WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND: ART AND OTHER ENTERTAINING EVENTS

Compiled by Kathy L. Collins, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Are you looking for something fun to do to celebrate holiday season? The Greater Brandon area and Tampa have tons of activities going on over the next few weeks to allow everyone to enjoy the holidays. Let this be your guide to locate fun events in the area. Whatever you do, have fun and enjoy the holiday season.

If you want to make a gift for someone from the heart, go to the Pottery Patch on Friday, 12/10 for their “Paint ‘ti Ya Faint!” The shop is open until 11 p.m. You can fun with friends and create your own masterpiece to give as a gift or keep for yourself. The Pottery Patch is located at 2551 S.R. 60 E. in Valrico. Call 643-0014 for information.

Tired of the mall, the crowds and shopping? Check out real outdoor ice skating at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa now through January 2, 2011, you can enjoy ice skating on real ice. Admission, including skate rental, is $10 for 90 minutes. The rink is open daily (closed on Thanksgiving) Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday 12 to 8 p.m. For more information please visit, www.tampasdowntownonice.com.

Want to see local actors put a Broadway style show? Stagedoor Performing Arts and the Valrico Village Players have brought together their extraordinarily talented members to present “Rent!” This rock opera tells the story of one year in the life of a group of bohemians struggling in modern day East Village New York. This story contains adult content and strong language. All shows are held at the historic James McCabe Theatre located at 506 5th St. in Valrico on Friday, December 10 and Saturday, December 11 at 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $12.

If you are looking for something to do that is fun but will also benefit someone who needs help this holiday season, then you can participate in “Shoeboxes for Seniors.” Joia Fabulous Restaurant is hosting a Community Charity Reception to collect items for “Shoeboxes for Seniors” on Saturday, 12/11 from 2 to 5 p.m. Your admission to the party is one shoebox filled with things such as calendars, stationary, socks, slippers, books, magazines, personal hygiene item, and flashlights. Joia Fabulous Restaurant is located at 10475 Gibsonton Dr. in Riverview. Call 677-7171 for more information.

Children and adults will enjoy an outdoor screening of “The Polar Express” on Saturday, 12/11. Sunset Theatre is hosted by The Tampa Theatre in honor of the Tampa History Center’s newest exhibit, “The Orange Blossom Special to High Speed Rail: Train Travel in Tampa Bay.” The film will be shown in Cotanchobee Park next to the Tampa History Center located at 801 Old Water St. in Tampa (near Channelside and the St. Pete Times Forum). The event is free to the public. The gates open at 4 p.m. and the show will be shown at 6 p.m. For more information, visit the Tampa Theatre’s website at www.tampatheatre.org.

The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa presents the classic Broadway musical “Fiddler on the Roof” for three performances only on Saturday, 12/11 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and on Sunday, 12/12 at 2 p.m. “Fiddler on the Roof” features famous and unforgettable scores including “Tradition,” “Matchmaker, matchmaker,” “If I were a Rich Man,” and “Sunrise, Sunset.” Call 229-STAR (7827) or visit www.tbpac.org for more information.

Music Showcase is hosting its Christmas Festival 2010 on Saturday, 12/11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is your chance to have fun with the kids, enjoy some great entertainment and pick up a lovely holiday gift from a local vendor. Music Showcase located at 402 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For information, please call 685-5598.

Singers old and young will be putting on a holiday program when the Kings Point Chorus presents its 33rd Annual Holiday Program on Saturday, 12/11 at 7 p.m. at the Borini Theatre at Kings Point North Clubhouse, 1900 Clubhouse Dr. in Sun City Center. The Chorus will be joined by the Men’s Chorus of Sun City Center. The Holiday Concert promises to be a lot of fun with both choruses singing in ensemble and performing traditional and classic holiday tunes. There will be an audience sing-along and an appearance by Santa Claus! Tickets are $5. For more information, please call 633-1753.

Photo credit to Monica Estrada

What would the holidays be like without the classic ballet performance of “The Nutcracker?” You have several chances to see the ballet being performed by local dancers. The Brandon Ballet will put on their traditional show on Saturday, 12/11 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, 12/12 at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at Spoto High School located at 8538 Eagle Palm Dr., in Riverview. For tickets and information call 684-4282 or visit www.brandonballet.org. TADA will also present “The Nutcracker” on Saturday 12/11 at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, 12/12 at 3 p.m. at Riverview High School located at 113111 Boyette Rd. in Riverview.

Email kcollins@ospreyobserver.com with any upcoming arts and entertainment events you would like to include in this weekly column.