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Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 25

Paige Sylvester as Liesl and Dan Tracy as Rolf in The Sound of Music.
Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Paige Sylvester as Liesl and Dan Tracy as Rolf in The Sound of Music. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

The Sound of Music: Some families watch this on TV every Christmas, but this year you can see it live on stage even on Christmas Day. The beloved musical story of Maria and the Von Trapp family with the Tony-winning score including My Favorite Things, Do-Re-Mi and Edelweiss is on stage at 8 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $40-$95.

Battle of the Bands: After opening your Christmas presents, hit the beach to watch the bands from the University of Connecticut and Marshall compete before Saturday's St. Petersburg Bowl in tug-o-war, flag football, boxing and more. 2:30 p.m., Sirata Beach Resort, 5300 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Free.

St. Petersburg Bowl Block Party: This giant bowl game pep rally includes live music, interactive games and displays. 5 p.m., Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill, 1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

Annual New Granada Xmas Night Extravaganza: If you're seeking refuge from the holiday hubbub, head to New World for its annual Christmas Night blowout that's turned into a yearly reunion for the local indie music community. Tampa acts include Meatwound, Rec Center, Empire Cinema and Mountain Holler perform. 8 p.m., New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $10.

Holiday Lights in the Garden: The beautifully decorated Florida Botanical Gardens are open nightly through Dec. 31. Stroll through the gardens with more than 750,000 twinkly lights, lasers, animated figures and entertainers lining the pathways. New this year, a lighted six-and-a-half-foot tall snowman and his family will add to the holiday theme. Show a valid PSTA pass and get a free pair of 3-D glasses to enhance the show. Donation of $4 suggested; under 12 free. 5:30-9:30 p.m., Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. (727) 582-5800.

Candlelight Processional at Epcot: Actor Edward James Olmos is the celebrity narrator today at Epcot's World Showcase. A giant tree-shaped choir of cast members is joined by a 50-piece orchestra, select choirs and Olmos tell the Christmas story at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. Included with daily admission. $97, $91 ages 3-9, 2 and younger free. 5 p.m., Epcot at Walt Disney World, 1515 N Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista. (407) 934-7639.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens: The park will be open until 8 p.m. tonight and more than a million twinkling lights have transformed wide sections of it with Christmas-themed entertainment, a "Christmas Time Tree Show," and festive treats. Included with admission. $97, $92 for ages 3-9. 10 a.m., Busch Gardens, 3605 Bougainvillea Ave., Tampa. (888) 800-5447.

to Watch

The Andy Griffith Show Christmas Special, 8 p.m., CBS. Are you up for a return trip to Mayberry? This special, basically packages a couple of episodes from the classic series. The bad news? They're colorized.


more to explore

The holidays aren't over yet! See our extensive list of New Year's Eve parties at

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 25 12/23/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 23, 2015 4:42pm]
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    Conor Oberst: The Bright Eyes mastermind will be joined by opener, the Felice Brothers. 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $30.50-$36. (727) 791-7400.

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