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November 29, 2017

Our Favorite Family-Friendly Holiday Events in Tampa Bay

By Tampa Bay Parenting

There are so many holiday themed events throughout the area this season! We’ve put together this list of our favorite family friendly holiday events in Tampa Bay to help you find one near you!

Winter’s Wonderland at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Nov. 24-Dec. 23 | This is a not to miss holiday celebration at Clearwater Marine Aquarium! Meet Winter Claus and be sure to get your family photo! While you’re there, take in the Winter Wonderland of  lights and décor and even see Santa take a dive! Sea of Lights will be from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Dec 15-16 & Dec. 22-23 with $9.99 admission starting after 4 p.m. Learn more: https://www.seewinter.com/event/winters-wonderland-cma/

Wonderland of Lights at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Dover | Nov. 23- Dec 30, 6 p.m.-10 p.m.  Don’t miss Tampa Bay’s largest display of lights that will include a longer route this year along with a new Santa event, family-friendly activities, food and so much more! It will be closed on select Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so check the website. Tickets start at $20 for a single vehicle and go up depending on size of vehicle. Learn more: thewonderlandoflights.com 

Snow Village and Winter Wonderland at The Big Red Barn in Riverview | Through Dec 31, times vary  The Big Red Barn will transform into a winter wonderland featuring snow tubing, sledding, snow man building and even a snowfall every hour! Your ticket also gets you admission into the festival of lights trail! Children 2 and younger are free. Presale tickets are $20 or less if you purchase online in advance and are sold in 3 hour increments. Learn more: Facebook.com/thebigredbarnflorida   

Santa’s Workshop at MOSI’s Idea Zone | Throughout December Join MOSI in Tampa as it celebrates the holiday spirit of imagination and invention with Santa’s Workshop to take place in the Idea Zone all month. For more event details and admission information, go to mosi.org. Everyone

Christmas in the Wild at Lowry Park Zoo| Dec. 1-2, 8-10, 15-17, 21-23, 26-30, 4 p.m. Enjoy a special festival of lights to launch the holiday season at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. Indulge yourself with stunning lights, seasonal smells of holiday treats and the excitement of festive entertainment as you enjoy the magic of wildlife at night. lowryparkzoo.com Everyone

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party | Select Nights in November and December Spend the holidays with Mickey and his friends at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Take in the sights and sounds of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, a holiday fireworks extravaganza and a Frozen Holiday Wish with an enchanting performance by Queen Elsa as she transforms Cinderella Castle into a glimmering ice palace. Plus, meet up with Disney pals and sample complimentary cookies and hot cocoa. disneyworld.disney.go.com Everyone

Santa’s Flight Academy at International Plaza | Through Dec. 24, various times
Gather the kids for a fun time at Santa’s Flight Academy at International Plaza. Kids can enjoy a visit with Santa and join his crew by getting fitted in virtual gear, helping to fix Santa’s sleigh and earning a crew badge. shopinternationalplaza.com 5-10

Symphony in Lights |Through Dec. 31, 6-9 p.m.  Check out the dancing lights, holiday décor and snow at The Shops at Wiregrass. Catch an inspiring light show choreographed to the holiday music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Shows are nightly on the hour. Free. theshopsatwiregrass.com Everyone

SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration | Through Dec. 31, various times Head to SeaWorld Orlando to make new holiday memories with festive shopping, delicious food and dazzling live shows inspired by the natural world. Stroll the lakeside Christmas Market and pick out unique, artisan-crafted gifts. The Christmas Celebration is included with park admission. seaworldorlando.com Everyone

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens | Through Dec. 31, various timesTake part in one of Tampa newest family traditions at Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as the park becomes a holiday wonderland for select dates this month. Nibble on festive treats, check out special holiday shows and twinkling lights and do some holiday shopping. Plus, visit Santa’s House presented by Coca-Cola® and Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland featuring the beloved characters from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™ television special. buschgardenstampa.com Everyone

