Can we call this the first official weekend of the office-slash-social Christmas party onslaught? Let's go ahead and call this the first official weekend of the office-slash-social Christmas party onslaught. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of other things going on, though. Our usual weekend adventurer, Cathy, is out this week, so I'll just run some fun-time options down for ya real quick-like.
FRIDAY, DEC. 2
It's time for another installment of the monthly First Friday Seminole Heights cavalcade of killer local art. A free trolley takes you to all of the participating studios, galleries and businesses, and there'll be Blind Tiger coffee and foo-truck action to boot. Free, 6-10 p.m.
Boost your holiday spirit and, if you haven't been in a while, see just how lively downtown has become at The City of Tampa's Tree Lighting Ceremony in Curtis Hixon Park. Bring chairs or a blanket and watch Mayor Bob Buckhorn and his family do the honors. Free, 6-9 p.m.
SATURDAY, DEC. 3
Peruse and purchase handmade items of all kinds while enjoying some of Tampa Bay's best local beer at CL's own Crafts & Drafts, taking over the St. Pete Shuffleboard Club for the third year. $5, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
It's been up and running for a while, but it's time to officially celebrate the return of Independent Bar to St. Pete. Live bands, great beer, excellent atmosphere — you know the drill. Noon-1 a.m.
Help storied Ybor City live-music venue Crowbar mark its 10th anniversary with an insane nine-hour, eight-band marathon. (DISCLOSURE: This writer is playing with one of the bands.) Free, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
SUNDAY, DEC. 4
Veteran Florida journalist and travel writer Thomas Swick talks about his latest book, this year's The Joys of Travel: And Stories That Illuminate Them, at Tampa's Oxford Exchange. Free, 1 p.m.
Sip and shop at Ybor City Wine Bar's annual Winter WINEderland, experiencing wines, pairings, cheeses and more — plus a discount on gifts and holiday items purchased during the soiree. $45, 1-4 p.m.
Browse 350 new car and truck models at the Tampa International Auto show at the Tampa Convention Center. $5-11, noon-10 p.m.