Ways to Give Back on your St. Pete Beach Vacation

Getting away can offer rewarding, life-changing and humbling experiences—especially if you take some time to give back on your vacation. The concept of voluntourism has grown rapidly over the past decade, offering families a way to alleviate stress, increase happiness and expose kids to something beyond the typical resort vacation where a whole new world awaits. Above all, giving back to a community, the environment or a special family is a meaningful way to spend a day—or even just a few hours—and has been shown to improve health, extend life and lower the risk of depression. Because it’s so good for your heart and soul, we’ve gathered seven different volunteer activities that you and your family can do during your St. Pete vacation.

Florida Dream Center’s Adopt-a-Block

The Florida Dream Center is committed to reaching far into communities throughout Pinellas County and helping them achieve tangible improvement. The Adopt-a-Block program adopts specific communities in need of assistance and provides nearly anything they’re in need of, including street clean-up, home repairs, lawn maintenance and a host of other services. Over 200 volunteers are now part of the program with dozens entering the community every week. Help make long-term, life-changing improvements to the communities that need it most by calling the Florida Dream Center at 727-851-9074 or emailing Zelda O’Connell at zelda@floridadreamcenter.org. Volunteers meet every Saturday from 8:40 am-12 pm at three different locations. Be sure to wear enclosed shoes and comfortable outside working clothes.

Tampa Bay Watch

Tampa Bay Watch is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs. They couldn’t accomplish any of their restoration or education goals without the help of their active volunteer base. Volunteers of all ages from children to retirees help in habitat restoration projects, lend a hand at their annual fundraisers and represent their organization at community events to increase awareness. Due to COVID-19, fall restoration projects will not be open to the public for volunteering but they’re hopeful to return to a normal volunteer project schedule in the spring. Contact Rachel Arndt with any questions at rarndt@tampabaywatch.org or call (727)867-8166, x233.

Sweetwater Organic Community Farm

Sweetwater Organic Community Farm was established in 1995 as a nonprofit community-supported urban organic farm and environmental education center in Tampa. As a non-profit, educational farm, Sweetwater relies on the help of volunteers to assist with the day-to-day operations of the community farm. Volunteers can work on a variety of farm tasks, such as planting, harvesting and weeding. There are also site projects for those with carpentry and electrical skills. The farm is open for volunteers Sunday from 9 am-12 pm. You must be at least 12 years old to volunteer but younger kids can come out from 10-10:30 am and wash veggies that are harvested from the fields. Kids love helping with this and even getting the chance to run around a bit or dig in the dirt. Go to sweetwater-organic.com to fill out a volunteer form.

Sunken Gardens

A botanical paradise in the midst of a bustling city, the Sunken Gardens is St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum. Help preserve and enhance this 100-year-old garden and provide opportunities for the community to enjoy this educational and cultural center by becoming a volunteer. Make new friends, participate in unique projects and gain knowledge from your efforts. Whether you assist with their animals, special events, gift shop, garden care, as a docent or become a member of their speaker’s bureau, you’re sure to grow as much as the Gardens does. Simply complete and return the Volunteer Application on https://www.stpete.org/attractions/sunken_gardens/volunteer.php and their volunteer coordinator will respond with next steps.

Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger

The Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger is committed to ending hunger in Tampa Bay by bringing people together to find solutions that eliminate barriers, increase access and knowledge and expand the amount of nutritious food available. Meals on Wheels for Kids (MOW4Kids) and Meals on Wheels St. Petersburg (MOWSP) change lives by delivering one meal at a time. Volunteers are essential in providing care and compassion to kids, seniors and homebound residents in need of nutrition assistance. MOWSP is looking for drivers to help pack and deliver meals Monday through Saturday from 9 am-2 pm and MOWSP is looking for drivers to assist with delivering meals Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am-2 pm. A route takes an hour to complete. Go to networktoendhunger.volunteerhub.com to sign up.

Society of St. Andrew

Since 1995, the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) has operated a statewide, volunteer-driven Gleaning Network in Florida that coordinates with local farmers, thousands of volunteers and food providing agencies. Their Florida Gleaning Network is going strong—saving three to four million pounds of fresh produce for the hungry each year. Each year, they coordinator thousands of volunteers of all ages to glean one to two million pounds of a wide variety of produce in Florida. If you’re interested in joining this exciting hands-on ministry, contact SoSA at (407)650-1956 or (800)806-0756. Most gleaning events take place on weekends where you’ll arrive in the fields at 8 am and be on your way by noon. SoSA makes all the arrangements with farmers, produce containers and food distribution. All you need to do is show up.

