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5 things to do under $5 Dec. 20-27

1The Pier: Wondering what to do with family in town? The Pier in downtown St. Petersburg remains open for holiday shopping and live entertainment on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And since this is the last Christmas before the Pier is torn down for a swanky new Lens design, it's a good time to say goodbye to the old inverted pyramid. Bring some quarters for the telescopes and some dollar bills to buy a bucket of fish to feed the pelicans. On Tuesday, Allon Sams has given up his Christmas afternoon to perform jazz and R&B tunes from 2 to 5 p.m. The Pier will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at 800 Second Ave. NE.

2Fresh Market Cookbook Launch: See step-by-step demonstrations for blueberry compote over brie and pork tenderloin with parsnip bacon hash, both recipes from Fresh Market's new cookbook, Cooking in Season With the Fresh Market. The demonstrations are at 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday at Fresh Market, 13147 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa.

3Children's book author: Meet author Katie Bush, who will sign copies of the children's book she wrote based on the crazy house that local artists Kiaralinda and Todd Ramquist call Whimzey in Safety Harbor. On Saturday, Bush and the artists will be at the Safety Harbor Library where they will give an outrageous Whimzeyland presentation of the book titled 1206 Third Street, about the transformation of an ordinary house into a work of art. A unique bowling ball painting craft for children ages 2 and older will follow the 11 a.m. library presentation at 101 Second St. N, Safety Harbor. Then on Sunday at 11 a.m., Bush will be at the actual Whimzey house at 1206 Third St. N, Safety Harbor, to talk about and sign the book.

4Movies on Clearwater Beach: Each weekend they invite locals to plop down in the sand and watch free movies on Clearwater Beach, and this weekend has two the kids will love. On Friday you can see Spy Kids, the very funny family caper in which the kids are the heroes. Then on Saturday, it wouldn't be Christmas without a showing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Bring blankets, low lawn chairs or towels to sit on. Concessions for sale. No alcohol. Shows start around dusk at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach.

5Art on the House: If you've got relatives in town, Friday is a good time to take advantage of the Tampa Museum of Art's free perk. You can check out its current exhibit, "The Man, the Image and the World," a Henri Cartier-Bresson retrospective chronicling images of world events and people from the influential photographer, running through Jan. 13. The museum's permanent collection includes 20th century fine art, as well as Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities. It's normally $10 admission, but it's free each Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the museum in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 120 Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa.

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer

5 things to do under $5 Dec. 20-27 12/19/12 [Last modified: Monday, December 17, 2012 1:46pm]
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