ART EXHIBITS AND HOLIDAY SHOPPING
Annual Christmas Show and Sale Select from a variety of unique holiday gifts, including ceramics, prints, pottery, calligraphy, cards and more. An opening reception takes place from 3 to 5 p.m. Sun., Dec. 2. Dec. 2-7, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Elliott Gallery — Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, 727-864-8340.
Candy Cane Lane Holiday Craft Fair Featuring homemade crafts, ornaments, jewelry, food and more. Sat., Dec. 8, 9 a.m. Free admission. Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin, 727-812-4530.
Holiday Art Sale Featuring discounted original paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics and holiday gifts as well as free cider and cookies for all shoppers. Proceeds benefit Project Return, a nonprofit that provides educational, vocational, and supportive housing services to people with mental illnesses. Dec. 8-9, 11 p.m.-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Free admission. The Lobby Gallery 2 @ Project Return, 303 W. Waters Ave., Tampa.
Stargazing: The Arts Center Holiday Exhibition A variety of media — holiday-themed and otherwise — by artists who've been featured at the center over the past several years, including Chuck Boux, Jack Barrett, Robert Giordano, Nancy Cervenka and Yasuko Nakamura. In conjunction, the center hosts its annual Holiday Family Day, which features a "Once Upon a Time" holiday story workshop with Walter Deanovich, clay ornament- and merry stick puppet-making activities, a giant puppet play, artists demos, refreshments and holiday music (1-4 p.m. Sun., Dec. 9). The works are on display through Dec. 31, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. Free admission. 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-822-7872, theartscenter.org.
BENEFITS AND FUNDRAISERS
Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis The Arthritis Foundation hosts this annual 5k competitive run and one-mile fitness walk, with participants wearing jungle bells on their shoes and awards going to the highest fund raisers. Sat., Dec. 1, registration 7 a.m., walk 8 a.m. Fred Howard Park, 1700 Sunset Drive, Tarpon Springs; and Wed., Dec. 5, registration 6 p.m., walk 7 p.m. Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa. Race fees are $20 for early registrants and $25 on the day of the race; call 800-850-9455 or visit arthritis.org to register or for more info.
Holiday Open House A sale of handcrafted ornaments by artists in Gulf Coast Museum of Art's collection, art class instructors and talented volunteers. Proceeds support GCMA's educational programs for adults and children. Wed., Dec. 5, 3-5 p.m. Free admission. GCMA, Pinewood Cultural Park, 12211 Walsingham Road, Largo, 727-518-6833, gulfcoastmuseum.org.
Safford House Museum Victorian Candlelight Tour The house is decorated for the season and reflects the spirit of Christmas as it was celebrated in the 1880s. A vintage toy exhibit, live music and seasonal refreshments are also featured. Proceeds support the museum's continued restoration. Dec. 6-9, 5:30-8 p.m. Thurs-Sun. $10 general/$5 members. 23 Parkin Court, Tarpon Springs, 727-937-1130.
Third Annual Latin Christmas Party & Children's Toy Drive Latin Times Magazine and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce invite the public to this special edition of the monthly First Friday Latin ConneXions Business Networking Social. which features a free buffet and exhibit. All attendees should bring a new unwrapped toy. Fri., Dec. 7, 5:30-9 p.m., Mirage Restaurant and Lounge, 3605 W. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, 813-901-5292, Latin-Connections.com.
20th Annual Deck the Halls Sale Peruse an assortment of handmade ornaments ($5 each) produced by artists from all over Florida. All proceeds benefit The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast. Sat., Dec. 8, 5:30-9 p.m. Free admission. Artspace, 10 Fifth St. N., St. Petersburg, 727-418-8887, artspaceartists.com.
Still No Room at the Inn Carol with ASAP Homeless services at shelters and various other sites in downtown St. Petersburg. Interested carolers enjoy a free cookout beforehand and refreshments afterward. Interested participants should meet at the ASAP Drop-in Center. Fri., Dec. 14, 7-9 p.m. Free. 423 11th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, 727-823-5665.
PARADES, LIGHTS, FESIVALS, SPECIAL EVENTS
Hillsborough County's Annual Festival of Lights Santa flips the switch and sets the Courthouse Square ablaze with thousands of lights adorning all the trees in the park. Guests can also enjoy a street carnival with games, arts and crafts, holiday treats, faux-snow, live entertainment and more. Thurs., Nov. 29, 5-9 p.m. Free admission. Chillura Courthouse Square, Pierce Street and Kennedy Boulevard, downtown Tampa. Call 813-272-5275 for more information.
Eighth Annual Wild Wonderland Lowry Park Zoo's winter festival features seasonal lights and holiday displays throughout the zoo, live reindeer appearances, a "Jingle Bell Narrated Carriage Ride," holiday carolers and live bands, themed games, visits with Santa and more. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 7-8, 14-16, 19-23 and 26-30, 6-9 p.m. $13 adults ($9.95 members)/$11 ages 3 to 11 ($7.50 members; children 2 and younger enter free). 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa, 813-935-8552, lowryparkzoo.com.
Indian Rocks Beach Tree Lighting Area folks are invited to the lighting of the Indian Rocks Beach Christmas tree. Fri., Nov. 30, 7 p.m. 12th Avenue Park. ALSO: Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Parade The parade starts at Holiday Inn Harbourside Marina (401 Second St., Indian Rocks Beach), and travels north throughout Indian Rocks. Sun., Dec. 2, 1 p.m. For information about either event, call 727-595-2517.