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tampabayparenting.com

DECEMBER 2018

D IS N E Y

SECRETS

pixie dust magic

and more

BEST DAY EVER! Cover kid James totally nailed his first Disney trip.

CAR SEAT tips

FOR HOLIDAY TRAVEL

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Theme park passes make excellent gifts!

GIFT IDEAS

books toys

& more

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THE GIFT OF experience

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 1


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Contents / December 2018

SECTIONS 13 14 19

23 24

26 28 31 34 37 38 40

LIFE + HOME

Stress Tips Stress busting tips for parents Families Keep calm and parent on PHELC The importance of tradition + Gift ideas for early learners

EDUCATION

Corbett Prep Kids talk books Books and Resources Spend your holiday at the library

HEALTH + WELLNESS

Flu Focus Should you get a flu shot? Kids Health Are antibiotics the solution? Cryotherapy What is CryoSkin?

FOOD + DRINK

Tampa Bay Date Night Guide French-Vietnamese gourmet fare at BT Tradewinds Eat, drink, shop and be merry!

FAMILY FUN

holiday time

SPECIAL SECTION 43

Guest Editor The magic of Christmas in Tampa Bay

44

Find your Holiday Fun Events this season

48

Celebrate New Year's With or without kiddos

50

Gift Guide Our favorite items this holiday

52

Make Some Fun It takes a gingerbread village

55 56 58

ZooTampa Celebrate the magic of the season with wildlife and Santa Claus Travel Tips Fly with Me Subscription Box Favorites The gift that keeps on giving

61

55

Gifts of Experience Game day fun with the home team Disney Do Disney like a pro

WHAT'S HAPPENING

From the web Local stories, InstaLOVE and more!

4 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

56

38

58 featured

43 HOLIDAY

ON THE COVER

OUR FAVORITE

EVENTS, ACTIVITIES AND GIFT IDEAS

Cover kid James Tompkins, 22 months Cover images by Darlene Barlows Photography


DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 5


Guest editor note

BUT IF THERE'S ever a time for goodwill SANTA CLAUS

GUEST EDITOR Santa Claus

CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND EDITORIAL MANAGER Laura Byrne

towards man, this is it. We need kindness and unity more than ever.

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Anu Varma Panchal

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sarah Stoulil

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Anu Varma Panchal Jody Agard Tara Payor. Ph.D. Dr. Steve Knobl Courtney Cairns-Pastor Jennifer Hodges, Ph.D., MS, MLIS Gerard Hough, M.D. Wade R. Cressman, M.D. Shannon Tompkins Brianna Althaus Laura Byrne Rebecca Gonzalez Kate White Kristy Chase-Tozer Michelle Pratt Brianna Althaus

What an honor it is to be asked to write this month’s letter from the editor. While December may be my busiest month, it’s my (admittedly biased) opinion that it’s the best of the 12. What better work could there be out there than to catch every whispered confidence and assure my good little ones that their deepest desires--The Fingerling HUGS monkey or Hatchimal--will come true Christmas morning. (Because they will, right?) It’s much harder to figure out what to give the grownups. Most of them have been good too. They’ve paid taxes and stood in line to vote, cleaned up hurricane debris and campaigned for candidates who lost. They’ve covered for slacker mom in the carpool, and discreetly paid the field trip fare for a child’s friend who couldn’t. Enthusiastically cheered on sports teams of dubious merit. Picked up a second shift to pay for acting camp. Researched remedial tutors and behavior therapists. Held the hand of their mother who no longer recognizes them through the fog of Alzheimer’s. Gently pried away the driving license from the shaking hands of an ageing father.

CALENDAR

Sarah Stoulil Katelyn Schur

INTERN

Katelyn Schur

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Ralf Gonzalez Craig Collins

LAYOUT & DESIGN

Nicole Barolo of Page Four Creative

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Darlene Barlows Photography

BOOKKEEPING

S. CLAUS

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 info@tbparenting.com editor@tbparenting.com

BECOME A FAN AT:

tampabayparentingmagazine @tampabayparenting @TBParenting

So they’re tired. And when grownups are tired, the goodness starts to dissipate and be replaced by other emotions—anger, frustration, intolerance, fear— distorting emotions that don’t let you see yourself or others clearly. But if there’s ever been a time for goodwill towards man, this is it. We need kindness and unity more than ever. It’s hard to give grownups gifts because really, they have to give them to themselves. Here’s what I’d like to leave under every grownup’s tree this year: the gifts of patience, empathy, and understanding, to self and others. I wish you all the best of family times spent making precious memories, and just enough peaceful alone time to be able to manage the rest. Raise a glass to yourselves—you’ve done another great job all year holding it together. May the next one be even better. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

HOLIDAY EVENTS, IDEAS AND GIFT GUIDES

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 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

STARTING ON PAGE 43


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DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 7


meet our contributors

ANU VARMA PANCHAL Anu Varma Panchal has written and edited for area publications for nearly 20 years. She’s ac­t ive on her children’s PTA boards, loves theatre, concerts, the local brewery scene and travel, and spends way too much time schlepping her 10 and 13-year-olds around in her minivan. She never leaves home without her library card. You can find her at youreditingsolutions.com.

TARA PAYOR, PH.D.

Tara Payor, Ph.D. has a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. She is a contributing faculty member for Walden University, where she guides doctoral students through their dissertations. She is also a language arts educator. Reach her at tpayor@gmail.com.

JENNIFER HODGES Jennifer Hodges is the Supervisory Librarian in Community Engagement for Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library. She lives in Land O' Lakes with her husband James, a web application developer, and their three children. Jennifer and their family love theatre/ Broadway, listening to audiobooks and singing all 20,520 words to 'Hamilton: An American Musical.'

Kate White is the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Glazer Children's Museum, She believes that play matters and is passionate about educating Tampa Bay on the benefits of playing with purpose. She and her husband have two wonderful daughters who love that their mommy works at the children's museum!

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

8 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

Dr. Steve Knobl is the father of two amazing sons, and the husband to an incredible wife, Laura. Early childhood education has been a priority for in his family for generations. He serves as the CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando counties.

DR. STEVE KNOBL

KATE WHITE

MICHELLE PRATT

Michelle Pratt is a Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, the mother of two and former senior executive who founded Safe in the Seat to help teach local families how to safely install and use their child's car seat. Connect with her at Safeintheseat.com

WADE CRESSMAN, M.D. Dr. Cressman specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of ear, nose and throat disorders of children and adolescents. Special areas of interest include: medical and surgical treatment of sinus disease, surgery of the upper airway, acute and chronic ear disease and benign and malignant neck masses.

JODY AGARD Jody Agard is a mom of two boys, a lover of nature, and the bestselling author of “Mommy Reboot; A Busy Mom’s Guide to Self-Care.” She’s a self-care coach working exclusively with busy moms who want to feel less overwhelmed and more fulfilled and she’s known in her industry for transforming the lives of moms through the art of self-care.

DARLENE BARLOWS Darlene Barlows is a fine arts graduate from Florida State University, a native of Tampa and a fifth-generation Floridian. She lives in South Tampa with her husband Ted and son Reesing. She loves to travel and find adventures in life whether big or small. Authenticity is a gift she loves to share with the world. She is the owner of Darlene Barlows Photography. darlenebarlowsphotography.com

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With their support we are able to provide this family-friendly resource to you for FREE.


WE E ’’ R RE E E EX XP PE EC CT T II N NG G A A S SE EA A O OF F S SN NO OW W W

This holiday season, we’ll have a flurry of cool activities, including a real Snow Play Area for kids from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31. This holiday season, we’ll have a flurry of cool activities, including a real Snow Play Area for kids from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31. Enjoy a new dimension of fun at our 4-D Theater with a popular holiday children’s movie showing daily. Santa Claus will Enjoy a new dimension of fun at our 4-D Theater with a popular holiday children’s movie showing daily. Santa Claus will visit on Saturdays* in December and you can even have Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 8. Watch the Holiday Boat Parade visit on Saturdays* in December and you can even have Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 8. Watch the Holiday Boat Parade aboard our Bay Spirit II on Dec. 22. For specific times and details, visit our website. aboard our Bay Spirit II on Dec. 22. For specific times and details, visit our website. *Santa photos are not included with Aquarium admission. Additional charges apply. Dates and activities are subject to change.

*Santa photos are not included with Aquarium admission. Additional charges apply. Dates and activities are subject to change.

flaquarium.org | 813.273.4000 flaquarium.org | 813.273.4000

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 9


10 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018


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STRESS TIPS | LIFE + HOME

STRESS BUSTING IDEAS TO ENJOY THE HOLIDAY

Image by Photos with Madison

By Jody Agard

“The holidays are supposed to be joyful!" they say. “It’s the most memorable, magical time of the year!” However, for most women and moms, “stress” and “overwhelm” are typically what first comes to mind. It doesn't have to be this way though. Here are three easy stress busting ideas to help bring more joy to this season:

Make time for yourself The hard truth is, you will never really have time for yourself. There will always be laundry, cooking and messes to pull you away from yourself. This is why you must make the time. Make it a priority to take a little time for yourself to sit quietly, unwind and recharge. Doing things for yourself aren't a waste of time; they're an investment of your time. They will add value to your life in endless ways. When you come back from a yoga class, or lunch with a girlfriend or a walk in nature, you’ll feel re-centered and calm. Your inner cup will be filled and you’ll have the patience to deal with all of life’s craziness. The way you react to things will be from a place of ease, rather than stress. Put yourself in your calendar. Give yourself just 15 minutes each day.

Prioritize Ask yourself “what is most important to me this holiday season?” To feel joy? To have more fun? To sit and be present with my family more? Spend less time connected to social media and electronics and spend more time with family and friends? Explore the outdoors? What is it that you truly want this holiday season? Considering what gives you the most meaning and fulfillment ahead of the holidays will help you prioritize events, activities, and most certainly people too. Make a list of your top three things. Write them on a sticky note and put it on your bathroom mirror so you’re reminded every day.

Say no so you can say yes In order to say yes to you and your family, you have to be willing to say no to others. It’s easy to get caught up in the web of other people’s demands, requests and suggestions this time of year, such as dragging the kids to visit every family member who lives within a 100-mile radius just because they requested your presence. The truth is, you can’t possibly please everybody all of the time. Attempting to do so could cost you your joy. Be OK with disappointing others in service of what means the most to you. Stand up for them. With every request you get this season, whether it’s volunteering at your child’s school, making cookies with a neighbor, or hosting a holiday dinner, don’t answer immediately. Give yourself 24-48 hours to decide. Simply say “Let me think about it and get back to you”. This allows you to take a step back, pause, and decide if this is something you really want to take on. You are worth it.

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 13


LIFE + HOME | FAMILIES

give grace

KEEPING CALM WHILE PARENTING DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON. By Tara Payor, Ph.D.

Danger Zone While some screaming seems benign—BRUSH YOUR TEETH!—it can create an environment where kids feel unsafe and experience increased cortisol levels. One

LEARN MORE Read “1-2-3 Magic” by Thomas Phelan

Uncovering Triggers There’s no cookie cutter "stop yelling" method. Vigil-Otero says parents must “conduct a psychological autopsy” to identify yelling sources. Parents have parental agendas, which trigger yelling. “We see things in our kids that cause worry. We might worry our child will be selfish, so when the child behaves selfishly, it hits our agenda.” To avoid anxiety and yelling, she promotes viewing parenting as a marathon. Once parents understand their agenda, they can reinforce things like selflessness over time. Parents should note when they aren’t most compassionate. If morning is the trigger, it might be that the parent isn’t waking up early enough, not that the child is misbehaving. Learning triggers positions parents for adapting and improving.

Visit Dr. Vigil-Otero’s website for resources: drashleyvigil.com/raising-kids-whothrive/#eq-resources

14 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

patient described a screaming parent as a high frequency gunshot. Whether screaming for compliance, a parent-child conflict, or a parent-parent conflict, focusing on repair is essential. “When parents lose their cool, they should apologize and explain what happened. Say something like, ‘We’re going to figure out how to talk about this.’” Constant yelling, sometimes coupled with shaming, becomes kids’ internal voice, shapes their communication, and leads to poor emotional control. Aiming for parenting perfection is easy, and VigilOtero notes that expectations impact how we navigate parenting complexities: selfimposed “shame holds us back during difficult moments.” Parents only need to get it right 40 percent of the time. Down-regulating Reflection is key because it supports parenting from intention: “It doesn’t have to be a daily, 20-minute session,” explains Vigil-Otero, who advises being mindful that you can get worked up and join kids’ chaos. Consider the biological nature of yelling routines: kids’ nervous system is activated, parent responds with screaming, and parent’s nervous system becomes activated. Owning their behaviors, parents can learn down-regulation. Since adults’ brains are fully formed, they can choose down-regulation, remove themselves from the situation and engage in self-soothing techniques. Understanding why one’s upset is a precursor to down-regulating and finding calm.

