Best of December: Top Tampa Bay Events for Date Night this Month

Tampa Bay Events for Date Night December 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! From lighted holiday boat parades and festive celebrations to boozy pairing dinners, outdoor performances and even the opportunity to brunch with manatees, here are our top Tampa Bay events for date night this December.

PS: Looking for holiday Tampa Bay events? Check out Celebrate the Holidays in Tampa Bay: Holiday Events, Lights, and More! and 25+ Free Holiday Events in Tampa Bay for a Festive Date.

December 1 – 6

OE Holiday Gift Bazaar
Thursday, December 3, 6-9:30pm
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.
FREE Admission

Rock The Park LIVE at Tampa Museum of Art
Thursday, December 3, 7pm
Tampa Museum of Art
Enjoy live music from HoneyWhat, SOTA, and Kolby Stancil. Guests will be provided private, socially distanced space to enjoy live music with up to SIX friends & family members. There will be 20 “pods” available. All 20 “pods” will be first come, first serve the night of. Please bring your own low-back chairs, blankets or cushions to sit on.
FREE

events in Tampa Bay
Image credit: Rock The Park Tampa

Under the Mistletoe: A Virtual Christmas Special
December 4 – 6
*Virtual event hosts by Carrollwood Cultural Center
Cozy up with those you love for this virtual variety show filled with holiday stories as well as vocal, instrumental, and dance performances.
$10

St. Pete Holiday Drive-In Movie: Elf
Saturday, December 5, lot opens at 7pm
Crescent Lake Park
Liimit 35 cars. First come, first served. The lot opens at 7pm and the movie will begin at 8pm. Concessions will be available for purchase.
FREE

First Saturday Jazz featuring Nate Najar & Daniella Soledade
Saturday, December 5, 8-10pm
Independent Bar & Cafe, Tampa
First Saturday Jazz is back at the Indie! Nate Najar and the lovely Daniella Soledade will perform several spellbinding sets of bossa nova music. First come first served seating is limited! Masks are required when not seated and social distancing is in effect. Table service only – no standing or bar service.
FREE Admission

December 7 – 13

OE Book Club: The Phantom Tollbooth
Tuesday, December 8, 6:30-8:30pm
Oxford Exchange
Enjoy a monthly book discussion at this book club hosted at OE. Wine and lite bites are included in the ticket.
$28

Bushmills whiskey Dinner Pairing
Tuesday, December 8, 6:30pm
Strandhill Public Tampa Heights
An intimate evening of Irish inspired dishes paired with custom Bushmills cocktails & neat pours of the finest whiskey from The Old Bushmills Distillery. For reservations, text: 347-882-4383 or email: [email protected] Limited seats available.
$85

Wine Education Happy Hour: Snowy Alpine Wines
Tuesday, December 8, 7-8pm
Book + Bottle
Come enjoy a safe, socially-distanced, and guided wine tasting through the snowy winter wonderland of the Alps!
$40

Heights Night Market
Wednesday, December 9, 5:30-9:30pm
Armature Works
Heights Night Market is a monthly, evening, outdoor market taking place on 7th Ave in front of Armature Works every 2nd Wednesday of the month. Each event features a rotating cast of artisanal artists and makers selling handmade goods, jewelry, art, wood-work, gifts and so much more. This event is family friendly and includes live music.
FREE Admission

Heights Night Market at Armature Works
Image credit: Armature works

Orin Swift Wine Dinner
Thursday, December 10, 6:30pm
Haven Tampa
Haven is proud to welcome the wines of Orin Swift with a five-course well spaced, seated wine pairing dinner with some of the greatest Orin Swift selections. In celebration of this artistic visionary, there will be live art painted throughout dinner.
$350/couple

Beginner Shuffleboard Bootcamp
Thursday, December 10, 7-9pm
St. Pete Shuffle
Learn to play shuffleboard! Our coaches will guide you through the basics so you can get to playing right away. You must pre-register to attend; class size limited to 16 adults. Masks must be worn.
$10 for non members

2020 Christmas Lights Tour
Select dates December 10 – 23, 6:30-9:30pm
The Brew Bus – Tampa Bay
Hop On the Brew Bus for this Annual Christmas Lights Tour visiting some of the best Christmas light displays in Tampa Bay. Itinerary includes Miracle at Mezzo – a Christmas Pop-Up Bar located at Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails, 3 Daughters Brewing- Elaborate Christmas Village set up in their brewery and a local tour of holiday lights displays.
$32

The Florida Orchestra Holiday Pops
December 11 – 13, 2020, multiple times
The Mahaffey Theater
The Florida Orchestra returns for a special Holiday Pops concert series conducted by Enrico Lopez-Yañez.
$18 – $48

Next Generations Ballet’s Nutcracker Outdoor Wonderland
December 11 – 23, 2020
Straz Center outdoor campus
An outdoor performance event, this presentation re-imagines the traditional holiday favorite through an immersive experience that will lead the audience through all the memorable moments of the ballet while strolling through the Straz Center campus.
$48.50 and up

Mimosas with Manatees
Saturday, December 12, 8-9:30am
ZooTampa at Lowry Park
Enjoy a mimosa and watch the graceful manatees swim as you take an exclusive look into the life-saving work that takes place every day at our David A. Straz, Jr Critical Care Center. Tickets include mimosas, light breakfast on the Manatee overlook deck (while the manatees enjoy their breakfast), photo ops, animal care chat and zoo admission.
$110 nonmembers; $85 members

