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November 29, 2019

Our Favorite Family-Friendly Holiday Events in Tampa Bay and Beyond!

By Tampa Bay Parenting

What says “holidays” to you? Whether it’s shopping for unique gifts, gathering the fambam into the car (or boat!) to marvel at the lights, or dressing up and heading out to a show or local attraction, our beautiful cities on the bay pull out all the stops when it comes to celebrating.

The Holidays seems to start earlier and earlier every year! Here are some holiday events in Tampa Bay to start penciling into your November calendar! We will continue to update as more events come in! **Updated Dec. 10, 2019 


Holidays The Theme Park Way!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Select Nights Nov. 8-Dec. 22, 7 p.m. to midnight

Head over to Walt Disney World for another festive party thrown by Mickey Mouse. Starting on select dates in November throughout December, join Mickey, Minnie and the gang for an evening full of yuletide and cheer! Enjoy the Magic Kingdom as it is beautifully decorated for the holiday season, full of seasonal parades, fireworks, characters and festive treats, this event will surely enhance your holiday season. disneyworld.com

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens
Nov. 16-Jan. 6, various times

From mid-November until the end of December, Busch Gardens will begin its annual Christmas Town festivities. Included with park admission, guests can enjoy beautiful lights, seasonal shows, Yuletide shopping and a pit stop into Santa’s House. Meet characters from the classic “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” television special who will also be celebrating around the park. buschgardens.com

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s
Nov. 16-Jan. 5, various times
Bring the whole family out to Universal Studios and join the Minions and Santa Claus for a Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. Join your favorite characters from “Madagascar” and “Shrek” and enjoy the holiday festivities throughout Universal Orlando Resort, including huge balloons resembling the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York as well as floats, dancers and entertainment. universalorlando.com

Grinchmas
Nov. 16-Jan. 5, various times
Head over to Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort for “warm fuzzies with a side of sarcasm” at Seuss Landing. Enjoy holiday festivities and cheer as you immerse yourself in Dr. Seuss’ Whoville. Enjoy the hilarity of The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, a live retelling of the beloved story of the Grinch with music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests will even have the opportunity to meet the Grinch himself for an autograph and a photo. universalorlando.com

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Nov. 16-Jan. 5, various times
Enjoy a Harry Potter Christmas in both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure this holiday season. Start at Universal Studios to see Diagon Alley and London transformed with brilliant lights and festive décor. Enjoy holiday treats before you head to King’s Cross station to hear your favorite holiday favorites. Make your way to Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure and enjoy decorated shops, The Frog Choir singing seasonal tunes, treats and drinks, and witness the unfolding of the holiday spirit at The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.universalorlando.com

Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa
Nov 29-30 Dec. 6-8, 13-15, 20-23, 26-30, various times
Celebrate the holidays on Friday and Saturday nights with your favorite animal ambassadors and even…the jolly ole elf himself…Santa! The zoo transforms into a holiday wonderland with twinkling lights, holiday treats, elves and more! This event is free for ZooTampa members. ZooTampa.org

SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration
Nov. 23-Dec. 31, various times
Head to SeaWorld Orlando to make new holiday memories with festive shopping, delicious food and dazzling live shows inspired by the natural world. Stroll the lakeside Christmas Market and pick out unique, artisan-crafted gifts. The Christmas Celebration is included with park admission. seaworldorlando.com

Candlelight Processional at Epcot
Nov. 29-Dec. 30, various times
If you love Epcot and you love classic holiday music, head over to the Candlelight Processional at Epcot at Walt Disney World. This holiday tradition features the retelling of the Biblical story of Christmas featuring a celebrity narrator, 50-piece orchestra set and magnificent choirs. disneyworld.com

Holidays at LEGOLAND, presented by Hallmark Channel
Nov. 29-30, and Dec. 1, 7-8, 14-15, 20-31, various times 
See a dazzling, 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas tree made of 270,000 LEGO bricks at LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven. Young guests can send letters to the North Pole, sing along to Christmas tunes and hear stories told by Mrs. Claus. Capture precious memories at one-of-a-kind photo ops such as a life-size Santa, sleigh and reindeer made from thousands of LEGO bricks. legolandflorida.com 