Browse Emotion coaching emotioncoaching.gottman.com

Vigil-Otero understands finding calm by “going to yoga or walking in the clouds” isn’t typically feasible. Try a three-prong approach to self-compassion: (1) recognize the difficulty of an event, (2) acknowledge the universality of parenting challenges, and (3) don’t compare, which fosters self-pity. Reciting mantras—doable while driving—can also be transformative. “Honoring the complexity of parenting is key.” Grace Parenting is hard. Kids demonstrate difficult behaviors. Show grace, with yourself and your children. Knowing our triggers, we can avoid floods of negative emotions and circumvent yelling. May the only thing you yell this holiday season be, “CHEERS!”

Download Stop, Breathe, & Think Kids app

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M

y name is Tara and I yell at my children. Keeping calm during trying parenting moments is tough, especially during the frenetic morning routine: please get your shoes on…PLEASE get your shoes on…GET YOUR SHOES ON, NOW! During the holidays, schedule changes, travel and overstuffed social calendars can increase tension. Dr. Ashley Vigil-Otero, a licensed psychologist, shares her expertise so that we can prevent screaming this holiday season and beyond.


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PHELC | LIFE + HOME

SPONSORED

KEEPING WITH

GIFT IDEAS FOR EARLY LEARNERS

tradition

Gift giving for any child can be a challenge! Here are some tips to help you find the perfect item for every age group! These types of toys naturally support skills such as problem-solving, persistence, creativity and imagination (among others), which are foundational for later learning:

BIRTH TO 6 MONTHS

Soft rattles fit perfectly into little hands, allowing infants to take a closer look. They can practice grabbing and dropping them which is great to refine small motor skills. Baby friendly mirrors work well for encouraging baby social skills. Soft squishy books encourage early literacy skills. A shape sorter will grow with baby from 0-3 years.

7 - 12 MONTHS

By Dr. Steve Knobl

T

he holiday season is upon us, and that brings both stress and excitement for the family. Establishing and celebrating family traditions is critical and essential, both for young children and their families. It is the frame of reference through which young children learn their value within their home and school, as well as how families view their significance in the community. When families engage in traditions, they are creating healthy connections and memories with their children. This is an important step for building meaningful and bonding moments (healthy attachments), which is part of emotional intelligence in young children.  When families place value on the history and customs of their family’s heritage, children gain support through language, storytelling relationships, traditions and routines. It is important that these rituals and routines be embraced in loving and supportive environments. Holiday traditions bring us together and allow for quality time within the family. One of the best things about spending quality time with your children is developing strong relationships with them. This helps build trust between

Bath time toys like wash cloth puppets, watering cans, bath time books and tea sets are gifts that encourage persistence, creativity and exploration. Activity tables can provide older infants with a new view and exploring with cause and effect. Stacking and nesting bowls or cups encourage problem solving and hand eye coordination.

Last year, PHELC co-hosted a holiday family event: Breakfast with Santa with the Boys & Girls Club of Hernando. Children enjoyed pancakes provided by IHOP, holiday arts & crafts and a visit from Santa! This year will mark their 2nd annual Breakfast with Santa with an additional guest of honor…Mrs. Claus!

TODDLERS AND TWOS

a parent and child. These traditions benefit a child’s development and support their emotional health as they approach each developmental milestone during their childhood years. Families can start their own traditions to enjoy. For example, one of our training coaches has daughters and they recently shared one such tradition with me. This tradition began when the children were very young and they each picked a name of a child in need from an “Angel Tree”. The funds for this gift come from the children deciding which of the gifts on their list they would be willing to give up so a child can have a special holiday. If you continue each year, children become more mature and generous as they age, making a difference for others less fortunate. This tradition has the potential to move through generations and impact many people.

Musical instrument sets encourage hand eye coordination, experimentation and listening skills. Large piece puzzles encourage problem solving skills and spatial relationships. Board books encourage a love for reading and early literacy skills. Soft building blocks will develop skills in problem solving, imagination, selfexpression and mathematics.

AGES 3 TO 5

Wooden unit blocks such as Lincoln Logs help to develop problem solving, imagination, self-expression, mathematics and working cooperatively with friends. Play-Doh encourages social and emotional development, creativity, imagination, language development, science, math and physical development. Dolls encourage social and emotional skills, especially empathy. Art supplies such as water color paints, paper, tape and scissors expose young children to multiple fine motor and hand eye coordination skills. Art encourages imagination and language development. It is also symbolic which helps with emerging literacy skills.

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 19


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SLAM! Tampa also offers: • Extended Day Tutorial • Enrichment Program, Clubs and Activities • Athletic Programs • 21st Century Classrooms


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CORBETT PREP | EDUCATION

BOOKS STUDENTS' CHOICES FOR

A GOOD READ

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T

hrilling storylines. Hilarious characters. New worlds to explore. Bold artwork. Even in a screen-heavy video game era, books still command attention. If you’d like to find the perfect book to entertain kids of all ages during winter break, this list from Corbett Prep students might give you many options. Elementary students in kindergarten through fifth grade share favorite books they think other kids will enjoy.

KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS RECOMMEND

Ricky – "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. “It makes me feel happy about giving.” Alexis – "I’m a Unicorn" by Mallory Loehr. “There’s a unicorn and she walks in the dark and she meets her friends.” Ava – “Amelia Bedelia” by Peggy Parish. “She thinks that if you say to pick up a pen, you pick up a person. She’s funny.” Shalen – “How Full is Your Bucket?” by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer. “We could help somebody’s bucket get filled.”

FIRST AND SECOND GRADERS RECOMMEND

Sianna – “Judy Moody: Around the World in 8 1/2 Days” by Megan McDonald. “She’s really brave, she’s extraordinary and amazing and goes on incredible adventures.” Savannah – The Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems. “Because I can read all the words!” Tej – The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. “My favorite ones are 'Dinosaurs Before Dark,' 'Summer of the Sea Serpent' and 'Good Morning, Gorillas.' Older kids would like them too.” Kylah – “Camilla the Cupcake Fairy: Best Friends” by Tim Bugbird. “They try to figure out problems, and they are always nice and happy.” Stella – “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. “There are all these funny poems and funny pictures.” Janie – The Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park. “Junie B. Jones always comes up with great ideas.” Charlie – The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. “I like all of them. He always gets into big problems.” Kalie – “Heidi” by Johanna Spyri. “I like that it’s on the mountain. They go to the pasture, and they have goats, they get milk. She walks on the mountain every day.”

THIRD AND FOURTH GRADERS RECOMMEND

Izzy – “Nancy Drew Diaries: Curse of the Arctic Star” by Carolyn Keene. “It’s really exciting. It makes you want to read the next chapter.” Evan – “Wings of Fire” by Tui T. Sutherland. “It’s about dragons and different types of dragons. It’s a lot of action.” Julia – “Next Best Junior Chef” by Charise Mericle Harper. “It’s like a TV show. I think someone who likes to bake would like it.” Giselle – “Artemis the Loyal” (Goddess Girls) by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams. “This book is really inspiring because Artemis wants to make a change. She wants to make a girlsonly Olympics.” Noah – “Hardy Boys Adventures: Into Thin Air” by Franklin W. Dixon. “It’s very interesting. Most of the time there’s something that makes you want to read more.” Ankita – The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. “I like all of them. They have a lot of facts, and they put the facts in stories. You can learn, and they make it fun.” Lucas – “Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas” by Dav Pilkey. “They talk about funny and inappropriate things that dogs do. They have weird names and dress weird.” Sarah – “Remarkable” by Lizzie K. Foley. “I like the girl named Jane and the evil twin. I like adventure.” Nate – The Warriors series by Erin Hunter. “It’s a book that’s fiction, but it tells how cats would survive on their own. It’s basically like surviving in clans, and it’s a fun-loving child’s book.” Colin – “I, Q: Independence Hall” by Roland Smith. “It’s a mystery, and you don’t know what happens next.” Rory – “Alice Through the Looking Glass” by Kari Sutherland. “I like Alice because I like being brave, and she’s brave.”

FIFTH GRADERS RECOMMEND

Kailani – “Wonderstruck” by Brian Selznick. “It’s two different stories 52 years apart. The girl tells it in pictures, and the boy tells it in words.” Ryan – “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling. “There’s a lot to relate to, and the characters all have great personalities.” Elizabeth – “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. “I liked how different chapters gave the perspectives of the different characters.” Peyton – The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. “I enjoy Greek mythology. These are really fun and funny. Each chapter is called something really funny.” Tyler – “Gregor the Overlander” by Suzanne Collins. “There are prophecies. It’s engaging and interesting.” DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 23


EDUCATION | BOOKS AND RESOURCES istock.com/intararit

spend the holidays AT THE LIBRARY FIND HOLIDAY BOOKS AND RESOURCES FOR KIDS Jennifer Hodges, PhD, MS, MLIS

W

inter is an exciting time of year filled with holidays and celebrations. The Winter Solstice, which marks the official start of winter, is the longest night and shortest day of the year. Many cultures and regions throughout the ages celebrated this astronomical phenomenon by coming together with feasts and festivities. From the lighting of the menorah during Hanukkah, to decking the halls for Christmas, and festive drumming during Kwanzaa, winter is a season with many special holidays that focus on spending time together with family and friends. On Dec. 24, people across Iceland exchange gifts of books with one another. After unwrapping their literary treasures, they curl up in cozy armchairs by the fireplace or sit up in bed and read. This Christmas Eve tradition is known as Jólabókaflóð, phonetically pronounced yo-la-bok-a-flot, and means Yule Book Flood. During World War II restrictions were placed on many foreign imports but paper remained cheap. So books became a popular present at Christmas time and the tradition of reading on Christmas Eve was firmly established. Embrace the Jólabókaflóð spirit and make books and reading part of your holiday gatherings. Visit any Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library and borrow a book you can read together as a family. Make a night of staying in, drinking hot chocolate, and reading a fun, festive story. If you want to buy a book to give as a gift, new and used books can be purchased at the Friends of the Library bookstores, located inside most Hillsborough County libraries. Reading together as a family will become a holiday tradition everyone in the family will enjoy. For a list of book suggestions, visit http://bit.ly/winterholidaybooks.

ENGAGE, ENTERTAIN AND EDUCATE KIDS The Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library has a variety of ways to keep your children engaged, entertained and educated while school is out this winter break. In addition to books and DVDs, you can borrow Playaway Launchpad tablets from the library that are preloaded with educational games in the areas of STEAM, Early Literacy, Science, Critical Thinking and more. The Playaway Launchpad tablets are 100 percent secure and designed for children ages 5-10. VOX™ Books, print book with an audio recording attached, can also be checked out from the library. VOX™ Books allow children to listen to the story while following along in the book, a great way to promote learning and literacy development. Hoopla and Overdrive are two of the library’s digital resources you can access from home that allow you to download and stream movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows. Tutor.com is an electronic database available through the library that offers live, one-on-one tutoring in Math, science, English, and more.

LE AR N M OR E All these resources and more are available for FREE with a Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library card. Visit us at HCPLC.org.

24 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018


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FOOD + DRINK HEALTH + WELLNESS | TRADEWINDS | FLU FOCUS

Should we get a

T

SPONSORED

flu shot?

By Gerard Hough, M.D., Pediatrician at Pediatric Health Care Alliance, on staff at Brandon Regional Hospital

26 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

istock.com/Enterline Design Services LLC

his year marks the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 WHO NEEDS THE FLU SHOT? The CDC recommends anyone 6 months or older get the Flu Pandemic. It is considered one of the most severe flu vaccine. High risk groups that have an increased risk of pandemics in recent history and killed up to an flu-induced complications include children under the age of estimated 70 million people worldwide over several months. At 5, the elderly and pregnant women. Anyone with a condition the time, the flu virus was not well understood and there was no such as asthma, lung disease, neurological disorders, damaged vaccine, which created conditions for mass infection and high immune system and heart disease should also get vaccinated mortality. because contracting the flu may worsen symptoms or lead to Today we have a safe and proven way to protect against complications. contracting the flu virus, but there are still many who are One of the reasons vaccinations are so important is because skeptical about the benefits. Stories circulate about the it keeps the flu from spreading to vulnerable populations. If we effectiveness of the vaccine, and whether vaccination causes all got vaccinated, we would build up our the flu itself, causing many to forego immunity and keep the virus from killing vaccination. those that are at risk from developing If you have been debating whether or not complications from the flu. to give your kids the flu vaccine, consider There are some exceptions to the some statistics. recommendations, though: Infants under • According to the CDC there were 185 6 months of age, those allergic to the flu pediatric deaths in the 2017-2018 flu vaccine or allergic to flu vaccine ingredients season, and 80% of those children like gelatin should not get the flu shot. were unvaccinated. And those who have had Guillain-Barré • The Florida Department of Health Syndrome in the past should talk with their reported 6 pediatric deaths in the doctor first. 2017-2018 flu season and none of the Is it too late to get the flu shot? children were vaccinated. The flu season generally starts around • A 2017 study in Pediatrics found that October, peaks in December through flu vaccination reduced the risk February, and can run as late as May. The of flu-associated death by half (51 best case scenario is to vaccinate your percent) among children with underlying Dr. Hough with a patient that family at the beginning of flu season. high-risk medical conditions and by received a flu shot. The earlier you vaccinate, the sooner nearly two-thirds (65 percent) among you protect your kids from the flu, but it’s healthy children. not too late if you have not gotten the flu • Your children are more likely to vaccine. The flu continues to spread throughout the winter, so suffer a reaction from antibiotics than a flu shot. The it’s still worth getting the vaccine. chances of suffering a reaction from the flu shot are 1 in 1 If you are still questioning whether or not to get the flu shot, million. remember what I tell my patients: Vaccines are effective, vaccines are safe, and vaccines save lives.


