COOL SPOT: Ice skating in the park
Even in balmy Florida, you can get in the holiday spirit by ice skating on an outdoor rink in Curtis Hixon Park. It's $12 to ice skate for 90 minutes and the price includes skate rental — because how many Florida kids have ice skates? It's open every day through Dec. 25. New this year are pop-up shops and a cafe from Mise en Place with holiday snacks like roasted chestnuts, festive sweets and a full bar with themed drinks. 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. wintervillagetampa.com.
SOUND EFFECTS: Radio Theatre
The monthly Radio Theatre Project Live at the [email protected] highlights the work of Foley artists — those crafty film and radio artisans who reproduce everyday sound effects, from the swishing of clothing to footsteps and squeaky doors. This month has a lineup of shows mostly written by women, and all celebrating women. University of South Florida St. Petersburg professor Janet Keeler will debut Mercy Me. Matt Cowley, who does the sound effects, will bring a surprise for Backstage. Other new pieces include F4 by Elin Hampton, I'm Really Sorry by Patricia Cotter, Eggs by Jennifer Jasper and The Talk from France-Luce Benson, all performed by the Radio Theatre Project's ensemble. 7 p.m. Monday, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 895-6620. thestudioat620.org.
CRITTER CHRISTMAS: Zoo, Busch Gardens holiday parties
No more grumbling that the holiday lights come out too early. Once the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away, all bets are off and we can release the Christmas hounds — or at least the holiday zebras and giraffes. Busch Gardens brings back Christmas Town on select nights starting Friday, and the Lowry Park Zoo has a new weekend holiday party called Christmas in the Wild. Both are decked out in lights, with carolers, shows and special treats. New this year at Busch Gardens is Rudolph's Winter Wonderland where Rudolph, Clarence, Yukon Cornelius and Bumble will be in attendance for photos. 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, included with admission. $99, $79 for ages 3-9. Toll-free 1-888-800-5447. buschgardens.com. The zoo's new holiday party stays open until 10 p.m. at 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. It is also included with admission, which drops to $21.95 after 4 p.m. on event days, a savings of $8. (813) 935-8552. lowryparkzoo.org. For more holiday events, see tampabay.com/holiday.