More Holiday Events

Crayola Experience presents Colorful Christmas!
Now through Jan. 5

Experience Christmas Crayola-style! Weave your way through 9 new holiday activities- help Santa save Christmas as you go on a themed adventure, meet our snowman, tree & reindeer friends as they tell stories and sing colorful carols, dive into our life-sized snowglobe complete with falling snow and watch a light show starring Crayola characters- all while crafting unique gifts from the heart! It’s a holiday hullabaloo with SNOW much to do! All included in general admission. crayolaexperience.com/orlando

Santa’s Flight Academy
Nov. 7 – Dec. 24
Join International Plaza at their immersive Santa experience this holiday season! Explore 3,000 sq. ft. of Christmas magic accompanied by a helpful elf to show you the ropes and walk you through interactive stations. The experience wouldn’t be complete without a snow party and visit with Santa himself! This event is FREE with options to purchase photo packages. shopinternationalplaza.com

Symphony in Lights at The Shops of Wiregrass
Nov. 16-Dec. 31, 6-9 p.m.
Check out the dancing lights, holiday décor and snow at The Shops at Wiregrass. Catch a free inspiring light show choreographed to the holiday music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Shows are nightly on the hour. theshopsatwiregrass.com

Enchant Christmas at Tropicana Field
Nov. 22-Dec. 29, various times

A world of Christmas wonder awaits at Tropicana Field! Unwrap new traditions and make memories as you explore the World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze, glide across the ice skating trail, visit Mr. & Mrs. Claus, take in the cheer of live entertainment, and more as you’re sure to find enchantment around every corner. Tickets are on sale now at enchantchristmas.com!

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park
Nov. 22-Jan. 5, various times

Celebrate the holidays starting in November and lasting into the New Year at Curtis Hixon Park. Come see the transformed waterfront park decked with sights, sounds and activities full of holiday cheer for children and adults of all ages. Downtown Tampa’s only outdoor ice rink will be back again this year as another must-do for Tampa residents and guests alike. wintervillagetampa.com

Sensory-Friendly Santa’s Flight Academy at International Plaza
Nov. 24, 9-10:30 a.m.
International Plaza will host a serene Santa visit for sensory-sensitive children at Santa’s Flight Academy. Lights and music will be turned down to help create a calming environment. Families are encouraged to pre-register online for this popular event. shopinternationalplaza.com

Christmas at Gaylord Palms
Nov. 25-Jan. 5, various times

Experience everything Christmas in one place as part of this interactive spectacle on ICE! At Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee. Check out the new ICE theme with 2 million pounds of colorful, hand-carved ice sculptures and slides featuring “Polar Express.” There will be snow tubing, a gingerbread decorating corner and more. christmasatgaylordpalms.com

Holiday Lights in Central Park | Nov 28-Jan 1, 6-11 p.m.
Bring the whole family out and come see the Holiday Lights in Central Park, Largo! There will be 2 million LED lights showcasing their magic throughout the park! There will also be a Carousel, Ferris Wheel, food and a campfire! facebook.com

The Wonderland of Lights & Santa’s Village
Nov. 28-Jan. 4, various times
Experience Tampa’s holiday theme park located at the Hillsborough County Fair Grounds in Brandon. Enjoy a beautiful mile of decorated holiday displays and dazzling lights. Once your mile is up, check out holiday-themed attractions, a wolf exhibit, rides, and of course, photos with Santa. thewonderlandoflights.com

River of Lights Holiday Cruises
Nov. 29-Dec. 30, various times
Head over to the Hillsborough River and catch a Pirate Water Taxi for a unique way to celebrate the holiday season in Tampa. Guests will enjoy festive decorations, lighted bridges and more all along the Hillsborough River. Enjoy festive narrations, Christmas Carolers and yummy holiday treats, too. piratewatertaxi.com