Holiday Lights in the Gardens | Through Dec. 31, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Experience the holiday lights along the gardens and paths of Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Enjoy nightly entertainment and visits from Santa Claus at this largest fundraiser for the gardens. Event is free, but $4 donation suggested. For more information, call 727-582-2100. Everyone

Oakdale Christmas House | Through Jan. 3, 2018, 6-10 p.m. Prepare to be dazzled by an array of half a million flashing colorful twinkles for a holiday light display that garnered a top 3 showing as a finalist on NBC’s Today. Check out an 18-train HO scale railroad, moving planes and carnival rides at the St. Petersburg home located at 2719 Oakdale St. S. Free. christmasdisplay.org Everyone

Winter Village in downtown Tampa | Through Jan. 5, 2018  Visit Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa and get lost in a winter wonderland. Skate on real ice, see classic holiday films on the great lawn Fridays and Saturdays (through Dec. 16), nibble on cookies and candies and indulge in classic wintertime drinks from cocoa and hot toddy to cider and more. wintervillagetampa.com Everyone

Christmas at Gaylord Palms | Through Jan. 7, 2018, various times  Experience everything Christmas in one place as part of this interactive spectacle ICE! at Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee. Check out the new ICE theme with 2 million pounds of colorful, hand-carved ice sculptures and slides featuring Christmas Around the World, a new Cirque Dreams Unwrapped Show, Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends, a Build-A-Bear-Workshop® and Scavenger Hunt and much more. christmasatgaylordpalms.com Everyone

Synthetic Ice Skating at the Shops at Wiregrass | Through Jan. 7, 2018  Hit the ‘ice’ at Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel for some laps around the holiday skating rink. Rink will be open throughout the holidays and into the new year. shopsatwiregrass.com Everyone

Christmas Wonderland at R.E Olds Park | Dec. 1, 5-9 p.m.  Usher in the holiday season with a fun evening at R.E. Olds Park in Oldsmar. Slide down a giant snow slope, pose for pictures with Santa and check out inflatables. myoldsmar.com Everyone

Safety Harbor Tree Lighting Ceremony | Dec. 1, 6 p.m.  Gather with family and friends for the lighting of Safety Harbor’s giant Christmas tree by the gazebo at John Wilson Park. Choirs will warm up the crowd for a visit from Santa Claus arranged by the Safety Harbor Fire Department. Free. cityofsafetyharbor.com Everyone

Tampa’s Tree Lighting Ceremony | Dec. 1, 6-10 p.m.  Attend the City of Tampa’s tree lighting ceremony at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Evening includes a countdown to light the tree with Mayor Bob Buckhorn followed by a free movie in the park. Event begins with the dynamic sounds of the Late Night Brass. Magic 94.9 will be on hand for the Secret Santa Giveaway. Admission is free. friendsoftamparec.org Everyone

Magical Night Christmas Parade in Dade City | Dec. 1, 7-9 p.m.  Join thousands of spectators to watch colorfully decorated floats, dancers, marching bands and more as they travel down the downtown Dade City parade route. Santa Claus also is expected to join the festivities. dadecitychamber.org Everyone

Patel Conservatory Presents A Christmas Carol | Dec. 1-3, various times
Watch the feel-good holiday favorite presented by students in grades two through 12 from Patel Conservatory onstage at Straz Center in Tampa. Meet up with the prosperous curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge as his ghostly encounters come to life in this lavish stage adaptation. Plus, a sensory-friendly performance for those patrons with sensory sensitivities is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Tickets start at $15. strazcenter.org Everyone

Victorian Christmas Stroll at Henry B. Plant Museum | Dec. 1-23, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Experience the grandeur of a Victorian Christmas during this signature event of the Henry B. Plant Museum at the University of Tampa. Visit decorated exhibit rooms while enjoying complimentary cider and cookies. Tickets are $15 adults and $9 youth with discount days Dec. 4-5 and 11-12. Proceeds fund the hotel’s restoration and preservation efforts. plantmuseum.com Everyone

