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Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times Staff Writer

Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Sharon Kennedy Wynne is a Tampa Bay Times writer and editor who focuses mostly on events and fun Things To Do, but also veers off into stories of parenting on the Whoa, Momma! blog, as well as cool gadgets or whatever captures her short attention span. A lifelong St. Petersburg resident, she has been a journalist since 1988 and joined her hometown Times in 1994. She is married and has two sons.

Phone: (727) 893-8595


Twitter: @SharonKWn

Blog: Whoa, Momma!

  1. Tampa Bay prepares for 8 crazy nights of Hanukkah with break dancers, giant marshmallow menorah


    Menorahs made of marshmallows, break dancers and a giant dreidel running down the street are just a few of the fun community events that will mark the start of Hanukkah in Tampa Bay this year.

    Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins at sundown on Sunday and ends the evening of Dec. 14. It's one of the more whimsical holidays on the Jewish calendar, said Rabbi Levi Hodakov, director Chabad of Clearwater....

    DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD (CLEARWATER 12/21/08) Children skate around an inflatable menorah Sunday during the Chabad of Pinellas County's third-annual Chanukah on Ice Celebration at Tampa Bay Skating Academy at Westfield Countryside Mall in Clearwater. The program began with open skating around the 9-foot-tall menorah to contemporary Jewish music and classic Chanukah songs.
  2. Mark your calendar: Here are the top holiday parades, shows and events now till New Year's


    As the last of the Thanksgiving dishes are cleared, it's time to look at the holiday season ahead.

    There are hundreds of parties, shows and parades in the coming weeks that can be found at for you to plan your calendars accordingly. We have sifted through the pile and came up with our top picks for can't-miss holiday fun in the coming weeks:...

    Runners with jingle bells on their shoes will be dashing through the Jingle Bell Run’s decorated course  on Dec. 9 to benefit Boley Centers, which provides mental health services.
  3. Orlando observation wheel offers new Eye Glow ticket to get the party started


    The Orlando Eye has introduced Eye Glow, a new nighttime upgrade of $10 on top of the $20 admission that includes a wine, beer, cider or glass of champagne and access to the new Eye Glow lounge, before boarding the 400-foot observation wheel.

    The Eye Glow lounge has bright lights, glow elements and a dance music party atmosphere.

    "We wanted to provide a perfect option for our guests to transition from their restaurant dining experience to their night out on the town," said Robin Goodchild, general manager of the Orlando Eye, which is part of the newly opened International Drive and I-Drive 360 entertainment complex that also includes the Sea Life aquarium and a Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. ...

    Tickets are available nightly after 6 p.m. for Orlando Eye’s new Eye Glow lounge.
  4. 5 things to do under $5 Nov. 26-Dec. 2: Free day at Glazer Museum, photography show, poet laureate story time


    1 Carousel No. 5 with Bill Yates: Inspired by an old-fashioned slide show, Green Bench Brewing Co. hosts the fifth installment of this series that gives photographers a wall and a forum to present their work. Special guest Bill Yates will talk about his series from Tampa's Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink, which sat dormant for nearly 40 years until recently when Yates scanned the images and began sharing the work with the public. The compelling images are currently in an exhibition at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans that continues through Jan. 17. Yates comes to St. Petersburg on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. for a talk at Green Bench, 1133 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Seating is limited. Bring blankets or beach chairs....

    Shown is an image by photographer Bill Yates, dated 1972-73. Yates will be at Green Bench Brewery in St. Petersburg for a discussion on Wednesday.
  5. Things to Do Planner: Glazer Museum lights up, author David Maraniss, Christmas Town at Busch Gardens


    BRIGHT NIGHTS: Glazer lights up

    The interactive Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa's Curtis Hixon Park this week is opening a new after-hours playtime called Bright Nights. The museum's top exhibit areas are lit up and in tune with holiday classics set among a dazzling light show. Held Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:30 to 8 p.m. through Dec. 18, the evening playtime is $10 for members or $15 for general admission. Glazer Children's Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. (813) 443-3861.

    ICE! features 2 million pounds of ice sculptures. It runs through Jan. 3 at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee.
  6. Plan your weekend, Thanksgiving edition: Turkey Trot, Black Friday alternative, Seaboard Seafood Fest


    Plan your weekend

    Get moving

    Turkey Trots: Earn your Thanksgiving calories at Turkey Day races. The Goody Goody Turkey Gobble, a 5K out and back course across the Platt Street bridge and along Bayshore Boulevard, benefits Tampa YMCA. $32 on Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 784-2266. 7 a.m. Thursday. The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot features 1-mile Gobbler, Wingding 5K, 5K Fun Run and the 10K Turkey Trot. The turducken of all is the Clearwater Challenge, with runners doing three races. $14-$45 on t Clearwater High School, 540 S Hercules Ave., Clearwater. (727) 562-4700. 7 a.m. Thursday....
  7. Lonely Thanksgiving: How to get people out of your house


    Editor's note: Thanksgiving. A time for the entire family to gather around the table, smiling and laughing over a golden turkey as if life is just one big Publix commercial. Fortunately, some people actually get that experience. But many others don't. Maybe you and your family live in totally different states. Maybe you just don't have a family. Maybe you have chosen a family of friends. Or maybe you just don't want to talk to your family at all.We got you covered. All week, we're bringing you our Guide to Lonely Thanksgiving. Our critics and writers have offered their best advice for going the holiday alone, from TV to reading to eating out. It doesn't have to be a pity party. If you do it right, you can be thankful for your solitude, too....

    Check out manatees at the TECO Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach.
  8. 9 degrees of fun return Tuesday for Gaylord Palms' Ice!