Oakdale Christmas house
Nov. 29-Jan. 3, 6- 10 p.m.
Prepare to be dazzled by an array of half a million flashing colorful twinkles for a free holiday light display that garnered a top 3 showing as a finalist on NBC’s “Today” show. Check out an 18-train HO scale railroad, moving planes and carnival rides at the St. Petersburg home located at 2719 Oakdale St. S. christmasdisplay.org

Holiday Lights in the Gardens
Nov. 29-Jan 4, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Experience the holiday lights along the paths of Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Enjoy nightly entertainment and visits from Santa Claus at this largest fundraiser for the gardens. Event is free, but $5 donation suggested. For more information, call 727-582-2800. flbgfoundation.org

Next Generations’ “The Nutcracker”
Nov. 29-Dec. 1, various times

What better way to bring in the holiday season than to see the classic “Nutcracker?” Next Generations’ version will feature top dancers from New York City Ballet and American Ballet as well as NGB’s award-winning young dancers. Join Clara and the Nutcracker as they go on a journey with a world of magical dancing sweets and more! strazcenter.org

7th Annual Holiday Gift Bazaar
Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Oxford Exchange is hosting their annual Holiday Gift Bazaar featuring a wide variety of vendors. Head upstairs where the second floor will be transformed into a bustling shopping venue just in time for the holidays. oxfordexchange.com 

Brian Setzer Orchestra at Ruth Eckerd Hall  
Nov. 30, 8 p.m. 
Join musical extraordinaire and Grammy award winner Brian Setzer and his orchestra in his 16th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Enjoy classic holiday hits as well as featured music from their latest holiday album “Rockin’ Rudolph.” rutheckerdhall.com 

Santa Parade + Tree Lighting  
Nov 30, 6 p.m. 
Bring the whole family to see festive Santa Parade followed by the annual tree lighting at St. Petersburg’s Downtown Waterfront! There will also be holiday activities going on after the parade that you wouldn’t want to miss! stpeteparksrec.org

Holiday Tree Lighting
Nov 30, 6-8 p.m.
Come out to Armature Works for their 2nd Annual Holiday Tree Lighting hosted by Mayor Castor! Enjoy photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and other festive holiday fun. Food and seasonal drinks will be available for purchase from different vendors. The tree lighting will be followed by a performance by the Tampa Opera. armatureworks.com

93.3 FLZ’s Jingle Ball at Amalie Arena  
Dec. 1, 7 p.m. 
Don’t miss this year’s 11th Annual Jingle Ball at Amalie Arena. This year expect performances by Sam Smith, Lizzo, Normani, French Montana, Why Don’t We, MAX and AJ Mitchell. Tickets starting at $40. amaliearena.com 

Tampa Theatre’s Holiday Classics
Dec. 1-29, various times
It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Tampa Theatre! This year, the theatre will offer five weekends worth of programming of Holiday Classics such as Miracle on 34th Street, Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, and for the first time – the SING-ALONG version of that annual favorite, White Christmas. Or, if holly jolly fun isn’t your speed, their popular late-night REWIND series is also offering three holiday titles during the month of December for the Scrooges, Grinches and coal-filled stocking recipients among us. tampatheatre.org

Gingerbread Village at Glazer Children’s Museum
Dec. 1-30
Back for another year is Glazer Children’s Museum Gingerbread Village! Build your own designs from recycled materials and everyday objects like cardboard, pipe cleaners, and bottle caps, then add your house to their growing village! Included with general admission. glazermuseum.org

Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B. Plant Museum 
Dec. 1-23, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
Experience the grandeur of a Victorian Christmas during this signature event of the Henry B. Plant Museum at the University of Tampa. Visit decorated exhibit rooms while enjoying complimentary cider and cookies. Tickets are $16 adults and $10 youth with discount days Dec. 2-3 and 9-10. Proceeds fund the hotel’s restoration and preservation efforts. plantmuseum.com 

Holiday Concert: Celebrating 15 Years with Patel Conservatory
Dec. 4, 7 p.m.
The Patel Conservatory turns 15 years old on Dec. 4, and they are celebrating with a holiday showcase of their music, dance and theater students. Joy, goodwill and plenty of holiday cheer accompany these exciting performances as we celebrate the season and the Patel Conservatory’s 15 years of outstanding arts education.