GROWING TOGETHER

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. | TampaBayParenting.com 119 Oakfield DECEMBER Drive I 2018 Brandon, Florida 27


FOOD + DRINK HEALTH + WELLNESS | TRADEWINDS | KIDS HEALTH

SPONSORED

ANTIBIOTICS? THE QUESTION OR SOLUTION FOR UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS By Wade R. Cressman, M.D. of Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists

causes the nasal lining to swell (hence the stuffy nose), releasing fluid into the nasal cavity and recruiting white blood cells (the infection fighting cells) to enter the battle. The extra fluid and mucus is our body’s way to flush out our nasal passages. The white blood cells release substances that lead to discoloration of our mucus whether it is a viral or bacterial infection. One cannot tell from the color of the mucus the etiology of the infection! Viral infections weaken our nasal defenses more than bacterial ones as they paralyze the tiny hairs disrupting the mucociliary transport system so mucus is no longer pushed to the back of the nose and swallowed. Instead, the mucus pools inside and comes out our nostrils. Most of the time, our immune system wins the battle in about a week, but occasionally, opportunistic bacteria look at the mucus like candy and flourish, leading to an acute bacterial sinusitis in which antibiotics may be useful. So when do we decide that a viral upper respiratory infection has turned into an infection in which antibiotics can be considered? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics' clinical guidelines, an acute bacterial sinusitis may be suspected when a child with an acute URI has persistent nasal drainage for more than 10 days without improvement, worsening symptoms after initial improvement or severe symptoms with high fever (>102.2) and purulent nasal discharge for at least 3 days.

For children with persistent symptoms for more than 10 days, options include starting antibiotics, or watching for an additional 3 days and then starting antibiotics if there is no improvement. Many times children with mild symptoms may improve on their own. With worsening or severe symptoms, antibiotics should be started. Antibiotics are recommended anytime complications from the infection occur such as spread to the eyes or if another infection such as pneumonia or an ear infection is present. Unfortunately, we do not know definitively if other forms of therapy such as antihistamines, intranasal steroid sprays, saline irrigations, nasal decongestants (oral or sprays) or mucolytics have any benefit in treating these conditions. We need to make sure antibiotics are needed. They may have adverse consequences such as GI upset, allergic reactions that may exclude that type of antibiotic from future use, yeast infections and the development of resistant bacteria. “So, does my snotty nose kid need antibiotics?” Only in the right circumstances.

WHEN DO WE DECIDE THAT A VIRAL UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTION HAS TURNED INTO AN INFECTION IN WHICH ANTIBIOTICS CAN BE CONSIDERED?

Physicians with Pediatric ENT Specialists in Tampa 28 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

istock.com/imgorthand

“Help, my kid just started having a green snotty nose and needs antibiotics!” This is a common statement heard from parents because there is a misconception that children with common colds or an upper respiratory tract infection (URI) need antibiotics for these conditions. More than 90 percent of the time, this scenario is caused by a virus, for which no treatment is available, unlike an acute bacterial sinusitis which can be treated with antibiotics. Normally mucus is clear and is an important part of our nasal defenses as it traps unwanted debris that we inhale. Mucus contains proteins, including antibodies, that help fight off unwanted bacteria and viruses that enter our nose and can go on to cause an illness. Mucus is pushed to the back of the nose which we then swallow by a microscopic conveyor belt made up of tiny hairs called cilia. These cilia line our nasal and sinus cavities. Mucus, its contents and these tiny hairs make up the mucociliary transport system that is essential for our nasal defenses. Infection causes inflammation in our nasal cavity. This inflammation


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Matthew S. Ahrens, DMD, MS American Board of Orthodontics

Michael Chiaramonte, DMD Robert S. Hart, DDS

McIlwainDentistry.com DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 29


30 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018


CRYOTHERAPY | HEALTH + WELLNESS

SPONSORED

Slim and Tone

cryoskin 2.0 HOW OUR AUTHOR LOST AN INCH IN 28 MINUTES AT US CYROTHERAPY IN TAMPA By Shannon Tompkins

C

ryoskin is a treatment that lasts for 28 minutes and is done manually through a massage technique. The session begins with two minutes of heat followed by a dramatic decrease in temperature for the duration of the session. The purpose of the treatment is to lower the temperature of fat cells enough to reduce fat without harming the surrounding area. The cooling system is controlled by an electronic temperature sensor located in the processing head of the device (looks like an ultrasound machine) and the temperature is controlled in real time. This system was developed approximately five years ago and is used throughout France. Results are immediate. Typically in just one 28-minute treatment, results are half an inch or more in fat loss. Improvements will continue over 2-3 weeks following the treatment. As a new mom and someone who constantly battles with my body image and weight, I have tried several weight loss products and programs. I was excited to try this new treatment as I have tried cool sculpting in the past. After reading about Cryoskin, I was intrigued. I found the US Cryotherapy office to be inviting and the staff friendly and informative. The Cryoskin technique was extremely painless, even relaxing. I noticed results immediately, losing 1 inch after just one 28-minute treatment. Care after treatment is very reasonable: maintaining a good diet and regular exercise as well drinking lots of water. I hope to continue to see results over the next several days. I would recommend this treatment to anyone looking to lose weight or remove stubborn fat. One treatment runs approximately $350, but the office is always running specials and deals to make this weight loss technology available to everyone.

LEARN MORE AND SCHEDULE A VISIT (813) 443-1100 USCRYOTHERAPY.COM

OFFICE LOCATION: 1905 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, 33606

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 31


Eight shows!

Presented by:

Tickets are $10 • $8 for Tampa Theatre Members

MIRACLE ON 3444 STREET

Sunday, Nov. 25

at 3:00pm Photos with Santa starting at 2:00pm, courtesy of Bank of America!

A CHRISTMAS STORY

Sunday, Dec. 2

at 3:00pm Winner of our “Fans Pick the Classic” Poll!

32 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

ELF Sunday, Dec. 9

at 3:00pm

Friday, Dec. 14 Thursday, Dec. 20

Sunday, Dec. 23 at 3:00pm

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

WHITE CHRISTMAS

Give back with Tampa Theatre! During the Holiday Classics, Tampa Theatre will be collecting canned and imperishable food for Metropolitan Ministries. Visit

tampatheatre.org/holiday

to read how you can help Tampa Bay families have a happy holiday season!

Additional support provided by:


Inspire Awe!

We’re raising the

Imagination Generation! Open 7 Days a Week Downtown Tampa GlazerMuseum.org

Plant Seeds!

Gift A Membership! Consider adding a GCM Membership to your list of gift ideas this year! There’s no better gift than an entire year of exploration and the opportunity for your little learners to play with purpose!

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 33


restaurants bt

FOOD + DRINK | DATE TRADEWINDS NIGHT GUIDE

By Brianna Althaus for tampabaydatenightguide.com

EXPLORE FRENCH-VIETNAMESE FUSION

Images by Angel Webb Photo

French colonialism in Vietnam gave way to a fusion of food that is uniquely delicious. Heaping bowls of pho, fresh vegetables and fragrant spices all characterize Vietnamese yumminess. If that’s something you’re craving, Tampa chef BT Nguyen whips up this yumminess three ways: with a sit-down restaurant, bistro and to-go option.

RESTAURANT BT

This is the first of BT Nguyen’s restaurants in South Tampa. Restaurant BT offers an updated take on classic French-Vietnamese cuisine. This is an excellent place to consider for date night as the atmosphere and décor is as elegant as the food. Guests can expect white plates, tablecloths and modern décor with accents that reflect the Vietnamese theme. Chef Nguyen has a background in fashion design which she has lent to the tasteful atmosphere of restaurant BT. The plates presented at the restaurant are as beautiful as the atmosphere. Guests can expect French and Vietnamese classics as well as fusion dishes that incorporate local ingredients. Choose between Coq Au Vin with French baguette or Snapper a la Saigon with curry and Vietnamese herbs. Vegan options are also available. A delectable dessert and drink menu accents the full dinner menu. You and your date can enjoy Vietnamese inspired sake cocktails and desserts. Make sure to try the Coconut Panna Cotta with a lychee and passion fruit broth!

BISTRO BT

For a more casual atmosphere with the same delicious food, Bistro BT is the way to go. A twist on the classic French tradition of a bistro, this smaller restaurant serves modestly priced home-style meals, wine and coffee. Bistro BT is meant to be a neighborhood spot that is quick and casual so you have the option of a leisurely lunch, quick bite or ordering to-go food. You can still order upscale, authentic dishes like Coq Au Vin or Duck Confit, but simpler fare like Banh Mi sandwiches and Pho are also available. Make sure to try the Bistro Papaya Salad.

BT TO-GO

Sometimes you and your number one might just want to take some of this delicious food home with you. If that’s the case, the quick BT To-Go spot is a great way to go. What’s great about this location is popular lunch dishes available at other BT spots are now available all day. Orders can even be taken out to your car. This spot is laid-back, healthy and quick! BT To-go is located just down the street from Restaurant BT.

34 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

ABOUT FRENCH VIETNAMESE FUSION The Vietnamese ideal for cuisine is in balancing five taste elements – spice, sour, bitter, salt and sweet. It is also Vietnamese culinary tradition to include balanced nutrients as well as color in their dishes. The resulting dishes are balanced and flavorful and even beautiful to look at! French cooking introduced many ingredients that enhance the already abundant Vietnamese recipes. Corn, potatoes, French bread, white onion and asparagus are all common French vegetables that are used in Vietnamese cooking today. Together with the French technique of cooking, this mix of ingredients and cooking styles gives way to some truly scrumptious dishes that you must experience on your next date night.


HUNGRY: A LABEL NO ONE DESERVES A lunch box. It may seem small, but to a child, it’s everything. While its absence signals the loss of a small piece of childhood, what many don’t see is the most important thing that’s missing: a healthy and nutritious meal. Every day, hundreds of thousands of children in our community are quietly struggling with this void. Their stories are often overlooked but are vital to understanding hunger in Tampa Bay.

Hear the whole story at HUNGERISQUIET.COM

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 35


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GOING ON IN DECEMBER: • WINTER BREAK CAMPS • SANTA’S WORKSHOP • OUTBACK BOWL - THE SCIENCE OF TAILGATING

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 0 0 0 • M O S I . O R G MOSI is a leader in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives by making science real.

36 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018


SPONSORED

EAT, DRINK, SHOP AND BE MERRY

TRADEWINDS | FOOD + DRINK

‘T

is the ‘sea-son’ for family fun, and there’s certainly no shortage of adventure to fill your holiday at RumFish Grill! This one-of-a-kind restaurant offers the ultimate, fullyimmersive experience for anyone with a passion for marine life, innovative culinary creations, or shopping the area’s largest selection of Guy Harvey retail! There’s truly something for everyone to make a splash at this tropical Tampa Bay hot spot.

FEAST WITH THE FISH!

Simply dining at RumFish Grill is enough to have the whole family swimming in a Florida wonderland of temperate salt water inhabited by over 37 different species of local fish. The restaurant houses three stunning tanks, all built by Wayde King and Brett Raymer of Animal Planet’s hit series Tanked. The main 33,500-gallon tank spans the entire wall of the dining room and current residents, including a magnificent lime green moray eel and two always-cameraready southern stingrays, dip and dive past diners as they enjoy their meals.

