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5 things to do in December

1Victorian Christmas stroll: Say you're not even putting up a Christmas tree this year? Well, get in the spirit by wandering through the extravagantly adorned former Tampa Bay hotel that is now the Henry B. Plant Museum, 401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday-Dec. 23. There are 14 exhibit rooms, each dazzling with trimmed trees uniquely designed in 19th century themes and antique holiday accessories. Spiced cider and cookies will be served on the veranda every day, and each evening you'll be invited to sing with the carolers in front of the 15-foot tree in the hallway. Admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and $7 for youths (4-18 years). Discount Days are Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11, when admission is reduced to $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for youths. Group tours are welcome; please make reservations for parties of 20 or more with Sally Shifke, museum relations coordinator, at (813) 258-7302. Proceeds fund significant museum restoration and preservation projects, as well as educational programming.

2It's a Wonderful Life: Be in the audience as the holiday classic is performed on live radio theater Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Palladium Theatre, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. The radio play will be broadcast at a later date on WMNF-FM 88.5 during the Soundstage Audio Theatre program on Sundays at 9 p.m. The Season 4 Christmas Holiday Show benefits the "Studio@620 WMNF Radio Theatre Project Live" project. Tickets are $18 or $10 for students and can be purchased at the Palladium box office. You'll get in the holiday spirit with music, gifts and the magic of radio. There will also be a special episode of "The Continuing Adventures of Noel Berlin, Cabaret Detective," written especially for the Radio Theatre Project. This new series features the Ensemble members in cliffhanger episodes with cabaret music and stunning sound effects.

Learn more at

3Meowy Christmas: A Chinese auction charity fundraiser will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at East Lake Woodlands Country Club, 1055 East Lake Woodlands Parkway, Oldsmar, to benefit the Tampabay Cat Alliance Inc., a nonprofit cat rescue organization trying to secure a shelter building for cats in need. A $15 ticket includes a hot and cold buffet, drinks (nonalcoholic), dessert and five free raffle tickets. There will also be a cash bar and live music. For tickets, visit or call (727) 859-2208.

4Bucs take on Rams: One of the best things about living in paradise is we can go to a football game in the winter without bundling up like the little brother in A Christmas Story. So don your khakis and T-shirts (and maybe take a hoodie) to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the St. Louis Rams at 1 p.m. Dec. 23 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Buy tickets at

5Nights of Shimmering Lights: You can pretend like you're riding in Santa's sleigh and cruise in your car ($20 per vehicle) through nearly a million twinkling lights nightly through Dec. 30 from dark until 9 p.m. weekdays and from dark until 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (Thursday-Sunday until Dec. 17, nightly thereafter). Highlights include a mile of dancing lights, illuminated tunnels and a 20-foot Ferris wheel. A Christmas Village features an animated light show, outdoor holiday movies, arts and crafts vendors, pictures with Santa and treats. The festivities take place at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Brandon, about 8 miles east of Interstate 75 on State Road 60. For details, call (813) 389-6858. Go to for a look at the behind-the-scenes setup.

5 things to do in December 11/27/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:30am]
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