The evening will include a look back at the past 15 years and will feature visits by special guests including Judy Lisi, Fred Johnson, Drs Kiran and Pallavi Patel and others who helped make the Patel Conservatory all it is today. Including a holiday celebration of dance, featuring dancers from Next Generation Ballet, the cast of Patel Conservatory Theater’s production of White Christmas and performances by the Patel Conservatory’s many music ensembles including excerpts from The Many Moods of Christmas. Special appearance by one of their Education Partners, the teen program at Metropolitan Ministries. strazcenter.org

Worldwide Wednesdays at Glazer Children’s Museum
Dec 4, 11 and 18, Noon to 1 p.m.
Travel the globe during Worldwide Wednesday! Meet at Glazer Children’s Museum’s Global Cafe exhibit for special programming on a different country each month. Learn about a different culture through activities, story-time, and endless fun! December’s programming is all about Estonia! glazermuseum.org

A Celtic Angels Christmas at Capitol Theatre 
Dec. 5, 7 p.m. 
Join the Celtic Angels at the Capitol Theatre for a Celtic Angels Christmas, sure to captivate all who step foot inside. Enjoy vocal and instrumental seasonal favorites, and world class Irish dancing. rutheckerdhall.com 

Safety Harbor Tree Lighting Ceremony 
Dec. 6, 6-9 p.m. 
Gather with family and friends for the lighting of Safety Harbor’s giant Christmas tree by the gazebo at John Wilson Park. Choirs will warm up the crowd for a visit from Santa Claus arranged by the Safety Harbor Fire Department. Free. cityofsafetyharbor.com

Tampa’s Tree Lighting Ceremony
Dec. 6, 6 p.m.
Tampa’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Festivities will begin at 6 p.m. with a countdown to the tree lighting and a free movie in the park. Bring your blankets, chairs, and coolers and settle in for the evening. Dogs on leashes are welcome and there will be concessions available. tampagov.net

St. Petersburg City Theater presents A Christmas Carol 
Dec. 6-15, various times 
Don’t miss out on this timeless Dickens classic with beloved characters such as Scrooge, Tiny Tim and all of your favorite ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Benefits support the local arts association and local non-profit theater companies. Come be reminded of the importance of compassion and love for all this holiday season. spcitytheatre.org 

The Dunedin Express
Dec. 6-10, 12-13, 15-18, various times
Pick up your golden ticket at the Dunedin History Museum and ride the trolley in your pajamas to Santa’s Workshop and receive a special gift for believing in Santa. Enjoy games, crafts, cookies and hot cocoa with Santa and his elves. Call for fees and time slots at 727-736-1176. Reservation required dunedinmuseum.org

Breakfast with Santa at the Florida Aquarium
Dec. 7, 8-9:30 a.m.
The holidays are here and Santa has added The Florida Aquarium to his list of destinations! Meet Santa and his animal friends when you attend The Florida Aquarium’s “Breakfast with Santa”. Included in this package is free parking and admission to the Aquarium for the day. You have the opportunity to purchase photos with Santa that morning.

Begin your visit to the Aquarium with a wonderful buffet breakfast. Since Santa’s elves are pretty busy this time of year the Florida Aquarium’s staff will be on hand accompanied by some special animal guests for everyone to meet. Of course, children can get up-close and personal with Santa too!