Accompanying the tanks are delicious dishes you reel-y have to ‘sea’ to believe! The holidays are about indulging in treats of all kinds, and Head Chef Aaron Schweitzer’s menu is filled with colorful and flavorful combinations that consistently leave guests absolutely hooked. Get ready for plates ornamented with perfectly prepared seafood like the visually stunning Seafood Deville: a platter piled high with Mignonette Oysters, Chilled Cocktail Shrimp, Tuna Poke, Ceviche, Lobster Tail and Smoked Fish Dip. Sink your teeth into a celebration each night with themed cheesecake specials. You can even dive into the festive fun with drink specials like a wintery White Cosmo, garnished with cranberry!

GIVE GIFTS WITH LOCAL FLAIR!

Not only is RumFish Grill home to the largest Guy Harvey retail shop in the area, it’s also full of plenty of handcrafted and locally made products that make perfect gifts. With so many options, visitors can do a little holiday shopping for the whole family. The home goods enthusiast can hook personalized platters with their favorite recipe beautifully painted right onto it, tropical décor like

embroidered pillows, wall hangings and more. The fashionistas will love the latest and greatest Guy Harvey clothing prints, especially the show-stealing and lightweight performance wear. Kiddos will be delighted to unwrap a plush “Frankie” moray eel of their very own after having encountered the real deal that makes his home in the main tank.

GET SCHOOLED, EVEN ON BREAK!

Why should the learning stop even on a holiday break? RumFish Grill houses a totally immersive educational experience where kids and parents alike can actually swim with the fish! Come face-to-fishy-face with the deep-sea dwellers in the main tank, thanks to experts from the Marine Exploration Center. Accompanying the snorkeling is a behind-the-scenes tour of this underwater oasis highlighting eco-initiatives and tank management. Anyone 8 and older can enjoy this over-the-top experience. Simply visit SwimWithOurFish.com for more information.

UP TO YOUR GILLS IN CULINARY THRILLS

Dining beside a breathtaking 33,500 gallon aquarium is just one incredible experience at RumFish Grill®. Shop the largest selection of Guy Harvey merchandise in the area, learn all about local marine life and swim with the fish in our tank!

6000 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach | 727.329.1429 | RumFishGrill.com

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 37


FAMILY FUN | GIFTS OF EXPERIENCE

GAME DAY FUN WITH THE HOME TEAM

The gift of experience is the only way to go and what better way to share a day with your child than cheering on the home team? There’s less clutter to deal with than with toys, and you’re creating lifelong memories with your kids. It’s a win-win! What’s more, it’s instant gratification! Here are several home games with which you can gift your child this month.

BUCS GAME

LIGHTNING GAME

DEC. HOME GAMES

DEC. HOME GAMES

SUNDAY, DEC. 2 AT 1 P.M. vs. Carolina Panthers SUNDAY, DEC. 9 AT 1 P.M. vs. the New Orleans Saints SUNDAY, DEC. 30 AT 1 P.M. vs. the Atlanta Falcons

THURSDAY, DEC. 6 AT 7:30 P.M. vs. Boston Bruins SATURDAY, DEC. 8 AT 7 P.M. vs. Colorado Avalanche MONDAY, DEC. 10 AT 7:30 P.M. vs. New York Rangers THURSDAY, DEC. 13 AT 7:30 P.M. vs. Toronto Maple Leafs THURSDAY, DEC. 27 AT 7:30 P.M. vs. Philadelphia Flyers SATURDAY, DEC. 29 AT 7 P.M. vs. Montreal Canadiens

QUICK FACTS *All attendees must have a ticket due to NFL policy. *Go early! Bucs Beach is new this year and located on the side of the stadium along Tampa Bay Boulevard. There are plenty of photo opportunities, performers, music and more!

QUICK FACTS *Children 3 and under do not need a ticket (as long as they do not need their own seat)

*Check out the Jr. Bucs Kids Zone too where kids can test their skills in the inflatable obstacle course, toss a football and more.

*The Kids Club table is typically located at section 128 during games. *Get your camera ready! ThunderBug is at every game.

*Save when you buy a Family 4 Pack. Get two adult tickets and two youth tickets for $100; good for any of the remaining home games! Go to buccaneers.com/ tickets/family4pack for info.

JOIN THE CLUB! The Rays Rookies Kids Club is putting together perks for the 2019 season, so be sure to check back with the Tampa Bay Rays!

*Weekend games tend to have more kids activities taking place outside on Ford Thunder Alley.

JR. BUCS FAN CLUB Kids 14 and younger can become a super fan with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A one-time registration fee of $24.99 includes your child’s welcome kit full of Bucs swag like official membership card, Bucs hat and more! Your child will also get priority invites to future Jr. Bucs events. Join today at buccaneers.com/ fans/jr-bucs.

WHY WE LOVE THE IDEA Passes, memberships or tickets to local attractions like Busch Gardens, ZooTampa, the Florida Aquarium and local museums like MOSI make memorable gifts.

38 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

THUNDERBUG’S KIDS CLUB presented by Cheerios. Kids 12 and younger can join for free, but paid packages that start at $25 all come with a voucher to the Kids Day game March 2! Membership perks include special offers, discounts and autographed memorabilia. Visit TampaBayLightning.com/KidsClub to join and see the ad on the back cover.


Festive Fall Camps Fun Holiday Activities Birthday Parties Kid’s Night Out

1609 W. Snow Circle | Hyde Park Village 813-258-8368 | Tampa.ColorMeMine.com DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 39


DISNEY

Image cour tesy of

Walk t Disney Worl

d

LIKE A PRO

Deck the halls! CAPTION HERE? Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios has gone all out for its first holiday season! You'll see plenty of holiday decor and even hear themed music on the rides like Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers!

Our cover kid James and his parents had the best time exploring Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios. This was the family's first day trip to Disney.

Image by Darlene Barlows Photography

40 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018


Next time you’re walking down Mainstreet U.S.A., notice the American flags on the top of the buildings. Did you know that they are fake and considered pennants? Some are missing a star and some a stripe! If the flags were real, Disney would have to follow federal regulations for displaying the flag like having it flown at half-staff for special occasions. An official American flag is located at Liberty Square and it is lowered every day during a ceremony. There are also no restrooms in that area since there weren’t any during the Colonial Times that Liberty Square was modeled after. How many Easter Eggs do you think you’ll be able to find with your family?

WALLS OF DISNEY AND EASTER EGGS

We can never seem to leave Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios without a Mickey Mouse balloon! My toddler absolutely loves them and they make great stroller markers. Not to mention they actually last quite a while. On our last visit to Magic Kingdom we found out that if you take back a deflated balloon, the Cast Members will replace it for free! This is only for the regular Mickey balloons and not the special occasion ones such as those for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Do your kids like to have their face painted? My daughters haven’t asked yet, but once that time comes, I know that between running around and eating a Mickey Ice Cream Bar, the paint is bound to smudge. Cast Members will touch it up at no charge, so those elaborate face paintings in Pandora can stay perfect all day long—talk about Disney magic!

Some of the best backdrops for photos are the various Walls of Disney located throughout the property. The wall that started it all was The Purple Wall located by the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. Disney fans have been taking photos in front of this wall for a while and posting it on social media with the hashtag #purplewall. There is also a #bubblegumwall by Spaceship Earth and a #popsiclewall at the exit of Toy Story Mania! just to name a few. So grab your phone and plan a wall tour! Disney Easter Eggs are secrets and details that are placed throughout the parks. As a regular, it can be fun and exciting to go on a hunt for these hidden gems. In Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios, you will notice Andy’s footprints on the floor. You are meant to feel like you’re a toy in his backyard, so his footprints are huge! On Slinky Dog Dash, you’ll see a price tag for Rex at Al’s Toy Barn. The price is $19.95, a nod to the year that Toy Story was first released in theatres.

PIXIE DUST MAGIC

FLORIDA RESIDENT PERKS AND MY DISNEY EXPERIENCE As a local, you probably already have the My Disney Experience application downloaded on your phone. We use it to book our dining reservations, reserve Fast

Passes, and download photos from the Photo Pass service. You can make dining reservations up to 180 days in advance and for those last-minute trips, you’ll be surprised what can open up! Many guests will cancel reservations at the latest time possible to avoid fees. Fast Passes can be booked as early as 60 days if you’re staying on Disney property (30 days if you’re not). Checking the app often will almost always ensure you grab a reservation that was previously taken. There have been times when we’ve gone on a spur-of-the-moment trip just because a Fast Pass slot opened that we had been waiting for. With such a short drive time, why not?! We are Gold Passholders and feel it is the best deal for our family. We visit often enough that it pays itself off quickly and the free Photo Pass downloads are a huge plus for us. Disney is always running some kind of special for Florida Residents, so even if you’re not a Passholder, there are still great deals on tickets. Right now, for example, Florida residents can save 30 percent on a 3-day ticket or 40 percent on a 4-day ticket with the Park Hopper option included. Make sure to look at the details because blackout dates and expiration dates often apply. There are so many more things to do and look for as a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World. Go on a hunt for Easter Eggs, take a tour of the Disney Walls, scope out Hidden Mickeys, or eat your way through the best snacks. Take time to do some research and I promise every visit will have something new and exciting to see or do with your family. You’ll have a long list of memories at the most magical place on earth!

Image courtesy of Rebecca Gonzalez

B

eing born and raised in Florida, I took many trips to Walt Disney World growing up. I have such wonderful memories with my family, and every visit was magical in its own way. Six years ago, my husband proposed to me at the Italy Pavilion in Epcot, only adding to my love for Disney. Now when I visit with him and our two daughters, Disney magic has a whole new meaning. As a local, chances are you will be traveling to Walt Disney World quite often like we do. Frequent visits give you and your family the opportunity to explore and experience things that many of the guests tend to look over or not have time for.

Image by Darlene Barlows Photography

DISNEY | FAMILY FUN

By Rebecca Gonzalez

TOP: Our cover kid with Buzz and Woody in Toy Story Land. BOTTOM: The author, Rebecca, and her family on a recent Disney trip. Her girls frequently dress up in character outfits. Rebecca loves the costumes by their very own "Fairy Godmother." We love the Disney Parks Moms Panel! This is an excellent resource for all of your questions disneyparksmomspanel.com.

Going to Disney for the first time with a little one? 2 and younger get in for free. HERE •• Kids Bring your own favorite snacks and drinks. • If your child is an early riser, go to the theme park ARE early when it first opens. SOME • Don’t set high expectations. Select a few rides character experiences and don’t try to be OF OUR and a warrior. Enjoy the moment—your child will probably enjoy the little things most like the BEST monorail ride to the park and sitting in front of the castle eating an ice-cream bar. Kids have a way of TIPS: making us live in the present. Embrace it!

OUR FAVORITE CHARACTER DINING EXPERIENCES (BOOK AHEAD!): 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel Characters from Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Poo and Mary Poppins pop in for a meet and greet during the breakfast buffet. There's a tea party in the afternoon you can book, too!

Cinderella's Royal Table inside Cinderallla's Castle at Magic Kingdom This is pretty much the most magical experience for your little prince or princess. You'll feel like royalty as you dine and mingle with your favorite Disney princess characters!

Chef Mickey's at Disney's Contemporary Resort This dining experience is an all time favorite for most guests who've been. Your Disney originals like Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy all come by your table for a one on one meet and greet! Mickey's Backyard BBQ at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort This is our favorite dining experience because you get so much interaction with the characters as they perform and dance with your little ones! The BBQ buffet is pretty good too! You'll find Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Chip and Dale at this experience!

Images courtesy of Tampa Bay Parenting

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 41


Every Night Nov. 17 - Dec. 31 Make new memories every night at Busch Gardens Christmas Town. Mingle amidst one million twinkling lights. Catch a holiday show and visit Santa’s House presented by Coca-Cola®.

Enjoy a whole year of fun with a NEW Busch Gardens Annual Pass. Choose from benefits like unlimited admission, FREE parking and more.

BuschGardensTampa.com Event dates and times subject to change or cancellation without notice. Pass benefits and pricing vary by tier. All Pass benefits subject to availability, change and/or cancellation without prior notice. Blockout dates apply and parking not included with Bronze Annual Pass. Other restrictions apply. See website for details. © The Coca-Cola Company. © 2018 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.

