25+ Free Holiday Events in Tampa Bay for a Festive Date

Free Holiday Events in Tampa Bay

This holiday season it is so important to find ways to have quality time together. With gifts to purchase and other obligations, it is nice to enjoy some some holiday cheer, for free. We’ve gathered up some of the best free holiday events in the Tampa Bay area to check out this season.

Note: This list of free holiday events is subject to change. Check event websites for the latest information on safety and potential cancellations.

Free Holiday Boat Parades

We’ll start off with one of the most Floridian ways to celebrate the holidays. And here in Tampa with our wonderful waterways, we’ve got quite a few of them. During the month of December, fill your calendar with these holiday boat parades around the Bay. All events are free to watch; registration fees may apply if you want to participate.

31st Annual Tarpon Springs Holiday Boat Parade
December 4, 2020,  6:30 p.m.
Craig Park, Tarpon Springs, FL
Vessels will begin at Captain Jacks and proceed down the Anclote River and into the bayous. Public viewing areas include Sponge Docks, Whitcomb Bayou, Craig Park & Spring Bayou. Boats should arrive into Whitcomb Bayou at approximately 7:15pm. Viewers are encouraged to social distance in the viewing locations. It’s also free to participate but registration is required.

35th Annual Treasure Island Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
December 5, 2020, 6:20 p.m.
The parade begins just south of the Treasure Island Bridge in the Intracoastal Waterway at 6:20pm. The route travels south of Paradise Island, back north through the Treasure Island Causeway Bridge at 7pm, around Isles of Palms and Capri, and finishes at John’s Pass at approximately 8:15pm. The best public viewing areas include Blind Pass Bridge between Treasure Island & St. Pete Beach, Treasure Bay Recreation Facility, Treasure Island Causeway Bridge, Treasure Island Causeway at Fusion & St. James, 115th Avenue on Isle of Palms and John’s Pass.

54th Annual Festival of Lights Boat Parade
December 12, 2020, 6:30 p.m.
Best public viewing at ROC Park – Maderia Beach
This annual boat parade kicks off at ROC Park and ends at John’s Pass Village.

35th Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade
December 12, 2020, 6:30 p.m.
Begins at Gulfport Municipal Marina
See the parade from Osgood Point, Gulfport Municipal Marina, Williams Pier, Gulfport Beach and Casino, Town Shores, Pasadena Yacht & Country Club, Pasadena Golf Club Estates and Isla del Sol.
Routes are subject to change. Social distancing and other safety protocols will be observed.

Tampa Riverwalk Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
December 19, 2020, 6:30 p.m.
Rain date: December 20, 2020
Tampa Riverwalk
This FREE holiday event along the Riverwalk will include an extended route with multiple public viewing areas. The parade will begin in the Convention Center basin, travel to the Heights, and end at Sparkman Wharf.

Free Holiday Events in Tampa - Riverwalk Holiday Boat Parade
Image credit: Tampa Riverwalk

Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Boat Parade
December 19, 2020, 7:00 p.m.
Parade lineup at Holiday Inn Harbor Side
Parade will begin at the Walsingham Bridge, winding through the fingers and ending at Harbor Drive North.

Free Holiday Events: Lights and Spectaculars

Stroll around to see a spectacular display of holiday lights at these tree lighting ceremonies, Christmas light spectaculars and more.

Ybor City 10th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 18, 2020, 6:30 p.m.
Centro Ybor
Holiday DJ music will begin at 6:30pm in Centro Ybor and the 2020 Tree Lighting will occur at 7:00pm.

Holiday Spectacular
November 26, 2020 – January 2, 2021
Tampa Riverwalk
Displays include the 35′ tall LED lighted Christmas tree that floats in the harbor, several other lighted displays floating on barges in the river and the lighted garland and red bows on the Riverwalk light poles.

Image credit: City of Tampa

Holiday Lights at Largo Central Park 
November 26, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Largo Central Park
Largo Central Park has more than one million LED Christmas lights to enjoy as you stroll.

Oakdale Christmas Lights House
Nov. 27, 2020 -Jan. 3, 2021, 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
2719 Oakdale Street South, St. Petersburg, FL
Prepare to be dazzled by an array of half a million flashing colorful twinkles for a free holiday light display that garnered a top 3 showing as a finalist on NBC’s “Today” show.

City of Oldsmar Tree Lighting Ceremony
*Virtual event*
December 1, 2020, 6:00 p.m.
Oldsmar City Hall, 100 State St. W.
Enjoy this annual tree lighting ceremony in Oldsmar. This year’s event will be streamed online.