360 Eats

360 Eats is a newly formed non-profit mobile food service providing an innovative solution to bridge the gaps between food waste, food insecurity and sustainability. 30-40% of quality food produced in the United States goes to waste each year and yet one in eight Americans are considered food-insecure. Their goal is to eradicate hunger and food waste as we know it by providing upwards of 500,000 nutritious and gourmet meals to those in need and rescue over 1 million pounds of good food in the US each year. Volunteers are the backbone of 360 Eats. They offer plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved—from volunteer food recovery drivers to volunteer chefs and servers. Go to 360eats.org/volunteer to sign-up and help make a difference in the community.

Here at the Alden, it’s our honor to serve our local community. We invite you to read about some of the ways we give back. And we hope you will join us in finding ways to share your time and talents while enjoying your vacation in St. Pete Beach!

We’re Thankful for November 2020 in St. Pete Beach

We treasure the beauty of St. Pete Beach all year round, but there’s something special about the fall. November in St. Pete Beach offers picture-perfect weather with highs in the upper 70’s and lows around 60. The fresh air is comfortable for enjoying days on the beach and the evenings are pleasantly cool. November in Florida is ideal for spending time outdoors with your family, and we have plenty of fun activities coming your way so you can do just that! Holiday markets start up this month, and we even have some fun foodie events in the Tampa Bay area. Plus, our spacious suites with full kitchens are your ideal Thanksgiving headquarters- why not make plans to bring the family and give thanks at the beach this year?

Holiday Hors D’oeuvres at Casa di Mazzaro

November 7th

Enjoy holiday hors d’oeuvres at Casa di Mazzaro November 7th! The Holidays are fast approaching, and they have you covered. Join Chef Craig for a great class to learn how to make Holiday hors d’oeuvres, wonderful small plates to enjoy with family and friends!! https://casadimazzaro.com/cooking-classes/

Prime Rib Dinner at the Galley

Wednesdays in November

The Galley is offering 10 oz Prime Rib Dinner with Mashed Potatoes, Au jus & Horseradish for only $12.95 from 6 p.m.-‘til it’s gone every Wednesday with Live Music from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.!

St. Pete Pier Marketplace

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday

From handcrafted jewelry and unique home decor to hot sauce and self-care products, you are sure to find a piece of St. Pete that you’ll love to take home when you visit the St. Pete Pier Marketplace. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., local vendors display their wares. Make sure to stop by and say hi!

https://stpetepier.org/

Thirsty Pelican Brew Tours

Every Sunday

Every Sunday you can experience local culture and learn a little about the brewing process as the Thirsty Pelican introduces you to the largest brew scene in all of Florida! You will visit at least 3 breweries, up-close-and-personal like, and get the ‘inside scoop’ from your fun & knowledgeable Tour Guide.

https://thirstypelicantours.com/

Brews and Rescues at The Clearwater Aquarium

November 13th

November 13th at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, You won’t want to miss Brews and Rescues! Savor delectable food and sip thirst-quenching drinks as you explore the aquarium’s new state-of-the-art dolphin complex and brand-new facility. Celebrate their expansion with us during this fun, safe, and supportive event! This 21+ event will benefit future manatee rehabilitation efforts.

https://www.cmaquarium.org/brews-rescues/

Arts Annual Virtual Festival

November 15th

Enjoy works from the extraordinary visual and performing artists of Pinellas County while supporting Creative Pinellas and its mission to foster and sustain a vibrant, inclusive, and collaborative arts community. Purchase a ticket for this year’s Arts Annual Virtual Festival taking place Sunday, November 15th. Performances include music, dance, theatre, visual arts and more! Purchase tickets at:

https://artsannual2020.eventbrite.com

12th Annual Sanding Ovations Master’s Cup

November 18th – 22nd

November 18th through 22nd join in the 12th Annual Sanding Ovations Master’s Cup Presented by Visit St. Pete Clearwater. World renowned sand sculptors come to Treasure Island, Florida to compete for over $10K in prizes. Enjoy Music, Food, Vendors and Fireworks at this fun free event.