42 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018


Image from Busch Gardens

Chri stma s Town

O

from Santa | holiday time

THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS IN TAMPA BAY AS TOLD BY OLD ST. NICK

h the joy that is December in Tampa. I start counting down to this time as soon as the Christmas ornaments appear on the shelves at Michael’s—two days before Halloween. December may be my busiest month, but I think we can all agree that it’s the best one. I have to admit that the older I get, the more I view askance this whole notion of a white Christmas. We have the real deal here, without the bother of unflattering thermal layers and the necessity of snow scrapers. Mrs. Claus and I love watching Victorian carolers stroll around the Plant Museum in period costumes, and locals and tourists mingling over cups of cider. It gives me joy to listen to the laughter floating over the Hillsborough River downtown as teenagers wobble across the ice rink at Curtis Hixon Park. After visiting with my littlest fans at ZooTampa’s Winter Wonderland, I enjoy sneaking over to the penguin display to shoot the breeze with my South Pole compadres. We’ve agreed not to discuss the shrinking ice caps during the festive season, so it’s all poking fun at each other’s suits for now. If we have an hour to spare, we head to one of our favorite holiday destinations, Tampa Theatre, for a nostalgic movie night. I have a sneaking fondness for Ralphie in "A Christmas Story," while Mrs. Claus can't get enough of "It's a Wonderful Life." Of course, I do have to make sure that the Santa's Workshop elves over at MOSI have been checking things twice. It’s fun to see “snow” at the Wiregrass Mall Symphony of Lights, and shake my head at the screams of brave SheiKra riders from my cozy little house at Busch Gardens Christmas Town. I’ve been tempted to hop on more than once, but the world needs me as I am— jolly, not deranged with terror after a 200-foot drop. I know it's my job, but it isn't work if you love it. And I love it. I love the children’s innocence, the belief in something pure and good and true. The confidence in a just world that rewards 365 days of often-strained goodness with a simple material reward that makes all that homework-finishing and broccoli-eating and refraining-from-sibling-slapping worth it. My naughty lists are far shorter than you’d imagine, because it’s easy to find the good in every child. Each one comes with a vast repository of it that they haven’t even begun to use up yet. And if I feel like I need to search really, really hard for that goodness in a child who appears determined to exhibit every contrary notion? I simply watch him while he peacefully sleeps, free of the worries and stress of his day. And then I see the true magic of Christmas, framed in the sweep of eyelashes against a blameless cheek. So let’s bask in that and share the magic. Let’s slow down, take the time to enjoy the beauty of a balmy southern Christmas in our beautiful cities by the bay. Cheers to that extra glass of eggnog or mulled wine—or some of that craft beer you’re so fond of here—and settle down on the sofa to watch “Elf” for the twentieth time. Let’s pat ourselves on the back for a year well done, then go to bed early, vowing to enjoy the next day no matter how it unspools. Peace and goodwill to all, and to all a good night. Sincerely,

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 43


holiday time | events

FIND

FUN

EVENTS THIS SEASON MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY

CHRISTMAS AT GAYLORD PALMS

Select Nights in December  Spend the holidays with Mickey and his friends at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Take in the sights and sounds of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, a holiday fireworks extravaganza, and a Frozen Holiday Wish with an enchanting performance by Queen Elsa as she transforms Cinderella Castle into a glimmering ice palace. Plus, meet up with Disney pals and sample complimentary cookies and hot cocoa. disneyworld.disney.go.com

Through Jan. 6, various times  Experience everything Christmas in one place as part of the interactive spectacle ICE! at Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee. Check out the new ICE theme with 2 million pounds of colorful, hand-carved ice sculptures and slides featuring “A Christmas Story,” with scenes from The Old Man’s Major Award, Aunt Clara’s pink nightmare, the classic triple dog dare at the f lagpole, and much more. christmasatgaylordpalms.com

TAMPA THEATRE’S HOLIDAY CLASSICS Through Dec. 23, various times  It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Tampa Theatre! Enjoy the holidays with the theater’s beautifully restored lobby, gorgeous curtain, new seating and a concessions counter to serve more guests than ever before. This year, the theatre will offer five weekends worth of programming of Holiday Classics such as “A Christmas Story,” “Elf,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “White Christmas.” The Theatre will also collect canned and imperishable food throughout the events to benefit Metropolitan Ministries in an effort to help 20,000 families this holiday season. tampatheatre.org/holiday

CHRISTMAS IN THE WILD Through Dec. 30, select nights  Enjoy a special festival of lights to launch the holiday season at Zoo Tampa. Indulge yourself with stunning lights, seasonal smells of holiday treats, and the excitement of festive entertainment as you enjoy the magic of wildlife at night. zootampa.org

SYMPHONY IN LIGHTS Through Dec 31, 6 -9 p.m.  Check out the dancing lights, holiday décor and snow at The Shops at Wiregrass. Catch an inspiring light show choreographed to the holiday music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Shows are nightly on the hour. Free. theshopsatwiregrass.com 44 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

WINTER VILLAGE AT CURTIS HIXON PARK Through Jan. 6, various times  Celebrate the holidays starting in November and lasting into the New Year at Curtis Hixon Park. Come see the transformed waterfront park decked with sights, sounds, and activities full of holiday cheer for children and adults of all ages. Downtown Tampa’s only outdoor ice rink will be back again this year as another must-do for Tampa residents and guests alike. wintervillagetampa.com

UNIVERSAL’S HOLIDAY PARADE FEATURING MACY’S Through Jan.6, various times  Bring the whole family out to Universal Studios and join the Minions and Santa Claus for a Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, a holiday favorite. Join your favorite characters from Madagascar and Shrek and enjoy the holiday festivities throughout Universal Orlando Resort! Enjoy huge balloons resembling the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York, as well as f loats, dancers and entertainment. universalorlando.com

GRINCHMAS Through Jan. 6, various times  Head over to Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort for “warm fuzzies with a side of sarcasm” at Seuss Landing. Enjoy holiday festivities and cheer as you immerse yourself in Dr. Seuss’ Who-ville. Enjoy the hilarity of The

Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, a retelling, live, of the beloved story of the Grinch with music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests will even have the opportunity to meet the Grinch himself for an autograph and a photo. universalorlando.com

CANDLELIGHT PROCESSIONAL AT EPCOT Through Dec. 30, various times  If you love Epcot and you love classic holiday music, head over to the Candlelight Processional at Epcot at Walt Disney World. This holiday tradition features the retelling of the Biblical story of Christmas featuring a celebrity narrator, 50-piece orchestra set, and magnificent choirs. disneyworld.com

RIVER OF LIGHTS HOLIDAY CRUISES Through Dec. 30, various times  Head over to the Hillsborough River and catch a Pirate Water Taxi for a unique way to celebrate the holiday season in Tampa. Guests will enjoy festive decorations, lighted bridges and more all along the Hillsborough River. Enjoy festive narrations, Christmas Carolers and yummy holiday treats, too. piratewatertaxi.com

SEAWORLD ORLANDO’S CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION Through Dec. 31, various times  Head to SeaWorld Orlando to make new holiday memories with festive shopping, delicious food and dazzling live shows inspired by the natural world. Stroll the lakeside Christmas Market and pick out unique, artisan-crafted gifts. The Christmas Celebration is included with park admission. seaworldorlando.com

OUTBACK BOWL / MOSI THE SCIENCE OF TAILGATING Through Dec. 31  Join MOSI for some high-energy fun as we celebrate the Science of Tailgating in MOSI’s Science Park. Add physics to your corn hole throws,


engineering to your wooden towers, and track the technology to your passes as you play your way through a field of games at the official tailgate training of the Outback Bowl.

CHRISTMAS TOWN Through Dec. 31, various times  Take part in one of Tampa newest family traditions at Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as the park becomes a holiday wonderland for select dates this month. Nibble on festive treats, check out special holiday shows and twinkling lights and do some holiday shopping. Plus, visit Santa’s House presented by Coca-Cola® and Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland featuring the beloved characters from the Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer™ television special. buschgardenstampa.com

THE WONDERLAND OF LIGHTS & SANTA’S VILLAGE Through Dec. 29, various times  Experience Tampa’s holiday theme park located at the Hillsborough County Fair Grounds in Brandon. Enjoy a beautiful mile of decorated Holiday displays and dazzling lights. Once your mile is up, check out holiday-themed attractions, a wolf exhibit, rides, and of course, photos with Santa. Tickets are $25. thewonderlandof lights. com

HOLIDAY LIGHTS IN THE GARDENS Through Dec. 31, 5:30-9:30 p.m.  Experience the holiday lights along the paths of Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Enjoy nightly entertainment and visits from Santa Claus at this largest fundraiser for the gardens. Event is free, but $4 donation suggested. For more information, call 727-582-2100.

GINGERBREAD VILLAGE AT GLAZER CHILDREN'S MUSEUM Dec. 15-30  Celebrate the holidays at GCM with a gingerbread-inspired wonderland, sponsored by Macy's. Build your own sweet design from recycled materials and everyday objects like cardboard, pipe cleaners, and bottle caps, then add your house to our growing village. This festive activity is included with museum admission. Learn more at GlazerMuseum.org

JINGLE BELL RUN Dec. 1, event times vary  Be part of the longest-running holiday-themed 5K race series anywhere with the Arthritis Foundation’s original Jingle Bell Run. Wear your favorite holiday costumes. All participants will receive an official long-sleeved Jingle Bell T-Shirt, jingle bells and access to all activities and post-race party. There is also a 1-mile route for runners or walkers. events.arthritis.org.

36TH ANNUAL DOWNTOWN TAMPA CHRISTMAS PARADE AND SANTA FEST Dec. 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Come out to Curtis Hixon Park for an afternoon of fun for all. Curtis Hixon will be decorated for the Holiday season and transformed into a winter wonderland. The parade begins at 11 a.m. at Madison and Morgan Streets and will travel west towards Ashley Drive, ending at Cass Street. Don’t miss free photos with Santa, entertainment, crafts, games and activities. tamapgov.net

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS STROLL Dec. 1-23, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Experience the grandeur of a Victorian Christmas during this signature event of the Henry B. Plant Museum at the University of Tampa. Visit decorated exhibit rooms while enjoying complimentary cider and cookies. Tickets are $15 adults and $9 youth with discount days Dec. 4-5 and 11-12. Proceeds fund the hotel's restoration and preservation efforts. plantmuseum.com

CHRISTMAS BRICKTACULAR AT LEGOLAND FLORIDA RESORT Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22-31, various times  See a dazzling, 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas tree made of 270,000 LEGO bricks at LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven. Young guests can send letters to the North Pole, sing along to Christmas tunes and hear stories told by Mrs. Claus. Capture precious memories at one-of-a-kind photo ops such as a life-size Santa, sleigh and reindeer made from thousands of LEGO bricks and new this year, from inside a giant snow globe or a giant LEGO Christmas wreath. legolandf lorida.com

SANTA SATURDAYS AT THE FLORIDA AQUARIUM Dec. 1, 8; 15, 22 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Take a photo with Santa and watch the diving elves as they swim with your favorite sea creatures!

A CELTIC ANGELS CHRISTMAS Dec. 2, 7 p.m.  Join the Celtic Angels in their Capitol Theatre debut for a Celtic Angels Christmas, sure to captivate all who step foot inside. Enjoy vocal and instrumental seasonal favorites, and world class Irish dancing. rutheckerdhall.com

HELLO, DOLLY! Dec. 4-9, various times  Head over to the Straz Center in Carol Morsani Hall for the Tony winning Best Musical Revival and Broadway’s most beloved musical, “Hello, Dolly!” Enjoy phenomenal choreography and music with this new production of the original show. strazcenter.org

BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA Dec. 5, 8 p.m.  Join musical extraordinaire and Grammy award winner Brian Setzer and his orchestra in his 15th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Enjoy classic holiday hits as well as featured music from their latest holiday album “Rockin’ Rudolph.” rutheckerdhall.com

SNOW DAYS AT THE FLORIDA AQUARIUM Dec. 26–31; noon to 5 p.m.  Extend the holiday celebration at The Florida Aquarium with a play area featuring real snow for the kids. All habitats will be open late for guests to enjoy. For details and a complete event schedule, visit f laquarium.org. A sensory friendly Snow Day will be held on Dec. 29 from 10 a.m. to noon.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS HOLIDAY STROLL Dec. 7, 7 p.m.  Kick off the holidays with scrumptious food and drink at this fundraiser stroll along beautiful Davis Islands, and meet up with friends old and new at this year’s elegant host homes of South Tampa. Proceeds benefit the children at A Kid’s Place Tampa Bay. Tickets are $100. akidsplacetb.org

BARRY MANILOW’S “A VERY BARRY CHRISTMAS” Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.  Don’t miss Barry Manilow’s one night in Tampa at the Amalie Arena for a special Christmas performance, “A Very Barry Christmas.” He will play classic hits such as “Copacabana” and “Mandy” as well as holiday favorites. amaliearena.com

SAFETY HARBOR TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY Dec. 7, 6 -9 p.m.  Gather with family and friends for the lighting of Safety Harbor's giant Christmas tree by the gazebo at John Wilson Park. Choirs will warm up the crowd for a visit from Santa Claus arranged by the Safety Harbor Fire Department. Free. cityofsafetyharbor.com

