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16 Hanukkah events happening in the Tampa Bay area

Here are some fun ways to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
You'll find menorahs in all shapes and sizes in celebration of Hanukkah.
You'll find menorahs in all shapes and sizes in celebration of Hanukkah. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Dec. 6, 2022|Updated Dec. 8, 2022

The Festival of Lights, better known as Hanukkah, runs Dec. 18-26 this year. The Tampa Bay area celebrates with runs, ice skating events and the lighting of giant menorahs. The following is a list of 16 events happening in our area.

Santa’s Holiday Revue: This fast-paced musical takes an around-the-world tour of the dances, songs and stories from Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and more. Kids can sing and clap along as they learn traditions and customs that instill holiday magic. $7.50-$8.50. 11 a.m. Saturday. Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. 727-587-6793.

A man dressed as a life-sized dreidel kicks off the annual Chase the Dreidel 5K Run in December 2018.
A man dressed as a life-sized dreidel kicks off the annual Chase the Dreidel 5K Run in December 2018. [ LUIS SANTANA | TIMES | Tampa Bay Times ]

Chase the Dreidel 5K Run: Chase a life-sized dreidel down 58th Street and the Pinellas Trail on a chip-timed, police-monitored course. Includes hand-made ceramic medals, T-shirt, swag bag and potato latke supper. $36 advance, $50 day of. 4-7 p.m. Sunday. Congregation B’nai Israel of St. Petersburg, 300 58th St. N. 727-381-4900.

Menorahs and Martinis: Design your own custom granite menorah at this pre-Hanukkah ladies’ night out with drinks, Hanukkah treats and a discussion on the role of women in the Hanukkah story. RSVP at YIChabad.com/Menorah. $18-$20. 7 p.m. Sunday. Chabad of Pinellas County, 3696 Fisher Road, Palm Harbor. 727-789-0408.

Let’s Gelt Lit: A night for young Jews in their 20s and 30s features poker, latkes, themed drinks, competitive dreidel and infused jelly doughnuts. Proceeds benefit the winner of the night’s charity of choice. RSVP to YIChabad.com/YJP. $18. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17. Chabad of Pinellas County, 3696 Fisher Road, Palm Harbor. 727-789-0408.

A bagel with lox and cream cheese is a traditional brunch item.
A bagel with lox and cream cheese is a traditional brunch item. [ HELEN FREUND | Tampa Bay Times ]

Bagels, Lox, Tefillin: A morning of prayer followed by brunch and a living torah video. Free (food may be additional). 9:30 a.m. Dec. 18. Chabad Chai: South Tampa, 606 S Tampania Ave., Tampa. 813-922-1723.

Community Hanukkah Celebration: Join the Jewish Federation of Florida’s Gulf Coast for a live concert by Noah Aronson, plus treats and activities for all ages. $2. 2 p.m. Dec. 18. Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center, 4951 78th Ave. N. 727-541-0895.

Hanukkah in the City: This year’s theme is Fire and Ice with a giant ice menorah, liquid fireworks by Spheres, a fire show, Klezmer band, Hanukkah gelt drop, latkes, doughnuts, raffles and a menorah lighting with elected officials. The first 50 people to RSVP at ChabadSP.com/Chanukah2022 get free Hanukkah beanies. Free. 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18. South Straub Park, 250 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg. 727-344-4900.

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Hanukkah on Ice: Hit the ice for a night of free skating with a jelly bean menorah lighting (6:15 p.m.), music, doughnuts, latkes, balloons, gelt and activities for all ages. Free. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 18. Westfield Countryside Mall, 27001 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater. 727-796-1070.

Hanukkah on Ice returns to Westfield Countryside Mall in Clearwater. It features open skating to contemporary Jewish music and classic Hanukkah songs, and a menorah-lighting ceremony.
Hanukkah on Ice returns to Westfield Countryside Mall in Clearwater. It features open skating to contemporary Jewish music and classic Hanukkah songs, and a menorah-lighting ceremony. [ Courtesy of Chabad of Pinellas County and Westfield Countryside Mall ]

8 Crazy Nights of Hanukkah: A cultural celebration of the Festival of Lights with eight nights of Hanukkah-inspired food, drink, dreidels and more. No cover (food/drink additional). 5-10 p.m. Dec. 18-26. Wheelhouse, 7220 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-623-0589.

Hanukkah on Main Street: Join Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch for a live Jewish soul concert by Tali Yess with a graffiti menorah, gelt drop, falafel, kosher barbecue, street art, strolling entertainers, face painting, doughnut decorating, latkes, dreidel mascot, a latke bike, dreidel moon bounce and raffles. Free. 6 p.m. Dec. 19. Lakewood Ranch Main Street, 8100 Main St., Lakewood Ranch. 941-752-3030.

Mega Hanukkah Celebration: The Beachwalk in front of the surf shop sets the scene for a giant Hanukkah party with introductions by Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard, the lighting of a surprise theme menorah, meet and greets with ThunderBug, latkes, doughnuts, a gelt drop by the Clearwater Fire Department, free gifts for every child and children’s entertainment. Free (RSVP required). 5 p.m. Dec. 20. Surf Style Mega Store, 311 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater. 727-265-2770.

Light Up St. Petersburg: Hanukkah Parade: Cars with lit menorahs mounted on top parade from the Jewish Center to Beach Zone, 5501 Gulf Blvd., St Pete Beach, for the lighting of a giant menorah with music and latkes. Free. 6 p.m. Dec. 22. Chabad Jewish Center, 4010 Park St. N, St. Petersburg. 727-344-4900.

A Night of Lights: The community is invited to celebrate the holiday with a grand menorah lighting, live entertainment, light food, face painting and crafts. Free. 5-8 p.m. Dec. 22. Water Street, 1045 E Cumberland Ave., Tampa.

Hanukkah in Ellenton: Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch join together for a menorah lighting at Ellenton Outlets with a magic show, music by Freylach Band, latkes, doughnuts, dreidels, a kosher dinner and Hanukkah art. RSVP required at chabadofbradenton.com/ellenton. Free (food additional). 6 p.m. Dec. 22. Ellenton Prime Outlets, 461 Factory Shops Blvd., Ellenton. 941-752-3030.

Oven-crisped potato latkes next to a menorah.  (AP Photo/Larry Crowe)
Oven-crisped potato latkes next to a menorah. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe) [ LARRY CROWE | AP Photo ]

Hanukkah Celebration: A traditional service followed by Hanukkah-inspired meals, crafts, games, a giant slide, menorah lighting, a movie, popcorn, doughnuts, hot chocolate and coffee. Free (food/drink/activities may be additional). 11 a.m. Dec. 24. Beit Tehila Congregation, 1705 Lithia Pinecrest Road, Brandon. 813-654-2222.

Vodka Latke: The party for young Jews ages 20 to 49 includes one drink, gourmet latkes, appetizers, desserts and a cash bar. Dressy casual attire required. $36-$45. 8 p.m.-midnight Dec. 24. Aloft, 100 Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. 813-264-9000.