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Family Friendly Tampa Holiday Events to Enjoy 2018

Family Friendly Tampa Holiday Events to Enjoy 2018

Tampa holiday events are more than just a good time, they are an opportunity to meet our neighbors and expand our community. We love the eclectic mix of events the area has to offer during the holiday season and hope to see you at some of the following!

Before delving into the fun events planned around town, we wanted to take a moment to share some information from Toys for Tots. If you’d like to support the Marines in making some happy holiday memories for some sweet youngsters, you can visit the Toys for Tots website to find the closest donation point nearest you or make a financial contribution online.

Winter Village

Where: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

When: Nov. 16 – Jan. 5, 2019

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Catch a ride on the Pirate Water Taxi, enjoy some lovely holiday lights, or test your skill on some ice skates. With seasonal treats and holiday shopping available, there’s something for everyone in the family at this annual Winter Village. Two movies will be featured this year: Home Alone on Nov. 16th at 7:30 PM and The Santa Clause on Nov. 30 at 7:30 PM.

Christmas Town

Where: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

When: Nightly Nov. 17 – Dec. 31

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Meet Rudolf of the famed red nose along with his pals or give Santa a hug after enjoying some beautiful lights, festive treats, and spectacular yuletide shows. With 6 shows to choose from, there is definitely something for everyone at this annual Christmas event. Enjoy some shopping or a train—there are lots of holiday-themed activities throughout the park. Christmas Town Busch Gardens is sure to make an impression on little ones and create lasting family memories.

The Wonderland of Lights & Santa’s Village

Where: Hillsborough County Fair Grounds

When: Nov. 22 – Dec. 29

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Bright lights twinkling amidst amazing displays and the man of the hour—what a way to spend the day. Take a drive through the display, then park and enjoy the fun entertainment and rides or snap a selfie with Santa.

A Choral Holiday: USF Choirs and Friends Gratitude Concert

Where: USF Concert Hall

When: Nov. 28, 7:30 PM – 9 PM

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Enjoy the melodies that make the season as sung by the USF Chamber Signers, Collegiate Chorus, and Tones of Gold, with special guests the Lumina Youth Choirs. A wonderful way to spend an evening and reconnect with holiday favorites.

Ybor Tree Lighting & Holiday Market

Where: Centro Ybor

When: Nov. 28, 5 PM – 9 PM

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Shop at Centro Ybor as carols float through the air and Mayor Bob Buckhorn lights the tree. Hot chocolate and cookies will be available while you shop or chat with family and friends. Stores will be open until 9 PM and there will be plenty of cheer to go around!

River of Lights Holiday Cruises

Where: Pirate Water Taxi

When: Nov. 30 – Dec. 30, Hourly between 6 PM and 10 PM

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A 45-minute cruise along the Hillsborough River is transformed, thanks to brilliant light displays and a festive atmosphere. Enjoy hot chocolate and a cookie while belting your top holiday tunes. It’s a fun adventure for the whole family!

Tampa Tree Lighting Ceremony

Where: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

When: Nov. 30, 6 PM – 10 PM

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Enjoy the annual tree lighting and then catch a flick in our iconic Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park—the scene of many wonderful holiday events this year. The Santa Clause is a beloved favorite and sure to surprise youngsters!

SantaFest & Christmas Parade

Where: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

When: Dec. 1, 11 AM – 4 PM

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Snap that treasured holiday pic with the big guy, craft up a storm, and enjoy some excellent holiday entertainment at SantaFest. The 36th Annual Downtown Tampa Christmas Parade will kick off at Morgan and Madison streets and travel west, ending at Ashley Drive and Cass Street. Along with plenty of kid-friendly activities and the long-running parade, you can also check out local vendors.

Victorian Christmas Stroll

Where: Henry B. Plant Museum

When: Dec. 1 – Dec. 23, 10 AM – 8 PM

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Don’t just pick up your copy of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, experience a Victorian Christmas in person! At the Henry B. Plant Museum, you can step back in time to stroll through a Christmas past. Visit during the evenings for live music and be sure to check out the museum store for unique gifts. Children’s Day, with special events catered to young ones, is scheduled for the 16th.

Snow on 7th Avenue Holiday Parade

Where: Ybor City, Starting at Centro Ybor

When: Dec. 8, 6 PM – 9 PM

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It’s the 8th annual Snow on 7th parade! Featuring local school marching bands and dance teams—plus, special guest, Santa Claus! Starting at Centro Ybor, local dance groups will put on a preshow at 6 PM to lift everyone’s spirits. Then, the Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the Tampa Bay Pride Band will lead the parade as snow falls! That’s right, snow in Tampa! Look for Mr. and Mrs. Clause at the end of the parade.

Jingle Bell Bazaar

Where: Centennial Park

When: Dec. 16, 11 AM – 6 PM

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Food trucks, festive entertainment, and shopping—it will be hard to not get into the spirit at Ybor City’s Jingle Bell Bazaar. Find those perfect gifts, enjoy live music, and sample some of the best treats that the area has to offer. Be sure to stop by the city Christmas tree, as well. Also, keep an eye out for the jolly fellow himself who will be making an appearance.

Next Generation Ballet’s Nutcracker

Where: The Straz

When: Dec. 21 – Dec. 23

Website

No holiday event list is complete without the Nutcracker. This year’s performance includes amazing dancers from the New York City Ballet, the Miami City Ballet, and the American Ballet Theatre. Watch this child-friendly classic and make some new memories together!

However you choose to celebrate, we hope you and your family have a fun and safe Holiday Season! Happy Holidays!