Space is limited so register now. Tickets range from $15 to $49.95 and includes admission to the Aquarium. For more information and ticket pricing, please call 813-273-4030. flaquarium.org

Festival of Lights in Zephyrhills 
Dec. 7, 4-9 p.m. 
Line up the fam along Main Street in downtown Zephyrhills in preparation for this year’s lighted parade to celebrate the holidays. This year’s parade theme is “Holidays Around the World”. Parade starts at 7 p.m. Free admission. mainstreetzephyrhills.org 

Jingle Bell Run 
Dec. 7, event times vary 
Be part of the longest-running holiday-themed 5K race series anywhere. The Arthritis Foundation’s original Jingle Bell Run is a fun way celebrate your festivity for the holiday season. Race to help raise awareness and funding for America’s #1 cause for disability. Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite holiday costumes. The celebration will continue after the race with food and drinks (including beer and mimosas), entertainment, kid’s zones, a holiday-themed costume contest, silent auction, and much more! All participants will receive an official long-sleeved Jingle Bell T-Shirt, jingle bells and access to all activities and post-race party. There is also a 1-mile route for runners or walkers. events.arthritis.org

38th Annual Downtown Tampa Christmas Parade and Santa Fest  
Dec. 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Come out to Curtis Hixon Park for an afternoon of fun for all. Curtis Hixon will be decorated for the Holiday season and transformed into a winter wonderland. The parade begins at 11 a.m. at Madison and Morgan Streets and will travel west towards Ashley Drive, ending at Cass Street. Don’t miss free photos with Santa, entertainment, crafts, games and activities. tamapgov.net

10th Annual Westchase Holiday Market
Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join Westchase in their 10th Annual Holiday Market. Support your local artists and craftsmen as they showcase their work. This holiday market brings everyone together for a good cause and all proceeds will go towards Autism Speaks. westchaseholidaymarket.com

Indie Flea St. Pete Holiday Street Fair
Dec. 7, Noon to 4 p.m.
Stop by Green Bench Brewing for the Indie Holiday Street Fair for all things indie and local this holiday season. With over 100 vendors attending, the St. Pete Indie Holiday Street Fair will be sure to have the perfect present for that picky person. facebook.com/theindieflea

Largo Holiday Tree Lightning & Stroll 
Dec. 7, 5-10 p.m. 
Stroll through Largo Central Park and admire the beautiful holiday nights as part of this fun family-friendly holiday event. Enjoy a variety of crafts and activities, as well as live entertainment and the official Christmas tree lighting at 6 p.m. Concessions will be available for purchase. playlargo.com 

Snowfest in St Pete
Dec 7, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
The annual Snowfest is back! Bring the whole family out for activities like big and kiddie toboggan slides, karaoke, inflatables and more! There will also be a teen area so don’t worry they have something for everyone! Wristbands are $5 and must be purchased for all activities. stpeteparksrec.org

Meet Santa in St. Pete’s North Straub Park
Dec 7-8, 12-23, 6 -9 p.m. 
Bring the kiddos out to meet the man in the red suit! Santa will be in St Pete at North Straub Park for a meet and greet. Cameras are welcome so you can catch that moment your little one with Santa! stpeteparksrec.org

Santa’s Workshop at MOSI
Dec. 7-31
Santa’s Workshop, located in the Idea Zone® invention lab at MOSI is included with admission. Running from Dec. 7 through Dec. 31, various activities have been planned to ensure a variety of activities for guests, providing reasons to make several return trips! mosi.org

Glow Family Yoga with Lotus Blossom
Dec. 8, 1 p.m.
Join Glazer Children’s Museum for a Let It Glow, Frozen themed glow-in-the-dark yoga class! Enjoy an hour of yoga poses, meditation, mindfulness and a relaxing guided meditation. You will also be able to make a glow-in-the-dark craft. Don’t forget to wear white or neon to maximize your glow! Ages 2-12. $30 for parent and child, members save 15%. Please bring yoga mats if you have them if not, mats will be available to borrow. glazermuseum.org 