    You can chill out at Ice!, the frosty feature of 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures opening Tuesday at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee. This year the chilly walk-through marvel features a theme based on Twas the Night Before Christmas.

    Since temperatures are kept at a wintry 9 degrees, visitors are given parkas and see six individual rooms depicting the story of Ma in her kerchief and Pa in his cap, and you can see the Chinese artisans at work in a live ice carving zone....

    With 2 million pounds of ice sculptures, ICE! runs Nov. 24-Jan. 3 at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee.
  9. All Pro Dad, the fatherhood support started by Tony Dungy, takes to the field Saturday


    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy, who earned his Super Bowl ring with the Colts and retired from the NFL, is still coaching … dads. They receive a "Play of the Day" in e-mail support from All Pro Dad, the nonprofit family organization he helped found in Tampa Bay in 1997.

    On Saturday some 1,500 dads and their children are expected to attend an All Pro Dad mini training camp from 1 to 4 p.m. on the field of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, where practical fatherhood tips will be slipped between games and pep talks from star athletes....

    Some 1,500 dads and their children are expected to attend an All Pro Dad mini training camp at Raymond James Stadium.
All Pro Dad
  10. Plan your weekend Nov. 20-22: Sand sculptures on Treasure Island, TobyMac at the Sun Dome, Shopapalooza


    Plan your weekend

    More than castles

    Sanding Ovations Sand Sculpting Competition and Music Festival: Master sand sculptors have been working all week on works of art on Treasure Island's white sandy beach as they compete for $12,000 in cash prize and a "people's choice" pick at the Sanding Ovations Sand Sculpting Competition and Music Festival. It's free for spectators to check out the creations behind the Bilmar Beach Resort, 10650 Gulf Blvd. Sculpting stops at 2 p.m. Saturday and the awards are announced at 7 p.m. The night ends with a fireworks display. The completed sculptures remain on display until 6 p.m. Sunday....

  11. Universal Orlando announces new deal for Florida residents


    Florida residents can save on two- and three-day tickets at Universal Orlando available now and good through the next two months, Universal announced Wednesday.

    The Hero ticket deal is available through Dec. 14 and can be used through Jan. 31, though some block-out dates apply. Florida residents can get a three-day ticket for $129 for one park, $163 for park-to-park tickets, a savings of more than $40. There is also a two-day ticket deal of $119 for one park, $153.99 for multipark tickets, a $30 savings ...

    Associated Press
  12. 5 things to do under $5 Nov. 19-25: Orchestra show for kids, Plant City Pig Jam, Festival of Trees


    1 Best Shredder Contest: In the final installment of the countywide Best Shredder Contest, skateboarders will show off their best street style techniques and tricks at Northwest Skate Park at Jackson Springs Park in Tampa from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, 8612 Jackson Springs Road. Prizes for first, second, and third place and an overall Best Shredder will be named in each division. The contest features food trucks, music and prizes, and admission is free. Helmets and a notarized waiver are required to skate. Forms are available online at, or call (813) 554-5064....

    Skaters will show off their best tricks at Northwest Skate Park in Tampa.
  13. Things to Do Planner: Sand sculptures, Chillounge, bourbon and beer fests



    Once again, the massive expanse of beach at Treasure Island is about much more than making castles. Master sand sculptors have been working all week on works of art that will soon wash away. They have taken 150 tons of sand, using shovels, carpenter's levels, cake decoration tools and paint brushes of all sizes to compete for $12,000 in cash prize and a "people's choice" pick at the Sanding Ovations Sand Sculpting Competition and Music Festival running through Sunday. It's free for spectators to check out the creations behind the Bilmar Beach Resort, 10650 Gulf Blvd.. Sculpting stops at 2 p.m. Saturday before the awards are announced at 7 p.m. The night ends with a fireworks display. The completed sculptures remain on protected display until 6 p.m. Sunday before Mother Nature takes over. ...

    Master sand sculptor Jan Selen of Amsterdam works on a bust portrait of himself during last year’s Sanding Ovations event.
  14. 5 things to do under $5 Nov. 12-18: Dogtoberfest, 'Batman' producer, kids can climb on trucks


    1 Dunedin Dogtoberfest: Anything that features the "Running of the Wieners" as a highlight has got to be good. This annual dog-themed Oktoberfest party in Dunedin draws so many wiener dogs for the races that they have to run them in heats, releasing the long-bodied pooches to their owners at the end of the racetrack. There's also a doggie costume contest, photos with Santa, agility demonstrations and a "My Pet's Got Talent" competition. It's free, with $5 parking at Highlander Park, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin, from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday....

    The competition will be heated at the annual “Running of the Wieners” at Highlander Park in Dunedin.
  15. Plan your weekend Nov. 13-15: Ribfest, Newsies and a country fair


    Plan your weekend

    BBQ and music

    Ribfest: Get the napkins ready, Ribfest returns Friday through Sunday at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. In addition to more than a dozen ribbers hawking their wares, Poison frontman and reality-TV yeoman Bret Michaels headlines Friday at 8:30 p.m., with classic rockers Three Dog Night on Saturday and country stars Kip Moore and Chase Rice on Sunday. There's kettle corn, lemonade, funnel cakes, corn on the cob and, of course, barbecue. Tickets are $16 Friday and $20 Saturday and Sunday, with discounts available through Circle K and MetroPCS stores; otherwise it's $20/$25 at the gate. Paid parking ($10) is available in downtown lots and garages, including the Mahaffey Theater, Al Lang Field and the Sundial garage, with shuttles to and from the festival every 15 minutes.

    Newsies runs through Sunday at the Straz Center in Tampa.