Top things to do in Tampa Bay on Thanksgiving (Nov. 22)

If you’re no couch potato, here’s where to a turkey trot, listen to some bluegrass or check out holiday lights.
Dale Posey of Lutz wears a turkey hat at the the Tampa Bay Times’ annual Turkey Trot in Clearwater in 2017. (Times files)
Dale Posey of Lutz wears a turkey hat at the the Tampa Bay Times’ annual Turkey Trot in Clearwater in 2017. (Times files)
Published November 20 2018
Updated November 20 2018

Times Turkey Trot: Start Thanksgiving off with a buffet of races including the 1-mile Gobbler, Abe’s Drumstick 4K, Wingding 5K and the 10K Turkey Trot. The turducken of all these races is the Clearwater Challenge, with runners doing the 5K, 1 Mile and 10K all in one day. All races begin at Keene Road just south of Gulf to Bay Boulevard. 7 a.m., Clearwater High School, 540 S Hercules Ave., Clearwater. $15-$50. (727) 442-5838.

Goody Goody Turkey Gobble: A stroller and dog friendly 8K, 5K or 1-mile out and back race with a post-race breakfast. Benefits LiveStrong at YMCA. 6:30 a.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $15-$35 advance, $15-$40 day of. (813) 224-9622;

Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival: Annual show offers bluegrass music during the three day event. Bring a covered dish at 2 p.m. Nov. 22 (Thursday) for the family traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the ranch. Sertoma supplies the turkey. 1:45 p.m., Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Road, Brooksville. Weekend adult tickets, $85; daily tickets at the gate $20-35; camping sites available. (828) 265-9929;

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens: More than 2 million twinkling lights transform the park into a holiday wonderland with Rudolph, Christmas-themed entertainment and visits with Santa in his house. Included with admission through Dec. 31. 10 a.m., Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. $104, 2 and younger free. Save $15 if you order online. (813) 884-4386;

Holiday in the Park: The park is illuminated with holiday lights for this arts and crafts festival with ferris wheels carousel rides, holiday caroling, food vendors, giveaways and visits with Santa. 6 p.m., Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo. Free. (727) 586-7415.

Wonderland of Lights : Drive through 1-mile of animated and still light displays, as well as a Christmas village featuring animals of Bethlehem, camel rides, a comedy shoe, magic and photos with Santa. 6 p.m., Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, Corner of Sydney Washer Road and Hwy 60, Brandon. $20-$25. Toll-free 1-800-377-4625;


Meghan’s New Life: The Real Princess Diaries, 9 p.m., ABC: The hourlong news special explores how Meghan Markle has been adjusting to royal life since her marriage to Prince Harry. Former palace insiders, historians and longtime royal observers weigh in.


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