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Events/Festivals

Things to Do

Events/Festivals

Things to Do

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2018

December

2019

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Christmas in the Wild

November 1 - December 31

Enjoy a special festival of lights to launch the holiday season at ZooTampa at Lowry Park on Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 4pm. 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. For more information visit zootampa.org.

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

November 8 - December 21

Head over to Walt Disney World for another festive party thrown by Mickey Mouse. Starting on select dates in November throughout December, join Mickey, Minnie and the gang for an evening full of yuletide and cheer! Enjoy the Magic Kingdom as it is beautifully decorated for the holiday season, full of seasonal parades, fireworks, characters, and festive treats, this event will surely enhance your holiday season. For more information visit: disneyworld.com

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Symphony in Lights

November 10 - December 31

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. For more information visit: theshopsatwiregrass.com

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Christmas at Gaylord Palms

November 16, 2018 - January 6, 2019

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 “A Christmas Story,” with scenes from The Old Man’s Major Award, Aunt Clara’s pink nightmare, the classic triple dog dare at the flagpole, and much more. For more information visit: christmasatgaylordpalms.com

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Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

November 16, 2018 - January 9, 2019

Celebrate the holidays starting in November and lasting into the New Year at Curtis Hixon Park. Come to see the transformed waterfront park decked with sights, sounds, and activities full of holiday cheer for children and adults of all ages.  Downtown Tampa’s only outdoor ice rink will be back again this year as another must-do for Tampa residents and guests alike. For more information visit: wintervillagetampa.com

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Downtown Clearwater Pop-Up Market

November 16 - December 23

Head over to Downtown Clearwater for a holiday pop up market at Second Century Studios featuring specialty shops with gifts for holiday shopping including jewelry, handmade purses, clothing, artisan soaps, hand painted wood and canvases, body care, gourmet popcorn, home decor, lighting, and more! For more information visit: http://downtownclearwater.com/

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Seaworld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration

November 17 - December 31

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. For more information visit: seaworldorlando.com  

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Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

November 17 - December 31

Starting mid-November until the end of December, Busch Gardens will begin its annual Christmas Town festivities! Included with park admission, guests can enjoy beautiful lights, seasonal shows, Yuletide shopping, and a pit stop into Santa’s House. Meet characters from the classic “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” television special who will also be celebrating around the park. For more information visit: buschgardens.com

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The Wonderland of Lights and Santa’s Village

November 22 - December 29

Experience Tampa’s holiday theme park located at the Hillsborough County Fair Grounds in Brandon. Enjoy a beautiful mile of decorated holiday displays and dazzling lights. Once your mile is up, check out holiday-themed attractions, a wolf exhibit, rides, and of course, photos with Santa. Tickets are $20 through Nov. 21 and are $25 after. For more information visit: thewonderlandoflights.com

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Holiday Lights in the Garden

November 23 - December 31

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. The event is from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and is free, but a $4 donation suggested. For more information, call 727-582-2100.

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Oakdale Christmas House

November 23, 2018 - January 3, 2019

Prepare to be dazzled by an array of half a million 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. This event is free.  For more information visit: christmasdisplay.org 

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Kids Can “Paint with PAVA” at PAVA’s Annual Art Exhibit

November 28 - December 23

Saturday afternoons from 1-4 p.m., bring your kids for an opportunity to paint on canvas using tabletop easels, butterfly blot painting, and rock painting. All activities for the children are free! These activities will take place during the PAVA Annual Art Exhibit located at the Creative Pinellas Pinewood Gallery. For more information visit: http://www.pava-artists.org/

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River of Lights Holiday Cruises

November 30 - December 30

Head over to the Hillsborough River and catch a Pirate Water Taxi for a unique way to celebrate the holiday season in Tampa! Guests will enjoy festive decorations, lighted bridges and more all along the Hillsborough River. Enjoy festive narrations, Christmas Carolers, and yummy holiday treats, too! piratewatertaxi.com

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 1 - December 21

Select Nights in 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

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Tampa Theatre’s Holiday Classics

December 1 - December 23

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Tampa Theatre! Enjoy the holidays with the theater’s beautifully restored lobby, gorgeous curtain, new seating and a concessions counter to serve more guests than ever before. This year, the theatre will offer five weekends worth of programming of Holiday Classics such as “A Christmas Story,” “Elf,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “White Christmas.” The Theatre will also collect canned and imperishable food throughout the events to benefit Metropolitan Ministries in an…

