Top Tampa Bay area events for the week of Dec. 25-31

Ring in the new year with fireworks, or check out more than 100 cats at the International Cat Association’s cat show in Largo.
Fireworks go off in the Vinoy Yacht Basin in St. Petersburg as part of the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration in 2021.
Fireworks go off in the Vinoy Yacht Basin in St. Petersburg as part of the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration in 2021. [ BOYZELL HOSEY | Times ]
Published Dec. 25, 2023

New Year’s Eve Fireworks: Not all cities and municipalities are having fireworks displays this New Year’s Eve. Here are a few we found.

  • Light It Up Clearwater: Relax with your toes in the sand as Amplify Clearwater rings in the new year with fireworks. This year’s display will take place on the northernmost part of Sand Key Park, but Sand Key Park will be closed to the public. The best viewing area is the southern part of Clearwater Beach, but the fireworks will be visible all along the beach. Free. Approximately 11:59 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 31). Sand Key Park, 1060 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater. 727-588-4852.
  • City of Treasure Island Fireworks: Fireworks will be set off from the beach access area. Good viewing is available all along the beach and from St. Pete Beach and Indian Rocks. Free. Approximately 11:59 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 31). Treasure Island Beach Access, 10400 Gulf Blvd. 727-549-6165.
  • City of St. Petersburg Fireworks: Fireworks will be launched from Vinoy Park and visible all along the downtown waterfront. The show will last about 20 minutes. Parking garages, city lots and metered parking are available throughout the downtown area. Free. Approximately 11:59 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 31). Vinoy Park, 701 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg.
Thanks to donations from sponsors, First Night St. Petersburg returns this year.
EVE EDELHEIT I Times Thanks to donations from sponsors, First Night St. Petersburg returns this year. [ EDELHEIT, EVE | Times (2015) ]

First Night: Thanks to numerous sponsors, First Night St. Petersburg is back — and it’s free. North Straub Park will be filled with music, art, interactive displays, theater, dance and more. Free. 4-8 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 31). North Straub Park, 400 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg. 727-225-0590.

Putt the Pier: The 18-hole adventure is set over water and consists of holiday-themed obstacles with festive music. Golf balls are made of biodegradable material so they break down if they land in the water. $12. Noon-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday (Dec. 25-30), noon-midnight Sunday (Dec. 31). The Pier, 615 Second Ave. N., St. Petersburg.

Snow Days at the Aquarium: The “Snow Fly Zone” this year has added activities including a snowball toss, snowball slingshot, snow painting and a snow maze. Aquarium staff will constantly be making new snow to keep it fresh. There will be dashing through a snow maze, snowball cornhole, dancing on the rooftop terrace and more. Included with admission; $29.70 and up. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 26), 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday (Dec. 27-28), 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday (Dec. 29-30), 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 31). The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813-273-4000.

Winter Village: Winter Village has returned, with a cafe, shops, ice skating, movies, a silent disco (Friday only), Winter Village Express on the TECO Trolley, hourly light shows (7-10 p.m.), curling, theme nights and more. Hours given are for the shops and cafe. For a schedule of special events, ice skating times and tickets, go to Village free, skating and some special events additional. Noon-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (Dec. 26-31). Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa.

Christmas Town: For the annual celebration of yuletide traditions, the theme park is transformed with millions of lights, offers themed treats and features festive entertainment and photo ops aplenty. Meet Santa and the elves, take photos with Rudolph and his friends and enjoy special “Christmas on Ice” skating show. Included with admission. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. 813-884-4386.

Scents of the Season: Enjoy dazzling lights and a multisensory experience that features 10 scents that are a nod to the holidays. There will also be a “Season’s Tweetings” scavenger hunt with “Gingerbird” Houses. Additional holiday events include meet-and-greets with Santa, cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus and DIY Gingerbird House classes. $27, $25 seniors, $22 ages 4-12, 3 and younger free; Season’s Tweetings, $7 additional. 5-10:30 p.m. Monday (Dec. 25), noon-7:30 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 28), noon-10:30 p.m. Friday (Dec. 29), 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 30), 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 31). Fairgrounds St. Pete, 2606 Fairfield Ave. S., St. Petersburg.

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Take the kids to Snowcat Ridge while they're on holiday break.
Take the kids to Snowcat Ridge while they're on holiday break. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Snowcat Ridge: A “blizzard” has struck, bringing an ice slide, ice skating, snow fights in an igloo, Christmas Lane, an Alpine Village and more. General admission includes two hours of sledding. Upgrades available for unlimited sledding and additional activities. $26.95 and up (varies by date and time slot). 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday (Dec. 26-28), 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday (Dec. 28-30), 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 31). Snowcat Ridge, 27839 Saint Joe Road, Dade City. 813-576-1450.

$5 After 5 P.M. Thursdays: Join Imagine Museum on Thursdays for only $5 between the hours of 5 and 8 p.m. Imagine Museum features more than 500 contemporary glass art masterpieces from around the world in a 34,000-square-foot gallery. $5 after 5 p.m., 6 and younger free. 5-8 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 28). Imagine Museum, 1901 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-300-1700.

Cat Show: The International Cat Association hosts this show featuring 100 cats from around the world, with up to 30 different breeds as well as non-pedigree cats. Cat-related wares will be for sale, and local cat rescuers will be on hand with adoptable cats. $10, $5 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (Dec. 30-31). Minnreg Building, 6340 126th Ave. N., Largo. 813-767-6535.

St. Pete Walking Mural Tour: Hear the stories behind the making of murals in the Central Arts District in downtown St. Petersburg. 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday (Dec. 30). Florida CraftArt, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-458-9839.

A British shorthair kitten gets a kiss from its owner during a cat show.
A British shorthair kitten gets a kiss from its owner during a cat show. [ VADIM GHIRDA | AP ]

Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet: The 30th anniversary holiday show features stars from the Ukraine Ballet performing with larger-than-life puppets. $37 and up. Noon, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 30). Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. 727-300-2000.

Salute to Vienna: New Year’s Concert: Welcome 2024 with a European-inspired New Year’s celebration modeled after the world-famous New Year’s Concert in Vienna. $35-$100. 3 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 31). Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. 727-791-7400.

Zubrick Magic Theatre: Illusionists Chris and Ryan Zubrick conjure up sleight-of-hand, family-friendly comedy and grand-scale illusions in their 70-minute show. $44 and up. 7 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday (Dec. 26-27), 4 and 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday (Dec. 28-30), 2 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 31). Zubrick Magic Theatre, 1211 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg. 866-982-7425.