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GET OUT: Weekend Events Preview Dec. 14-16

With a variety of entertainment venues in the area, there's no reason to spend the weekend at home. We've put together a list of fun things to do in the Bloomingdale-Riverview area.

It's Thursday, and you’ve got no idea what you’ll do for the weekend.

Patch is coming to the rescue. We’ve got the best bets for your done-work-outta-here time. Check our picks for the activities to hit.

'OKLAHOMA' ON STAGE

WHERE/WHEN: The Newsome and Riverview high school choral and theater departments will join forces to present the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "Oklahoma," Thursday, Dec. 13 to Saturday, Dec. 15 and Thursday, Dec. 20 to Saturday, Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Riverview High School Auditorium, 11311 Boyette Rd., Riverview.

WHY GO: "Oklahoma" is the tale of a rivalry between cowboys and local farmers. The musical includes such classic songs as "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," "People Will Say We're in Love" and "Kansas City." Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Is your event listed here? If not, be sure to post it in our events calendar. Just hit Add an Event.

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER

WHERE/WHEN: The merchants of Plaza Bella will host an Evening to Remember Friday, Dec. 14 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the shopping center on Bloomingdale Avenue east of Bell Shoals Road.

WHY GO: Singer Ella Chapman will perform cool jazz accompanied by jazz pianist Jimmy Silva starting at 7 p.m. at The Original Leena's Chocolates. In addition, the plaza's merchants will be having holiday open houses, featuring special sales, appetizers and drinks. Admission is a nonperishable food item for the Brandon Emergency Care Help Organization.

TEXAS HOLD 'EM TOURNAMENT

WHERE/WHEN: OperationKidney will host a fundraising No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em Tournament Friday, Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Buckhorn Springs Golf & Country Club, 2721 S. Miller Rd., Valrico.

WHY GO: The event will benefit OperationKidney, an organization founded by FishHawk Ranch resident Devon Carver for residents in need of kidney transplants. The buy-in is $100 and the re-buy is $25. There is space for 50 players. Call 813-335-9633 or visit www.facebook.com/operationkidney.

WALK THROUGH THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS

WHERE/WHEN: Immanuel Lutheran Church, 2913 John Moore Rd., Brandon, will host a Walk Through the Story of Christmas Friday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m.

WHY GO: The free event is an interactive walk through 10 scenes that tell the story of Christ's birth through the crucifixion.

EXPERIENCE CHRISTMAS

WHERE/WHEN: Bell Shoals Baptist Church, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd., Brandon, will host "Experience Christmas" Friday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

WHY GO: The family holiday event will feature the Celebration Choir and Orchestra and singers of all ages. Tickets are $10. Visit www.bellshoals.com/Christmas.

WINTER WONDERLAND

WHERE/WHEN: There will be a Winter Wonderland at Brandon Park, 502 E. Sadie St., Brandon, Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m.

WHY GO: The free family event will include games, holiday pictures in front of favorite scenes and more. For more information, contact the Brandon Community Center at 813-635-8179.

JINGLE JANGLE STORYTIME

WHERE/WHEN: Musical Beginnings will offer a free Jingle Jangle Storytime at Gumballs & Overalls, 3239 Lithia-Pinecrest Rd., Valrico, Dec. 15 at 10:30 a.m.

WHY GO: Children will enjoy a variety of Christmas stories, playing musical instruments and singing. The storytime will conclude with a special visit from Santa.  Space is limited so please RSVP at musicalbeginnings@rocketmail.

YMCA BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

WHERE/WHEN: The Campo Family YMCA, 3414 Culbreath Rd., Valrico, will host Breakfast with Santa Saturday, Dec. 15 from 9 to 11 a.m.

WHY GO: The event will feature a breakfast station, bounce house, coloring station, face painting, letters to Santa, make your own reindeer food and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

WINTER WONDERLAND EXTRAVAGANZA

WHERE/WHEN: Beef O' Brady's at 13326 Lincoln Rd., Riverivew, will host a Winter Wonderland Saturday, Dec. 15 at noon.

WHY GO: The free event will feature a bounce house and slide, a balloon artist and face painting, Christmas cookie decorating, a decorate-your-own-stocking craft, hot chocolate and games as well as a chance to meet Santa. All money raised will be donated to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

WHERE/WHEN: The All Children's Hospital Guild Brandon Chapter will host a Breakfast with Santa Saturday, Dec. 15 from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at All Children's Outpatient Care of Brandon, 885 S. Parsons Ave., Brandon.

WHY GO: The event will include breakfast and pictures with Santa, a silent auction and a bake sale. Families can purchase a photo with the white-bearded star of the holiday, enjoy breakfast with Santa, or both. For tickets, contact guild president, Sherrie Ngo, at 813-494-7191 or sherriengo@msn.com.

CHRISTMAS CARNIVAL

WHERE/WHEN: Busciglio Smiles, 16321 Fishhawk Blvd., Lithia, will host a Christmas Carnival Dec. 15 from 1 to 5 p.m.

WHY GO: The event will include a disc jockeyJake Dela Cruz, performances by the Theatre Arts and Dance Alliance, a train ride, games, crafts, a visit from Santa and pizza courtesy of Formaggio's Italian Pizzeria.

