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Natural Awakenings Tampa Florida

Letter From the Publisher

Welcome to your December 2012 Natural Awakenings! This month offers plenty of opportunity to recognize and observe special holiday traditions -- Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and more. Of course, on December 31 we welcome a delicious new year. Life is good in Tampa Bay.

As for holiday celebrations, Tampa Bay offers choices galore. Chill for a while skating at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa. Their special holiday rate is a low $10 for a full 90-minute session (that includes skate rental). The rink is open through January 5.

The festive holiday atmosphere at Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo serves up lots of traditional trimmings. Take a stroll through vast gardens of tropical plants glowing with more than 500,000 twinkling lights; enjoy the Gardens’ new laser light show and an expansion of lights into the vinery garden and fountains. Each night through January 1st, dancers, musicians and choral groups perform. (All this for a suggested donation of $2; kids 11 & younger free.)

Folks throughout our community decorate to the max at residences, neighborhoods, parks and more. Local winter celebrations take on a special Bay Area flavor as brightly lit, creatively decorated boats parade through Bay and Intracoastal waters. Most every community near water holds their own unique holiday boat parade.

If music makes your holiday spirit soar, check out the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on December 18. In this special performance, the St. Petersburg Opera chorus and orchestra join with soloists for a holiday concert that includes a portion of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, excerpts from the Nutcracker Ballet and favorite carols and songs.

Cap off the year with Florida’s largest First Night celebration by spending New Year’s Eve at First Night St. Petersburg 2013. Throughout the downtown and waterfront areas there will be festivities galore; music, arts and culture. The fun begins at 5pm at multiple downtown venues, with exhilarating fireworks to ring in the New Year.

These are just a few highlights of a cornucopia of good things going on this month in our community. Then again, you just might opt to spend a cozy evening at home with friends. Warmest wishes to you and yours for a joy filled holiday season.