While near-freezing temperatures inhabit other cities for winter, Tampa Bay remains warm and sunny. The Bay Area’s mild temperatures are ideal for getting out, exploring, and experiencing everything the winter has to offer.
NOV. 12 – JAN. 2
Ready to celebrate the holidays and make memories for the whole family? With thousands of lights strung throughout the entire park, holiday shows like Christmas on Ice, and nightly firework displays, Christmas Town at Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay is a holiday event like no other! A visit to Christmas Town is included with admission to the park, so be sure to check out the dazzling light displays from above while riding your favorite roller coaster or thrill ride.
NOV. 19 – JAN. 2
There’s nothing quite like ice skating outside in the middle of Downtown Tampa. Winter Village is BACK at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park with ice skating and other activations that are sure to get you into the holiday spirit! This year at Winter Village, shop small from seven boutique and local retailers, check out a Tampa Bay Lightning themed light show, visit the NEW Sweet Mama’s Ice Cream Shop at the Square in Lykes Gaslight Park, and hop aboard the Winter Village Express for a festive trip through Downtown filled with holiday cheer.
LIGHTED BOAT PARADE
DECEMBER 18TH AT 6:00 P.M.
Tampa Bay knows boat parades, and Tampa’s largest lighted boat parade will happen the Saturday before Christmas along the Hillsborough River. Get into the holiday spirit when the flotilla of vessels passes by decorated in the most festive holiday fashion. The parade will begin at the southern tip of Davis Islands, travel through the Convention Center basin and up to the Heights where the boats will then turn around and head to Sparkman Wharf.
NOV. 29 – JAN. 2
The best place to enjoy the holidays in Tampa Bay this year is along the Tampa Riverwalk. The Holiday Spectacular presented by Mosaic includes holiday décor and lights along the Riverwalk, the largest floating Christmas tree, a holiday selfie station, thousands of lights decorating the grand oak trees at Water Works Park, and more festive fun! The Holiday Spectacular kicks off with a special tree lighting ceremony taking place on November 29th near the Tampa Convention Center docks at 6:00 p.m.
DEC. 17 – DEC. 19
This family-friendly classic brings audiences into a fantastic world filled with dancing sweets, toy soldiers, sword-fighting mice and some of the most memorable holiday music. This holiday favorite features award-winning dancers from Next Generation Ballet. Performances take place Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sundays at 6 p.m.
HOLIDAY MUSIC CONCERT
Feel the holiday spirit come alive with the Holiday Music Concert at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Hear both classic and contemporary holiday favorites performed by the Patel Conservatory’s Chamber Ensembles, Vocal Art Choirs, and Suzuli Stings. Hear all your favorites fr
VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS STROLL
DEC. 1 – DEC. 23
Experience the extravagance of a Victorian Christmas with the 40th annual Victorian Christmas Stroll at the historic Tampa Bay Hotel. Take a glimpse into the wonders of Christmas past while taking in the warmth and spirit of an old-fashioned holiday season. Don’t miss 40 vintage Santas on display for the 40th anniversary and be sure to check out the dazzling 14ft tree filled with antique ornaments.
TAMPA BAY FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
NOV. 25 – DEC. 26
Fully immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with a nearly 2-mile-long drive-through light show at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds. ONE MILLION lights will guide your way through the holiday spectacle, leading you to Santa’s Village for festive activities, holiday goodies, and a visit from Santa Claus!
NOV. 20 – JAN. 3
Celebrate the holidays at GCM with a gingerbread-inspired wonderland, sponsored by Macy’s. Visit our sweet winter wonderland to build a gingerbread house and watch our village grow, all made from recycled materials like cardboard, pipe cleaners, bottle caps, and more! Gingerbread Village is located on Level 2 and is included with museum admission.
WINTER VILLAGE EXPRESS
NOV. 21 – DEC. 19 (SELECT DATES)
Nothing will get you into the holiday spirit more than a ride on the Winter Village Express. Hop aboard Tampa’s TECO Line Streetcar for a holiday trip like no other. This interactive experience brings you from downtown Tampa to historic Ybor City and back for a one-hour, round-trip holiday excursion. Bring the whole family for FREE cookies and milk on board, holiday sing-a-longs, Christmas stories, and other added surprises along the way. The Winter Village Express is a ticketed event, so don’t miss out!
NOV. 26 – DEC. 30
The Yacht StarShip is hosting a number of themed cruises throughout the Holiday Season. Hop on for the Thanksgiving cruise, an Ugly Sweater Brunch, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve cruises. Dine on gourmet food, sip on delicious cocktails and dance the night away under the stars.
SANTA COMES TO TOWN
NOV. 12 – DEC. 24
Santa is coming to Tampa Bay, with a few adjustments for your safety. International Plaza and Bay Street will host Santa from November 27 – December 24. Visits and photo sessions are by reservation only. Santa will remain a 6’ distance from guests at all times, as well as wearing a mask at all times, including during the photo shoot. Guests above the age of 2 are also required to wear a mask, and heightened cleaning protocols in addition to hand sanitizer are in place. Make your reservation and see Santa early!
