christmas events in saint petersburg florida

Best Christmas Things to Do in Tampa Bay

Are you going to be spending some time in Tampa Bay for the holidays? I have compiled a great list of activities, events, and more for you to enjoy this holiday season in and around Tampa, Florida! There are so many ways to celebrate the holidays that it might be hard to choose, but here are the best things to do for Christmas season in St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay.

St. Pete Pier Winter Beach

This will be the very first Christmas celebration at the St. Pete Pier. This celebration, Winter Beach, will feature a 4,000 square foot skating rink, holiday market, food, events, and more. There will even be holiday concerts! You can attend this amazing event from November 20, 2021 through January 17, 2022.

Enchant Christmas in St. Petersburg, Florida

Enchant Christmas is returning to St Pete! We actually did not have a chance to visit in 2019 so I’m really excited to get another chance. Located at the Tropicana, this enormous event will be sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. There will be a light maze and village from November 26, 2021-January 2, 2022. And when I say that this is an enormous event, I mean it. We are talking millions of Christmas lights!

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

This is a tradition in our family – we love Christmas Town! Each year, Busch Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland for the holidays. It is included with the cost of regular admission (or annual pass) and it’s worth the visit. I recommend visiting at night to see all of the lights – there are literally millions throughout Busch Garden’s 335 acres.

Holiday Lights Largo Central Park 

This is a definite must visit! The park is huge and you can stroll through the decorated gardens to see over two million Christmas lights and lighted displays. There is even a Ferris wheel, carousel, and a campfire! Entrance to Holiday Lights in the park is free; the Ferris wheel is $5 and food is available for purchase.

Pirate Water Taxi River of Lights 

With River of Lights Holiday Cruises, you will be on a water taxi passing through lighted bridges and downtown. You’ll be entertained with a fun, festive narration and a sing-along of Christmas carols. It’s a great family event and the kids can write a letter to Santa and send it through the mail buoy to the North Pole!

Holiday Lights in the Gardens at Florida Botanical Gardens 

The Florida Botanical Gardens are a beautiful place to visit even when it isn’t the holiday season. But add tons of Christmas magic to this already beautiful place and you have pretty much the best place to get into the Christmas spirit ever. Holiday Lights in the Gardens features over 1 million Christmas lights but there will also be laser lights and lighted figures. Plus, there will be local performers and concessions available for purchase. Holiday Lights in the Gardens will be open November 26, 2021 through January 2, 2022. There is a suggested donation of $10 for visitors over the age of 13 and it is well worth it. I’m extra excited for this event this year after its cancellation last year!

Christmas in the Wild at Lowry Park Zoo

Lowry Park Zoo transforms to Christmas in the Wild with Christmas lights, projection shows, and a holiday village. 

Oakdale Light Display 

This year will be their 43rd year of Christmas light displays! It’s a walk through display located at 2719 Oakdale Street South in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Oakdale Light Display has been featured on several TV shows, including HGTV’s All Out Christmas and NBC’s Today Show. It will open November 26, 2021 and will run through January 3, 2022.

Victorian Christmas Stroll 

The Victorian Christmas Stroll is a true Tampa holiday tradition at the Henry B. Plant Museum. The Christmas decorations show how Christmas was celebrated in the Victorian era. Each room is different and has a theme with matching displays. 

Tampa Riverwalk Holiday Spectacular 

For the second year in a row, Tampa will be hosting their Riverwalk Holiday Spectacular! Located along the riverwalk in downtown Tampa, this holiday event will take place November 26, 2021-January 2, 2022. There will be light displays and it is free to enjoy.

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park 

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is located right along the Hillsborough River, and this is a great way to celebrate Christmas in Tampa! This space will be transformed for the holidays, they will even have an ice rink, Christmas lights, holiday pop up shops, and more! 

Boat Parades

Is there a more Florida way to celebrate Christmas than with a boat parade? I don’t think so! There are several boat parades to choose from, I’ve organized them in chronological order by the event date.

Tarpon Springs Boat Parade will be December 3, 2021. The event starts with a tree lighting at 5:45 pm and boats are expected to enter Spring Bayou around 8:00 pm.

New Port Richie Cotee River Christmas Boat Parade will be Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.

Dunedin will have their boat parade on December 4, 2021. The event will be from 5:00-9:00 p.m. The boats will parade through the Dunedin marina and Edgewater Park. Santa will also arrive by boat to light Dunedin’s Christmas tree.

Treasure Island Lighted Boat Parade will begin at Marker 18 with viewing areas at the City of Treasure Island Golf Course at Treasure Bay, along the Treasure Island Causeway Bridge, and at John’s Pass.. The event will be December 4, 2021 with a rainy day backup set for December 5, 2021.

Madeira Beach 55th Annual Festival of Lights Boat Parade starts after a tree lighting at ROC Park on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. Head to John’s Pass before the Christmas boat parade and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with local holiday shopping and a tree lighting. ROC park will have the best views of the parade as well as holiday music, food, and drinks!

Clearwater Holiday Lighted Boat Parade is December 11, 2021. The boats will pass Coachman Park around 8:30 p.m. and will then float under the Memorial Causeway Bridge before turning into the Clearwater Marina Channel.

Gulfport Boca Ciega Yacht Club’s 36th Annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade kicks off at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at Osgood Point. It then floats by the Municpal Marina, Williams Pier, the Casino, and beach before passing Town Shores, Kipp’s Colony, and Skimmer’s Point.

Tampa Lighted Boat Parade will take place on December 19th along the Tampa Riverwalk. This Tampa holiday event starts at 6:00 p.m.

Redington Beach and Indian Shores Holiday Boat Parade will be Sunday, December 19, 2021. The parade starts at 6:00 p.m. and goes from the Tom Stuart Causeway to Caddy’s Pub.

christmas events in saint petersburg florida

Adult Christmas Events in Tampa Bay, Florida

If you want to have some more adult fun, you could check out the 2021 Annual Ugly Sweater Crawl in St. Pete. This is happening on December 11, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. starting at Thirsty First in downtown St Pete.

Miracle at Mezzo is a popup bar that takes over Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails with festive decor and holiday-inspired drinks. 

Finally, if you need some gift ideas, check out my Florida Gift Guide!

christmas activities st petersburg florida

Hopefully this has given you some good ideas on Christmas activities in Tampa and Saint Petersburg, Florida!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.