Thanksgiving Weekend Top 10: Shopapalooza, Enchant, Dalí Dreams, and a Million Florida Botanical Garden Lights

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. There is so much to be grateful for living here in Tampa Bay, so start your holiday season off right – by enjoying one of the great events offered near you this holiday weekend.

Thursday

Winter Village Presented by the Tampa Bay Lightning  
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa

Courtesy of Winter Village

The turkey’s a goner. The stuffing (my fave) was amazing. You’re full. (So full.) And after today, you’ll probably find yourself full pretty much every day until 2023. What you need is some active holiday fun. So, slap on your ice skates and make your way down to the Riverwalk where the Lightning have built us our very own rink and holiday village. Skate, shop, look at lights, eat some more. It’s perfect.
Daily through January 3rd Open Thanksgiving day @4pm-11pm More information, schedules, and ticket info here.

Closing SoonLost Trees by Babs Reingold
Gallery 221 – HCC, Tampa

Courtesy of Babs Reingold

It’s your last opportunity to see this extraordinary exhibit by our very own world renowned artist, Babs Reingold. Her decades long interest in environmental protection is perfectly depicted in Lost Trees – a series of drawings and multi-media installations that capture the imagination as well as raise consciousness as to how delicate the balance between the natural world and man really is.
Closes Dec 1st. For more information and gallery hours click here. **You can also catch Reingold’s work as part of Creative Pinellas Arts Annual event.

Friday

Courtesy of Raprager Family Farm

12 Days of Christmas
Raprager Family Farm, Odessa

Looking for a truly rustic and traditional holiday experience? Take the whole fam up to Odessa for a winter festival on a real working family farm. Enjoy holiday hayrides, a gingerbread village, a Merry Market, photos with Santa, and stories lovingly told by Mrs. Claus. For additional fees, there are pony rides, gem mining, and face-painting.
November 25th, 26th, 27th & Dec 2nd @3-9pm (7pm on Sunday) Tickets and information here.

Opening The Shape of Dreams
Dalí Museum, St. Pete

Courtesy of The Dalí Museum

When you think innovative concepts in museum exhibitions, your thoughts inevitably turn to Dalí. This new exhibition, The Shape of Dreams, is a “new, interactive artificial Intelligence experience (AI).” The universal experience of dreaming is explored through a selection of works from the 16th – 20th century spanning half a millennium, including works by Kahlo, Giordano, Carracci, Guston, Redon, and more. The theme is presented through metaphysical, religious, and psychological lenses. See how the exhibit was created here. The dream for us all, is that the Dalí Museum calls Tampa Bay home.
Opens November 25th – April 30th, 2023. Find museum hours, ticket information and events here.

Opening- Enchant
Tropicana Field, St. Pete

Courtesy of Enchant

The expansive real estate inside Tropicana Field transforms, once again, into a spectacular winter wonderland and immersive holiday light event. Enchant visually stuns as you make your way through a massive maze featuring 4 million lights, ice-skating trail, entertainment, Santa, unique gift shopping, yummy bites and cocktails, and a 100 foot Christmas tree!  
November 25th – January 1st @10am-5pm More information here.

Opening 22nd Annual Holiday Lights in the Gardens
Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo

Courtesy of Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation

One of the most visited holiday light displays each year has to be the one at the Florida Botanical Gardens. The already stunning gardens by day transform into a holiday wonderland by nightfall – filled with approximately one million lights in displays over several acres. The walkways and bridges take you through one of the most magical places in Pinellas County. It’s the only time of year that a nominal admission ($10 for 13yo and over) is charged for the extended evening hours. The whole family will be wowed. And to add to the all that beauty, The Gallery at Creative Pinellas on the Pinewood campus will also be opened for extended hours in conjunction with Holiday Lights in the Garden. Check out the ’22 Arts Annual Exhibition where you’ll find gallery spaces filled with new works from your favorite local artists. Gallery hours 12-8 Weds-Sun Through the holidays.
Holiday Lights Opens November 25th – January 1st @5:30-9:30pm (Daytime Garden hrs 7am-5pm)
More information here.

Saturday

12th Annual Shopapalooza! 2022
Vinoy Park, St. Pete (Sat & Sun)

Courtesy of LocalShops1

The name pretty much gives it away… So if you want to support local businesses while making a nice dent in your holiday shopping list, this is the event for you. LocalShops1 has been creating this holiday shopping fest dedicated to local business for a dozen years now. Check out holiday fare, merch, and services offered by over 350 of your favorite makers, friends, and neighbors. It’s a great way to keep our shopping dollars right here in Tampa Bay. Free admission
November 26th & 27th @10am-5pm More information here.

Courtesy of SIK Promotions

31st Annual Thanksgiving Art & Craft Festival
E. Court St, Downtown Tarpon Springs
(Sat & Sun)

Tarpon Springs has several amazing holiday festivals going on this holiday weekend, but at 31 years and counting, the downtown Art & Craft Festival is always highly anticipated. Another “shop local” initiative, this festival features one-of-a-kind gift options, food, and live entertainment. Visit the Sponge Docks and get yourself a gyro while you’re there. Perfect day(s) achieved.
November 26th & 27th @10am-5pm More information here.

Santa Parade & Tree Lighting
North Straub Park, St. Pete

Courtesy of St. Petersburg Parks & Recreation

It isn’t officially the holidays in the ‘Burg until Santa has his annual parade on the downtown waterfront. Starting at Albert Whitted Park, the parade moves across Bayshore Drive until it reaches N. Straub Park. The huge Christmas tree in the park will be lit by Mayor Welch immediately after. It’s a wonderful St. Pete tradition that’s fun for the whole family. Shop Beach Drive after the festivities for some great holiday shopping and delicious treats.
November 26th @6:30 pm (Parade begins) More information here.


Sunday

Holiday Classics
Tampa Theatre, Tampa

1947

Starting today, and running through the holiday season, historic Tampa Theatre will continue a much loved tradition by presenting our very favorite holiday movie classics on the big screen. Starting with the 1940s classic Miracle on 34th Street, this marathon of holiday movie magic has an offering for every interest and generation – from It’s a Wonderful Life to Frozen – from White Christmas to Elf.  I can’t think of a better way to see your holiday faves, especially the old classics, than on the big screen in the magical Tampa Theatre. November 27th – January 8th @7pm Mon-Sat (Sat has 3pm & 7pm shows – Sun 3pm matinees) Ticket and information here.

Have fun and stay safe out there! Happy Thanksgiving
Cindy