Guide to Holiday Light Displays and Tree Lightings in Tampa Bay

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. Also don’t forget about the Chanukah celebrations in Tampa Bay too!

Check out our 2018 Guide to Holiday Light Displays and Tree Lightings in Tampa Bay. Happy Holidays from everyone at Tampa Bay Moms Blog.

Holiday Light Displays

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park | November 16th – 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 22nd – December 29 | 6-9pm or 6-10pm 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, 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 Dec. 29. Times vary by night. $25 per carload, $75 buses. If you purchase your tickets in advance, it’s $20 per carload when purchasing prior to November 21. 

The Oakdale Christmas House | November 23rd – January 3rd | 6-10pm

2719 Oakdale Street S., St. PetersburgIf 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 23rd – December 30th| 5:30-9:30pm

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 24th – January 1st, 2018 | 5:30-9:30pm

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 from Friday, November 24 through Sunday, January 1.

Streamside Drive Christmas Lights | December 25th – 30th | Mon-Thur 6-9pm, Fri-Sun 6-10pm

11048 Streamside Dr. Tampa 33624. 55,000 LED Christmas lights Synchronized to music that is played over your radio (88.3 FM). Come to check out the 17ft Helicopter with Santa, Mickey/Minnie mouse, and much more.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens |November 17th – December 31st | 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 24th – December 30 (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 30th – 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| Runs through January 1| 5:30 – 10pm

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| Runs through December 23rd | Weeknights 6 – 9 pm, Weekends 6 – 10pm

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 – 10pm

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| 6pm 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 | November 22 through January 1 | 6 – 11 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 23rd – 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 24th – December 23rd (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 7th – December 30th | 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 1st – 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.


Tree Lightings in Tampa Bay & Chanukah Celebrations

Symphony in Lights Tree Lighting | November 10th through December 31st | 6-9pm

The Shops at Wiregrass is celebrating 10 years of Symphony in Lights. Enjoy a beautiful display of dancing lights, holiday decorations and choreographed music featuring the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. A holiday tradition that we started once our son was born. It’s the perfect way to relax after a few hours of shopping or to get into the holiday spirit. 

32nd Annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree | December 6th | 7pm

Center Place will be the site of the opening of the Christmas season in Brandon. An evening of entertainment and refreshments, followed by the lighting of the tree and a visit from Santa.

Tampa’s Tree Lighting | November 30th | 6pm

Attend Tampa’s annual Tree Lighting ceremony in beautiful Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.  Festivities begin at 6 p.m. The evening will include a countdown to light the tree with Mayor Buckhorn and a free movie in the park. Admission is free. 

Tree Lighting at Armature Works | December 1st | 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Armature Works is having its first annual Tree Lighting at Armature Works to kick off the Holiday season. They’ll have live music from the Salvation Army Brass Band, visits from Santa + Mrs. Claus and activities for kids all while speaking holiday cheer! Tree Lighting will happen at 7pm, on the Armature Works Front Lawn, immediately followed by a performance by the Salvation Army Brass Band. Seasonal drinks will be available for purchase along with food from any of the 14 vendors within Heights Public Market. Outside food, beverage, and coolers are prohibited.

Chanukah Celebration | December 9th | 5 – 7 pm

Join Chabad at Wiregrass on December 9 from 5:00-7:00pm for a grand Menorah lighting at The Shops at Wiregrass (in front of Dillard’s).  No charge – All are welcome.  Entertainment & fun for the whole family, Face Painting, Balloon Artist, and lots more!  Enjoy Chanukah delights including hot latkes and doughnuts.

Chanukah Menorah Lighting | December 2nd | 4 – 6 pm

Unite for Light. Chanukah menorah lighting with an acrobatic show, holiday crafts for kids, latkes, donuts, face painting, and balloon sculpting. It’s free of charge and open to the whole community. Trinity Community Park, 11530 Trinity Blvd. Adjacent to the Police/Fire Station. 


Where are your favorite holiday light displays and tree lightings in Tampa Bay?

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.