Thanksgiving is over...and the Christmas season is officially here.
Get yourself in the holiday spirit with these festive events around Tampa Bay:
Enchant Christmas debuts in three cities this year -- and St. Petersburg is one of them. Tropicana Field is outfitted with a massive light display in the outfield and a Christmas market with more than 60 local food and product vendors. In the infield, there’s an ice-skating trail with lit archways. And, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at their workshop for photo opportunities. The theme is year is “The Great Search,” where a mischievous elf named Eddie accidentally sets Santa’s reindeer free. So, it’s up to guests to find them all among the twinkling lights.
Ticket prices vary for select nights and times.
Christmas at Gaylord Palms
The annual holiday event returns to the Kissimmee hotel with festive shows, a pop-up market, snow tubing and the frigid ICE! exhibit featuring “The Polar Express.” Inside ICE!, you’ll experience 9-degree temperatures after putting on a thick, heavy parka. Inside, everything is made out of colorful ice. The 2004 movie comes to life with three huge trains made out of ice, a set of ice slides, a green tree full of ornaments and a towering Santa Claus. There’s even a couple “Tom Hanks as the Conductor” statues asking for your ticket.
Find tickets and more information on other shows and Christmas experiences at Gaylord Palms here.
Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park
If you really want to ice skate outside in Florida, downtown Tampa is one of the few places to do it. The Winter Village is up and running with the ice rink, a cafe featuring local coffee and treats, a pop-up market with local goods and Christmas light decorations. There’s also the Winter Village Express, the decked-out trolley that goes from Whiting Station to Ybor City and back.
Upcoming special events include the tree lighting on Dec. 6, the onBikes Winter Wonder Ride on Dec. 14 and the Lighted Boat Parade on Dec. 21.
Santa Parade and tree lighting
The city of St. Petersburg hosts its tree lightning Saturday night in the downtown historic district. The night kicks off with the Santa Parade, starting at Albert Whitted Park and running along Bayshore Drive to Fifth Avenue NE. 6-10 p.m. Saturday
Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa
The holiday event at ZooTampa returns weekends through Dec. 23. The zoo is decked out in thousands of Christmas lights and ornaments along with a holiday market, festive trees and special animal interactions. The event runs 4-9 p.m. weekend nights.
1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa
Shopapalooza St. Pete
The huge shopping event returns for a 10th year to celebrate Small Business Saturday. The new venue in Vinoy Park will be filled with more than 200 local businesses, free raffles, entertainment, a food hall and activities for kids. You can even shop for a Christmas tree and chill out in the seating lounge in the middle of the park. Admission is free.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
701 Bayshore Dr. NE, St. Petersburg
Wonderland of Lights & Santa’s Village
The Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Brandon lets you drive through a mile of Christmas lights and displays. The stroll ends with Santa’s Village, which has a circus show, amusement rides, camel rides, wagon rides and photos with Santa. It runs 6-10 p.m. most nights through Jan. 4.
Symphony in Lights
The Shops at Wiregrass brings back its iconic holiday light show this year with dancing lights, festive decor and even some “snow.” The light show is choreographed to music from Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The light show runs nightly through Dec. 31.
Holiday Lights in Central Park
One of the biggest light displays in Pinellas County returns to Largo Central Park beginning Thanksgiving night. The park is filled with more than two million LED lights, holiday displays, music and a Ferris Wheel and carousel for $5 per ride. Enjoying the lights is free, but there will also be holiday treats for sale.
The Holiday Lights is open nightly through Jan. 1, 2020.
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