dR Daily 12/7: The Best (Holiday) Things You Can Do This Weekend
You thought last weekend was jam-packed with holiday cheer? This weekend’s even crazier. Enjoy the Holi-daze!
Gulfport’s Annual Holiday Hoopla, 12/8, 10-5 p.m.: Arts, crafts, foods, live music and roving holiday characters set in a waterfront atmosphere amid bright, twinkling, colorful lights. Stroll the decorated streets of Gulfport filled with talented exhibitors and unique shops. The festival will provide shoppers with one-of-a-kind gifts that cannot be found anywhere else. Stay late to view Boca Ciega Yacht Club’s 32nd Annual Lighted Boat Parade.
Largo’s Holiday Lights in the Garden, thru 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.
Pinellas Park Christmas Parade, 12/8, 6 p.m.: Festive floats parade down the streets of Pinellas Park.
Safety Harbor Tree Lighting, 12/7, 6 p.m.: Choirs will warm up the crowd for the lighting of Safety Harbor’s giant Christmas tree and a visit from you-know-who at the John Wilson Park Gazebo.
St. Pete Beach Christmas Parade, 12/8, 11 a.m.: The parade starts at St Pete Beach City Hall (155 Corey Ave) and heads west down Corey Ave, south on Blind Pass Rd, east on 73rd to Bay Street and back to City Hall.
St. Petersburg: Santa in North Straub Park, 12/7-9, 6-9 p.m. Waterfront Lights and Display through 1/1/19: Thousands of holiday lights and decorations in North Straub Park, South Straub Park, Pioneer Park, Al Lang Park and Albert Whitted Park.
Tampa: Winter Village, thru 1/5/19: The Winter Village transforms Tampa’s beautiful riverfront Curtis Hixon Park with an outdoor ice rink, waterfront cafe, pop-up holiday shops and more. Snow On 7th Parade, 12/8, 6-9 p.m.: Santa and snow come to Ybor City with a parade down the historic district’s festive 7thAvenue.
Tarpon Springs: There’s Snow Place Like Tarpon Springs:12/7, 5-10 p.m. Snow play area, music, children’s activities and a visit with Santa along Tarpon Avenue.
LIGHTED BOAT PARADES
Clearwater: 12/8, 8 p.m. Boats cruise past Coachman Park under the Memorial Causeway Bridge turning into the Clearwater Marina Channel before navigating to the Clearwater Yacht Club..
Gulfport: 12/8. Boca Ciega Yacht Club’s 32nd Annual Lighted Boat Parade follows Gulfport’s Holiday Hoopla.
St. Pete Beach: 12/7, 6 p.m.: Boat parade and viewing party in Horan Park.
Tarpon Springs: 12/ 7, 8 p.m. Vessels will proceed down the Anclote River and into the bayous where Santa will give out treats. Your best bet for viewing these holiday decorated vessels is from Craig Park/Spring Bayou.
HOLIDAY SHOWS & SPECTACLES
Bowzer’s Holiday Party. Rock out to the sounds of Sha Na Na, Peter Noone, The Coasters and other R&R icons. 12/7, Ruth Eckerd.
Every Christmas Story Ever Told. When an actor cringes at the thought of doing yet another production of A Christmas Carol, he pairs up with two pals to create a mishmash of every Christmas story ever told, tapping into holiday traditions, seasonal icons, pop culture and every carol ever sung. Thru 12/30, freeFall Theatre Company,St. Petersburg, freefalltheatre.com
Jane Lynch: A Swingin’ Little Christmas. Emmy®– and Golden Globe-winning comedian extraordinaire Jane Lynch (Hollywood Game Night, Glee) delivers a big, shiny sack of Christmas cheer in this delightfully kitschy, retro-amazing concert of swing- and big band-style renditions of holiday classics. 12/8 -9, Straz Center, strazcenter.org.
The Manhattan Transfer & Herb Alpert and Lani Hall Holiday Show. People have been wrapping presents to Manhattan Transfer’s Christmas album for decades now (“Snowfall” is a guaranteed “aaahhhh”-producer) and Herb Alpert’s been a fave since we first tasted “A Taste of Honey.” So this should be a particularly pleasing holiday treat. 12/8, Capitol Theatre.
Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley. Delightfully idiosyncratic performances by Jenny Lester and Josh Odess-Rubin as well-matched oddballs — plus gorgeous period sets, costumes and lighting — distinguish this comic “sequel” to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Thru 12/30, American Stage, St. Petersburg, americanstage.com
The Winter Wonderettes.Those tuneful gals who crooned tunes from the ’50s and ’60s in last year’s Stageworks hit, The Marvelous Wonderettes, return for Harper’s Hardware Holiday Party — but where’s Santa? The girls sing holiday pop classics such as “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Winter Wonderland” on the way to solving the mystery and saving the party. 12/7-23, Stageworks Theatre,Tampa, stageworkstheatre.org
HOLIDAY FAMILY & RECREATION
Christmas in the Wild. ZooTampa comes alive with holiday lights, seasonal treats, enchanting entertainment and a 50-foot animated Christmas tree. Visit Santa in his Tree Top Lodge and marvel at the magic of wildlife at night. ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Tampa, select nights thru 12/30, zootampa.org.
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens. The theme park is transformed into a holiday wonderland with more than a million twinkling lights. Santa will be available to take photos and the park will be open until 10 p.m. Thru 12/31, Busch Gardens, buschgardens.com.
Holiday Movies in the Park, St. Pete. Bring your blanket or lawn chairs to settle in for a holiday movie in Vinoy Park. 12/7: The Christmas Story, 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
River of Lights. Cruise through downtown Tampa aboard the Pirate Water Taxi for a unique view of the beautiful sights of the holiday season, passing beneath the lighted bridges over Hillsborough River. Entertaining narration and Christmas carolers, plus hot chocolate and a holiday cookie. Weekends thru 12/30.
Tampa Theatre Holiday Classics Series. Hollywood holiday cheer at Tampa’s iconic movie palace. 12/9, Elf, 3 p.m. tampatheatre.org.
Victorian Christmas Stroll. Experience the extravagance of a Victorian Christmas at the Henry B. Plant Museum, the former 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel. Plant Museum, University of Tampa, Thru Dec. 23, plantmuseum.com
Through December: The Mall (and the Money Machine) at Sundial. Downtown St. Pete’s multi-faceted shopping mecca is more intimate and certainly more elegant than your average mall, and this season it’s not only offering a plethora of good deals and great restaurants, it’s got holiday doings daily: snow every half hour from 6-9:30 p.m.; photo ops with Santa; holiday concerts by the likes of Black Honkeys and the Florida Orchestra; and — best of all — a Money Machine! Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sundial will select one person every hour (5-8 p.m. Fridays, 4-8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays) to get inside the Machine and grab as much cash as they can in 30 seconds. Once the 30 secs are up, Sundial will count the cash and issue a Sun Dollar gift card for the amount collected, valid at participating Sundial shops and restaurants. You have to be 18 or older and register during promotional hours to participate. Free money — how can you resist? Check out this video to see it in action.
Florida CraftArt Holiday Boutique
Florida CraftArt in St. Pete converts its two gallery spaces into an artful shopping experience featuring fine jewelry, clay, glass, ornaments and more handcrafted by Florida’s most talented artists. Through 12/31, floridacraftart.org.
Starry, Starry Delights
Artist-made sensations celebrating the season! Dunedin Fine Art Center’s annual national invitational of fine art, craft + design offers a fusion of gallery elegance with a marketplace of cool, affordable hand-made goods. Through 12/23, Dunedin Fine Art Center, dfac.org.