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Things To Do

Best Bets: Fun stuff to do this week

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 05:42 PM

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 Tampa Tee Off and Stephen Lynch at the Straz Center.

AT THE MOVIES

(Opening Friday)

"Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson returns to Middle-earth to tell the tale of a hobbit (Martin Freeman) who is swept into a quest to help a group of dwarves reclaim their kingdom from a dragon.

THWACK!

(Friday)

Tee Off Tampa gives you a chance to whack some golf balls between the skyscrapers of downtown Tampa. Nets and cranes will transform the 500 block of North Franklin Street into a driving range from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with buckets on sale for $8.

JOYOUS SOUNDS

(Friday and Sunday)

The Tampa Oratorio Singers with the Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir will rise above the loudness of your holiday sweater when they sing the Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah" at three free concerts this weekend.

SCROOGED

(Through Dec. 30)

FreeFall Theatre puts a musical spin on the holiday classic "A Christmas Carol" that may even put a smile on Scrooge's dour mug. God bless us, everyone. Tickets are $37 or $44.

WORTH THE TRIP

(Through April 14)

Powerful nobles, ancient heroes and artistic muses are among the subjects in the sumptuous artwork of Paolo Veronese featured in a new exhibit at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. Admission is $25 for adults and $20 for seniors.

CHRISTMAS ROCKS

(Saturday)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the platinum-selling group known for melding orchestral, symphonic and progressive rock and heavy metal elements into Christmas music takes the stage at the Forum. Tickets are $30 to $58.

JOURNEY TO THE MOON

(Opening Saturday)

MOSI's newest permanent exhibit, "Mission: Moonbase," takes visitors on a simulated trip to the lunar surface, where they'll work to maintain a moon colony in the year 2070, monitoring the atmosphere, food and water. The exhibit is included with MOSI admission, which is $17.95 to $21.95.

LAUGH ALONG SONG

(Saturday)

From a vegan lifestyle to odd tattoos, everything is up for grabs when Stephen Lynch, a self-described "musician trapped in a comedian's body," hits the Straz stage with his guitar and sense of humor. Tickets start at $32.50.

CHRISTMAS MEETS HALLOWEEN

(Saturday)

Czar nightclub in Ybor hosts the annual "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed dance party The Hallucination Before Christmas. Hallucination Recordings DJs will be spinning electronic music in four of the club's rooms, each decked out in themes such as "Jack's Christmas Graveyard and Pumpkin Patch." The event doubles as a canned food drive for Feeding America Tampa Bay. The cover is $20, plus three cans.

REAL FUNNY

(Friday through Sunday)

Winner of season two of the reality-competition show "Last Comic Standing" and regular on Comedy Central's "Premium Blend," John Heffron, performs four nights of stand-up at the Tampa Improv in Ybor City. Leave the kids at home for this one, the performances are 21-and-up only. Tickets run $17 to $20.

ON THE CHEAP

Free burrito: Donate a new toy to Toys for Tots and score a free burrito or order of chips and queso; Friday through Sunday; Tampa-area Qdoba locations.

Movie under the stars: "The Polar Express" will be screened under the stars and on the lawn along with free popcorn for everyone; 7 p.m. Friday; free; Avalon Park West, 5227 Autumn Ridge Drive, Wesley Chapel; (813) 364-4918

Christmas house: Come tour the lights, decorated trees, train sets and nutcrackers while local choral groups perform; 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday; free; Old Lutz Schoolhouse, 18819 N. U.S. 41, Lutz; (813) 601-0874

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