ST. PETERSBURG CITY THEATER PRESENTS A CHRISTMAS CAROL Dec. 7-16, various times  Don’t miss out on this timeless Dickens classic with beloved characters such as Scrooge, Tiny Tim and all of your favorite ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Benefit supports the local arts association and local non-profit theater companies. Come be reminded of the importance of compassion and love for all this holiday season. spcitytheatre.org

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holiday time | events

THE DUNEDIN EXPRESS Dec. 7-19 (excluding the 8, 11, 17), various times  Pick up your golden ticket at the Dunedin History Museum and ride the trolley in your pajamas to Santa’s Workshop and receive a special gift for believing in Santa. Enjoy games, crafts, cookies and hot cocoa with Santa and his elves. Call for fees and time slots at 727-736-1176. Reservation required.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA Dec. 8, 8–9:30 a.m.  Greet Santa and his animal friends at a scrumptious holiday event hosted by The Florida Aquarium. Begin your visit with a buffet breakfast and a meet-up with Santa. Families will have the opportunity to purchase photos with Santa that morning. For more information, call 813-2734030. f laquarium.org

JANE LYNCH A SWINGIN’ LITTLE CHRISTMAS Dec. 8-9, various times  Join Emmy and Golden Globe-winning comedian Jane Lynch (“Hollywood Game Night,” “Glee”) as she brings the Christmas cheer in her usual hilarious style with renditions of holiday classics. Experience more stars with her See Jane Sing concert tour mates, Kate Flannery (The Office) and Tim Davis, known for his work with Josh Groban, Childish Gambino, Pentatonix and Lady Gaga. strazcenter.org

SANTA’S WORKSHOP AT MOSI December 8-31  Santa’s Workshop, located in the Idea Zone® invention lab at MOSI is included with admission. Running from Saturday, Dec. 8 and continuing through Monday, Dec. 31, various activities have been planned to ensure a variety of activities for guests, providing reasons to make several return trips. This year’s theme will be “Activities and Gifts Inspired by Video Games and Animation.”

THE WINTER WONDERETTES Dec. 8-23, 8- 10 p.m.  Head out to Stageworks Theatre for a hilarious night of holiday harmonies for all ages. Join the Wonderettes as they attempt to save Santa Claus and the holiday season. Enjoy 60’s versions of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Run, Rudolph, Run” and “Winter Wonderland.” stageworkstheatre.org

PJ LIBRARY HANUKKAH HOP AT GATOR FRED’S Dec. 9, 12:30- 2:30 p.m.  Kids are invited to come play and celebrate Hanukkah with PJ Library friends at Gator Fred’s in Carrollwood. Afternoon includes hopping, playing, pizza, holiday treats and the featured PJ Library story “The Hanukkah Trike.” Fee is $5 per child pay at the door. bryanglazerfamilyjcc.com

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS LIVE! Dec. 12, 7 p.m.  See the Emmy® and Peabody award-winning story by Charles M. Schulz adapted for the stage and performed at Capitol Theatre. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and other members of the Peanuts gang on their journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas. Tickets are $35-$100. rutheckerdhall.com

93.3 FLZ’S JINGLE BALL Dec. 15, 7 p.m.  Don’t miss this year’s 10th Annual Jingle Ball at Amalie Arena. This year expect performances by Shawn Mendes, Marshmellow, Logic, Khalid, Bebe Rexha, Bazzi, Sabrina Carpenter, Bryce Vine, Madison Beer and AJ Mitchell. This year, almost every performer is a fresh face, performing their first time at 93.3’s Jingle Ball. These performers will surely add a change of pace! amaliearena.com

AN UNFORGETTABLE NAT KING COLE CHRISTMAS Dec. 13-16, various times  Don’t miss the enchanting voice of Evan Tyrone Martin as he dazzles audiences with tribute to Nat King Cole. Martin will be relating Cole’s journey and will present his festive hits such as “L-O-V-E,” “Mona Lisa,” “The Christmas Song” and “All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.” Buy your tickets soon; some performances are already sold out. strazcenter.com

THE FLORIDA ORCHESTRAHOLIDAY POPS Dec. 14, 8 p.m.  Don’t miss this one-night-only event at the Straz Center featuring the vocal stylings of American Idol star and St. Pete native Michael Lynche. This is holiday magic you won’t find anywhere else this season, perfect for the whole family. strazcenter.org

TAMPA HOLIDAY GIFT AND CRAFT SHOW Dec. 15 and 22, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Come out to Westfield Citrus Park Mall for a holiday celebration showcasing unusual and collectable gift ideas, handmade by local artists from the Tampa Bay Area. marketatthepark.com

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CHILDREN’S DAY AT THE VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS STROLL Dec. 16, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Bring the kids to the Henry B. Plant Museum for a special day full of family friendly activities. Guests will enjoy the holidays with an old fashioned f lair all while encouraging community. Enjoy paper crafts, face painting, live theater, stories, puppet shows, carriage rides, and more. plantmuseum.com

NUTCRACKER TEA AT GLAZER Dec. 16, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.   The Glazer Children's Museum is partnering with the Straz to bring your family a new holiday tradition! Wear your tutu and join ballet dancers from Next Generation Ballet for high tea as they perform scenes from Nutcracker. There will be a ballet workshop with the performers, photo opportunities, hot tea and light food. Guests of the Nutcracker Tea at the Glazer Children's Museum will receive 25 percent off tickets to Next Generation Ballet's Nutrcracker at the Straz.

LARGO HOLIDAY STROLL Dec. 16, 6:30-9:30 p.m.  Stroll through Largo Central Park and admire the beautiful holiday nights as part of this fun family-friendly holiday event. Enjoy a variety of crafts and activities, as well as live entertainment and the official Christmas tree lighting at 7 p.m. Concessions will be available for purchase. largo. com

CIRQUE MUSICA HOLIDAY Dec. 16, 7 -9 p.m.  Marvel at the mesmerizing cirque performers in this all-new holiday show to be performed with a live symphony orchestra at Yuengling Center in Tampa. Attend this concert and visual experience that takes audience members on a journey into a world of high-f lying adventure with amazing acrobats, aerialists, hilarious hijinks and holiday cheer. Tickets are $25-$85. yuenglingcenter.com

TRANS-SIBERIA ORCHESTRA Dec. 16, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Experience the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for their 2018 Winter Tour returning to Tampa at the Amalie Arena. The event sells out year after year as the group’s “must-attend” holiday tradition. This year’s tour will host an unforgettable presentation of “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve.” amaliearena.com

TAMPA BALLET THEATRE PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER Dec. 18, 7 p.m.  Join Ruth Eckerd Hall for a delightful holiday ballet presented by Tampa Ballet Theater sure to warm hearts and inspire all in attendance. rutheckerdhall.com

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL CRYSTAL

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Dec. 19-23, various times  Don’t miss out on Cirque du Soleil’s beautiful return to Tampa Bay! Just in time for the holiday season, experience a brand new show full of thrills, chills and life lessons, perfect for the entire family performed live for the first time ever! For this special production of Cirque du Soleil, they will be bringing their first ice production, CRYSTAL, to the Amalie Arena. Kids and adults alike will surely be dazzled by this thrilling performance that is unlike any Cirque show out there. cirquedusoleil.com/crystal

Dec. 22-23, various times  Head over to Ruth Eckerd Hall for the beloved story of the von Trapp family and enjoy incredible acting and nostalgic show tunes originated by the great Julie Andrews. rutheckerdhall.com

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Dec. 20, 7 p.m.  Share a holiday tradition with the family as this musical adaptation of the Dickens classic arrives at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for two shows. Meet up with the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future as they guide Scrooge on a journey to find the true spirit of Christmas. Tickets start at $38.75. rutheckerdhall.com

“HOME ALONE” IN CONCERT Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m.  Come and enjoy the timeless holiday classic with songs from the renowned composer John Williams performed live to picture as Kevin McCallister is accidentally left behind by his family for Christmas. rutheckerdhall.com

CHRISTMAS WITH ROCKAPELLA Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m.  Head to the Capitol Theatre for some holiday vocal magic by Rockapella featuring their critically acclaimed acapella sound with holiday classics that you won’t find anywhere else. rutheckerdhall.com

TAMPA RIVERWALK HOLIDAY BOAT PARADE OF LIGHTS Dec. 22, 6:30 p.m.  Come on out to Tampa’s Riverwalk for a spectacular night of lights on the water. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. and will travel the Hillsborough River throughout downtown Tampa. thetampariverwalk.com

NEXT GENERATION BALLET’S NUTCRACKER Dec. 22-23, various times  Wind the clock, mind the mouse and get ready for a stand-out, family-friendly production of Clara’s great dream in The Land of the Sweets as Next Generation Ballet delivers a delightful take on the beloved ballet at Straz Center in Morsani Hall. Tickets start at $30. strazcenter.org

MOSCOW BALLET’S GREAT RUSSIAN NUTCRACKER Dec. 26-27, various times  See an exquisite production of the ballet classic featuring a company of 40 world-class Russian artists with lush, awe-inspiring sets and elaborately detailed costumes onstage at The Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Tickets are $34-$99. themahaffey.com

HOLIDAY CAMP AT MOSI COSMIC CAPERS Dec. 26-28, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. , grades K-3  The universe needs you! There are many mysteries about the cosmos that need some explanation. How far are the planets from one another? Did you know that the sun is a star? Also, did you know that the gas giants don’t have a solid surface? If you are interested in learning about these mysteries and more,this is the camp for you. Explore these mysteries and more as you learn about our expanding universe. Get ready and hold on tight because it is going to be an outof-this-world experience. mosi.org

HOLIDAY CAMP AT MOSI I DIG MINECRAFT Dec 26-28, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., grades 4-8  Whether it is mining for precious ores, gathering scarce resources, planting enough crops to feed you and your friends, or simply designing your own zombie-proof bunker, Minecraft makes it all possible! Join us this week as we go through different challenges and activities in everyone’s favorite blocky game where the possibilities are endless. mosi.org

CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE Dec. 29-30, various times  Get ready to be mesmerized by this critically-acclaimed holiday stage extravaganza, a combination cirque spectacle, Broadway musical and family show all in one, hosted by The Mahaffey Theater in St. Pete. Watch 20 world-class acts from soaring acrobats and illusionists to singers with seasonal favorites and elaborate production numbers. Tickets are $35-$65. themahaffey.com

CHECK OUT TAMPABAYPARENTING.COM FOR MORE

HOLIDAY EVENTS! DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 47


holiday time | celebrate New Year's

BABY, YOU'RE A FIREWORK CELEBRATE NEW YEAR'S WITH (OR WITHOUT) KIDDOS

NOON YEAR’S EVE AT ZOO TAMPA

NEW YEAR’S EVE AT SEAWORLD ORLANDO

NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION AT BUSCH GARDENS

Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m  Ring in the New Year family style at Zoo Tampa for a midday year-end celebration. The party includes interactive entertainment, a rockin’ DJ, a countdown to the NOON year with a kid-friendly toast and more. Noon Year’s Eve fun included with paid zoo admission or zoo membership. zootampa.org

Dec. 31  Celebrate the New Year with all of your favorite sea friends at Sea World Orlando. Enjoy a musical celebration as well as a bold fireworks display that will welcome in the New Year. Enjoy holiday entertainment throughout the park before, during, and after the fireworks and be sure to enjoy craft beer and tasty bites. seaworld.com

Dec. 31, until 1 a.m. Jan 1.  Celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends and family and indulge in some excitement, too, at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Enjoy thrill rides in the dark, jam to music throughout the park, and catch the fireworks show in Gwazi Park after the parkwide countdown. Admission is included with paid admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. buschgardenstampa.com

DOWNTOWN COUNTDOWN AT GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Dec. 31, Noon – 5 p.m.  Ring in 2019 at the top of every hour at Glazer Children’ Museum’s in downtown Tampa with fun activities all afternoon. New Year’s Eve festivities included with admission. glazermuseum.org

KIDS’ NEW YEAR’S EVE (NOON) BALLOON DROP AT ARMATURE WORKS Dec. 31 11:30am  Join Armature Works in the courtyard for a Noon Year’s Eve bash featuring the Spheres Bubble and Magic Show and a big balloon drop when the clock strikes noon! This family-friendly event is free to attend!

