Tree lightings and more: Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Friday Nov. 30

Tampa officially lights up its tree and there’s a Power and Sailboat Show all weekend in St. Pete.
The City of Tampa Tree that will be officially lit on Friday night at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Times (2011)
The City of Tampa Tree that will be officially lit on Friday night at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Times (2011)
Published November 29 2018
Updated November 30 2018


Tampa’s Tree Lighting Ceremony: Join the countdown as Mayor Bob Buckhorn lights the city’s tree before a free movie screening. 6 p.m., Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Free. (813) 274-8854.

Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberly: Opening Night: This sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is set during the holidays. Runs through Dec. 30. $70, includes post show coffee and dessert. 8 p.m., American Stage, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. $44-$54; a subscription-style $15 a month for people younger than 30 and free for people younger than 20. (727) 823-7529;

Tampa Theatre Outdoor Holiday Classics: Tampa Theatre brings back the popular outdoor screening of holiday classic films. Bring lawn chairs and blankets to watch The Santa Clause on a 40-foot screen with a high intensity projector. 7:30 p.m., Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Free. (813) 274-5508.

Christmas in the Wild: The animals come out at night for the zoo’s holiday party with carolers, a 50-foot animated Christmas tree, a holiday hoedown, storytime with Mrs. Claus and a Candy Cane Lane. Included with admission, or $24.95 after 4 p.m. on event days. Runs through Dec. 30 on select nights. 4 p.m., ZooTampa at Lowry Park, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. Zoo admission: $34.95, $25.95 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free. (813) 935-8552.

RELATED: Theme parks are lighting up for the holidays. What to know, right here.

River of Lights Christmas Cruise: Board the Pirate Taxi for a 45-minute cruise up the Hillsborough River to see festively lighted bridges and shimmering downtown skylines. Includes hot cocoa, cookies and Christmas carols. Departs hourly between 6 and 10 p.m. 6 p.m., Pirate Water Taxi, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. $28, $18 children. (813) 223-7999.

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;


St. Petersburg Ballet: The Nutcracker: Showcasing future dancers/students of world-renowned schools and companies. 7:30 p.m., Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $25, $15 students/seniors/youth. (727) 343-4122;

Opera Tampa: Die Fledermaus: This lighthearted, drunken revenge comedy earned Johann Strauss II his place in the operatic canon. Sung in English. $67. 8 p.m., Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets start at $67. (813) 229-7827;

St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show: The yacht basin and Albert Whitted Park will be filled with hundreds of sail and power boats. Once again, the event also includes a 40,000-square-foot tent housing marine gear, children’s activities, seminars and clinics. 10 a.m., Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $17, 15 and younger free. (954) 463-6762;

Better Than Ezra: Alternative rock band will headline a “Rock the Cure” concert along with a performance from The Outpatients. 6 p.m., Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $40. (727) 565-0550;

John Witherspoon: Best known as Ice Cube’s dad in the hit Friday movies, Witherspoon has also starred in The Wayans Brothers TV show and I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. 8 and 10:30 p.m., Improv Comedy Theater, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $22 - $25. (813) 864-4000;

Marc Broussard: Singer and songwriter and his band play “Bayou Soul”, which is a mix of funk, blues, R&B, rock, and pop with Southern roots will perform his latest album Easy to Love and more with his band. 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. (727) 791-7400.

Restless Heart: One of the most successful bands in country music history that is still touring after 35 years with its original members will perform. 8 p.m., Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo. $34.50 - $49.50, add $5 at the door. (727) 586-7415.

JJ Grey: The leading singer of the Southern soul rock band performs solo for a two-night show. 7:30 p.m., The Attic, 1510 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $55-$95. (828) 773-9481;

Last Fri: Improv troupe Dear Aunt Gertrude performs. 7:30 p.m., The Box Theater at University Square Mall, 2200 E Fowler Avenue, Tampa. $5. (813) 400-0269.


Blue Bloods, 10 p.m., CBS: A video surfaces of cops being harassed by a group of people at a housing complex. It prompts Frank to order a raid to round up anyone with an outstanding warrant — against Garrett’s (Gregory Jbara) advice.

Angela’s Christmas, Netflix: Inspired by a children’s book by Frank McCourt, the animated tale follows a little Irish girl who causes a bit of a commotion when she attends church and hatches a plan to help baby Jesus stay warm.


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