March 2022

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MARCH 2022

WHAT'S NEW AT ZOOTAMPA New Habitats, New Animals and More Check it out on page 10

SPRING BREAK STAYCATION Ideas for the best Spring Break ever

ZooTampa's Molly Lippincott and her son AJ, with Lucy the panther at the new Florida Wilds area.


It's a busy month of family-friendly events in Tampa Bay


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Health care just for kids.

(Parents like us a lot too.) BayCare Kids is trusted by more parents in Tampa Bay than any other health system. BayCare Kids is committed to keeping children healthy so they can become healthy adults, and we’ve got an entire network dedicated to the unique medical needs of kids. Whether it’s small scrapes, broken bones or something more serious, our experienced doctors, extraordinary nurses and team members, convenient locations and variety of services, ensures the best health care for your child. The BayCare Kids network includes our flagship hospital, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, which provides comprehensive, highly specialized care for kids with complex conditions like congenital heart defects and cancer. Kids grow up fast. We’re here to help them grow up healthy, too. Learn more:

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MARCH 2022 CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND EDITORIAL MANAGER Laura Byrne ASSOCIATE EDITOR Anu Varma Panchal Brie Gorecki EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Sarah Rigby CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Laura Byrne Anu Varma Panchal Brie Gorecki Sandra Torres Ginain Grayes Maggie Rodriguez Tara Payor, PhD Julie Tingley Laura Cross Allison Cadle Erica Turchin Courtney Cairns Pastor Cathy Mayo Raquel Hernandez, MD, MPH ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Ralf Gonzalez LAYOUT & DESIGN Sarah Rigby CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Laura Byrne Brie Gorecki ZooTampa Ginain Grayes KB Live Photography LLC Laura Gattis Photography Zibby Owens BOOKKEEPING James Anderson TAMPA BAY PARENTING MAGAZINE 320 W. Kennedy Blvd. Ste. 220 Tampa, Florida 33606 Phone 813-949-4400 Fax 813-315-6688 BECOME A FAN tampabayparentingmagazine @tampabayparenting @TBParenting

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


ARTICLES: 8 // MARCH TOP PICKS: Save the date for our favorite events for families this month! 10 // COVER STORY: New Wild Adventures at ZooTampa 12 // 9 WAYS TO UPGRADE YOUR DAY AT ZOOTAMPA: See what we love to do with the kids when visiting the zoo! 14 // SPRING BREAK STAYCATION 2022: We’re sharing ideas for your best spring break ever at home in Tampa Bay! 16 // EASY STEPS TO STARTING YOUR OWN HERB GARDEN: Foodie blogger Ginain Grayes shares her top tips and a yummy recipe 18 // A FARM TO TABLE U-PICK ADVENTURE: U-pick season is in full swing in Tampa Bay! We’ve got top tips along with a list of our favorite local farms 20 // MEET THE AUTHOR: Maggie Rodriguez introduces us to the author of the new book, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Have Kids” 23 // TGH CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: Learn more about how TGH cares for kids from infants to adolescents 24 // TWO YEARS OF COVID: Local moms share perspective about emerging from the pandemic 33 // JOIN THE CLUB: Find your niche in middle school 34 // GET CREATIVE: Resources to kickstart creativity at any age at your local library 37 // Q & A WITH DR. ADAM HOLDEN: Meet the new president of Admiral Farragut Academy K-12 38 // INVEST BY FIVE: The Hillsborough County Early Learning Coalition shares why early learning matters

ON THE COVER: ZooTampa's curator of Florida and Manatees, Molly Lippincott and her son AJ (7), get up close with Lucy the panther at the new Florida Wilds area of the zoo!

Read more on page 10 MARCH 2022



45 // TOO OLD FOR CAMP? Show your teens these options! 48 // Y CAMPS OFFER SUMMER FUN FOR EVERYONE: Get a peek at what your local YMCA has to offer this summer 73 // POTTY TRAINING READINESS: AdventHealth’s top tips for parents 74 // SECRET SUGAR: How to reduce hidden sugars in your family’s diet 77 // SURGERY PREP: What parents need to know before the big day

EVERY ISSUE: 26 // MOMS TO KNOW: Meet Sara Roman of iCommunity Multiservices and University Area Community Development Council 29 // KIDS TO KNOW: Meet Jordan and Joshua Liburd of JL Fun Colorz 78 // WHAT’S TRENDING: See our top stories this month on

MARCH 2022


Meet our Contributors

thank you to our advertisers and sponsors

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

ANU VARMA PANCHAL Anu Varma Panchal has written and edited for area publications for nearly 20 years. She’s ac­ tive on her children’s PTA boards, loves theatre, concerts, the local brewery scene and travel, and spends way too much time schlepping her 12 and 16-year-olds around in her minivan. She never leaves home without her library card. You can find her at



Brie Gorecki has been writing for websites and local publications for 10+ years. A USF graduate, she has worked for several major companies in New York, Atlanta and Tampa. She’s a proud mom to a sweet little boy, and to a rescue dog and cat from Humane Society of Tampa Bay. She loves spending time with her family, whether it’s a date night out with her husband or a day filled with roller coaster rides at a theme park.

TARA PAYOR, PH.D. Tara Payor earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Florida. She’s a language arts educator and has taught students from the middle school level to adult learners at the doctorate level. A member of the Junior League of Tampa and KNOW Women, she has two children, Harlow and Hendrix. You can reach her at

JULIE TINGLEY Julie Tingley is a 10-year Tampa transplant who has found her way through many professional and parenting transitions by maintaining focus on her daily inspirations: daughters Ella and Kate. With a vision of a better future for her girls, she introduced the KNOW Women community to Tampa Bay, and founded Wee Macree, a purpose-driven brand for kids.

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ Maggie Rodriguez co-hosts the nationally-syndicated lifestyle show, "Daytime" on WFLA, Channel 8. She recently returned to TV after taking a 10-year break to raise her two children. During her career, Rodriguez reported and anchored the news in Miami, Los Angeles, and at the network level in New York as the host of "The Early Show" on CBS. She now lives in South Tampa, which she calls the perfect place to raise a family.

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ALLISON CADLE Allison Cadle is a supervisory librarian with the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science as well as a bachelor’s degree in art history and is passionate about public libraries as facilitators of creativity and collaboration.

DR. RAQUEL HERNANDEZ Dr. Raquel Hernandez is assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and medical director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Healthy Weight Initiative. She completed her medical school, residency and fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She additionally completed a Master in Public Health with an emphasis on nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health during her fellowship in general academic pediatrics.

CATHY MAYO Cathy Mayo is the senior communications director for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA and YMCA of the Suncoast. After graduating from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications, Cathy spent the last 10 years in corporate communications. She is delighted to be with the Y, helping to create happy, healthy communities. When Mayo is not spreading the word about the Y’s mission, she is spending time with her sons, ages 7 and 4.

Story Idea?

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

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’s mission is to be the intersection of science, technology and innovation in the Tampa Bay region where conversations and learning happen, knowledge is exchanged and new ideas are celebrated.

MARCH TOP PICKS Our favorite family-friendly events in Tampa Bay FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL: MARCH 3-13 The Florida Strawberry Festival is back! This sweet event celebrates the strawberry harvest of Eastern Hillsborough County and features midway rides, exhibits, youth livestock shows, and, of course, all things strawberry! Enjoy the world-famous strawberry shortcake, strawberry milkshakes, strawberry pie, strawberry pizza and strawberry brisket tacos. Be sure to check out the live entertainment which features acts such as Boyz II Men, Lady A, Sam Hunt and Lauren Daigle (concert admission is separate from general admission).

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE IN CONCERT: MARCH 4-5 Get ready to fight a dragon, swim with merpeople and find out who put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire! For the first time ever, audiences can rediscover the magic of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while a live symphony plays the unforgettable score.


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The 2022 GFA will showcase artists and their work that includes ceramic, digital, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, watercolor and wood. Taking place along Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, GFA will also feature the works of local young artists and feature children’s activities and a weekend full of live entertainment emceed by ABC Action News Meteorologist, Denis Phillips. General admission is free, and VIP Experiences are available for purchase.

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Go back in time to a century ago and head to Plant Park for an old-fashioned picnic. Pack your picnic basket, bring a blanket and experience the pleasures of a simpler time. There will be live entertainment, arts and crafts by Paper Seahorse and Tampa Regional Artist and adoptable animals from Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Guests can also enjoy food and drinks from Concho Cuban Food Truck and complimentary ice cream and popcorn from Blue Bell Creameries and Henry B. Plant Museum.

THOMAS THE TRAIN AT THE FLORIDA RAILROAD MUSEUM: MARCH 11-13, 19-20 Get ready for a full day of fun! Thomas the Tank Engine is rolling into town for a day of BIG dreams and even BIGGER smiles. Jump on board Thomas for an interactive train ride, pick up your Dream Pass and head to the Play Pod or say Hello to Sir Topham Hatt. For the little engineers who want a little more excitement, check out the Dream Big Corner for photos ops, lawn games and more. And don’t forget to hit up the Exclusive Pop-Up gift shop for toys and swag! Bring the whole family and imagine how far you will go!

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RIVER O’ GREEN FEST: MARCH 12 After a two-year hiatus, the River O’ Green Fest is back! Starting at 11 a.m. at Curtis Hixon Park, the Hillsborough River will be transformed into a bright shade of green, which visitors can view along the Tampa Riverwalk. The Irish-themed celebration will run until 5 p.m. and will include live entertainment, food trucks, beer and family-friendly entertainment.

SHAMROCK FEST AT THE ST. PETE PIER: MARCH 12 In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the Pier will kick off an all-new event! This giant Irish rock festival will feature traditional dance performances, a nomadic magician, meet and greet opportunities with leprechauns and more. Guests can enjoy traditional Irish food and drink specials from local vendors. There will also be live entertainment, including Tom Petty and Guns N’ Roses tribute bands. General admission and VIP tickets are available.

DINO & DRAGON STROLL TAMPA: MARCH 12-13 Encounter colossal dinosaurs ranging from babies to the huge Brachiosaurus that stands 20 feet tall! Come face to face with the massive Mamenchisaurus standing over two stories high, the mammoth Spinosaurus, the enormous, show stopping T-Rex and the gigantic Apatosaurus, just to name a few! Immerse yourself in the interactive photo experience, climb inside a dinosaur egg or next to the Giganotosaurus. Visitors will be transported into the Mesozoic Era with prehistoric dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Enter the Dragon’s Den, which is surrounded by some fantastical, legendary fire-breathing dragons!


“FROZEN” AT THE STRAZ: MARCH 23-APRIL 3 The spectacular Tony-nominated Broadway show comes to Tampa! Featuring beloved songs from the original Oscar-winning film along with new songs and an extended score, “Frozen” is an unforgettable theatrical experience. The special effects, stunning sets, costumes and powerhouse performances are sure to mesmerize audiences of all ages.

DISNEY ON ICE: MARCH 24-27 Audiences get to be a part of Disney magic when Mouse-ter of Ceremonies, Mickey Mouse, leads a parade of more than 50 beloved characters including Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. An ensemble of Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana will also dazzle audiences. The wintry wonderland of Disney’s Frozen also comes to life with Anna, Elsa and the hilarious Olaf as they discover that true love is the greatest magic of all. Exciting moments from Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” Disney’s “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast” will leave the whole family with memories to last a lifetime!

TAMPA BAY AIR FEST: MARCH 26-27 The men and women who work and serve on MacDill Air Force Base are proud to invite everyone to experience AirFest 2022. This free event features a variety of military and civilian flight performances, including the United States Navy Blue Angels. It promises to be a weekend packed with heart-pounding air performances and family-friendly activities showcasing all five branches of the U.S. military, as well as first responder agencies. TIP: this event can get loud, so ear protection is highly recommended!

U-PICK SEASON Strawberry season is here! For a list of the best u-pick farms in Tampa, check out page 18 .

PEPPA PIG THEME PARK The world’s first Peppa Pig theme park is here! Now open to the public, this one-of-a-kind park nestled next to LEGOLAND is a preschooler’s paradise. Peppa’s world comes to life with rides and attractions designed just for little ones. “Little piggies” can take a spin on Daddy Pig’s Roller Coaster, meet Peppa and her friends at the Fun Fair, or splash around in the Muddy Puddles Splash Pad.

IRON GWAZI Busch Gardens’ newest coaster opens to the public on March 11 and is set to be the TALLEST hybrid coaster in North America! Not only that, but it will be the STEEPEST and FASTEST hybrid coaster in the world.

MARCH 2022



New WILD Adventures at ZooTampa by Sandra Torres, senior director of marketing and communications, photos provided by ZooTampa

Get your membership cards and cameras ready! ZooTampa’s Florida Wilds is now open! This new, immersive area features more spacious habitats for native species so they can thrive, while also providing engaging moments of diversion and education for guests of all ages.

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photo by Laura Byrne

The Zoo is also celebrating the arrival of Families can enjoy unobstructed and sprawling views of a few new adorable faces. Earlier this year, the ruler of the realm, the endangered Florida panther. As two binturong cubs were born to mother one of the top facilities in the world for the rehabilitation of Melati and father Sully. This amazing species, these majestic animals, ZooTampa is home to three resident which is native to South and Southeast Asia, panthers who were unable to return to the wild due to peris deemed vulnerable to extinction due to manent injuries. These beautiful animals were given a deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade. second chance to live a healthy and long life in the The orangutan family has also added a new Zoo’s care and be important ambassadors for adorable face. The baby, which has yet to their species. be named, joins three generations of From new adventures to Many other rescued animals also make this critically endangered species that new species, it’s no wonder their home in the new Florida Wilds, live at ZooTampa. that ZooTampa has become including black bears, owls and Florida’s most popular cultural skunks. Additionally, ZooTampa institution. The best way to visit the has expanded its participation in Zoo is with a membership. Starting the Association of Zoo and Aquariat $114 for the year, memberships um’s Species Survival Program for provide the best value and the opthe critically endangered red wolf. portunity to return again and again The Zoo is now home to a pair of red for unforgettable adventures with wolves with the hope that they will amazing wildlife! mate and help increase red wolf numVisit for bers. The ultimate goal is to reintroduce details. them into the wild.

While awe-inspiring and entertaining, Florida Wilds also aims to educate guests on environmental conservation. The area has interpretative signage, including rookery towers that provide tips for Floridians on how to safely live alongside the many species that share our state’s diverse ecosystem. Daily chats with animal experts also take place in the new area with the goal of educating guests of all ages on how they can join ZooTampa in its mission protect and preserve wildlife and wild places for future generations to enjoy. The wild adventures continue at the Zoo’s popular Primate Realm where a new species has joined the clan, Hamadryas baboons. This unique member of the Old World monkey family was a sacred animal to the Ancient Egyptians and a representative of their god of learning. The group of six, who came to ZooTampa from New York’s Prospect Park Zoo, made their public debut this month in a sprawling, fully remodeled habitat featuring expansive windows allowing guests unobstructed viewing of their remarkable silver manes, pink faces and the playful nature of these intelligent primates.

MARCH 2022


9 Ways to Upgrade Your Day at ZooTampa by Laura Byrne, photos provided by ZooTampa

Go nose to horn with rhinos as you feed them their veggies; learn about the unique personalities of giraffes; sit eye to eye with a giant tortoise: all are adventures for an unforgettable day at ZooTampa you can experience in real life with the kids. You’ll truly feel like you’ve stepped inside your very own episode of “Secrets of the Zoo: ZooTampa.” Since we mentioned it, Season 3 happens to be airing now on Nat Geo Wild and Disney+.

A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND: » Encounters and backstage tours for non-members range from $20-$25 each, depending on the day. For ZooTampa members, it’s $15-$20 (unless otherwise noted). » We recommend booking your encounter in advance to secure your spot since they can sell out. » Photographers on site take photos you can purchase for almost all the encounters so you can focus on enjoying the experience with your kids rather than taking pictures. » To book your encounter and learn more about other encounters, visit zootampa. org/encounters

Manatee Critical Care Center Backstage Encounter When you sign up for this NEW encounter that starts this month, you can go behind the scenes to learn more about the care that ZooTampa’s non-profit manatee critical care center provides to sick, injured and orphaned manatees. The zoo recently expanded its ability to care for even more manatees.

