Our Favorite 2020 Holiday Lights in Tampa Bay
Look no further, your guide to the best 2020 holiday lights in Tampa Bay is here! There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than touring one of the city's beautiful Christmas light displays.
Note: Events are listed in order of opening dates. Keep in mind that dates and events are subject to change, so always check with the event website before heading out the door.
Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa
November 20, 2020-January 3, 2021
Winter Village is returning this year with COVID safety protocols in place, including pre-booking your time to ice-skate on the real outdoor ice rink in the park. The shops will also be back and so will the Christmas lights. There will even be a choo-choo train in the park if you're bringing along the kiddos. Admission to the Winter Village is free, but some activities like ice skating require tickets.
Busch Gardens Christmas Town
November 21, 2020 through January 3, 2021
Busch Gardens lights up with millions of Christmas lights after sunset for its annual Tampa Christmas Town event. There are beautiful holiday lights displays at every turn, plus holiday decorations, Christmas music, and delightful foods to compliment the amazing Tampa Christmas lights show. New offerings for this year include a brand new fireworks show and the first ever outdoor production of Christmas On Ice. Theme park admission is required.
Victorian Christmas Stroll at Henry B Plant Museum in Tampa
November 21, 2020-December 31, 2020 from 10:00 am-5:00 pm
The Victorian Christmas Stroll is a perfect way to step back into time at the Henry B Plant Museum and be dazzled by the beautifully decorated rooms, each with a different theme. You just might be inspired by one of the beautiful trees! Face masks are required for all visitors as this is an indoor event.
Christmas Lights at the Chick-fil-A on Waters Ave in Tampa
Beginning November 23, 2020
This Chick-fil-A store has a tradition of taking Christmas lights in Tampa to a whole new level. They’re back at it again with this year’s Christmas lights display, but they’ve scaled it back and are encouraging people to stay in their cars. The display is different this year to keep everyone safe. The drive thru will still be lit and they’re even adding some fun surprises, including a way to take a virtual photo with Santa–so check out the front windows–it’s super cool! Visit the store at 6299 W Waters Avenue, Tampa FL 33634.
Holiday Spectacular on the Tampa Riverwalk and Water Works Park
November 26, 2020 through January 2, 2021
The Riverwalk in Tampa will be aglow for the holidays including really cool lighted fish arches at the entrance of Water Works Park, which are lit with millions of twinkling lights. Be sure to look out into the river where lighted barges are on display between Armature Works and Sparkman Wharf. It’s a holiday stroll or bike ride to add to your holiday date night TO DO list! One of our favorite ways to view the lights is by boat on Pirate Water Taxi’s River of Lights cruise and even a NEW event this year, the Lost Pearl pirate ship’s A Pirates Christmas!
Wonderland of Christmas Lights & Santa’s Christmas Village at Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Dover
November 26-December 27, 2020
The Wonderland of Christmas Lights is a drive through Christmas lights event in Tampa! First, you'll drive through spectacular Christmas lights for a mile. And next, after seeing the drive through Christmas lights you can make a visit at Santa’s Village at the end of the drive through Christmas lights. Santa’s Village features wagon rides, a Circus Show, and more Christmas lights and Holiday activities for children and adults of all ages!
Holiday Lights & Rides at Largo Central Park
November 26, 2020-January 3, 2021
Largo Central Park will light up again with more than two million LED Christmas lights. This is an outdoor walking Christmas light tour only, not a drive through Christmas light display, so be sure to stay six feet from other people as you enjoy the Christmas lights in Pinellas. There will also be rides including a seven story Ferris wheel to give you a birds eye view of the 70 acre park. Rides are $5 each or 5 for $20. Largo Central Park’s Christmas lights and Holiday lights will light up on evenings from 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. It is free to park and stroll among the sparkly Christmas lights. Find them at 101 Central Park Dr, Largo, FL 33771.
Waterfront Lights in St. Petersburg
November 26, 2020-January 3, 2021
Stand along the pedestrian walkways at North and South Straub Parks in St Petersburg for this free light show on the water. There will also be Christmas lights and displays at Pioneer Park, Vinoy Park and the new St. Pete Pier.
Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa
November 27-December 20, 2020
ZooTampa’s Christmas in the Wild returns this year with your safety in mind. Many of your favorites like the beautiful Christmas lights, fun themed Tampa Holiday treats, and favorite Tampa Christmas characters will be back, but there will be safety modifications in place to ensure this 2020 Tampa Bay Christmas event is as safe as possible! It’s a must-do Christmas-Light night out with the kids!
Hyde Park Village Lights the Park
November 27-December 26, 2020 from 6:00 pm-10:00 pm
Hyde Park Village in South Tampa will light up with beautiful lights along Snow Avenue. It’s a perfect hot cocoa strolling type of event for the entire family. The event is in support of Make a Wish sponsored by St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Celebration of Christmas Lights 2020 in Shady Hills
Select Nights from November 27 through December 20, 2020
Enjoy a great Christmas lights and holiday lights display in Port Richey! This Christmas light event takes place at the Concourse in Shady Hills in Pasco, a short Christmas light drive away from Tampa Bay. This Port Richey Christmas light event happens weeknights 6pm-9pm; Weekends 6pm-10pm. The cost is $10 per car.
