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Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Nov. 23

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens: More than 2 million twinkling lights transform the park into a holiday wonderland with Rudolph, Sam the Snowman, Christmas-themed entertainment and visits with Santa. Included with admission on select nights through Dec. 31. 10 a.m., Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. $99, $79 ages 3-9, 2 and younger free. (888) 800-5447.

Ice Skating at Tampa's Winter Village: Even in Florida, you can get in the holiday spirit by ice skating on an outdoor rink in the park. Each 90-minute session includes skate rental. Stop by the cafe for themed drinks and holiday snacks. 4 p.m., Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. $13. (813) 221-3686.

Wonderland of Lights: This 32-day event incorporates dozens of animated and still light displays, as well as a Christmas village featuring horse-drawn wagon rides, the North Pole Express, a petting zoo, holiday mural coloring, games, camel and pony rides, visits with Santa and holiday food. 6 p.m., Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, Corner of Sydney Washer Road and Hwy 60, Brandon. $20, $75 buses. Toll-free 1-800-377-4625.

Goody Goody Turkey Gobble: A stroller and dog friendly 8K, 5K or 1-mile out and back race with music and family activities. Benefits LiveStrong at YMCA. 7 a.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $15-$40 advance, $20-$50 day of. (813) 229-1305.

Times Turkey Trot: Start Thanksgiving off with a buffet of races including the 1-mile Gobbler, Wingding 5K , the 5K Fun Run and the 10K Turkey Trot. The turducken of all these races is the Clearwater Challenge, with runners doing the 5K, 1 Mile and 10K all in one day. All races begin at Keene Road just south of Gulf to Bay Boulevard and end in Jack White Stadium at Clearwater High School. 7 a.m., Clearwater High School, 540 S Hercules Ave., Clearwater. $15-$50. (727) 442-5838.

Polar Express 4-D Experience: The new 4-D Theater gets into the holiday spirit with a screening of Polar Express, in which a young boy takes a train trip to the North Pole where he learns about friendship, bravery and the spirit of Christmas. The 4-D experience combines the screening of a 3-D film with sensory effects such as bubbles, wind and scents. Shows daily through Jan. 11. Included with admission. 10 a.m., Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $28.95, $26.95 seniors, $23.95 ages 3-12, 2 and younger free. Prices are generally about $2 cheaper if you buy them online at the aquarium's site. (813) 273-4000.

Free Thanksgiving Dinner: Arrive any time between noon and 4 p.m. for a free, home cooked, traditional Thanksgiving dinner in this open house-style event with entertainment by Mike Balistierri. 12 p.m., Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ, 6315 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 347-1226.

Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival: Annual show offers bluegrass music during the three day event. Bring a covered dish at 2 p.m. for the family traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the ranch. Sertoma supplies the turkey. 3 p.m., Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Road, Brooksville. Advance weekend adult tickets, $85 by Nov. 17; at the gate, $90; daily tickets $20-35; ages 10-16 daily, $5; camping sites available. (828) 265-9929.

TO WATCH

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 9 a.m., news networks: The only thing you should be watching while dressing the turkey and mashing the potatoes on Thanksgiving morning. You won't want to miss Santa Claus and his sleigh come down 34th Street in New York City.

MORE TO EXPLORE

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