Wildlife Explorer Quest




African Elephant Backstage This signature encounter puts you behind the scenes and up close with the zoo’s African elephants. Get one-on-one time with the animal care team as they show you how they care for the world’s largest land animal. You’ll even get to sit in on a training session.

Giraffe Backstage Encounter Did you know giraffes are the world’s tallest animal? This is among the many fun facts you’ll learn about each resident giraffe – and they each have their own unique personalities just like people do. Learn about the positive reinforcement training techniques the team uses and more!

Indian Rhino Feeding We love this experience because it’s a unique chance to go nose to horn with these beautiful animals. During your encounter, you’ll get a briefing on how the zoo cares for the Indian rhinos, and then comes the best part – a chance to feed them their favorite snacks like lettuce and other veggies!

African Penguin Backstage Waddle on over to this signature encounter to meet the colony of African penguins who call ZooTampa home. Their animal care team will be ready to answer all of your questions about how they care for the endangered species.


This recently launched experience is a fun, interactive way to explore ZooTampa with the kids while getting to know the animals in a whole new way. Your first step is to download the TRAKID app on your phone before your visit to save time. Once you get to the Zoo, head to the Tours & Guest Services Kiosk near Manatee Circle to pick up your Wildlife Explorer Compass that interacts with the app on your phone as you go on a fun and educational journey throughout the zoo. It’s best for kids ages 4 and older. $9.99 for ZooTampa members and $11.99 for non-members. ph




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(ages 3 and older require a ticket)

Giant Tortoise Encounter Little ones will love this experience that places them inside the Aldabra tortoise’s world at the zoo. They’ll get to gently touch the tortoise and hang out with the animal care team that takes care of them.

Koala Photo Encounter This family favorite allows you and the kids to step inside the world of the zoo’s koalas from an outdoor area with a walkway built around the koala’s branches. You won’t get to touch the koalas, but you will get a close-up view of the adorable creatures!

Lorikeet Feeding Admission to the Lorikeet Aviary is included with zoo admission and if you’re lucky, you might be able to feed the lorikeets for a small fee for food. Be sure to ask an employee inside the Lorikeet Landing Aviary for details when you arrive.

MARCH 2022


Spring Break STAYcation 2022: We live where the world comes to play, so you don’t have to go too far to find an epic family adventure in Tampa Bay! If you’re sticking around town for spring break, or maybe just looking for something new to do around town this spring, we’re sharing some our favorite things to do in Tampa Bay with the kids.



It’s a great time to check out some really cool exhibits, some of which are only here for a limited time.

Some of the world’s top beaches are right here in Tampa Bay. Here are our favorite family-friendly ones where you can soak up the sun—with plenty of sunscreen, of course!

DinoVentures at The Bishop in Bradenton: On exhibit through March 18, 2022

Caladesi Island via Honeymoon Island: You can only access Caladesi Island via a 10-minute ride on the Caladesi Island Ferry from Honeymoon Island, but it’s worth it! The beaches are pristine, and while Caladesi seems remote, there are beach chairs and umbrellas to rent as well as bathroom and shower facilities and a snack bar.



The Bishop is also offering Spring Break Science Camp March 14-18. “Dino Discovery” is for kids ages 7-11 and will give curious explorers a week of games, crafts, experiments and access to The Bishop’s exhibitions — all focused on dinosaurs! Visit to register.


For this perfect day trip, head south to beautiful Bradenton for a chance to come face to snout with 27 lifelike animatronic dinosaurs at this outdoor exhibit at The Bishop. Creator Don Lessums dedicated himself to creating the most realistic looking and sounding dinosaurs as possible. DinoVenture is The Bishop’s first fully bilingual exhibit, offering displays in both English and Spanish. Buy a ticket to view just the exhibit or a combo to check out the museum as well! While you’re there, enjoy downtown Bradenton or stop by nearby Anna Maria Public Beach.


St. Pete Beach: St. Pete Beach was rated #1 in the United States by Trip Advisor in 2021, and it’s easy to see why! It’s not only home to the picturesque Pink Palace, The Don Cesar, but also beautiful white sandy beaches like Pass-a-Grille, which is super family-friendly. If you want something even more rustic and less traveled, consider a ferry ride from the Merry Pier on the Shell Key shuttle to Shell Key.

Fairgrounds St. Pete: Permanent This whimsical wonderland is a collection of artistic works by more than 60 artists. An immersive art exhibit like you’ve never seen, heard or even smelled before, Fairgrounds St. Pete celebrates all that is weird and wacky about Florida. Choose your own adventure experience: You can simply walk through and enjoy the scenery or try to solve the mystery laid out before you.

‘Big League Fun’ at Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa: On exhibit through May 15, 2022



Let’s play ball! Big League Fun is an interactive, hands-on exhibit where kids (and kids at heart) can put their baseball skills to the test and learn all about the world of baseball while learning some math and science too! The exhibit got a thumbs up from Kevin Kiermaier of the Tampa Bay Rays and his family—see our INSIDE LOOK.



Venice Beach: Further south of Tampa Bay is Venice Beach—the Shark Tooth Capital of the World! A perfect day trip from Tampa Bay, you can rent shark tooth hunting gear at shops on the beach, like Sharky’s at the Pier. According to the Fossil Guy, the best spots here to find shark teeth are between Casey Key to the north and Manasota Key to the south.

“Picasso and the Allure of the South” features 79 of Picasso’s works along with many pieces that have been on display in the United States. We recommend downloading The Dali’s app to access guided tours. Advance reservations are required. Once you’ve explored The Dali museum and the gardens, head over to the St. Pete Pier to play or explore the St. Pete Museum of History, Museum of Fine Arts or The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.



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Clearwater Beach: Clearwater Beach is the obvious mention because there are so many things to do while enjoying the beautiful white sand beach! Pier 60 always has something going on and there are plenty of shops and restaurants nearby to explore, like one of our favorites, Frenchy’s Rockaway Grille. Stop by Clearwater Marine Aquarium or explore the area on the Jolley Trolley with multiple stops around Clearwater Beach. Kids 8 and younger ride for free. Check out to learn more!


Picasso at The Dali in St. Pete: On exhibit through May 22, 2022

Fort DeSoto North Beach: If you’re looking for more beach and less touristy stuff, Fort De Soto’s North Beach is your best bet, and has plenty of parking and bathroom facilities. We also love walking the area of the Fort before heading to the beach area of the state park, and we like that we can find plenty of parking and bathroom facilities as well. You can access Egmont Key via ferry ride from the Fishing Pier at Fort De Soto Park and enjoy walking or biking along the seven miles of paved trails.



Want to explore MORE Florida beaches? We’re sharing some top picks.

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS: Our local attractions include so many new experiences, from new rides to a brand new theme park! ZooTampa: From the new Florida Wilds area to new animals to love like the the hamadryas baboons, ZooTampa offers many new adventures when you go this spring break. You can check out the Manatee Rescue Center, which is now the second largest critical care facility in the United States and even meet the Zoo's new mascot Flora, the panther.

Caladesi Island


Peppa Pig Theme Park

Busch Gardens: If you’re seeking mega thrills this spring break, head to Busch Gardens to experience the world’s fastest and steepest hybrid coaster, Iron Gwazi! It opens March 11, so you’ll be among the first to ride. We also love the many ways you can upgrade your day with animal insider tours like the Serengeti Safari Tour. Adventure Island: If you’re looking for ways to cool off, then add Adventure Island to your spring break bucket list! It’ll be even more thrilling with two NEW waterslides to experience: Rapids Racer and Wahoo! Remix. LEGOLAND Florida: LEGOLAND Florida offers more than 50 rides, shows and attractions for kids as well as a trip into Florida’s past by taking a walk through the onsite Cypress Gardens. LEGOLAND also has a cool water park, so consider upgrading your pass to include the water park.


Shark tooth hunting at Venice Beach




VISIT A PARK OR PLAYGROUND: One of our favorite parks in Hillsborough County is Edward Medard Conservation Park in Plant City due to a unique area near the playground where you can walk among otherworldly tree roots exposed by erosion at an old phosphate mine over the last several decades. There are also hills to hike to make you feel as if you’re anywhere other than Tampa Bay! Another super kid-friendly and even strollerfriendly hiking spot is Weedon Island Preserve in St. Pete. The boardwalk winds you through the mangroves to a tower for a bird’s eye view of the natural park. You can also stop by the Cultural and Natural History Center to learn about the history of the park. When it comes to state parks, our favorite has to be Weeki Wachee Springs State Park to the north because they have ‘real’ mermaids and a super cool natural springs water park with water slides and even tubing. Don’t miss the famous mermaids in the underwater theater! If you want to explore the area a bit more, consider booking a kayak ahead of time. If you are looking for a playground to get the wiggles out, our favorites are the Glazer Family Playground at the St. Pete Pier and Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa. Both parks have a splash pad nearby, so don’t forget to pack the swimsuits, towels and sunscreen!


Peppa Pig Theme Park: Right next door to Legoland is this new park, designed with the littlest ones in mind. Newly opened, it might be the cutest place in the world for kids to experience their first roller coaster. There’s also a huge splash pad, plenty of shade and rides and attractions preschoolers and their families will love! Scan to see our INSIDE LOOK.

WAYS TO SAVE: We all like to save a bit of cash, right? One of the best ways to save at local attractions for locals is to consider annual passes that often give members additional perks like free parking and discounts. Other ways to save include: Tampa Bay CityPASS: Save as much as 55% at five local attractions with this pass that costs $129 for an adult and $114 for kids ages 3-9. This includes admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, The Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and MOSI or Tropical Boat Tours Dolphin or Sunset Cruise. The pass is only valid for nine consecutive days from the first day you use it. Tampa Riverwalk Attractions Pass: Pick up a One-Day pass for $55 for adults and $35 for kids ages 3-11 or a Three-Day pass for $79 for adults and $49 for kids ages 3-11. The pass gets you admission to seven attractions: Florida Aquarium, Pirate Water Taxi, Tampa Bay History Center, Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children’s Museum, H.B. Plant Museum and Florida Museum of the Photographic Arts. Library Passes: Did you know your county library offers a special pass for families to check out for free admission to select local museums and attractions? They are only available on a first come, first served basis, so visit your neighborhood public library to learn more. ●

Hillsborough Library Discovery Pass:

Pinellas County Museum Pass:

Pasco County Discovery Pass: MARCH 2022


Easy Steps to Starting an by Ginain Grayes @cookprayslay


There are so many great reasons to start an herb garden. For me, it’s having fresh herbs on hand for everything from creating tasty meals to medicinal purposes. Growing herbs can be great for budgets too. Have you seen the cost of fresh herbs in the grocery store? Let’s just say, they’re not cheap! Thankfully, most herbs grow easily in a variety of conditions, making them ideal for beginners. Looking to start your own herb garden? Here are a few easy tips and a delicious herb-y recipe to get you growing! Pick a Spot Pick the location for your herb garden. An ideal location would be a few steps from your kitchen so you have easy access, but any spot that gets about six hours of sun a day is good. Don’t forget about a water source. You want to be able to water your garden with ease. If you have space in front of a kitchen window, plant herbs in small containers for an indoor garden.

Skip the Seeds and Get Starter Plants Get a head start for your growing journey and purchase starter plants from your local nursery. Beforehand, make a list of the flavors you enjoy and also what you would like to do with them. If cooking is the objective, add herbs ideal for culinary purposes, like Herbes de Provence (rosemary, marjoram, thyme, oregano and savory). Love to craft? Add lavender to your herb garden to dry for wreaths or sachets.

Parsley and Garlic Oil Herb Bombs Ingredients: ●

2 cups fresh parsley, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Instructions: Add everything to a small bowl and stir to combine. Add the mixture to ice cube trays and freeze until solid. (You can get creative by using other herbs and oils too, such as basil and rosemary.) Remove from the ice cube tray and store in a freezer storage bag. Use these cubes to drop into a pan when sauteing vegetables and pasta dishes. Or for a quick salad dressing, melt a couple of the cubes and whisk in some lemon juice, salt, pepper and additional oil.

Plant Your Herbs Read the plant tag and instructions that come with the plant or seed packs. These instructions are typically spot on as far as how to properly sow your seeds and/or nurture your plant.

Here’s an easy and tasty way to preserve your fresh herbs. These herb bombs come in handy throughout the week as you prepare meals. You can use these in just about any recipe. No more last-minute trips to the store to pick up herbs! Follow my blog, "Cook Pray Slay," for more herb and garden recipes.

o Ba sil - Sa ge - Or eg an ary sem Ro r Thym e - Laven de tro an Cil s Pa rsl ey - Ch ive

16 MARCH 2022


Here are some easy herbs to grow for beginners:

photo by Ginain Grayes




813.229.STAR (7827) • STRAZCENTER.ORG Group Sales (10+ get a discount): 813.222.1016 or 1047 *ALL SALES FINAL. No exchanges or refunds. Other restrictions may apply. Standard service fees apply to online or phone orders. Offer may be revoked without notice. A $4.75 theater restoration fee is included in the price and will not be reduced. Limit four tickets per order. Events, days, times, performers and prices are subject to change without notice. Offer is processed as 50% off from base price of each ticket when two or more seats are selected. Please be sure to purchase your total desired quantity of tickets. Offer not valid on previously purchased tickets and may not be combined with any other offer. The Straz Center strongly recommends that children under the age of 5 not attend shows other than those in the Kid Time and Wee Folk Series and those designated as toddler friendly. Broadway shows are not toddler friendly.

Straz Center’s Broadway Family Night is sponsored by:

MARCH 2022


A Farm to Table U-Pick Adventure story by Brie Gorecki, photos by Brie Gorecki and Laura Byrne

March is prime time for u-pick around Tampa! From sweet strawberries to fresh veggies, there are plenty of places where you can take advantage of Florida’s early growing season. U-pick can be a fun outing with family and friends and is a great way to get affordable, healthy produce! While strawberries are at the peak of their season in March, there are plenty of other items to pick such as citrus fruits, avocados and peaches. Blueberry season is also just around the corner!

BEFORE YOU GO, HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR U-PICK ADVENTURE! Prepare to get dirty! Closed-toe shoes are ideal for walking the rows of fruit fields (ideally old shoes or ones that are easy to clean). Keep wet wipes and towels on hand to avoid tracking dirt into your car. Pack sun protection—hats, sunscreen and water. Open fields mean lots of sunshine. Bring the right containers. Some places will have bags and boxes for you to put your picked produce in, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own just in case. Keep in mind that you pay by weight, so lighter bags and baskets are a good idea. Don’t end up with squishy strawberries. The warm sun produces some super juicy berries, but they can also get super squishy if not packed properly. It’s helpful to have a large, rimmed tray or wide, flat container to put your berries on in the car to transport home after you’ve picked and paid for them. This helps them stay spread out and avoids them getting smushed, even on a short car ride home. *U-pick availability is subject to change. We recommend checking the location’s website or Facebook page before you go for updates and hours.

18 MARCH 2022



Strawberries: December – March Blueberries: April – May Blackberries: May – July

Strawberries: December – March Veggies: Varies seasonally

10730 Lake Blanche Drive, Trinity

If berries are your jam, make your way to this farm in Trinity. Strawberry u-pick kicks off the year, followed by blueberries at the end of this month and blackberries starting in May. Make it a complete date day by staying to enjoy live music and sampling some of their specialty beer, wine, cider and small bites. Check the farm’s Facebook page for daily updates and events schedule.

STRAWBERRY PASSION/PASSION ORGANICS 11780 Tom Folsom Road, Thonotosassa Tomatoes: January – March Strawberries: March – April Strawberry Passion/Passion Organics is offering u-pick for strawberries, tomatoes and more on the weekends! They also offer freshly picked fruits and veggies like strawberries at their market. After you’re done picking, you’ll definitely want to treat yourself to a fresh strawberry milkshake or strawberry shortcake. Make sure to check their Facebook page for specific dates and times.

5500 County Road 675, Bradenton

Family-owned Hunsader Farms has strawberries and rhubarb available for u-pick right now. Fresh veggies such as eggplant, green peas and okra will be ready to be picked starting next month. They also have a full farmers market filled with more fruit, veggies, eggs and jam, as well as a petting zoo for an added dose of family-friendly fun!


