With just 10 days left before Christmas, holiday shopping will be on most people's agendas this weekend. But don't forget to take some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.
There's a variety of holiday activities taking place in the Bloomingdale-Riverview area this Saturday and Sunday. Check them out:
WALK THROUGH THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS
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. The free event is an interactive walk through 10 scenes that tell the story of Christ's birth through the crucifixion.
Bell Shoals Baptist Church, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd., Brandon, will host "Experience Christmas" Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. The family holiday event will feature the Celebration Choir and Orchestra and singers of all ages. Tickets are $10. Visit www.bellshoals.com/Christmas.
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. 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.Is your event listed here? If not, be sure to post it in our events calendar. Just hit Add an Event.
JINGLE JANGLE STORYTIME
Musical Beginnings will offer a free Jingle Jangle Storytime at Gumballs & Overalls, 3239 Lithia-Pinecrest Rd., Valrico, Dec. 15 at 10:30 a.m. 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
The Campo Family YMCA, 3414 Culbreath Rd., Valrico, will host Breakfast with Santa Saturday, Dec. 15 from 9 to 11 a.m. 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
Beef O' Brady's at 13326 Lincoln Rd., Riverivew, will host a Winter Wonderland Saturday, Dec. 15 at noon. 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
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.
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 email@example.com.
Busciglio Smiles, 16321 Fishhawk Blvd., Lithia, will host a Christmas Carnival Dec. 15 from 1 to 5 p.m.
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.
SHOEBOXES FOR SENIORS
Joia Fabulous Restaurant & Martini Bar will host a Shoeboxes for Seniors Christmas party and collection drive Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.
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.
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.
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
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. The chorus is part of the Sweet Adelines International. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12.
KIDS HOLIDAY WORKSHOP
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.
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
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.
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
The Village Players will conclude its holiday production of Miracle on 34th Street Dec. 15 at 8:15 p.m.
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.
The Lane family once again is presenting its annual Christmas Lane light and decorations exhibit through Dec. 28 from 6 to 10 p.m. at 2091 Wooten Rd., Dover.
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
Enjoy breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus at California Pizza Kitchen in Westfield Brandon Mall on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 10 a.m.
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
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.
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
Park Square Pizza, 16132 Churchview Dr., Lithia, will host its annual Park Square Tree Lighting Sunday, Dec. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will include Christmas carols, live entertainment, Christmas cookies, a visit from Santa and a 6-foot stocking to be auctioned off.