Photo courtesy of Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park.

Our Favorite Holiday Events for Families!

By Brie Gorecki, Associate Editor, Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine

The holiday season is here and there are so many fun events taking place in and around Tampa. Here are some of our favorite events from festive celebrations to holiday lights.

Raprager Farms 12 Days of Christmas Winter Festival
Select dates through December 23, 2022
Raprager Family Farm is exploding with Christmas cheer! Lights and decorations blanket the farm. Go on a holiday hayride and take a picture inside a giant inflatable snow globe. Check out the lighted gingerbread village, hear stories from Mrs. Claus and pay a visit to Santa and take pictures with him at his workshop. In addition to holiday-themed attractions, there will be a petting zoo, corn pit, bounce pillow, and crop maze. While you are there, be sure to stop by the Sweet Shop for some warm cinnamon roasted nuts, hot cocoa, and Christmas fudge.

Tampa Bay’s Festival of Lights at the Florida State Fairgrounds
Now through January 1, 2023

More than a million Christmas lights will dazzle you and the kids as you drive through the two-mile-long path which includes an animated light tunnel and Santa’s Village along the way. This year’s event has been EXPANDED, so expect an even bigger and brighter experience. Along with the lights, there will be live music, tons of family-friendly activities and things to do, and so much more.

Holiday Lights in The Gardens at The Florida Botanical Gardens
November 25, 2022- January 1, 2023
The gardens sparkle with one million LED lights that twinkle in a variety of bright colors. Vibrant laser lights and lighted figures are sure to wow guests of all ages. The Children’s Candy Cane Area will provide free kids crafts on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings.

Holiday Spectacular on the Tampa Riverwalk and Water Works Park
November 28, 2022-January 2, 2023
Take a stroll along the Tampa Riverwalk among the festive holiday lights as the area transforms into a winter wonderland. Highlights include a 35-foot-tall LED lighted Christmas tree that floats in the harbor, a holiday selfie station at the Pirate Water Taxi ticket booth, a floating gingerbread lighted display, and a lighted pine tree forest. Hotels, restaurants, and bars along the Riverwalk will also have festive lighted displays.

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park
Now through January 4, 2023

Celebrate the magic of the holiday season at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa. The park sparkles with lights and festive holiday decorations. Guests can skate along downtown Tampa’s only outdoor ice rink while taking in views of the Tampa River Walk. The Shops of Winter Village will feature five boutiques from local markets and the Icicle Craft Kitchen of Winter Village will serve up some seasonal holiday treats.

Christmas Lights at Chick-fil-A on Waters Avenue
Now through January 6, 2023 (Closed Sundays), 6-10 p.m.

Visit the most festive Chick-fil-A in Tampa Bay and check out their annual Christmas lights display! Santa will also be there on select dates so be sure to stop by and say hello.

Safety Harbor’s Harbor Holiday Nights at Folly Farm and Safety Harbor
December 9, 10, 16 and 17, 2022 from 5-9 p.m.
Enjoy holiday lights, a campfire, children’s activities, a trolley light tour, shopping, crafts, and more! Harbor Holiday Nights is FREE. The Trolley Light Tour has a ticket fee of $5/person.

Denis Phillips’ Indian Trails Hot Cocoa and Holiday Lights Fundraiser
December 10 and 17 at 6 p.m.

The Indian Trails neighborhood off Alderman Rd. and Omaha Street in Palm Harbor dazzles with a spectacular display of lights. Local meteorologist Denis Phillips will have a hot chocolate fundraiser on Dec. 10 and 17 along with items from his “Rule #7” collection. All proceeds go to the Children’s Miracle Network and Feeding Tampa Bay.

Hunsader Farms in Bradenton Country Christmas
December 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 22, and 23, 2022
Enjoy an old-fashioned country Christmas as the farm lights up in a dazzling display of over 300,000 lights. Enjoy activities such as hayrides, train rides, campfires, Christmas music, snow tubing, and a display Christmas village. Watch Christmas movies on the big screen, say hello to Santa, and warm up with hot chocolate and s’mores. Parking is free and tickets are $15 per person (cash only). Kids 5 and younger are free.

Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
December 17, 2022 at 6 p.m.

Tampa’s largest boat parade begins at the southern tip of Davis Islands, travels through the Convention Center basin and up to the Heights where the boats will turn around and head to Sparkman Wharf. Boats will be judges by pairs from Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of the sailboat and motorboat competitions will each receive a trophy. Many viewing spots along the Riverwalk between Armature Works all the way through the Sail Pavilion and over by Sparkman Wharf provide fantastic views of the parade.

Snow Days at The Florida Aquarium 
December 26-30, 2022

Snow always makes an appearance in the forecast at The Florida Aquarium during Winter Break. This year, Snow Days is free with membership or general admission. From an epic battle where you’ll throw snowballs at the pollution monsters plaguing our oceans to a Winter Wonderland dance party and many more gloved hands-on interactives experiences, it’s fun for the whole family!

This article is brought to you by Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine. For more family fun, visit


Note: Photo courtesy of Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park.

Scroll to Top