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Holiday Activities + Christmas Lights in Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Pete

Christmas Lights Tampa Florida

Are you looking for holiday activities and Christmas Lights in the Tampa Bay Area? Celebrating Christmas in Tampa? We can help you plan a day trip to Tampa or St. Petersburg to see a Christmas light display, visit a Christmas maze, or enjoy a holiday lights show.

Some of these activities in Tampa are FREE – including the outdoor Christmas lights at the Tampa Riverwalk, Curtis Hixon Park, and the Waterfront in St. Pete. Other Christmas events in Tampa have a reasonable admission charge, and we’ve also included special activities for a Christmas splurge.

We’ve also got details on Christmas Events in Orlando, and plenty of information on Christmas Events in Lakeland, Florida.

All prices listed below are subject to change, they are general guidelines to help you get an idea of a price range, check directly with event hosts to confirm current prices. Please keep in mind most of these activities are outdoors and weather dependent. Links are provided so you can check directly with event organizers for any last minute changes or closures.

Don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to Christmas Events + Holiday Activities for a full list of things to do this holiday season in Lakeland and Polk County including Christmas Light Displays, Santa Photos, Christmas Tree Lots, Christmas Parades, Holidays Concerts, Live Performances, Holiday Markets, Ice Skating, Toy Donation Needs, and more.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we will receive a small commission if you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Thank you for supporting Lakeland Mom!

Christmas Lights in Tampa Florida

Christmas Lane at the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds in Plant City 

Christmas Lane is an interactive walk through Christmas event held at the fairgrounds in Plant City, FL. Various Christmas themed displays, live entertainment, food, and rides (additional cost for food & rides). Plus, you can meet and take pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!

  • 2023 Hours – Open select nights from November 24 – December 24 from 6-10pm
  • Admission is $8-10 per person, free for 3 and under
  • Florida Strawberry Festival grounds – 2508 W Oak Ave, Plant City, FL 33563
  • Website – Facebook

The Light of Christmas – Light Show at First Baptist Church of Plant City

Join First Baptist Church of Plant City this Christmas season for something new and unique. The Light of Christmas {formerly Glorious Night} is a spectacular synchronized light display featuring over 75,000 programmed lights, great music, and a message of hope. Come and experience The Light of Christmas, be sure to tune your radio to the music. Watch from your car or bring a blanket or chairs and sit outside to enjoy the show. This Christmas light show restarts every 40 minutes from 6-10pm but it is designed so that you can enjoy the show no matter when you arrive.

  • FREE
  • Nov. 26, 2023 – Jan. 1, 2024 nightly from 6-10pm
  • First Baptist Church of Plant City – 3309 James L Redman Pkwy, Plant City, FL 33566
  • Website (see a short preview from 2022 below)

Nights of Shimmering Lights in Dover 

Sunkissed Acres Farm in Dover presents Shimmering Lights – a winter event featuring a 1/3-mile outdoor walking trail through the shimmering lights dancing to music. Walk at your own pace and stop as often as you like. Santa will be on hand for pictures and wishes. Get in the holiday mood with seasonal music and themed areas, plus foam play area on select nights. Shimmering Lights is a one-way wide walking trail, you can repeat the 1/3 mile trail as many times as you would like. Free parking. Restrooms on site. Light concessions include fresh hot mini donuts and hot cocoa. ** This is an unpaved walking trail and ground can be uneven in places, wear appropriate footwear and use caution, bring bug spray**

  • Open select nights from November 24 – December 24 from 6:30-9:30 pm
  • Admission is $8 in advance, $9 at the gate, tickets are required for children 3 years old and older.
  • Sun Kissed Acres Farm – 2302 N. Dover Road, Dover, FL 33527
  • WebsiteFacebook

Festival of Lights + Santa’s Village at the Hillsborough Fairgrounds

The Hillsborough County Fairgrounds is hosting Tampa Bay’s Festival of Lights & Santa’s Village – a Holiday Light Spectacular that features two-miles of drive-thru Christmas lights followed by a festive walking visit to Santa’s Village. If you’re looking to drive through Christmas lights in Tampa, check out the Festival of Lights!

There’s something for everyone at this festive event, from dazzling lights to games and activities for all ages, visits with Santa, tasty treats, holiday movies and holiday shopping. Be sure to check the event calendar – some nights are drive through only with no village activities.

