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Winter and the holiday season is here…we tapped our amazing Tampa BCB Market Leader, Bree Music, to help put together an awesome Top Family Winter Bucket List of hot spots, hidden gems & fun things to do with your kiddos all winter around the city! Do you have any to add to this list? Comment below with your fave Tampa-area spots to hit with the fam!
Don’t forget to also keep checking our BCB site for monthly free events here — playdates, workouts + more to help you meet new mamas in your area!
The Florida Aquarium
Celebrate the holidays under the sea with The Florida Aquarium’s four amazing events!
The Florida Aquarium is featuring THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 4-D Experience in the new 4-D Theater. (Nov. 15 – Jan. 11). There will be snow and real holiday smells with “4-D effects.”
Saturday’s with Santa (Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.). On select Saturday’s Santa will be visiting the aquarium for photos! You may even spot Santa’s elves diving under water!
Breakfast with Santa (Dec. 9, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.) Guests will have the opportunity to see Santa, eat a buffet breakfast and meet some animal guests! Space is limited and guests must purchase tickets in advance.
Snow Days (Dec. 26 – Dec. 31. 12:00pm – 5:00 p.m.) During Snow Days Aquarium guests can enjoy a REAL SNOW area for kids!
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Friday December 6th at 6:00pm. This free event includes a countdown to light the main tree with a guest appearance from the Mayor and the movie Elf shown in the park. Warm blankets and chairs are welcome and concessions are available.
Tampa’s Christmas Parade Santa Fest. Saturday, December 7, at 11 a.m. This year’s parade is the largest Christmas Parade ever held with 95 colorful units. It’s suggested to arrive at 9:00 am, as there will be many road closures. The parade begins at Madison and Pierce streets. Heads west on Madison Street then turns north onto Ashley Drive, and ends at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. The best viewing area is along Madison Street from Pierce Street to Tampa Street. After the parade visit Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for the Annual Santa Festival. Santa will be there and children can receive a free photo with him! There will be games, bounce houses, a rock wall, and crafts!
Polar Express Parties hosted by Bump Club and Beyond. December 9th– Tampa’s Village Square WestShore Plaza; December 20th at Dancing for Donations Brandon. Bring your children for a fun Polar Express event with Bump Club and Beyond and their select partners. Enjoy holiday crafts, goodies and a reading of the Polar Express! This event will take place in two locations/dates! There will also be workouts hosted by Fit4Mom before both events!
Christmas Town Holiday Event- Busch Gardens, Tampa. November 16th-January 6th, 2020.
Celebrate Christmas every day at Busch Gardens Tampa! There will be holiday dining with select holiday beverages, treats and sweets. Guests can shop to the tunes of Yuletide carols. There will also be live shows and amazing Christmas Lights. Children can watch professional ice skaters and even some of the Sesame Street characters in these shows. If you visit don’t forget to visit Santa’s House to meet Santa, his elves and Rudolph!
Wiregrass Mall Symphony in Lights. November 16th– December 31st, 6:00-9:00 pm. Enjoy a light show with music featuring Trans-Siberian Orchestra. There will be amazing decorations and even snow!
Enchantment Christmas at Tropicana Field. November 22-December 29th, 2019. Come celebrate Christmas at Tropicana Field. Meet St. Nick himself and help find Santa’s reindeer inside one of the World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze and Market. Shop in the amazing Christmas Market, eat amazing seasonal foods and make sure to try the ice skating through large light displays.
Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park. November 22nd– January 5th. Families can enjoy all kinds of amazing outdoor activities. Ice skate at the only downtown outdoor ice rink with amazing views of the Tampa Riverwalk and Hillsborough River. Enjoy warm food and holiday beverages at the café. Visitors can also get some holiday shopping done at the unique boutiques. Guests can also purchase tickets for the Winter Village Express leaving from Whiting Station for a round trip experience. This will include songs, trivia, milk & cookies and other fun surprises.
Downtown Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. December 21st 6:30 pm- 8:30 pm. Visit the Tampa Riverwalk to watch the spectacular boat parade. Please see the website for additional information on viewing locations and parking.
Theatre Arts & Dance Alliance and Tampa Bay Dance Theater’s 13th annual production of “The Nutcracker. “ Howard W. Blake High School December 21 & December 22, 2019. Performances will be at 3:00 pm. Pre Sale Ticket Prices: Premium Seats $25, General Admission – Adult $15, General Admission – Child/Student/ Senior Citizen $12
Victorian Christmas Stroll- Henry B. Plan Museum. December 1st through December 23rd 10:00 am- 8:00pm. Live music is from 6:00-8:00 pm. Free admission for members on December 1st and family day is December 15th. Experience Christmas past while strolling the museum. Visitors can see different trees, ornaments, garland, vintage decorations and antiques. Guests can enjoy free cider and cookies on the veranda while listening to holiday music and have the opportunity to shop for unique gifts.
We hope you enjoy this round-up of super fun activities and adventures to do with your kiddos in Tampa this winter and holiday season! Leave us a comment below & let us know what else we should add to the list.
If you’re an expectant or new parent in the Nashville area, please reach out to say & hi click here to see all of the events in your area! We’re bringing you the BEST baby gear, products, services + safety information across ALL of our local and nationwide events – Gearapalooza, webinars, playdates + more!