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Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 19

A make-your-own s'mores bar, like the one shown here, will be among the many attractions for people of all ages inside Santa's Village at the Wonderland of Lights of Tampa Bay show, which opens on Thanksgiving night and runs through Dec. 30. Photos courtesy of North Pole Productions.
A make-your-own s'mores bar, like the one shown here, will be among the many attractions for people of all ages inside Santa's Village at the Wonderland of Lights of Tampa Bay show, which opens on Thanksgiving night and runs through Dec. 30. Photos courtesy of North Pole Productions.
Published Dec. 18, 2017

Wonderland of Lights: This 32 day event incorporates dozens of animated and still light displays, as well as a Christmas village featuring horse-drawn wagon rides, the North Pole Express, a petting zoo, holiday mural coloring, games, camel and pony rides, visits with Santa and holiday food. 6 p.m., Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, Corner of Sydney Washer Road and Hwy 60, Brandon. $20, $75 buses. Toll-free 1-800-377-4625.

Santa's Workshop: MOSI's Idea Zone is transformed into a video game and animation inspired winter wonderland where "elves" create mini movies, glowing cards and wood works. 10 a.m., Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $12.95, $10.95 seniors, $7.95 ages 3-12, 2 and younger free. Member discounts available. Ropes course is $7. Free parking. (813) 987-6000.

Let It Snow: The planetarium's 32-minute holiday show features festive classics from Frank Sinatra and Chuck Berry to Burl Ives and Brenda Lee, with a multi-media finale by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. Included with museum admission. 1:45 p.m., Bishop Planetarium at the South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W, Bradenton. $19, $17 seniors, $14 ages 4-12, 3 and younger free. (941) 746-4131.

Ice Skating at Tampa's Winter Village: Even in Florida, you can get in the holiday spirit by ice skating on an outdoor rink in the park. Each 90-minute session includes skate rental. Stop by the cafe for themed drinks and holiday snacks. 4 p.m., Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. $13. (813) 221-3686.

Largo Holiday Lights: See a life sized blue whale among more than six scenes constructed of 2-million LED lights. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel or carousel for a different view. 5 p.m., Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo. Free, $5 ferris wheel and carousel rides. (727) 587-6740, ext. 5014.

Holiday Lights in the Gardens: Stroll through the gardens with more than 1-million twinkly lights, music synchronization, lasers and Florida-style displays, entertainers and visits with Santa along the pathways. Tuesday is "Tripod Tuesday." Amateur and professional photographers capture the lights and share their best photos. 5:30 p.m., Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. Donation of $4 suggested; 12 and younger free. (727) 582-5800.

Forbes Family Holiday Light Display: More than 250,000 LED lights choreographed to synchronized music with a 24-foot decorated tree, leaping arches, 21 singing mini trees and a giant light wall. 5:30 p.m., Masonic Park and Youth Camp, 18050 U.S. 301 S, Wimauma. Free. (813) 634-1220.

Santa and Ice Skating in St. Petersburg: Santa and his sleigh will be appearing on select nights in St. Petersburg for visits with area children. After visiting Santa, stick around for "glice" skating on a simulated ice rink. 6 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive, St. Petersburg. Free; $5 skating. (727) 893-7441.

Drag Queen Bingo: Drag queens call the numbers for 10 games of flamboyant bingo. Benefits Friends of Strays. 7 p.m., Hamburger Mary's Bar & Grill, 2901 Tyrone Blvd. N, St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 851-9386.

Seasonal Sparkle: St. Petersburg Opera presents a celebration of all four seasons in a mixture of classical, popular and holiday music featuring the St. Petersburg Orchestra, chorus and international soloists. 7:30 p.m., Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $22-$67. (727) 823-2040.

Tomaseen Foley's Celtic Christmas: For the past 19 years, this ensemble of musicians, dancers and singers have assembled from both sides of the Atlantic to perform an authentic Irish show. 7:30 p.m., Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $19.50-$34.50. (727) 587-6793.

Selwyn Birchwood: Contemporary bluesman, guitarist and vocalist will perform songs from his latest album Pick Your Poison and more. 8 p.m., Hideaway Cafe and Recording Studio, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25. (727) 644-7895.

TO WATCH

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special, 9:30 p.m., Fox: Sid the sloth fears he's on Santa's naughty list after ruining Manny's decorations, so he and his pals go to the North Pole to try to clear his name.

MORE TO EXPLORE

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