Yappy Hour

November 26th

Come down to PAW and drink a local craft beer while supporting a great cause! $1 from every beer sold during Thursday November 26th’s Yappy Hour from 6-8 p.m. at Pinellas Ale Works benefits local animal charities!

https://www.fluffanimalrescue.org/

Seashells and Wedding Bells at Alden Suites

Photo courtesy of Celebrations of Tampa Bay

If you’re looking for the most romantic way to say “I Do”, a Florida wedding in paradise is the perfect start to your new life as husband and wife. Here at Alden Suites, we’ve been honored to host dozens of weddings on our private beachfront resort. We specialize in smaller weddings that maximize the incredible sunset views that St. Pete Beach provides. The sugar-soft white sand of our sweeping beach, framed by palm trees and glorious skies, offers the perfect venue for your St. Pete Beach wedding celebration.

If you’re like most of our brides, you’re looking to hold your ceremony directly on the beach. We can help you arrange for embellishing the scene with arbors, table linens and fresh flowers, while ensuring that each guest is comfortable and cared for by our dedicated staff. Many of our brides and grooms choose to make a long weekend of it, bringing friends and family from all over to stay together in the spacious suites at the Alden. Our suites have full kitchens and expansive living areas, making them perfect for wedding preparations and family togetherness.

No matter the season, beach weddings will never be boring or outdated. No banquet hall or conference room can match the natural beauty of the ocean and sky, especially during one of our spectacular St. Pete Beach sunsets. Let the sound of the waves soothe your souls as you say your vows beachside.

The Alden offers an affordable option at our St. Pete Beach gulfside resort where you can make your wedding dreams come true. Hold your ceremony on the beach and enjoy a reception on the beachside grassy lawn or the courtyard room.  If you are looking for the perfect getaway for an intimate, private, beach wedding and reception, the Alden Suites is your perfect venue.  

Photo courtesy of Pine and Forge

Here are some details on our St. Pete Beach wedding offerings here at Alden Suites:

  • Wedding ceremonies are held on the Alden’s private beach.
  • Receptions can be held at our Beach Front Lawn & Fountain Courtyard Room.
  • Must reserve a room block of 15 rooms per night with any event.
  • We do not book ceremony-only weddings. We do require a reception to follow.
  • Alcohol must be purchased through the Alden.
  • Outside catering is allowed (no grilling of any kind on lawn area).

Don’t just take our word for it, check out these Alden Suites wedding testimonials:

Everyone at the Alden Suites was great! Kevin Fox was awesome in planning our reservation. Mike at the front desk was extremely helpful in organizing our multiple rooms. Chris at the front desk was great also! Thanks to the great staff!! -Mark P.

Where my guests were staying was important to us because we had many guests from out of town and we had a Friday wedding and were planning on hanging out with everyone all weekend. As soon as we walked into Alden Suites we fell in love. They were extremely accommodating. Buddy at the front desk was so pleasant and we heard his name and how helpful he was from so many guests. We couldn’t have asked for anything more. Thank you. –-Erin S.

We had the ceremony and reception at the Alden Beach Resort. The scenery was beautiful, the staff was amazing, everything was exactly how I pictured. When I went to check on the setup and wanted to change things a little bit, they did not hesitate to make the changes I was requesting. It was beyond perfect in every way! -Rachael G.

Follow these links for an inside look at some of our favorite Alden weddings!

https://pineandforge.com/blog/2020/5/6/beach-destination-wedding-at-alden-suites

If you’d like to make ocean views your Something Blue, we hope you’ll consider Alden Suites for your St. Pete Beach wedding. For more information about Alden Suites weddings, please reach out to:

Heather Chapa

Events Coordinator, Alden Suites | ChapaH@aldenbeachresort.com |
727-641-1674

TREATS in store for St. Pete Beach in October 2020

The spookiest season is upon us! From markets to pub crawls to pumpkin painting, there are so many ways to get in the Halloween spirit here in St. Pete Beach. Halloween is just around the corner, but you can partake in frightful festivities all month long. Start planning your costumes and plan a fun outing at one of these fantastic Halloween events in the St. Pete Beach area. And don’t miss your chance to celebrate Halloween with us on October 31, we’ll be hosting trick or treating for our guests right here at the Alden!

