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December 17, 2020

The most DAZZLING Christmas Lights in Tampa Bay

By Laura Byrne, editor of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine

Look no further, your family’s 2020 guide for holiday lights in Tampa Bay is here! There’s no better way to put your family into the holiday spirit than touring one of the beautiful Christmas light displays!

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Our Favorite Family-Friendly 2020 Holiday Lights and Christmas Lights Displays in Tampa Bay:

If there is a * next to the title, that means you can simply drive by and stay in your car.

Listed in order of opening dates. Keep in mind that dates and events are subject to change, so always check with the event website before heading out the door. 

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa 

November 20, 2020-January 3, 2021
Winter Village is returning this year with COVID safety protocols in place, including pre-booking your family’s time to ice-skate on the real outdoor ice rink in the park! The shops will also be back and so will the Christmas lights. There will even be a choo-choo train in the park for the littlest ones! Wintervillagetampa.com 

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

November 21, 2020 through January 3, 2021
Busch Gardens lights up with millions of Christmas lights after sunset for its annual Tampa Christmas Town event! There are beautiful 2020 Christmas light displays at every turn, Holiday decorations, Christmas music, and delightful foods to compliment the amazing Tampa Christmas lights show.  10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612. buschgardens.com

Victorian Christmas Stroll at Henry B Plant Museum in Tampa

November 21, 2020-December 31, 2020 from 10:00 am-5:00 pm

The Victorian Christmas Stroll is a perfect way to step back into time at the Henry B Plant Museum and be dazzled by the beautifully decorated rooms, each with a different theme. You just might be inspired by one of the beautiful trees! Face masks are required for all visitors as this is an indoor event. plantmusuem.com

*Christmas Lights at the Chick-fil-A on Waters Ave in Tampa

Beginning November 23, 2020
This Chick-fil-A store has a tradition of taking Christmas lights in Tampa to a whole new level and they’re back at it again with this year’s Christmas lights display, but they’ve scaled it back and are encouraging people to stay in their cars. The display is different this year to keep everyone safe. The drive thru will still be lit and they’re even adding some fun surprises, including a way to take a virtual photo with Santa–so check out the front windows–it’s super cool! Add this annual Tampa Bay Christmas light event to your family’s Christmas light holiday bucket list! Visit the store at 6299 W Waters Avenue, Tampa FL 33634. Follow their Facebook page here for updates.

Holiday Spectacular on the Tampa Riverwalk and Water Works Park

November 26, 2020 through January 2, 2021
The Riverwalk in Tampa will be aglow for the holidays including a really cool lighted fish arches to the entrance of Water Works Park which will be lit with millions of twinkling lights. Be sure to look out into the river where lighted barges will be on display between Armature Works and Sparkman Wharf. It’s a holiday stroll or bike ride to add to your family’s TO DO list! One of our favorite ways to view the lights is by boat on Pirate Water Taxi’s River of Lights cruise and even a NEW event this year, the Lost Pearl pirate ship’s A Pirates Christmas! thetampariverwalk.com

*Wonderland of Christmas Lights & Santa’s Christmas Village at Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Dover 

November 26-December 27, 2020
This is a drive through Christmas lights event in Tampa!  First, you and your family will drive through Christmas lights for a mile to experience spectacular lights, and next if you choose, after seeing the drive through Christmas lights you can make a visit at Santa’s Village at the end of the drive through Christmas lights!  Santa’s Village features wagon rides, a Circus Show, camel and pony rides and more Christmas lights and Holiday activities for children and adults of all ages!. 215 Sydney Washer Rd, Dover, FL 33527. Thewonderlandoflights.com  

Holiday Lights & Rides at Largo Central Park 

November 26, 2020-January 3, 2021
Largo Central Park will light up again with more than two million LED Christmas lights. This is an outdoor walking Christmas light tour only, not a drive through Christmas light display, so the Largo Central Park Holiday Light display organizers be sure you remind everyone in party to stay six feet from other people as you enjoy the Christmas lights in Pinellas. There will also be rides including a seven story Ferris wheel to give you a birds eye view of the 70 acre park. Rides are $5 each or 5 for $20. Largo Central Park’s Christmas lights and Holiday lights will light up on evenings from 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. It is free to park and stroll among the sparkly Christmas lights.  101 Central Park Dr, Largo, FL 33771.  Playlargo.com 

