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T’was the weekend before Christmas in the Burg. Enjoy the sounds of the Florida Orchestra, yoga at the Hollander Hotel, Christmas Eve brunch and more this weekend in the Sunshine City!

Thanks to @bigairphotoandfilm for the fantastic #instaBURG photo share! Here’s your full local events guide:

Friday, December 22

The Florida Orchestra: Handel’s Messiah at The Mahaffey Theater
George Frideric Handel’s Messiah has mesmerized audiences since its debut in 1742 in Dublin. The oratorio based on scripture is in English and was originally an Easter offering. Now it’s a fixture at Christmastime in churches and concert halls around the world. Show starts at 8pm. Click HERE for tickets. 400 1st Street South.

Blue Point Brewing Beer Tasting and Christmas Party at Fish Tales Seafood House
Blue Point Brewing is throwing their beer tasting Christmas party at Fish Tales Seafood House!
Blue Point Brewing will be there from 5-7pm promoting their Hoptical IPA and Toasted Lager and will have free giveaways and free beer. 1500 2nd St South.

HYbar Happy Hour at Hyatt Place St. Pete
Celebrate your long week with a cold craft cocktail or local craft brew while listening to local live music! From 4:30-7:30pm enjoy $7 craft cocktails and appetizers, $3 canvas wine and craft beer as well as live music. 25 2nd Street North.

A Very Misfortunate Christmas: An Improvised Murder Mystery at Spitfire Theatre
The cast of MISFORTUNE returns for a one night only holiday romp that will kill you with yuletide sarcasm. All proceeds donated to St. Pete PRIDE. Event starts at 8pm. Click HERE for tickets. 14 18th St South.

Rudolph Is Taking Over at John’s Pass (Friday-Sunday)
Rudolph the tortoise is turning 25 and you’re invited to help celebrate! Drop in to The Alligator Attraction from December 21st through December 24th. We’ll have lots of fun playing games, taking selfies, and eating treats. There’s even a photo contest on Facebook. All party animals are welcome! Event runs each day from noon-7pm. 12901 Gulf Blvd.

Ugly Sweater Shindig! at 3 Daughters Brewing Co
Come to the Brewery on Friday, December 22nd and celebrate the holidays! Wear your ugliest or most festivus getup and come party with 3 Daughters! Lots of giveaways if you are dressed to impress. Music Provided by 3 Peace and food by Locale Market. Evetn is from 7-11pm. 222 22nd St South.

Saturday, December 23

FREE Photos with Santa at Sundial 
Come sit in Santa’s lap and take photos! Bring the little ones, friends, and family, as well as your camera, to capture a fun holiday memory worth sharing with your loved ones. He’s even brought a little piece of the North Pole along with him, featuring nightly snow starting at 6pm and our courtyard decked out in Christmas spirit.153 2nd Avenue North.

Ugly Sweater Cookie Swap and Sing-A-Long Soiree at The Studio@620
The Studio@620 invites you to gather ’round and spread some holiday cheer at our first ever sign-along/cookie swap party! Ugly sweaters or other festive attire is suggested but not required. To participate in the cookie exchange, bake 2 dozen cookies. The first dozen will be for eating during the party. Separate the second dozen into two containers of 6 cookies each. Those will be for swapping! You’ll go home with two containers of cookies made by someone else at the end of the night. Event starts at 7pm. 620 1st Ave South.

Yoga Poolside at The Hollander
Join The Body Electric Yoga Company for class poolside at the landmark Hollander Hotel in downtown St Petersburg. Practice, swim and brunch. Salute the sun and then cool off in the Hollander’s beautiful pool. All levels are welcome for this slow flow class and mats will be provided as needed. Yoga starts at 8:30am. Event costs $5 for Body Electric members, $10 to pre-register or $15 at the door. 421 4th Ave North.

SUP Yoga Saturday at Coffee Pot Bayou
Take your weekend up a notch by doing yoga on a paddleboard in beautiful Tampa Bay with local instructor Alina Hall and C-RIDE Board Shop! Join us every Saturday at 9AM at Coffee Pot Park and Boat Launch. We’ll get situated and then paddle out at 9:30AM sharp for an hour long practice followed by a half hour free paddle. Got your own board? Class is $15. Need a board? Book your spot by 9PM the night before for $20. Day of rentals are $25. Event begins at 9am. Click HERE to register.1800 Coffee Pot Blvd NE.

