The Tampa Bay Holiday season is in full effect and these events are helping to bring us all some holiday cheer. Check out our guide to holiday events in Tampa Bay.
Holiday Events in Tampa Bay
Winter Village | November 22 – January 5| Curtis Hixon Park, Downtown Tampa
Go skating on a real ice rink, see holiday movies on the lawn on select Fridays and Saturdays, take holiday streetcar rides, visit the Winter Village Shops and Cafe at Winter Village, see the City of Tampa Tree Lighting and more!
Santa Fest and 38th Annual Downtown Tampa Christmas Parade | Saturday, December 7 | Downtown Tampa
Festival: Noon – 4 p.m.
Parade: 11 a.m.
Photos with Santa, holiday entertainment, crafts, games, and activities. The parade steps off at 11:00 at Morgan and Madison Streets, traveling west on Madison Street to Ashley Drive, then turn north and end at Ashley Drive and Cass Street.
SnowFest in North Straub Park | Saturday, December 7, 9 AM – 2 PM | North Straub Park, St. Pete
Where can you experience 65 Tons of snow in the Tampa Bay Area? Put on your goulashes and head to North Straub Park. Watch your kids enjoy the toboggan slide, art tent, karaoke, and moonwalk. Preschoolers can enjoy a Kiddyland area with an inflatable train. The $5 wristband includes all activities and can be purchased at any St. Petersburg recreation center or on the day of the event. Find center locations here: www.stpeteparksrec.org/centers/html.
Miracle on Cleveland Street | Saturday, December 7, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Downtown Clearwater
Snow in Florida? It’s a miracle! Downtown Clearwater becomes a winter wonderland with ice skating, horse and carriage rides, photos with Santa, kids activities, Christmas carols and of course, a dusting of snow.
Candy Cane Hunt | Saturday, December 14, 10:00 a.m. for Parade, 11:30 a.m. for Candy Cane Hunt| Tarpon Springs
Celebrate the arrival of Santa at the Tarpon Springs Christmas Parade, then visit Craig Park for the Candy Cane Hunt! Kids 12 and under can search for the lucky candy cane, while the whole family can enjoy free activities, music and a visit from the big guy himself.
Holiday Stroll 2019: Let it Snow | Saturday, December 7, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Largo Central Park
Take a stroll through a beautiful holiday scene featuring lights, entertainment, crafts and activities for the whole family. Stop by at 6 pm for the official Christmas tree lighting, and visit the Holiday Craft Fair each night of the festival.
Winter Wonderland | December 6 – December 22 (Wednesday to Sunday) | 6 – 9 pm | Clearwater Aquarium
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.
Tampa Riverwalk Holiday Boat Parade | Saturday, December 21, 6 – 8 p.m. | Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Watch this spectacular lighted boat parade on December 22, 2018, from 6-8 pm. The route traditionally goes along the Tampa Riverwalk and down the Hillsborough River through Downtown Tampa. One of the best places to watch is at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa, FL 33602.
Grab the kids and watch them squeal in delight as they ooh and aww over all the sparkling lights covering the many boats floating by.
Theme Parks and Beyond
Walt Disney World | Lake Buena Vista
The Most Magical Place on Earth celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom; Epcot International Festival of the Holidays; the brand new Sunset Seasons Greetings at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; and holiday shopping, dining and the festive Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs.
Christmas Town | Select dates from November 16 through January 6 | Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa Bay’s holiday tradition, Christmas Town is a sparkling festival of Christmas cheer, with shows, shopping, and lots of lights. Meet Santa Claus and characters from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Universal Orlando Resort | November 16 through January 5 | Orlando
Experience Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ as Hogsmeade™ and Diagon Alley™ are transformed with wondrous spirit. Treat yourself to Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. And watch the live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s classic holiday tale starring The Grinch™ in the Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular.
Christmas in the Wild | Lowry Park Zoo | Tampa
The Zoo is ready for Christmas with 18 nights of holiday lights, seasonal treats, and a visit with Santa Claus.
Gaylord Palms ICE! | Gaylord Palms Resort | Kissimmee
The Gaylord Palms Resort decks the halls…and the walls…and the floors…and pretty much everything else with holiday spirit. Part of the hotel’s incredible Christmas celebration is ICE!, a hands-on winter wonderland featuring ice slides, sculptures, interactive Christmas displays and more.
Enchant Christmas St. Petersburg | November 22 – December 29 | Tropicana Field
The World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze and Market. Complete with Santa himself and an ice skating trail. Experience the wonder that lights up Tropicana Field. Tickets are on sale on the website. Adults tickets range from $20 to $33 and Child tickets range from $15 to $24.
Holiday Lighted Boat Parade | December 21st – 6:30- 9 p.m. | Florida Aquarium
Departure at 6:30 PM; boarding begins promptly at 6:15 PM.
What better way to celebrate the holidays than joining us aboard our 72-foot Bay Spirit II catamaran for a festive celebration. We will be playing the season’s favorite new and classic holiday songs while you sip on complimentary hot cocoa and nibble on cookies.
Witness the annual light show extravaganza with hundreds of brightly lit and decorated boats and yachts as they cruise along Tampa Bay while enjoying this popular family-friendly Holiday event.
Snow Days at The Florida Aquarium | December 26-30th 12-5 p.m.
Continue the holiday celebration at the Aquarium and have a flurry of fun in a real snow play area for kids. After you’re done, head inside for an awesome Aquarium experience. Access to our snow play area is included with general admission.
Holiday Member Nights at The Florida Aquarium | December 26 & 27 5:30-9 p.m.
Special after-hours events just for our members featuring a real snow play area for kids, including animal encounters, diving elves, holiday crafts and more!
Children with sensory differences and their families can enjoy all of the Snow Days fun in a low-stress environment! The event will also feature a special appearance by the 501st Legion Star Wars Stormtroopers. Sensory headphones are available at Guest Services upon request.