking bricks. Bricks and Minifigs sells new and used Lego sets, including ones that have been retired. Shoppers can also trade or sell sets or loose Legos for cash or store credit. Lost a piece for a prized Lego masterpiece? Find it in the bulk bin filled with a variety of Lego bricks, baseplates and minifigs—short for mini figurines—which are Lego characters. The store also has a selection by Oyo Sports, buildable mini figurines that represent professional sports teams and athletes from Tampa Bay.


With its location at The Shops at Wiregrass, Bricks and Minifigs has seen shoppers from as far away as Orlando, as well as visiting tourists. “We love how people of all ages have embraced the store,” Smyk says. “We’ve actually been surprised at the number of adults who come in. One customer told us her doctor suggested building Lego sets to improve her dexterity after having a stroke. Legos are timeless. It’s great to see parents spending quality time with their children playing Lego, without the need for cell phones, tablets or any other technology.” Bricks and Minifigs also has space to host birthday parties for up to 15 kids aged 5 and older. Store staff members help lead activities which include Lego car races and supervised free play. Every party participant receives a complimentary Build-A-Fig, while the birthday child also receives a specially printed “It’s My Birthday” fig. Since opening in Wesley Chapel last year, Smyk’s wife, Sonya, 23-year-old son, Daniel, and daughter-in-law, Jenny, have all joined in to help out. And sons James and Andrew are frequent store helpers and product testers. “We’re bonding as a family in a whole new way,” Smyk says. “It’s a lot of work, but what keeps us going are all the smiles we see on the faces of everyone who visits the store. That’s just priceless.” Got a Lego-crazy kid? The store plays host to birthday parties. The birthday child gets a special "It's my birthday" figure.


Customers can sift through a bulk bin of loose bricks, baseplates and mini figurines and purchase their chosen pieces.





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ments of classic and new Hollywood performed by students 13 through college age at the Straz Center’s TECO Theater. ANIME FESTIVAL  Aug. 9- 11, Times vary  Calling all Anime lovers! Get ready for the Anime Festival in Orlando! There will be cosplay, panels, vendors, voice actors and more. Tickets are on sale now. TAMPA TARPONS VS. CHARLOTTE STONE CRABS  Aug. 10, 6:30  Enjoy a night out at the ballpark and root, root, root for the Tarpons. It’s a special promotion night where kids 14 and under will receive a free backpack! After the show, enjoy a beautiful firework show!

WOMEN OF RED  Aug. 1, 5-9 p.m.  Female fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can purchase tickets ($10 for members, $20 for general admission) to watch a Bucs practice, take a behindthe-scenes look at the training program, sip on complementary cocktails and more. Fans will even get to meet some of their favorite players. PUERTORRO LATIN FEST  Aug. 2, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.  This family-friendly event will celebrate the customs, traditions and values of Puerto Rico with traditional music, dancing, food and much more. Tickets are available online at Eventbrite. TAMPA BAY COMIC-CON  Aug. 2- 4, Times vary  Let your inner nerd take control and run wild at the Tampa Bay Comic-Con at the Tampa Convention Center. There will be comic books, toys, meet and greets, art and cosplay! Tickets are available online. 12TH ANNUAL BACK TO SCHOOL FAIR  Aug. 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Get ready for back to school at Tampa’s largest back to school fair located in Westshore Plaza. Kids can take photos with the Lightning’s ThunderBug, listen to a story and sing with a

princess, play with Gasparilla pirates, get a face painting, visit over 60 vendors and more. The first 500 children in line will receive a FREE backpack sponsored by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL  Aug. 3, Noon to 3 p.m.  If you’re feeling a short road trip, go to the International Festival at Buenaventura Lakes Branch Library in Kissimmee. Experience different parts of the world through activities and food. Register online now! BUCCANEER’S TRAINING CAMP  Aug. 6-7, 12-14, Times vary  Watch the Tampa Bay Bucs up close and personal as they train on the field at Advent Health Training Center and in the indoor training facility for their upcoming season! Fans will also get to see new Head Coach Bruce Arlans! Tickets available online now and parking is free. CHILDREN’S BOARD FREE TUESDAY  Aug. 6, Noon to 6 p.m.  Join the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County and the Glazer Museum for Free Tuesday on the first Tuesday of every month. Admission is free from noon to 6 p.m. The event promotes the well-being of children and families by uniting

them with partners of the community. WORLDWIDE WEDNESDAY: JAPAN  Aug. 7-28, Wednesdays at Noon  Learn about and celebrate Japan at the Glazer Children’s Museum. Kids will learn all about this beautiful country and its culture through stories, activities and more. GETTING READY FOR KINDERGARTEN PARTY  Aug. 8, 2:30-4 p.m.  Seminole Community Library has a great way to get you and your little one ready for kindergarten: Getting Ready for Kindergarten Party. Sign-up online!

