Things To Do
Best Bets: Fun stuff to do this week
Can't decide what to do this week? Don't worry, we've got it figured out for you. Here are our editors' picks, including Downtown Tampa on Ice at Curtis Hixon Park and Invincible Summer at The Ritz Ybor. AT THE MOVIES (Opening Friday) Guilty pleasure alert: the final installment in the "Twilight" franchise, "Breaking Dawn – Part 2," opens this week. If you see a mob vampires crowding the parking lot of your local theater in the middle of the night Thursday, don't be alarmed; it's just "Twilight" fans lining up for tickets to the midnight shows.O CHRISTMAS TREE (Friday) Hyde Park Village kicks off the most wonderful time of the year with its annual tree lighting ceremony and street party, a visit from Old Saint Nick and other family fun. Admission is free. ICE, ICE, BABY (Opening Friday) Whether you want to practice your double axel or hold the rails for balance, the city's seasonal ice skating rink, Downtown Tampa on Ice, opens for your pleasure through the holiday season at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. It's $10 for unlimited skating, including skate rental. CHRISTMAS GETS ROLLING (Saturday) Christmas seems to come earlier every year, but that's a good thing for Mannheim Steamroller. The instrumental music group, whose "Mannheim Steamroller Christmas" album has sold more than 40 million copies to date, plays the Straz Center. Tickets run $35.50 to $87.50. BREWERY MEETS FOOD TRUCKS (Saturday) Cold Storage Craft Brewery, makers of the popular Florida Avenue Ales, are starting a new monthly tradition with Third Saturdays in Seminole Heights. The brewery will offer tours and beer tastings to wash down the grub from a variety of food trucks parked outside. Wicked Wiches food truck will give away free treats from 2:30 to 4 p.m. COMBINE ARTS AND STIR (Saturday) There is something for everyone at Square One arts collective's annual hybrid art event, combining rock bands, a fashion show, art exhibits, aerial acrobatics, speed painting and more into what organizers are calling a "sensory overload." This year's theme is "Invincible Summer," and The Ritz Ybor will be decked out accordingly. Admission is only $5. THIS LITTLE PIGGY WANTS TO JAM (Saturday) It'll be a finger lickin' good time when teams of slow cooking connoisseurs serve up their best piece of meat for the coveted title of champ at the Plant City Pig Jam State BBQ Championship at Randy Larson Softball Four-Plex Stadium in Plant City. Admission is free. CHILL OUTDOORS (Saturday) St. Pete Chillounge Night will transform downtown St. Petersburg's Straub Park into a posh outdoor nightclub under the stars, complete with thousands of lights, velvet ropes, luxury daybeds and a sound system pumping music into the night air. This year's Chillounge features a fashion show. Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 at the event. LIGHTING UP YBOR (Saturday) It's not nicknamed "cigar city" for nothing. Stogies will play a big part in the 14th annual Ybor City Heritage and Cigar Festival, which features national cigar vendors, live cigar rolling and tours of historic Ybor City buildings related to the cigar industry. There's also live music, food trucks, craft beer and a kids zone. Admission is $10. CRAFTY FUN (Saturday and Sunday) High-end arts and crafts, including jewelry, glass, wood, mixed-media creations and lots more from more than 100 artists will be on sale at the free CraftArt Festival 2012 outside the Florida Craftsmen in St. Petersburg. GOT SOLE? (Sunday) The Bay Area Soleciety Sneakers and Fashion Charity Expo brings out sneaker enthusiasts from all over the Bay area (the kind who camp out for days in front of shoe stores to snag new releases.) Visit the T. Pepin Hospitality Centre to buy, sell or trade sneakers, get in on raffles or simply walk around and drool over $500 pairs of rare Jordans while listening to live DJs. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. ELF ESTEEM (Opens Tuesday) Like "Elf," the 2003 film starring Will Ferrell, "Elf: The Musical" at the Straz Center has a man-elf named Buddy cobbling toys and eating copious amounts of maple syrup-doused spaghetti, but the stage adaptation has its own story. Tickets run from $38.50 to $79.50.