Things to do: Where to go and special food offerings for Christmas week

The forecast is predicting a colder-than-normal Christmas weekend in Tampa Bay. It will be a perfect time to get out, and about, and enjoy the local festivities and the spirit of the holiday season.

Here are some things to do and places to eat this week!


Bradenton Beach, on the south end of Anna Maria Island, has its Season of Lights and Spirit, a light display with a peekaboo view from the Cortez Bridge.

The nightly light display runs through New Year’s, providing a photo backdrop for locals, and visitors, in front of the 32-foot-tall Christmas tree.

For more information on activities and parking, visit or call 941-896-2222.


The Oakdale Christmas Spectacular is open, for its 46th consecutive year, in St. Petersburg. According to its website, the display features over 600,000 lights and fiber optics, about 700 animated objects and two outdoor TV presentations.

The free event is at 2719 Oakdale St. S. The lights come on at 6 p.m. The display will run daily through Jan. 3. For more:


Symphony in Lights, presented by AdventHealth Wesley Chapel, is back at The Shops at Wiregrass with decorated trees, holiday music, lights and snowfalls.

Symphony in Lights will continue with shows and snow, nightly, through December 31. These events are open to the public with no cost of entry. For more:


Enchant, in St. Petersburg, runs until January 1 at Tropicana Field.

Sponsored by the Hallmark Channel, Enchant features more than 10 acres of holiday-themed activities, shopping and entertainment.

It includes a walk-thru light maze, an ice-skating trail, live entertainment, Santa visits and a holiday shopping marketplace with crafts, gifts and culinary treats, including festive holiday beverages and cocktails, surrounding one of the largest Christmas trees in the world.


The TradeWinds Island Resorts will be offering Christmas Day options in two locations – Palm Court Italian Grill at the TradeWinds Island Grand and RumFish Grill at RumFish Beach Resort.

Palm Court Italian Grill – Christmas Day – 1-9 p.m.

Special holiday menu includes Roasted Prime Rib of Beef and Blue Crab Stuffed Dover Sole. Menu can be viewed here.

Full dinner menu also available.

For reservations at Palm Court, please call 727-363-2358 between 5 and 10 p.m. Tues-Sat.


RumFish Grill – Christmas Day – 2-10 p.m.

Special holiday menu includes Crispy Pork Osso Bucco, Grilled Halibut and a Cardamom Tart. Menu can be viewed here.

Full dinner menu also available.

For reservations at RumFish Grill, please visit Open Table or call 727-329-1428.



Haven offers a menu packed with favorite dishes, whiskies, wines and cocktails. Join friends around an expansive cheese and charcuterie board selection and enjoy the festive decorations and spirited staff. Decompress before the big day with Haven’s happy hour from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Enjoy Bar Bites, wines by the glass, cocktails and beers. Specials include a $10 Bern’s Aged Beef Burger and $10 Chef’s Cheese Plate. The restaurant will be open on Christmas Eve: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. and closed on Christmas Day.

Address: 2208 W. Morrison Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606


Forbici Modern Italian 

Forbici provides a modern interpretation of traditional Italian dishes and, for the holidays, an enticing list of chef specials and cocktail options.

Menu specials include items like the Sano Shrimp Wrap with blackened shrimp, forbidden rice, tomatoes, broccolini, mushrooms, crushed Marcona almonds, pesto and provolone cheese and served with fries. Or the Brie & Apple Pizza with white base, mozzarella, Brie, Granny Smith apples, peppadew peppers and micro greens.

Guests can spice up the holidays with cocktails like the Griswold Old Fashioned made with Buffalo Trace, Angostura liqueur, warm spices, cherry and rosemary – to make Clark proud. The Peppermint Patty made with Wheatley Vodka, Averna Amaro, fresh espresso and peppermint is a unique spin on the espresso martini with a peppermint twist. The Mistletoe and Thorns made with Tinkerman’s Gin, lemon and fresh cucumber and an infusion of Mike’s Spicy Hot Honey. The Sgroppino De Gigante is a sweet, creamy treat with Limoncello, vodka and Rum Chata Limon – an Italian refreshment favored by the owner himself.

Forbici will be open on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. and closed on Christmas Day.

Address: 1602 W. Snow Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606


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