Holiday Lights in the Gardens: Stroll through the gardens with laser lights, flora and fauna displays, a gingerbread house and visits from Santa Claus each night. Check flbg.org for schedule. It starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. $2, 12 and younger free. (727) 582-2100. Find more holiday displays in our interactive map at tampabay.com/things-to-do....
Jingle Ball: Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke headline this year's 93.3 FLZ concert along with Enrique Iglesias, Flo Rida, Jason Derulo and Gym Class Heroes front man Travie McCoy. Concert starts at 7:30 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Come early for a free pre-show at 3 p.m. $46-$181. (813) 301-2500.
Michael McDonald: Since his career began in the '70s with the Doobie Brothers, the soft rock singer has won five Grammy Awards. Now he kicks off the reopening of the Capitol Theatre at 7:30 p.m. at 405 Cleveland St. in Clearwater. $82-$98. (727) 791-7400....
Santaland Diaries: David Sedaris' cutting, sardonic wit is on full display in this one-man show based on his essay about his stint as a "helper elf" at Macy's Santaland. Show starts at 8 p.m. at American Stage Theatre, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. $19. (727) 823-7529.
The Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular: The iconic dancers high-kick their way through a Christmas show packed with holiday cheer. It starts at 7:30 p.m. in Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $42.50-$105. (813) 229-7827. Read our review at tampabay.com/things-to-do....
Redington Beach/Indian Shores Lighted Boat Parade: This year's parade starts on the north side of the Tom Stuart Causeway and tours the shores of Redington Beach, North Redington Beach and Redington Shores. It passes through the Park Boulevard drawbridge and proceeds north along the Intracoastal Waterway through Indian Shores and ends at the Pub restaurant for an awards ceremony and party. Boats set sail at 6 p.m. at 650 150th Ave., Madeira Beach. Free. (727) 459-9710....
Florida Orchestra Holiday Pops: The orchestra accompanies the 150-voice Master Chorale of Tampa Bay for a family-friendly show of holiday favorites — everything from Deck the Halls to songs from Home Alone and Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer. See it at 2 or 8 p.m. at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $15-$45. 1-800-662-7286.
3 Daughters Brewing Grand Opening: St. Petersburg's new brewery opens its doors for a party with unlimited tastings of seven house brews, an 18-hole putt-putt golf course and food by Maggie on the Move and the Latin Lunch Box. Party starts at 3 p.m. at 3 Daughters Brewing, 222 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. Free, $20 beer tasting wristband. (727) 495-6002....
Wild Wonderland: The zoo reopens at 6:30 p.m. for a winter festival with live reindeer, an ice slide, twinkling lights, rides, games and holiday treats. New this year is the Treats & Treasures Hometown Village and the new Frozen Forest, a white crystal light experience. Wild Wonderland runs on weekends through Dec. 30 starting at 6:30 p.m. at Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. $14, $11 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free. (813) 935-8552....
The Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular: The Rockettes will kick their way through a show with new scenes and an array of glamorous costumes. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. in Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $42.50-$105. (813) 229-7827.
Florida Orchestra Coffee Concert Series: Sounds of Celebration: Stuart Malina conducts Tchaikovsky's Overture to The Nutcracker, Copland's Lincoln Portrait and El Salon Mexico, Gould's American Salute and more as part of this series featuring classical music served with complimentary coffee and doughnuts. Concert starts at 11 a.m. at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $24-$42. Toll-free 1-800-662-7286....
The Grinches, the Scrooges and the Charlie Browns of the Christmas season can add one more cynic to the club — Crumpet. David Sedaris' sardonic wit is at its sharpest in American Stage's The Santaland Diaries, a one-man show based on his essay about the unemployed, chemically dependent writer who takes a job as a "helper elf" at Macy's Santaland in New York. Brian Shea returns as the acerbic misanthrope, who will endear himself to anyone who's considered stashing a flask to wait in line to see Santa. The show is at 8 p.m. Sundays through Tuesdays until Dec. 29 at American Stage Theatre, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-7529. americanstage.org. ...
