With July 4th being tomorrow, Tampa Bay offers plenty of ways to relish the taste of freedom:
- Busch Gardens Tampa—Celebrate the red, white and blue all day, and even after dark, at Busch Gardens Summer Nights with an energetic acrobatics show, live entertainment and fireworks July 2-4. Military receive one complimentary admission per year and as many as three direct dependents through 2013. Park hours for Summer Nights are extended until 9:00 p.m., and event is included with daily admission or annual pass. Located at 10165 N. Malcolm McKinley Dr., Tampa. 1-888-800-5447.
- American Victory Ship Mariners Museum—Celebrate America’s birthday on the SS American Victory, one of only four operational World War II merchant steamships in the U.S. The annual July 4th Family Funfest & Fireworks will feature an “American Heroes Costume Contest,” entertainment, beer, wine, refreshments and prime viewing of Tampa’s fireworks. Admission is $12 for adults, $7 for youths 4-12 and $10 for military/veterans/seniors. Located at 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-228-8766.
- The Florida Aquarium— See dazzling displays in the sky & sea. Admission to the Aquarium is only $15 after 5:00 p.m. and hours are extended until 9:30 p.m., with a fireworks display at 9:00 p.m. There will be family-friendly entertainment, all-American themed dinner options and patriotic goodies available to purchase for the kids. Or watch the fireworks over the Channel from the best seats in the house on The Florida Aquarium’s Ecotour boat! The catamaran departs at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $69 for general admission (adult and child). Located at 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-273-4000.
- Rock the Fourth—Head to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for the Special 4th of July edition of Tampa’s FREE monthly music series. In addition to live music, there will be BBQ, food trucks and Urban Beach Volleyball from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Located at 600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa.
- The Sail Pavilion—July 5-6, the 360-degree waterfront bar will offer food, craft beers, live entertainment and food trucks in conjunction with the Red Bull Wake Open. On July 5, end your night with an exciting fireworks display over the Hillsborough River at 9 p.m. Located at 333 S. Franklin St, Tampa. 813-373-1193.
- The Tampa Bay History Center—Get in FREE to the Tampa Bay History Center on the Fourth of July. See costumed re-enactors representing several eras of American military history throughout the exhibit galleries, with extended hours until 7:00 p.m. Located at 801 Old Water Street, Tampa. 813-228-0097.
- Great American Celebration with 4th of July Fireworks—Celebrate the Fourth at Channelside with FREE fireworks, live music, vendors and kid’s activities from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. with fireworks beginning at 9:00 p.m. Located at 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-471-1531.
- BOING! Jump Center—Jumpers get $4 off their first hour of admission on July 4. The regular admission price for BOING! is $12/hour plus tax. Open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Located at 622 S. Ware Blvd., Tampa. 813-341-4897.
Yacht StarShip—Watch the 4th of July fireworks from one of two exceptional cruises—from Channelside in Downtown Tampa or Clearwater. Both cruises feature an open bar, a buffet with traditional American favorites, stellar entertainment and a spectacular fireworks show choreographed to patriotic music. The Tampa cruise boards at 6:30 p.m., and the Clearwater cruise boards at 7:00 p.m. Cost is $89.95 for adults and $59.95 for children.
The Yacht StarShip will also host a Holiday Weekend Fireworks Dinner Cruise in Tampa on July 5 and Great American Buffet Dinner Cruises in Clearwater from July 5-7. Located at 603 Channelside Drive in Tampa and 25 Causeway Blvd., Slip #55 in Clearwater. 813-223-7999.
- Yankee Doodle Dandy—This Sunday, July 7, the iconic Tampa Theatre is celebrating Independence Day with a showing of the patriotic 1942 film starring James Cagney as George M. Cohan, a composer, playwright, actor, dancer and singer. The show is at 3:00 pm. 711 Franklin St., Tampa. 813-274-8981.
- Glazer Children’s Museum—A family-friendly option on July 4th, the Glazer Children’s Museum is offering discounted ticket prices ($4) and a patriotic celebration. Open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Located at 110 West Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. 813-443-3861.
- Red, White and Zoo—Active-duty or retired members of the military and up to three dependents receive FREE admission to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo on July 4 through July 7. Valid Department photo ID necessary. Open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Located at 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa. 813-935-8552.
- Cafe Dufrain- Located on Harbour Island, grab a table on the water and enjoy the Chef's special All American BBQ on July 4th, smoker and all! Enjoy Smoked chicken, Heritage pork shoulder, St. Louis Ribs with Chery Cola BBQ and house-made speciality sides. Cool off with $4 strawberry & watermellon cooler cocktails. Located at 707 Harbour Post Dr., Tampa. 813-275-9701.
- Piquant - You may have heard of the "cronut" craze around town. Their croissant donuts are deliciously addicting. Piquant will e open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on July 4 with lunch specials starting at 11 a.m. Located in Hyde Park Village, 1633 Snow Avenue, Tampa 813-251-1777.
Stay tuned for more ways to unlock Tampa Bay treasures on July 4th and throughout the weekend!