Busciglio Smiles is hosting the event in collaboration with  Gift of Hope and Sidekicks Family Martial Arts Center. Families attending are asked to bring an unwrapped Christmas gift.

During the carnival, guests can have their photo taken with Santa for $5 and TNT Smoothies will be sold during the carnival. Profits will go to Devon Carver, a FishHawk Ranch mother who is in renal failure and is in dire need of a kidney transplant. 

Busciglio Smiles has already agreed to give Carnver's son braces at no cost.

FOR THE BIRDS

WHERE/WHEN: The Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, will host Super Science Saturday Dec. 15 at 3:30 p.m.

WHY GO: Children in kindergarten through fifth grade will learn about the science of birds by creating nests, making their own wings and building bird feeders. Participants must register in person after 3 p.m.

SHOEBOXES FOR SENIORS

WHERE/WHEN: Joia Fabulous Restaurant & Martini Bar will host a Shoeboxes for Seniors Christmas party and collection drive Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.

WHY GO: Residents are invited to fill an empty shoes box with items such as calendars, stamps, socks, slippers, books, magazines, lotions, personal hygiene items, shampoo, body wash, flashlights, gift cards, etc.

ARTIST RECEPTION

WHERE/WHEN: To celebrate having the work of renowned bird artist John Costin work on sale at Rich's Backyard Birds, 5670 FishHawk Crossing Blvd., Lithia, owner Rich Crete will host a reception for Costin Saturday, Dec. 15 from 2 to 8 p.m.

WHY GO: Residents will have an opportunity to meet the artist as well as view 20 originals works by the Costin. Members of the Eastern Hillsborough County Flute Choir, conducted by Crete’s sister, FishHawk Ranch resident Anne Marie Dresser, will perform from 2 to 4 p.m. as well.

HARMONY FOR THE HOLIDAYS

WHERE/WHEN: The Southern Company Chorus will present Harmony for the Holidays Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. at Bell Shoals Church of Christ, 2908 Bell Shoals Rd., Brandon.

WHY GO: The chorus is part of the Sweet Adelines International. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12.

KIDS HOLIDAY WORKSHOP

WHERE/WHEN: Central Florida Dance Alliance Foundation, 929 E. Brandon Blvd., Brandon, will host a Kids Holiday Workshop Saturday, Dec. 15 from 7 to 10 p.m.

WHY GO: While parents do some holiday shopping, kids will enjoy crafts and gifts, snacks and drinks for $15 for the first child and $10 for each additional child. Space is limited so call the studio at 813-657-1500 to reserve a spot.

NIGHT OF SHIMMERING LIGHTS

WHERE/WHEN: The Hillsborough County Fair is hosting its second annual Night of Shimmering Lights Thursdays through Sundays until Dec. 17 and then nightly up until Christmas at the fairgrounds at 4810 State Road 60 in Dover.

WHY GO: Nearly 1 million twinkling lights will decorate the fairgrounds. There will be an animated light show, a Christmas village, an outdoor holiday movie, arts and crafts vendors, pictures with Santa and fresh doughnuts. Admission is $20 per car.

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET

WHERE/WHEN: The Village Players will present the holiday production of Miracle on 34th Street Dec. 14-15. Curtain time is 8:15 p.m.

WHY GO: The show, directed by Gail Pierce, features Kris Kringle, a white-bearded, older man from a retirement home who gets a job working as Santa at Macy's in New York City. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for students, senior citizens and military.

CHRISTMAS LANE

WHERE/WHEN: The Lane family once again will present its annual Christmas Lane light and decorations exhibit through Dec. 28 from 6 to 10 p.m. at 2091 Wooten Rd., Dover.

WHY GO: Visitors are invited to stroll through the 1 1/2-acre winter wonderland that includes Santa from 6 to 8 p.m., a kids' train ride, a manger scene and other holiday scenese, a nightly musical, hot chocolate, coffee and ice-cold drinks, freshly popped popcorn and cotton candy.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA AND MRS. CLAUS

WHERE/WHEN: Enjoy breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus at California Pizza Kitchen in Westfield Brandon Mall on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 10 a.m.

WHY GO: Tickets are $8 each and include a breakfast pizza, fruit cup and juice. Kids 3 and under are free. Advanced reservations are required and can be made by calling 813-685-5692.

HOLIDAY CONCERT AT THE REGENT

WHERE/WHEN: The South Shore Symphony Orchestra will present music of the season Sunday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. at The Regent, 6437 Watson Rd., Riverview.

WHY GO: Residents will enjoy a variety of classic holiday music. In addition to holiday music, the event will include a bake sale, egg nog and raffle prizes. Tickets are available at www.thessso.org for $10.

PARK SQUARE TREE LIGHTING

WHERE/WHEN: Park Square Pizza, 16132 Churchview Dr., Lithia, will host its annual Park Square Tree Lighting Sunday, Dec. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m.

WHY GO: The event will include Christmas carols, live entertainment, Christmas cookies, a visit from Santa and a 6-foot stocking to be auctioned off.

Are we missing something? Add your event in the comments section below.

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