The Oakdale Christmas House in St. Petersburg
November 27, 2020-January 3, 2021
Looking for a Christmas light display in St. Petersburg? Oakdale Christmas House in St. Pete offers an amazing drive through Christmas light experience. Drive through Christmas lights can be a safe and socially distant way to enjoy the holiday’s Christmas lights. You’ll be amazed by the Oakdale Christmas House’s half million twinkling lights, which has been ranked as among the world’s best Christmas light displays! This year is the 42nd year for this St. Petersburg Christmas light display, and you can expect to see some major additions and upgrades. The house is located at 2719 Oakdale Street South, St. Petersburg, FL.
River of Christmas Lights in Tampa with Pirate Water Taxi in Tampa
Select dates in November and December | Holiday Lighted Boat Parade is on December 19, 2020
Don’t miss this water taxi cruise to view Tampa’s Christmas lights and holiday decorations. The River of Lights cruise departs from the Tampa Convention Center, and the Christmas Light cruise includes cookies, hot chocolate and holiday Christmas carols. There is also a special Christmas light cruise for the Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade on December 19, 2020. Ticketbooth is located at the Tampa Convention Center by the Tampa Marriott Waterside; you can enter PWT7 – Convention Center/Marriott Waterside, Tampa, FL 33602 into google maps.
Shimmering Lights Winter Festival at Sun Kissed Acres in Dover
November 27, 2020-end of December
This is an outdoor walking trail that’s about 1/4 mile long, filled with shimmering lights, outdoor movies, games and holiday music. There will even be visits with Santa. They ask you to wear comfortable close toed shoes, a face mask for when it gets busy, and bug spray just in case the mosquitoes come out. Tickets are $7. Get all the details here.
St. Petersburg Drive By Christmas Lights Neighborhoods in Seminole, St. Pete
Through December 1 through December 31 (usual dates, exact dates TBA)
Drive through 3+ miles of Christmas lights in St. Petersburg neighborhoods from 6pm to 10pm for a Christmas light show you’ll never forget! This 3.2-mile Christmas light driving tour takes place in the Seminole/St Petersburg subdivisions of Lake Park Estates, Wieker, Lakeside Estates, and Lake Seminole Village. These St. Petersburg residents generously decorate their homes and yards with beautiful Christmas lights, Christmas decorations, and even more Christmas lights for Tampa Bay to drive by and enjoy! Find the lights at 102nd Ave & 109 Ave N, Seminole FL 33777.
Christmas Trees at Sims Park in Downtown New Port Richey
Stroll through Sims Park and admire the 100+ Christmas trees decorated by local businesses and families in support of charity. There are a ton of outdoor events scheduled throughout the month in downtown too including outdoor markets. See the full line up here.
Raprager Farms Festival of Lights in Odessa
December 3-December 30, Thursday-Sunday evenings at select times
This new event will quickly become a family tradition in Tampa Bay! Raprager Farms will transform their property into a winter wonderland that will surely make a perfect photo backdrop. Learn more here.
Wesley Chapel Holiday Tree and Light Display
December 4, 2020- January 3, 2021
The Grove at Wesley Chapel is unveiling a 20-acre display of holiday lights including visits with Santa, Christmas Trees, hundreds of thousands of lights, rides, music, real snow and more! Learn more here.
Safety Harbor’s Harbor Holiday Nights
Select Nights in December 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 starting at 5:00 p.m.
For six special nights, Folly Farm will be lit up with holiday lights along with more activities for the whole family to enjoy including a camp fire. Cost is $4 per person. Pre-registration is required since only 50 people are being allowed in at a time.
Sylvan Ramble Christmas Light Show in South Tampa
Friday and Saturday nights in December
Sylvan Ramble Lights is quickly becoming a tradition for locals. The South Tampa home lights up with hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights synced to your favorite Christmas music. It’s also a great way to help support a good cause in our community, Clothes to Kids. They do ask that you make a reservation online and donate what you can to support Clothes to Kids. The shows are about 20 minutes long. sylvanramblelights.com
100k Christmas Lights at Christmas Trail in Plant City
December 11-23, 2020 from 5:30 pm-10:00 pm
Masks will be required to attend The Christmas Trail, a Plant City Christmas light display which has over 100,000 Christmas lights. Guests are asked to buy their tickets in advance online to ensure there is plenty of space to social distance while you explore the Christmas light trail! This east Tampa Christmas light display also features a Christmas Tree Light show, a Jack Frost ice show, and more!
Hunsader Farms Country Christmas in Bradenton
December 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 2020 from 6:00 pm-10:00 pm
The annual Country Christmas is back at Hunsader Farms with more than 300,000 holiday lights, train rides, visits with Santa, a petting zoo, outdoor movies, snow tubing and more! Parking is free and tickets are $10 per person. Kids 5 and younger are free.
Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
December 19, 2020 (rain date is December 20, 2020) at 6:30 p.m.
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. This is another social distancing friendly activity because there are so many viewing spots along the Riverwalk between Armature Works all the way through the Sail Pavilion and even a spot over by Sparkman Wharf. See the map here.
For more holiday date ideas, check out:
- Celebrate the Holidays in Tampa Bay: Holiday Events, Lights, and More!
- 25+ Free Holiday Events in Tampa Bay for a Festive Date
This article originally appeared on Tampa Bay Parenting
Feature image credit: The Christmas Trail