Boats are to Florida like taxis are to New York. They’re everywhere! As a new Tampa resident and former New Yorker, one of our favorite family events is the annual Tampa Boat Show. Before we moved here we got into the Florida spirit by attending the New York boat show in Manhattan. Although it was impressive it didn’t compare to Tampa’s longest running and only in-water Tampa Boat Show. There’s just something about touring gorgeous boats docked along the Tampa Bay Harbor, sipping a nice cold drink and listening to live music from the Party Barge. Not to mention the array of boats, marine activities, cutting edge boat accessories, clinics and seminars all situated in the Tampa Convention Center. This three-day, family-friendly event starts Friday, September 5th through Sunday, September 7th.
The best part — kids 15 and under are FREE!
As a mom, it’s the little things at a boat show, which make me happy. We love the bags we get as we walk through the showroom doors. It’s like trick-or-treating as my kids go booth to booth and collect candy, boating gadgets, magnets, coloring books and more. I bombard Facebook with my family photo ops in front of our dream boats, and my son gets to meet his favorite cartoon character, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants who will make appearances both Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. But my kids’ all time favorite boat show activity — when they take off their shoes, climb aboard the luxurious yachts and pretend they live there. A dream has to start somewhere!
The Tampa Boat Show isn’t just for kids. Whether you’re a serious boater or in the market to buy a new boat, this year’s event is the place to compare all makes and models, plus see the latest in boat accessories. And as the saying goes, you learn something new everyday.
Sign up for the Discover Boating On-The-Water Training, which are one-hour and three-hour Powerboating Workshops where you literally practice your skills on the water.
There’s also the Progressive Boat School, which is brand new this year and teaches boat safety, plus it features an indoor pool and boating simulator. You don’t want to miss it!
Make sure to top by Fred’s Shed for the DIY Seminars and Interactive Learning Center. And what’s boating without fishing? Check out the variety of Fishing Center Seminars.
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