Best time to go to Tampa, FL

Christmas Lights in Tampa 2021-2022

Holidays in Tampa Bay are all about magical twinkling lights


Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).

Tampa, located by Tampa Bay on the western coast of Florida, gets so bright and sparkly during Christmas that night might seem like day. Take a leisurely stroll through the city's downtown, along the Riverwalk, across parks and gardens to see abundant decorations and spectacular light displays that make Christmas in Tampa a miracle.

Winter Village (November 20, 2020–January 3, 2021; Tree Lighting on December 4, 2020)

Winter Village, located at Curtis Hixon Park along the Tampa Riverwalk, is the number one holiday destination in Downtown Tampa. The beautiful waterfront park by the Hillsborough River becomes a winter wonderland with a large Christmas tree, a skating rink, a music stage, lights, and various fun activities. The Choo-choo train offers rides for small children. For grown-ups, Winter Village features several boutiques selling gifts from local artists and craftsmen: decorations, apparel, and dog accessories.

Holiday Spectacular at Water Works Park (November 26, 2020–January 2, 2021)

Taking a stroll or a bike ride on the Tampa Riverwalk to Water Works Park is a beloved tradition for the locals. Holiday Spectacular is a must-see Christmas display that features the 35-foot (10-m) illuminated Christmas tree, floating in the harbor. Several amazing light displays on barges are placed in the water between Armature Works and Sparkman Wharf. Numerous garlands, arches, and bows will bedazzle even the most scrooge-like spectator. In addition to that, many bars and restaurants on the Riverwalk have their own Christmas displays, contributing to the atmosphere of magic and creating positive memories for thousands of families. One of the best ways to see the lights is from a boat on the Pirate Water Taxi’s River of Lights cruise.

Christmastown at Busch Gardens (November 20, 2020–January 3, 2021)

Busch Gardens hosts the largest Christmas display in Tampa Bay, featuring millions of lights. Thrill rides, fireworks, and an outdoor production of Christmas on Ice are among the biggest highlights. Christmas Town Village offers delicious food, Christmas music, light shows, a meet and greet with Rudolph and Clarice, as well as other fun activities for all ages.

Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa (November 27–December 30, 2020; by reservations only)

One of the kids' favorite Christmas destinations, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, hosts the annual Christmas in the Wild holiday event in late November and December. The zoo is transformed with millions of twinkling Christmas lights. Visitors can expect themed games, meeting their favorite characters, delectable holiday treats, and various jolly adventures.