Dunedin Youth Guild: Holiday Tour of Homes | Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Stroll through Dunedin area homes decorated for the holiday season and support local kids. Proceeds benefit the Dunedin Youth Guild. For more information, call 727-734-0394. Everyone

SantaFest and Annual Downtown Tampa Christmas Parade | Dec. 2, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Catch a parade at 11 a.m. that begins at Morgan and Madison Streets through downtown Tampa. Then head to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park decked out as a wintry wonderland and enjoy continuous holiday entertainment, Make-n-Take Holiday Crafts, hands-on games and activities plus photos with Santa Claus. friendsoftamparec.org Everyone

The Nutcracker Presented by Tampa Bay Triple Threat Theatre | Dec. 2, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.  Get lost in the beautiful choreography as the Tampa Bay Triple Threat Theatre presents a timeless classic ballet featuring professional guest artists and promising young local dancers onstage at the University of South Florida Theatre 1 in Tampa. Tickets start at $20. For tickets, go to tbttt.org. Everyone

Festival of Lights in downtown Zephyrhills | Dec. 2, 4-9 p.m.  Line up the fam along Main Street in downtown Zephyrhills in preparation for this year’s lighted parade to celebrate the holidays. This year’s parade theme is Classic Holiday Movies. Parade starts at 7 p.m. Free admission. mainstreetzephyrhills.org Everyone

Miracle on Cleveland Street in downtown Clearwater | Dec. 2, 5:00 pm-10:00pm This annual celebration is a tradition for many families in Tampa Bay! Join the fun along the the 400-600 blocks of downtown Clearwater’s Cleveland Street district. There will be falling snow, ice skating, a horse drawn carriage, a giant gingerbreak house, bounce house and even an opportunity to get a picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus. We also LOVE that kids can Tel-An-Elf and call Santa’s elves in the North Pole! This is just a sampling of activities. To learn more visit, RuthEckerdHall.com/Miracle.

Polar Express Pajama Party at Glazer Children’s Museum | Dec. 2, 5:30-8:30 p.m.  Cuddle up as a family for a screening of the beloved holiday classic “Polar Express” at the Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa. Dress in your favorite PJs and get your photo taken with Santa. Enjoy cookies, hot cocoa, holiday crafts and more. Tickets are $30 members and $35 general admission. glazermuseum.org Everyone

Holiday Boat Parade and Tree Lighting in Dunedin | Dec. 2, 6-9 p.m.  Bring in the holidays at this popular holiday tradition along the waterfront as decorated boats parade through the Dunedin Marina and Edgewater Park at around 7 p.m. Enjoy holiday music and s’mores while awaiting Santa’s arrival and the lighting of the City’s Christmas tree in Edgewater Park. Free. dunedingov.com Everyone

Largo Holiday Stroll 2017: Rockin’ Lights Family Fun Night | Dec. 2, 6:30-9:30 p.m.  Stroll through Largo Central Park and admire the beautiful holiday nights as part of this fun family-friendly holiday event. Enjoy a variety of crafts and activities, as well as live entertainment and the official Christmas tree lighting at 7 p.m. Concessions will be available for purchase. largo.com Everyone

Santa and His Elves Visit The Florida Aquarium | Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23  Celebrate the holidays with friends and family at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Santa will be on hand for photos every Saturday in December. Santa’s elves will join him and dive into the Coral Reef exhibit during its regularly-scheduled dive presentations. Pictures with Santa are not included with general admission. flaquarium.org Everyone

Parents Shop / Kids Create at Morean Arts Center | Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Drop off the kids in good hands at Morean Arts Center in St. Pete to create art in a fun, safe environment while parents catch up on last-minute holiday shopping. Cost is $25 per child. Register by phone at 727-822-7872 or online at moreanartscenter.org. 4 & Older

Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Florida Resort | Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 and 23-25, various times  See a dazzling, 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas tree made of 270,000 LEGO bricks at LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven. Young guests can send letters to the North Pole, sing along to Christmas tunes and hear stories told by Mrs. Claus. Capture precious memories at one-of-a-kind photo ops such as a life-size Santa, sleigh and reindeer made from thousands of LEGO bricks and new this year, from inside a giant snow globe or a giant LEGO Christmas wreath. legolandflorida.com Everyone

33rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration at Florida Hospital-Zephyrhills | Dec. 3, noon to 7 p.m.  Come out for a magical evening of holiday fun on the front lawn of Florida Hospital Zephyrhills. Enjoy over 53 decorated trees, new food trucks with tree decorating from noon to 3:30 p.m., bounce houses open at 2 p.m. and a living nativity at 3 p.m. Santa will join the festivities with a program of music, entertainment, and fireworks to end the night. For more information, call 813-788-0411. Everyone

Cookies, Carols and Crafts Workshop at the Straz Center | Dec. 3, 1-3:30 p.m.  Bring the whole family for an afternoon of fun crafts, cookie decorating and tasty treats at Straz Center in Tampa. Event will include holiday mosaics, balloon art, holiday tunes, a visit with Santa, face painting and more. Tickets are $65 per person. Purchase tickets at cookiescarolsandcraftsworkshop.com. Everyone

The Nutcracker at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center | Dec. 3, 3 p.m.  Enjoy this sparkling production of a holiday favorite with beautiful costumes and enchanting sets as The Dance Alive National Ballet based in Gainesville, FL perform at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. Meet up with the Sugar Plum Fairy and her dazzling court, the tiny toy soldiers and their leader, the handsome Nutcracker Prince. Tickets are $30 members and $35 general admission. tarponarts.org Everyone

A Very Merry Market at Great Explorations Children’s Museum | Dec. 6, 4-8 p.m.  Shop local this holiday season at this event from Great Explorations Children’s Museum and Sunken Gardens hosted by the Museum in St. Pete. Check out local vendors, enjoy holiday music, nibble on festive bites and pick up unique gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Exhibits will be closed during the market. Free admission. greatex.org Everyone

Dunedin Express | Dec. 6-8, 10-12 and 15-20, various times  Pick up your golden ticket at the Dunedin History Museum and ride the trolley in your pajamas to Santa’s Workshop and receive a special gift for believing in Santa. Enjoy games, crafts, cookies and hot cocoa with Santa and his elves. Call for fees and time slots at 727-736-1176. Reservation required. Everyone

Home Is Where the Heart Is Holiday Stroll in Davis Islands | Dec. 8, time TBA  Kick off the holidays with scrumptious food and drink at this fundraiser stroll along beautiful Davis Islands and meeting up with old and new friends at this year’s elegant host homes of South Tampa. Proceeds benefit the children at A Kid’s Place Tampa Bay. Tickets are $100. akidsplacetb.org Moms, Dads

Patel Conservatory Presents Holiday Music Concert | Dec. 8, 7 p.m.  Ring in the holiday cheer with students from vocal and instrumental classes at Patel Conservatory as they celebrate the season with popular holiday tunes at Straz Center. Hear from participants from the Vocal Arts, Children’s Chorus, Chamber Ensembles, Jazz and Suzuki programs. Evening ends with a sing-along with the audience. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at strazcenter.org. Everyone

Breakfast with Santa at The Florida Aquarium | Dec 9, 8-9:30 a.m.  Greet Santa and his animal friends at a scrumptious holiday event hosted by The Florida Aquarium. Begin your visit with a buffet breakfast and a meet-up with Santa. Families will have the opportunity to purchase photos with Santa that morning. For more information, call 813-273-4030. flaquarium.org Everyone