RING IN THE NEW YEAR Dec. 26-31  Head over to LEGOLAND Florida Resort and enjoy the holiday décor after Christmas and ring in the New Year at the Kid’s New Year’s Party featuring nightly fireworks, dance parties, building activities and more. On New Year’s Eve, enjoy a brick drop at a kid-friendly hour at 7 p.m. legolandf lorida.com

1ST ANNUAL MULLINS MUSIC NEW YEAR’S EVE EVE GALA Dec. 30, 7 - 11 p.m.  Come out to the beautiful Dulcet Restaurant & Lounge for a wonderful night full of memories to support a good cause. Enjoy delicious food, fun dancing, a silent auction, and more. For this event, the entertainment will be provided by a 15-piece swing orchestra by some of Tampa’s best professional musicians. Proceeds will benefit Mullins Music, a non-profit organization in New Port Richey. eventbrite.com

48 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

LIGHT IT UP! CLEARWATER Dec. 31, midnight  Participate in Clearwater Beach’s Annual Fireworks Celebration on New Year’s Eve. Relax on the beach, enjoy the sunset, if you choose to head over early, and enjoy delicious food from any local eatery. Let the kids stay up late. Light it Up! Was voted one of the top five kid-friendly events to ring in the New Year by U.S. News Travel. lightitupclearwater.com

FIRST NIGHT ST. PETERSBURG Dec. 31  Don’t miss the largest family friendly New Year’s Eve Event in Florida at North Straub Park. Enjoy music, drama, games, comedy, lights, dance, bubbles, fireworks and more. This event will be a Celebration of the Arts in Florida and First Night St. Pete will be celebrating their 26th anniversary of bringing the city of St. Pete Art in Unexpected Places. firstnightstpete.com

MAGIC VILLAGE WHITE PARTY Dec. 31, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m  Celebrate New Year’s in Orlando at the Villaggio Restaurant at Magic Village this year for the Best New Year’s Eve Party in Orlando. Kick off 2019 with live music and fun. Bring the family and enjoy a buffet and bar all night as well as champagne! The dress code is white, and the event will feature a live band and DJ. eventbrite.com

NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS CRUISE Dec. 31, 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.  Ring in the New Year on the Hillsborough River with a one-hour cruise that includes champagne, party goodies, and the best views of Downtown Tampa and the fireworks! All ages are welcome to attend, but be sure to book your tickets in advance to guarantee your spot. piratewatertaxi.com

OUTBACK BOWL NEW YEAR’S EVE PARADE Dec. 31, 5:30- 7:45 p.m.  Head over to Ybor City for The Outback Bowl New Year’s Eve Parade, perfect for the entire family. This event will feature 15 high school bands and two college bands from the teams in the bowl game along with a number of f loats. The parade will make its way down 7th Avenue from 20th Street to 14th Street where college bands and cheerleaders will lead a pep rally. outbackbowl.com

ARMATURE WORKS NEW YEAR’S EVE 2019 Dec. 31-Jan. 1, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.  Join Armature Works for their 2019 NYE Gala, this year’s most exclusive New Year’s Eve Party starting Dec. 31st and ending New Year’s morning. The event will take place at The Gathering inside Armature Works and will host a live band and DJ, a top shelf open bar, late night hors d’oeuvres, plus champagne with a midnight toast. When the clock strikes midnight, head to the lawn to catch the best fireworks display in the city with downtown Tampa in the distance. For tickets visit nyeaw.com.

DISNEY COUNTDOWN TO MIDNIGHT: A NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION Dec. 31, 8 p.m.  Reserve your spot and make your way to Disney’s Contemporary Resort to ring in the New Year at this extraordinary soiree. Start the night in the Fantasia Ballroom where guests can enjoy drinks, dancing and a DJ. Then enjoy culinary masterpieces from restaurants such as California Grill, Flying Fish, Jiko- The Cooking Place and Narcoossee’s. Enjoy a walk outside to the Porte Cochere to enjoy a glass of champagne as the New Year’s Eve fireworks lights up the sky from Magic Kingdom Park. disneyworld.com


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G A L A

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TA M PA' S M OST E XC LUS I V E NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY

DECEMBER 31ST - 9:00PM TO 1:00AM

L AT E N I G H T H O R S D ' O E U V R E S | T O P S H E L F O P E N B A R L I V E B A N D & DJ | C H A M PA G N E B A R | F I R E W O R K S

T H E GAT H E R I N G AT A R M AT U R E WO R KS

B U Y T I C K E TS O R R E S E RV E A TA B L E AT N Y E AW.C O M DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 49


holiday time | gift guide

our guide to great gifts for mama and baby for techies

OLIVER AND RAIN For anyone looking for cute, yet sustainably safe clothing. oliverandrain.com

EASY BABY TRAVELERS Never deal with a disorganized diaper bag again with labeled Easy Baby Travelers fabric bags. easybabytravelers.com

MIRI DIAPER BAG BY KIPLING A lightweight diaper bag with multiple spacious compartments and a stylish flair. kipling-usa.com

PLANNERS BY LIVING WELL, SPENDING LESS

Organize your busy schedule! Choose your planner, then pick from a variety of LWSL essentials such as Daily Do It Sticky Notes, Daily Focus Sheet Sticky Notes or Living Well Planner Sticker Set. livingwellspendingless.com

50 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

MY CHARGE UNPLUGGED 10K Extend your smart phone battery life by simply placing your smart phone on the “power bank”. Need multiple charging? The device boasts two USB-A ports to allow three devices to charge at once, and is compatible with any product that charges by USB cable. mycharge.com


stocking stuffers

DOME BEAUTY BRUSHES We love that these make-up brushes are a clean beauty solution made with cruelty and chemical-free raw materials. Check out their Charcoal Eye Brush. It's infused with charcoal to provide protection from bacteria! domebeauty.com

NOUBESS Spice up kitchen life with these healthy Carribbean flavored condiments and spices. Plant Ultimate Hangover Relief based, all-natural,The and low-sodium options with no added sugar Miracoal’s organic activated coconut charcoal binds to toxins and works will tempt your favorite foodie. with electrolytes to prevent dreaded noubess.com

MIRACOAL Miracoal is an all-natural hangover relief with organic coconut charcoal activators. Take it up a notch with Miracoal Plus for a total body holiday detox with added B12 and turmeric. Use codeDETOX20 for special gift guide 20 percent discount! miracoal.com

hangovers. All-Natural & GMO-free.

www.miracoal.com

CINEMOOD PORTABLE MOVIE THEATER If you have ever dreamt of owning your own projector, but just don’t have the space, this projector fits in the palm of your hand. Get ready for outdoor movie nights and sleepovers. cinemood.com

The Ultimate System Recovery Activated charcoal removes impurities from your system, while turmeric and Vitamin B12 boosts energy and reduces inflammation. All-Natural & GMO-free.

www.miracoal.com

WOKEN COMPOSTABLE PODS Improve your carbon footprint, reduce landfill material and still enjoy delicious coffee with Woken Compostable Pods from Woken Coffee. Pods are compatible with Nespresso OriginalLines Machines and more. woken.coffee

WINE BLOCK

RABBIT CHARGER This charger installs to replace an outlet for quick use. The Rabbit Charger features retractable cables, swappable charging tips and the option to electrify two devices at once. rabbitcharger.com

Perfect for the wine drinker, Wine Block is an on-the-go, red wine stain preventative for your lips and teeth! It comes in the form of a balm and it prevents the obvious purple hue that your favorite glass of Cabernet (or any other red wine) leaves. The balm’s flavor was formulated specifically to never interfere with the taste of your wine. wineblock.com

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 51


holiday time | make some fun

It takes a village

By Kate White, Glazer Children's museum

P

lanning starts days in advance, each team holding secret meetings to discuss strategy. The rivalry is fierce. Siblings compete, grandparents judge, and a winning team is announced. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of my family’s annual gingerbread house competition, a holiday tradition we love so much that we’ve continued it into adulthood. As our family has expanded with the addition of spouses, in-laws, and kids, the competition has grown along with us. Each year the themes are more creative and the designs more impressive. In addition to the traditional Norman Rockwell-style houses, over the years we have also made an igloo, a tiki hut, a lighthouse, an adobe-style home, and even a military tank. Now my daughters absolutely love our sweet family tradition (pun intended) and I feel a mixture of joy and nostalgia watching them use creativity and imagination to construct their designs.

LEARN MORE Check out glazermuseum.org for tickets and information

52 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

As I watch them play, I notice differences in how they learn at various stages in their own development. My 4-year-old is honing key skills for social and emotional wellness, including patience, flexibility and collaboration while learning how to articulate her ideas. Little sis is only 2, so she’s busy mastering her fine motor skills. Gathering the materials helps develop strength and coordination, while using the small pieces to decorate improves her dexterity.  At the Glazer Children’s Museum, we celebrate the holidays with Gingerbread Village, sponsored by Macy’s. From Dec. 15-30, little learners can build their own gingerbreadinspired houses from recycled materials and everyday objects like cardboard, pipe cleaners and bottle caps, then add their house to our growing village. Parents can enjoy this festive holiday activity knowing that real learning is happening beneath the surface. Building gingerbread houses encourages kids to learn the four basic steps of engineering-draft, test, prototype and finalize--through experimentation. They’re developing creative planning skills as they plan their concept, determine

the supplies they need, and figure out how to meld creativity with structural integrity. You can continue the merry making at home this holiday season by creating your own version of a gingerbread house challenge. You could replicate my family competition, challenge your kids to build the tallest house possible or collaborate together on a family gingerbread house. And don’t forget add the Gingerbread Village at the Glazer Children’s Museum to your list of holiday traditions!


JOIN SANTA’S CREW in Grand Court • Earn your crew badge • Get fitted in virtual elf gear • Help fix Santa’s sleigh • Visit Santa like never before Nov. 8 through Dec. 24

Create your badge online at shopinternationalplaza.com or use the International Plaza app. Locally sponsored by ®

2223 N. Westshore Blvd., Tampa, FL Audi | BMW | Land Rover | Maserati | Porsche | Subaru | Volkswagen DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 53


WE WISH YOU A WILD CHRISTMAS! The holidays have arrived at ZooTampa! Embrace the Christmas spirit as the Zoo transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with a breathtaking festival of lights and a 50-foot animated Christmas tree. Special animal encounters, seasonal entertainment and delicious treats await you and your whole family at Christmas in the Wild. Tickets start at just $24.95 after 4PM, or FREE for members!

ARRIVING SELECT NIGHTS

NOV 23 – DEC 30

ZooTampa.org/Christmas


ZooTampa | holiday time

CELEBRATE THE SEASON

I WITH THE MAGIC

t’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…in the Wild! ZooTampa at Lowry Park will transform once again into a world of holiday cheer for Christmas in the Wild! The event celebrates its fourth year as one of Tampa Bay’s most beloved holiday traditions. The festivities kick-off on Black Friday, Nov. 23 and continue for 18 delightful nights. Families will experience a merry and memorable evening and immerse themselves in the spirit of the season. From the stunning sights of thousands of twinkling lights, delectable seasonal holiday treats and refreshments, to the wonder and enchantment of wildlife at night – the event offers guests of all ages a whimsical holiday experience. Jolly St. Nick and his playful elves will return to Santa’s Village. Parents will have the opportunity to make reservations to ensure they don’t miss the “big guy in red” before he returns to the North Pole. Visiting Santa in his workshop is included with the event and Zoo members can make a reservation starting at 3 p.m. Families can enjoy the festivities and receive a text message when it’s their time to tell Santa their Christmas wish. Family favorites return including festive entertainment with carolers dressed in Dickens era costumes performing traditional classics as well as contemporary favorites, and holiday story time with Mrs. Claus. Guests will be mesmerized by a 50-foot Christmas tree complete with 12,000 dancing lights, 2,000 ornaments and an 8-foot star! Other holiday themed areas include Holiday Hoedown, Polar Paradise and Candy Cane Lane. Wildlife will also get into the holiday spirit with special themed activities including Presents for Primates and Ornaments & Elephants. Guests will have the opportunity to have a close look at African penguins and may catch a glimpse of some adorable Zoo babies. The popular “A Present for Hazel” a holiday themed animal show returns, featuring our famous animal ambassadors. The scents and tastes of holiday treats and refreshments will resonate throughout the Zoo. The Zoo’s Head Chef, Itza Henderson, has once again created an innovative menu to satisfy every foodie’s palate. An array of Instagram-worthy items are available including a Sugarplum Fairy Float and mini apple cider donuts. Savory dishes include slow smoked ribs with a cranberry BBQ glaze, a Grinch Dog, an amazing holiday burger and more. For those craving something sweet, there’s a variety of decadent desserts to indulge in from a selection of gourmet hot chocolates, peppermint mousse and deconstructed apple pie. Moms and dads can add some spice to the evening with a peppermint martini or hot toddies. ‘Tis the season for giving. Guests can finish their holiday shopping with unique gifts that support the Zoo’s mission of conservation. Avoid the mall frenzy with the ultimate present that keeps on giving joy throughout the year – a Zoo membership. Other special gift ideas include animal encounters and animal adoptions. Christmas in the Wild takes place on select nights in November and December. A variety of admission values are available online at ZooTampa.org or at the Zoo’s front gate. DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 55

OF WILDLIFE AND SANTA CLAUS By Kristy Chase-Tozer, ZooTampa


holiday time | travel tips

Images by Carmen Shaw @carmenthemodernmom

WITH ME By Michelle Pratt

I

f you are flying this holiday season, then you must have already concluded that the fun you will have at your destination will outweigh the challenges of getting there. Here are Safe in the Seat’s Top 10 tips for flying with your littles.

