Tampa Bay – what’s up in Summer 2009?
Following a news summary about attractions, hotels and more.
MOSI – Museum of Science & Industry visitors will soon step into the exciting and visually rich world of animation when the 6,000-squarefoot, highly interactive exhibit ANIMATION, featuring Cartoon Network, opens on July 10, 2009.
The ANIMATION exhibit will be on display at MOSI from July 10 through Sept. 7, 2009. In ANIMATION’S stimulating and fun environment, visitors explore animation from concept to finished product — from storyboarding, character design, and
drawing techniques to movement, timing, filming, and sound. Larger-than-life graphics of popular Cartoon Network characters provide a colorful backdrop to the exhibit, which also explores the history of animation and features a screening room and a cartoon museum.
TAMPA’S LOWRY PARK ZOO – It’s time for summer family fun at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo! The golden days of summer will bring a new Aussie addition to the Zoo – the Queensland koala. Tampa’s Zoo will welcome “Bundaleer,” a handsome 10-year-old male koala to Wallaroo Station,
a 4.5-acre Australian-themed area, in late June/early July. For Florida residents who stay closer to home this summer, the Zoo has introduced a “Summer Family Fun Pass” in celebration of being named the No. 1 Zoo in the U.S. by Parents magazine (May 2009). The Summer Pass includes unlimited daytime admission June 1 – Aug. 31, 2009 with unlimited amusement rides for $69.95 for a family of four (two adults/two children).
DINOSAUR WORLD – The T-Rex at Dinosaur World in Plant City, Fla. is sporting a new look on its prehistoric frame. The outdoor dinosaur museum celebrated its tenth anniversary this winter and their dinosaurs are getting facelifts for anniversary presents.
Artist Joakim Svensson is overseeing the procedure that began with the popular Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Velociraptors have also recently gone under the knife. The remainder of the dinosaurs will soon follow. The park will remain open during the
procedures. Visit www.DinoWorld.net for more information.
BIG CAT RESCUE – This past winter a liger and two tigers were rescued from a failed facility in Mississippi.
Their owner had moved away and left them to die, and nine big cats did die before Big Cat Rescue was contacted about the situation.
Freckles the Liger and Alex and Cookie the Tigers have shown us they are ready to meet their adoring fans. Come for a tour and welcome these new snow birds to Florida where they will retire in dignity and peace. Also, Big Cat Rescue is excited to announce summer Wild Eyes at Night Tours. Visitors will get to see the big cats when they are most active…at night. This tour will be offered on the last Friday of each month.
Please call for prices, times, restrictions, and availability. 813-426-5948
BUSCH GARDENS – “Busch Gardens Celebrates 50 Years of Fun Every Night of the Summer – Stay Late To Dance, Ride, and Party”
Join the party every night this summer at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as the park celebrates 50 years of fun. Summer Nights offers extended hours, special entertainment, the thrill of riding coasters in the dark and festive food and drink every night, June 6 through Aug. 16. This year’s event is truly unique as Busch Gardens celebrates 50 years as Tampa Bay’s No. 1 destination for family adventure. An infectious dance designed expressly for park guests will amp up the energy every night, and DJs will spin party songs all night long from four different spots throughout the park.
ADVENTURE ISLAND – Escape to the islands all summer long during Island Nights at Adventure Island. Island Nights, a new event for 2009, is a summer celebration of everything island, from Aruba to Cuba and Key West to the Caribbean Island Nights is a vacation from the everyday each Friday and Saturday night June 5 through Aug. 15 from 5 to 9 p.m.
When you hear the conch shell sound, the park switches over to island time!
TAMPA MUSEUM OF ART – The new Tampa Museum of Art is under construction in downtown Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Its spectacular 66,000-square-foot Cornelia Corbett Center building is scheduled to open in early 2010.
The museum will provide the region with a variety of world-class traveling exhibitions, a growing collection of contemporary and classical art, expanded educational programs and access to scenic outdoor events along Tampa’s Riverwalk.
The museum’s interim facility is located at 2306 N. Howard Avenue in Tampa. Visit www.tampamuseum.org for more information.
TAMPA BAY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER – The summer months are busy on the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (TBAPC) stages! In July, TBPAC brings back Broadway’s favorite rock musical Rent — featuring Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp from the original Broadway production and film adaptation. See it in Carol Morsani Hall, July 7-12. And Aug. 18-24, the venue
will have American Idol winner Taylor Hicks at TBPAC starring as the Teen Angel in Grease! Fall in love all over again to the tune of your favorite songs.
Catch Respect: A Musical Journey of Women in TBPAC’s Jaeb Theater June 18 – Aug. 2. From the co-dependence of “I Will Follow Him” to the anger of “These Boots are Made for Walking,” to the cynicism of “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” and finally to the strength of “Hero,” Respect combines excerpts of 60 songs with women’s own stories about finding dreams, lost love,
relationship issues, entering the workforce and gaining independence.
TAMPA BAY HISTORY CENTER – Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition, the first exhibit to open in the Tampa Bay History Center’s 3,000-squarefoot temporary gallery, will be on display Sept. 10 – Dec. 19, 2009. This traveling exhibit, which explores Florida’s ranching legacy, comes from the Florida Folklife Program, a component of the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources.