Santa Paws
Dec. 12, 6 p.m. – 9.p.m.
Tis the season its the holidays and who doesn’t love a good holiday photo just in time for Christmas? Even better you can have a cute festive photo with your pup! Come out to Hyde Park Village dressed in your favorite holiday gear for a picture with Santa. There will be plenty of treats and adoptable pups and activities for you and your best pal! Celebrate the holiday season with cute Christmas photos with your pup! hydeparkvillage.com

The Florida Orchestra-Holiday Pops at the Straz
Dec. 13, 8 p.m. 
Don’t miss this one-night-only event at the Straz Center. This is holiday magic you won’t find anywhere else this season, perfect for the whole family. strazcenter.org 

Onbikes 9th Annual Winter Wonder Ride | Dec. 14, 2-4 p.m. Registration, 4:30 p.m. Ride Departs
The Winter Wonder Ride for charity is back to help raise funds for bicycles and helmets for at-risk and foster kids in Tampa Bay. The annual event cycles seven miles through scenic downtown Tampa and alongside Bayshore Boulevard before returning to Curtis Hixon Park for a Post-Ride Celebration featuring Grammy Award-winning artist CeeLo Green. Riders can register now at onbikes.org

8th Annual Snow on 7th in Ybor City
Dec. 14, 7 p.m.
Head on out to Ybor City to celebrate the holiday season! Snow on 7th is a holiday celebration for the whole family. Enjoy the parade featuring seven marching bands, local dance teams and even see some snow! Come see the parade and see the man himself – Santa Claus! The pre-show starts at 6 p.m. and the parade starts at 7 p.m. ybor.org 

Peter White Christmas
Dec 14, 8 p.m.
Returning by popular demand, It’s A Peter White Christmas everyone! All the jazz lovers this one’s for you. Come out to Bilheimer Capitol Theatre and enjoy some classical Christmas tunes and celebrate the holidays the right way!  rutheckerdhall.com

Holiday Movies in the Park at Vinoy Park
Dec 14 & 21, 7 p.m. 
Vinoy Park is hosting their annual holiday movies in the park! With screenings for two days,  Dec. 14 there will be a showing of The Search for Santa Paws and Dec. 21 there will be a showing of The Santa Clause. Don’t forget your comfy lawn chairs and blankets! Admission is free and open to the public. stpeteparksrec.org

Breakfast with Santa in Temple Terrace
Dec 14, 8:30 & 10:30 a.m.
The GFWC Temple Terrace Junior Woman’s Club is hosting Breakfast with in the beautiful Woodmont Clubhouse. Breakfast will include a hot plated breakfast, visits and photos with Santa, activities, music and stories with Mrs. Claus. There will be two seatings; 8:30 & 10:30. Tickets are by reservation only, available on Eventbrite. All proceeds will benefit the projects of the Temple Terrace Junior Woman’s Club and the community of Temple Terrace. ttjuniors.org

The Florida Orchestra – Holiday Pops
Dec. 15, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The Florida Orchestra takes on the holiday season! In sunny Florida everyone is longing for the cold holiday season and the Florida Orchestra will make it feel like a “Winter Wonderland” as they bring all the holiday classics to you! rutheckerdhall.com

PJ Library Hanukkah Hop!
Dec. 15, Noon to 1:30 p.m.
PJ Library invites you to the Hanukkah Hop! Bounce house play, Hanukkah music, latkes, jelly doughnuts, and story time for all to enjoy. PJ Library featured story HOPPY HANUKKAH. Free event at JCC on the Cohn Campus – 13009 Community Campus Drive, Tampa, FL 33625. RSVP by Dec. 13, 2019. bryanglazerfamilyjcc.com 

Children’s Day at the Victorian Christmas Stroll
Dec. 15, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Join us for the 3rd annual Children’s Day at the Victorian Christmas Stroll! It’s a special day filled with entertainment and activities for the whole family. Don’t miss paper crafts, a puppet show, live theater, musical performances, model trains, and carriage rides. Perfect for the young and young at heart; get in the holiday spirit at the Henry Plant Museum! plantmuseum.com/events/children-s-day