Waterfront Lights in St. Petersburg

November 26, 2020-January 3, 2021

Stand along the pedestrian walkways at North and South Straub Parks in St Petersburg for this free light show on the water. There will also be a Christmas lights and displays at Pioneer Park, Vinoy Park and the new St. Pete Pier. stpeteparksrec.org

Lights at St. Pete Pier

The St. Pete Pier is decorated and dazzling for the holidays and of course, there’s the Bending Arc that lights up year-round! Spa Beach Park has a a beautiful Christmas tree up too! It’s a great spot to grab dinner, play, and snap a ton of pics! stpetepier.org

Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa 

November 27-December 20, 2020
Tampa’s Christmas in the Wild returns this year with your family’s safety in mind. Many of your favorites like the beautiful Christmas lights, fun themed Tampa Holiday treats, and favorite Tampa Christmas characters will be back, but there will be safety modifications in place to ensure this 2020 Tampa Bay Christmas event is as safe as possible! It’s a must-do Christmas-Light night out with the kids! Zootampa.org/Christmas 

Hyde Park Village Lights the Park

November 27-December 26, 2020 from 6:00 pm-10:00 pm

Hyde Park Village in South Tampa will light up with beautiful lights along Snow Avenue. It’s a perfect hot cocoa strolling type of event for the entire family. The event is in support of Make a Wish sponsored by St. Joseph’s Hospital. hydeparkvillage.com

Celebration of Christmas Lights 2020 in Shady Hills

Select Nights from November 27 through December 20, 2020

Enjoy a great Christmas lights and holiday lights display in Port Richey!  This Christmas light event takes place at the Concourse in Shady Hills in Pasco, a short Christmas light drive away from Tampa Bay!  This Port Richey Christmas light event happens weeknights 6pm-9pm; Weekends 6pm-10pm. $10 per carload.  11919 Alric Pottberg Rd., Shady Hills FL 34610. theconcourse.org

*The Oakdale Christmas House in St. Petersburg 

November 27, 2020-January 3, 2021
Looking for a Christmas light display in St. Petersburg? Oakdale Christmas House in St. Pete offers an amazing drive through Christmas light experience.  Drive by or drive through Christmas lights can be a safe and socially distant way to enjoy the holiday’s Christmas lights, and you’ll be amazed by the Oakdale Christmas House’s half million twinkling lights which has been ranked as among the world’s best Christmas light displays! This year is the 42nd year for this St. Petersburg Christmas light display, and you can expect to see some major additions and upgrades! The house is located at 2719 Oakdale Street South, St. Petersburg, FL. christmasdisplay.org

River of Christmas Lights in Tampa with Pirate Water Taxi in Tampa

Select dates in November and December | Holiday Lighted Boat Parade is on December 19, 2020
Don’t miss this water taxi cruise to view Tampa’s Christmas lights and holiday decorations.  The Christmas Light cruise departs from the Tampa Convention Center, and the Christmas Light cruise includes cookies, hot chocolate and Holiday Christmas carols! There is also a special Christmas light cruise for the Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade on December 19, 2020. Ticketbooth is located at the Tampa Convention Center by the Tampa Marriott Waterside; you can enter PWT7 – Convention Center/Marriott Waterside, Tampa, FL 33602 into google maps.  PirateWaterTaxi.com

Shimmering Lights Winter Festival at Sun Kissed Acres in Dover

November 27, 2020-end of December
This is an outdoor walking trail that’s about 1/4 mile long, filled with shimmering lights, outdoor movies, games and holiday music. There will even be visits with Santa. They ask you to wear comfortable close toed shoes, a face mask for when it gets busy, and bug spray just in case the mosquitoes come out. Tickets are $7 for everyone 3 and older. thesunkissedacres.com

*St. Petersburg Drive By Christmas Lights Neighborhoods in Seminole, St. Pete

Through December 1 through December 31 (usual dates, exact dates TBA)
Drive through 3+ miles of St. Petersburg Christmas lights’ neighborhoods from 6pm to 10pm for a St. Petersburg Christmas light display and Christmas light show you’ll never forget! This 3.2 mile Christmas light drive by tour takes place in the Seminole/St Petersburg subdivisions of Lake Park Estates, Wieker, Lakeside Estates, and Lake Seminole Village, where these St. Petersburg residents generously decorate their homes and yards with beautiful Christmas lights, Christmas decorations, and even more Christmas lights for Tampa Bay to drive by and enjoy!  Short drive by or drive across Tampa Bay for families looking to see some beautiful Christmas lights near Tampa and Clearwater.  102nd Ave & 109 Ave N, Seminole FL 33777 LightsofLakePark.com

Christmas Trees at Sims Park in Downtown New Port Richey

Through December

Stroll through Sims Park and admire the 100+ Christmas trees decorated by local businesses and families in support of charity. There are a ton of outdoor events scheduled throughout the month in downtown too including outdoor markets. See the full line up here.

