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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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NEW festive fun for families in Downtown Tampa at Winter Village

Buckle up those skates for a unique experience in Downtown Tampa– ice-skating is returning at Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park, but that’s not all!

This year’s event will be ready to welcome you beginning Friday, November 19, 2021-January 2, 2022 with NEW festive experiences like the Tampa Bay Lightning themed light show which will illuminate the trees around the park, synchronized to music.

It’ll be a fun way to celebrate the back-to-back champs and CHAMPA BAY!

Also NEW in 2021, the celebration is expanding into the Lykes Gaslight Park with “Sweet Street at the Square” featuring Sweet Mama’s Ice-Cream Shop, holiday lights and local shopping. On select Sundays, there will be $5 kids activities with TRIBE Seminole Heights from 12 pm-5 pm.

While not necessarily NEW, a family favorite IS returning this year after taking a hiatus last year, so it sort of qualifies–Winter Village Express will be back this year! It takes families on a unique, festive ride on the TECO Streetcar on Sunday evenings. If you didn’t experience this in 2019, it’s a one-hour ride from downtown’s Whiting Station to Ybor and then back. Along the way, you’ll enjoy cookies and milk, holiday sing-a-longs and more festive surprises. Again-this only runs on Sunday evenings.

Returning Favorites at Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

The 7-day experience is, of course, at Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park with the centerpiece being the REAL ice-skating rink.

When we say there’s nothing quite like ice-skating on real ice outside in the middle of downtown…in FLORIDA…there’s truly nothing like it.

You must pre-book your ice-skating time online at to secure your spot on the ice. You will get 75 minutes to skate. Tickets are $17 which includes your skate rental.

winter village at Curtis Hixon Park ice-skating

One of our other favorite returning experiences at Winter Village is the Choo Choo Train–a trackless open air choo choo that will take you and the kids on a 10-minute ride around Curtis Hixon Park to enjoy all of the holiday lights. It’s really cute and free–but first come, first served. The Choo Choo will run Fridays-Sundays from 5 pm-10 pm.

We hear that Santa will be making pop-up appearances too!

While you’re at the Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park, be sure to stop by The Cafe at Winter Village for a snack and then The Shops at Winter Village to meet several local businesses and even find a treasure for your loved ones. Local shops you’ll find at this year’s market include:

  • Apartment No. 3
  • Don Me Now
  • Plante La Vie
  • Pop Shoppe
  • The Main Ingredient
  • The Modern Paws
  • Unlock Tampa Bay

More fun additions include outdoor holiday movie screenings on the lawn in partnership with the Tampa Theatre. On schedule so far:

  • Saturday, November 20 at 7 pm: Polar Express
  • Saturday, November 27 at 7 pm: A Christmas Story

It is free to go to Winter Village, however you will need to pay to go ice-skating. Your family can truly make an afternoon/evening out of your visit to Winter Village!

Related: Your Family’s Holiday Lights Bucket List in Tampa Bay

Since Glazer Children’s Museum is nearby, pop over for a visit to check out Gingerbread Village where you can make a gingerbread house out of recycled materials and add it to the growing village! They have more holiday themed activities too. You can even make Winter Village a stop on your Pirate Water Taxi adventure!

There are plenty of areas to snap cute family photos, so keep that camera handy!

Here’s a look at last year’s Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park here:



Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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