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TAMPA BAY WINTER 2020

WINTER WITH A
CHANCE OF SUNSHINE

While near-freezing temperatures inhabit other cities for winter, Tampa Bay remains warm and sunny. The Bay Area’s mild temperatures are ideal for getting out, exploring, and experiencing everything the winter has to offer. 

 

BUSCH GARDENS® TAMPA BAY

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

CHRISTMAS TOWN

A warm-weather winter wonderland awaits at Busch Gardens with a variety of holiday festivities offered throughout the park. Guests can enjoy holiday traditions with a twist, with millions of twinkling lights throughout the park’s 335 acres to physically distant holiday shows, breathtaking animal encounters and even a visit with Santa and Rudolph® the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 

CURTIS HIXON WATERFRONT PARK

Winter Village Tampa

WINTER VILLAGE

From November 20 to January 3, downtown celebrates the holiday season at Winter Village! Located along the Hillsborough River, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and the Tampa Riverwalk will be transformed into a winter spectacle with the sights, sounds and activities of the holidays for children and adults of all ages.

 

TAMPA RIVERWALK

Tampa Lighted Boat Parade

LIGHTED BOAT PARADE 

 The Holiday Lighted Boat Parade will take place on December 19. Come out to the Tampa Riverwalk to get into the holiday season as the flotilla of vessels passes by decorated in the most festive fashion. This year, Water Works Park at the south end of the Tampa Riverwalk is the perfect place to start feeling festive, with 12 grand oaks decorated for the season and 4 lighted arches added to the entry to the park.  

TAMPA RIVERWALK

Christmas trees in Curtis Hixon Park

HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR

Take in all the festivities in Downtown Tampa during the 2nd Riverwalk Holiday Spectacular! This year’s event will take place in Downtown Tampa along the Riverwalk from November 26 through January 2.

 

STRAZ CENTER

Straz Center

THE NUTCRACKER

See a classic from the NEW outdoor Riverwalk Stage at the Straz Center with Next Generation Ballet’s Nutcracker Outdoor Wonderland. Enjoy a traditional holiday favorite through an immersive experience at the Straz Center campus, featuring NGB’s award-winning dancers and a special visit from Santa.

STRAZ CENTER

The Straz Center for Performing Arts as viewed from a nearby bridge overlooking the Pirate Water Taxi crossing by on the adjacent Hillsborough River.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Home for the Holidays, a concert full of Christmas spirit and cheerful carols, is a present you can give yourself and your family. Join the Opera Tampa Singers as they perform holiday favorites that will have you singing along and reminiscing of holidays past as new memories are being made.  Home for the Holidays performances take place December 18, 19 and 20.

 

HENRY B. PLANT MUSEUM

Victorian Christmas Stroll

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS STROLL

 From November 21 to December 31, experience the extravagance of a Victorian Christmas at the historic Tampa Bay Hotel, while taking in the warmth and spirit of an old-fashioned holiday season.

NEW this year, take a Virtual Victorian Christmas Stroll tour.  With a special message from Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, this tour includes highlights from the 39th Stroll and looks back at previous years.  This virtual opportunity is available beginning December 1.

Ybor City

Ybor Tree Lighting

Photo credit: PamElla Lee Photography

TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

Start your Holiday season in Ybor City with the 10th Annual Tree Lighting in Centro Ybor. On Wednesday, November 18, join Mayor Jane Castor and others to officially kick off the holidays in the Tampa’s Latin Quarter. Enjoy music, shopping, dining, and the tree lighting ceremony beginning at 7:00 p.m.

 

GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Glazer Children's Museum Gingerbread Village

GINGERBREAD VILLAGE

From November 21 through January 3, celebrate the holidays at the Glazer Children's Museum with a gingerbread-inspired wonderland. Visit GCM's sweet winter wonderland to build a gingerbread house and watch the village grow, all made from recycled materials like cardboard, pipe cleaners, bottle caps, and more! Gingerbread Village is included with museum admission.

GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Glazer Children's Museum Gingerbread Run

GINGERBREAD CRUMB RUN 

Run, run as fast as you can! Join our friend Crumb the Gingerbread Kid for a virtual family fitness celebration in support of the Glazer Children’s Museum! Get your family out and moving with distance running goals and playful video challenges from November 28 through December 5. 

 

Yacht StarShip

Yacht Starship Holiday Cruises

HOLIDAY CRUISES

The Yacht StarShip is hosting a number of themed cruises throughout the Holiday Season. Hop on for the Thanksgiving cruise, an Ugly Sweater Brunch, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve cruises. Dine on gourmet food, sip on delicious cocktails and dance the night away under the stars.

