John Legend: The R&B singer and songwriter will sing a few songs, but his main aim is to raise money for the United Way of Tampa Bay's education programs in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. $55–$85. (727) 892-5798.
Nutcrackers: Holy sugar plum fairies, there are six ways to see the holiday classic this week. The New York City Ballet will be broadcast live at 6 p.m. Tuesday to theaters including Park Place Stadium 16, Hyde Park Cinebistro, Woodland 20 and Citrus Stadium 20 (look for local star Daniel Ulbricht in the role of Candy Cane). Other stage versions this weekend are at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, (813) 229-7827; Largo Cultural Center, (727) 587-6793; USF Theater 1 in Tampa; and the James B. White Performing Arts Center in Clearwater, (813) 814-0587. Plus, the Chocolate Nutcracker comes to the Mahaffey in St. Petersburg, (727) 481-8091.
Santa Speedo Run: You know what to wear for this 1-mile run at 3 p.m. Saturday starting at Clymer Park in Gulfport. It benefits the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas and the Brighter Seasons for Children program. $20. (727) 328-3260.
Boat parades: Watch the pretty lights on the water. On Saturday evening, Hernando Beach, Madeira Beach, Indian Rocks Beach and Weeki Wachee River hold parades. On Sunday, the Hillsborough River boat parade starts at the Lowry Park boat ramp. And Hudson has three events in different communities Friday through Sunday. All free.
Wanda Sykes: The sassy comic and actor with the distinctive voice hits Ruth Eckerd Hall at 8 tonight. $42.50–$59.50. (727) 791-7400.
Judy Collins and Arlo Guthrie: The folk icons and social activists will perform their own songs and join together for holiday tunes at 8 p.m. Thursday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $42–$52. (727) 791-7400.
It's a Wonderful Life: Does life seem gloomy? Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore will lift your spirits. Every time. See it on the big screen Friday through Sunday at Tampa Theater. $11. (813) 274-8982.
Kids and family
Shrek the Musical: The green ogre and friends take over the Mahaffey Theater at 8 p.m. Friday. $42.50–$62.50. (727) 892-5798.
The Laurie Berkner Band: The music superstars for kids will bring the Animal Party Concert to Ruth Eckerd Hall at 1 p.m. Sunday. Kids should bring a stuffed animal and dancing shoes. $28–$38. (727) 791-7400.
More to explore
Want more happy holiday events? Go to tampabay.com/things-to-do.