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

Image credit: Sunsets at Pier 60 Festival

December 14 – 20

Beer & Pie Pairing: At Home Holiday Edition
Wednesday, December 16, 7pm
*Virtual event hosted by Brew Bus Brewing
Join Advanced Cicerone Ami Parrino on a virtual journey through Beer & Pie to get into the holiday spirit. With your ticket, you will receive a cultivated pairing of 3 beers and 3 pies as well as a guided explanation of how each beer compliments the pie selection. Login info for the virtual session will be provided 2-3 days prior to the event. All supplies must be picked up prior to the event at 4101 N Florida Ave.
$30

Riverwalk Dine & Wine Food Tour
Thursday, December 17, 5:30pm
Tour begins at Malios
Explore the great local restaurants in downtown Tampa on a 3-hour walking food tour with a Tampa Bay Food Tours guide. Guided tour features 3 wine and adult beverage pairings and dessert and coffee.
*Additional dates in December available
$78

3rd Thursday Tampa
Thursday, December 17, 6-10pm
*Outdoor event
Grand Central at Kennedy
This event is a monthly gourmet food truck event featuring cocktails provided by the restaurants and bars at Grand Central at Kennedy. Free 2-hour parking is located on site and dogs are welcome.
FREE Admission

Tampa Riverwalk Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, December 19, 6:30pm
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

The Drive-In at Armature Works: The Holiday
Saturday, December 19, 9:45pm
The Drive-In at Armature Works
Right in the heart of The Heights district, this is a perfect spot to watch movies under the stars, with stunning views of the Tampa skyline and Hillsborough River as your backdrop.
$22 – $28/car

Santa’s Holiday Brunch Cruise
Sunday, December 20, 12:30-2:30pm
Yacht StarShip
Better than a trip to the North Pole, this holiday cruise features a photo opportunity with Santa, a delicious brunch and lots of holiday cheer.
$55.95

December 21 – 31

The Drive-In at Armature Works: Elf
Multiple times December 21 – 23, times vary
The Drive-In at Armature Works
Right in the heart of The Heights district, this is a perfect spot to watch movies under the stars, with stunning views of the Tampa skyline and Hillsborough River as your backdrop.
$28 – $34

Wine Education Happy Hour: Holiday Traditions Around the World (with Wine!)
Tuesday, December 22, 7-9pm
Book + Bottle
Enjoy a safe, socially-distanced, and guided wine tasting featuring the traditions and food enjoyed around the world during the holidays. Countries you’ll be exploring include Italy – Feast of the Seven Fishes, Austria – Learn about Christkind and Krampus, New Zealand – Decorate the Pōhutukawa tree, Spain – Celebrate Nochevija and more.
$50

New Years Eve Riverfront Concert & Fireworks at Armature Works
Thursday, December 31, 8pm-midnight
Armature Works
This outdoor event will feature a riverfront concert and fireworks display over the Hillsborough River. This year the event will be ticketed and held at less than 50% capacity to adhere to Covid 19 guidelines and social distancing. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to Feeding Tampa Bay to help those in need in the Tampa Bay area. Attendees must have a ticket to enter the event and masks are required. The Armature Works Lawns and Pier will be fenced off to prevent crowds.
$20 – $75

Check out our guide to The Best New Year’s Eve Events in Tampa Bay Clearwater St Pete for more NYE 2021 happenings.

Tampa Bay events - NYE fireworks at Armature Works
Image credit: Armature Works

Ongoing Tampa Bay Events

Sunset Dolphin Cruises + Extended Aquarium Hours
Saturdays through December 26, 5-9pm
The Florida Aquarium
Enjoy extended hours at The Florida Aquarium every Saturday night plus sunset dolphin cruises, interactive exhibits, and more.
Included with admission

Miracle at Mezzo
Through December 31, 2020
Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails
This annual pop-up Christmas cocktail bar returns to Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails beginning on Black Friday. Enjoy a special menu of holiday concoctions plus festive decor and more.
Menu prices vary

Holiday Spectacular
Through 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.
FREE

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens
Through January 3, 2021, various times
From mid-November until the end of December, Busch Gardens will begin its annual Christmas Town festivities. Included with park admission, guests can enjoy millions of beautiful holiday lights, a NEW fireworks display, seasonal shows, Yuletide shopping and a pit stop into Santa’s House.
Included with theme park admission

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park
Through January 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.
FREE Admission

Van Gogh Alive
Through April 11, 2021
The Dalí Museum
Experience Vincent van Gogh’s works in an immersive art installation that opens a new window into the celebrated painter’s artistic genius. From his famous “Starry Night” to his radiant “Sunflowers,” the exhibition features more than 3,000 Van Gogh images at enormous scale, viewed through high-definition projectors and synchronized to a powerful classical score. Read more about this exhibit here.
Included with museum admission; timed entry tickets required

Tampa Theatre Virtual Cinema
While the historic auditorium remains dark in the face of COVID-19, Tampa Theatre continues to look for ways to provide unique cinematic experiences for our fans and friends. Tampa Theatre Virtual Cinema is a collection of new, first-run and curated classic movies released via streaming platforms by our film distribution partners exclusively for art-house audiences.
Virtual ticket: $12

Feature image credit: Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park


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