17200 Wiscon Road, Brooksville Strawberries: November – April Blueberries: April – May Blackberries: May – June JG Ranch has plenty of strawberries ready to be picked! Keep an eye on their Facebook page for other fresh vegetables like jalapenos and lettuce that they may have freshly picked for sale as well as local honey, beef and eggs.



Strawberries: January – March Blueberries: April – May

Citrus: Mid-November – March

5202 Thonotosassa Road, Plant City

After enjoying Keel & Curley’s strawberry u-pick on Saturdays at 10 a.m., head to their restaurant to enjoy fresh, farm-to-table food and a glass of strawberry wine from their winery. They have a great outdoor seating area and it’s right near Dinosaur World, making for a cool day trip adventure.


6302 S. County Road 39, Plant City Strawberries – March 5K Farms will have fresh strawberries ready to be picked at the end of this month! Check out their Facebook page for more information and fun strawberry recipes and to learn about other fruits and veggies they may have available for sale.


19125 Phillips Road, Masaryktown Veggies: October – June Strawberries: November – April Blueberries: April – May Blackberries: April – June Upicktopia in Masaryktown offers a wide variety of u-pick veggies, plus strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and more throughout the growing season! Follow their Facebook page for weekly updates on availability and prices. U-pick is available on weekends. Be sure to stick around and check out their on-site winery too!

1651 Stephens Road, Ruskin Dooley Groves in Ruskin is a team favorite here! They offer several types of citrus u-pick, so you can go more than once during the season. Make sure to check their website for availability and updates.

A LAND OF DELIGHT NATURAL FARM 2514 Leaning Pine Lane, Plant City

This local farm not only has u-pick citrus fruits, but a huge stock of fruit trees and more to add to your own home garden. It is the sweetest family-owned farm, and the owner also offers free courses on aquaponics. There are so many unique fruit trees to discover here! They also have adorable farm animals to visit with. Check their Facebook page for updates.


Several groves in Dade City *check Facebook page for exact location Citrus: December Peaches: Late March-May Ever seen a Florida peach tree? The orchards at Florida Sweeties are full of sweet peaches that are ready to be picked! This is a not-to-miss u-pick event! Check their website for orchard locations and availability.

MARCH 2022


“Moms Don’t Have Time To Have Kids” The new book that’s “a quick dose of therapy” for busy moms by Maggie Rodriguez, photos courtesy of Zibby Owens

You’re a busy mom. Sometimes it feels like there’s just too much to juggle. Author and podcaster Zibby Owens can relate. That’s why she has compiled an anthology of short essays written by notable authors who share their parenting experiences, insights and advice.

What does the title, “Moms Don’t Have Time To Have Kids,” mean? It means that moms are so overwhelmed and busy that it’s almost like they don’t even have time to have the kids they have. It means that there are so many demands on motherhood in today’s modern world that just being a mom itself, there’s no time for that.

What if we can’t change our extreme “busy-ness” and the general exhaustion that comes with it? What’s the antidote? The antidote is connection and sharing stories and knowing that we’re not alone in this. And I think my anthology is a means to that end. I think that we have to make time for some of the things that make life worth living even in the midst of the craziness because without that, what are we even doing? We can’t necessarily change the structure of it, but we can maintain a sense of humor; we can connect, share and get through it together.

What are some things that your authors say and that you agree we should make time for? And why are they important? Self-care is too often bandied about, but it’s important. We have to maintain our energy to be moms. It’s not optional to do things like take care of your health and yet going to the doctor feels like it takes a lot of time away from your job or your kids. Life is short, and it’s going to get shorter if you don’t take care of yourself. Sleep is important and exercise and healthy eating. Connection, seeing friends, the power of expressing your emotions and all of that is very worth spending time on.

Do you think that we don’t take the time because we think, ‘There’s no way with my busy schedule that I have time for any of that. Those are luxuries.’ I think people feel guilty taking the time. Everybody has the same amount of time every day. We all get 24 hours… It’s the blank page for us all and we get a new one every day. So how do we fill it? We often make time for the things we want to do without even thinking about it. I think the challenge is to take some of the things we know are good for us and make them something that we take ownership of and that we don’t feel guilty about.

20 MARCH 2022

I noticed that the essays you included are short. Did you do that because you know that moms don’t have a lot of time, so this is something they can pick up and read quickly. And what do you hope they’ll take away? I wanted it to be something that anyone could read for a quick dose of therapy, something that’ll make you feel better, take you out of your own head, put you in someone else’s shoes. The power of empathy, relating and learning about someone else’s lived experience is so essential to being a good literary citizen and a good citizen in general. I think this is one of the most time-efficient ways to reset.


TGH Children’s Hospital Provides World-Class Care for Infants to Adolescents in Tampa Bay Community and Beyond

Tampa General Hospital (TGH) provides the youngest and most vulnerable community members in Tampa Bay and beyond with holistic care that combines compassion and the advanced science of an academic medical center. Featuring the region’s only ACS (American College of Surgeons) Level I Trauma Center, TGH Children’s Hospital offers medical, surgical and rehabilitative services for infants, children and adolescents, all in a child-friendly environment that caters to families. In collaboration with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa General’s medical staff includes multiple pediatric specialists and subspecialists available for families in the Tampa Bay region. From simple injuries to major trauma, and from basic illnesses to complex, chronic conditions, TGH Children’s Hospital takes an integrated approach to addressing children’s psychological, social and developmental needs in addition to medical treatment.

A HOSPITAL WITH A HEART Strongly advocating for each patient’s well-being is a priority for TGH’s comprehensive team that includes pediatric specialists and surgeons, pediatric-certified nurses, psychologists, dietitians, certified child life specialists, pediatric therapists and more all working together to ensure children get the best care. Child life specialists also team up with Belle and Millie – Chief Smile and Snuggle Officers from TGH’s Facility Dog Program – who provide cuddle time, procedural support, emotional resilience and more to pediatric patients. If a child needs academic support, TGH Children’s Hospital offers educational assistance through the Hillsborough County Public School Hospitalized Homebound program.


Level I Trauma Center in Florida that has achieved verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS)

Pediatric rehabilitation accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) – one of only three pediatric rehabilitation inpatient centers in Florida

State-designated Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Center

Full-service Pediatric Day Hospital for outpatient infusions as well as procedures/radiology studies that may require sedation under the supervision of a board-certified pediatric anesthesiologist

Children’s Medical Services (CMS)-sponsored comprehensive kidney failure center

Pediatric intensive care unit with multiple subspecialists

Pediatric hematology/oncology program

EXPERT CARE FOR COMPLEX, EMERGENCY SITUATIONS TGH Children’s Hospital is the regional resource for West Central Florida children experiencing complex illnesses or injuries. TGH provides worldclass care from many pediatric specialists such as burn treatment, kidney transplant, oncology and pediatric rehabilitation. TGH Children’s Hospital’s expert pediatric care often starts with the academic medical center’s Pediatric Emergency Department that is staffed with board-certified pediatric emergency medicine physicians and a specialized nursing team. TGH Children’s Hospital provides a wide range of surgical specialty services. An additional subspecialty in pediatric orthopedics is offered through a partnership with Shriners Children’s-Florida. Children with complex orthopedic conditions or injuries are evaluated by pediatric orthopedic physicians, receive surgery at TGH and continue their recovery at TGH Children’s Hospital for pediatric inpatient rehab, if needed. The Jennifer Leigh Muma Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) (the highest level of NICU available) is where neonatologists from the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and trained neonatal critical care nurses care for infants in an 82-bed capacity unit.



COVID: A Corridor to Beginning by Tara Payor, Ph.D., all photos taken and provided by participants

In March 2020, our world halted. Entering March 2022, what have we learned from shutdowns? What opened because of closures? What previously shuttered parts of life are lit? A speech language pathologist, professional singer and pediatrician walk into a pandemic…

G.G. VANAELST A Speech Language Pathologist Speech language pathologist, co-owner of SpeechWorks and mother of four (ages 13, 16, 18 and 21), G.G. VanAelst thought she’d seen it all. Cue COVID-19. Learning how to support her own mental health needs became vital; she realized she needs people. Virtual meetings weren’t filling the interaction tank. TBPM: How has your workday changed throughout COVID-19’s course? G.G.V: Before COVID, I held back-to-back sessions inside pre-schools. When everything closed, our workload decreased by more than half. Most patients are younger than 4, so virtual visits weren’t viable. Now, some schools allow us with face shields—not ideal for speech therapy. I set up a home office, and we continue virtual offerings for families not yet comfortable face-to-face or who are quarantining.

TBPM: Over the last two years, was there an especially challenging aspect of your professional life? G.G.V: The period between shutdowns and SpeechWorks offering virtual care. I knew kids desperately needed services, but I couldn’t get to them.

TBPM: Did COVID cause a change that you’d like to see stay? G.G.V: Face shields and virtual options. Shields present challenges, but they also allow us to be cautious without cancelling appointments for fear of illness. Virtual enables continued services while patients travel or are well enough for therapy but too ill for school.

TBPM: What would you put in a time capsule for a speech language pathologist to open in 100 years and support his/her own mental health? G.G.V: A handwritten note sharing, “Find your people, find your niche and find time for breaks.”

TBPM: What’s your biggest takeaway from the pandemic? G.G.V: We can make things work. It takes f lexibility and acknowledging we hold varying thoughts, feelings and fears. More than ever, meet people where they are. The VanAelst family L to R: Cade (16), Sydney (21), Brian (husband), G.G., Brinley (13) and Eller y (18).

24 MARCH 2022

ROBYN LISTA A Professional Singer Renaissance woman Robyn Lista is a Registered Financial Professional at Raymond James, professional singer with the Phase5Band and a Pure Barre instructor. She’s also an active mom in the equestrian world as daughter, Addisyn (8), rides. Accustomed to being booked, changing paces throughout the pandemic ignited creativity and appreciation. Pacing shone a light on the need for both balance and mental health visits with a licensed professional. Practicing self-check-ins, forgiveness and gratitude daily outpaced pandemic stress. TBPM: How has your workday changed throughout COVID’s course? RL: With RJ, helping retirement age clients navigate Zoom was a funny challenge. With Phase5, everything was cancelled. Today, I’m thankful RJ is back to in-person meetings. Phase5 is busier than ever; 2023 is almost fully booked.

TBPM: Over the last two years, was there an especially challenging aspect of your professional life? RL: Not singing. Singing defines me. I have a newfound appreciation for the band.

TBPM: How has mental health played out across the pandemic? RL: I loved more family time but working from home while facilitating online learning was stressful. I’d wake anxious I’d fail. My husband, Corey, enjoyed working remotely; I need my coworkers. I’m appreciative we’re back to our normal. I’m re-learning how to practice patience and compassion with both myself and others. I’m grateful for my life, my people and my jobs.

TBPM: A friend says, “I don’t think the pandemic will ever end.” What’s your reply? RL: It’s here long term, but we’re nearing the end of this phase and adjusting to change. We’re more cautious, but we have more safety from treatments. We’ll move on.

Photo credit: Laura Gattis Photography

LISA HAYES | A Pediatrician Doctor by day; boy mom 24/7. With three boys (19 months, 4 and 7 years), and a husband who’s also a physician, Hayes’ life is exciting. Inspired by the compassion of her childhood pediatrician, Dr. Jean Bennett (University of Florida’s College of Medicine first female graduate), Hayes feels affirmed in her role as a resource for families. Though peppered with overwhelming moments, the pandemic punctuated her love for educating patients and supporting family.

Hayes, a competitor in the 2021 CAMP Games, believes “exercise is sanity.”

TBPM: How has your workday changed throughout COVID-19’s course? LH: Pre-COVID, toddlers climbed in my lap and we hugged. No PPE. Shifting to telemedicine, providing quality care was limited because not all things work virtually. I’m back in the office, and COVID was a catalyst for joining a new practice. I’m happy at Coastal Pediatric Care—connecting with patients and having ownership over the quality of care I provide.

TBPM: Over the last two years, was there an especially high point in your professional life? LH: Receiving my COVID vaccine was emotional. It meant I could let my guard down a little, at work, and worry less about bringing COVID home. The Hayes family. Lisa, husband Alex, and their boys Brody, Hudson and Dylan.

TBPM: Did COVID-19 bring about a change that you want gone? LH: Masks are important for minimizing infection risk, but I hope they aren’t forever because I miss my patients’ smiles.

TBPM: What would you put in a time capsule for a professional to open in 100 years and support his/her own mental health? RL: If I could, for all my roles, I’d bottle up patience and compassion. We’re fortunate we can form opinions and ideas; we’re responsible when we show compassion for those who think differently. It’s a difficult lesson for many, and it’s a priority. Lef t: Robyn’s daughter, Addisyn (8); Below: Robyn Lista, Professional Singer with Phase5 Band.

TBPM: How has mental health played out across the pandemic? LH: In March 2020, I was pregnant with our third and uncertain about delivery. Keeping everyone healthy and seeing the kids disappointed over cancellations was challenging. We’re thrilled they’re back to school and sports. We’re not taking simple things for granted. My family is my north star—keeping me energized and guiding my decisions.

TBPM: A friend says, “I don’t think the pandemic will ever end.” What’s your reply? LH: I don’t think it will end, but life will go on and we’ll support each other. We’ll make decisions we believe best for our families. I’ve seen great disparity in kids’ education and mental health over the past couple years; disparity must end.

TBPM: From March 2020 to now, has anything changed in how you consume information? LH: I maintain much trust in my colleagues, peer-reviewed journals and evidence-based medicine.

TBPM: What would you put in a time capsule for a pediatrician to open in 100 years and support his/her own mental health? LH: Running shoes and weights because exercise saves sanity. A journal. Throughout the pandemic, I’ve felt anxious but uncertain about why. Writing gratitude lists, things I needed help with, and planning for accomplishments helped. A speech language pathologist, professional singer and pediatrician walked into the COVID-19 pandemic corridor armed with change, creativity, compassion, f lexibility, family, affirmation and appreciation. They will emerge resilient because their hearts and minds are open to all that has begun.

MARCH 2022


Moms to Know SARA ROMAN | iCommunity Multiservices &

University Area Community Development Corporation

by Julie Tingley, @weemacree

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” As the world recognizes International Women’s Day on March 8 to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, we honor the strong ladies that have been raised by and are raising the next generation of female trailblazers. As more families have settled into Tampa Bay over the last few years from all over the globe, it’s important to make space for those mothers that have come here for a better life for themselves and their children. One such matriarch made the move from Puerto Rico 20 years ago, and immediately introduced her daughter to the local centers where she thrived, received language instruction and found work. Today, Sara Roman carries on the legacy of her mother as a strong local woman who now looks out for every family as she has remained close to the very same centers that helped her acclimate to life in Tampa Bay as a young adult. A true visionary for a more vibrant community, Roman’s story is a celebration for all women everywhere.

JT: The story of your mother’s strength despite her health issues is one that moves me. There is no question she would be so proud of you today. In what ways have you carried on her legacy with your own children?

JT: You have dedicated your life to service and being a servant leader. Why is this, and what keeps you motivated on the most challenging and thankless days?

My mom had a heart of gold! Being the only girl, my mother was very protective of me even though her health was failing. She made sure I was taken care of and was supportive of my wishes and goals from a very early age. If there was a program or class I wanted to be a part of, she provided. She was always very open and forthcoming about her health and showed her vulnerability with my brother and me. I will always remember her as honest, kind and respectful to everyone she met. It is important to me that my children, Isaac and Kamila, grow to be strong, respectful, empathetic and true to themselves just like my mother was.

I interact with people daily and some weight sets in after I provide outreach efforts. I can relate to many situations that families face daily, and it is my duty to connect mothers, grandparents, teens and others in the community to different resources available to them. Motivation is key to lifting others’ spirits. I know exactly how it feels to be broken, frustrated and uncertain of what is going to happen to me or afraid of what could go wrong. I personally had to go through so many challenging phases in my adult life, but every day I wake up with the intent to be meaningful in my own testimony that all challenges come with a solution. I am very determined when offering insight in a situation where someone is at a low because I know I am meant to be there for them in that moment, and they are helping me live my purpose.

JT: One of the first things you did when you moved to Tampa from Puerto Rico was immerse yourself in the culture to become more proficient with the English language. In what ways do you still honor your culture here, and how has that experience allowed you to help others that are new to the United States? Moving to Tampa in 2003 at 19 years old was not planned. So, we ended up in a 55+ mobile home park on Nebraska Avenue while my mother waited for a liver transplant. Every single one of our neighbors were white people from up north. The culture shock was overwhelming. I learned the hard way—without a smartphone or Google translate software apps. I got a housekeeping job, a Sunday Tampa Tribune subscription and a dictionary, and that was the extent of my ESOL training. I love being in the USA, but there is no question that I am a Puerto Rican Latina; the traditional culture of where I am from is truly a part of my essence. The accent definitely gives it away too! But I can say that I have always felt welcome, and I have been so lucky to get to work back where my journey started in 2003 in the University Area. It is an honor to serve others in the community, especially in my native language, while doing what I love as an outreach coordinator. Connecting to people is a language in itself.

26 MARCH 2022

JT: In addition to the roles you have had with the Veteran’s Administration, Americorps, and now University Area CDC, you are also an entrepreneur. Tell us about your business and the clients you serve. We live in an era where entrepreneurship is possible, and if you are a woman you can achieve anything! I founded iCommunity Multiservices in my senior

year at Springfield College in 2012 as a project to provide wellness education to the community. I was living inside a church, so I interacted with church members weekly and started providing services to translate birth certificates from Spanish to English, draft school letters for parents, etc. After attending workshops and mastering my expertise as alternative access to legal services, iCommunity flourished in 2017 and continues to grow to this day.

JT: In what ways can the Tampa Bay community support your efforts at University Area Community Center? The best way the Tampa Bay community can support our efforts for the people we serve and the programs we host at University Area CDC is to visit our website to learn more about what we do. Under “Community Engagement” are different ways anyone can become involved through volunteer opportunities or even donations. These things help all of us.

JT: What is your favorite thing to do with your family in Tampa Bay? I have a hectic schedule, so my children know that family time is sacred. We enjoy late Sunday afternoon picnics at Seaplane Park on Davis Island where we can watch the sailboats, play ball and collect shells. In the summer, we love to watch the sunset on Clearwater Beach.

UPCOMING WORKSHOP JUST FOR WOMEN “FREE YOUR MIND” STRESS MANAGEMENT TRAINING ON MARCH 2 AND 9 FROM 5-7 P.M. The eligible criteria for this is to be a caregiver of a child that is a newborn and up to 8 years of age.



28 MARCH 2022


NEW Monthly Feature p h oto

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p hy | @jlfuncolorz


by Julie Tingley, @weemacree

“Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.” (Charles R. Swindoll) Since the beginning of time, people have faced obstacles, experienced setbacks, and have been challenged to overcome and push forward. What happens next, however, is a result of attitude and mindset. At the ages of nine and 11, brothers Joshua and Jordan Liburd had experienced years of feeling left out of countless elementary activities and recognitions due to the more than 20 combined food allergies between them. What takes many adults decades to figure out, these young optimists resolved in a short time to make these experiences their message as they turned the spotlight onto food allergy awareness. In 2019, Joshua and Jordan launched JL Fun Colorz, a custom crayon business that offers allergy friendly products that all children can safely enjoy. Today, at 12 and 14, Jordan and Joshua are still mission-driven young entrepreneurs that have expanded their brand to include public speaking and philanthropic giving. Their experiences today inspire the next generation to be the very best versions of themselves while taking care of one another…a proactive mindset we could all adopt for the next time life happens.

JT: Tell us how JL Fun Colorz started. What motivated you to turn your personal experience into a business? Joshua: Many times in school my teachers would hand out candy or cupcakes as rewards, but I was not able to eat them because of my food allergies. This often made me feel left out and sad. I am allergic to over 20 different foods and my brother is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. My brother and I wanted to make non-food, allergy friendly products that all kids could safely enjoy. We wanted to make products that could replace those treats and rewards that teachers often give out as incentives in classrooms so that no kid ever has to feel left out like we did. JT: What allergy friendly products do you make, and why did you choose to customize crayons? Jordan: Since my brother and I have always loved being creative and artistic, we came up with the idea to make custom crayons. We hand make crayons in fun shapes and sizes that make coloring more fun. For example, we make crayons that are shaped like unicorns, dinosaurs, cars, etc. that kids can both play and color with. So instead of bringing in chocolate hearts to school for Valentine’s Day, kids can bring in our colorful heart shaped crayons. JT: It is my understanding that you donate custom crayons to nonprofit organizations. How do you choose the groups that you support? Jordan: When we choose the groups that we support, we select organizations that we can directly relate to. Mainly those that help children and those that support food allergy awareness and education such as the Elijah-Alavi Foundation. We have donated our crayons to kids in shelters and foster homes because we want to help children who are not as fortunate as us. We are thankful that our crayons can be used to bring joy to them.

JT: Something I’ve seen you both do- that blows me away- is public-speaking. Please share more about that! How do you prepare to stand in front of an audience to speak, and what is your message?

JT: Do you feel like other kids can relate to or appreciate what you’re both doing as young, mission-driven entrepreneurs? Have any of your friends ever helped with any of your efforts?

Jordan & Joshua: When we are asked to speak at events, we make sure we practice a lot so that we can have the best version of our presentation and our message is clear and well received. Since we are passionate about what we speak about, it makes it less challenging to speak in front of an audience. One of our messages is that if you want to start your own business, no matter what age you are you can be successful if you are doing something that you love. Our other message is to be mindful of kids with food allergies so that they do not feel left out like we did and sometimes still do.

Joshua: Honestly, I do not think that all kids can relate to having a business at such young ages because it is not common for kids to have their own businesses. However, my friends and classmates that know about my business think that it is amazing and some of them have shown interest in starting their own businesses and have even asked me for tips on how to get started. Our friends help us by showing support on social media, and my best friend offers to help when we get a lot of orders.

JT: How are you involved with Mahogany Kids? Can you tell us more about that organization and what it means to you? Jordan: The Mahogany Kids Fine Arts Foundation supports minority youth in the Tampa Bay area by introducing them to various forms of the arts including music, art and dance. This allows them to express themselves through the arts and encourages creativity which helps with self-esteem and leadership skills. We recently were guest speakers at their Kids Vision Board Party and shared our story with the kids in attendance and encouraged them to also start their own businesses. Being able to speak to and inspire a group of kids that we can relate to makes us feel so important because we are making our own moments in Tampa history and beyond.

JT: How can families in Tampa Bay support your business? Joshua: If you would like to support our business you can follow us on Instagram or Facebook and share our business with your friends and family. You can also purchase crayons or contact us through our website: JT: What are your goals for JL Fun Colorz in 2022? Jordan: Our goals for this year are to speak at more events so that we can both inspire children to become kidpreneurs, and to continue our efforts in advocating for children with food allergies. Since 1 in 13 children in the United States have food allergies, it is so important that people are educated about the dangers of food allergies. We also want to be able to donate more crayons to organizations that serve children and to continue to donate a portion of all proceeds to the Elijah-Alavi Foundation. MARCH 2022


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6th Annual

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Friends, Fun, and Affordable Summer Programs - All Summer Long • Planned daily activities • Games • Academic enrichment • Structured outdoor • Arts & crafts activities

Super Summer Fun!

HOST (Hillsborough Out of School Time) offers a variety of age-appropriate enrichment activities for students K-8th grade. HOST is a FULL SUMMER of fun programs empowering students to grow and develop in a safe, fun, caring and educationally enriched environment.

Summer enrollment fills up fast! Your child’s future begins at Hillsborough County Public School’s 2022 Summer HOST Program.

Learn more and register today at: 32 MARCH 2022


The Importance of Finding your Niche in Middle School by Laura Cross, photos provided by Hillsborough County Public Schools

Eighth grader Vihaan Gowda was on the attack. “Check.” “Check.” “Check.” “Checkmate!” And with that, the two young men shook hands and moved their pieces back into their starting positions for yet another game. Welcome to Chess Club at Barrington Middle School in Lithia.

Every Monday, for an hour after school, students gather to play and learn the game of chess. There are players like Vihaan who know how to play, and beginner players who are interested in learning the game and meeting new people. Barrington’s AVID instructor, Lisa McGuin, is the sponsor of the club. She says the club is just getting back up and running after a year-and-a-half hiatus because of COVID, but she’s already seeing the benefits in her students. “I think middle school students are trying to find that place to fit in, so meeting different people, having that experience of trying new things is important. And doing it in a safe, relaxed environment where there’s no pressure – we’re just having fun, maybe learning something, is what this is all about.” Vihaan agrees wholeheartedly. “I like that I can find new people to play chess against and develop different strategies.” Across the hall from Chess Club is another of Barrington’s club offerings – Robotics Club. Students are coding, building and maneuvering their very own robots! High schools have always had robust club offerings, but they’re really starting to catch on more now in middle schools, especially more unique and specialized clubs. It’s an important age to find somewhere to fit in. Hillsborough County Public Schools’ Supervisor of Social Emotional Learning Julia Sarmiento says middle school is a critical time in students’ lives. “Many students are still open to learning and exploring new things,” she said. “Clubs provide opportunities for students to learn from others, build relationships and strengthen their social skills. Clubs in middle school can help students become more self-aware and support them with making responsible decisions.” Hillsborough County Public Schools have a wide array of club offerings at its middle schools. The schools really try to cater to the wants and needs of its students. Pro tip for parents - make sure to ask what clubs a school offers when researching middle schools for your child. Sarmiento says parents should reach out to their child’s school directly and ask for information or a website with information. If your middle schooler is on the shy side, parents can reach out to club sponsors directly and ask that they assist in encouraging their child to feel comfortable joining a club. McGuin agrees. She can’t praise the benefits of middle school clubs enough. Especially her Chess Club, which she hopes catches on and grows rapidly. “It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, and you might surprise yourself what you’re capable of doing once you try something new,” she said. “You might be pleasantly surprised the friends you make and how good it makes you feel putting yourself out there.” MARCH 2022


Get Creative! with your public library by Allison Cadle, photos provided by Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

Whether writing lines of code or poetry or fixing a leak or a math problem, creativity helps us use our imagination to solve problems and connect with the world in beautiful new ways every day. The library is here to support your family’s creative development at all ages with events and classes, virtual resources, collaborative spaces, and of course, books.

AGES 0-6

AGES 13-17

Try: Early Learning Hive

Try: Recording Studio

Creating connections through the world with children both real and imaginary is a key developmental skill for children of all ages. Solving problems and navigating social and emotional situations helps children with school readiness. The Early Learning Hive spaces available at three public libraries are designated for this age group to encourage development of creativity, motor skills and cooperation through play.

Build new skills when you create a podcast or green screen video recording. You can also record a song with a ukulele borrowed from the library. A Recording Studio orientation is required for first-time users and children under 14 years must be accompanied by a guardian.

Available at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, Riverview Public Library and New Tampa Regional Library. Read: “Not a Stick” by Antoinette Portis This charming picture book is all about imagination. It’s a good introduction to thinking outside the box (or stick). Let it inspire you to think about the wonderful things other everyday objects can become.

AGES 6-13 Try: HAAL Pass

Available at the C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library, John F. Germany Public Library, Riverview Public Library and SouthShore Regional Library. Read: “What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” by Randall Munroe Comics artist and former NASA robotics employee Munroe answers questions with math, providing insight into creative problem solving. Read his answers to questions like “How much Force power can Yoda output?” Consider how to think through your own absurd questions in real-world ways.


Every student enrolled in a Hillsborough County Public School, Hillsborough County Charter School or Hillsborough Virtual School has a library card in their pocket with HAAL Pass. Students use their student ID number and the default PIN to access public library resources. Use the HAAL pass to learn another language, take an online animation or photography course or try out other creative pursuits.

Try: GoPro

Read: “Make Meatballs Sing: The Life and Art of Sister Corita Kent” by Matthew Burgess

Read: “Syllabus” by Lynda Barry

Younger kids will enjoy the vibrant illustrations of artist and educator Corita Kent’s journey, and older kids will learn from descriptions of artistic techniques as they read about how Kent’s dreams become reality. Connect to Kent’s art by trying some simple printmaking techniques like applying paint to a cut apple and pressing it to a page.


Capture your adventures on camera and try your hand at videography. Available for pickup for those 17 and older at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, Bloomingdale Regional Public Library, New Tampa Regional Library and C. Blythe Andrews, Jr. Public Library.

Artist and professor Lynda Barry offers a composition book full of observations, drawings and simple exercises that will get you thinking about creative development and practice for you and the kids in your life. Barry’s 5-minute daily diary is manageable for even the busiest of us.

Visit for even more creative opportunities. MARCH 2022



Wed, March 9: 10:00 AM & 6:00 PM Wed, March 23: 10:00 AM & 6:00 PM Wed, March 30: 10:00 AM & 6:00 PM Food & Drinks

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS! OPENING AUGUST 2022 Explore a new frontier in Elementary Education

Dr. Kiran C. Patel Elementary School is now accepting applications for grades K-2 • • • •

Well rounded rigorous education Engage students through Project Based Learning (PBL) Embrace all learners within a family school culture Whole Child Approach that includes Social Emotional Learning and Leadership Development

Dr. Kiran C. Patel Elementary School

10739 Raulerson Ranch Road, Tampa, FL 33637 | MARCH 2022 35 TEL: 813-444-0660

Teach Your Way Teach your way with this timely collection of flexible resources for families and educators. Each month features a new Teach Your Way calendar and printable activity sheets filled with creative ideas for children in grades PK-2. To learn more, visit rg pbslearningmedia.o and enter “Teach Your Way” into the search.

As always, you can find helpful learning resources & more at 36 MARCH 2022


Q&A with Dr. Adam Holden, New President of Admiral Farragut Academy K-12 by Admiral Farragut Academy Communications

Dr. Adam Holden President of Admiral Farragut Academy, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA Special Advisor to National Education Governmental Committees Doctoral Graduate of the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

ABOUT ADMIRAL FARRAGUT ACADEMY Steeped in history with alumni in the White House, astronauts on the surface of the moon, professional athletes and in key leadership positions around the world, Admiral Farragut Academy is an international university preparatory academy focusing on elite U.S.-based academics and outstanding global leadership development. Admiral Farragut Academy’s global headquarters is located on the waterfront near the Gulf of Mexico in tropical St. Petersburg, Florida, close to the number one ranked beach in the US, a vibrant downtown harbor and a brief car ride to internationally recognized theme parks such as Disney World and Universal Studios.

What did you see at AFA that made you want to lead the school?

What do you think is the greatest motivator for youth?

I was immediately impacted by both the legacy and the potential of the Admiral Farragut Academy. AFA is steeped in history with alumni working for the White House, walking on the surface of the moon, competing as professional athletes, and in significant leadership positions around the world. It’s also a school with extraordinarily strong academic preparation and an outstanding track record of international university preparation. Of course, this is all founded upon an impressive commitment to the development of leadership. It is an honor to be able to lead such a distinguished school.

Even though each generation frowns on the ones that follow, I truly believe that students are just as motivated today as they ever have been. Being curious, wanting to investigate, discover, discuss, debate, problem-solve, is to be human. Our students are motivated when they are welcomed to be a part of our learning community, challenged to consistently give their best effort, nurtured in an environment that values being willing to take a risk, and, above all cared for as a valuable member of the wider school environment.

What is the most enjoyable part of your day? If I were to identify any single part of the day that I look forward to it would probably be walking through the lunchroom and seeing such a globally diverse group of students mixing so seamlessly. On any given day, I can sit at a table with students from countries all over the world and I love to see how inclusive and globally aware our students are. Of course, there are so many elements of the school day that I enjoy – and all of them involve interaction with our students or teachers. They are the heartbeat of any school.

What motivates you? Honestly, most of my professional character has been shaped by lessons learned in my own education, on the sports field and during my time in the Royal Air Force. On a personal level, obviously my faith, family and friends have been my great influencers. But, most of all, I tend to be a highly competitive individual - I hate losing! I guess that I love working as a part of a talented team, developing strategies and tactics to be successful. Perhaps that is why I feel that AFA is such a good fit for me!

You have led more than one school that was awarded the National Blue Ribbon School Award. How do you go about making a school great? Great schools are built on the shoulders of great people. There is nothing that a head of school can do that will have a more positive impact on teaching and learning than investing in the individuals who participate in the process. Attracting and retaining the very best faculty is critical. Identifying students of good character who are eager to be active members of the school community and parents that understand the importance of the role they play in partnering with the school is equally important.

