AND HOLIDAY SHOPPING Pasco Arts Council's Holiday House 2004 The house sparkles with holiday decorations and a large assortment of fine handcrafted items from community artists, as well as manufactured items, available for purchase. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through Dec. 23 at The Pasco Arts Center, 5744 Moog Road, Holiday, 727-845-7322.
A Season of Giving: Members Holiday Show and Sale This holiday exhibit is an 18-year tradition in St. Petersburg and features handmade gifts by 250 Florida fine craft artists. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat. Continues through Dec. 31 at Florida Craftsmen Gallery, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-821-7391.
Celebrations: Annual Holiday Exhibition Holiday-themed works by center members, featuring ornaments, jewelry, pottery, paintings, holiday cards, handblown glass and more. Free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., and noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sun. Continues through Dec. 31 at The Arts Center, 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-822-7872.
BENEFITS AND FUNDRAISERS Uhuru Holiday Pies Scrumptious, fresh-baked apple crumb ($11), pumpkin ($7) and sweet potato pies ($9) are available for pickup from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 23-24. Proceeds benefit the African People's Education and Defense Fund programs. To order pies, help sell pies or to volunteer, call 727-821-2437 or go to www.apedf.org. Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles, 945 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-821-2437.
Holiday Pet Present Sale Purchase the perfect gifts for your four-legged friends at this SPCA fundraising event. All of the retail items, which include cards, leashed, pet toys and apparel, are discounted from 20 to 50 percent off, and shoppers can also pick up pet adoption certificates. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fri., and noon to 5 p.m. on Sat. and Sun. through Dec. 31, at the SPCA of Pinellas County, 9099 130th Ave, N., Largo, 727 586 3591.
Lights of Lake Park Estates Each year, the residents of Lake Park Estates light up the neighborhood to celebrate the holidays, and collect donations and canned goods for ASAP's Harvest Time Food Bank, a nonperishable food pantry. Visitors are encouraged to bring donations or a canned food item. 6:30-10 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., and 6:30-11 p.m. Fri. and Sat. Continues through Dec. 31. For directions, call 727-586-4432 or go to www.thehospice.org/lolp.htm.PARADES, FESTIVALS
AND SPECIAL EVENTS Holiday Lights at the Florida Botanical Gardens This year-round tourist attraction is spectacular all on its own. But with tens of thousands of lights filling the sky with color, and illuminated snowflakes, butterflies and flowers adding a somewhat surreal ambiance, this is an excellent opportunity to see the gardens in a whole new, um ... light. Free. Holiday hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; evening illumination occurs from 6 to 10 p.m. and continues through Jan. 2, at the Florida Botanical Gardens (Pinewood Cultural Park), 12175 125th St. N., Largo, 727-582-2100.
Holiday Nature and Science Camp The City of Clearwater Parks & Recreation Department and the Science Safari Education Company offer this day camp where youngsters can explore nature and science through hands-on games, crafts, fun activities, animal encounters and special demonstrations. For ages 6 to 11. Admission is $18 per day. Structured activities differ each day, and occur from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children are supervised during extended camp hours (8 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 5 p.m.). Campers must arrive by 9:30 a.m. For more information, call 727-585-2298. Dec. 23 and 27-31, at Moccasin Lake Nature Park, 2750 Park Trail Lane, Clearwater.
23rd Annual Victorian Christmas Stroll Experience the charm of a 19th-century holiday as the H.B. Plant Museum is transformed into the Tampa Bay Hotel of 1891. A richly decorated tree is featured in each room, and lush greenery and decorations are draped throughout the Grand Hall. Admission is $9 for adults and $3 for ages 3 to 12. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Dec. 23. The museum is closed on Christmas Eve and day, and re-opens Dec. 26 with new operating hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and pricing ($5 adults/$2 children). The strolls continue through Jan. 2. 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 813-258-7302.
The Christmas House One of St. Pete's most well-known Christmas light displays is spread over half an acre of land and features almost a quarter of a million lights and over 400 moving and animated objects. 6 to 10 p.m. Mon.-Sun. through Jan. 3. 2719 Oakdale St. S., St. Petersburg, 727-896-6500.
THEATERThe Nutcracker Local dance school students partner with Miami City Ballet and The Florida Orchestra to present this performance of the holiday classic. Tickets: $26-$40. 2 and 8 p.m. Sat., and 1 p.m. Sun., Dec. 23-24, at Ruth Eckerd Hall.
Babes in Toyland Part of Van Wezel's 2004-05 Broadway series, Babes in Toyland takes place in a land where toys walk, talk and sing. Tickets: $26-$30. 3 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 24, at Van Wezel Performing Arts Center.