What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to check out some of the best holiday light displays in Tampa Bay? One of my best memories as a child was riding around with my family in search of beautiful Christmas lights. Florida doesn’t usually get cold around this time of the year so it can be hard to get into the holiday spirit. I have created a guide that includes walking trails as well as a few drive-through light extravaganza. If you’re expecting a child around this time of the year, like myself, it’s nice to view the lights without leaving your car. Use this amazing guide to holiday light displays in Tampa Bay to create wonderful memories with your family and friends.
Holiday Light Displays
Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park | November 22nd – January 5th | Hours vary, see website.
Celebrate the holiday season in Downtown Tampa at the Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park. It’s transformed with the sights, sounds, and activities of the holidays for children and adults of all ages. Enjoy outdoor ice skating, a holiday culinary experience, shopping at different boutiques or a themed ride aboard the TECO Line Streetcar.
Wonderland of Lights | November 28th – January 4th | Check the schedule for closings and specific times per night.
Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, 215 Sydney Washer Road, Dover A 1-mile drive-through light show with more than 100 scenes. It ends with a walk to Santa’s Village including pony and camel rides, face painting, games, the Wolves of the World educational exhibit, horse-drawn wagon rides through the lights, the Animals of Bethlehem petting farm and a magic show by Santa. It runs select nights through Jan 4th. Times vary by night. $25 per carload, $75 buses.
The Oakdale Christmas House | November 29th – January 3rd | 6-10 pm
2719 Oakdale Street S., St. Petersburg. If you are looking for something to blow you away, check out this amazing light display. It’s one of the best in the U.S. and was featured on HGTV & NBC’s Today Show. The light display features approximately half a million lights that cover half an acre. The lights are computerized to a variety of music.
Holiday Lights in the Garden | November 29th – January 4th| 5:30-9:30 pm
The Gardens will be decorated in over a million LED lights. Enjoy displays like the snowman family, as well as new items, all while celebrating the holiday season. A new attraction will be the Illuminated Bird Walk that follows the newly created Wetlands Walkway. There is entertainment most nights and St. Pete Concession is on-site every night to provide delicious food for everyone. This is one of the best places to enjoy beautiful holiday light displays.
St. Petersburg Waterfront Display | November 30th – January 1st | 5:30-9:30 pm
While you stroll along the pedestrian walkway of St. Petersburg’s waterfront, see thousands of holiday lights and decorations in North and South Straub Parks including the unique snowflake lights.
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens |November 16th – January 6th | Times vary
Christmas is celebrated every day at Busch Gardens with Christmas Town. Each night, enjoy beautiful light displays around the entire park. There’s also Yuletide shows, model trains that encircle a miniature Christmas city and a Jingle Bell Express Train Ride.
Christmas in the Wild at Zoo Tampa | November 29th – December 23rd (select nights) | Times vary
ZooTampa at Lowry Park transforms into a holiday fantasy for Christmas in the Wild. The event celebrates its fourth year as one of Tampa Bay’s most beloved holiday traditions for families. There are stunning sights of thousands of twinkling lights, seasonal holiday treats, and refreshments, as well as wonder and enchantment of wildlife at night. This event offer guests of all ages a whimsical holiday experience with beautiful light displays for everyone to enjoy.
River of Lights |November 29th – December 30th | Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in December with departures at 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm, 10:00pm
Climb aboard the Pirate Water Taxi for Tampa’s most unique holiday celebration. View festive decorations, lighted bridges and other surprises along the Hillsborough River. The tour features whimsical narration, Christmas carolers, hot chocolate and a holiday cookie for everyone. This is a fun and unique way to enjoy the holidays in Tampa Bay.
- Adult: $28.00 + tax
- Child (ages 4-12): $18.00 + tax
Forbes Family Holiday Light Display| December 1st – January 1st| 6 to 10 Sunday – Thursday, and 6 to 11 Friday – Saturday
Masonic Park and Youth Camp, 18050 U.S. 301 S. The Masons in Wimauma have more than 250,000 LED lights choreographed to music with a 24-foot decorated tree, leaping arches, 21 singing mini trees and a giant light wall.
