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November 1, 2018

Thanksgiving Family Fun in Tampa Bay | Things to Do, Camps and More!

By Laura Byrne

Thanksgiving week is upon us and we can hardly believe it! Lucky us for calling Tampa Bay home because there are plenty of things to do with the whole family! Whether you are looking for a way to beat cabin fever with your holiday guests or need a place to send the kids for the day while you head into the office or run last minute errands…our guide is here for you!

Thanksgiving Week Special Events in Tampa Bay:

Volunteer at the Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Tent: There are a few slots left! You can also take the opportunity to go shopping with the kids for holiday gifts and food items to donate at the tent! metromin.org

Volunteer at Feeding Tampa Bay: Most spots are already reserved for this week, but keep checking back. There were some spots for the Manatee Mobile Pantry the last we checked. You can also donate food items. Learn more at feedingtampabay.org

Check out the ‘Outside In’ pop-up exhibit at Glazer Children’s Museum! | All month long  It’s located on the third floor and celebrates all things camping!glazermuseum.org

Go to a Tampa Bay Lightning game! | Nov. 21 vs. the Florida Panthers at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23 vs. the Chicago Blackhawks at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 25 vs. the New Jersey Devils at 7:00 p.m. There are plenty of opportunities to cheer on the Lightning at Amalie Arena! What a great way to entertain friends and family from out of town! Purchase tickets here.

4th Annual Goody Goody Turkey Gobble | Nov. 22, 7 a.m. Join the Tamp YMCA for their 4th annual 5K, 8K, and 1 mile run/walk, sponsored by Goody Goody restaurant. The restaurant will be serving free breakfast for all the participants after the race. All proceeds will benefit local cancer survivors and their families. Register now to hold your spot! runsignup.com

Shopapalooza in St. Pete | Nov. 17 & 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Save the date for LocalShops1’s annual festival! Come out to South Straub Park in St. Pete to support more than 130 businesses along with 5,000 shoppers each day! Admission is free for all including free entertainment! Food and kids play zones will be on site, along with raffles and prizes. shopapaloozafestival.com

Seaboard Seafood Festival | Nov. 24-25, 11a.m. to 4 p.m. Head towards the waters of St. Pete Beach for a beautiful day of seafood! Local restaurants will be serving up delicious food including stone crab and shrimp boils. Live music, beer/wine, and games for the kids will be available, so bring the whole family. kenwalters.com 

Minecraft Mania at MOSI | Nov. 24, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Come on out to MOSI to experience the world of Minecraft first hand. Make friends, uncover new gaming secrets, and learn how to become a Minecraft designer, adventurer, and maybe even a Minecraft Master! Ages 7-12 are welcome and is $20 admission, $15 for MOSI members. tampa.eventful.com

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Francisco 49ers | Nov. 25, 1 p.m. Cheer on the home team at Raymond James Stadium! Be sure to check out Bucs Beach before the game and enjoy all of the pre-game festivities in the kids’ area! Purchase tickets here.

Thanksgiving Week Camps in Tampa Bay:

If you need a day to prepare or still need to head into the office, it’s not too late to register your child or children for a fun day camp at some of our favorite places like:

MOSI

Glazer Children’s Museum

The Florida Aquarium

YMCA of Tampa Bay

City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Camps

Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Camps

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Bricks 4 Kidz Lego Camps

Florida Hospital Center Ice Camps

Largo Recreation Camp

Get into the holiday spirit in Tampa Bay:

Snowfall at Sundial in St. Pete | Beginning Nov. 17  The forecast is calling for ‘snow’ at in the courtyard at Sundial from 6pm-9:30pm every night! Visit with Santa while you’re there!

Santa’s Flight Academy at International Plaza has landed! | Daily during mall hours  Santa is a busy guy this time of year, but he’s making time to visit with all of the kids at International Plaza! Your kids can try on a virtual flight suit and earn their very own Cadet Badge! shopinternationalplaza.com

Symphony in Lights at The Shops at Wiregrass | Now through Dec 31, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Check out the dancing lights, holiday décor and snow at The Shops at Wiregrass. Catch an inspiring light show choreographed to the holiday music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Shows are nightly on the hour. Free. theshopsatwiregrass.com

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park | Nov. 16- Jan. 9, times vary  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

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens | Nov. 17-Dec. 31, times vary with park hours  Starting 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. A chance to meet characters from the classic “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” television special will also been celebrating around the park. buschgardens.com

The Wonderland of Lights & Santa’s Village Nov. 22-Dec 29, 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. Tickets are $20 through Nov. 21, and are $25 after. thewonderlandoflights.com 

Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa | Nov. 23, 24, and 30 (and weekend evening in November and December) It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas in the Wild is back at ZooTampa for 18 magical nights. The Zoo will be transformed into a winter wonderland with breathtaking lights, delicious holiday treats, festive entertainment and wildlife at night! Christmas in the Wild offers guests of all ages a merry and memorable evening with this unique, yet traditional holiday event. zootampa.org

Holiday Lights in the Gardens at Florida Botanical Gardens | Nov. 23- Dec. 31, 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Experience the holiday lights along the gardens and 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 $4 donation suggested. For more information, call 727-582-2100. 

Oakdale Christmas House in St. Pete | Nov.23-Jan. 3, 6:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m. Prepare to be dazzled by an array of half a million flashing colorful twinkles for a holiday light display that garnered a top 3 showing as a finalist on NBC’s Today. Check out an 18-train HO scale railroad, moving planes and carnival rides at the St. Petersburg home located at 2719 Oakdale St. S. Free. christmasdisplay.org   

Explore Tampa Bay with your friends and family:

Check out the new “Heart of the Sea” exhibit at The Florida Aquarium

Play at one of our favorite local parks and playgrounds

Elevate your experience at a local attraction with these WILD animal encounters

Volunteer or Donate Items at Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Tent

Discover a local beach you haven’t been to before

Take a selfie inside the Love is Calling exhibit at the Tampa Museum of Art

Thanksgiving things to do in Tampa bay