Snow! On Friday, Florida kids get a feel for the white stuff with a free snow slide at Winter's Miracle on Cleveland Street in Clearwater. Then Saturday starts with the annual free Santa Parade in downtown St. Petersburg, leading to 65 tons of snow at Snowfest in North Straub Park, with toboggan rides and "glice" skating for a $5 wristband. No snow, but there is skating on real ice at Tampa's annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, with a Christmas Market and movie, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Free, but bring a teddy bear for local hospitals.
Music: Ten-time Grammy winner Bonnie Raitt brings a mix of blues, rock, country and folk to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Tuesday ($50-100.50; (727) 791-7400). The true magic of Yanni is melody, with two shows, Wednesday and Thursday, at REH [$49.50-$175; (727) 791-7400].
97X Next Big Thing: This year has two stages in St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park, with Thirty Seconds to Mars (Jared Leto!), Jimmy Eat World, Stone Temple Pilots and more. Tickets are $65 through Friday via Ticketmaster, $80 at the gate Saturday. 97xonline.com.
Florida Orchestra: Takes on Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1 "Titan" and John Adams' witty Chamber Symphony. Three concerts: Friday at Straz Center in Tampa, Saturday at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45; (727) 892-3337 or toll-free 1-800-662-7286.
Kids and Families
Lighted boat parades: Nothing says Christmas in Florida like twinkling sailboats. Friday brings parades in St. Pete Beach and Tarpon Springs. New Port Richey's River Lights Parade is Saturday, as is Dunedin's parade, in which Santa sails in to light the tree. Sunday is the Hillsborough River parade, starting at Lowry Park in Tampa.
Nutcrackers: The St. Petersburg Ballet Company's production of the Tchaikovsky classic is Friday through Sunday at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg ($10-$20; (727) 822-3590). At the Straz Center in Tampa, international artists dance with the Next Generation Ballet on Saturday and Sunday ($20.50; (813) 229-7827). Tampa Bay Triple Threat Theater does its version at two shows Saturday at USF Theater 1 in Tampa ($20 and up).