Celebration of Lights| December 6th – December 21st | Friday and Saturday nights from 6 – 10 pm
The Concourse, 11919 Alric Pottberg Road, Shady Hills. The Celebration of Lights is a mile-long event specifically for driving. It is overflowing with Christmas lights and illuminated animated displays. Pack the car and bring your family, friends, and neighbors for an evening of holiday memories that will last forever. This is perfect for new and expecting moms who want to enjoy the holiday season without leaving the comfort of their vehicle.
Lights of Lake Park| December 1st – December 31st | Nightly from 6 – 10 pm
Route starts at 10742 95th St. N., Seminole. The neighborhoods of Lake Park Estates, Wieker, Lakeside Estates, and Lake Seminole Village, generously decorate their homes and yards with over 3.0 miles of Christmas lights and decorations for the public to enjoy.
Chick-fil-A Christmas Lights| Runs through December 31st| 6 pm Mondays – Saturdays
6299 W Waters Ave., Tampa. A Tampa branch of the fast-food restaurant dazzles with its annual lights display, decorations and hourly “snow” falls. Lights come on Friday through Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. to closing Mondays through Saturdays. Free.
Largo Holiday Lights | December 7| 5 – 10 pm
Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive. (727) 587-6740, ext. 5014. This family-friendly annual event features amazing holiday light displays.There’s also a stunning carousel and seven-story Ferris wheel that offers a breathtaking view of the Largo Central Park. Enjoy more than two million dazzling LED lights at this spectacular event.
Christmas Lane | November 29th – December 24th (Thursday to Sunday) | 6 – 10 pm
Cost: 13 and up = $5 plus tax, 4-12 = $3 plus tax, 3 and under = free (Free Parking). Each Thursday, all teachers with school ID will receive free entry. Each Friday, all veterans, active/retired military, police officers, EMTs, and paramedics will receive free entry with ID. This beautiful winter wonderland is filled with the magic of Christmas at every turn. There are over 1.5 million lights adorning over 200 Christmas Trees from 4 to 40 feet.
Nights of Shimmering Lights | November 30th – December 22nd (Thursday to Saturday) | Opens at dark until 10 pm
2302 N. Dover Road, Dover, FL 33527. Cost: $6 per person, ages 3 and under are free. This winter event features a ¼-mile walking trail through the shimmering lights dancing to music. Walk at your own pace and stop as often as you like. There are many benches along the trail. Enjoy the beautiful sights including blue and white lights, penguins, bears, old man winter and other favorite scenes. Don’t miss out on the Nativity scene and Star of David in the religious area.
Holiday Tour of Lights | December 6th – December 31st | 6:30 & 8:30 pm
4041 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL 34236. Cost: $15 (lap kids no charge). The SRQ Trolley is famous for the best Holiday Tour of Lights in the area. Enjoy seeing arch lighted streets, the gingerbread house, the copy of National Lampoon Vacation home and much more. If you’re looking for a fun way to enjoy holiday light displays without driving or walking, climb aboard the SRQ Trolley. All you have to do is sit back, relax, sip on your favorite beverage (you provide), and listen to your favorite holiday music.
Winter Wonderland | December 6th – December 22nd (Wednesday to Sunday) | 6 – 9 pm
200 N. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater, Florida 33755. Cost: FREE. Small charge for some rides and refreshments. Visitors are asked to bring a non-perishable food item and/or an unwrapped toy. People from Tampa Bay enjoy visiting Winter Wonderland. There are thousands of lights to enjoy as well as a Christmas village with an entertainment stage, petting zoo, playground, bouncy house and so much more.
Enchant Christmas | November 22nd – December 29th | 4 – 10 pm
One Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg, 33705. Cost: Adults range from $20-33, Teens range from $17-26, Children range from $15-24. Enjoy the world’s biggest Christmas light maze and market. Take time for some delicious food and ice skating as well.