Taste of the Beaches

October 2- 4

Today through Sunday experience Taste of the Beaches in a new and safe way! Locals and visitors will try local tastes from a variety of restaurants, those of whom could use the support of our community! Immerse yourself in local flavors and specialty dishes while visiting different communities and new restaurants.
 www.TampaBayBeaches.com/Taste

October Market

October 2-4

Join Vintage Marche for their award-winning market featuring over 30 vendors in 15,000 square feet of retail space! Plenty of treasures to find while maintaining social distance! There are three opportunities to shop: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! https://www.facebook.com/events/2380118218958193/

Concert in the Park Series

Fridays in October

The City of St. Pete Beach Parks & Recreation Department is proud to bring back their popular October Concert Series! Join them every Friday in October in Horan Park for a fun night of live music and entertainment! Space is limited this year so please make sure to purchase tickets in advance at https://st-pete-beach-community-center.ticketleap.com

St. Pete Street Food and Craft Beer Festival

October 19t

Join Gulf to Bay this Friday from 6 pm- 11 pm for Awesome Food, Craft Beers & Live Music as they host the 3rd annual St. Pete Street Food and Craft Beer Festival!  Admission is free and picnic chairs and blankets are welcome!
https://www.facebook.com/events/694874101097063/

Pumpkin Painting Fundraiser

October 22n

Join 3 Daughters Brewing for live bands, pumpkin painting, food, photo booths, amazing raffles, AND an outdoor market! (COVID 19 Friendly version)

This Pumpkin Painting Fundraiser helps to provide rent assistance, bill assistance, and access to basic necessities for our homeless and low-income communities in Pinellas via Reach St. Pete! There will be live bands, pumpkin painting, food, a photo booth, amazing raffles, AND an outdoor market with vendors!

https://www.facebook.com/events/2662684570716057/

Halloween Bar Crawl

October 31

Celebrate Halloween in St. Pete with the annual Halloween Bar Crawl! Top Shelf Crawls has put together the premier list of bars and nightclubs for crawlers! You will receive a Souvenir Spooky Color Changing cup, and over $500 in cash and prizes is up for grabs for lucky crawlers!

https://www.facebook.com/events/671396053404081/

Trunk or Treat on Corey Avenue

October 31, 10 am-2 pm

The St. Pete Beach Parks & Recreation Department is proud to present “Trunk or Treat on Corey Ave.” This year things will be a little different so please read the description carefully. This event is located on Corey Ave and will take place between the 300-400 blocks. Families will be able to Trick-or-Treat throughout participating stores as well as “Trunkers” along the street.

All participants must wear a facemask. The event is from 10 am-2 pm and will be separated into 4 time slots. You must register for a time slot, each ticket is only valid during that time slot. 75 families max per hour. To get tickets please visit: https://st-pete-beach-community-center.ticketleap.com/trunk-or-treat/

Halloween at the Alden

October 31, 4 pm-6 pm

Celebrate Halloween the Alden way! We invite our in-house guests to join us for trick-or-treating at the resort this Halloween. Costume up and meet at the Cabana Bar at 4 pm to pick up your goodie bag. We’ll take your photo with our spooky props and then you can visit stations throughout the resort to gather treats. We are all so looking forward to seeing all of your costumes!

Win an Alden Vacation and a Trip to the NEW Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center!

Have you visited St. Petersburg’s new Pier yet? Not only is it a fabulous dining and entertainment district, but it’s also the home to the brand-new Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center! Developed and operated by Tampa Bay Watch, a non-profit founded in 1993, the Discovery Center tells you the story of Tampa Bay’s vast and complex estuary — its history and recovery, and Tampa Bay Watch’s pivotal role in that effort. Next time you’re here at the Alden, make plans to take a short drive to downtown St. Pete and check out our newest attraction.

The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center is the place to go for an entertaining, hands-on experience. We ALL love the Tampa Bay beaches, and there’s a reason why our water is so clear and our sand is so pure and white. Find out all you need to know about Tampa Bay’s unique ecosystem, right in the middle of it all! Tampa Bay Watch has been working for over 30 years to clean up our shorelines, and they do it in very unique ways. The Discovery Center’s Estuary Habitat and Touch Tank are key to understanding how the whole ecosystem works together- showcasing a variety of species found in Tampa Bay waters.

If you’re looking for a rainy-day family outing in St. Pete, the Discovery Center is just the ticket.  But the Discovery Center is not strictly an indoor experience. They also have a cool “wet classroom” with an amphitheater-style observation deck that hosts outdoor demonstrations.