For more information about traveling with children this holiday season, follow @safeintheseat on Facebook and Instagram. safeintheseat.com

SEAT OPTIONS TO TRY Check your luggage and see what car seat travel options your car

seat manufacturer offers to help you travel through the airport. Some universal options are the Britax car seat travel cart (left) or the Go-Go Babyz Travelmate (right with Clek car seat). You can even strap your little one like in the photo below.

If you're in the market for a lightweight car seat just for flying, we love the Cosco Scenera NEXT which is priced at about $34-$45.

56 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

Don't be a Scrooge. Buy a plane ticket for your child, even if they are under 2 years old. Bonus, you won't be their human jungle gym. Your sanity is more valuable than the cost of the extra airplane seat. Bring a car seat with you. It's not worth the risk of renting one, being delayed overnight and not having one, or of damage or loss. Don't make me say, "I told you so." Sorry, Santa's sleigh is full. If your child is under 40 pounds, the car seat needs to be ON the plane with your child harnessed in it. It's the safest way for your child and seat to travel. Yes, it's heavy, awkward and annoying but so is life with kids. You’ve got this! According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), if your child is over 40 pounds, it's safe for them to fly using the lap belt. That said, if you're lugging along a convertible car seat, go ahead and use it on the plane too. Frequent flyer? Consider adding a just-for-travel car seat to your wish list. Most everyday use car seats are big and bulky. Check your list twice to be sure yours is FAA Approved (check for a sticker on the car seat) and just so you don't get your tinsel in a tangle, it's worth doing some research to be sure it fits in the airplane seat. Nothing about this is easy but simplify where you can. Book a direct flight and check your suitcases. Wear a backpack to free up your hands. Consider purchasing a wheeling car seat carrier like the GoGo Kidz Travelmate or the Traveling Toddler. If you still aren't convinced to take the seat on the plane with you, at least pack your car seat in the original box it came in or one like it with substantial padding to protect it from being damaged. Snacks, Pinterest activities and knowing how to seatbeltinstall your seat are all equally important when preparing to travel with small children. Practice before the big day! If a family member is picking you up, another option is to send them a car seat in advance and suggest they find a child passenger safety technician in their area and learn how to install the seat in their vehicle correctly. Before you take flight, review the child passenger safety laws specific to your destination. It's the most wonderful time of the year—don’t get caught off guard. While we can't promise a stress-free travel experience, we can assure you with proper planning, research and maybe a glass of wine in flight, you CAN do this!


s a m t s i r h C g n i th y Ever ce

ry Pla a n i d r o a r t n One Ex

I

Tickets and Overnight Packages on Sale Now!

ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com The Fun Ends January 1 PEPSI, PEPSI-COLA and the Pepsi Globe are registered trademarks of PepsiCo, Inc.

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 57


holiday time | subscription box favorites

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING A SUBSCRIPTION BOX PROVIDES ENDLESS OPTIONS FOR GIFTS THIS SEASON.

Two local women share the story behind their curated monthly subscription boxes

We Craft Box Meet Betsy Wild, mom of two and founder of We Craft Box

Q: TELL US ABOUT WE CRAFT BOX! WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE THIS KIT FOR KIDS? Some of my fondest childhood memories are of crafting with my Mom. Now I’m a Mom myself and I want to create these memories with my own children. But with a demanding job and home to manage I found it stressful and difficult to find the time to prepare for crafting. So I created a solution for myself, and have since turned it into a product that is helping hundreds of families unplug from the screen and conveniently enjoy creative time together. We Craft Box is a monthly package of creativity with 2-3 prepared kids crafts and themed story that is delivered to your doorstep! From lollipop-eating llamas to pinecone bears camping in the woods, each box is a new and exciting theme to discover. With all materials included (that can be shared between two children) and easy-to-follow photo directions, we set busy families up for a win - now they can enjoy stress-free time connecting through creativity.

Q:WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR KIDS TO CREATE ART WITH THEIR PARENTS AT HOME? Creativity is the magic of childhood, and connecting with parents though art and learning new techniques and materials is not only fun, but strengthens family bonds.  Gifting and enjoying experiences rather than toys has been an ever growing trend - and when pairing it with making memories with your children, that makes for an amazingly thoughtful and powerful gift.

Q:WHAT CAN PARENTS EXPECT TO RECEIVE EACH MONTH? Each brightly colored We Craft Box is delivered to your doorstep during the first week of the month. When you crack open the box, you will first see the short story and some photos of our unique monthly theme. The story is key as it engages the kids and gets the imaginative juices flowing! There are materials for 2-3 crafts in each box and easy to follow step-by-step photo directions. All the materials are included! No need to run and chase down the markers or glue stick - it’s all in the box, and can be shared between two children!  58 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018

Many of our subscribers (my boys included) enjoy listening to the story, crafting up a storm, then playing with the crafts, or talking about the story more and elaborating in their own creative way. Lastly, we set all the crafts up using the box in some way - I like to put this on display in the home. The children are so proud of their creations and will talk and admire their crafts through the month, or till the next box of crafting goodies arrives.

GIFT YOUR SUBSCRPTION HERE WECRAFTBOX.COM

Q:SINCE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ART... WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO STORE A CHILD'S CREATIONS? My boys are young (2 and 4), so there is a lot of process art that they do in school and at home. I like to put a few in frames and showcase in the home. It’s amazing what an inexpensive frame from the craft store can do for a simple finger painting! The other fun way I display their creations is on a clothing line set up with clothespins and we rotate their art as it comes in. Part of the fun in setting the kids art on display is just how incredibly proud they are of it. And seeing on the walls at home makes them feels special. I know my 4-year-old, Max, likes to do show and tell with his clothing line of art to all our friends visiting.  To store the boy’s art I have a memory chest for each of them. These are just basic wooden chests that I will continue adding to as they grow. Not only are we adding their creations and mementos inside the chest, but we are decorating the chest itself as they grow too! We have only done a bit of decorating so far, but plan to add to them as the boys grow with handprints, decoupage and even photos. I hope it really becomes a treasure to them one day, or reminds them of some incredible memories we made together.

Betsy Wild, We Craft Box founder, and her family.


Little Global Citizens Meet Akeelah Kuraishi, a mom of two and founder of Little Global Citizens

Q: TELL US ABOUT LITTLE GLOBAL CITIZENS. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE THIS KIT FOR KIDS? My husband and I traveled the world in our 30s and, after experiencing such kindness from people across the globe, we wanted to make sure our young sons grew up feeling a kinship and empathy towards all people. However, we discovered that it's not so easy to travel internationally with little ones, especially 2 rambunctious little boys, so we decided that we would find a way to bring the world to them! Little Global Citizens is our gift to teach our children and yours about cultures and people of the world.

other cool subscriptions KIWI CO Check out Kiwi Co for oodles of crates filled with fun surprises for kids of all ages! All you have to do is pick a line with projects for every age and interest, then wait 2-3 business days for your delivery of a monthly crate that you can pause or cancel anytime. Finally, enjoy “serious fun” with science and art projects perfect to inspire children to become creators and problem solvers! Boxes start for kids aged 0-3 and include fun projects for kids 16+. kiwico.com

Q: WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR KIDS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND THEM?

WHAT IS LITTLE GLOBAL CITIZENS? Little Global Citizens is the only subscription box that takes children on adventures from around the world, bringing a new country and its culture to life with each box with carefully curated books, family friendly cultural activities, fun hands-on crafts, language skills, a thoughtful souvenir and recipes. Our goal is to foster open-mindedness and compassion in young children by building an understanding of the world and a love for the people in it, through interactive fun and experiential learning. Each box is expertly directed by our Montessori Educator.

LEARN MORE AT LITTLE-GLOBAL-CITIZENS.COM

The world they grow up in is globalizing at an incredible rate. The people they go to school with and eventually work with will be from all corners of the globe, so feeling a kinship towards them is essential for a peaceful and happy world. Learning about other countries inspires creative thinking. It helps them gain perspective about their own place in this world, developing their sense of self and confidence. And perhaps most importantly, it helps foster their spirit of empathy and compassion for others.

Q: WHAT CAN PARENTS EXPECT TO RECEIVE EACH MONTH? Every box is entirely unique and includes a beautiful book, hands on crafts, screen-free cultural activities and games, family friendly recipes, a thoughtful souvenir and a children's guide about each new country.

Q: ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO ADD? This year, we will offer a Christmas Around the World box. It's a great way to add to your own family Christmas traditions and a great gift for families that are trying to avoid an onslaught of disposable toys over the holiday season.

COFFEE AND A CLASSIC If you love to read and are always looking for new suggestions or ideas, check out Coffee and a Classic for a book subscription service. The creator, Ashlee Doherty, wants her subscribers to open “a complete experience when they receive their book boxes each month.” There are so many classics to choose from that past boxes will never be repeated! You can choose from the STARTER Classic Subscription which includes a classic book, coffee, hot tea or hot chocolate, two “bookish” items, and a book mark for less than $30! For those looking for a little more, enjoy the STANDARD Classic Subscription which includes a classic book, something to sip on, a snack, a mug, two “bookish” items and a bookmark all packaged in a high-quality photo box for $40. coffeeandaclassic.com

Akeelah Kuraishi founded Little Global Citizens to foster kinship and empathy in children towards all people.

DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 59


Series Copyright 2010, CITH Productions, Inc. and Red Hat Animation, Limited. Underlying characters copyright 1957, 1985 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All rights reserved.

WEDU PBS and Glazer Children’s Museum invite you to kick off the holiday season with an afternoon of fun, learning and surprises featuring the Cat in the Hat!

Children’s Board Free Tuesday When: Tuesday, December 4 Noon - 6:00 pm Cost: FREE! Courtesy of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County

For more information visit http://glazermuseum.org/events/free-tuesday or call 813 443 FUN1 (3861) Remember, children must be accompanied by an adult and adults must be accompanied by a child.

wedu.org /WEDUPublicMedia

@wedupbs

The WEDU PBS Free Tuesday program is made possible through collaboration between WEDU PBS and Glazer Children’s Museum. Admission is free from noon to 6 p.m. courtesy of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County. For more information, visit glazermuseum.org or call (813) 443-3861. 60 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018


FROM THE WEB | WHAT’S HAPPENING

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DONATE DIAPERS THROUGH DECEMBER are three ways to support The Junior The There League of Tampa Diaper Bank Junior Host a diaper drive League 1.Send us an email at diaperbank@jltampa. of Tampa org and we will supply you with everything Diaper needed to host a fun, successful event at your Bank office, church, gym or event! needs 2. Donate you are interested in donating your help! Whether diapers or dollars, we are grateful to accept.

We are super excited about the opening of Sparkman Wharf.

The Children's Gasparilla Extravaganza has a new sponsor, Chick-fil-a.

We accept clean, unused diapers in open or unopened packages as well as unopened packages of baby wipes and diaper rash cream. You can shop The Junior League of Tampa Diaper Bank Wishlist on Amazon, or donate at jltampa.org/donatediapers

3. Spread the word

Learn more about diaper need by visiting, jltampa.org/diaperbank or contact diaperbank@jltampa.org 

Safe in the Seat carseat consultation makes a great baby gift!

DON'T MISS THESE ONLINE STORIES

at tampabayparenting.com 1 8 places to donate toys in Tampa Bay 2 How to volunteer as a family 3 Check our education directory for area private and charter schools 4 Our favorite light displays in Tampa Bay 5 The best winter break camps in Tampa Bay

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2 5

Arrrrggh! Gasparilla season is coming. Follow @gasparillatampa

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62 TampaBayParenting.com | DECEMBER 2018


Expert Care for KIDS

At Florida Hospital Tampa, we get kids. And, your kids deserve the best. From our dedicated pediatric Doc1stERSM 4 Kids, to the specialists from Johns Hopkins All Children’s providing care in our pediatric unit, PICU, and level III NICU, your child has access to patient-centered pediatric care on Florida’s west coast. Together, we provide care closer to your home Florida Hospital Tampa.

PEDIATRIC PROGRAMS

FHTampaPediatrics.com • 844-880-7904 DECEMBER 2018 | TampaBayParenting.com 63

FHWFD-10333_FHT Baby Ad_Tampa Bay Parenting_FP

We get kids.


December 2018  
December 2018