Pal around the Pier
Looking for something to do Saturday? A club in St. Petersburg is fun - and educational - especially if you bring your little brother or sister.
By BRITTANI SETTLES
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 11, 2002
ST. PETERSBURG -- In the rotunda at the downtown Pier, Winnie the Pooh did the hokey pokey with some energetic pals in the audience. One cute little girl danced so hard her hair barrettes went flying, and she didn't want to stop!
The dancing and laughter brought that recent Saturday's Pier Pals Club to order, where a silent but cuddly, bigger-than-life Winnie the Pooh nodded and clapped for the children and parents attending the free event.
Pier Pals Club, launched earlier this year by Parent Guide magazine and the Pier, meets on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon with a different "Pal" each week who provides entertainment and education for children ages 3 to 11 and their families. Past pals have included a representative from the Pier Aquarium, who conducted a shark demonstration and helped kids make their own shark-tooth necklaces; snakes, beetles and giant cockroaches from Great Explorations; and Clifford the Big Red Dog.
The pal scheduled next Saturday is Maryann Harman, whose program "Music With Mar" is a developmentally appropriate interactive music class for children and adults based on studies about music and the brain. Organizers are planning for future visits by Elmo, the Cat in the Hat and Curious George, though dates are not set yet. Check the Web site parentguide.com for schedules.
During two recent Saturdays, most of the kids joining the club were 5 or younger. They were having their pictures taken with the pals (even the snake), singing, dancing, working puzzles and games, doing crafts, listening to stories and winning prizes. (The parents sipped coffee and watched the fun.)
Don't let the construction along the Pier deter you, especially if you are in charge of a little sister or brother on Saturday mornings. The Pier Pals Club is a great way to entertain a younger sibling, or even yourself!
- Brittani Settles, 12, is in the sixth grade at Bay Point Middle School in St. Petersburg.
The Pier Pals Club
It meets Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon at the Pier in St. Petersburg, 800 Second Ave. NE. To assure a seat, it is suggested you register at parentguide.com by clicking on "activity guide."
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