The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center is a perfect family activity for visitors to St. Pete Beach, and it also plays host to a variety of fun and educational events. Science Saturdays, Squid Encounters, and Adult Trivia nights are just a few of the featured activities that visitors to the Discovery Center can look forward to in the coming months. Click here to see all the fun coming your way!

The Alden is a proud sponsor of Tampa Bay Watch, having donated tens of thousands of dollars to the nonprofit over the last few years. We’re so excited to finally have a concrete way for our guests to experience the Watch’s vital work for themselves. That’s why we’re offering a special contest to award one lucky family with a Family Fun Day at the Discovery Center!

AND NOW, IT’S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

We’re teaming up with the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center to give away an amazing prize. Here’s how to enter:

On Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, share a photo or two of how YOUR family helps keep our planet healthy. Whether it’s recycling at home, picking up trash, drinking from reusable water bottles, or volunteering with a local environmental group, we want to see what you’re up to! Make sure to use the hashtags #dawnofdiscovery #aldenwow and #aldendiscovery and to post publicly so we can see your picture!

We will pick one person to win a Family Fun Day gift basket that will include these two adorable plushies, a Tampa Bay Watch hat, 4 Tampa Bay Watch bandannas, a family 4-pack of tickets to the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, and a 2-night stay at the Alden.

Mary Ann Renfrow, the Alden’s Director of Community Relations, will announce the contest winner LIVE on Facebook on Monday, September 28. So get to saving the planet and sharing your stories today!

St. Pete in September 2020 – Our Top Picks of Things to Do

Fall is here to stay! And as the seasons change, there are still many awesome events to enjoy here in St Pete Beach. From Labor Day fireworks to pumpkin paintings, there’s something for everyone this month!

Labor Day Weekend Fireworks on Treasure Island

September 5th

Saturday the 5th at dusk spread out, socially distanced on the Treasure Island beach and enjoy the Labor Day Weekend Fireworks!
https://www.facebook.com/RECREATIONTI/

PB & Jelly Deli

September 5th

Saturday night in the beer garden sounds just about perfect right now, doesn’t it? Join the PB & Jelly Deli September 5th at Green Bench Brewing Co. for brews and your favorite gourmet PB&J sammies from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. They’ll be safe, socially distanced, masked up and ready to serve you nuttin’ but love!

September 7th

Who is ready for fall flavors? September 7th, join The Wheelhouse for their annual pumpkin beer release celebration. They will tap all the pumpkin beers that they can get their hands on & make some super yummy pumpkin food specials & desserts.  They are operating with social distancing protocols so please know that they cannot accommodate groups over 6 people.  All specials will be available for dine-in OR carry-out.  #RELEASETHEPUMPKINS

Central Cycling Spin Class

September 11th

September 11th at the new St. Petersburg Pier, enjoy an awesome spin class courtesy of Central Cycling under the Bending Arc sculpture!

There will be two opportunities to spin: 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Bookings for the event are open! 🚴 🚴‍

2nd Annual St. Pete Wing & Craft Beer Fest

September 18th

Got wings? If you are a wing lover, we’ve got just the ticket. Tomorrow, stop by the 2nd Annual St. Pete Wing & Craft Beer Fest! Admission is free so enjoy adult beverages and live music as well as the best wings in town from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1483572075128161/

Pumpkin Painting

September 22nd

September 22nd 6:30-8:30 register for this FUN workshop to create a Van Gogh Starry Night inspired pumpkin at Practically Pikasso! Instruction provided to help you create a beautiful new center piece or fall decor piece for your home. This workshop is recommended for adults and teens. Your kiln fired art will be ready to pick up on Sept 30th. Just in time for Halloween!

https://www.practicallypikasso.com/calendar

Jazz Sundays at Boulevard Burgers

Sundays

Sit back and relax with live tunes and mimosas by the beach at Boulevard Burgers & Tap House, right across the street from the Alden!

Le Jazz Trio is serving up some soulful jams every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., while you enjoy big, juicy burgers, seafood dishes, appetizers, milkshakes, and more!

Boulevard Burgers also offers 50 cent wings all day on Sundays!

