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Winter display in a park near Tampa



‘Tis is the season as they say. And with the holiday season, comes the illumination and decoration that is: holiday light displays. But rather than randomly happen upon a great holiday light show, why not plan ahead and make a fun outing out of it. Here are three great local holiday light displays you should check out before they’re gone.

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

How about some ice skating with your holiday lights. Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park is an annual event that happens along the Tampa Riverwalk. The Winter Village outdoor ice skating rink is the centerpiece of the festivities, but due to COVID, you’ll want to reserve your time on the ice in advance. Many local vendors are also on hand to sell you everything from comfort food to handmade holiday gifts for loved ones.

Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa

Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa is a long time Tampa tradition that sees ZooTampa turned into a winter wonderland. Their “Forest of Fantasy” and “Holiday Kaleidoscope” lighting displays use projection mapping, which allows them to program massive lighting routines guaranteed to dazzle your eyes. And if your favorite zoo looking like an ocean of stars isn’t enough, don’t forget that it’s also a fully functioning zoo with plenty of cool animals to check out too!

River of Lights Holiday Cruises

Time to take your love for holiday lights to the high seas! Okay, just Hillsborough Bay, but we digress, River of Lights Holiday Cruises is a water taxi cruise in and around Hillsborough Bay, giving you gorgeous views of Tampa’s lights and holiday decorations along the coastline. There’s also floating Christmas trees and other lighting displays in the river for you to marvel at. And for the kid in all of us, the cruise includes cookies, hot chocolate, and Holiday Christmas carols! Not a bad way to enjoy the holidays.

For more festive adventure ideas, be sure to check out our other Olympus Harbour Island blog posts.