JONAS BROTHERS: HAPPINESS BEGINS TOUR  Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m.  Hold On! The Jonas Brothers are back and going on their first tour in six years! After reuniting this year and releasing their hit-song “Sucker,” they are hitting the road. Reminisce about your earlier years or introduce your kids to one of Disney’s favorite bands. Buy tickets now before they sell out and it becomes an S.O.S situation! FIRE SAFETY WEEKEND  Aug. 10-11, All day  If you visit Legoland this weekend, you and your kids will get to participate in special entertaining activities around the park that teach kids about fire safety. The event is hosted by the National Fire Prevention Association and activities are included with general admission.

PRESEASON FOOTBALL: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS VS. MIAMI DOLPHINS  Aug. 8, 7:30 p.m.  It’s officially football season! Watch the Bucs take on a Florida rival, the Dolphins, at Raymond James Stadium, in their second preseason game of the 2019 season! PATEL CONSERVATORY PRESENTS SHOWSTOPPERS: HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD!  Aug. 8- 11, Times Vary  Enjoy some of the best moAUGUST 2019


TATER TOT THROWDOWN  Aug. 16, 6-11 p.m.  Visit Albert Whitted Park in Clearwater for food trucks featuring dishes with one of America’s favorite breakfast foods: tater tots! Admission is free. There will be live music, craft vendors and tons of food trucks. The throwdown is pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your adorable four-legged family members. BOLTS BREW FEST  Aug. 16, 7-10 p.m.  The Tampa Bay Lightning will be throwing the Bolts Brew Fest at Amalie Arena. The event will feature craft beers from local breweries, oversized games, Lightning personalities and more. Tickets available now. MICKEY’S NOT-SO-SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY  Aug. 16-Nov. 1, 7 p.m. to midnight  Celebrate Halloween and spooky times starting this August with Mickey and other members of the Disney gang. Events from years past will be returning, as well as a brandnew firework show specifically for Halloween! BOO-k your tickets now and wear your costume to help Mickey celebrate. CADILLAC 5K AND KID’S PIZZA DASH  Aug. 17, 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.  There is a race for every member of the family! The youngest ones can participate in a short pizza dash while the older ones can participate in a 5K along the beach in beautiful Treasure Island. The race is capped at 500 participants so sign up now! FLORIDA KIDS AND FAMILY EXPO  Aug. 17-18, Times vary  Spend a fun day, or days, with the family at what is basically a family comic-con! Tickets are $6 online and $10 at the door. There will be 150+ interactive exhibits, including dozens of fun zones, arts and crafts, touch-a-truck and more! BIER FEST  Aug. 17-Sept. 8, Weekends  Busch Gardens will host a Bier fest from August to September that will allow adults to try beers from around the world and beers from local Tampa Bay craft brewers. There will be live music and food as well.

ROYAL TEA WITH TINKERBELL  Aug. 18, 4 p.m.  Join Tinkerbell for a full English-style tea lunch at the Victorian Grace Tearoom! Every guest will get a meet and greet, and there will be an interactive story time, and a sing- and dance-along. RSVP now before it fills up! ANNUAL GOURMET FESTIVAL  Aug. 22, 6-8:30 p.m.  Enjoy some of the most mouthwatering foods from some of Tampa Bay’s finest restaurants and beverage purveyors at the Gourmet Festival at Armature Works. There will be a silent auction filled with unique items and lively entertainment. All the proceeds will go to The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women, a nonprofit that helps girls and women in the Tampa Bay area. Check online for tickets. FAIRY FESTIVAL  Aug. 23, 6-9 p.m.  Walk through the Harry P. Leu Gardens to find fairy doors and visit different spots to participate in different activities. Activities include making a fairy garden, learning about plants and animals in the garden and more. Tickets are available online. THE INCREDIBLE DUCK RACE  Aug. 24, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Join the Kiwanis Club of Tampa and Centerstate as they present the Incredible Duck Race at Curtis Hixon Park. More than 15,000 rubber ducks will race down the Hillsborough River and the first ten ducks to cross the finish line will win amazing prizes! Proceeds of duck sales will benefit the Tampa Kiwanis Foundation and go towards helping kids in the local community. MONSTER JAM TRIPLE THREAT SERIES  Aug. 24, 1-7 p.m.  What’s better than seeing regular cars do tricks? Monster Trucks doing tricks! Have a family fun day, or night, watching Monster Trucks race, freestyle and do tricks while they compete for a chance to go to the Monster Jam World Final.

FLOW WITH THE FISHES  Aug. 25, 8:30-9:30 a.m.  Enjoy a relaxing morning with the family while doing yoga at the Florida Aquarium before it opens! All levels are welcome. Do yoga in front of the Coral Reef or Heart of the Sea. Sign up online now. Tickets include all-day admission into the Aquarium! STAR WARS: GALAXY’S EDGE OPENING  Aug. 29  Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open the new Star Wars section this summer! Guests will be transported to Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu. The new shops, rides, restaurants and more are sure to be out of this world! MOMMYCON AND DADDYCON ORLANDO  Aug. 30-31, Times vary  Join other new, expectant, or experienced parents for a day or two of fun, interactive ways to learn and practice parenting skills and learn more about parenting! It’s like Comic-Con for parents. General and VIP tickets are available. HOPE FUN RUN AND 5K  Aug. 31, 8 a.m.  Run either the one-mile Fun Run with water balloons, color and sprays or race in the 5K. Either way you’ll be helping children and educators in the Tampa Bay public schools. Sign up online now. The sooner you sign up, the cheaper it is! GECKOFEST  Aug. 31, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Head over to Gulfport for their annual GeckoFest. Pursue art, listen to live music and watch exciting street performers! Admission is free. Celebrate Labor Day at this unique festival that’s sure to be a fun time.

