BRIGHT NIGHTS: Glazer lights up
The interactive Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa's Curtis Hixon Park this week is opening a new after-hours playtime called Bright Nights. The museum's top exhibit areas are lit up and in tune with holiday classics set among a dazzling light show. Held Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:30 to 8 p.m. through Dec. 18, the evening playtime is $10 for members or $15 for general admission. Glazer Children's Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. (813) 443-3861. glazermuseum.org.
AUTHOR: A Conversation with David Maraniss
A Pulitzer Prize-winning author and associate editor of the Washington Post, David Maraniss has written critically acclaimed bestselling books When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi and First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton, and he chronicled the journey of racial self-discovery in his biography, Barack Obama: The Story. His newest book, Once in a Great City, centers on Detroit in 1963 — a crucial year in the city's history, when Maraniss says Detroit marked the end of its boom times and the beginning of its most troubled times. Maraniss, who also was part of the Washington Post team that won a 2008 Pulitzer for the newspaper's coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting, takes part in the Poynter Institute's 40th Anniversary Speaker Series on Wednesday with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6, followed by a talk at 7:30. Tickets are $35 to $75 and include a reception and dinner at the Poynter Institute, 801 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 553-4676. p oynter.org.
HIT THE LIGHTS: Christmas Town, ICE! open
More than a million twinkling lights are transforming Busch Gardens from an African-themed amusement park into a holiday wonderland known as Christmas Town. And in Kissimmee, the Gaylord Palms Resort once again goes polar with a walk-through attraction called ICE!, a convention center space transformed by 2 million pounds of ice sculptures. They both run through the end of the year and provide great family picture opportunities. At Busch Gardens, the Christmas Town festivities are Fridays and Saturdays and every day starting the week of Dec. 20, included with admission (and you can buy your 2016 Fun Card early) at buschgardens.com. $97, $92 for ages 3-9. They keep the temperature a chilly 9 degrees inside ICE! but supply you with heavy parkas. Still, gloves and warm socks are recommended. This year's event features a 'Twas the Night Before Christmas theme, and there are four ice slides and Chinese artisans at work in the live carving stations. It runs through Jan. 3. Tickets start at $28.99, $26.99 seniors, $14.99 ages 4-12, 3 and younger free. $20 parking at Gaylord Palms Resort, 6000 W Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee. (407) 586-0000.
For more holiday events, see tampabay.com/holiday.