What do you look for in a great teacher? Teaching is all about relationships. Whether it is a teacher, coach, Residential Life mentor or member of the school’s leadership team, we always look for professionals who can connect with, inspire, challenge, mentor and, most importantly, care for our students. Obviously, we seek dedicated professionals who have a deep knowledge of their subject area—those that view a career in education as a calling rather than just a job. But above all, we look for individuals who develop trusting and nurturing relationships. And that is why I am so proud of the team of professionals that we have assembled here at AFA – they epitomize each of these key characteristics. MARCH 2022



W hy Early Lear ning deve of marketing and resource by Erica Turchin, manager County Coalition of Hillsborough


lopment at the Early Lear


We all send our children to kindergarten with no questions asked. We trust their teachers to shape their little growing minds so that one day, our baby will walk down the aisle and get their diploma at 18. We invest so much in our children from kindergarten through 12th grade… but what about all those years before they turn 5? The most important years of your child’s life are from the day they are born until they reach the big High Five milestone birthday. Within this short period of time, 90 percent of children’s brain is fully developed but ironically, there isn’t a huge push on education or even mandatory schooling during these first five years. Early learning sets the foundation for a child to have a more successful future. A new home built with a strong foundation stands strong over the years and retains more positive memories and experiences. A home built on a poor foundation can be fixed, but it takes more time, money and extra assistance to correct. A child’s early learning experiences help them cope with different life experiences and build relationships with the people around them.

38 MARCH 2022


I nvest By Fiatvtee rs Supporting early learning is not complicated; no one expects parents to sit down with their baby and start practicing long division. Here are a few ways to go about it, and you might be doing some of the following without even knowing it: ● Bonding over stories as you lay your baby down for the night. Those tiny ears and eyes are never too young to hear and see robust words, or even the words from the fashion article you may be reading. Implementing early learning on your own doesn’t have to be costly either. It can be as simple as visiting the local library for story time. ● Taking your child to the park to walk the nature trail is not only relaxing and allows for breathing in fresh air, but it’s a great way to discover the sights, sounds and textures around you. ● Bringing children to Sunday church service is another great way to practice early learning, as it can become a cultural experience where they can learn about family traditions and values and see different people from your community. It may even be filled with great uplifting music that you and your child can sing, dance or tap to. ● Reaching out to a childcare center with age-appropriate curriculum to foster early learning. As parents and caregivers, we may not always feel like we are doing our best at creatively teaching our children. Joining a center gives your child the opportunity to build relationships and trust in a caregiver other than a family member, grow their learning experience with children of similar ages, and discover the world through play. Many centers are staffed with trained teachers and directors to ensure your child is receiving the best education for their growing mind. Your child is never too young to experience life. The more positive experiences you give them, the better foundation they will have. From the moment they are born, the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County is here as an extended support to you and your child as you prepare them for kindergarten.

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Teaching students Discover the Westlake difference! 727.781.3808 to soar beyond the 727.781.3808 classroom. 727.781.3808

Excellence in Academic Achievement Excellence in Academic Achievement a

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Join us for a tour on Thursdays at 10 a.m. Excellence in Academic Achievement and Faith Formation or by appointment. Discover the Westlake difference! 727.781.3808



At Academy at the Lakes, we create big opportunities for your child in a small setting. Our You Matter Here philosophy creates a supportive environment for students to embrace safe risks both inside and outside the classroom, offering an approach to school where limitless opportunities today open the doors of tomorrow.

Contact us today to experience the Academy Difference Excellence in Academic Achievement and Faith Formation with a safe and socially distanced tour.

Learn More PreK3 – Grade 12


MARCH 2022



your guide to Tampa Bay Area


CAGE Virtual CyberCamp 100% Online, Asynchronous, Facilitated 813-974-1640; Campers work up the ranks as secret agent recruits for the Cybersecurity Agency for Global Engagement (CAGE) by solving puzzles, taking virtual tours and gathering information to expose a mole within the organization! This immersive, high-energy simulation will give campers knowledge in foundational computing concepts, including skills associated with cybersecurity, computing architecture and coding. Campers will also develop knowledge and skills that can be applied to their own interactions within the digital world. A secret agent box, including a CAGE t-shirt and other necessary materials for the week, will be mailed or hand-delivered to each recruit. Cost: $149.95/week/camper Dates/Times: June 6-10 and 13-17, July 11-15 and 18-22 (All weeks have counselors available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

Camp IDS

Camp Osprey

12015 Orange Grove Drive, Tampa 33618 813-961-3087;

18050 US Highway 301 S., Wimauma 33598 941-928-6860;

Ace your audition with tips from a professional vocalist. Cook like a chef. Train with conditioning coaches. Play chess, race robots, try calligraphy or code apps – with more than 100 halfand full-day camps, CAMP IDS has something for everyone! Weekly sessions run June 13-July 22. Students entering PreK3-8th grade will find engaging options in STEAM, sports, academics, arts and recreation. Take field trips across Tampa Bay or enjoy archery, canoeing, fishing and outdoor games on Corbett Prep’s lakeside campus. Free morning drop-off at 7:45 a.m. After-care from 4-6 p.m. ($75) and bus transportation available for a fee. Cost: $135-$350/week Dates/Times: June 13-July 22, Half Day 8:30 a.m. to noon or 12:30-4 p.m.; Full Day 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ages: PreK3 – grade 8, Coed

Ages: Grades 3-5; Coed

40 MARCH 2022

Camp Osprey Kid’s Day / Overnight Adventure Camp is located on 204 acres that meander along the Little Manatee River. Horseback riding, zipline, giant swing, paintball, BB guns, archery, kayaking, paddleboards, swimming, fishing and art and crafts are offered in a Christian-based environment of family fun. Make a lifetime of memories in just one summer.

City of Largo Summer Camps 201 Highland Ave., Largo 33770 727-587-6720; The City of Largo Summer Camps offer full-day and part-day options for ages 5-18 starting in May. Campers will have the chance to go on field trips, play sports, create art, learn about nature and more! The Central Park Performing Arts Center also offers Theatre Camps for kids ages 9-18 who are interested in theatre and performing.

Dates/Times: Day Camp M-F, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Overnight Camp Sun. 4 p.m. to Sat. 9:30 a.m.

Are you over 18 and interested in summer camps? We are offering cooking and art camps for adults! Registration opens Feb. 15. Visit to learn more about all our offerings.

Ages: 7-15, Coed

Cost: $25-$450

Cost: Day Camp $325/week, Overnight $645/week

Dates/Times: May 31 - Aug. 5, Weekly, Times Vary Ages: 5-18; Coed

The Coder School CODE CAMPS NEW TAMPA | 8632 Hunters Village Road, Tampa 33647 SOUTH TAMPA | 1730 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa 33629 CARROLLWOOD | 13129 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa 33618 813-422-5566; Let's get ready for camps! Our camps provide coding lessons for kids as well as fun offline activities. Kids code throughout the week and then demo their week's creations on the last day of camp. Registration is now open. Early-bird discounts available for a limited time. $100 off ALL camps; use the code CODINGROCKS at checkout! Cost: $249-$599/week Dates/Times: June 6 – Aug. 5 (nine weeks of options!) Full Day 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Half Day 9 a.m. to noon *Early drop off and late pick up available Ages: 7-15, Coed

Dunedin Fine Art Center Summer ART Academy 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin 34698 727-298-3322; DFAC’s Summer Art Academy has proudly offered over 35 years of summer art enrichment fun. Todd Still, director of youth education, is excited about heading up his 25th year at one of the premier summer programs in the Tampa Bay area. Seven different art camps feature the best artists and art educators in the region, from multi-media experts to painting, clay and 'Drawing to Dreamin!' Cost: $175-$225 *Scholarships are available Dates/Times: May 31 – Aug. 5, Weekly 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. *Before and aftercare available Ages: 4.5-14; Coed

FL Drama Kids of Hillsborough County

Girl Scout Camp Wai Lani & Wildwood

3315 S. Bryan Road, Brandon 33511 813-489-5899;

500 Wai Lani Road, Palm Harbor 34683 & 9583 County Road 223, Wildwood 34785 813-281-GIRL;

When school is out, drama is in! Campers will bring fun and engaging themed week-long camps to life through improvisational and scripted acting activities, crafts and more. Perfect for all experience levels. Join Drama Kids for immersive and skill-building Workshop Camps or flex those acting muscles and join our full team of professional musical theatre instructors for a Take 2 Performance Academy Camp. Children of all ages can jump into a summer camp experience that ignites their imagination! Cost: $269-$299 1-week camp; $549 2-week camp Dates/Times: June 6 - July 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., M-F Ages: 5-17, Coed

You'll have countless opportunities to access your inner go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and leader as you try new things and explore the outdoors. Go paddling in the bay in a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard! Visit the marine science lab, go on a hiking adventure or conquer the climbing tower, all while building friendships that last a lifetime at Camp Wai Lani. Camp Wildwood is the place for girls who want to go on a horseback riding adventure and explore hundreds of acres of forest with miles of beautiful trails. Learn about native plants and animals, travel back to the pioneer times and visit the barn to spend time with our many horses, all while building friendships that last a lifetime. Cost: $250-$650 Dates/Times: June - August, Times Vary Ages: 6-17; Female,

MARCH 2022



your guide to Tampa Bay Area


History Adventure Camps 801 Water Street, Tampa 33602 813-228-0097; History Adventure Camps are back at the History Center. Join us for American Girl© Camp, Pirates and Explorers Camp and Archeology Camp this summer! Each week is led by certified teachers in the museum galleries and classrooms. "Both of my kids love absolutely everything about camp," said one of our parents. "They beg to stay until the very end of the day and get mad if I pick them up early! I also like that they are learning while having fun!" Cost: $250-$300/session *Scholarships are available Dates/Times: June 13-17 & 20-24, June 27-July 1, July 11-15 & 25-29, M-F, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. *Extended care available

The James Museum Art Camp Summer 2022 The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art | 150 Central Ave., St. Petersburg 33701 727-892-4200; Go on an art adventure! Get creative and make new friends at The James Museum in downtown St. Pete this summer. Week-long summer camps offer a variety of fun, hands-on activities that encourage creative thinking, original art-making and playful collaboration. Cost: $250/week; $225 for members Dates/Times: June 13-17, June 27July 1, July 11-15 & 25-29; 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Ages: Entering grades 1-3 or 4-6; Coed

Ages: 7-11; Coed

MOSI Summer Science Camps

Summer at Shorecrest

4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa 33617 813-987-6000;

5101 1st Street NE, St. Petersburg 33703 727-409-1668;

MOSI’s Summer Science Camps bring science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) alive through hands-on experiments and building projects. From launching rockets, building robots and extracting DNA, we are about creating the experiences that expand interests and make dreams a reality. Doing real science with the tools and technologies used by professionals is just one way MOSI camps inspire our campers with a can-do attitude that will last a lifetime. Real science coupled with exciting experiments, simulations, explorations and inventions will help you discover the innovator within. Cost: $217-$333 Dates/Times: May 31 - Aug. 5; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. *extended care available: 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. Ages: Completed grades K-8; Coed

Summer at Shorecrest offers a huge variety of exciting, enriching and FUN summer programs for students in preschool-12th grade with classic summer day camp, STEM camps, performing and visual arts, sports clinics, academic enrichment/college prep and so much more! Each year, Summer at Shorecrest welcomes children from across the Tampa Bay area to learn and play together. Campers do not have to attend Shorecrest Preparatory School to participate. View the full catalog and register at summer. Cost: $195-$550; Full-day camps include lunch Dates/Times: June 6 - Aug. 5; Most camps run 9 a.m. to noon, 1-4 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. *Before and after care is available 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ages: Age 4 to grade 12; Coed

42 MARCH 2022

Summer Camp Imagination

Tampa Prep Summer Programs

YMCA Summer Camp

ZooTampa Summer Camps

110 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa 33602 813-443-3861;

727 W. Cass Street, Tampa 33606 813-251-8481;

Multiple Locations 813-224-8622; 727-467-9622;

1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa 33604 813-935-8552;

Camp Terrapin is Tampa Prep’s well-known coeducational, sports and fine arts camp for students entering grades 1-8. Structured activities and theme days provide friendship and fun in downtown Tampa. Additional summer programs include a variety of sports camps and courses in robotics, academics and enrichment. This summertime extension of our award-winning day school program offers something for everyone.

Y Summer Camp offers children a SAFE and FUN summer camp experience! The camp curriculum is full of fun, educational activities infused with the Y’s character values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Campers experience a variety of activities including S.T.E.A.M activities, swimming, science, high ropes, outdoor education, nature encounters, horseback riding, canoeing, visual arts, arts and crafts and more! The fun and unique experiences give Y campers an opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends, discover new interests and create memories that last a lifetime.

Your kids can explore the Zoo like never before! Campers will get VIP behind-the-scenes access to the Zoo, up-close to our amazing animals from across the globe, and talk directly from the teams that care for these animals every day to learn what it takes to become a Zoo veterinarian or animal care expert! Plus, they’ll get plenty of splashes on our water adventure, Roaring Springs! Get ready for a WILD SUMMER at ZooTampa!

At Camp Imagination, your little learners imagine, discover and connect to the world around them. With imaginative weekly themes, there’s a camp for every kid, including three autism-friendly weeks. Register your kids to play with purpose and embrace curiosity this summer at Glazer Children’s Museum! Cost: $265 per week, per child before May 1, $300 per week, per child on and after May 1, Annual GCM Members save 15%

Cost: $175-$295 for camps and enrichment

Dates/Times: June 6 - July 29, Drop-off 8:30-9 a.m. Pick-up 4:30-5 p.m.

Dates/Times: May 31 - July 15, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. *Before and after care provided weeks 6/6-7/15

Ages: 5-10; Coed

Ages: Various camps, enrichment courses and for-credit courses are offered for students entering grades 1-12, Coed

Cost: Starting at $299 Dates/Times: June 7 - Aug. 6; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ages: Grades K-8; Coed

Cost: Starting at $169/week (Tampa). Starting at $95/week (Suncoast). Dates/Times: Begins May 31, Times Vary Ages: 6-15 (Tampa), 5-17 (Suncoast); Coed,

MARCH 2022


SUMMER 2022 6 Weeks of Options June 13 - July 22

Over 100 Full & Half Day Camps PreK3 - 8th Grade Before & After Care

813.961.3087 Bus Service Available

44 MARCH 2022

KIDS THINK THEY’RE TOO OLD FOR CAMP? Check Out These Options by Courtney Cairns Pastor, photos provided by Corbett Preparatory School of IDS

Your tween or teen envisions a summer of sleeping in, playing video games and chatting with friends online. They feel like they’re too old for child care, but they’re also too young for summer jobs. Meanwhile, you need them active, engaged – and out of the house. Summer camp geared to their age may be just what you both need. At CAMP IDS, kids can learn the latest TikTok dances. Gain enough babysitting knowledge to be at the top of every parent’s “must-hire” list. Train for fall sports. Learn to audition like a professional actor. Practice Python programming. They can even arrange to do it all with their friends. It’s impossible to outgrow summer camp when there are so many great options for older kids. Here’s how to find the right fit for your preteen or teen. APPEAL TO THEIR INTERESTS. Summer camp is an easier sell to older kids if you know they’ll love what they’re doing. The STEAM, sports, arts, recreation camps at CAMP IDS span a wide range of topics, making it likely that families can find a good fit for a variety of interests. Aspiring coders can design and code robots to race or battle at camps using the LEGO Spike Prime system. Outdoor enthusiasts can choose a full day of fishing all over the Tampa Bay area or stay on Corbett Prep’s beautiful campus for canoeing or archery. Actors, singers and dancers will find opportunities for self-expression in Hip Hop Fusion, Pitch Perfect a cappella camp or the weeklong Broadway Revue while visual artists may want to try their hand at calligraphy and henna art, photography or printmaking. And the popular Cooking Camp is back for six weeks to inspire foodies of all ages. GO TO THE NEXT LEVEL. A summer schedule cleared of school obligations means kids have time to focus on their passions. Camps geared to older students can offer harder challenges or assign them more responsibilities and complicated tasks than camps designed for young elementary children. Athletes will benefit from specialty camps such as baseball hitting and fielding, lacrosse or volleyball. Camps that emphasize conditioning and training, including the two VAST Sports Performance at CAMP IDS, help young athletes get faster and stronger with drills and tips to enhance their skills in all sports even after the week has ended. For performers, Audition Intensive camp works on helping young performers present songs with poise and confidence as they come ready to work on musical theatre pieces selected in advance. Kids entering fifth through eighth grade are the perfect age to learn babysitting skills, and Babysitter’s Club provides an overview of infant care, first aid techniques and fun ideas to keep young children entertained. FOCUS ON FUN. Who says everything your child does in the summer has to have a purpose? It’s OK to pick camps based on the fun-factor alone! Recreational camps pack kids’ days with field trips, games and team building challenges that make it easy to make friends (and memories)! Outdoor Adventures, Anything Goes, Retro Summer and Warrior Games camps ditch their devices for weeks of archery, slip and slide kickball, board games, obstacle courses, water balloons and shaving cream battles. If your teen craves a change of scenery, send them on field trip camps that take them off campus daily for laser tag, rock climbing, ice skating and other activities. As a parent, all you have to do is get your child to camp on time — CAMP IDS handles the rest, from all the planning to creating their daily schedules. So what will you pick? Older kids can have as much fun this summer as younger children if you choose sessions that appeal to their interests, help them meet their goals or provide a dose of the freedom and responsibility they’re seeking. And if sleeping in is still at the top of the priority list, here’s an idea — CAMP IDS has half- and full-day camps. Select an afternoon camp, and your tween or teen will still have plenty of time to snooze! PRESENTED BY CORBETT PREPARATORY SCHOOL OF IDS

