Win A Free Regal Cinemas Gift Card

12 Weeks of Summer Giveaways

What’s better than relaxing on a hot summer day in the air conditioning? In honor of Regal Cinema’s Summer Movie Express promotion, we are giving away a $25 Regal Cinemas Gift Card! Movies are only $1 per person so you can see all sorts of great family favorites without breaking the bank. These movies usually fill up pretty fast so you’ll want to get there a bit early. Below is the schedule, but here is a link to find out what local Regal Cinemas are participating: http://www.regmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Expres

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Hoopla – A FREE Media Streaming Service

hooplaAs you may recall, I recently rediscovered my local library system. After receiving my new shiny new library card, I started to checkout many of the new, high-tech services that my local library has to offer. Amongst them, I discovered Hoopla, a FREE Netflix type media streaming service! Hoopla works on computers, phones and tablets. With a few quick work arounds, I was even able to stream directly to my television! So what exactly is Hoopla?

Hoopla, simply put is just like the Netflix app that you know and love, with a major exception: it’s FREE! That’s right, included in many library memberships nationwide is the service that allows you to stream not only TV shows and music, but also audio books and music albums! So lets start off with the basics here.. In order to use Hoopla, your library must pay for the service. That’s right, it’s technically supported by tax dollars. I read a few articles explaining the benefits of the hoopla service for libraries, and in particular for audio books, it’s much cheaper for libraries to pay each time you checkout a title than to flat out purchase it for loan. Pretty cool huh? Not all libraries participate, but checkout their coverage map to see. Remember they are nationwide, so you may be surprised at who else can use the service. It’s not limited to just Florida! Remember the picture of the map shown here is static, so check th slink to be sure you see the most up to date coverage areas as they bring on new library systems.

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AMC Sensory Friendly Movies For Autistic Families

Sensory Friendly MoviesWhile I was researching discounted summer movies for the little ones, I ran across something that I though was pretty cool. It turns out that AMC Theaters is hosting a monthly Sensory Friendly Movies Showing. I have written about other special AMC programs in the past like “Bring Your Baby To A Movie” (which sadly appears to no longer be available), but didn’t know they also offered special showings for autistic families.

What makes the sensory friendly movies different is that the lights are left up, and the sound is a bit lower than regular movies. Children are encouraged to get up, dance, sing, or whatever makes them happy! I’m sure that they wouldn’t mind if a few parents got up and danced as well! I never really stopped to think about it, but it must be very difficult for families with autistic children to checkout a movie in a theatre. My god-daughter has been diagnosed with autism, and know that at times others can be judgmental without understanding. This would be a great way to enjoy some family time as well as possibly network with parents of other autistic children. What makes this concept especially awesome is that it has been born out of a request from an actual movie patron, not a corporate strategy or anything. Sensory friendly movies are a great way that AMC is helping the community and really listening to what their customers want.

The AMC sensory friendly movies are generally limited engagements, with around one movie showing a month, and it’s usually Saturday mornings at 10:00 am. Sensory friendly movie showings aren’t offered at all AMC theaters, but their list is growing! Rather than posting all of the theaters since it is subject to change, I would recommend you checkout their site for a complete list. Since I focus primarily on Frugal Florida Fun, I noticed that sensory friendly movies are offered in Orlando, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Miami, Destin, and lots of locations in Tampa! The sensory friendly movie showings are nationwide, these were just a few in my local area.

I would love to know if you have attended one of these Sensory Friendly Movie showings, and what your experiences were!

 

AMC Sensory Friendly Movies Details:

Website:https://www.amctheatres.com/programs/sensory-friendly-films
Date(s):VARIESTime(s):10:00am
Address:Check Website
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Movie
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N.A.N.A.
Estimated Cost For A Family of 4:Regular Cost of A Movie Experience
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Stephen Foster Festival of Lights

Stephen Foster Festival of LightsAfter almost a month of attending Christmas events, festivals, and other holiday themed location, we finally have stumbled upon arguably the most frugal and possibly the most memorable Christmas event to date! If you have followed Frugal Florida Fun, for a while then you know that being frugal doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on any of the fun and excitement! We discovered the Stephen Foster Festival of Lights last year and didn’t get a chance to check it out. This year we were sure to add it to our family calendar. We waited over a year to check it out, and we weren’t disappointed!

Just to give a bit of an idea of how badly we wanted to check out the Stephen Foster Festival of Lights, we drove over 3 hours and used an entire take of gas round trip! The transportation was the most expensive part of the evening, and of course will vary based on where you live. We also broke a few of our cardinal travelling rules, and didn’t pack a lunch or dinner, so we stopped twice to eat. It was nice though because we were able to explore a few little towns along the way.

Because we live so far away, we allotted ample time for travel and actually arrived very early. I’m glad we did because we also got a chance to checkout the rest of Stephen Foster State Park. When we arrived the gentleman at the gate was very helpful and was amazed we had travelled so far for the event. Admission was $3.00 per person which deviates from the parks regular admission charge of $5 per car load. We knew in advance to bring some cash with us, so it wasn’t such a big deal. The park almost seemed deserted, but based on the recommendation of the attendant, we started at the Stephen Foster Museum and then explored the rest of the complex. Continue reading

Nights Of Shimmering Lights

Nights of Shimmering LightsOne of the many joys around Christmas time is spreading holiday cheer! When one of our readers mentioned Tampa’s Nights of Shimmering Lights, we couldn’t resist the thought of another great family adventure. Tampa is a pretty far drive for us, so we asked if our reader would be interested in doing some on site reporting for us. Luckily he took us up on the offer and was pleased to report that his entire family had a great time! Special thanks to the Jones family for not only telling us about this great event, but also taking the time to share some of their new family memories with us.

So what exactly is “Nights of Shimmering Lights”? It’s a great family entertainment value located at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds around this time of year. Now in its 3rd year, Nights of Shimmering Lights is getting better and better! The year features not only a lengthy lighted drive through topping out at over a mile of light displays, but Christmas Village is an experience like no other!

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