For information, contact the Tampa Bay History Center at (813) 228-0097 or, visit online at www.tampabayhistorycenter.org.
CAMP BAYOU – The Native People’s Camp at Camp Bayou was recently given a facelift by the young ladies from Brownie troop 1243 and Junior troop 356, both from Ruskin, Fla. The exhibit had been created by three Eagle Scouts a few years ago, but had been showing signs of weathering over time. Over the course of several Saturdays, a variety of projects were tackled to repair the village and make it look like the inhabitants will be returning momentarily.
The Native Camp is ready for guests- either free informal visits or formal programs requesting a modest charge per person. Camp Bayou is neither a campground nor a day camp, instead, a
community resource open to the public Thursday- Saturday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. It is funded through grants, donations, membership, volunteers and program fees.
Camp Bayou is a partnership between the Ruskin Community Development Foundation, Inc. and Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. Visit online at www.campbayou.org
HOTEL & RESTAURANT NEWS
SAIL PAVILION ON THE RIVERWALK AT THE TAMPA CONVENTION CENTER
Tampa Convention Center in private/public partnership with ARAMARK and in conjunction with FreedomFest 2009 hosted the Grand Opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the Sail Pavilion on the Riverwalk at the convention center on Saturday, May 23, 10 a.m. The Sail Pavilion on the Riverwalk will provide cool beverages, snacks, and relaxation to strollers, joggers, dog walkers, boaters, bicycle riders, conventioneers, hotel guests, Riverwalk explorers, downtown visitors and neighbors.
Public docking space is also available for boating guests. It’s a Dog Friendly Retreat complete with stainless steel water dishes, a cleanup station and complimentary dog bones. The Pavilion will also offer Frosty Paws and Mr. Barksmith Dog Smoothies on its Doggie Menu. Bring your four pawed pals and enjoy Tampa’s Riverwalk. Open regularly Tuesday – Saturday, 4 – 10 p.m., beginning Tuesday, May 26, 2009.
TAMPA MARRIOTT WATERSIDE HOTEL & MARINA
In December 2008, the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina completed a $12 million renovation to the 719 guest rooms and suites.
Renovations included the latest in technology, flat screen TVs, new bathrooms, soft goods, and furniture. In addition, guest room corridors were redone as well as the hotel’s business center.
Coupled with its $3 million in meeting space renovation it was a total of $15 million in renovations over the last 24 months.
FAIRFIELD INN &SUITES BY MARRIOTT LAKELAND/PLANT CITY
The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Lakeland/Plant City is pleased to announce several new promotions just in time for Summer Travel.
Tampa Trio – the properties are now offering discounted tickets for the Tampa Trio which includes admission to three of Tampa’s most exciting attractions MOSI, The Florida Aquarium, and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo.
Florida Backyard Card – The hotels are also participating in the Florida Backyard Card program through the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Guests will receive a $20 gas card when they present their Florida Backyard Card with a two night minimum stay. Florida Backyard Cards are available online at www.floridabackyardcard.com or at any participating Florida Lottery dealer.
Marriott’s Smart Buck Promotion – Book at a participating Fairfield Inn by July 19 and receive a $25 Smart Bucks coupon toward your next stay. Guests can use the coupon for any night of the week. For more information or to make your reservation, call the Sales Department at 813-757-6202.
Enjoy a half-million gallon Superpool in a tropical setting where you can swim laps, play water volleyball or just lounge and soak in summer sunshine. When you are thirsty or hungry, step up to the Pool Bar or sit under umbrellas at the Poolside Café and order from a variety of frozen drinks and Floribbean dishes.
Stay in a deluxe guest room or spacious suite, each with a private balcony or patio, and in the morning, feast on a magnificent breakfast buffet. Then bike through 480 acres of manicured Florida landscape in a gated, secure resort and plan on attending golf and tennis clinics while the kids are safely entertained and supervised at the S’Kids Club.
Also, don’t miss Saddlebrooke’s Year End Meeting Sale. Hold a meeting in October, November, or December of this year and choose your concessions! For more information on this or any other great offers visit www.saddlebrook.com.
SEMINOLE HARD ROCK HOTEL &CASINO
*$10 minimum table games seven days a week!
*Free table game lessons
*Attention all players looking for more ways to WIN BIG! The casino is adding 12 Star Trek slot machines in late June! Exclusive only to Seminole Casinos, players have the option of picking a character and creating a unique log-in to play through an actual Star Trek episode – much like a video game! Players can even resume and unlock new episodes with each play session. Of course, players always have the option of playing in a traditional slot machine mode but if you’re looking for enhanced game interaction, this is the machine for you!
*The entertaining Richard Lewis is coming to Floyd’s on July 13 to do his hilarious stand up routine. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster outlets, at the door or the Hard Rock Shop on site for $20.
New at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa: The Council Oak Steaks & Seafood Butcher Shop has begun to sell prime USDA dry aged beef to take home, the only butcher shop in Tampa to sell dryaged beef!
The InterContinental Tampa is centrally located in the heart of the city, within walking distance to several popular shopping and dining destinations.
