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Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014
Things To Do

Best Bets: Fun stuff to do this week

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 14, 2013 at 02:38 AM

Can't decide what to do this week? Don't worry, we've got it figured out for you. Here are our editors' picks, including Wiz Khalifa at the Sun Dome and Tampa's downtown holiday parade.

FESTIVE LOCALE

(Opening Friday)

Busch Gardens launches Christmas Town, complete with Snow World, light displays choreographed to music, live shows and a village selling gifts and seasonal treats. It's $39.99 adults for adults and $9.99 children.

HO, HO, HOLIDAYS

(Saturday)

A parade will wind through downtown Tampa and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park will transform into a winter wonderland for Santa Fest, a free day of holiday activities including crafts, games and, of course, Santa Claus.

SNOW IN THE FORECAST

(Saturday)

Close to 65 tons of chipped-ice "snow" will fall on North Straub Park at the annual Snowfest St. Pete, which lets kids and adults make snowballs and ride an icy toboggan slide in downtown St. Petersburg. Admission is $5.

BIG TIME CONCERT

(Saturday)

After six years in Tampa, the annual 97X Next Big Thing concert fest crosses the bridge to find a new home at St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park. "Next Big Thing" refers to bands that are supposed up-and-comers, but the lineup is full of already-big names such as Rise Against, Bush, Silversun Pickups and Fun. Tickets are $45 in advance or $60 at the gate.

ODD ARTWORK

(Saturday)

Tattooed pig feet in jars, road kill suspended in resin, human bones and other oddities will be on display with more traditional, yet weird, works of art from more than 30 artists at the Abnormality art show at Station Number Three in St. Petersburg. Macabre magicians/mentalist 20 Penny Circus will perform at the free gallery event as well.

NO REST FOR THE "WICKED"

(Saturday)

Idina Menzel, star of Broadway musical smashes such as "Wicked" and "Rent," helps the Straz Center celebrate at its 25th anniversary with a performance that figures to mix show tunes with songs off her latest album. Gleeks, as "Glee" fans are known, will be excited – Menzel plays the mother of the character Rachel on the show. Tickets run from $39.50 to $89.50.

A WALK IN THE PAST

(Saturday and Sunday)

Beneath the towering silver minarets, the former Tampa Bay Hotel gets extravagantly decked out for the holidays for the 31{+s}{+t} annual Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B. Plant Museum. It's a classy way to get in the spirit, in a Dickensian-feeling setting. Admission is $13.

A BLAST OF COUNTRY

(Sunday)

Country singer Alan Jackson will trade in his cowboy hat for a red furry cap at Santa Blast, a concert and fireworks show at the Gary Amphitheatre. Rodney Atkins, Jana Kramer and others also will be in the sleigh, uh, on stage. Tickets are $59.95 or $80.35.

WIZ KID

(Sunday)

Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa has come a long way since his ear-worm "Black and Yellow" got stuck in your head before the Green Bay-Steelers Super Bowl. He'll be the first major hip-hop act to play the renovated USF Sun Dome, and it's happening just in time for his new album "O.N.I.F.C.," which comes out Tuesday. Tickets start at $30.

CLASSIC MOVIES, CLASSIC THEATER

The Tampa Theatre kicks off its holiday movie series with "The Muppet Christmas Carol," featuring a special interactive story and visit from Mrs. Claus. The $9 ticket also gets you a tour of the downtown movie palace, built in 1926.

BURP AND SEAL

(Opening Tuesday)

Dixie Longate brings her best Southern-fried sales tactics to the Straz Center for "Dixie's Tupperware Party," an evening where the lids, but not the lips, are sealed. Tickets are $36 or $43.

TWO DECADES OF TARANTINO

(Tuesday and Thursday)

Celebrate 20 years of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino's work with a screening of his first two movies, the violent, cult classic "Reservoir Dogs" and the Oscar-winning "Pulp Fiction." The "Tarantino XX" event also features a special feature exploring the director's career, and a selection of hand-picked movie trailers that inspired him. See fathomevents.com for participating Tampa-area theaters.

ON THE CHEAP

Nights of Shimmering Lights: Drive through a mile of more than a million holiday lights detailing a Christmas village and other seasonal sights; dark until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; dark until 9 p.m. Sunday; $20 per car, as many passengers as you can fit; Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, 4810 State Road 60, Dover; (813) 389-6858

DVD sale: Join the Friends of the North Tampa Library as they liquidate many of the library's movie resources for just pennies on the dollar; 11 a.m. Saturday; free; North Tampa Branch Library, 8916 N. Boulevard, Tampa; (813) 273-3652

Mini trains: Ride the mini trains of Largo Central Railroad for free the first full weekend of each month; 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; free, but donations accepted; Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo; (727) 586-7415

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