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  1. Sanding Ovations Sand Sculpting Competition and Music Festival

    Editor's pick

    Bilmar Beach Resort

    South Pinellas beaches : 10650 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island, 33706

    This annual competition is more than just making castles in the sand. Master sand sculptors work for hours to build works of art using 150 tons of sand, shovels, carpenter's levels, cake decoration tools and paint brushes of all sizes. The top four sculptures and a "people's choice' sculpture wi …

    Sculpting ends at 5:30 p.m. and music kicks off at 5 p.m. Vendors open all day.

    Price: Free.

  2. Animal Connections: Our Journey Together

    Editor's pick

    Lowry Park Zoo

    Seminole Heights : 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa, 33604

    This hands-on, interactive exhibit from the Smithsonian will end its U.S. tour this weekend, parked by the main entrance to the zoo. It introduces visitors to the special relationship humans share with animals and was designed to inspire the next generation of veterinarians.

    Price: Free.

  3. Ice Palace at International Plaza

    Editor's pick

    International Plaza and Bay Street

    International Plaza District : 2223 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa, 33607

    International Plaza transforms into the Ice Palace, a 30-foot dome with snow, a light show and interactive snow globes depicting scenes from Disney's Frozen. Ice Palace entertainment includes an Icy Hand Print experience, size comparisons with Sven and Olaf and photos with Olaf on an ice throne. …

    Price: Free.

  4. Ice!

    Gaylord Palms Resort

    Kissimmee : 6000 W Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee, 34746

    The resort has 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures created by artists brought in from China and 40 tons of snow. It's only 9 degrees inside, but they supply you with heavy parkas. Still, gloves and warm socks are recommended. This year features a Nutcracker theme, ice slides and artis …

    Price: $28.99-$29.99, $26.99-$28.99 seniors, $14.99-$16.99 ages 4-12, 3 and younger free. $18 parking fee (validated if dining at resort restaurant).

  5. Suncoast Jazz Classic

    Editor's pick

    Sheraton Sand Key Resort

    North Pinellas beaches : 1160 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater Beach, 33767

    With three days of concerts on five stages along Clearwater Beach, local and veteran jazz musicians will play traditional jazz, as well as swing, ragtime, rhythm & blues and Zydeco Cajun music. See the festival's website for lineup.

    Come early for swing dance lessons at 10:15 a.m. Featured performers include Valerie Gillespie, Tom Rigney and Flambeau and Dave Bennett and the Memphis Speed Kings.  

    Price: Tickets start at $40, $112.50 for weekend pass. Students $10 for weekend pass.

  6. Tampa's Downtown on Ice

    Editor's pick

    Curtis Hixon Park

    Downtown Tampa : 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa, 33602

    Even in Florida, you can get in the holiday spirit by skating on an outdoor rink in the park. Each 90-minute session includes skate rental. The rink is open through Jan. 4.

    Price: $10.

  7. Beach Battle

    Editor's pick

    Postcard Inn

    South Pinellas beaches : 6300 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, 33706

    Drum Corps International brings the new DrumLine Battle to St. Petersburg where marching percussion ensembles of any instrumentation and any skill level face off in a high-energy beach front battle.

    Price: $10 dinner, show free.

  8. Plant City Pig Jam

    Randy L. Larson Softball Four-Plex

    Plant City : 1500 S Park Road, Plant City, 33563

    Top barbecue teams fire up their grills for this state barbecue championship with a southside western and outdoor wear competition, music by five live bands, kids activities and other food.

    Price: Free (food/drink additional).

  9. Festival of Trees Premiere Night Party

    The Long Center

    Clearwater : 1501 N Belcher Road, Clearwater, 33765

    Get a preview of the decorated Christmas trees at the premiere night gala with live entertainment, dancing, drinks and food from area restaurants.

    Price: $75, $125 two.

  10. Flatbush Zombies and The Underachievers

    The Orpheum

    Ybor City : 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City, 33605

    The two hip-hop groups team up for a live show that's being billed as Clockwork Indigo and The Electric Koolade Experience.

    Price: $20-$50.

  11. Slayer

    Editor's pick

    Hard Rock Live/Cafe Orlando

    Orlando : 6050 Universal Blvd., Orlando, 32819

    The thrash, metal band will be joined by Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus for what should be a loud, live night.

    Price: $37.50-$73.

  12. Mike Birbiglia

    Editor's pick

    Mahaffey Theater

    Downtown St. Petersburg : 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg, 33701

    The award-winner's show Thank God For Jokes is about how they can get you in trouble. Time magazine called him "master of the personal, embarrassing tale," and this time he talks about getting arrested in New Jersey, screamed at by a famous director, heckled by Statler and Wa …

    Price: $37.50-$57.50.

  13. Aaron Carter

    Editor's pick


    Ybor City : 1812 N 17th St., Tampa, 33605

    The former teenage heart throb is all grown-up and will perform an intimate show at the Ybor City night club.

    Price: $17, $67 VIP; $2 under 21 fee charged at door.

  14. Garfunkel and Oates

    Editor's pick

    Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts

    Downtown Tampa : 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa, 33602

    Stars of a new comedy series on IFC,  Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci  named their duo after the "two famous rock 'n' roll second bananas." The duo was named in the Top 10 Comics to Watch by Variety.

    Price: $29.50.

  15. So You Think You Can Dance

    Editor's pick

    Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

    Sarasota : 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 34236

    The 11-time Prime Time Emmy Award winning show brings performances by the top 10 finalists from Season 11 including Bridget Whitman, Casey Askew, Emilio Dosal, Jacque LeWarne, Jessica Richens, Ricky Ubeda, Rudy Abreu, Tanisha Belnap, Valerie Rockey and Zach Everhart.


    Price: $39.50-$79.50.

  16. Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

    Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

    Lake Buena Vista : 1515 N Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, 32830

    Cast members take months to get ready for one special guest to throw the giant switch on the seasonal display. Features millions of glittering lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music that decorate the New York street scene of Disney's Hollywood Studios. Included with daily general admissi …

    Price: $94, $88 ages 3-9, 2 and younger free.

  17. Wildlife Hike

    Brooker Creek Preserve

    Tarpon Springs : 3940 Keystone Road, Tarpon Springs, 34688

    Bring binoculars, cameras for a naturalist-led hike to discover wildlife that inhabits the preserve.

    Price: Free (registration required).

  18. Honeymoon Island Walks

    Honeymoon Island State Park

    Dunedin : 1 Causeway Blvd. (at the West end of Dunedin Causeway), Dunedin, 34698

    Rangers guide walks along the trails or beach areas for you to find plants and wildlife around the park.

    Price: Free (walk); $8 per carload up to 8 people, $4 one person in car, $2 walking (park entry).

  19. Free Museum Admission for Veterans

    South Florida Museum

    Bradenton : 201 10th St. W, Bradenton, 34205

    In honor of Veterans Day, U.S. veterans and active service military receive free admission to the museum for the entire month of November. The museum is closed Nov. 1, Thanksgiving Day and every Monday.

    Price: $18, $16 seniors, $14 ages 4-12, 3 and younger free.

  20. Tampa African Violet Society

    Seffner-Mango Branch Library

    Seffner : 410 N Kingsway Road, Seffner, 33584

    Growing tips and plant raffles are offered.

    Growing award-winning trailing voilets.

    Price: Free.

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