Looking for something to do this holiday season? Check out these Tampa holiday events! I have organized them into free and paid so you can find the perfect event for your family.
Free Tampa Holiday Events
2022 Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
When: Dec. 17th, 6 pm (Rain date is Dec. 18)
Where: Convention Center Basin to the Sparkman Wharf
Is it even a holiday without a boat parade? Enjoy a variety of water vehicles decked out in their holiday finest. Find a spot on the parade route to catch the show with your family. Or if you want a view directly from the water, you can hop on different boats offering “cruises” for the parade.
The parade starts in the Convention Center basin, travels to the Heights, and ends at Sparkman Wharf. Don’t forget to pack some hot cocoa!
Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park
When: November 18, 2022 – January 4, 2023
Where: Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa
Stroll cute shops for the perfect gift, grab a hot drink at the cafe, or try your hand at curling along the Riverwalk. There is something for everyone this year at the Winter Village!
While this is a free event, there are some fun paid activities to enjoy, like ice skating ($17 a person) or a ride on the Winter Village Express.
Looking to catch a holiday flick? Tampa Theatre will be presenting A Christmas Carol (2009) on Saturday, December 16 at 7 pm.
Holiday Lights & Rides at Largo Central Park
When: November 24, 2022-January 1, 2023, 5-10 pm
Where: Largo Central Park, 01 Central Park Dr, Largo, FL 33771
Prepared to be wowed by the dazzling holiday light display at Largo Central Park. With over two million LED lights twinkling, the park has been transformed into a magical land!
Want a different view? Ride the seven-story Ferris wheel to take in the lights from up above, or enjoy the classic carousel. This event is free to enter, but rides are $5 each or 5 for $20.
Meet the Grinch and Watch the Movie with Film Tampa Bay
When: December 16, 2022 from 6-9 pm
Where: Hilton Tampa Downtown Courtyard near the Unlock Tampa Bay Visitor’s Center
He is a mean one, that Mr. Grinch, but it sure is fun to watch his heart grow. Take the kids to meet him in person from 6-7pm at the Hilton Tampa Downtown Courtyard, then take a trip to Whoville with a screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).
Winter Nights Under the lights at Palma Sola Botanical Gardens
When: December 15, 16, 17 & 18, 2022 from 6-9 pm
Where: 9800 17th Avenue NW, Bradenton
Enjoy the lush Palma Sola Botanical Gardens in a whole new way. Find your favorite plants, check out the light displays, and stroll the gardens — it’ll be like a fairy winter wonderland!
Entrance is free, and the park is asking for donations to support the community gardens.
When: Late November 2022 through January 2023
Where: Tampa Riverwalk
Get your phone ready — the Riverwalk Holiday Hunt is live! See if you can find everything on the mobile-based scavenger hunt. Answer Tampa trivia, complete holiday challenges, and showcase your puzzlemaster skills to win! Download the mobile app Mobile Adventures to participate.
Paid Tampa Holiday Events
Victorian Christmas Stroll
When: December 1-23
Where: Henry B. Plant Museum at 401 W. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa
Cost: $18 for adults | $12 for kids
Step back in time and enjoy the wonder of the holiday season at the Henry B. Plant Museum. See antique ornaments, beautiful scenes to gaze at the wonder of the past, and delightful cider and cookies to warm the spirit.
Tampa Bay’s Festival of Lights & Santa’s Village Drive-Thru Lights
When: November 24, 2022 – January 1, 2023 | 6-9 pm weekdays, 6-10 pm weekends
Where: Hillsborough County Fairgrounds
Cost: $25 for a carload of up to 8 people
Drive through two miles of amazing displays or check out the exciting Arctic Plunge Inflatable Snow Tube, camel rides, and holiday-themed rides. Walk through Hometown Hillsborough Historical Village or have a sit down with the jolly guy himself.
River of Lights
When: November 25 – December 24 (select dates)
Where: Tampa Convention Center (Pirate Water Taxi Home Dock: Stop #7)
Cost: $25+ for children | $30+ for adults
Get a view of the lit up riverwalk from the water with a special boat tour. It is a truly unique event, with Ebenezer hosting, Christmas carols, and a chance to see “snow flurries.” Plus, little ones can write to Santa and drop it off at the area’s only floating mailbox — which goes direct to the North Pole.
Christmas in the Wild
When: November 25 – December 30 (select nights)
Where: ZooTampa at 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa
Cost: $29.95 (ages 2 and under get in free)
The zoo is just different at Christmastime. With one of the area’s largest light displays, a bevy of tasty treats, and new ways to engage with your favorite animals. If you are a member, Christmas in the Wild is free. Otherwise, admission is included with your ticket.
When: November 25 – January 1 (select days)
Where: Tropicana Field at 1 Tropicana Dr., St. Petersburg
Cost: $35+ for adults, $20+ for children ages 3-17 (ages 2 and under are free)
Head to a true Christmas Wonderland at Tropicana Field! Kids will be amazed by the 100-foot tall Christmas tree and transported to surprising lands via magical lighted tunnels. There’s also ice-skating, a fun Christmas maze, live entertainment, and a cozy village for shopping and treats. Plus, keep an eye out for Mr. and Mrs. Claus!
When: November 16 – February 26 (select days)
Where: 27839 St Joe Rd, Dade City
Cost: $26.95+ (kids under 2 free)
Snow in Florida? Make the holidays magical with lots of white stuff at Snowcat Ridge! The Florida snow park features a 60-ft tall, 400-ft long tubing hill with real snow. Plus, there is an arctic igloo with a snow play area for younger kids, an outdoor ice skating rink for the brave skaters, and a cozy alpine village with a variety of food, drinks, shopping and inviting campfires.
Christmas Lane in Plant City
When: November 25 – December 24, 2022
Where: Florida Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds in Plant City
Cost: $8 per adult, $5 per child ages 4-12, free for children under 4
Two hundred Christmas trees! Yes, you read that right. From four feet tall up to 40 feet tall, it will truly be a sight to behold. The Strawberry Festival fairgrounds will be decked out with 1.5 million lights, fun rides, and live entertainment. There will be a kids zone for the little ones and a photo op with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Rudloph.
Celebration of Lights in Shady Hills-Pasco County
When: Select nights November 25 – December 21, 2022 from 6-9pm
Where: The Concourse in Pasco County, Pasco County Safety Town
Cost: $20 per vehicle
Walk through the beautiful lights or take a mini train ride ($3) around the park. Looking to meet the big guy? He and his helpers will be around!
Whatever you choose to do this holiday season, I hope you and your loved ones are able to celebrate together!