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Top 10 events in Tampa Bay for the week of Dec. 7-13

Ruth Eckerd Hall brings back live concerts. Plus, there’s plenty of holiday spirit in the bay area with an Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl and Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa.
Travis Tritt is among the first performers to bring live concerts back to the main stage at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater this week.
Travis Tritt is among the first performers to bring live concerts back to the main stage at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater this week.
Published Dec. 8, 2020
Updated Dec. 14, 2020

Live concerts return: Ruth Eckerd Hall this week becomes the first large venue to bring live concerts back to the main stage. Masks are required, ticketing is contactless and seating is limited to 50 percent of the theater capacity. The lineup:

  • Geoff Tate: The multiplatinum-selling, Grammy-nominated rocker brings his Empire 30th Anniversary Tour: Empire and Rage for Order in Their Entirety. $32.75-$53.75. 8 p.m. Monday.
  • 38 Special: Take a ride through the journey of the band’s 40-plus years of hits. $105.50-$515. 8 p.m. Wednesday.
  • Travis Tritt: The multi-Grammy Award winner returns for a solo acoustic performance. $59.25-$93.25. 8 p.m. Saturday.
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: The contemporary swing revival band has been together for more than 25 years. They recently played their 3,000th concert. $33.75-$53.75. 8 p.m. Sunday.

All performances will be held at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. 727-791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

Chihuahua Chuy is decked out in an ugly Christmas sweater and ready for downtown Tampa's Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl Saturday night.
Chihuahua Chuy is decked out in an ugly Christmas sweater and ready for downtown Tampa's Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl Saturday night.

Tampa’s Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl: Slip into your most hideous holiday sweater for an evening of Christmas naughtiness as you hop among seven downtown bars with a welcome shot at each bar. Includes food and drink specials, bar games and a raffle. Stops include: American Social, District Tavern, Maloney’s Irish Pub, La La’s Sangria, Yeoman’s Cask & Lion, GenX Tavern and Park & Rec TPA. If a bar is too crowded, you may be asked to come back later. $10-$25. 4-10 p.m. Saturday. Park & Rec TPA, 290 S Meridian Ave., Tampa. 702-682-1982.

Suncoast Primate Sanctuary’s Winter Celebration: Santa makes an appearance as you visit with primates and enjoy a petting zoo and cookie decorating. Social distancing is in effect throughout the park. $15, $10 ages 3-10, 2 and younger free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Suncoast Primate Sanctuary Foundation, 4600 Alt. U.S. 19, Palm Harbor. 727-943-5897.

Deck Your Cart: Bike, scooter and golf cart owners decorate their rides and parade through the streets. If you want to take part in the parade, check in starts at 4 p.m. in front of Sip. Staging begins at 6 at railroad square, east and west of Grand Boulevard. The parade begins at 7. Social distancing and masks are required for spectators and participants. Free. 7 p.m. Sunday. Sip, 6231 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. 727-203-8107.

Christmas in the Country: Stroll through the 4-acre complex and experience seasonal decor, music and traditions of Florida communities just before the turn of the 20th century. Explore 13 original buildings including a train depot, historic homes, general store, post office and blacksmith shop. Also, create holiday keepsakes like salt dough ornaments and take part in traditional holiday games and activities. $12, $10 seniors/students, 5 and younger free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. 813-627-4225.

Santa’s Dreamland Carnival: This family-fun community event features midway rides and games, a 10-acre holiday light and tree display, real snow, Santa Claus visits, sleigh rides, community entertainment and food and artisan vendors. Masks and social distancing are encouraged. Hand sanitizers and hand-washing stations will be available on the midway. Free, $25-$30 activities. 5-10 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. The Grove at Wesley Chapel, 6105 Wesley Grove Blvd., Wesley Chapel. 866-666-3247.

In 2019, Lilliana Diamantopulos, 14, left, Margarita Diamantopulos, 17, and Hanna Horan, 12, perform "The Nutcracker" indoors. This year, COVID-19 is forcing the Next Generation Ballet to perform the show outside.
In 2019, Lilliana Diamantopulos, 14, left, Margarita Diamantopulos, 17, and Hanna Horan, 12, perform "The Nutcracker" indoors. This year, COVID-19 is forcing the Next Generation Ballet to perform the show outside.

Nutcracker Wonderland: Next Generation Ballet reimagines the holiday classic for this outdoor performance. Includes a visit from Santa. Masks are required and chairs will be spaced 6 feet apart. $48.50, $33.50 children. 5:30, 7 and 8:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 5:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday. The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. 813-229-7827.

Christmas in the Wild: An outdoor seasonal adventure featuring twinkling lights, wildlife, holiday treats and adventures. This year includes the Forest of Fantasy, a Christmas Market, Holiday Kaleidoscope, Illuminate, Caribbean Christmas and Felices Dias Festivos. Timed reservations are strongly recommended as crowds will be limited. Masks are required and social distancing is enforced. $26.95. 4-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. ZooTampa at Lowry Park, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. 813-935-8552.

Christmas Movies in the Park: Pack the family in the car for a socially distanced, outdoor screening of The Polar Express, and bring items to be donated to assemble holiday gift packs for the military. Requested items include ramen noodles, tuna fish, toothbrushes, toothpaste, pens, playing cards, books, board games and tea bags. Benefits Operation: Military Matters. Free. 6-9 p.m. Friday. St. Pete Beach Community Center and Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive. 727-360-6957.

A Christmas Carol: St. Petersburg City Theatre presents this one-act adaptation of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic featuring 10 actors performing all 40 characters. Audiences are socially distanced and face coverings are required. $23, $15 students, $10 ages 10 and younger. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. St. Petersburg City Theatre, 4025 31st St. S. 727-866-1973.