YMCA Reindeer Run in Palm Harbor | Dec. 9, 8:30 a.m. Sign the whole family up for this holiday race to benefit YMCA programs taking place at John Chesnut Sr. Park in Palm Harbor. Runners are encouraged to don holiday-inspired attire. For event details and registration fees, go to suncoastymca.org. Everyone

The Winter Wonder Ride with onbikes in Tampa | Dec. 9, 2 p.m.  Join onbikes for its 7th Annual Winter Wonder Ride to help raise funds for the purchase bicycles and helmets for at-risk kids. The whole family can ride through downtown Tampa and along Bayshore Boulevard and then head back to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for a post ride celebration featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff & Salt-N-Peppa! This year’s theme is Ho, Ho, Ho! Learn more: onbikes.org

Country Christmas Open House at Pioneer Florida Museum and Village in Dade City | Dec. 9-10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Travel back in time to Christmas holidays of the old frontier at Pioneer Florida Museum & Village in Dade City. See the festive holiday decorations and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 1-3 p.m. Free admission. pioneerfloridamuseum.com Everyone

PJ Library Hanukkah Hop at Gator Fred’s | Dec. 10, noon to 2 p.m.  Kids are invited to come play and celebrate Hanukkah with PJ Library friends at Gator Fred’s in Carrollwood. Afternoon includes hopping, playing, pizza, holiday treats and the featured PJ Library story “The Hanukkah Trike.” Fee is $5 per child pay at the door. bryanglazerfamilyjcc.com 5-12

Gingerbread Village Cardboard Challenge at Glazer Children’s Museum | Dec. 10-23, various times  Head to the Glazer Children’s Museum in Tampa to contribute to the Museum’s holiday village. Visitors will get a hands-on opportunity to make their own gingerbread house and add it to the Museums village. Activity is free with museum admission. glazermuseum.org Everyone

Drive-in Movie: Elf in Dunedin | Dec. 15, at dark  Enjoy an evening of music, trivia and a movie under the night sky presented by Dunedin Parks & Recreation at Highlander Park in Dunedin. This month’s feature is the holiday comedy “Elf” starring Will Ferrell. Park opens at 5 p.m. with movie to begin at dark. Guests tune in to the film sound via their car stereo. Cost is $10 per car. Attendees must purchase tickets in advance in person at the Dunedin Community Center. For more information, call 727-812-4530. Everyone

Holiday Membership Sale at Great Explorations | Dec. 15-31  Take advantage of seasonal admission specials being offered by Great Explorations Museum in St. Petersburg. Both Basic and Great Membership packages will be on sale at a discount during this designated time and make ideal gifts for loved ones during the holidays. greatex.org Moms, Dads

Safety Harbor Holiday Parade | Dec. 16, 1-3 p.m.  Take in the sights at this year’s holiday parade down Safety Harbor’s Main Street, from floats and vintage automobiles to smiling parade participants including the Shriners and Santa Claus himself. Groups interested in being a part of the parade can apply through Dec. 6. For additional information about the parade, call 727-724-1562, ext. 1504. Parade admission is free. Everyone

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live! at Capitol Theatre | Dec. 16, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
See the Emmy® and Peabody award-winning story by Charles M. Schulz adapted for the stage and performed at Capitol Theatre. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and other members of the Peanuts gang on their journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas. Tickets are $35-$100. rutheckerdhall.com Everyone

35th Annual Palm Harbor Community Holiday Parade | Dec. 16, 3-5 p.m.  Come out to watch or sign up by Nov. 30 to be a participant in this year’s Palm Harbor Community Holiday Parade being presented by the Palm Harbor Chamber, CSA Palm Harbor, and the Rotary Club. Usher in the holiday season with festive floats and music, and a visit from Santa Claus. Businesses can take ride in the parade for $30 and nonoprofits for $20. For more information, call 727-784-4287. palmharborcc.org Everyone

