Holiday Lights: The Best Tampa Bay Christmas Lights in 2022

By Erin
Updated:

Looking for Tampa Bay Christmas Lights? See some truly spectacular holiday lights in Tampa, St Petersburg, and nearby cities including FREE events!

Christmas is a time for friends, family, and fun. No place better represents the fun side of Christmas than Tampa Bay, where the holiday season is full of activities and family-friendly events.

Tampa Bay has a lot of Christmas spirit and is easy to find. There are plenty of great sites to view Christmas lights throughout Tampa Bay, and we have created a list of some of the finest lights to see!

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St Petersburg Christmas Lights

On the water, St Petersburg Christmas lights seem to adorn most people’s boats this time of year.

Whether you go to an actual event or whether you just happen to be passing by, you can’t help but feel the magic of this festive season!

Beyond boats, there are some of the finest holiday lights in Tampa Bay here! Kicking it off is the amazing Enchant St Petersburg.

Read Next: 11 Best St Pete Boat Tours: Fun Water Sports & Cruises

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Enchant Christmas in St Petersburg

Enchant St. Petersburg
Photo credit: Enchant St Petersburg
  • Dates: November 25th to December 30th
  • Times: 4 pm to 10 pm
  • Pricing: Children 3 & Up is $20; Adults $35; Senior & Military Discount $32
  • Website: Enchant Christmas St Pete

Enchant is the Tropicana Field Christmas lights display and is the world’s largest Christmas Light Maze and Village.

There are nine Enchant locations in the United States. Enchant Chrismas in St Petersburg is their only Florida location.

Explore a whimsical village full of ice skating, live entertainment, interactive experiences, dining, and Christmas shopping. The Mischievous Elf takes you through the sparkling twinkle lights searching for Santa’s missing gifts. As you marvel at incredible animated light creations, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand. 

Enter the extraordinary Christmas maze and discover the towering 100-foot-tall Christmas tree. Tour with your friends and family through illuminated passageways and enormous displays. If you love Christmas lights, this is the top place to visit for a full light of fun!

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Oakdale Christmas House in St Petersburg

Looking for holiday lights in Tampa Bay that are budget-friendly? Check out Oakdale Christmas House, a walk-through holiday light display.

You can find the Oakdale Christmas House at 2719 Oakdale Street South in St. Petersburg, Florida. This home display is one of the best in the country, covering almost a half-acre and a half-million lights.

In its 46th consecutive year beginning in 1977. Oakdale Christmas House is the only display to rank first on HGTV and third on NBC’s Today show in the same year.  The house’s electric bill rises to $5,000 during the dates they showcase holiday lights in St Petersburg.

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Downtown St Pete Tree Lighting & Santa Parade

Fireworks and Christmas Lights in St Petersburg Downtown.
The Christmas tree in North Straub Park can be enjoyed through January.
  • Date: Saturday, November 26th
  • Time: Begins at 6 pm with holiday entertainment
  • Pricing: FREE
  • Website: St Pete Parks & Rec

Looking for one of the best FREE St Petersburg Christmas events?

This is one of my personal favorites located right on Beach Drive in North Straub Park. Come early to get a good spot to watch the tree lighting and then see Santa on the downtown waterfront.

The Christmas tree and holiday lights in St Petersburg are there to be enjoyed for through January.

🎄 Pro Tip: For couples, one of my favorite places to watch the downtown St Pete tree lighting is The Birchwood Canopy Rooftop Bar. If you plan way ahead you can even splurge on a private cabana so you have your own space.

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Downtown St Pete Christmas Events

Holiday lights

North Straub Park, South Straub Park, Pioneer Park, and the St. Pete Pier all have thousands of holiday lights and displays that are worth seeing if you’re cruising along the coastline.

Check out other daytime Christmas events throughout the month of December at the St Pete Rec’s Holidays in the Sunshine.

The youth of St Petersburg and those who use the city’s recreational centers have created a massive greeting card display that can be seen along Bayshore Drive in Vinoy Park.

Read Next: 9 Highest Rated Tours in St Petersburg, FL

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St Pete Beach Boat Parade

Christmas Boat Parade 2022

The Christmas St Pete Beach Boat Parade is here again! Pack your chairs or beach blanket and cooler and head to Horan Park for the best views of the St Pete Beach Boat Parde. Boats will be departing from the starting location at 6:30 pm. Boaters looking to join the parade must fill out the required form in advance.

🎄Pro Tip: One of my favorite ways to watch the Christmas Boat Parade and holiday lights is on St Pete Beach Dinner Cruise. This is especially fun for couples or families looking to see the lights with drinks and live music. Make sure to book the correct date.

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Largo Christmas Lights

Florida Botanical Gardens Holiday Lights

Heritage Village in Largo is attached to the Florida Botanical Garden.  You can see old trains as well as Santa during the holidays.
Heritage Village is attached to the Florida Botanical Gardens
  • Dates: Friday, November 25 to January 1
  • Hours: 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm
  • Pricing: FREE (suggested donation of $10 per person over 12)
  • Website: Florida Botanical Gardens

From the day after Thanksgiving through January 1, the Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation will host its annual winter festival.