Trans-Siberia Orchestra at Amalie Arena 
Dec. 15, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 
Experience the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for their 2019 Winter Tour returning to Tampa at the Amalie Arena. The event sells out year after year as the group’s “must-attend” holiday tradition. This year’s tour will host an unforgettable presentation of “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.” amaliearena.com 

An Old Florida Christmas at Manatee Village
Dec. 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
This family-friendly festival celebrates heritage and old-fashioned holiday traditions with musical entertainment, food vendors, a special Christmas exhibit in the Stephens House, vintage silent films in the Courthouse, and “make-and-take” seasonal crafts for adults and youth—something to delight every age! Every corner of Manatee Village will be decorated in colorful and exquisite Victorian-inspired holiday décor. Shop local and buy your Christmas gifts from local artists selling their wares throughout the Village. $5 for adults, 12 and under are free. manateevillage.org 

2019 Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k Run
Dec. 15, various start times
Sponsored by Allstate the Hot Chocolate Run is a day full of fun! Get your heart pumping and reward yourself after the race with a chocolate party! Including music, hot chocolate, merchandise, chocolate fondue, and other yummy treats. The 5k will start at 7:00 a.m. and the 15k will start at 7:45 a.m. For more information visit hotchocolate15k.com

Cirque Musica Holiday Wishes at Amalie Arena
Dec. 18, 7 p.m.
Mixing Cirque Musica with a full symphony orchestra to bring your favorite holiday tunes to life! Enjoy acrobats, aerialists, tricks and fun as this full theatrical performance comes to life. amaliearena.com 

Lindsey Stirling at Ruth Eckerd Hall
Dec. 20, 8 p.m.
This amazing and talented electronic music impresario, violinist, dancer, and artist is making her way to Ruth Eckerd Hall for this holiday season! Touring around the world on her Warmer in the Winter Christmas Tour it sure set Florida up for a night full of holiday tunes in the sunshine state. rutheckerdhall.com

Family Days at the MFA: Holiday Traditions
Dec. 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Join the Museum of Fine Arts on the third Saturday of the month for a special day of family fun! There will be arts and crafts, family tours, and other special programming. Each month will feature a different theme so your family can explore MFA again and again! Free for members, or with cost of admission. No reservation required. mfastpete.org

A Christmas Carol at Ruth Eckerd Hall 
Dec. 21, 7 p.m. 
Share a holiday tradition with the family as this musical adaptation of the Dickens classic arrives at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Meet up with the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future as they guide Scrooge on a journey to find the true spirit of Christmas. rutheckerdhall.com 

Christmas with Rockapella at Ruth Eckerd Hall
Dec. 22, 7 p.m. 
Head to the Capitol Theatre for some holiday vocal magic by Rockapella featuring their critically acclaimed acapella sound with holiday classics that you won’t find anywhere else. rutheckerdhall.com 

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at the Mahaffey Theater 
Dec. 26-27, various times 
See an exquisite production of the ballet classic featuring a company of 40 world-class Russian artists with lush, awe-inspiring sets and elaborately detailed costumes onstage at The Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. themahaffey.com 

Member Snow Nights at the Florida Aquarium
Dec. 26 & 27, 5:30-9 p.m.
This might be the coolest holiday event ever, complete with a real snow play area for the kids. There will be animal encounters, diving elves, holiday crafts, and face painting for the kids. Even Santa will be here for pictures, which can be purchased at member pricing. All exhibits will be open. Also, Cafe Ray will be open for dinner, snacks and festive holiday drinks. Remember, memberships make great gift ideas. Best of all, this event is free for Aquarium Members with a valid membership and $10 for each additional guest. So make a wonderful evening of it with family and friends. flaquarium.org 

Snow Days at the Florida Aquarium
Dec. 26-31, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Continue the holiday celebration with Snow Days at the Aquarium. Guests can enjoy a real snow play area for the kids. For details and complete schedule, visit flaquarium.org or call 813-273-4000.


For more activities check out our Calendar of Events!

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