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Happy Holidays

Help find Tampa Bay's best Christmas light displays

We're collecting nominations and making some of our own for the best places to see holiday lights. Know of some in your neighborhood? Just snap a picture and Instagram it to us with the tag #tampabayholiday. More details are on our lights page.

 

It's our 12th annual cookie collection!

We have 24 mouth-watering treats to help make your holidays bright. Plus we have tips for baking, videos and past recipes for you to try.

 

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Click here to find hundreds of holiday events

From light displays to ice skaing rinks to holiday movies and performances, our Things to Do database has it all.

Share and inspire

Have you heard about #tampabayinspires? Just share a tweet a Facebook post or an Instagram with the tag anytime you see or participate in an act of charity or goodwill and we'll feature it on our tampabay.com/inspires page.

 

5 things to do under $5: Holiday lights edition

This week's 5 under $5 list takes a side trip down a holiday path, and you should, too. We have made the tough call of picking five of our favorite places to see holiday lights. Michelle and Katie …

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  1. Food writers offer their favorite New Year's Eve appetizers

    Cooking

    New Year's Eve is all about nibbles. And, no, I am not talking about the kiss at midnight.

    Cheddar Horseradish Spread will bring the zing. Stir in lots of radishes just before serving.
  2. Get bitter with 'Santaland Diaries' at American Stage

    Stage

    Perhaps you have tried to get into the holiday spirit, but just find yourself hating everyone and everything around you. Well, here's the show for you! Catch the final performances of Santaland Diaries at American Stage in St. Petersburg. In Joe Mantello's stage adaptation of David Sedaris' famous holiday story, …

    Brian Shea plays Crumpet the elf in Santaland Diaries, showing at American Stage in St. Petersburg.
  3. Moscow Ballet brings 'Great Russian Nutcracker' to the Mahaffey

    Stage

    It can be easy to slip into nutcracker overload this time of year, but the Moscow Ballet has some ways to keep the classic story feeling fresh. The company's Great Russian Nutcracker comes to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Sunday, bringing with it 10-foot silk puppets, life-sized Russian nesting dolls …

    The Moscow Ballet brings its Great Russian Nutcracker this weekend.
  4. Some can't-miss light displays in North Pinellas

    Features

    While economic uncertainty may have put a damper on the size and scope of illuminated holiday displays in recent years, rest assured that making the season bright is still a priority for some.

    The place is ablaze with lights at 90 Harbor Oaks Circle in the Harbor Oaks neighborhood of Safety Harbor. A Ferris wheel, teeter totter and many other twirling animations were all built by the 36-year-old concrete mason Jason Bothwell.
  5. White lasagna is a good make-ahead Christmas Eve meal

    Cooking

    The question: What can you prepare for Christmas Eve dinner that can be made ahead and eaten whenever? It must be something that will work around the schedules of churchgoers, late arrivers, eager youngsters, adult children making several stops, and last-minute wrappers (or, heaven forbid, shoppers).

    The …

    Brussels Sprouts Lasagna uses sliced Brussels sprouts and mushrooms. Aged or smoked provolone brings gooeyness and flavor.
  6. Create an easy but classy holiday party menu for $10 per person

    Cooking

    Recently, friends and I were musing about holiday parties, how many there were in the past and so few now. None of us has big ones anymore. They have become so expensive, we all agreed. And can be stressful.

    Wow your guests with Baked Brie garnished with candied nuts and pomegranate seeds.
  7. On the 12th Day of Christmas Cookies: Black Mountain Cookies

    Cooking

    There are cookies and then there are Black Mountain Cookies, also known as MRCs, meal replacement cookies.

    26. Black Mountain Cookie
  8. Your guide to holiday parades by land, sea

    Events

    This weekend is packed with holiday parades, both by land and by sea. So if you are wondering why all of Pinellas Park's traffic around Park Boulevard will come to a halt Saturday afternoon or why the bridge at Johns Pass is tied up Saturday night, you might as well stop and watch.

    
Boats light up the night Dec. 5 on Boca Ciega Bay, South Pasadena, during the annual St. Pete Beach Holiday Boat Parade.
  9. Kresge house Christmas light display is bright as ever

    Human Interest

    MAURICE RIVENBARK | Times

    As the sky darkens, the lights come on — an invitation to explore the outdoor maze of Christmas displays at the Kresge house in St. Petersburg. Ted Kresge began it all with a few strings of lights 38 years ago. "Our power bills have run in the past as much as $4,400," he said. …

    [MAURICE RIVENBARK   |   Times]
As the sky darkens, the lights come on - an invitation to explore the outdoor maze of Christmas displays at the Kresge house in St. Petersburg. Ted Kresge began it all with a few strings of lights 38 years ago. "Our power bills have run in the past as much as $4,400," he said. These days, he uses a lot of energy-saving LED bulbs. The displays include 10 trailer-truckloads of lights, an HO scale model railroad, inflatables, bubble machines and a 70-foot tree. It's at 2719 Oakdale St. S, near the Chattaway restaurant. It's free and open 6 to 10 p.m. daily through Jan. 3.
  10. Christmas musical all about 'Heart'

    Events

    A New Heart for Christmas, a Broadway-style Christmas musical on stage Monday at the Mahaffey Theater, will feature a choir of 150 voices from area churches.