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Kids & Family

  1. With Harry Potter's Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

    Florida

    ORLANDO — Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando in a new holiday attraction opening Saturday. In addition, Universal Studios has completely upsized its holiday parade with more Macy's balloons, stunning floats and snowy effects before Santa and his new sleigh enter for a finale.

    The new eight-minute Christmas at Hogwarts Castle show at Universal's Islands of Adventure will run nightly, starting Nov. 18. It uses projection imaging to create images such as students on brooms appearing  to enchant snowmen, or fill the sky with bright lights. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
  2. First look: Harry Potter's Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

    Florida

    Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando, with the promise of warm butterbeer, a Frog Choir singing carols and a magical light show projected onto Hogwarts Castle nightly followed by fireworks.

    The new eight-minute Christmas at Hogwarts Castle show at Universal's Islands of Adventure will run nightly, starting Nov. 18. It uses projection imaging to create images such as students on brooms appearing  to enchant snowmen, or fill the sky with bright lights. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
  3. Plan your weekend Nov. 17-19: Castle anniversary, Chillounge Night, Et Cultura, Busch Gardens Christmas Town

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Party

    Castle anniversary: The multi-story, gothic Ybor nightclub, where it's not uncommon to see someone in a Batman cape or a leather corset, turned 25 this year, and the club is celebrating with a party this weekend. Features special guests DJ Danny Bled, DJ …

    Courtesy of Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens Christmas Town returns this weekend.
  4. Weekend fun: St. Pete Beach BikeFest, Chillounge Night, Christmas at Universal, Busch Gardens

    Events

    BIG WHEELS: St. Pete Beach BikeFest

    For music planner: Handout photo of Colt Ford. Credit: Average Joes Entertainment
  5. Five cool things to see in 'Star Wars and the Power of Costume' in St. Petersburg

    Visual Arts

    Do you sense a disturbance in the Force?

    That would probably be the landing of "Star Wars and the Power of Costume" at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, earlier this week. I got a preview of the blockbuster Smithsonian exhibit (docked in our corner of the galaxy through April 1), and I'm here to tell you …

    The exhibition, Star Wars and the Power of Costume, featuring more than 60 original costumes from various Star Wars movies, opens this weekend to members of the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg and to the general public on Monday at the museum. Front is Queen Amidala from The Phantom Menace, 1999 and other costumes.
  6. 5 under $5: Sand sculptors, free ice skating, Pinellas Trail performances

    Events

    1Sanding Ovations: This annual Treasure Island sand sculpting competition brings master sculptors working in 150 tons of sand. This year artists come from Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore, Russia, Lithuania, Canada and the United States. An adjacent festival brings live music daily, and there will be fireworks …

    Jonathan Bouchard sculpts during the Sanding Ovations Sand Sculpting festival in Treasure Island, FL on November 21st, 2014.
  7. For Veterans Day: parades, tributes and deals for the military

    Events

    Veterans Day Events

    Bay Pines VA Veterans Day Ceremony

    The ceremony includes a performance by the Keswick Christian School Choir, a parade of colors, a firing salute, Taps, the posting and retiring of the U.S. flag and guest speaker U.S. Navy Adm. (Ret.) John Kirby. Free. C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center …

    Members of the Dixie Hollins High School JROTC present the colors at the opening of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System's annual Veterans Day Ceremony in 2014.
CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times (2014)
  8. St. Petersburg gets new half-marathon as St. Pete Run Fest adds kids runs, year-round fitness to mix

    Events

    ST. PETERSBURG — “You might be asking, how will this make me a better runner?" Cody Angell asked two dozen students at a recent running club session at Shore Acres Elementary as they performed an "A skip" with their knees high, followed by a "kick skip" with a high kick before running hard.

    Runners make their way on the track as the St. Pete Running Company’s running club meets to do interval speed work while training to run the St. Pete Run Fest, the first half marathon downtown St. Pete in three years,
The group at the Northside Christian High School track has about 35-40 people. This evening they were doing a series of 800s during interval training.
  9. Plan your weekend Nov. 10-12: Ribfest, Reading Fest, Tampa Am skateboarders, Tiny Home Show, Chris Stapleton

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Concert

    Chris Stapleton: The country artist took the music world by surprise with his 2015 debut Traveller, which swept the CMA Awards and earned him a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. He and his wife/muse/backup singer, Morgane, just announced …

    MELISSA LYTTLE | Times (10/20/2012 St. Petersburg) Andrea Sunnerville, left, and Dorothy and Ed Sved, all of St. Petersburg, browse the titles as the shop for books at the St. Petersburg Public Library System used book sale at the Times Festival of Reading Saturday.  [MELISSA LYTTLE, Times]
  10. Top things to do this weekend: La La Land in Concert, Tiny Home Show

    Events

    CITY OF STARS: La La Land in Concert

    Miles McKeny competes at Skatepark of Tampa in 2012.