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; americanstage.org.
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.
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; buschgardens.com.
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; thewonderlandoflights.com.
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; mypalladium.org.
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; strazcenter.org.
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; mahaffeytheater.com.
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; jannuslive.com.
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; improvtampa.com.
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; theatticybor.com.
Last Fri: Improv troupe Dear Aunt Gertrude performs. boximprov.com. 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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Plan your weekend at tampabay.com/things-to-do.