INTERNATIONAL PLAZA

International Plaza Santa Claus

SANTA COMES TO TOWN

Santa is coming to Tampa Bay, with a few adjustments for your safety.  International Plaza and Bay Street will host Santa from November 27 – December 24.  Visits and photo sessions are by reservation only.  Santa will remain a 6’ distance from guests at all times, as well as wearing a mask at all times, including during the photoshoot.  Guests above the age of 2 are also required to wear a mask, and heightened cleaning protocols in addition to hand sanitizer are in place.  Make your reservation and see Santa early!

 

Pirate Water Taxi

PIRATE WATER TAXI

RIVER OF LIGHTS HOLIDAY CRUISES

Hop aboard Pirate Water Taxi for a unique holiday cruise when River of Lights returns November 27. Pass beneath low bridges to enter the beautiful Hillsborough River for a one-of-a-kind tour of lighted bridges and downtown. Our Captains will entertain you with a whimsical narration and join in for a sing a long of Christmas carols. There is no better way to find your holiday spirit in Tampa Bay. NEW for 2020, the River of Lights cruise will take place aboard Captain Jack II where guests will be treated to a visit from the Pirate Elf.

GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

Glazer Children's Museum Downtown Countdown

DOWNTOWN COUNTDOWN

Ring in the New Year on December 31 at the Glazer Children’s Museum with countdowns, family play porojects, and celebrations throughout the day. You can celebrate as a family by day and still have time for evening festivities. Downtown Countdown is included with museum admission.

 

Lost Pearl

Lost Pearl A Pirate’s Christmas

A PIRATE'S CHRISTMAS

Set sail from Sparkman Wharf on the NEW Lost Pearl with the debut of A Pirate’s Christmas. Celebrate the holidays Florida style aboard White Beard’s ship. This family-friendly holiday event will cruise in Tampa during select dates in November and December. A Pirate’s Christmas is a fun winter activity for kids and adults alike. The festive cruise will travel by Holiday Island where you will get an up-close look at Tampa Bay’s largest floating Christmas tree. Children will also write and mail a letter to Santa to drop into Tampa’s only floating mail buoy. In addition there will be, Pirate sing a longs, Christmas carols, swashbuckling games, face painting and other fun. The magic of Christmas may even bring some snow flurries!

ZOOTAMPA

Christmas In the Wild

CHRISTMAS IN THE WILD

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at ZooTampa at Lowry Park with the return of Christmas in the Wild, one of Tampa’s most beloved holiday traditions. Families looking for safe holiday fun will be immersed into an outdoor seasonal adventure featuring twinkling lights, delectable holiday treats, and new jolly adventures. Christmas in the Wild is a reservation-only event which kicks-off on Friday, November 27 and continues for select nights through December 30. 

 

Tampa Riverwalk

Winter Village Tampa

RIVERWALK HOLIDAY HUNT

The Riverwalk Holiday Hunt is a mobile based scavenger hunt along the Tampa Riverwalk. From December 5th, through January 3rd, Individuals and/or teams will compete to be the Holiday Hunt winner as they make their way through the Hunt by solving puzzles, completing holiday challenges and answering Tampa trivia.

The Florida Aquarium

Florida Aquarium Ugly Sweater

UGLY SWEATERS UNDER THE SEA

Our halls are decked, and we are ready to start the Holiday fun. Dive deep into your closet to find your ugliest Holiday sweater (and matching mask!) and join us for this exclusive, socially distanced 21+ after-hours event at The Florida Aquarium. Explore our galleries, grab some tasty eats from the special Holiday menu in Café Ray and enjoy drinks from Corona Cove or on the rooftop. Enjoy your favorite festive holiday music with a custom beverage included with admission.

 

The Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium clownfish

SANTA AT THE AQUARIUM

Santa is coming! Guests of all ages can share Holiday wishes and take safe and socially-distanced pictures with Santa Claus during this special Holiday adventure. This festive, unique photo opportunity will provide a wonderful Holiday keepsake as you capture Santa inside his “snow globe”. Bring your family and friends on select nights to celebrate the Holidays at The Florida Aquarium.

Sparkman Wharf

Grinchmas at Sparkman Wharf

GRINCHMAS

Celebrate the holiday season at Sparkman Wharf with Grinchmas! On December 10th, guests will be transported to Whoville to meet the Grinch, watch the popular movie, enjoy holiday inspired food at the outdoor dining garden and more! In honor of the beloved pup, Max, The Modern Paws will give away complimentary green Sparkman Wharf handkerchiefs to those who make a purchase while supplies last.