Lights of Lake Park Estates
St. Petersburg Drive By Christmas Lights Neighborhoods in Seminole, St. Pete
December 1 – 31, 2020
The neighborhoods of Lake Park Estates, Wieker, Lakeside Estates, and Lake Seminole Village, generously decorate their homes and yards with over 3.0 miles of Christmas Lights and Decorations for the public to enjoy. Although this event is technically free, a $5 donation is suggested.

Safety Harbor Tree Lighting Ceremony 
December 4, 2020,  6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Gazebo at John Wilson Park
Bring out family and friends to enjoy the lighting of Safety Harbor’s giant Christmas tree. Choirs will warm up the crowd for a visit from Santa Claus!

Christmas Wonderland 
December 4, 2020, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Oldsmar Sports Complex, 3120 Tampa Rd.
Free holiday themed drive-thru with Grinch sightings and candy canes.

City of Tampa Tree Lighting Ceremony
Dec. 6, 2020,  6:00 p.m.
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Help Mayor Jane Castor countdown to the tree lighting and afterward enjoy a movie in the park! Admission to the ceremony and movie are free. Blankets, low back chairs, coolers, and leashed dogs are allowed. Concessions will be available. Glass and alcohol are not allowed.

Free Holiday Events in Tampa - Tree Lighting Ceremony
Image credit: City of Tampa

Christmas in Time Square 
December 5, 2020,  4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Time Square, Downtown Zephyrhills
New 1st Annual Event in Main Street Zephyrhills. Enjoy an evening of Christmas cheer, festive food trucks, the tree lighting and more! Entry is free!

Golf Cart Parade
December 12, 2020, 6:00 p.m.
Oldsmar City Hall, 100 State St. W.
Join golf cart enthusiasts for a decorated parade through downtown.

Free Festivals and Holiday Markets

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park
November 22, 2020 – Jan. 5, 2021 various times
Curtis Hixon Park
The Holiday Market is free to attend, additional activities have an admission price. Ice skating is $15 including skate rental.

Image credit: Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

OE Holiday Gift Bazaar
December 3, 2020, 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Oxford Exchange
RSVP’s are encouraged to moderate arrival times. Please note, the restaurant will be closed during the event. Beer, wine, and lite food will be available for purchase. Masks are required in the building.

St. Pete Indie Holiday Market
December 5, 2020, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1133 Baum Ave N
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
This is a monthly flea market showcasing the best in Indie design, vintage, crafts & plants. In December the market is given a little holiday twist.

Merry Beach Market
December 12, 2020, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
R.O.C. Park – Madeira Beach
This holiday market will feature local vendors, live entertainment, food and drink specials, a holiday photo op, toy drive and more. Family and pet friendly. At the close of the market stick around to watch the Madeira Beach Lighted Boat Parade kick off from the seawall at ROC Park!

12 Days of Christmas on Clearwater Beach
December 12 – 24, 2020
Pier 60 Park
Local Clearwater businesses are hosting this holiday celebration including a Christmas tree lighting, caroling, parade, photo ops, a Christmas market and more. Free admission.

Free Holiday Events: Holiday Movies + Entertainment

Movie Night Thursdays
Every Thursday except Thanksgiving through December 10, 2020, 6:00 p.m.
The Shops at Wiregrass – Piazza Ave
Bring a lawn chair and enjoy socially distanced family-friendly, holiday favorite movies. Movies begin at 6:30 p.m. The movie lineup includes Jingle All The Way (November 19), The Grinch (December 3) and Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas (December 10).

Strolling Entertainers at The Shops at Wiregrass
Black Friday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturdays and Sunday, 11/28 – 12/20, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Nightly 12/21 – 12/24, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Shops at Wiregrass – Piazza Ave
Strolling holiday entertainers include holiday stilt walker and a talking Christmas tree

City of Clearwater Outdoor Movies
November 28, December 5, December 19, 6:00 p.m.
Downtown Clearwater
Movies include The Grinch, Abominable, and The Santa Clause

Live Musicians at The Shops at Wiregrass
Fridays and Saturdays through December 19, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
The Shops at Wiregrass – Piazza Ave
Enjoy live music from a new featured performer every weekend throughout the holiday season.

Holiday Movie in the Park: The Grinch
December 5, 2020, 6:00pm
Tarpon Springs Splash Park field
Grab your lawn chairs and blankets for a fun & free night out! Registration is required and a limited number of free tickets will be available beginning November 20, 2020. Families will each be given a painted circle to set up in. The circles are big enough for a family of 8-10. Circles will be at least 10-12 feet away from one another, allowing a walkway for people to enter and exit.

Pier 60 Outdoor Movie: A Christmas Story
December 12, 2020, 7:00 p.m.
Pier 60 Park Clearwater Beach
Enjoy a free outdoor screening of A Christmas Story in Pier 60 Park.

Image credit: Pier 60

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