Educational Activities for Kids in St. Pete Beach and the Tampa Bay Area

Summer is coming to an end which means the school year is starting back up. Whether your kids are going back to the classroom or continuing to learn from home, education is about to take priority once again. However, their learning doesn’t have to end with the syllabus. The Tampa Bay area has tons of affordable, educational activities that are fun for the whole family and the perfect supplement to any child’s curriculum! Here are our top six picks for the best educational activities in the area.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Meet the star of the hit movie, Dolphin Tale, Winter, and learn about her inspiring story of survival after losing her tail to injury at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Educational presentations, games and exhibits allow you to the chance to observe nurse sharks, say hello to North American river otters, get up close and personal with a sea turtle and even participate in stingray feedings. Also, be sure to walk through Shipwreck Alley and its underwater viewing tunnel. This unique natural attraction invites you to view, touch and experience the biology and behavior of the wonderful marine life that call Planet Earth home.

Great Explorations Children’s Museum

Let your kids’ creativity and imagination run wild at the Great Explorations Children’s Museum. This kid-friendly museum invites your children to build with various materials and discover their inner architect, play a life-sized game of operation in the medical area, treat stuffed animals in the veterinary clinic, learn how to grow vegetables, shop in a kid-sized supermarket, act like a newscaster at a miniature TV news desk and watch live shows with music and dance. The various art, science, tech and health exhibits—all designed to be touched, moved and explored—are sure to stretch their mental muscles, test wits and fire up their imaginations.

Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center

Welcome to The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, where visitors to the St. Pete Pier mix fun and learning. Developed and operated by Tampa Bay Watch, a non-profit founded in 1993, the Discovery Center tells you the story of Tampa Bay’s vast and complex estuary — its history and recovery, and the organization’s pivotal role in that effort. Along with an exhibit gallery, they offer a state-of-the-art classroom that accommodates school field trips and programs for students of all ages. But the Discovery Center is not strictly an indoor experience. The “wet classroom” offers larger outdoor demonstrations and lectures. It’s bordered by walkways and railings and includes an amphitheater-style observation deck. Have fun while you save the Bay!

Weedon Island Preserve

This 3,190-acre nature preserve is comprised of aquatic and upland ecosystems and is the perfect place to have an outdoor adventure without all the crowds. Rent a backpack—which includes maps to boardwalks and trails, field guides for identifying native plants and animals and suggested activities—and spend an afternoon walking along its boardwalks through its tidal flats and mangrove forests. You can even rent a kayak or canoe to explore the aquatic habitats up close. Be sure to visit the educational center where you can learn about the indigenous people who lived on the land for thousands of years.

Salvador Dali Museum

Considered one of the most important museums in all of Florida, the Salvador Dali Museum features the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dali’s work—including 94 oils, 200 watercolors and drawings and 1,000 graphics, sculptures and objets d’art. This kid-friendly gallery with an outdoor waterfront garden gives visitors of all ages the chance to appreciate the uniqueness that is Salvador Dali. Let your imagination run wild as you learn all about Surrealism and participate in a fun self-guided scavenger hunt to learn about the museum’s highlights while admiring Dali’s impressive masterpieces.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park

One of the top three zoos of its size in North America (and only a 30-minute drive from St. Pete Beach), Lowry Park Zoo features more than 1,500 animals representing 350 exotic species across 60 acres. The family-friendly encounters range from manatees to tigers, monkeys to rhinos and African elephants to koalas. Kids will be sure to delight in feeding giraffes treats from a feeding plateau and touching stingrays, as well as hopping on the jungle safari ride through the animal exhibits, feeding playful goats, and watching one of their engaging educational shows.

Alligator Attraction & Wildlife Learning Center

Have your kids ever snuggled a sloth? They can, while learning about local and exotic wildlife, at the Alligator Attraction, just 10 minutes from the Alden in John’s Pass. The Wildlife Center frequently hosts local students for field trips, and they offer special educational programs throughout the year. Their animals are pet surrenders and orphaned native wildlife that can not be returned safely to the wild. The facility is home to a little over 180 animals including alligators, lizards, pigs, skunks, guinea pigs, rabbits, snakes, sloths, fish, and more.

Sunken Gardens If you want to show your kids how to find tranquility and take a break from the fast-paced bustle of the city, look no further than the city’s oldest living museum, the Sunken Gardens. Stroll through four acres of winding paths and see an exotic collection of more than 50,000 tropical flowers and plants—including some of the oldest tropical plants in the region. This 100-year old garden is home to cascading waterfalls and hidden groves that are sure to help generate calm and relaxed feelings. Call to inquire about their private garden tours and horticultural programs.

As you can see, family field trip opportunities are plentiful here in the Tampa Bay area. We always welcome families here at the Alden, so if you’re choosing online education, why not consider taking a week-long trip here to St. Pete Beach and take your home-school on the road! Our suites have nice big tables for schoolwork and we have excellent wi-fi service. We will be happy to welcome your family here for educational enrichment, a change of pace, and plenty of FUN!

45 Years of Alden Family Fun!

It’s always a joy to connect with our longtime guests! After a recent visit to the Alden, the Griscom family sent us this letter and some priceless vintage photos:

We have loved coming to the Alden for many years, and have lots of memories there.  We’ve celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, 4th of July fireworks on the beach, Thanksgivings with shipped in turkey and trimmings, Christmases (yes, we would bring our own artificial decorated tree!), New Year’s Eves and days, UT bowl games, spring training baseball weeks…..just about any reason or excuse to come!
Now, I did promise to show you some photos…..it took a while to go through so many years’ worth, but I picked only 4 photos that would also incorporate the Alden.

June 1977….our oldest son (he’s now 44 years old) takes his first steps near the bungalows.

July 1984….all five Griscoms, including our one-year-old twins in the pool.  Neither pool had been fenced at that time, and the deck around this pool was a pea gravel decking (not very barefoot friendly!)

November 1986….we celebrated Thanksgiving!  Pictured here are our three-year-old twins on the beach with the “grey” Alden in the background.  Everyone was glad when it was returned to yellow.

July 2005….this was the last time we were all together at the Alden, here at the Cabana Bar.  Our kids were all grown up and it was, at last, a relaxing vacation with them.  Since then they have gotten multiple college degrees, gone into professions that have given them real independence, moved around the country (and the world) to follow their professions, and provided us with our only (so far!) grandchild. But our goal for 2021 is to get them all together, plus the families that they have added, for an Alden week!!! 
As we mentioned there will be no trip for us in October, new baby on the way.  On our drive home, we decided it may be late January or early February, so maybe we’ll see you again.
Thanks,  

Marion and Tom Griscom
Chattanooga, TN


Tampa Bay Things to Do in August 2020

Whether you’re trying to squeeze in one last vacay with the kids before school starts, or planning a couple’s getaway at the beach, the Alden is where it’s at this August! Here are some fun and safe activities to enjoy this month as the summer is winding down. Make plans for a beach trip with us here in St. Pete Beach, and check out these fun activities you can enjoy outdoors or while safely distancing.

SHINE Drive-In Mural Festival

Every Day

St. Petersburg is currently graced with over 80 murals from the annual Shine Mural Festival, and now a new app brings them all to life.

The Pixelstix app allows users to view the St. Pete Art Alliance’s new “Drive-In Mural Theater,” which consists of a three-to-five-minute narration about the work and information about the artist. It’s like a self-guided museum tour, and all you have to do is download the app, hop in the car, and go!

https://pixelstix.com/introducing-the-shine-drive-in-mural-theater

Ruskin Family Drive-In Theatre

Every Day

Just a short drive from the Alden, you’ll find a delightful slice of Americana that’s perfect for families in these times. The Ruskin Family Drive-In Theatre, with over 50 years of continuous service to the Ruskin and South Hillsborough County, has been a community gathering place since its first movie, “Singing in the Rain” played in 1952. They call it the “Last family drive-in” in the U.S.A. because families, dating couples, single parents with children, and everyone else young and old can come and visit.

https://www.facebook.com/Ruskin-Family-Drive-In-133391110012282/

Corey Avenue Sunday Market

Sundays All Year Long

The Corey Avenue Market is back open for business folks! This is a downsized Summer version with social distancing rules in place. The market takes place Sundays from 10am to 1pm.  🌻 https://www.facebook.com/Corey-Avenue-Sunday-Market-on-St-Pete-Beach-1480760825498482

Friday Nights at Shrimpy’s

Fridays All Year Long

The front door of Shrimpy’s Blues Bistro is a portal to the Big Easy. Once you step inside, you’ll find yourself in a colorful, musical, art-covered wonderland. They combine fresh, wild-caught seafood with the flavors and feelings of New Orleans for a whole that’s greater than the sum of its delicious parts. But wait — it gets better. Every Cajun-influenced plate comes with a patio breeze, a bayfront view, and some rockin’ live music on the side. A pint of one of their 26 craft beers is the finishing touch. Sit back and, as they say in NOLA, let the good times roll. https://www.facebook.com/events/751427698929868/?event_time_id=751427732263198