  • November 23 – December 31, 2023
  • $25 Per Carload (up to 8 people). Admission includes light displays and entrance to Santa’s Village, other activities may cost extra. Admission is $20 for drive-through only nights. See website for bus and group pricing.
  • 215 Sydney Washer Road Dover, FL 33527 (On Hwy 60)
  • WebsiteFacebook

Holiday Spectacular on the Tampa Riverwalk

Friends of the Riverwalk invites you to enjoy a Holiday Spectacular light display in Tampa. Displays include a 35′ tall LED lighted Christmas tree that floats in the harbor, several other lighted displays floating on barges in the Hillsborough River, and the lighted garland and red bows on the Riverwalk light poles. Enjoy the Christmas lights at your leisure. The 2.6 miles of the Tampa Riverwalk runs from Armature Works to Curtis Hixon Park to Sparkman Wharf.

  • November – December
  • FREE
  • Along the Riverwalk in Tampa
  • Website

Tampa Christmas Parade – Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

Tampa’s largest lighted boat parade for Christmas runs along the Tampa Riverwalk on the Hillsborough River in Downtown Tampa. The parade begins in the Convention Center basin, small boats travel up the river to Armature Works, then join up with the bigger boats to travel between Davis and Harbor Islands, and ends at Sparkman Wharf.

  • Saturday, December 23, 2023 at 6pm
  • FREE
  • Along the Riverwalk in Tampa
  • WebsiteFacebook

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa

Winter Village Tampa is back in 2023 with outdoor ice skating {the only outdoor ice rink in Central FL}, vendors, Downtown Tampa Christmas light show, curling, Tampa Bay Lightning Thunderstruck Thursdays, silent disco Fridays, and more. Advance reservations for ice skating are highly recommended. Stroll through Curtis Hixon Park and enjoy a beautiful view of the Hillsborough River and Tampa’s Christmas Lights. TIP – walk north or south and check out the decorations along the Tampa Riverwalk and on the river.

  • November 17, 2023 – January 1, 2024 – check website for hours and special events
  • FREE to explore, ice skating is $17/person
  • Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa
  • Website

Winter Village Express Streetcar in Downtown Tampa

The Winter Village Express is a 50 minute, round-trip excursion on a Tampa streetcar with fun for the entire family! Your ticket includes 50 minutes of holiday entertainment aboard the Historic Tampa Streetcar and refreshments. This holiday ride will make its way from Downtown Tampa’s Whiting Station to Ybor and back on the TECO Line Streetcar.

  • Sundays from November 19 – December 17, 2023 from 3:25 pm – 7:25 pm (1 hour time slots)
  • $10 per person
  • Whiting Station (#11) – 104 South Franklin Street, Tampa, FL
  • Website

River of Lights Holiday Boat Cruise – Pirate Water Taxi in Tampa

Hop on a water taxi tour of Tampa Christmas lights and decorations along the river including Holiday Island. As you cruise, you will get up-close views of Downtown Tampa’s spectacular seasonal decorations and holiday lights. This family-friendly event will include a visit by a jolly pirate elf, Christmas song sing-a-longs, and a chance to see snow flurries in Florida! Every child will have an opportunity to write a letter to Santa and drop it off in Tampa’s only floating mailbox. 

  • Select nights in November and December
  • Adults $35, Children $25
  • Boarding at the Tampa Convention Center
  • Website

Wonderland of Lights and Santa’s Village at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Brandon

Sir Henry’s Haunted Christmas Trail in Plant City

The Christmas Trail {a family friendly event we listed here in previous years} has converted to Sir Henry’s Haunted Christmas Trail and is not suitable for children under 12.

Tampa Christmas Events + Attractions

Christmas In The Wild at ZooTampa at Lowry Park

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at ZooTampa with the return of Christmas in the Wild, featuring one of Tampa Bay’s largest light displays, delectable holiday treats, amazing wildlife and new festive adventures. This year is BIGGER, better, and brighter than ever, with six new illuminated zones of lights, festive entertainment that the whole family will enjoy.

Christmas in the Wild is a limited capacity event. Advanced purchase tickets and timed reservations are strongly encouraged and the only way to guarantee admission.

  • November 24 – December 30, 2023 – Select Nights from 4-10pm
  • Tickets are $29.95/person or included with annual pass
  • ZooTampa at Lowry Park – 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL 33604
  • ZooTampa Website

Snowcat Ridge Florida Snow Tubing

Snowcat Ridge is Florida’s only Alpine Snow Park, featuring snow tubing, snow play, ice skating, and more! Go snow tubing in Tampa at Snowy Slopes – a 60-foot tall, 400-foot long snow tubing hill featuring single, tandem, and 10-person snow tubing. Snowy Slopes also features a nightly music and light show visible throughout the park. Play in the artic igloo and go ice skating.

  • December 3, 2023 – February 2024 – check website for dates/times
  • $30+person – prices vary by date and activity
  • Snowcat Ridge – 27839 Saint Joe Rd., Dade City, FL 33525
  • Snowcat Ridge Website

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

Unwrap a beautiful family tradition at Busch Gardens Christmas Town, where Busch Gardens Tampa transforms into a holiday wonderland of Christmastime entertainment and attractions, holiday shopping, visits with Santa, festive treats and more than a million twinkling lights.

