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Calendar packed with holiday events around Tampa

The most wonderful time of the year is finally here, and that means a bounty of holiday events for the young and young at heart. So slip on your holiday sweater (or tank top), grab a cup of hot cocoa (or sweet tea) and head to these holiday happenings for a large dose of good cheer. Downtown on Ice: Attempt that double axel or channel your inner Apolo Anton Ohno (OK, maybe not), but at least enjoy a near-winter experience at Tampa's seasonal ice skating rink; regular hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday; $10 for a 90-minute skate (includes skate rental); Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa; www.tampasdowntownonice.com Christmas Lane: Check out more than a dozen holiday-themed displays, including train rides for children, a 35-foot tree, music and more; 6 to 10 p.m. daily through Dec. 30, weather permitting. Santa Claus is there 6 to 8 p.m. through Sunday and 6 to 7 p.m. Monday; 2091 S. Wooten Road, off Dover Road; free admission; www.christmaslane.org Symphony In Lights: The Shops At Wiregrass annual holiday light show, choreographed to the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, includes strolling carolers, snow flurries, Late Night Brass Band performance and Santa; shows nightly on the hour from 6 to 9 p.m.; through Dec. 31; free; Shops At Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel; www.theshopsatwiregrass.com
"ICE!": Featuring Dreamworks' Merry Madagascar, includes 20,000 square-feet of winter wonderland with carved sculptures and two-story-tall ice slides; open daily through Jan. 1, hours vary; $13.99 to $27.99; Gaylord Palms, 6000 W. Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee; (407) 586-0000; www.gaylordhotels.com Holiday Boutique: Fine jewelry, clay, glass, ornaments and more handcrafted items by Florida artisans; hours vary through Dec. 29; free; Florida Craftsmen Inc., 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; (727) 821-7391; http://floridacraftsmen.net/ Langston Hughes' "Black Nativity": A celebration that tells the story of the nativity through scripture, verse, music and dance; 7 p.m. today, 2 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday; free; The Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg; (727) 895-6620 Holiday Tree Lighting: The city of St. Petersburg kicks off the holiday with a tree lighting; entertainment provided by Radio Disney and the Vesper Bells Choir from Lutheran Church of the Cross; 5 p.m. Nov. 23; North Straub Park, Bayshore Drive on waterfront; (727) 893-7441 Oakdale Christmas Light Display: The 36th annual event featuring thousands of lights, walking yard, train models, animated items, displays and games; 6 p.m. Nov. 23 to Jan. 3; Oakdale, 2719 Oakdale St., St. Petersburg; www.christmasdisplay.org Nights of Shimmering Lights: Nearly a million twinkling lights, more than a mile of dancing lights, illuminated tunnels and an animated light show in a Christmas village; there will be an outdoor holiday movie, arts and crafts vendors, pictures with Santa and fresh doughnuts; starts at 6 p.m. Nov. 24 and continues through Dec. 17; $20 per car; Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, 4810 State Route 60, Dover; (813) 389-6858; www.NOSL-TB.com Second Annual Rock and Roll Concert: Tommy Mara and the Crests, The Mystics, Johnny Thunder and The Impacs perform to benefit the U.S. Marines' effort to make sure all children get a toy for Christmas; guests are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to performance; 8 p.m. Nov. 24; $30 to $100; The Palladium at St. Pete College, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg; (727) 822-3590 "Elf -- The Musical": Follow the tale of Buddy, a young child who crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole; 2 and 8 p.m. today and Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 25; tickets start at $38.50; Straz Center, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa; (813) 247-7827 22nd Annual Tarpon Springs Thanksgiving Weekend Art and Craft Festival: Includes original works of folk art, earthenware, paintings, body products and more; meet and greet with artists at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 24 and 25; Historic Downtown Tarpon Springs, 111 E. Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs; (727) 322-5217 Dave Koz Smooth Jazz Christmas: Performance by saxophonist Koz with pianist composer David Benoit, "The Voice" winner Javier Colon, and drummer, percussionist and vocalist Sheila E.; 8 p.m. Nov. 24; $48 to $85; Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater; (727) 271-2717 Holizaar 5: The St. Pete Craft Heroes will hold their fifth annual event with handmade gifts and food; 3 p.m. Nov. 24; $3; The Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg; www.craftheroes.com Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony: Lighting of the 34-foot tree and performance by live carolers; 6 p.m. Nov. 28; free; Centro Ybor, 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa; (813) 242-4660 Christmas Bricktacular: Legoland Florida features the second annual event including a 30-foot-tall Lego Christmas tree, tree-lighting ceremony (5 p.m. Thursday), Santa scavenger hunt, holiday festivities and entertainment; 10 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday in December; opening ceremony 5 p.m. Nov. 29; $76 adults, $66 children; Legoland Florida, One Legoland Way, Winter Haven; (877) 350-5346 "Holiday Party of One": Humor and music punctuate a celebration of the season that pays tribute to our diversity; 8 p.m. Nov. 29 to Dec. 16; $26, $10 military, students and seniors; Stageworks Theatre, 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa; (813) 251-8984; http://www.stageworkstheatre.org/ "Miracle on 34th Street": Village Players of Brandon present the Christmas classic about a department store Santa who claims to be the real Kris Kringle; 8:15 p.m. Nov. 30 to Dec. 15; $10 to $15; James McCabe Theater, 506 Fifth St., Valrico; (813) 643-8292 Tree Lighting Ceremony: The lighting of Tampa's holiday tree; activities, music and refreshments; 6 p.m. Nov. 30; free; Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa; http://www.friendsoftamparec.org/24901.html Winter Wonderland: A seasonal display boasting tens of thousands of lights covering more than 100 trees and alpine cottages; activities include photos with Santa, cookie decorating, train rides, petting zoo, hot chocolate shop and live entertainment; 6 p.m. Nov. 30 to Dec. 23; free; unwrapped toy or canned food donation suggested; The Fort Harrison, 210 N. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater; (727) 543-4443; http://clearwatercommunityvolunteers.org/ Christmas Town: Busch Gardens' inaugural Christmas celebration will transform the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland filled with lights, trees, caroling and other sights, sounds and flavors of the season; open 6 p.m. Nov. 30 to Dec. 23; $39.99 adults, $9.99 children; Busch Gardens, 10001 McKinley Drive, Tampa; (888) 800-5447 "A Christmas Carol": The Carrollwood Players will perform the holiday story based on the Charles Dickens novella; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays; Nov. 30 to Dec. 22; $18 adults, $15 seniors; (813) 265-4000; www.carrollwoodplayers.org Hispanic Christmas: Navidad En Las Americas celebrates Hispanic Christmas customs and traditions along with songs in Spanish and English; local artists Jose Rivera, Mariachi Guadalupeno Den San Clemente and Enlaces will perform; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30; $12 to $15; St. Stephens Catholic Church, 5049 Bell Shoals Road, Valrico; (813) 689-3561 "My Doll and Me" Holiday Tea Party: American Girl doll Kirsten presents a holiday themed tea party with dolls, holiday decorations, museum exploration and scavenger hunt; 10 a.m. Dec. 1; $22 children, $18 adults; The Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa; www.tampabayhistorycenter.org A Centennial Celebration: The Pinellas County Historical Society sponsors an open house with refreshments, children's activities and crafts, holiday music and carols, and tours offering a look back at how Pinellas residents celebrated the holidays from the mid-1800s through the 1950s; Santa Claus makes a special visit; 10 a.m. Dec. 1; $2 suggested donation; Heritage Village, 11909 125th St., Largo; (727) 582-2123; www.pinellascounty.org/heritage/ Santa Fest & Downtown Holiday Parade: Celebrate the season with a Santa Claus visit, holiday entertainment, make-and-take holiday crafts, hands-on games and activities, ice skating and more; 11 a.m. Dec. 1; free; Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa; http://www.friendsoftamparec.org/24901.html Holiday Craft Market: The Summerfield Social Committee features 40 crafters and vendors to help with holiday decorating and gift-giving needs; attendance prizes will be given out throughout the event; the Summerfield Ladies' Club will have a charity bake sale and toy drive; bring a new, unwrapped toy for a chance to win a gift basket; bake sale proceeds and toys will be donated to the Deputy Darling Foundation; 10 a.m. Dec. 1; community center gymnasium, 13011 Summerfield Blvd, Riverview; (813) 671-2005; summerfieldsocial@gmail.com Concert and fireworks: The Santa Blast Concert and Fireworks includes Country star Alan Jackson as headliner along with Rodney Atkins, Jana Kramer, David Nail and Maggie Rose; 3 p.m. Dec. 2; $13.95 to $59.95 plus service charges; Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N., Tampa; (800) 745-3000; LiveNation.com "And Heaven and Nature Sing": Annual holiday concert with readings and sing-alongs to holiday favorites; 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 2; free; Sykes Chapel and Center for Faith and Values at The University of Tampa, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa; www.ut.edu/sykeschapel Holiday Classics: Classic holiday films, including "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (3 p.m. Dec. 2), "White