Sorting Ceremony Dinner: A Magical Holiday Feast at Glazer Children’s Museum | Dec. 16, 6:30-8 p.m.
Bring your little wizards, witches and fantastic beasts to the Glazer Children’s Museum for a magical holiday feast. Level 3 of the Museum will transform into Hogwarts’ Great Hall. Enter through Platform 9 3/4, get sorted into your Hogwarts’ House, feast on a banquet fit or a wizard and toast to the evening with butter beer. Tickets are $55 members and $65 general admission. glazermuseum.org 5-12

Chanukah Celebration at Shops at Wiregrass | Dec. 17, 5-7 p.m.  Join Chabad at Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel with a grand Menorah lighting to be held in front of Dillard’s. All are welcome. Evening includes entertainment for the whole family including face painting, balloon art and Chanukah delights such as hot latkes and doughnuts. Free. shopsatwiregrass.com Everyone

Chanukah Community Celebration Dinner | Dec. 17, 5:30-8 p.m.  Gather friends and family and head to Bryan Glazer Family JCC in Tampa for a special dinner event to celebrate Chanukah as a community. For details and ticket information as it become available, go to bryanglazerfamilyjcc.com. Everyone

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve at Amalie Arena | Dec. 18, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Enjoy the haunting sounds of these talented musicians as they bring their signature sound to the live stage to tell one of the group’s most beloved stories at AMALIE Arena with a completely updated presentation through two shows. Tickets start at $32.25. amaliearena.com Everyone

The Meshuga Nutcracker! | Dec. 19, 7 p.m.  Catch the musical comedy that celebrates Chanukah when its national screening arrives in select Bay area cinemas for one night only. The film, which showcases eight different stories that pay tribute to the first celebration of Chanukah in the new state of Israel, features a Klezmer-ized orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” as well as dancing dreidels, singing sufganiyot and special guest stars. For tickets and locations, go to fathomevents.com. Everyone

Cirque Dreams Holidaze at the Mahaffey | Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Get ready to be mesmerized by this critically-acclaimed holiday stage extravaganza, a combination cirque spectacle, Broadway musical and family show all in one, hosted by The Mahaffey Theater in St. Pete. Watch 20 world-class acts from soaring acrobats and illusionists to singers with seasonal favorites and elaborate production numbers. Tickets are $35-$65. themahaffey.com Everyone

A Christmas Carol at Ruth Eckerd Hall | Dec. 20, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Share a holiday tradition with the family as this musical adaptation of the Dickens classic arrives at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for two shows. Meet up with the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future as they guide Scrooge on a journey to find the true spirit of Christmas. Tickets start at $38.75. rutheckerdhall.com Everyone

Next Generation Ballet Presents Nutcracker at the Straz Center | Dec. 21-23, various times  Wind the clock, mind the mouse and get ready for a stand-out, family-friendly production of Clara’s great dream in The Land of the Sweets as Next Generation Ballet delivers a delightful take on the beloved ballet at Straz Center. Tickets start at $30. strazcenter.org Everyone

Cirque Musica Holiday Presents Believe at Amalie Arena | Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m.  Marvel at the mesmerizing cirque performers in this all-new holiday show to be performed with a live symphony orchestra at AMALIE Arena in Tampa. Attend this concert and visual experience that takes audience members on a journey into a world of high-flying adventure with amazing acrobats, aerialists, hilarious hijinks and holiday cheer. Tickets are $25-$85. amaliearena.com Everyone

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Musical at Ruth Eckerd Hall | Dec. 22, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Watch a TV holiday classic come to life onstage at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for two shows. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and Rudolph as they set out on an adventure that reminds all of us that what makes us different can be what makes us special, too. Tickets are $35-$150. rutheckerdhall.com Everyone