RIVER OF LIGHTS HOLIDAY BOAT TOUR
NOV. 26 – DEC. 30
Climb aboard the Pirate Water Taxi when River of Lights returns on November 26. The 45-minute tour of downtown Tampa is an annual holiday tradition that features festively decorated vessels, holiday carols, and other seasonal surprises along the Hillsborough River. Tickets include a narrated tour, an opportunity for children to write a letter to Santa Claus, and more fun for the whole family. The spirit of Christmas might even bring some snow flurries!
SNOWED INN SPARKMAN
THURSDAYS IN DECEMBER
The ski slopes are coming to Tampa Bay this December when Sparkman Wharf hosts Snowed Inn Sparkman! On Thursdays during the month of December, the Sparkman lawn will be transformed into the ultimate post-slope hangout spot complete with bonfires, falling snow, a ski store pop-up, and the Feelin’ Pine Hot Toddy Bar. Live entertainment will include musical performances and roaming characters like snow bunnies, snow patrols, and even a snow beast! Snowed Inn Sparkman kicks off on Wednesday, December 1 with a tree lighting ceremony to celebrate the winter season.
A PIRATE’S CHRISTMAS
NOV. 26 – DEC. 24
It’s always a pirate’s life in Tampa Bay, even around the holidays. This year, Tampa’s Pirate Ship, the Lost Pearl, is bringing its own brand of holiday cheer to downtown Tampa. Climb aboard for a festive cruise that’s fun for children and adults alike. The 50-minute voyage includes holiday-themed pirate games, Christmas carols, and even a trip to Holiday Island for an up-close view of Tampa’s largest floating Christmas Tree.
CHRISTMAS IN THE WILD
NOV. 26 – DEC. 30 (SELECT NIGHTS)
Lights, lights, and MORE lights! Christmas in the Wild returns to ZooTampa at Lowry Park, featuring one of Tampa Bay’s largest light displays. It’s the time of year when the zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland filled with sensational holiday treats, festive activities for the whole family, and of course, amazing animal encounters. Santa Claus is even in on the fun this year. Visit the Twinkletown Marketplace for a picture and to tell him what’s on your Christmas list this year.
RIVERWALK HOLIDAY HUNT
DEC. 17 – JAN. 2
Take part in a fun, mobile-based scavenger hunt along the Tampa Riverwalk this holiday season. The Riverwalk Holiday Hunt is free to the public and invites individual contestants or teams to participate by solving puzzles, completing holiday challenges, and answering Tampa trivia. Download the Mobile Adventures app to participate between December 17th and January 2nd.
SNOW DAYS AT FLAQ
DEC. 26 – JAN. 2
Snow is in the forecast at The Florida Aquarium! From an epic battle where you’ll throw snowballs at pollution monsters plaguing our oceans to a Winter Wonderland dance party and many more hands-on interactive experiences, it’s fun for the whole family! Visitors can enjoy Snow Days with extended hours at the Aquarium all week long from 9:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
NOV. 26 – DEC. 19
Kids of all ages will delight in the magic of the holiday season at The Florida Aquarium. Beginning on Friday, November 26 enjoy daily showings of the holiday classic, POLAR EXPRESS™ in 4D at the 4Ducks Theater! Kick-off the season with a visit from Santa on Friday, November 26 from 5 pm to 7 pm and every Saturday and Sunday through December 19 from 11 am to 3 pm. Santa will be available for photos inside of his “snow globe,” allowing families to safely visit and snap a memorable family photo. Both are free with membership or general admission.
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns to Tampa Bay on December 19 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Christmas Eve and Other Stories album. The album is certified 3X platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America® for selling three million copies in the U.S., making it one of the best-selling Christmas albums of all time. This family holiday rock tradition has been performed in front of more than 17 million fans across the nation!
NOV. 26 – JAN. 2
Awe and wonder await you at Enchant Christmas at Tropicana Field. Join Eddie the elf in the magical Christmas story of “The Mischievous Elf” as he searches for misplaced gifts among the dazzling lights of the North Pole. Experience thousands of radiant Christmas lights as you glide through the ice-skating rink, wander through the Enchant village and visit ol’ Kris Kringle himself in Santa’s Landing.
SANTA & MRS. CLAUS
Dec. 4, 11, and 18
He’s making a list, checking it twice; he’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. Santa Claus is coming to town! Join us Saturdays in December on the South Lawn at Armature Works for visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus. Attendees are invited to take their own photos.
Santa Claus is coming to Tampa Bay! Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park will host Santa Fest on December 4, which includes a parade through downtown Tampa at 1:30 p.m., holiday entertainment and activities from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., and the lighting of the Tampa Tree from 5:30 p.m. – 6:25 p.m. See Tampa Mayor, Jane Castor, light up the tree, and stay late for an outdoor screening of The Grinch at the park.
HOLIDAY CLASSIC SHOWINGS
NOV. 20 – DEC. 26 (SELECT NIGHTS)
One of the most cherished holiday traditions is watching a holiday favorite on the big screen. This year, the Tampa Theatre is presenting the Holiday Classics Series at two locations. Get your ticket to a screening of Miracle on 34th Street, Elf, and other favorites at the iconic downtown movie palace. Or, enjoy Tampa Bay’s beautiful December weather and come out for a FREE movie under the stars with screenings of The Polar Express (Nov. 20) and A Christmas Story (Nov. 27) at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park as part of Winter Village.