Maximo Park

All Year Long

This 70-acre oceanside park features a covered playground, boat ramps, an Indian midden site (archeological sites formed primarily of mollusc shells) and more. This beautiful park is the largest of the City’s four archaeological sites at 70 acres. It is located where Boca Ciega Bay joins Tampa Bay. The park contains educational signs throughout describing the tribes that once inhabited the area. It is a great place to get out in nature and hike with beautiful views.

http://www.stpeteparksrec.org/maximopark/

Yoga on the Beach at Caddy’s

Thursdays All Year Long

Join Caddy’s On the Beach for a complimentary one-hour yoga class right on the beach at Treasure Island!

Bring a yoga mat or a towel and let your worries drift away as you do yoga while looking out onto the Gulf of Mexico. 🏖️ 🧘 https://www.facebook.com/events/1750924851711837/?acontext=%7B%22event_action_history%22%3A[%7B%22mechanism%22%3A%22surface%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22permalink%22%7D]%7D

Puff & Pour Paint

Every 2nd & 4th Sunday Aug 9- Aug 23

Come Puff & Pour Paint! In this class, you will learn step by step how to prep your paint to create fluidity without losing vibrancy, preparing the canvas, and use paint pouring techniques without brushes. Take home a uniquely abstract and magical creation, a masterpiece of your very own. Different Pour Paint techniques are featured in each class. It is a fun, inspiring, and therapeutic experience.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/puff-pour-paint-with-the-missing-muse-tickets-108755356198

7 Ways We Are Keeping Guests Safe at the Alden

Our Guests Are Our Top Priority!

We continue to welcome guests for sun and fun here at the Alden, and we are going above and beyond to make sure that we can do it in the safest way possible. We’ve instituted policies and procedures in compliance with CDC and Florida guidelines, and with Pinellas County ordinance 20-14 to keep you safe. Our security team and staff are on the job to make sure that everyone complies with these safety rules while enjoying their vacations. Read on for 7 things our team is doing to ensure a safe and healthy visit for our treasured guests!

1. Masking Up
We’ve got our masks on! All of our Alden Suites team members are wearing masks for your safety and ours. Guests are required to wear masks when at the bar, Grab and Go, elevators, lobby, guest laundry room or when there is an inability to social distance.

2. Spacing Out
Guests must always social distance (6 feet) unless with family while at the Alden Suites. This includes the beach, pools, and hot tub. No group of 10 or more may be seated at a table, and we request that guests do not cluster chairs in public spaces. No groups of 10 or more are permitted to congregate in each area.
3. Cleaning Up
We have enhanced our cleaning protocols to keep everything sanitary, both in suites and public areas. Public furniture is being sanitized periodically throughout the day.

4. Sanitize Yourself
Hand sanitizing stations can be found throughout the property. We keep them fully stocked and request that guests use them frequently.
5. Dining Safely
The Alden Food Truck is serving takeaway food each day, and Our Cabana Bar is open for takeaway only. Publix food delivery is available in all of our suites, and takeout can be delivered on property by a variety of local restaurants. This allows our guests to enjoy delicious local food without needing to step foot inside a restaurant.

6. Suite Safety
Should you want your suite cleaned during your stay we will ask that you set up a time when you will not be in the suite. We recommend that you set trash outside the door for pick up each day, and have provided additional bags at the bottom of each trash can. Additional towels and amenities can be supplied upon request. Should an unexpected maintenance issue occur we will ask that you leave the suite while repairs are performed. 
7. Staff Health Protocols
We are continuously training our staff to maintain social distancing in the workplace, use hand sanitizer regularly, and limit gatherings of employees. Staff members have been instructed to stay home if they have any of the following symptoms: fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath.

Here at the Alden, we are in full compliance with all CDC guidelines. Our external hallways, stairs and corridors make it easy to avoid indoor spaces- you can come and go from your suite without being in closed spaces with others. In addition, our suites with full kitchens, and ample outdoor space all make it easy for families to enjoy a safe, clean, socially distanced vacation here in St. Pete Beach. We continuously update our COVID-19 protocols on our website, so you can always check here for the latest information. We look forward to welcoming our guests to the property, and we appreciate your business!

We Are All In This Together!