Photos with Santa at the Florida Aquarium

Santa is coming! Guests of all ages can share Holiday wishes and take pictures with Santa Claus during this special holiday adventure. Bring your family and friends to celebrate the Holidays at The Florida Aquarium.

  • 2023 TBD
  • Included in Aquarium admission {photos to be taken with your own device}
  • The Florida Aquarium – 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
  • Website

Snow Days at the Florida Aquarium

Snow is in the forecast at The Florida Aquarium! Join in on all the frosty festivities of Snow Days free with membership or general admission. Activities include a snow maze, snowball toss, Winter Wonderland Dance Party and more. 

  • Saturdays & Sundays November 25 – December 24 | Daily December 26 – 31
  • Included in Aquarium admission
  • The Florida Aquarium – 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
  • Website

Christmas Lights in St. Pete + Clearwater

The Lights of Lake Park Estates in Seminole

Drive through over 3 miles of Christmas Lights in the neighborhoods of Lake Park Estates, Wieker, Lakeside Estates, and Lake Seminole Village (between Clearwater and St. Pete). Follow the arrows through the neighborhood. Donations are accepted along the route – 100% of the donations are provided to Suncoast Hospice to support their community activities. (The event has raised over $1 million dollars since its inception in 1993 – wow!!) TIP: Go earlier in December and earlier in the night if possible for less traffic, but be prepared to drive through slowly in a line of cars.

  • December 1 – 31, 2023 – 6:00 – 9:30pm
  • FREE – Donations encouraged
  • 102nd Ave & 97th St, Seminole FL 33777
  • Website

Largo Central Park Holiday Lights & Rides

Stroll through Largo Central Park where guests can enjoy holiday fun and show stopping Christmas lights in Clearwater, featuring over two million twinkling LED lights. This is a walking display, not a drive through. Rides and food also available. Ride the ferris wheel to see the 70 acre park from up high, or enjoy the carousel. The rides and light display are open nightly from 5-10pm.

  • November 23 – December 31, 2023 nightly from 5pm – 10pm
  • FREE to park and walk through the light displays. Rides are $6 each.
  • 101 Central Park Dr, Largo, FL 33771
  • Website

Winter Wonderland Clearwater

Each year since 1993, the Clearwater Community Volunteers put on Winter Wonderland – a complete Christmas village in Downtown Clearwater with Christmas lights, an entertainment stage, photos with Santa, cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, a hot chocolate shop and Holiday Express Train! Entrance to Winter Wonderland is free but we ask visitors to bring a non-perishable food item and/or an unwrapped toy to be donated to local area charities. Winter Wonderland is full of Christmas fun but its true purpose is a two to three-week long charity drive to benefit the children of Pinellas County.

  • December 2 – 23, 2023 – Wednesdays through Sundays from 6-9pm
  • FREE – be sure to bring a non-perishable food item or unwrapped toy
  • 201 N Fort Harrison Ave Clearwater, FL 33755
  • Website

Waterfront Lights in St. Pete

Take a stroll along the waterfront to see thousands of holiday lights and decorations in North Straub Park, South Straub Park, Pioneer Park, Vinoy Park, and the St. Pete Pier. Don’t miss the giant greeting card display along Bayshore Dr. at Vinoy Park made by local teens and participants from St. Petersburg’s recreation centers. Plus special events happening throughout December.

Oakdale Christmas House in St. Petersburg

If you’re in the area, you’ve got to check out this amazing Christmas light display in St. Petersburg, Florida. Oakdale Christmas House in St. Pete has been putting up a display for over 40 years. They’ve been HGTV’s #1 display and NBC’s Today Show Top 3. This mega Christmas display is FREE for the public to enjoy.

  • Friday November 24, 2023 to January 3, 2024
  • FREE
  • 2719 Oakdale Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705
  • Website 

Enchant Christmas St. Pete

Enchanted Christmas in St. Petersburg is a Christmas Light maze in Tampa Bay returning in 2023! This event fills Tropicana Field with the lights and sights of Christmas. This Tampa Enchanted Christmas event includes a themed maze where you can search and help find the missing toys, vendors selling food and drinks, music and dancing, an ice skating trail, kids play area, and Santa pictures.

  • November 24 – December 31, 2023
  • Admission starts at $34/adult and $25/children for ages 3+
  • Tropicana Field – 1 Tropicana Dr., St. Petersburg, FL 33705
  • Website

Map – Christmas Lights in Tampa

Christmas Events + Holiday Activities

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Christmas Events + Holiday Activities to find more things to do including Neighborhood Christmas Light Displays, FREE Christmas Events, Santa Photos, Christmas Parades, and more.