One million multicolored LED lights will make the Gardens shine brightly. In addition to the brilliant laser lights, the display also features lit figures, sure to impress visitors of all ages.

This year, the event has three entrances. Snowflake, Poinsettia, and Green Turtle are all options. Parking is free, and it’s best to arrive early since parking can become a challenge during the holiday lights in the gardens event.

Also, if you love plants, you won’t want to miss their Gift & Plant Sale.

🎄Pro Tip: Make this a full day of fun by including Heritage Village attached to the Florida Botanical Gardens. Children love seeing Santa and the train depot!

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Holiday Lights in Largo Central Park

  • Dates: November 24 to January 1, 2023
  • Times: 6 pm to 11 pm
  • Pricing: Free to see the holiday lights, rides are $ 5 each
  • Website: Play Largo

The City of Largo hosts its annual family-friendly event, Holiday Lights in Largo Central Park!

The event boasts a spectacular holiday light show, a magnificent carousel, and a seven-story Ferris wheel with a breathtaking view of the 70-acre park and more than two million sparkling LED lights.

The park is free to enter, but each ride costs $5 or $5/$20. Food is available for purchase. The rides and light show are open every day from 6 to 11 pm.

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Holiday Lights Tampa

Tampa Christmas Lights on a Christmas Tree with sunset in the background.
Tampa Bay Christmas Lights

Tampa Riverwalk Holiday Spectacular

Friends of the Riverwalk have organized a spectacular event to celebrate the holiday season with holiday lights in Tampa. While walking along the Riverwalk, take in the beautiful twinkle lights on land and in the river.

From November 2022 to January 2023, the annual event will be held in downtown Tampa along the Riverwalk.

The Tampa Riverwalk is a fantastic site to take the family to celebrate the holiday season. There are numerous floating decorations and illuminated displays at the hotels, eateries, and bars that line the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is also an ideal place for a couples date night in Tampa.

Read Next: The 29 Fun & Best Kids Things to Do in Tampa Bay

Tampa Christmas Boat Parade

Photo of the Tampa Riverwalk and Hillsborough River during the day.  The Tampa Christmas Boat Parade will come through these waterways.
Tampa Riverwalk in Downtown Tampa

On the evening of December 17, 2022, Downtown Tampa will host Tampa’s most fabulous lit boat procession on the Hillsborough River in celebration of the holiday season.

Beginning at the southernmost point of Davis Islands, the boats will do a U-turn at the Heights and then proceed back to Sparkman Wharf for the judging and conclusion of the parade. Trophies and prizes will be given to the best holiday lights in the boat parade.

Set your schedules to attend the Tampa Christmas Boat Parade on Saturday, December 17, 2022 beginning at 6 pm.

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Tampa Busch Gardens Christmas Town

christmas lights in tampa
Tampa Bay Christmas Lights are a fun time at Busch Gardens
  • Dates: November 14 to January 9
  • Hours: Park hours are 10 am to 8 pm (or later on certain nights)
  • Pricing: Cost varies based on the experience
  • Website: Busch Gardens Tampa

This holiday celebration is a must-see. Guests may experience a modern take on classic Christmas activities as the park is transformed into a winter wonderland.

You can visit Santa in his workshop, ride on the Holly Jolly Express train, and hang out with Rudolph and his pals from the classic Christmas film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Festive live events and seasonal dining and shopping are also available for guests.

Read Next: The 25+ Fun Date Things to Do in Tampa for Couples

ZooTampa Christmas In the Wild

This year, ZooTampa is bringing back Christmas in the Wild. Featuring one of the area’s largest light displays, tasty holiday treats, adorable animals, and exciting seasonal activities.

Depending on the date, you will have the option to have breakfast with Santa and skip the holiday lights. There are also holiday animal encounters and get your photo for the ultimate Christmas card with a rhino or penguins.

Are you a ticket pass holder? Enjoy Tampa Bay Christmas Lights at no extra charge. However, if you want to reserve a specific date, there is a minimal $5 hold that they return towards concessions.

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Drive-Thru Christmas Lights in Tampa

Tampa Bay’s Festival of Lights & Santa’s Village

  • Dates: November 24th to January 1, 2023
  • Times: Opens at 6 pm
  • Location: Tampa Fairgrounds
  • Cost: Price varies starting at $20 per car (max 8 people)
  • Website: Festival of Lights

Back by popular demand! This is a favorite for anyone that loves drive-thru Christmas lights and more fun!

Starting Thursday November 24th, take ride through the animated light tunnel to Santa’s Village. You’ll get to see elaborate light displays, eat tasty treats, enjoy holiday shopping and live music (depending on the event calendar).

The Fest of Lights has even expanded the drive-thru Christmas lights with a longer animated tunnel. There is also a reindeer carousel, artic plunge inflatable snow tube, and a holiday train ride.