Raprager Farms Festival of Lights in Odessa

December 3-December 30, Thursday-Sunday evenings at select times

This new event will quickly become a family tradition in Tampa Bay! Raprager Farms will transform their property into a winter wonderland that will surely make a perfect photo backdrop! Learn more by visiting rapragerfamilyfarms.com.

Wesley Chapel Holiday Tree and Light Display 

December 4, 2020- January 3, 2021
The Grove at Wesley Chapel is unveiling a 20 acre display of holiday lights including visits with Santa, Christmas Trees, hundreds of thousands of lights, rides, music, real snow and more! Learn more here.

Safety Harbor’s Harbor Holiday Nights

Select Nights in December 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 starting at 5:00 p.m.
For six special nights, Folly Farm will be lit up with holiday lights along with more activities for the family to enjoy including a camp fire. Costs is $4 per person. Pre-registration is required since only 50 people are being allowed in at a time. Learn more at safetyharborrecreation.com.

Sylvan Ramble Christmas Light Show in South Tampa

Friday and Saturday nights in December 
This is quickly becoming a tradition for local families if it hasn’t already! The South Tampa home lights up with hundreds of  thousands of Christmas lights synced to your favorite Christmas music. It’s also a great way to help support a good cause in our community, Clothes to Kids. They do ask that you make a reservation online and donate what you can to support Clothes to Kids. The shows are about 20 minutes long. sylvanramblelights.com

*Temple Terrace Drive-Bay Lights Display

Every evening from 6:00pm-11:00pm

This neighborhood is one of the top areas to go see amazing holiday lights in Tampa Bay! The community has been hard at work putting together a display you can watch from your car. Tune to 95.5 FM as you approach to listen the music as its synchronized with the lights. Visit their Facebook page here for more.

Christmas Under the Moon at HarvestMoon Fun Farm in Masaryktown

Select dates in December, Fridays and Saturdays 6:00 pm-9:30 pm and Sundays 6:00 pm-9:00 pm
Head to HarvestMoon Fun Farm for their very first dazzling Christmas light display! You can also take a stroll down Christmas Tree Lane, visit with the animals in the petting farm, sip on some Hot Chocolate, munch on some Kettle Corn and more! Tickets are $10 per person for ages 3 and up. Kids ages 2 and under are free. Activities included with admission: Jumping Pillow, Petting Farm, Cow Train, Ball Zone, Hill Slide, Swings, Arts & Crafts, Photo Ops, and a NEW ATTRACTION, a Kids Steam Train. Purchase your tickets here.

100k Christmas Lights at Christmas Trail in Plant City

December 11-23, 2020 from 5:30 pm-10:00 pm
Masks will be required to attend this Plant City Christmas light display which has over 100,000 Christmas lights. Guests are asked to buy their tickets in advance online to ensure there is plenty of space to social distance while you explore the Christmas light trail! This east Tampa Christmas light display also features a Christmas Tree Light show, a Jack Frost ice show, and more! Learn more about this Tampa Christmas light show at TheChristmasTrail.com

Hunsader Farms Country Christmas in Bradenton

December 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 2020 from 6:00 pm-10:00 pm

The annual Country Christmas is back at Hunsader Farms with more than 300,000 holiday lights, train rides, visits with Santa, a petting zoo, outdoor movies, snow tubing and more! Parking is free and tickets are $10 per person. Kids 5 and younger are free. hunsaderfarms.com


Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

December 19, 2020 (rain date is December 20, 2020) at 6:30 p.m.

This is another social distancing friendly activity because there are so many viewing spots along the Riverwalk between Armature Works all the way through the Sail Pavilion and even a spot over by Sparkman Wharf. See the map here.

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