Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Life & Culture

Things to do in Tampa Bay from Nov. 19-25

Lights! This week everything blinks to life for the holidays. Santa conducts Symphony in Lights to the music of Trans Siberian Orchestra starting at 6 p.m. nightly at the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel. At Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo, there's a new laser light show to go along with 500,000 twinkling lights, starting Friday ($2, 11 and younger free). And St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster flips the switch to light the waterfront holiday tree in North Straub Park on Friday (free).

Times Turkey Trot: Thursday is Thanksgiving, so make room for the big feast by running off a few calories in the morning. There's a 1-mile, a 5K and a 10K at Clearwater High School. $12-$25. For times and details, see

Date Night

Asia: The prog rock group's original lineup performs its self-titled 1982 album in its entirety, with hits Heat of the Moment and Only Time Will Tell, on Tuesday at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. $69-$85. (727) 791-7400.

Clay Aiken: His love of big, mushy ballads should be perfect for this Christmas concert Sunday at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. $55-$75. (727) 791-7400.

Florida Orchestra Pops: Conductor Jeff Tyzik leads a program of movie music, including Gone with the Wind, Ben-Hur, E.T. and Harry Potter. Shows are Friday at the Straz Center in Tampa, Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg and Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337 or toll-free 1-800-662-7286.

Get Roasted: The 13 Ugly Men's annual Thanksgiving Eve party that lets you get saucy before you get stuffed. It's $15 at Grand Central at Kennedy, 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.

Kids and Family

Elf: Christmas cheer comes early with the musical based on the Will Ferrell film about a man raised as an elf, opening Tuesday at the Straz Center in Tampa. Tickets are $39.50, but you can save $20 on select seats with a food donation for shows Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. (813) 229-7827.

Black Nativity: The traditional story celebrated in Scripture, verse, dance and song belted out by Sharon Scott and company Friday through Sunday at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg. Free, but tickets must be picked up in advance at Palladium. (727) 895-6620.

Penguin Appreciation Days: Because who doesn't love penguins? The Florida Aquarium will have themed activities and tuxedo shirt-wearing scuba divers Friday through Sunday. Included in admission. (813) 273-4000.

More to explore

With kids off school, need more to do? Go to tampa