Christmas" (3 p.m. Dec. 9), "Miracle on 34th Street" (3 p.m. Dec. 16) "It's a Wonderful Life (7:30 p.m. Dec. 21, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 and 3 p.m. Dec. 23); $9, $7 Theatre members; Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin St., Tampa; (813) 274-8981; www.tampatheatre.org Holiday Joyful Sounds: Presented by the Kings Point Chorus, the concert will have round-table cabaret seating with water, ice and cookies furnished on each table; there will be many surprises throughout the show; 6 p.m. Dec. 5; $6; Borini Theatre at Kings Point, 1900 Clubhouse Drive, Sun City Center; (813) 447-0388 "Scrooge & Marley": Screening of the holiday movie based on the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol" recounted from a gay perspective; the comedy features seasonal music; 8 p.m. Dec. 6; $10; Muvico Baywalk, 151 Second Ave. N., St. Petersburg; http://tiglff.com/ 16th Annual Christmas at the Old Lutz School: Celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas, including caroling and a food drive, at the historic Lutz schoolhouse; 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6; Christmas house opens at 6:30 p.m. on select nights through Dec. 27; special event times vary; Old Lutz Schoolhouse, 18819 N. U.S. 41, Lutz; (813) 601-0874 Bowzer's Rock and Roll Holiday Party: Featuring performances by Sha Na Na co-founder Jon "Bowzer" Bauman, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Jay Siegel's Tokens, The Crystals, Joey Dee, and Johnny Contardo; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7; $35 to $100; Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater; (727) 791-7400 Victorian Christmas: Experience a Dickens holiday as you move through seven themed rooms; groups enter every 15 minutes; 6 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8, 2 p.m. Dec. 9; $15 adults, $10 students at the door; Kingscliff, 987 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland; (863) 644-1408 Candlelight Experience: Guests follow a lantern-lit trail through the fort, encountering living history scenarios; traveling musicians play folk music; cider and cookies will be served; 6 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8; $5 donation per person; free for ages 12 and younger; Hillsborough River State Park, 15402 U.S. 301, Thonotosassa; (813) 987-6870 Christmas festival: Featuring music, kids' activities, food, fun and shopping with crafters and vendors showing handmade goods, jewelry, makeup and clothing; there will be a bounce house and an appearance by Santa; 10 a.m. Dec. 8; free; Music Showcase, 402 Oakfield Drive, Brandon Christmas Collecto-Rama: Holiday antique show featuring vintage holiday decor, toys and Christmas ephemera from old ornaments to aluminum Christmas trees; 10 a.m. Dec. 8; $5; Catherine A. Hickman Theater, 5501 27th Ave. South, Gulfport; (727) 421-0441 "A Snowglobe Fabaret": Featuring Nunsense, A-Men, Edges and Drood; benefit for Metro Wellness and Community Centers; 8 p.m. Dec. 8; no cover but tips appreciated; limited cabaret seating; Metro Wellness and Community Center, 1315 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City; (813) 389-6173; www.madtheatre.com Park It: Santa arrives for a greet and play and will drive his FreeBeachRide sleigh; golf cart owners can ride along; there will be photo opportunities with Santa; 9:30 a.m. Dec. 8; free; McKenney Park, 9300 Blind Pass Road, St. Pete Beach; (727) 363-9245; www.spbrec.com "The Nutcracker": The Brandon Ballet features four performances of Tchaikovsky's seasonal ballet about a little girl named Clara and her Christmas gift; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9; $25 adults, $15 children, $20 seniors; Spoto High School. 8538 Eagle Palm Drive, Riverview; (813) 684-4282; www.shop.brandonballet.org A Big Band Christmas: Featuring the 10 O'Clock Swing Band, an 18-piece Big Band performing a special holiday show in swinging style; 2 p.m. Dec. 8; $24.50; Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo; (727) 587-6793 Holiday Concert: The Tampa Bay Children's Chorus will perform holiday favorites; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8; free; First Presbyterian Church, 701 Beach Drive N.E., St. Petersburg; 4 p.m. Dec. 9; Hyde Park United Methodist, 500 W. Platt St., Tampa; (813) 954-3549; www.tbcchorus.org Holiday Festival and Boat Parade: Featuring the 26th annual Illuminated Boat Parade (6:10 p.m.), festival includes food, live entertainment and children activities; 3 p.m. Dec. 8; Vinoy Park, 701 Bayshore Drive N.E., St. Petersburg; www.stpeteboatparade.org/event/ Wild Wonderland: Activities include a meet-and-greet with Santa and real reindeers, new arctic blast ice slide, 100-feet of frozen fun in reindeer games area, zoo rides, twinkling lights and holiday treats; 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8, Dec 14 to 23 and Dec. 26 to 30; $13 adults, $11 for children ages 3-11; Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa; (813) 935-8552 Cool Yule Holiday Show: Hot Club of San Francisco will play