A Marvelous Party! The Noel Coward Celebration: Don your baubles for this revue featuring 33 songs plus sketches, anecdotes and writings by Noel Coward. Show starts at 8 p.m. at American Stage Theatre, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. $29-$49. (727) 823-7529.
Winter Wonderland: A complete Christmas village is set up with tens of thousands of sparkling lights, 100 trees, live entertainment, visits with Santa, cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, pony rides, train rides, a petting zoo and a hot chocolate shop. It starts at 6 p.m. in Downtown Clearwater at Drew Street and Fort Harrison Avenue. Free admission; donations benefit Nourish to Flourish. (727) 442-2099....
Symphony in Lights: See a holiday light show with more than 250,000 LED lights choreographed to the music of the Trans Siberian Orchestra. Shows are at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. nightly at the Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel. Free. (813) 994-2242.
Tony Zappone: The author of John F. Kennedy: A President and a Kid with a Camera will be speaking about the day he spent photographing John F. Kennedy during the president's trip to Tampa, just four days before his assassination. Talk starts at 6:30 p.m. at Charles Fendig Public Library, 3903 W Neptune St., Tampa. Free. (813) 273-3652....
Holiday Classic Movie Series: Miracle on 34th Street: Get a mini tour of the theater along with the Mighty Wurlitzer's holiday-themed organ music before a screening of the Christmas classic about a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus. Movie starts at 3 p.m. at the Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. $10, $8 members. (813) 274-8982.
Christmas Town: Busch Gardens is transformed into a nighttime holiday wonderland with 80 miles of lights, real snow to play in, food, train rides and live music. Gates open at 6 p.m. at Busch Gardens, 3605 Bougainvillea Ave., Tampa. $40, $10 children (single admission); $89, $29 children (unlimited admissions). (813) 987-5600....
Rough Riders Holiday Parade and Santa Fest: The waterfront park is transformed into a winter wonderland for the holiday party. The Rough Riders parade steps off at 11 a.m and the party continues at the park with crafts, a Christmas market and photos with Santa. It starts at 11 a.m. at Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Free, $5 to ice skate.
Snowfest and Santa Parade: The day starts at 10 a.m. with the annual free Santa Parade beginning at Central Avenue and Fifth Street in downtown St. Petersburg. Then 65 tons of snow are blown into North Straub Park on the waterfront for toboggan rides as well as other kid-friendly activities, all for a $5 wristband. (727) 893-7441....
Winter's Miracle on Cleveland Street: Clearwater's Cleveland Street District is dressed in white for this holiday event with a snow slide, holiday crafts, train rides, inflatable attractions and an outdoor skating rink. Jon "Bowzer" Bauman serves as master of ceremonies over the event with the lighting of the new Capitol Theatre sign. It starts at 5:30 p.m. at 400 Block of Cleveland Street, Osceola Avenue and Cleveland Street, Clearwater. Free....
12/05/13 Food & Dining
We're in the heat of the holiday season, so we know you're going to be putting in overtime in your kitchen for the next few weeks.
But if you're looking to ease up your workload, we suggest you order dessert. We found some great Tampa Bay bakeries whipping up delicious cakes, pies and candy confections that'll make you wonder why you ever fussed with dessert in the first place.
Toffee To Go in Tampa was just named one of Oprah's Favorite Things in the December issue of O Magazine. Lisa and Jim Schalk are taking the adage "quality, not quantity" to heart, offering three different toffee flavors. But you don't need any more choices when the toffee's this good....
A Christmas Carol: The musical adaptation of Dickens' classic returns for the Christmas season. Show starts at 7 p.m. at Freefall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20-$44. (727) 498-5205.
Charliepalooza: Grammy-winning fiddle player Charlie Daniels returns to Tampa to support his favorite charity, the Angelus, with a blackjack tournament and a jam session. Registration for the tournament begins at 7 p.m. at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 N Orient Road, Tampa. $150, $25 add-on (blackjack); $10 suggested donation (jam session). (813) 627-7625....