The Best Holiday Lights and Events in Tampa Bay

It’s been a crazy year and we can all use a little holiday cheer. I have put together a guide to see the best holiday lights and events in Tampa Bay. Grab the family and continue this fun tradition during the holidays. Many places have created safety measures so everyone can enjoy the beautiful lights and events during the pandemic.

the best holiday light display

Holiday Light Display and Events

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park November 20, 2020 – January 3, 2021 | 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. This year all tickets for Winter Village ice skating will be paperless. Reservations will be required and tickets will be purchased/sent through your electronic device.

Wonderland of Lights | November 26 – December 27, 2020 | 6-9 pm or 6-10 pm Check 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, horse-drawn wagon rides through the lights, the Animals of Bethlehem petting farm and other activities.

The Oakdale Christmas House | November 27, 2020 – January 3, 2021 | 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. This drive-through experience is perfect for social distancing. There are many major additions, upgrades and changes in both lights and displays this year.

Christmas Town at Busch GardensNovember 20, 2020 – January 3, 2021 | Times vary

Celebrate the holidays at Busch Gardens this year. Their annual Christmas town event received some updates for 2020. Enjoy new open-air festivities and modified family-favorite traditions to bring safe holiday cheer to all the guests at Busch Gardens. There will be millions of twinkling lights, new holiday fireworks, the first-ever outdoor production of Christmas On Ice and more entertainment. Enhanced health and safety measures have been put in place for everyone. All guests, including Pass Members and Fun Card Holders, must make a reservation to visit in advance in order to manage park capacity and maintain physical distancing.

Christmas in the Wild at Zoo Tampa | November 27 – December 30, 2020 (select nights) | Times vary

ZooTampa at Lowry Park transforms into a holiday fantasy for Christmas in the Wild. Families can enjoy a safe way to celebrate an outdoor seasonal adventure featuring twinkling lights, delectable holiday treats, and new jolly adventures. Christmas in the Wild is a limited capacity event. Date & timed reservations are strongly encouraged and the best way to guarantee admission.

River of Lights | Select Dates in November & December | Departures at 6:20 pm, 7:20 pm, 8:20 pm, 9:20 pm

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 45-minute cruise features a visit from Pirate Elf, whimsical narration and Christmas carols. This is a fun and unique way to enjoy the holidays in Tampa Bay.

  • Adult: $25.00 + tax
  • Child: $20.00 + tax

Celebration of Lights | Select Nights November 27- December 23, 2020| See website for more details

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 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 1 – December 31, 2020 | 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 | Date TBD | Check their Facebook page for updates

6299 W Waters Ave., Tampa. A Tampa branch of the fast food restaurant dazzles with its annual lights display, decorations and hourly “snow” falls.

Largo Holiday Lights | November 26, 2020-January 3, 2021 |  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 and rides. Stroll through Largo Central Park and enjoy a show stopping light display, featuring over a million twinkling LED lights. Please keep at least 6 feet apart from other guests while looking at the lights. Free parking is available for guests.

Holiday Tour of Lights | December 4 – December 27, 2020 | 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. All trolleys will be safely sanitized in between group transfers. Masks will be required on the trolley to keep everyone safe. Due to the pandemic, capacity is limited.

The Christmas Trail | 2020 Date TBD | 

2837 south frontage road Plant City, Fl 33566. Cost: FREE/ Donations accepted. This outdoor Christmas event is located in Plant City with over 100,000 Christmas lights. All guests need to register for tickets to ensure a spot. There are a limited number of tickets available each night.

Wesley Chapel Holiday Tree and Light Display | December 4, 2020- January 3, 2021 | 5 – 10 pm

The Grove at Wesley Chapel, 6333 Wesley Grove Blvd, Wesley Chapel, FL 33544. Cost: Prices vary (visit website). This 20 acre Display will include Friday & Saturday Santa visits, Christmas trees, over a million light displays, skating rink, carnival rides, real snow, food trucks and more.

Festival of Lights at Raprager Family Farm | December 3 – December 30, 2021 | Thursday & Sunday 6:30-10:00 pm, Friday & Saturday 6:30-11:00 pm

16907 Boy Scout Road Odessa, Florida 33556. Cost: See website for ticket prices. Enjoy the most magical time of the year on the farm with your family. See hundreds of trees decorated with millions of lights.

Ybor City Tree Lighting Ceremony | November 18, 2020 | 5:00-7:00 pm

Centro Ybor 1600 E 8th Ave Tampa, FL 33605. Cost: FREE. The pre-show for the lighting will start at 6:00 pm with a holiday performance and caroling. The Lighting Ceremony will start at 6:30 pm and just before 7:00 pm, Mayor Castor will count us down to light the tree. There will be free photos with Santa and Mrs. Clause starting at 7:10 p.m.

Victorian Christmas Stroll at Henry Plant Museum | November 21 – December 31, 2020 | 

401 W. Kennedy Boulevard Tampa, FL 33606. Cost: Adults – $16, Seniors – $14, Youth – $10. Visitors will explore the Museum transformed by Christmas trees ranging in height from a few inches to more than 14 feet, 40,000 lights, and hundreds of feet of garland. Decorations include vintage fashions, antique toys, locally sourced items, and fancy ornaments.

 

 

Karimah Henry
Karimah is a SAHM residing in Wesley Chapel with her family. She is married to her husband of seven years. They have two adorable boys, a preschooler and a toddler. They also have a stubborn but loving dachshund who enjoys eating whatever his human brothers drops on the floor. Karimah grew up in Lakeland but became a Tampa resident after graduating from the University of South Florida. (Go BULLS!) Her weekdays are filled with fun activities like library programs, exploring the local playgrounds, visiting local theme parks and crafting at home (Pinterest mom). Karimah enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, participating in 5k races, watching Netflix, reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends. You can follow her on Instagram and Pinterest @craftingafunlife.

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