Capitol Theatre Reopens: Be one of the first to check out the gorgeous Clearwater theater after months of renovations to add seats, bigger lobbies, bars and a rooftop terrace. Former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald will be the entertainment Wednesday ($82-$98). Then on Saturday, comedian Sinbad takes the historic stage ($39-$85). (727) 791-7400.
It's a Wonderful Life: The holiday classic is in full force in all forms this week. There are four showings with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed on the big screen at Tampa Theatre on Saturday and Sunday ($10). Or see it on the small stage at the St. Petersburg City Theatre from Friday through Sunday ($22; (727) 866-1973). It's also presented as a live 1940s radio broadcast at the Carrollwood Playhouse Friday and Saturday ($18; $15 seniors/students/military; (813) 265-4000).
Jingle Ball: Will Miley Cyrus be naughty or nice at this year's 93.3 FLZ concert? Robin Thicke, Enrique Iglesias, Flo Rida and Paramore will join her Wednesday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa. $46-$181. (813) 301-2500.
Trace Adkins: The country singer goes Celtic for his Christmas album, The King's Gift, and tour. The show is Wednesday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $47.50-$87.50. (727) 791-7400.
Paul Mecurio: The comedian who works on the Daily Show also graduated from Georgetown Law School and began his career on Wall Street. Smart and funny. He performs at the Improv in Centro Ybor Thursday through Sunday. $15-$17. (813) 864-4000.
Chris Isaak: Get a mix of '50s classics, songs from his 2011 album Beyond the Sun and holiday favorites Sunday at the Mahaffey in St. Petersburg. $39.50-$69.50. (727) 893-7832.
Kids and Families
Tampa lighted boat parade: See it Saturday along Harbour Island and Channelside Bay Plaza, with a party at the Sail Pavilion on the Riverwalk (free admission) and the SS American Victory ship ($7-$12).
Winter Waterland Holiday Festival: You know you're in Florida for Christmas when Santa's elves are mermaids. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park will also have a light show, petting zoo and photo ops with Santa and his "mermaid elves" Friday and Saturday. $5; $3 for ages 6-12, free for ages 5 and younger.
The Nutcracker Twist: This spin on Tchaikovsky's classic incorporates African dance, ballet, hip-hop, salsa and jazz for two shows Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Pete. $17-$37. Toll-free 1-800-874-9020.
more to explore
Find more than 260 Christmas cookie recipes at tampabay.com/things-to-do.