The Best Thing You Can Do This Weekend: Enjoy lights, music and money-savers
Largo may be the most illuminated city in Tampa Bay, with two count ’em two mega-popular holiday attractions that are already fully lit and ready to ooh and ahh at.
Holiday Lights in the Garden, 11/ 23-12/30, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Over 1 million LED lights shine throughout the Florida Botanical Gardens in nature- or holiday-themed light displays. $4 suggested donation.
Largo Holiday Lights: 5 p.m., Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo. Free, $5 rides. (727) 587-6740, ext. 5014.
Santa Parade & Tree Lighting, 11/24, 5:30 p.m. Kick off the holidays in the Sunshine City with the Santa Parade beginning at Albert Whitted Park, followed by Mayor Kriseman lighting the tree at 8 p.m. in North Straub Park.
Michael McDonald Season of Peace Holiday & Hits Tour
That inimitable Doobie Bros tenor ought to sound right pretty when applied to “White Christmas” and other holiday tunes. Yah Mo B There! 11/23, Capitol Theatre.
Dave Koz and Friends Christmas
The silver-foxy saxophonist brings along jazz superstars Mindi Abair, Jonathan Butler and Japanese keyboardist Keiko Matsui for his 21stanniversary Christmas tour. 11/24, Ruth Eckerd.
Tampa Bay’s premier horn band entertains with spirited renditions of Christmas classics as Sundial visitors shop, dine and unwind. 5-8 p.m., 11/24, Sundial.
The Mall at Sundial
Speaking of Sundial, its attractions this holiday season aren’t limited to brassy Christmas tuneage. Sundial also offers a plethora of good deals (25% off home goods at Locale, 20% off the entire store at Jackie Z, 40% off everything at Chico’s and White House Black Market, just to name a few); great restaurants like Sea Salt; snow every half hour from 6-9:30 p.m.; photo ops with Santa; and — not kiddin’ ya — a Money Machine! All in all, a more intimate and certainly more elegant shopping experience than braving the invading hordes at a big-box mega-mall.
Small Business Saturday
Support your favorite small independent business owners by shopping on Small Business Saturday. The charmingly eclectic retailers in Downtown St. Pete’s EDGE District and the 600 Block can’t be beat. Hyde Park Village in South Tampa has been transformed of late, making it a holiday destination once again. The shops of Belleair Bluffs, like Bella Vino Wine & Cheese Market, offer items you may not be able to find anywhere else. And a trip to Sarasota to shops like Dream Weaver Collection and Todd Alan Gallery is a holiday must. For suggestions on what to look for at these and other destinations, check out dR Tampa Bay’s Holiday Issue.
Many of our local museum shops will be offering great discounts on the 25th, which has been designated Museum Store Sunday, with more than 1,000 museums taking part around the world. To name just a few, the James Museum shop will be offering 25% off select souvenirs; the Dalí Museum store is doing a free tote with purchases totaling $75 or more on Sunday (plus 10 percent discounts on Saturday and 20 percent discounts online on Cyber Monday); and the Henry B. Plant Museum on the University of Tampa campus, a particularly great spot for vintage gifts and ornaments, will be giving a free tote bag to the first 25 shoppers on Sunday to spend $25.