Weekend nights at the InterContinental Tampa are BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) this summer. Guests purchasing one weekend night Thursday through Sunday at prevailing retail rates receive the second night or a second room on the same night for free. Beginning at just $159, the package also includes a disposable camera and a 5×7 picture frame so guests can document their fabulous summer escape to Tampa. Also, the InterContinental Tampa is tempting cost-conscious planners with a new Meeting Stimulus Package that gives a boost
to anyone booking at least 50 room nights.
The package includes a 10 percent credit to the master bill, complimentary high-speed wireless internet in each guest room, one complimentary room for the meeting planner, 20 percent off audio visual equipment and services, double Priority Club meeting planner points, and one upgrade with amenity for every 25 guest rooms actualized.
Lastly, the InterContinental Tampa will be offering the men and women of the United States Military a new discount. The Made for Military travel package has been created and is starting at just $159.
HYATT REGENCY TAMPA
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recognized the Hyatt Regency Tampa as the City of Tampa’s First Hotel in Downtown to receive the Florida Green Lodging Program Two Palm designation. The Two Palm designation recognizes increased energy conservation and pollution prevention measures since the properties’ One Palm designation. The voluntary state initiative provides the lodging industry with technical assistance, encouraging hotels and motels to adopt cost-saving “green” practices that reduce waste and conserve natural resources.
Visitors and locals alike can now enjoy the new look and feel of Armani’s restaurant, located on the 14th floor of Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. With a fresh new design, panoramic bay views and authentic Northern Italian cuisine, Armani’s is ideal for a midweek get-together with friends, an intimate dinner or a special business function.
Guests can enjoy Armani’s Lounge, with live piano music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and a wine cellar featuring an extensive array of old and new world selections. Armani’s also offers homemade Limoncello, Prosecco and a variety of signature cocktails.
Cooking Classes: Foodies interested in sharpening their skills with a new type of cuisine or even those looking for a new skill altogether, can enjoy the line-up of cooking classes offered at
Armani’s. Chef de Cuisine Mike VonBurg will teach participants how to create an authentic Northern Italian meal using the freshest ingredients. The cost of each class is $75 and includes demonstration, recipes, wine tasting & pairing, tax and gratuity.
Scheduled classes are May 9, July 11, Sept. 19 and Nov. 14, 2009. Please call 813-207-6800 or visit www.armanisrestaurant.com for more information.
This summer at SideBern’s, check out Chef Chad Johnson’s next level-BBQ dishes paired with icy, hand crafted ale from some of the best brew houses in the world!
SideBern’s has four sophisticated outdoor events planned – don’t miss them. And to keep logged into what’s happening at South Tampa’s only Four Diamond AAA award
winner, checkout its new e-newsletter featuring upcoming events, the Chefs Blog, Cocktails, Cheese & Wine Columns. To sign up for the SideBern’s scoop, visit the website at www.sideberns.com and click on details/events.
The International Plaza is offering some great promotions over the summer months.
Earn FREE VIP Valet Parking, here’s how: Spend $150 or more in one day at International Plaza and present your same day (Sun.-Thurs.) receipts to the Concierge Desk at Grand Court, purchase three (3) or more IP gift cards per visit (Sun.-Thurs.) at the Concierge Desk, or purchase three (3) or more American Express® gift cards per visit.
ST. PETE TIMES FORUM
The St. Pete Times Forum is proud to host a diverse array of entertainment throughout the remainder of 2009. These events include Cirque du Soleil Saltimbanco, American Idols Live! Tour 2009, Demi Lovato, Green Day, Judas Priest, Jonas Brothers, Sugarland, Metallica, Miley Cyrus, and many more! Also don’t miss the Forum’s many sporting events including Xtreme
Fighting Championships, Lingerie Football, NCAA Division 1 Women’s Volleyball National Championships, and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2009-2010 season. Check out www.sptimesforum.com or call (813) 301-6500 for more information.
*Valentino: The Last Emperor director Matt Tyrnauer to visit Tampa Theatre audiences for special opening night pre-film reception and conduct Q&As after June 12 and 13 screenings
*Summer Classic Movie Series continues, mini theater tours before movies given by Tampa Theatreologists
*June 21- Sullivan’s Travels with Veronica Lake, Tampa Theatre scores exclusive national screenings of North by Northwest, Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz
*Balcony-to-Backstage Tours scheduled through August.
Noteworthy news: Tampa Theatre The Tampa Theatre restrooms were recently recognized on a national top 10 list for unique restrooms. The Tampa Theatre was created by John Eberson, one of the most prolific and internationally renowned movie palace designers of his time. The restrooms feature Vitrolite glass on the walls and intricate tile designs. The men’s room has
sconces in the shape of tobacco pipes. The ladies’ restroom has a child-size stall that gives the room a certain charm.
Don’t miss the 7th Annual Elvis Festival being held on July 18-19 at the University Area Community Center in Tampa. The 2009 festival celebrates the King’s music with Elvis events scheduled for the entire day! The festival features Elvis Tribute Artists, Elvis memorabilia and food vendors, Elvis performances and music/shows throughout the day.