Saturday Morning Market at Al Lang
Join the Saturday Morning Market for their 15th Season! There are over 130 vendors that make up the market each Saturday from fresh veggies to crafts there is something for everyone. Market runs from 9am-2pm. 230 1st Street South.

Yoga for Every Body at Grassroots Kava House
This practice is geared and tailored to Every Body, meaning, ANYONE can attend and get something from doing it so. Even if YOU never done Yoga, and have no flexibility – which is WHY YOU want to do Yoga – and/or YOU are a seasoned practitioner, you will find usefulness in this practice. Class starts at 11am and is by donation. 957 Central Ave.

Saturday Fort DeSoto Ride at The Bikery
Friendly group ride out to the Fort and back. Usually around 38 miles total. Group stays together until the left onto Pinellas Bayway, where the faster riders pick it up. We regroup at the Restrooms in the Fort and head back. Riders should be able to confidently ride 18-20mph avg. for 40 miles on their own to safely complete this ride. Ride starts at 8am. 2222 1st Avenue South.

Artz 4 Life Presents The Family Blessing at The Mahaffey Theater
An inspiring holiday production from Artz 4 Life Academy, featuring the Bay Area’s most energetic youth performing ballet, jazz, hip hop, African dance, Brazlian dance and more. It’s the story of a girl named Alia experiencing the true blessings that come from having a family. Shows at 2:30pm and 7:30pm. Click HERE for tickets. 400 1st Street South.

Sunday, December 24

Christmas Eve Brunch at The Iberian Rooster
Join the Iberian Rooster for a celebratory Christmas Eve Brunch, Dec 24th 11am-3pm! They’ll be featuring their brunch menu as well as Bottomless Mimosas and Bottomless Bloody Marys! Brunch starts at 11am. 475 Central Avenue.

Mimosas & Masterpieces: Brunch at The Dali
Cafe Gala invites you to start your week with Mimosas & Masterpieces, an artistic take on Sunday Fundays. Enjoy a Catalan-inspired brunch, raise a glass to surreal Sundays, then visit the galleries, stroll the grounds, contemplate the Avant-garden, browse the Museum Store and soak in all the brilliance of St. Petersburg’s #1 attraction. Brunch runs from 11am-4pm. The Dali Museum, 1 Dali Boulevard.

Twas the Run Before Christmas at St. Petersburg Running Co.
Start your holiday with us and join us for a free morning group run on Christmas Eve. Bring your friends and family and we will all head out for a casual run or walk on the Pinellas Trail. You can grab any last minute gifts while you are here. Run starts at 9am. 6986 22nd Ave North.

Cacaoga® at Station House St. Pete
A practice designed for individuals of all yoga and spiritual backgrounds, Cacaoga® unifies sacred cacao with gentle, heart-centered yoga and meditation. This is a donation class with part of proceeds dedicate to the Yoga Loka Project. Class starts at 3pm. 260 1st Ave South.

Christmas Eve Dinner at Tryst
Need a break before Santa comes to town. Tryst are open regular hours, with kitchen open 11:30am-3pm for brunch and from 4-10pm for dinner! For dinner, you can enjoy their regular bar bites menu plus 4 Course Prix Fixe Dinner for $60. Plus you can get a bottle of Piper Heidsieck Brut $45 with a purchase of prix fixe menu. Call (727) 821-4567 to make a reservation. 240 Beach Dr NE.

2nd Annual Holiday Party at Jack London Grill
Last year’s party was so much fun, we thought we’d do it again!! Join Team Jacks for a night of delicious chef specials, raffles for prizes, ugly sweater contest, and general frivolity. Wear your ugliest holiday sweater & enter our contest for a $25.00 gift card to your favorite local spot, Jacks. Party starts at 5pm. 1050 62nd Ave North.

#instaBURG share by @bigairphotoandfilm

Written by Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey is the founder of I Love the Burg and That's So Tampa. In addition to regular contributions to each blog, he's been featured as a commentator to Bay New 9, The Tampa Tribune, The Tampa Bay Times, The Tampa Bay Business Journal and The Business Observer as well as national outlets including The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal.