This weekend is the curtain raiser for the entire Christmas season, and we have a whirlwind of yule-time activities in store with Santa, the elves, a whole lot of Muppets, a stunning Broadway actress, tuba players, some real dare-devils, a river of lights and, did we mention…Muppets.
SANTA FEST Saturday, Dec. 1 11 a.m.
Curtis Hixon Park will morph into a winter wonderland all day with family activities, Santa Claus, games, crafts and a whole lot of tuba players playing tuba music that sounds like Christmas carols. And of course there’s the skating rink right there. Free (not the skating rink)
Curtis Hixon Park 600 N. Ashley Drive Tampa 33602 813-966-5505
SANTA VISITS THE AQUARIUM Saturday, Dec. 10:30a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Boy, Santa’s a busy fella today. In his visit to the Florida Aquarium, he will pose for photos, and his elves will do the daily dive show. No reindeer in the water, please. Admission is $21.95 adults, $16.95 kids
Florida Aquarium 701 Channelside Drive Tampa 33602 813-273-4000 floridaaquarium.org/
OVER THE EDGE Saturday, Dec. 1 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Whew. Professionals will fit you into a helmet and a safety harness and drop you over the side of the 22-story, 280-foot high Franklin Exchange building and let you rappel your way to the bottom. You must be 18 or older and weigh between 110 and 300 pounds and wear a long sleeved shirt and long pants. Then at the bottom you will be put through a cardiovascular workout – ha! after dropping 280 feet you might need a doctor. All this in front of people who will be ready to faint just watching you. It’s all for a good cause the registration fee – a whopping $1,000 goes to Heartbeat International
The Vault 655 N. Franklin St. Tampa 33602 813-259-1213 heartbeatsaveslives.org
IDINA MENZEL Saturday, Dec. 1 8 p.m.
This stunning and talented Tony Award winner actress and singer who has starred on Broadway in Wicked and Rent will perform her one-woman show for you and it’s a stunner, too. Admission starts at $39.50
Straz Center/Performing Arts 1010 N. MacInnes Place Tampa 33602 813-229-7827 strazcenter.org
THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL Sunday, Dec. 2 3 p.m.
This presentation of the classic Christmas story is presented by the Tampa Theatre Holiday Classic Series, during which there will also be sing-alongs and mini-tours of the fabulous theatre. This portion will have a special visit from Mrs. Santa Claus for an interactive storytime with the youngsters. Admission is $9 and $7 members.
Tampa Theatre 711 N. Franklin St. Tampa 33602 813-274-8982 tampatheatre.org
RIVER OF LIGHTS CRUISE Sunday, Dec. 2 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Board the Yacht Star Ship for an amazing cruise up the Hillsborough River to see all of the dazzling lights on the bridges, the downtown Tampa skyline and Tampa Harbor homes. There will be a buffet, hot cocoa, cookies and caroling. Admission is $49.95 adults $29.95 kids.
Yacht Star Ship 603 Channelside Drive 813-223-7999 yachtstarship.com