This fun and afforable experience will keep your family entertained for hours!

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Pirate Water Taxi River of Lights Cruise

  • Dates: Multiple dates starting on November 25 to December 24
  • Times: Cruises depart at 6:15 pm, 7:15 pm, 8: 15 pm, & 9:15 pm and is 45-minutes
  • Pricing: Adults are $30-$35, Children $25-$30
  • Website: Pirate Water Taxi Tampa Bay Christmas Lights

Join the pirate Christmas cruise for a unique and fun way to see Tampa holiday lights. The taxi features holiday Christmas carols and a visit from the pirate elves!

On December 17, 2022, there will be a special Tampa Christmas lights cruise for the Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. The cruise departs from the Tampa Convention Center, and the cost includes Christmas cookies and hot chocolate!

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Madeira Beach Christmas Lights

Festival of Lights Holiday Boat Parade

Boat Parade Christmas Lights
Christmas Holiday Boat Parade

The Madeira Beach Festival of Lights Holiday Boat Parade is back for its 56th year! On Saturday, December 10, 2022, Madeira Beach will host its annual holiday boat parade with lights and music.

The parade starts at ROC Park at 6:30 pm. Then, it proceeds through the city’s several finger canals until concluding at John’s Pass, finishing at around 10:00 pm.

Visit the Merry Market at ROC Park, listen to some live music, and celebrate the start of the festivities on the seawall.

If you prefer John’s Pass Village, you will find late-night parade viewing, shopping, holiday music, and a long list of other fun things to do in Madeira Beach. Prizes and awards will be given to the best boats with holiday lights.

🏝 Read Next: 13 Best Things to Do in Madeira Beach, Florida

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Safety Harbor Christmas Lights

Harbor Holiday Nights & Trolley Light Tour

  • Dates: Friday & Saturday nights (December 10, 11, 17 & 18)
  • Hours: 5 pm to 9 pm
  • Pricing: FREE for everyone ($5 for the Trolley Light Tour)
  • Website: Safety Harbor Leisure Services

Folly Farm will have holiday lights, a campfire, children’s activities, and more holiday fun!

For $5, ride the Trolley around to see the Safety Harbor Christmas lights. This enjoyable Christmas light tour will drive through some of the best twinkle lights in the city.

There is also a live music schedule with the Tampa Rhythm Section, Gaspar Band, and others!

On December 10th, Safety Harbor Holiday Nights will be hosting a Relay for Life. Donations will be going to a cancer foundation.

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Wesley Chapel Christmas Lights

Symphony in Lights

  • Dates: Begins November 12 until December 31, 2022
  • Hours: 6 pm to 9 pm
  • Pricing: FREE for everyone to attend
  • Website: The Shops at Wiregrass

A short trip north of Tampa, at the Shops of Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, is where you’ll find Symphony in Lights. It is a spectacular light show set to the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra that also features holiday festivities and snow.

You may see Symphony in Lights every night through December 31.

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Tierra Verde Christmas Tree Lighting

View from Vista at the Top in Tierra Verde FL
Tierra Verde, FL

The 12th Annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree in Tierra Verde is scheduled this year! The event begins at 4 pm with musical entertainment. Santa arrives around 5 pm and is immediately followed by a holiday pet parade.

The lighting of the tree and Christmas lights will occur at 6 pm. Followed by a holiday raffle and more musical festivities.

The Lealman’s Fire District’s Annual Toy Drive supports children in need. To support the cause, bring a new and unwrapped child gift (no stuffed animals).

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Apollo Beach Christmas Lights

Apollo Beach Lighted Boat Parade

Apollo Beach Boat Parade at TSS will be opening its doors to the community. They will have grilled burgers, hot dogs, and sodas for the public. There is also a chili cook-off that will be held following the parade at the TSS clubhouse.

The event starts with a performance by the Apollo Beach Elementary School Choir at 5:30 pm. The boat parade is scheduled from 6 pm to 7 pm.

TSS Address: TSS Deck & Pavilion, 1250 Apollo Beach Blvd., Apollo Beach, FL 33572

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Final Thoughts: Tampa Bay Christmas Lights

As you can see, Tampa Bay Christmas Lights & fun things to do are definitely plentiful! We hope it inspires you to gather your loved ones and enjoy some of the holiday festivities. Most importantly, I wish everyone a very joyful & happy holiday season!

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Authored By: Erin
Welcome to Erin’s Travel Tips, a Florida Travel Website. I specialize in unique family travel destinations, outdoor getaways in Florida and beyond! I’m a proud Floridian who loves a good cup of coffee, boating, and of course, traveling with my family to some of the most interesting places in the world.

1 thought on “Holiday Lights: The Best Tampa Bay Christmas Lights in 2022”

  1. This just got me so excited for Christmas! I have heard about the boat parades with holiday lights in Florida, and they sound so fun. Now I just need to plan a holiday trip to Tampa Bay!

    Reply

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