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Christmas in the Wild

December 1 - December 30

(Select Nights in December) Enjoy a special festival of lights to launch the holiday season at Zoo Tampa. 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. zootampa.org

Read More

Symphony in Lights

December 1 - December 31

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

Read More

Christmas at Gaylord Palms

December 1, 2018 - January 6, 2019

Experience everything Christmas in one place as part of the 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 “A Christmas Story,” with scenes from The Old Man’s Major Award, Aunt Clara’s pink nightmare, the classic triple dog dare at the flagpole, and much more. christmasatgaylordpalms.com

Read More

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

December 1, 2018 - January 6, 2019

Celebrate the holidays starting in November and lasting into the New Year at Curtis Hixon Park. Come to see the transformed waterfront park decked with sights, sounds, and activities full of holiday cheer for children and adults of all ages.  Downtown Tampa’s only outdoor ice rink will be back again this year as another must do for Tampa residents and guests alike. wintervillagetampa.com

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Universal’s Holiday Parade Ft. Macy’s

December 1, 2018 - January 6, 2019

Bring the whole family out to Universal Studios and join the Minions and Santa Claus for a Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, a holiday favorite. Join your favorite characters from Madagascar and Shrek and enjoy the holiday festivities throughout Universal Orlando Resort! Enjoy huge balloons resembling the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York, as well as floats, dancers, and entertainment. universalorlando.com

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Grinchmas

December 1, 2018 - January 6, 2019

Head over to Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort for “warm fuzzies with a side of sarcasm” at Seuss Landing. Enjoy holiday festivities and cheer as you immerse yourself in Dr. Seuss’ Who-ville. Enjoy the hilarity of The Grunchmas Who-liday Spectacular, a retelling, live, of the beloved story of the Grinch with music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests will even have the opportunity to meet the Grinch himself for an autograph and a photo. universalorlando.com

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Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

December 1, 2018 - January 6, 2019

Enjoy a Harry Potter Christmas in both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure this holiday season. Start at Universal Studios for Diagon Alley and London, and see the transformation with brilliant lights and festive décor. Enjoy holiday treats before you head to King’s Cross station to hear your favorite holiday favorites. Make your way to Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure and enjoy decorated shops, The Frog Choir singing seasonal tunes, treats, and drinks, and witness the unfolding of the holiday…

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Candlelight Processional at Epcot

December 1 - December 30

If you love Epcot and you love classic holiday music, head over to the Candlelight Processional at Epcot at Walt Disney World. This holiday tradition features the retelling of the Biblical story of Christmas featuring a celebrity narrator, 50-piece orchestra set, and magnificent choirs. disneyworld.com  

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River of Lights Holiday Cruises

December 1 - December 30

Head over to the Hillsborough River and catch a Pirate Water Taxi for a unique way to celebrate the holiday season in Tampa. Guests will enjoy festive decorations, lighted bridges and more all along the Hillsborough River. Enjoy festive narrations, Christmas Carolers and a yummy holiday treat, too. piratewatertaxi.com

Read More

SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration

December 1 - December 31

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

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Christmas Town

December 1 - December 31

Take 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

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The Wonderland of Lights & Santa’s Village

December 1 - December 29

Experience Tampa’s holiday theme park located at the Hillsborough County Fair Grounds in Brandon. Enjoy a beautiful mile of decorated Holiday displays and dazzling lights. Once your mile is up, check out holiday-themed attractions, a wolf exhibit, rides, and of course, photos with Santa. Tickets are $25. thewonderlandoflights.com

Read More

Oakdale Christmas House

December 1, 2018 - January 3, 2019

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” show. 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.  For more info visit: christmasdisplay.org   

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Victorian Christmas Stroll

December 1 - December 23

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

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Christmas Bricktacular

December 1 - December 31

(Select nights in December) 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…

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Outback Bowl/MOSI The Science of Tailgating

December 1 - December 31

Join us for some high-energy fun as we celebrate the Science of Tailgating in MOSI’s Science Park. Add physics to your corn hole throws, engineering to your wooden towers, and track the technology to your passes as you play your way through a field of games. This official Tailgate Training of the Outback Bowl will allow you to celebrate family, friends, and football at MOSI every weekend this December. For more information visit: mosi.org

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St. Petersburg City Theater Presents A Christmas Carol

December 7 - December 16

Don’t miss out on this timeless Dickens classic with beloved characters such as Scrooge, Tiny Tim and all of your favorite ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Benefits support the local art association and local non-profit theater companies. Come to be reminded of the importance of compassion and love for all this holiday season. spcitytheatre.org

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