Tampa Theatre Dazzles at Christmas

When my sister and I attended a showing of Holiday Inn last year, the Tampa Theatre instantly became a new Christmas pastime.  This year, I enjoyed the new holiday tradition with my girls when we were invited to attend The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Since the 1920s, the magnificent Tampa Theatre has been entertaining and dazzling audiences for generations and my daughters were no exception.  With its gorgeous Mediterranean style décor, they felt like princesses strolling through a starry-lit castle.

The royal red carpet treatment continued when my princesses chose balcony seats.  They loved experiencing the sights and sounds of a movie from new heights.

Just like in its early days, an organist serenades the audience before the featured presentation.  For an extra special treat, Mrs. Claus made a guest appearance and shared stories with the audience.

To pay tribute to a golden era gone-by, the organist led the audience in a few sing-a-longs before the featured presentation.

Before the movie started, I slipped away to the concession stand for the usual cinema snacks of popcorn and soft drinks, but the Tampa Theatre also serves non-traditional libations such as beer and wine.  While at the concession stand, I spotted a vintage replica blown glass ornament of the famous flashing Tampa Theatre marquis.  Since the proceeds of the ornament benefit the restoration and maintenance of the theatre, I added an ornament to my popcorn and beer tab.

As for The Muppet Christmas Carol, I had never seen the film before, so it added an element of something new for all of us.  Although the sound had some technical difficulties (which is completely understandable for a theatre nearly a century old), we still enjoyed the movie.  Michael Caine made the perfect Scrooge and the Muppets delivered all the musical, silly, loving charm would expect from any Muppet movie.

My girls loved the movie, but the beauty and overall experience of the Tampa Theatre makes any movie even more magical.

Each December, the Theatre offers a Holiday Classics Movie Series on the big screen, with the opportunity to sing along to carols with the Mighty Wurlitzer organ before each show, in the unmatched elegance of the city’s historic movie palace. Tickets for the Holiday Classics Movie Series are $9 for adults and $7 for children, seniors, military and Tampa Theatre members at the box office, or online at TampaTheatre.org ($2 convenience fee applies).”

*My family and I received a tour of the Tampa Theatre and tickets to The Muppet Christmas Carol in exchange for my honest review.  My opinions and love for the Tampa Theatre are real and my own.*

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+


Summer Breeze for Mother’s Day

On Mother’s Day Eve, the Taylor clan enjoyed a sunset potluck picnic at the beach.  This has become a Mother’s Day Eve tradition for us, which we were thrilled to share with Allan’s sister and his mum.



Pine Island, a small sleepy little beach in Hernando County, was the perfect spot for a family picnic.



A light breeze kept us cool while we watched the cousins play along the shore and build a fort as the sun set.




Mum enjoyed the evening so much she wants to make a regular event.  I couldn’t agree more.






Visit AmandaXmas Dolly and Hairbows & Guitar Picks for more Music Monday fun.


We Dig Dinosaur World

IMG_0212My pretty paleontologists and I trekked over to Plant City to spend the morning at Dinosaur World.  We love field trips to this no frills theme park, but with its location an hour from some of Florida’s largest attractions (such as WDW and Busch Gardens), our prehistoric neighbors are often overlooked. 


More of an outdoor museum rather than a theme park, Dinosaur World offers a hands-on education of prehistoric life.  The overgrown foliage along the paths of the park offers welcomed shade as well as a realistic backdrop for 150 life-size reptilian replicas prominently displayed through out the park. 







Petite paleontologists can dust off the dinosaur bones in the boneyard, but most children look forward to the fossil dig which is included in the admission to the park.  During the fossil dig, children sift through sand to search for small fossils and each child may select three to keep as a souvenir.





Although the hot summer months make visits to this museum a bit much, I highly recommend visiting the dinosaurs during the cooler months.DW_Girls