Play with GCM all Summer long. Camp Imagination: June 6-July 29 At Camp Imagination, your little learners imagine, discover, and connect to the world around them. With imaginative weekly themes, there’s a camp for every kid! Register your kiddo to play with purpose and embrace curiosity this Summer at

• W E E K LY T H E M E S • June 6-10 Magical Tales with Patel Conservatory June 13-17 Expedition Unknown | June 20-24 Outside In June 27-July 1 Time Travel | July 5-8 Mad Science July 11-15 Wild World (Autism-Friendly) | July 18-22 Maker Mania July 25-29 Make a Masterpiece (Autism-Friendly)

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your guide to Tampa Bay Area

SUMME R C AMPS ACADEMY OF THE HOLY NAMES SUMMER ON BAYSHORE 3319 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa 33629 813-839-5371;

Fun-loving kids ages 3 and up may choose from themed day camps, STEM, sports and enrichment camps at Academy of the Holy Names’ Summer on Bayshore! From Legos to lacrosse and cooking to coding, there is something for everyone. Full and half-day weekly sessions run from June 6 - July 22 and include complimentary extended care.

ART CAMPS & WORKSHOPS AT THE MFA 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg 33701 727-896-2667;

Travel back in time and learn about the art and science of archaeology in our Art & Archaeology Camp (grades 1-5). Discover how animals, plants, weather, water and sky have inspired artists since the dawn of time in our Art & Nature Camp (grades 1-5). Be inspired by historical and contemporary female artists from around the world and practice your own artistic voice in our Art & Empowerment Workshop for young women (grades 6-9). Join us as we explore the world through art at the Museum of Fine Arts!


Kumon Learning Center: 1114 E. Bloomingdale Ave., Suite A, Valrico 33596 CL Space: 204 E. Henderson Ave., Tampa 33602 813-999-2829; Barrett School of music offers something for everyone! Younger students can try out several different instruments as beginners. Or for our orchestra students, our string chamber ensemble will prepare them for seating auditions in the fall. Maybe your student is into writing their own music, so grab a spot in our Music Creation Camp. And don't forget our Musical Theater Camp for trifecta training! Your kids will love a week with Barrett School of Music.

BERKELEY PREPARATORY SUMMER PROGRAMS 4811 Kelly Road, Tampa 33615 813-885-1673;

With over 120 camps and classes on a beautiful 80-acre campus, Berkeley has an enormous summer catalog of swim lessons, tech camps, fine arts, baseball, chess, volleyball, football, LEGO, basketball, rock climbing, skateboard design, reading skills, lacrosse, tennis, debate, math review and so much more! There’s something for everyone at Berkeley Summer Programs!

BEST HORSE CAMP AT WEST COAST MORGANS 17126 Boy Scout Road, Odessa 33556 813-920-9870;

Dates/Times: Weekly June 6 - July 22, 9 a.m. to noon or 4 p.m. Ages: Pre-K3 to grade 9; Coed

Cost: $190 for members; $250 for not-yetmembers *Scholarships Available Dates/Times: July 11-15, 18-22 and 25-29; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ages: Grades 1-5 and 6-9, Coed and Female Cost: $110-$295 Dates/Times: July 11-15, 18-22 and 25-29, times vary Ages: 4-7 or 11-17, Coed

Cost: prices vary per camp Dates/Times: June 6 July 29, times vary *Extended care available Ages: 4-17, Coed and single sex camps

Cost: $80-$100/day, $400-$500/week Dates/Times: May 31 Aug. 5, half and full day options, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.


*Registration opens Feb. 28

813-839-4297; Camp Bayshore is a fun, Christian-centered program for campers ages 3 through rising 6th grade. Children from all around the Tampa Bay area are provided an exciting and safe family atmosphere to learn, grow, play and make memories that last a lifetime.

Stress Free Summer Camp Planning at

Cost: $160 (half day) to $375 (full day specialty camps)

JUMP for JOY! The BEST Horse Camp is back! We continue to encourage social distancing, have more riding and outside time and disinfection protocols to protect everyone as best as possible. WCM horse camp experience is amazing with half and full days, single weeks and bulk weeks over summer and winter breaks and family discounts. Beginners through advanced riders can enjoy different weekly themes and days filled with tons of hands-on horse activities as well as guest speakers and MORE! 3909 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa 33611

Let imagine camp organization do the work for you!

Ages: 6+, Coed

Cost: $250-$275/week + registration fee Dates/Times: May 31 July 29, M-F, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Ages: 3 years to rising 6th graders, Coed

MARCH 2022


Y Camps Offer Summer Fun for Everyone! by Cathy Mayo, Senior Communications Director, YMCA

Has your child ever wanted to learn to ride a horse? Or spend hours outside playing their favorite games with friends? Do they enjoy getting messy with a paintbrush or putting their STEM skills to use creating new and cool things? Summer Camp at the YMCA offers all of these activities and so much more! Fun and unique experiences give Y campers an opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends, discover new interests and create memories that last a lifetime. At the YMCA’s Summer Camp, kids are in a welcoming environment with caring counselors. They gain a sense of belonging while building relationships with other campers, developing their own character while having a great time!

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For campers like Timothy, it is a chance to make new friends, “I liked playing outside. I got to hang out with my friends and meet new ones!” Timothy looks forward to another summer spent at the YMCA, and more time to hang out with his friends!

For parents like Sandra and Richard Marrero, the YMCA Summer Camp has been life changing for their daughter Ivanna. Ivanna is special needs and attended Camp Extraordinary at the Pine Grove Elementary YMCA. For them, inclusion and a sense of belonging is crucial. “Thank you for encouraging her to play and for validating what she is able to do. Thank you for creating a setting that was safe and promoted inclusion. It’s really critical for her to be included with the ‘normal’ kids,” Sandra says. “She loved going to camp!”

The Y is committed to each child’s personal growth in spirit, mind and body. Y Camps do this by focusing on enriching each camper’s experience and helping them recognize their talents, make lifelong friends, learn new skills and understand the importance of living a healthy, active life. As campers grow and progress through the Y Camp Program, they explore new aspects of camp. Y Camp is infused with the Y’s four positive character values: Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. The camps are committed to challenging campers, their families and camp counselors to learn and demonstrate these values throughout camp each day. Be a part of something great, and register today at or www.ymcasuncoast. org (depending on your location)! But hurry, spots fill quickly. As a top-rated 4-star charity, the Y offers camp scholarships to qualified families because all kids deserve to go to camp! PRESENTED BY THE YMCA

City of Largo Summer Camps



Choose from full or part day camps





Summer Soccer Camps 2022 Boys & Girls ages 5-13

Secure your spot and save today at MARCH 2022


SUMMER CAMP DIRECTORY | special advertising section CAMP BLUE RIDGE

355 Playhouse Drive, Clayton, GA 30525 954-665-8686; Camp Blue Ridge is a family operated, activity-oriented, coed, accredited summer camp. At Camp Blue Ridge, we strive to develop an independent camper within a community setting. We offer children and teens an ever-evolving collection of specialized activities in the areas of aquatics, athletics, outdoor adventure and the cultural arts.


Dates/Times: June 12 July 30, sleep-away Ages: 5-16, Coed

1551 Belcher Road, Palm Harbor 34683 727-781-6343;

Cost: $160-$170/week + one-time registration fee

Provide your child with the best summer possible in a safe, family-friendly environment. Weekly campers enjoy a field trip and special onsite activity plus daily activities like science, art, creative writing, reading, music, game room, active play and much more! It’s almost too much fun to fit into one summer!

Ages: Rising K-8, Coed


23221 101st Road, O’Brien 32071 386-209-1908 or 386-935-0863; Camp Dovewood celebrates 45 years of dynamic Christian camping for girls 7-16 in North Florida. We have an outstanding equestrian program with certified instructors: huntseat, rodeo, dressage, grooming, vet care and trail rides. We also offer swimming instruction, tennis, cheerleading, art, drama, archery, Bible, volleyball, softball, cooking, gymnastics, music and baton. ACA and CHA accredited.


1445 Camp Gilead Drive, Polk City 33868 863-984-1353; Camp Gilead is a year-round Christian Camp and conference center that has served central Florida since 1938! Whether your children are seasoned campers or first-timers, we are confident that they will find the friendly atmosphere at Camp Gilead refreshing and exciting. We exist to glorify God by creating a fun, safe, Christ-centered place for children and teens to evaluate their relationship with Jesus Christ and to be challenged both physically and spiritually while making lifelong friends.


Dates/Times: June 6 July 29; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. *free extended care 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: $775-$1,295 Dates/Times: June 12 - July 23, 1-2 week sessions Ages: 7-16, Girls Only

Cost: $345 Overnight Camp, $245 Commuter Camp Dates/Times: June 5 July 22, times vary Ages: K-12, Coed

7602 Henry Drive, Land O' Lakes 34638 813-996-1226;

Cost: $300/weekend; $650-$800/week

Camp Idlewild’s program model was developed for children ages 6-17 who have the following super-powers: Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger's Syndrome), Sensory Processing Disorders, Down syndrome and Developmental Delays. We also offer Young Adult Camp (YAC) programs for 18-30-year-olds on select dates. Check our website for more information.

Ages: 6-17; Young Adult Camp Ages 18-30, Coed


Dates/Times: Mar. 11-13 & 25-27, Apr. 8-10, Apr. 29 -May 1; June 12-Aug. 5, times vary

9020 Imperial Oak Blvd., Tampa 33647 800-968-4332;

Cost: $250

Spark your kid’s creativity and confidence with our new Camp Invention® program! At Turner-Bartels K-8 School the week of June 6, campers in grades K-6 will collaborate in hands-on activities exploring fun STEM concepts by adopting a robotic fish, develop inventions for space exploration and more! Visit to secure your spot and save!

Ages: Grades K-6, Coed



Cost: varies by session, *please call for first-time camper rates and camp specials

Dates/Times: June 6-9

Cost: $275-$365/week

13009 Community Campus Drive, Tampa 33625 522 N. Howard Ave., Tampa 33606 813-264-9000; and

Dates/Times: June 6 July 29, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. *Extended care available

Camp J offers a variety of specialty camps and a traditional day camp experience. Campers enjoy art, sports, daily swim, music and dance, gaga, archery, canoeing, woodworking, zip lining and ropes course, field trips, overnights and more! Our goal is for each child to have a meaningful and memorable summer camp experience.

Ages: Entering grades K-10, Coed MARCH 2022

MARCH 2022


Campers 3 years old to rising 6th graders

Camp Bayshore A ministry of Bayshore Christian School

Summer fun at camp bayshore

Registration opens february 28th camp dates are may 31stJuly 29th (813) 839-4297 Ext. 300 3909 South MacDill Avenue Tampa, Fl 33611 "our family loves camp Bayshore! my son feels safe and has the best time. he always shares about his exciting days. We are beyond grateful that camp Bayshore is our second home every summer." -Camp Bayshore parent

Register today! (813) 489-5899 DRAMAKIDS.COM/FL6 MUSICAL THEATRE SUMMER CAMPS AGES 8 - 17

AGES 6 - 11


Rehearsals held Mon - Fri

Camps will be held at 3315 S Bryan Rd,. Brandon, FL 33511

$25 Administrative Fee is due at time of enrollment

Willy Wonka Performances held at HCC Brandon Auditorium

Early Bird Discounts available before April 1

52 MARCH 2022

Friends, Fun and Adventure! Girl Scout summer camp has it all at two amazing locations.

Non-members welcome to get a taste of Girl Scouts!

MARCH 2022




June 13-17 Rising 1st-3rd Graders

July 11-15 Rising 1st-3rd Graders



June 27-July 1 Rising 4-6th Graders

July 25-29 Rising 4-6th Graders 150 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 727-892-4200 x1010

54 MARCH 2022


375 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, NC 28711 828-686-3885; A Summer of Adventure. A Lifetime of Friendship. At Rockmont, campers get to experience the wildness of being a boy outdoors, the welcoming embrace of a loving community and the wonder of being alive. What makes Rockmont different is Age Progressive Programming. As your son grows, so will his camp experience! And our incredible counselors and staff are with him every step of the way.


381 Moonlight Drive, Cloudland, GA 30731 423-472-6070; Imagine a home away from home where your child feels secure, welcome and reassured—that’s Camp Woodmont! Just two-and-a-half hours from Atlanta, this ACA-accredited camp boasts two generations of family management. Overnight camp for boys & girls ages 6 to 14. Activities include archery, climbing, horseback riding, crafts, games, sports and more! One- and two-week sessions available.

CARROLLWOOD CULTURAL CENTER SUMMER ARTS CAMP 4537 Lowell Road, Tampa 33618 813-922-8167;

At the Carrollwood Cultural Center, artistic expression, belting it out, busting a move and getting into character are all encouraged! Through art, music, dance and drama, campers 4-10 will explore a different theme each week, while campers ages 11-13 use the theme to create an original staged production.


Cost: $1,000-$6,800 Dates/Times: June 5 Aug. 5, 1-4 week overnight sessions Ages: 6-16, Boys (Counselor in Training Program for 17-year-olds)

Cost: $1,075/week or $1,650/2 weeks Dates/Times: May 29 July 29, Overnight 1 and 2 week sessions Ages: 6-14, Coed

Cost: $200-$525/week Dates/Times: June 6 Aug. 5, M-F, 9 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m. depending on the age *Extended care available Ages: 4-13, Coed

6204 Interbay Blvd., Tampa 33611 813-831-8429;

Cost: Half day $200, Full day $265

Circle "C" Ranch Academy: the country, only closer. We have summer camp and summer VPK available with many activities! Camp activities include horseback riding, swimming, art, sports (including archery) and outdoor exploration. We also have a canteen snack hut and bounce house. Come join us for all the outdoor fun!

Ages: 1-12, Coed


1490 N. Belcher Road, Suite H, Clearwater 33765 727-461-0098; Our Circus Summer Camps include aerial silks, trapeze, acrobatics, aerial hoop, Spanish web (rope), stilt walking and juggling. What will you experience? Absolute fun, hard work, exhilaration, getting stronger, achieving better flexibility, making new friends and mastering amazing skills you never thought you could do. Come run away to the Circus with us this summer!


Dates/Times: June & July, full day 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., half day 8 a.m. to noon

Cost: $275-$350/week, *Family/Friends and multi-week discounts Dates/Times: June 13 Aug. 5, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Age: 5-8 and 9-adult, Coed

Cost: $450

4175 Medulla Road, Lakeland 33811; 863-904-6833 Ext. 217

Dates/Times: June 6-24, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Destination Aviation Summer Camp is an immersive one-week experience including hands-on aerospace activities, meteorology, aircraft restoration projects, ground school, field trips and flight opportunities for campers 11 to 18 years of age. Our camps are designed to build upon themselves, starting with a basic understanding of the aerospace industry and moving towards a more in-depth and focused aviation camp.

Ages: 11-18; Coed


180th St., Live Oak 32060 352-641-0350; Earth Immersion is a scuba, adventure and outdoor education camp for teens (13-17) looking for an unmatched experience exploring North Florida’s crystal-clear springs. Activities include earning SCUBA certifications, snorkeling, canoeing, hiking, fishing, tubing, community service hours and learning about freshwater/marine biology. We offer 7- or 13-day overnight coed programs.

Cost: $2,050-$3,650 Date/Times: June 12 Aug. 7, 7- or 13-day overnight programs Ages: 13-17, Coed

MARCH 2022 2022 MARCH


56 MARCH 2022



Camps and classes for all ages and skill levels

on sale


JAN 24!


C I S U M • R E T A E H T •

813.222.1040 • 57 MARCH 2022

SUMMER CAMP DIRECTORY | special advertising section ECKERD COLLEGE SUMMER WATERSPORTS CAMP 4200 54th Ave. S., St. Petersburg 33711-4744 727-864-8288;

The Eckerd College Summer Watersports Camp offers classes in Exploring Watersports, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, wakeboarding, saltwater fishing, Little Mariners, and Exploring Marine Life and more for students ages 5-17. This camp is taught in the perfect environment for learning watersports and gives campers exciting and unforgettable experiences!

THE FLORIDA ACADEMY OF THE PERFORMING ARTS Music Showcase: 402 Oakfield Drive, Brandon 33511 813-490-ARTS;

Music Theatre, Music and More, Rock Band, Broadway Boot Camp (featuring a Broadway artist) and more! Music and More camps are themed weekly experiences and let campers explore instruments, singing, dancing and art. Music Theatre camps meet for 2-3 weeks and involve singing, dancing, acting, character development and performing live shows with costumes, props and set design. Rock Band teaches students how to play in a band with a live showcase at the end of the week. Come join us!


Cost: $180-$295 *10% off of each class for multiple classes Dates/Times: June 6 July 29, Weekly, 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Ages: 5-17, Coed

Cost: Varies Dates/Times: June August, full day and half day options Ages: 5+, Coed

701 Channelside Drive, Tampa 33602 813-273-4000;

Cost: Varies by age/ program

Equal parts excitement and education, summer camps at The Florida Aquarium foster creativity and critical thinking. Weekly themes provide adventure for students of all ages; including animal interactions, day trips and so much more. Expect early drop-off and late pick-up at no extra cost, lunch options and guaranteed fun!

Ages: 3-14, Coed

FLORIDA DANCE THEATRE'S SUMMER INTENSIVE 2022 305 W. Main St., Lakeland 33815 863-802-0399;

Florida Dance Theatre's 2022 Summer programs are jam packed with intense but fun classes in ballet, jazz, contemporary and modern dance styles. In addition to rigorous technical training, students engage in improvisation and have opportunities to explore STEM initiatives FDT is working to present in collaboration with graduate students of Florida Polytechnic University. (*For Senior Intensive students only)

FOCUS ACADEMY MIDDLE SCHOOL ARTS CAMP 304 Druid Hills Road, Temple Terrace 33617 813-443-5558;

Students with cognitive/developmental disabilities can experience the arts and drama therapy in a playful non-judgmental environment that emphasizes self-expression, creative problem solving, social competence and relationship building. The week includes acting, movement, visual arts, script development and stagecraft, and culminates in a special performance for parents!


Various Locations: Lithia (Main Center), Tampa, Apollo Beach, Lutz 813-571-2002; Girls & Boys With Confidence offers the BEST camps in the area for rising K-8th grade girls and boys. Whether your daughter or son is confident or struggles with being shy, all kids LOVE our camps. Every day we focus on a new "confidence building" theme with discussions, activities and indoor and outdoor games, and work on different creative art/science projects.

LASER OPS EXTREME GAMING ARCADE (Summer Fun Activity) 6283 W. Waters Ave., Tampa 33634 813-443-6509;

Laser Ops is a 24,000-square-foot family entertainment center featuring a game arcade with more than 70 arcade games, virtual reality gaming, tactical laser tag, archery tag and Bazooka Ball. The venue also features a large sports bar and grill, including a full liquor bar. Laser Ops is great for friends and family fun.

58 MARCH MARCH 2022 2022 58

Dates/Times: May 31 Aug. 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. *free extended care 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Junior-Intensive: $400-$750, June 13-25, M-F 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., ages 7-13, Coed Senior-Intensive: $550-$1,100, June 6-25, M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., ages 14-18, Coed Cost: $250 Dates/Time: June 6-10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ages: Rising grades 6-8, Coed *Students must have/submit an IEP to attend; camp is for special needs students ONLY

Cost: Before March 31 $159-$259; April 1-May 15 $179-$279; After May 15 $199-$299 Dates/Times: May 31 Aug. 5, half and full day, times vary Ages: 4-14, Girls & Boys

Cost: Varies Summer-Hours: M-Th 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sun. noon to 9 p.m. Ages: All ages, Coed

MARCH 2022


What are YOU planning to do this summer? Plan on Summer at Shorecrest!

June 6 - August 5, 2022 Summer at Shorecrest offers a wide variety of exciting full day and half day camps in St. Petersburg for children age 4 - grade 12. Choose your favorite camp theme from sports, STEM, dance, theatre and more – or a classic Day Camp with games, arts, athletics and water fun all summer long! • Lunch included for full-day campers • After care available until 5:30pm

Learn more at: 60 MARCH 51012022 1st

St. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33703 • 727-522-2111 •

Camps for Ages 6-17 Be the first to take classes in the Museum’s new Education Center! MANY more camps will be held in the new mixed media, ceramics, and technology studios!

Learn more and register:

Sponsored by:

Cruise the coast on a kayak, float down a river or head underwater. These are the adventures that await campers joining The Florida Aquarium this summer. Fourth and fifth graders once again can experience travel camps with qualified educators and counselors. The Florida Aquarium summer camps are equal parts entertainment and education. Each week offers a different themes for kids of all ages. There’s perks for parents too! Learn more at

Scan code for easy registration

MARCH 2022



Are you ready to dig up some history? Travel back in time as we learn about the art and science of archaeology. Discover how archaeologists piece together the past from Ancient Greece, to Mesoamerica, and even right here in Tampa Bay! We’ll explore our own miniature archeology sites, puzzle together artifacts, and create a time capsule for archaeologists of the future.

(grades 1-5)



Inspired by historical and contemporary female artists from around the world, participants will explore art as voice and discover how art can be used as a tool for expression, care, and advocacy. Join the women of the MFA Curatorial Staff to learn about female artists featured at the MFA. We’ll also experience Fresh Up, the first solo museum exhibition of artist Gio Swaby, whose work explores the intersections of Blackness and womanhood.

(grades 6–9)

JULY 18-22

Calling all nature enthusiasts! Join us on a safari through the museum galleries as we discover how animals, plants, weather, water, and sky have inspired artists since the dawn of time. Special guests will bring nature encounters to our classroom as we create nature-inspired artworks and learn how artists can not only share the beauty of nature, but also help protect it.

(grades 1–5)

Price: $190 members, $250 not-yet-members | Camp times: 9 am–4 pm Scholarships available Due to safety precautions, camp sizes will be limited. All guests will be required to wear a face mask, observe social distancing and adhere to the additional safety protocols of the MFA.

Play, Create, Learn, Explore!

Camp Terrapin (grades 1–8) Special Interest Camps (6 years to grade 12) • • • •

Robotics Bricks 4 Kidz Chess Cheer

• • • •

Rowing Volleyball Lacrosse Soccer

62 MARCH 2022


1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater 33759 727-712-2706; The Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall offers a variety of musical theater, drama, music and art camps to students ages 5 and up, providing them the opportunity to explore their talents, boost their confidence, discover new friends and learn from professional arts instructors. Camps start June 6. For more information on class descriptions, dates/ times, and tuition assistance, please contact the Education Associates at

MARY JO'S PERFORMING ARTS ACADEMY SUMMER CAMPS 15906 Mapledale Blvd., Tampa 33624 813-969-0240;

The arts are a perfect avenue to allow your child to explore their creativity, tap into their imagination and discover their potential. Students will develop self-expression, build confidence, learn to work with peers, foster problem solving skills and stimulate curiosity. From classics to pop culture, your children will unfold the wonderful world of the performing arts.


1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa 33602 813-222-1040; The Patel Conservatory gives all of its students the opportunity to reach their creative potential, with instruction in dance, music and theater. Students attend camps and classes appropriate for their age and skill level. Classes require active learning participation from students and conclude with a performance.


11730 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa 33618 813-683-7625; Day 1: Make a Band. Day 5: Play a Concert! Our music camps are perfect for musicians of any skill level who want to play guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and vocals. We provide the gear and the venue; however personal instruments are HIGHLY recommended for practice. Use Code: TBPM20 at checkout for 20% off!


10137 E. Adamo Drive, #800b, Tampa 33619 813-833-1740; Sky Camp for ages 5-13 includes days of active play at Sky Zone on our Ninja Warrior Course, Free Climb, Sea of Trampolines and so much more. Accompanied by Sky Zone camp counselors, kids enjoy healthy physical fitness and fun including crafts, movies and science experiments. It’s hassle-free for parents. Drop off the kids and we’ll make sure they have the best time ever. Full-, half-day and full-week options and sibling discounts are available.

SOCCER DAY CAMP – TESA AT UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA Pepin Stadium: 417 N. Blvd., Tampa 33606 813-323-3933;;

Tampa Elite Soccer Academy offers a summer series of youth day soccer camps at The University of Tampa.

Cost: $250-$650 *tuition assistance is available Dates/Times: June 6 Aug. 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. Ages: 5-7, 8-10, 11-13, 14-18 and 18+, Coed

Cost: $125 and up Dates/Times: June August, M-F 9 a.m. to noon, 3 or 4 p.m. Ages: 3 and up, Coed

Cost: Varies *scholarships available Dates: May 31 - Aug. 5 Ages: 3 through adult, Coed

Cost: $450 Dates/Times: June 6 Aug. 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ages: 7-18, Coed

Cost: $35.99-$45.99/ day, $139.99-$179.99/ week Dates/Times: Every day school is out from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Ages: 5-13, Coed

Cost: $235-$285 *Register before April 15 for early bird discount Dates/Times: May 31 July 29, M-TH 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to noon Ages: 5-13, Boys & Girls


906 S. Orleans Ave., Tampa 33606 and 240 S. Plant Ave., Tampa 33606 813-849-4200; Join us for a summer of fun at St. John's Episcopal School! Eagles Camp is open to all students in grades 1-8 in the Tampa area. Full and half day options available for six weeks this summer. Tons of different camp offerings to choose from. Sign up today!

Cost: Prices vary Dates/Times: June 6 July 22, M-F, half or full day 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., *After care available Ages: Entering grades 1-8 for the 22-23 school year, Coed MARCH 2022



SUMMER CAMPS History Adventure Camps are created for children ages 7 to 11. Campers get hands-on with history through games, crafts, activities, gallery time and guest speakers.

American Girl©

June 13-17 or July 11-15

This camp features three American Girl© characters from different periods in history–Caroline (1812), Rebecca (1914) and Melody (1964).

Archaeology Camp

June 20-24 or July 25-29

From underwater excavations to land digs that uncover prehistoric fossils, each camper will leave at the end of the week with a new respect for the work of archaeologists.

Pirates & Explorers June 27-July 1

Campers will immerse themselves in Florida and Tampa history by focusing on pirates and explorers.

Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Before care and after care available. Register online at or call 813.228.0097 Scholarships granted based on need and availability. *Cannot be combined with other discounts.

Tampa Riverwalk | 801 Water St., Tampa, FL Smithsonian Affiliate

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SUMMER CLASSES ENROLLING SOON! Call 727.712.2706 or visit for more information MARCH 2022


SUMMER CAMP DIRECTORY | special advertising section SUMMER AT CDS

1515 W. Bearss Ave., Tampa 33613 & 12606 Casey Road, Tampa 33618 813-920-2288;

Cost: $150 for half day, $250 for full day

Carrollwood Day School is pleased to offer both our regular day and enrichment camps this summer to age 3 - 8th grade. From themed weeks to art to Harry Potter there is something for everyone!

Ages: 3 - grade 8, Coed


3000 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde 33715 727-867-8166; 700 2nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg 33701 727-291-4103; Join Tampa Bay Watch for an unforgettable marine science camp! Camp sessions are offered in Tierra Verde and the new Discovery Center on the St. Pete Pier. Campers will explore the Tampa Bay estuary by participating in boating trips, snorkeling native habitats, and engaging in marine science activities and labs.


Cornelia Corbett Center: 120 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa 33602 813-421-8373; Children and teens exercise their creativity and imagination with hands-on activities themed around the Tampa Museum of Art’s permanent collection of antiquities, modern and contemporary art. With a variety of 2D and 3D mediums to choose from, campers connect with the art on view and create unique works of art.


In-Person: University of South Florida, Tampa Campus Virtual: 100% Online, Synchronous, Facilitated 813-974-1640; Campers will have the opportunity to LEARN coding basics, PRACTICE their skills through various puzzles and activities, APPLY what they have learned as they create with code, and CONNECT the experiences from camp to the real-world. Campers will also design and create their own working app prototype.


University of South Florida, Tampa Campus 813-974-1640; Supported by local cybersecurity groups and industry leaders, USF High School CyberCamp participants explore cybersecurity careers while networking with industry professionals within the Tampa-area cybersecurity community. Campers will work through hands-on cybersecurity exercises with experts, engage with lectures from industry leaders, and network with others interested in cybersecurity.


University of South Florida, Tampa Campus 813-974-1640; The USF Middle School CyberCamp will give campers (grades 6-8) the opportunity to explore basic to intermediate cybersecurity concepts through interactive hands-on experiences. Lessons throughout the week focus on various cybersecurity concepts including cryptography, web exploration, forensics and social engineering interwoven with basic internet safety and ethics.


606 Valley View Ranch Road, Cloudland, GA 30731 706-862-2231; Since 1954, this horse lovers’ paradise on top of Lookout Mountain offers 600 acres of scenic trails and panoramic views where all levels of riders will learn English and Western. Enrollment is limited to 50 girls and is open to ages 8-17. Spend up to six hours a day riding and caring for your OWN camp horse.

66 MARCH 2022

Dates/Times: May 31 July 29, times vary

Cost: $350/week *Membership discount available Dates/Times: June 13 Aug. 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ages: 6-15, Coed

Cost: $175-$220 Dates/Times: June 6 Aug. 5, Morning Camp 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Afternoon Camp 1-5 p.m. Ages: 6-17, Coed

Cost: In-Person: $299/ camper/four-day camp; Virtual: $149.95/camper/ week Dates/Times: June 21-24, June 27-July 1 (Virtual), July 5-8 Ages: Grades 4-6, Coed

Cost: In-Person: $299/ camper/week; Virtual: $149.95/camper/week Dates/Times: July 25-29, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ages: Grades 9-12, Coed

Cost: $299/camper/ week Dates/Times: July 11-16 & 18-23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ages: Grades 6-8, Coed

Cost: $2,200-$3,800 Dates/Times: June 5 Aug. 5, Overnight Ages: 8-17, Female

MARCH 2022


USF CYBERSECURITY AND CODING SUMMER CAMPS REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR SUMMER 2022! Explore the rapidly growing fields of cybersecurity and computer science! The University of South Florida offers numerous summer camp programs that are open to students in grades 3-12 who have an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). During each week-long session, campers take on fun problem-solving challenges and hands-on activities while connecting with like-minded peers and industry leaders.

C.A.G.E. Virtual CyberCamp Recommended for Grades 3-5

WEEK 1: June 6-10, 2022 WEEK 2: June 13-17, 2022 WEEK 3: July 11-15, 2022 WEEK 4: July 18-22, 2022

Cost: $149.95/week

Learn more at

Middle School CyberCamp Recommended for Grades 6-8 Cost: $299/week

Everyone Can Code Camp Recommended for Grades 4-6 Cost: $299/in person; $149.95/virtual

High School CyberCamp Recommended for Grades 9-12 Cost: $299/in person; $149.95/virtual


WEEK 1: July 11-15, 2022 WEEK 2: July 18-22, 2022 In-person at USF’s Tampa campus Learn more at

WEEK 1: June 21 - 24, 2022 (in-person at USF's Tampa campus)

WEEK 2: June 27 - July 1, 2022 (virtual with synchronous sessions)

WEEK 3: July 5-8, 2022 (in-person at USF's Tampa campus)

Learn more at

SUMMER 2022 SESSION: July 25- 29, 2022 Offered in both virtual and in-person formats. In-person at USF’s Tampa campus Learn more at MARCH 2022 For more information, please contact us at

MARCH 2022



330 Pauls Drive, Brandon 33511 813-417-5867;

Cost: $320-$395/week, supplies included

The Vosler Young Artists' Studio is an Art Renewal Center (ARC) Approved Atelier. Workshops introduce the young artist to a classical atelier program of instruction. Students will learn to draw through direct observation and skills-based training. Kerry Vosler, master instructor, will do frequent demonstrations and give regular instruction at the artist's easel. Students can expect a finished drawing for their portfolio and a certificate at the conclusion of each workshop. All supplies are included.

Ages: 12-18, Coed

WEB OF WISDOM SUMMER SCIENCE CAMP 5238 Mile Stretch Drive, Holiday 34690 727-389-4750;

At WOW science camp, children will learn about the Florida ecosystem through hands-on science labs and outdoor adventures. Students learn basic skills such as fishing, boating safety and animal identification. Field trip activities include snorkeling, fish sampling, kayaking and more.

view the full summer camp directory at

Dates/Times: Mar. 14-17, June 6-10 and 13-17; 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $175/week Dates/Times: May 31 July 29, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (camp activities 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) Ages: K-8, Coed

70 MARCH 2022

CAMP OSPREY Make a Lifetime of Memories in Just One Summer

Looking for

a great date night? Get Inspired at Horseback Riding | Zipline | Giant Swing | Paintball BB Guns | Archery | Kayaking | Paddleboards Swimming | Fishing | Arts & Crafts

Your source for fun places to try and new activities to make your date night inspired!

Now offering horseback riding year round, call for reservations

18050 US Highway 301 S., Wimauma, FL 33598 941-928-6860 |

Are you tracking your child’s development?

Complete a Milestone Checklist! ★ Checklists for 2 months to 5 years old ★ Track developmental milestones ★ Share or print your child’s results ★ Receive a follow-up for a FREE develpmental or behavioral screening

CONTACT US: Call 2-1-1 and ask for Help Me Grow or visit Contact Lori Reyes at 813-955-9973 or

MARCH 2022


ST. Petersburg WALKATHON March 19 | North Straub Park

Tampa WALKATHON April 2 | Gadsden Park

Gates Open: 9:00 a.m. ~ Let’s Walk! 10:00 a.m. ~ Raffle Drawing: 11:30 a.m.

Join Us for Our Fun, FREE, Dog-Friendly Walkathon & Festival

We invite you and your pups to the Southeastern Guide Dogs Walkathon. Enjoy a 3K walk and festival including music, food, vendors, and an exciting raffle. By fundraising, you can make a big impact for people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities, and children with significant challenges.

Sign up online at M A D E P O S S I B L E BY O U R S P O N S O R S

All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll free 1.800.435.7352 within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. Registration number CH0475.


Potty Training Readiness by AdventHealth

Whether you are a new parent or a seasoned one, the thought of transitioning your little one from using diapers to being potty trained can be daunting. You may wonder about the best age to start potty training, how to get the process under way and how often your little ones should be going. Every child is different, and we are here to help you with the process. Read on for basic information and tips on potty training, as well as signs and symptoms of possible urinary tract infections (UTIs) or gastrointestinal issues. GettyImages-1028440138

IT’S POTTY TIME “When should my child begin potty training?” The average age is between 18 and 30 months, and the determining factor should be when your child is ready and whether or not they understand the process. Look out for the following signs that indicate that your child is ready: ●

Your child is dry after naps, and stays dry for at least two consecutive hours

They show interest in wearing “big kid” underwear and independence in pulling down their own diapers, training pants or underwear

They follow simple instructions, such as “walk to the bathroom” and “sit down”

They can stay on the potty long enough to go to the bathroom

They understand when their diaper is wet or soiled, and can express it through simple language or gestures

It is common to stress about whether your child is potty training too early or too late, but don’t force it if your little one isn’t showing signs of readiness. Between 2 and 3 years old is typically when they will be ready and able to understand the process. Try not to worry too much. It’s normal to have a late starter, and the process itself can take about a year.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD MY CHILD USE THE POTTY? On average, most toddlers urinate four to eight times per day and have a bowel movement at least one or two times a day. It is normal if a child goes more than that, or skips a day or two between bowel movements.

WATCH FOR GASTROINTESTINAL (GI) ISSUES AND URINARY TRACT INFECTION (UTI) SYMPTOMS Children are susceptible to GI/UTI issues when potty training from withholding pee and bowel movements. Constipated children are seven times more likely to develop a UTI, and the more severe the constipation, the worse the UTI or GI concern tends to be. That’s why it’s so important to encourage your child to use the potty frequently and to practice patience. It is unhealthy to withhold drinks, and this practice makes a UTI more likely, so keep your child well hydrated. Your child may have a UTI if you see or hear any of the following signs or symptoms: ●

Avoiding using the bathroom

Cloudy urine, or urine with small amounts of blood

Crying or complaining when urinating



Frequent, urgent need to go, but little comes out

Lower back and/or abdominal pain

Trouble, pain or burning when urinating or defecating

Urine has unpleasant odor

For a referral to an AdventHealth for Children at Tampa pediatric gastroenterologist or pediatric urologist, visit MARCH 2022



How to Reduce Hidden Sugars in Your Family’s Diet by Raquel Hernandez, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Healthy Weight Initiative

HOW MUCH SUGAR SHOULD KIDS CONSUME ON A DAILY BASIS? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children less than 2 years old have no sugar in their diet. Children 2 and older should stick to no more than six teaspoons, which is a very small amount. One can (8-10 ounces) of soft drink or orange juice can have 35 to 40 grams, so you can see how quickly sugar consumption adds up.

74 MARCH 2022

COMMON FOODS WITH HIDDEN SUGARS: Many foods are marketed as “healthy” for kids and families but are unfortunately not great for maintaining a healthy weight or for overall health. Some top foods with hidden sugars are: ●

Sports drinks and energy drinks

100% juice drinks

Breads and cereals

Yogurts and f lavored milks

Most breakfast foods (pancakes, waff les, croissants)

HOW TO REDUCE HIDDEN SUGARS: Consider watering down or diluting juice, soda or sports drink, or opt for f lavored or sparkling water options instead. When it comes to breads and cereals, look for whole wheat options. The more fiber the food has, the less detrimental the effects of the sugar it contains. Add fresh fruit or a small amount of honey to plain yogurt instead of choosing f lavored yogurt. A healthy portion for most children is often about the amount of yogurt that fits in their hand. Also, milk is already sweet, so adding more sweeteners is adding unnecessary calories.

For breakfast, consider unprocessed foods: Eggs, fruit, vegetables and lean meats (turkey bacon) can really fill you up in a healthy way. When making pancakes or waff les, think about portions and consider it as “extra” rather than as the main part of your meal.

ARE SUGAR SUBSTITUTES OR ZERO SUGAR OPTIONS HEALTHY? Sugar substitutes have both advantages and disadvantages. They have been hard to study because whether they are synthetic (saccharides) or natural (stevia), they are metabolized in different ways and therefore difficult to compare. The more we avoid synthetic substances, the healthier we are. Some studies have suggested that artificial sweeteners can cause increased appetite, insulin response (and therefore increase risk for diabetes) and in some cases, cancer. However, for some patients, transitioning to artificial sweeteners has led to improved health because of the resulting reduced intake of high-fructose corn syrup that was more detrimental to their health. In some cases, this transition may be a good way to gradually improve daily sugar intake. Visit for more health tips or download the Pocket Doc app, featuring a symptom checker, parenting advice and other tools for staying in touch with us.

getty images # 1072202854

Nearly one in three children meets the criteria for being overweight or obese. Reducing sugar is an important way to minimize your child’s risk for these health issues. We often expect sugar to look the way it looks when we sweeten our tea or coffee — as a powder. However, the majority of foods that we purchase or make are fortified or supplemented with sugar, and you would only know if it was supplemented by reading a food label. Below are some tips to help parents understand and identify hidden sugars.

Ranked #1 Children’s Hospital in Florida

To heal a hurt, to elicit a smile, to save a life. We are inspired to excellence by the young patients we care for each and every day. Ranked nationally by U.S. News & World Report in eight specialties for the second consecutive year—we honor the commitment to do more, to heal more, to cure more. Learn about our advanced specialty care at MARCH 2022


Mcilwain Dental Specialists Comprehensive Dental Care Under One Roof!

P eDiatric l aSer D entiStry

c OSMetic & a Dult D entiStry

c ertiFieD by the a Merican b OarD OF P eDiatric D entiStry

M ichael c hiaraMOnte , DMD K ara F OrD , DMD r ebecca w arnKen , DDS

J aMeS e. M c i lwain , DDS, MSD l eigh a nn M c i lwain , DMD M ichael M c i lwain , DMD

O rthODOnticS M atthew S. a hrenS , DMD, MS M ary S hehata , DDS 76 MARCH 2022

PRESENTED BY BAYCARE St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Child Life Specialist Hannah Murray uses medical play to help answer 9 -year-old Jessica’s question about how IVs work.

SURGERY PREP FOR PARENTS by Anu Varma Panchal, photo provided by BayCare

Preparing your child for surgery is one parenting challenge many hope to never face. But the situation can and often does arise. Thanks to the Child Life specialists at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, preparing for surgery as a family can be manageable and even educational. Certified Child Life Specialists are specially trained to understand how the youngest members of a family deal with illness and injury. They are experts at helping children prepare for their procedures and coping before, during and afterwards. Jessica Nolte, Child Life Specialist at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, explains that age-appropriate communication is key. “You’re having surgery, and the doctor is going to fix your leg,” Nolte says she might tell a preschooler with a broken leg. “You’re going to wear a mask that gives sleepy air and helps you take a special nap. Doctor will fix your leg, and when you wake up, mom and dad will be right there.”

MORE SURGERY PREP TIPS FOR FAMILIES Help your child choose a comfort item to bring such as a doll, stuffed animal or blanket. Nolte has seen children bring in iPads, toys or even pictures of a parent or a friend to help them feel calm. Call your hospital and see if you can speak to a Child Life Specialist ahead of time. These experts use praise, positive reinforcement and supportive conversations to help children cope with procedures. Use toys to prepare children for what will happen at the hospital. A doctor kit is an excellent tool, and a doll or stuffed animal can serve as a helpful prop. Read books. Nolte’s go-to is “Bastian’s Surgery” by Sofie Berga. Other suggestions are “Franklin Goes to the Hospital” by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark and “The Berenstain Bears: Hospital Friends” by Mike Berenstain.

She tells children they will go for a ride on a bed with wheels into the operating room where they will get to wear the mask and choose a smell they picked (at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, patients can choose scents like bubblegum and strawberry in their mask and chocolate anesthesia gas). When preparing them for an IV, she describes it as a special straw that goes into their hand or arm to give them the medicine they need. She explains that the “straw” has to be guided in with a poke, and that the straw will come out before the child leaves the hospital.

If possible, familiarize your child with the hospital ahead of time, either through videos on the hospital’s website or by arranging a tour of the hospital before the procedure. During pre-surgery tours at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Nolte gives children a preview through iPad slide shows and medical play with dolls. (Parents of children ages 4-11 can sign up for a tour by emailing

For older children and teens, it’s appropriate to use terms like anesthesia and surgery. One concern older kids often have is the worry that they will wake up during anesthesia, but Nolte assures them that a specially trained pediatric anesthesiologist will be present throughout the surgery to ensure they have just the right amount to keep them asleep throughout.

Bring food and entertainment for yourself! Parents often end up inadvertently fasting right along with their children for an operation. Pack a snack or money for the cafeteria or vending machines to sustain yourself while you wait.

Although it is crucial that parents are honest with their children, wording is important, Nolte says. Rather than saying, “the doctor will put you to sleep,” explain that the doctor will “help you sleep.” Don’t refer to an IV as a shot. Avoid words like “hurt” and “pain” and instead say “sore,” “achy” or “pinch.” Never lie to a child headed to the hospital that they are going anywhere else.

Write down questions ahead of time. There is a short window before the surgery when the doctor will meet with you and explain the procedure and after to let you know how things went. Keep your questions handy because it is easy to forget in the emotion of the moment.

Children also often ask why they can’t eat for so long before surgery. Nolte explains that for the “sleepy medicine” to work, tummies have to be empty. If there’s food in there, that upsets the tummy. As an incentive, she also lets the kids in on a secret—that St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital has a slushy machine that they can make a beeline for once they’ve come out.

And most importantly: Stay calm. Children take their cues about how to feel by watching their parents. “Remember the way that parents are coping will affect the way the child is coping,” says Nolte. MARCH 2022


.com #TAMPABAYPARENTING Articles Th i n g s t o D o Guides +More

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Star Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser We're giving you a first look at this new immersive adventure for families at Walt Disney World.

Spring Break Staycation: Plan now for your best spring break ever in Tampa Bay and beyond.

Where Kids Eat Free: Caladesi Island

Check out some of our favorite restaurants in town that offer "Kids Eat Free" specials on select days of the week.

Things to Do This Weekend in Tampa Bay: We’re sharing our top picks of special events and activities to experience with the kids. A BEER LOVER’S GUIDE TO HEIGHTS DISTRICT BREWERIES

U-Pick Season is Underway in Tampa Bay: Strawberries, citrus, veggies, oh my! See what's ready for the picking at our favorite local farms.

7venth Sun Brewery

If you and your date love beer, we’ve put together the perfect itinerary for a beer-centric date night in one of Tampa’s trendiest areas.

Follow along with us for inside looks of fun things to do with the kids in Tampa Bay, behind-thescenes, sneak peeks and more.

LE T ' S G E T SOC IA L ON INSTAGRAM @tampabayparenting




Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine


78 MARCH 2022

MARCH 2022


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

Pediatric Digestive Expertise You Can Trust When your child is suffering with gastrointestinal issues, our experts are ready to quickly diagnose the problem and develop a targeted treatment plan to help them find relief. From chronic abdominal pain to Crohn’s disease and GERD, our local digestive health specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care to keep your entire family feeling whole.

A part of AdventHealth Tampa

Articles inside

WHAT’S TRENDING article cover image


pages 78-80
SURGERY PREP: What parents article cover image

SURGERY PREP: What parents

page 77
SECRET SUGAR: How to reduce article cover image

SECRET SUGAR: How to reduce

pages 74-76
POTTY TRAINING READINESS article cover image


page 73
Y CAMPS OFFER SUMMER FUN article cover image


pages 48-72
Q & A WITH DR. ADAM HOLDEN article cover image


page 37
GET CREATIVE: Resources to kickstart creativity at any age at your local library article cover image

GET CREATIVE: Resources to kickstart creativity at any age at your local library

pages 34-36
JOIN THE CLUB: Find your niche in middle school article cover image

JOIN THE CLUB: Find your niche in middle school

page 33
INVEST BY FIVE: The Hillsborough article cover image

INVEST BY FIVE: The Hillsborough

pages 38-44
TOO OLD FOR CAMP? article cover image


pages 45-47
MOMS TO KNOW article cover image


pages 26-28
TWO YEARS OF COVID: Local moms share article cover image

TWO YEARS OF COVID: Local moms share

pages 24-25


pages 16-17
SPRING BREAK STAYCATION 2022: We’re article cover image


pages 14-15
COVER STORY: New Wild Adventures at ZooTampa article cover image

COVER STORY: New Wild Adventures at ZooTampa

pages 10-11
TGH CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: Learn more article cover image


page 23
MARCH TOP PICKS: Save the date for our favorite events for families this month! article cover image

MARCH TOP PICKS: Save the date for our favorite events for families this month!

pages 8-9
9 WAYS TO UPGRADE YOUR DAY AT article cover image


pages 12-13
A FARM TO TABLE U-PICK ADVENTURE article cover image


pages 18-19
MEET THE AUTHOR: Maggie Rodriguez article cover image

MEET THE AUTHOR: Maggie Rodriguez

pages 20-22
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