SPECIAL NEEDS EVENTS SENSORY SENSITIVE SUNDAYS  Aug. 4, 9-11 a.m.  Stop by your local Chuck E. Cheese two hours before regular operating hours for a morning of sensory-friendly fun in a safe environment with reduced lighting and noise, food, games and fun for everyone. Trained staff members will be on site. SENSORY-FRIENDLY SATURDAYS  Aug. 3 and 17, 9-10 a.m.  Children with sensory needs are invited to come out to Altitude Trampoline Park in Tampa and jump in a safe, sensory-friendly environment with low music and no crowded parties. One accompanying parent to a sensory-friendly child jumps for free. All others can jump for a lowered cost of $11.95 per person. AMC SENSORY-FRIENDLY MOVIE  Aug. 10 and 24, Times Vary  On the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, AMC offers family-friendly sensory movies. The lights will be turned up and the sound down so everyone can talk and get up to walk. Check your local AMC for times. SUNSHINE SUNDAY  Aug. 25, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The last Sunday of every month, Glazer Children’s Museum hosts a special morning with lowered sensory activities. This Sunday is geared towards children with special needs and their caregivers. Explore the museum with reduced light and sound. Admission is $5; free for GCM members.

TEA FOR TOTS  Aug. 25, 2 p.m.  This month’s afternoon Tea for Tots at the Oxford Exchange will feature a read-along of Shel Silverstein stories. Tickets are available online now and will include the read-along, tea and light snacks.


WEDU PBS and the Glazer Children’s Museum

invite you to join us for an afternoon of fun activities and giveaways as we swing into a new school year with everyone’s favorite monkey, Curious George and his best friend, the Man in the Yellow Hat!

Tuesday, August 6 Noon - 6pm Glazer Children’s Museum 110 W Gasparilla Plaza Tampa, FL 33602

FREE GCM ADMISSION + Meet & greet and activities Courtesy of Children’s Board of Hillsborough County Learn more at or call 813-443-FUN1 (3861) Remember, children must be accompanied by an adult and adults must be accompanied by a child.

CURIOUS GEORGE encourages children to explore Science, Engineering, and Math in the world around them. George motivates children to expand their own investigations of the world with knowledge of basic concepts and hands-on exploration. To learn more visit and /wedupublicmedia


Educators! Visit PBS LearningMedia ( and search for the Curious George STEM Lesson Collection for grades PreK-4! AUGUST 2019 53





CAVE EXPLORING RIGHT HERE IN FLORIDA?! If you feel like trekking through the forest,




Glazer Children's Museum

Florida has many different caves that will give you a unique experience you’ll want to tell everyone about.

ENCHANT: A WORLD OF CHRISTMAS WONDER AWAITS Start thinking about the holiday season now because this Christmas, Tropicana Field will host the largest Christmas light maze ever, a Christmas market and so much more.

BAC K TO S C H O O L FA M I LY O RG A N IZ AT I O N T I P S A N D M O R E STRAZ CENTER ANNOUNCES NEW SEASON This Straz season promises to be fantastic, with

incredible Broadway tours, operas, plays, and dance/ comedy events.

There is something for everyone!

54 AUGUST 2019

INSTA LOVE LEGOLAND Florida is celebrating LEGO Movie Days on weekends through Aug. 4. You can meet characters like Unikitty and Rex Dangervest. There’s more awesome fun planned too!


SUMMER BREAK Our editor Laura Byrne visited the mountains of North Carolina and day-tripped to the Biltmore in Asheville. It’s super kid-friendly and a must-see for families.

@ tampabayparenting

Be sure to check out our IGTV VIDEOS like this one featuring the new mermaid show at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.


QUIT YOUR WAY Quitting tobacco isn’t easy. Finding help should be. Tobacco Free Florida offers free tools and services to help you get started.

Get Inspired ...

for a great date night!

USF Area Health Education Center is offering tobacco cessation groups at: Advent Health Tampa Brandon Regional Hospital Moffitt Cancer Center USF AHEC Program Office (USF Campus) Intervention Enterprises, Inc. Northside Behavioral Health Center Health Matters Pharmacy

Call to register

813-974-7889 Includes FREE Nicotine patches, gum or lozenges* More than DOUBLES your chances of success! *If medically appropriate and 18 years of age or older.

Program covers all forms of tobacco. Your source for fun places to try and new activities to make your date night inspired! AUGUST 2019


320 W. Kennedy, Ste. 220 Tampa, FL 33606

56 AUGUST 2019