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Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014

Best Bets: Fun things to do around Tampa this week


Published:   |   Updated: April 28, 2013 at 07:45 AM

Not sure what to do this week? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are our editors’ picks, from the culture and food at AsiaFest to a farcical “Spelling Bee” in the park.

AT THE MOVIES

(Opening Friday)

Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson star in “Pain & Gain,” the true story of Miami muscle-heads who get caught up in a kidnapping scheme that goes comedically and horribly wrong.

ASIA ON MY MIND

(Friday and Saturday)

Experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Asia when the colorful Shen Yun dancers of China begin their run at St. Petersburg’s Mahaffey Theater on Friday, and AsiaFest hits Cotanchobee Park in downtown Tampa on Saturday. Also on Saturday, the 10th annual Tampa International Dragon Boat Races on Garrison Channel. Tickets for Shen Yun run $50 to $200. AsiaFest and watching the dragon boat races are free.

LET’S GET ROCKED

(Friday)

With this 98ROCKFEST lineup – Alice in Chains, Stone Sour, Three Days Grace, Bullet For My Valentine, Halestorm, Young Guns and Gemini Syndrome – we’ll understand if you feel a bit shredded walking out of the Forum. Tickets are $29 to $150.

CAN I HAVE THE DEFINITION?

(Opening Friday)

Pack a picnic and a dictionary as American Stage in the Park presents “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” the story of six young people in the throes of puberty vying for the big prize. You’ll have F-U-N. Tickets are $15 to $29.

FROM SNL TO YBOR

(Friday to Sunday)

If you remember the Roxbury guys, Mango or Mr. Peepers from “Saturday Night Live,” you know comedian Chris Kattan, who’ll be performing stand-up at the Tampa Improv all weekend. Tickets are $20 to $22.

BLUES AND BITES

(Friday to Sunday)

Head to downtown New Port Richey for three days of seafood and live blues bands on the banks of the Cotee River. The free Cotee River Seafood and Blues Festival will also feature Weeki Wachee mermaids, an arts show, classic cars and more.

GOOD GRAPES

(Saturday)

Have fun pretending you’re under the sea (samples of more than 140 wines will help with that) at the SeaGrapes Fine Wine and Food Festival at the Florida Aquarium. There’s also food from more than 20 local restaurants, a silent auction and live entertainment throughout the aquarium’s exhibits. Tickets are $95 to $105.

SWEET-TASTING FESTIVALS

(Saturday and Sunday)

Enjoy the fresh-picked flavor of blueberries when the Third Annual Pasco County Blueberry Festival (Saturday) and Sixth Annual Tampa Bay Blueberry Fest at Keel & Curley Winery (Saturday and Sunday) and pay tribute to the fruit that looks good and is good for you.

LAST CHANCE

(Through Sunday)

Time is almost up to catch “To See as Artists See: American Art from the Phillips Collection.” The impressive collection of more than 100 paintings from American masters such as Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe, Winslow Homer and Mark Rothko wraps up its run at the Tampa Museum of Art on Sunday.

HORSE WITH HEART

(Opening Tuesday)

The Tony Award-winning play “War Horse” gallops off of Broadway and into the Straz Center with amazingly complex and lifelike puppets, including a horse puppet so sturdy it can support a rider on stage. It’s a tear-jerker set during World War I. Tickets are $30 to $94.50.

BLACK CROWES LAND

(Tuesday)

Get ready for some bluesy, boozy, bearded rock as the Black Crowes play the Mahaffey Theater in St. Pete. Tickets start at $39.50.

ON THE CHEAP:

Book signing: Meet motivational speaker and author John Acuff and hear about his new book, “Start”; 6 to 8 p.m. Friday; free; Books-A-Million, 839 Brandon Town Center Mall, Brandon; (813) 571-2062

Camp-A-Palooza: Learn about the Patel Conservatory’s summer camps and classes by sampling the offerings and taking a tour. The event includes free face painting and bounce house, treats from Tanya & Matt’s Froyo Fresh and Kona Ice and music and prizes. Early camp registrations eligible for discounts and gifts; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; free; Patel Conservatory, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa; (813) 222-1002

Guided Nature Tour: Park rangers lead guests on a tour of native plants, birds, and maybe an alligator. See the park from an observation tower; 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; free; Lettuce Lake Park, 6920 E. Fletcher Ave., Tampa; (813) 987-6204

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