holiday favorites in gypsy jazz style; 7 p.m. Dec. 9; Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo; (727) 587-6793 Presents for Primates: Watch the primates open special presents from zoo staff and docents as part of their enrichment program; free with zoo admission; 11 a.m. Dec. 14; $24.95 adults, $22.95 seniors, $19.95 children ages 3 to 11, and free for children 2 and younger; Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa; (813) 935-8552 Snow Fest Sarasota: Enjoy 10 scheduled snow days; experience tubing, giant snow slides, bounce houses, caroling, ice skating, Christmas trees and Christmas shows with Santa's Extravaganza; 5 p.m. Dec. 14 to 23; Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota; (941) 706-3102; http://www.snowfestsarasota.com Snacking with Santa: Visit with Santa, snack on cookies and cupcakes, and enjoy arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, games and prizes; tickets on sale via website; 11 a.m. Dec. 15; $10 adults, $5 youth ages 4 to 12; Armed Forces History Museum, 2050 34th Way N., Largo; (727) 539-8371; www.armedforcesmuseum.com Holiday Tour of Homes: Visit eight homes with rooms decorated for the holidays; proceeds from ticket sales benefit The Florida Orchestra; $15; 10 a.m. Dec. 15; (727) 344-7575 or (727) 864-1338 Tampa Bay Jingle Bell Run/Walk: Family-friendly event featuring a 5K or 1-mile route, a holiday costume contest, kids' activities and Santa chase, food, entertainment, beer and mimosas, and all participants receive an official long-sleeve Jingle Bell T-shirt, goodie bag and jingle bells; 9 a.m. Dec. 15; check in begins at 7:30 a.m.; pre-event cost is $25 for adults and $15 for kids; Day-of cost is $35 for adults and $20 for kids; Hillsborough Community College, Dale Mabry Campus, 4001 W. Tampa Bay Blvd., Tampa; (813) 968-7000 Musical Christmas Show: The Ditchfield Family features carols from Victorian England, American popular classics and more; 2:30 p.m. Dec. 16; $13; Community Hall, 1910 S. Pebble Beach Blvd., Sun City Center; (813) 642-2001. Santa on the Ropes Course: Have photos take with Santa while on the Sky Trail ropes course; 11 a.m. Dec. 18; free with paid admission; ground photos with Santa are $7; MOSI, 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa; (813) 987-6000 A Rockapella Holiday: The five-man vocal group performs new takes on holiday classics and original songs; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20; $35 adults, $26 children; Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin St., Tampa; (813) 274-8982 Wynonna's Rockin' Christmas: Five-time Grammy award-winner Wynonna Judd performs in "Wynonna's Rockin' Christmas" featuring The Big Noise; 8 p.m. Dec. 21; $39 to $69; Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg; http://www.themahaffey.com/show/Wynonnas-Rockin-Christmas/137 Ringling's Circus Nutcracker: John and Mary Ringling face a new adventure under the circus big top in this performance of "The Nutcracker" by the Sarasota Ballet Production; 7 p.m. Dec. 21 and 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 22; $30 to $75; Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater; (727) 791-7400; http://www.rutheckerdhall.com "The Nutcracker": Next Generation Ballet's rendition of the classic, with more than 100 dancers, gymnasts and specialty performers portraying giant mice, waltzing snowflakes and dancing fairies; 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 22 and 2 p.m. Dec. 23; Starting at $20.50; Straz Center, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa; (813) 247-7827; www.strazcenter.org Great Russian Nutcracker: Akiva Talmi presents the Moscow Ballet's classic production with unique choreography and surprises; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 28 and 2 p.m. Dec. 29; $32.50 to $97; The Mahaffey, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg; (727) 892-5798 www.themahaffey.com Swingin' the New Year: Celebration featuring the Swingin' the New Year Orchestra, a 20-piece big band with Lorri Hafer, Ron Pond and Emily Gail on vocals; midnight countdown, vintage fashion photo shoot and party favors; $24 to $29; 9 p.m. Dec. 31; St. Petersburg Coliseum, 535 4th Ave. N., St. Petersburg; (727) 669-7830; www.tampabayswing.com Noon Year's Eve: Daytime celebration hosted by the zoo and Radio Disney AM 1380 features games, arts and crafts, live entertainment and more; attendees receive noisemakers and hats, and there is a juice toast at noon; 9:30 a.m. Dec. 31; activities included in zoo admission; $24.95 adults, $22.95 seniors, $19.95 children ages 3 to 11, and free for children 2 and younger; Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa; (813) 935-8552 Jessica Balanza

The deadline for submitting events listings is a week before publication. Add listings for free at http://events.tboextra.com/listings. Mail listings to Events, Friday Extra, P.O. Box 191, Tampa, 33601 or e-mail friextra@tampatrib.com. Some of these events are sponsored by The Tampa Tribune.

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