Artz 4 Life Presents The Family Blessing at The Mahaffey Theater | Dec. 23, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Take in an inspirational performance from Artz 4 Life Academy as they return to The Mahaffey Theater in St. Pete for a unique holiday production featuring the most energetic youth performing ballet, jazz, and hip hop, as well as African and Brazilian Dance. Tickets: $22-$42. themahaffey.com Everyone

Tampa Riverwalk Holiday Boat Parade of Lights | Dec 23 from 7 p.m.-8:15 p.mThe annual Tampa Riverwalk Holiday Boat Parade of Lights is a FREE family friendly event along the Riverwalk. The boats launch from Rick’s on the River and sail by Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, the Tampa Convention Center and through Seddon Channel so catch a glimpse from Harbour Island and Davis Islands! 

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at The Mahaffey Theater | Dec. 26-27, various times  See an exquisite production of the ballet classic featuring a company of 40 world-class Russian artists with lush, awe-inspiring sets and elaborately detailed costumes onstage at The Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Tickets are $34-$99. themahaffey.com Everyone

Snow Days at Florida Aquarium | Dec. 26-31, various times  Extend the holiday celebration at The Florida Aquarium with a play area featuring real snow for the kids. All habitats will be open late for guests to enjoy. For details and a complete event schedule, visit flaquarium.org. Everyone

 

New Year’s Eve events:

Kids’ New Year’s Party at LEGOLAND | Dec. 26-31  Stop by LEGOLAND® Florida Resort for a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration at the Winter Haven attraction. The giant LEGO brick drops at 7 p.m. Go to a dance party and stay for the LEGO-inspired fireworks, all before midnight. legolandflorida.com Everyone

Noon Year’s Eve at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo | Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Ring in the New Year family style at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for a midday year-end celebration. The party includes interactive entertainment, a rockin’ DJ, a countdown to the NOON year with a kid-friendly toast and more. Noon Year’s Eve fun included with paid zoo admission or zoo membership. lowryparkzoo.com Everyone

Noon Year’s at Noon at Great Explorations | Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Celebrate the close of the year with a dance party at Great Explorations in St. Pete. Morning fun includes making festive New Year’s hats, posting New Year’s resolutions and watching the big balloon drop at noon. All activities are included with museum admission. greatex.org Everyone

Downtown Countdown at Glazer Children’s Museum | Dec. 31, 1-6 p.m. Ring in 2018 at the top of every hour at Glazer Children’ Museum’s in downtown Tampa with fun activities all afternoon. New Year’s Eve festivities included with admission. glazermuseum.org Everyone

Tampa Theatre Wrap Party 2017: Back to the Future! | Dec. 31, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.  Bring in the New Year while celebrating a cinematic classic, “Back to the Future,” at Tampa Theatre in downtown Tampa. Guests are encouraged to embrace this year’s theme and join the Theatre for heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, an open beer and wine bar plus dancing and a live band. Stick around for the ball drop on the big screen at midnight. Tickets are $99 general admission and $89 Members. Guests must be 21 or older to attend. tampatheatre.org Girls Night Out, Date Night

Aqua-Eve New Year’s Celebration | Dec. 31, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.  Start 2018 with a big splash at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Enjoy fantastic entertainment as well as complimentary food, beer and wine. Guests must be 21 or older. Tickets start at $110. flaquarium.org Moms, Da

New Year’s Eve Celebration at Busch Gardens | Dec. 31  Celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends and family and indulge in some excitement, too, at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Enjoy thrill rides in the dark including the park’s newest family spin-coaster Cobra’s Curse, jam to music throughout the park and catch the fireworks show in Gwazi Park after the countdown. Festivities are included with paid park admission. buschgardenstampa.com Everyone

New Year’s Eve at Sea World Orlando | Dec. 31 Celebrate our connection to the sea, sea life and the world we share with a spectacular musical celebration and firework display to ring in 2018 at Sea World Orlando. Enjoy festive entertainment throughout the park, including interactive DJ stations, craft beers and tasty bites. Seaworldorlando.com Everyone

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