‘Tis the season to be jolly! It’s hard not to feel festive if you live in the Tampa Bay area this time of year. There’s so much fun to be had this holiday season from the enchanted tree glimmering over Hyde Park in South Tampa, to the synthetic ice skating rink at the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel and of course you can’t miss a visit with Santa in St. Petersburg’s North Straub Park. The trouble will be how to fit it all in! We might not have snow here in the Bay area but that doesn’t mean we don’t have the holiday spirit. Read on for some of the area’s biggest events this holiday season plus we’ve found the best way to navigate through the seasons brightest light displays.
Candlelight Tour of Homes in Old Northeast
December 13th, 2015 3:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Old Northeast celebrates each holiday season with the Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes. It’s a chance for visitors to walk the brick-lined streets of one of the most beautiful and historical neighborhoods in St. Petersburg while admiring the holiday charm. Eight homes will open their doors and invite visitors to take a look at what makes an Old Northeast residence so special. Homeowners volunteer to have their home included in the event and each house is fully decorated for the holidays. Tickets are $20 in advance by clicking here or $25 the day of the event. Guests will begin their tour at Westminster Palm View where they will receive a beautiful booklet that features details about each home in the tour and its location. A trolley service is available to help guests travel from home to home in the neighborhood. All booklets are to be picked up the night of the event at will call located at Westminster Palm View, 939 Beach Drive NE.
The Candlelight Tour of Homes is an excellent way to get into the holiday spirit and has become a holiday tradition for hundreds of people. The tour begins at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 13th and runs until 8:00 p.m. Homes can be toured in any order. For more information about this event click here.
Visit Santa in Downtown St. Petersburg
December 12-15 and 19-23 at North Straub Park from 6:00 p.m.-9:00p.m.
Santa and his reindeer are waiting to hear your holiday wishes in North Straub Park this season. He’ll be there two weekends in a row but be sure to arrive early because Santa is a very busy man this time of year and he will depart sharply at 9:00!
The parks lining the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg are decked out for your holiday enjoyment as well. Make an evening out of it as you stroll through the twinkling lights that fill the parks. There are plenty of photo opportunities by the giant Christmas tree or along Bayshore Drive where you can see huge greeting cards on display by some of the area’s young artists.
We can’t forget to mention the opportunity to go Glice Skating! Bring your socks and skate around without worrying about the cold or the ice from 6-9 nightly.
Visit Santa at Hyde Park
December 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24, 2015 Click HERE for details including Santa’s hours
Hyde Park in South Tampa offers a luxurious shopping experience and the chance to visit Santa earlier in the day than in Downtown St. Pete.
Holidays at the Shops at Wiregrass
The Shops at Wiregrass celebrate the season with synthetic ice skating and a Symphony in Lights.
If you’ve shopped ’til you dropped… don’t worry… there’s plenty of fun to be had at the Shops at Wiregrass that doesn’t include shopping. There is a synthetic Ice-Skating rink open now through January 3, 2016. For $10 plus tax guests can hit the rink for a half hour of fun. Skates are included with admission but you should bring your own socks.
This year there is also a brand new Symphony in Lights presented by Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel. Guests will enjoy dancing lights, beautiful festive decor and a show completely choreographed to music. You’ll hear favorites from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra to new holiday favorites. Shows run on the hour beginning at 6 p.m.-9p.m. now through December 31st.
Can’t Miss Holiday Light Displays
There are some holiday light displays that are worth making a drive for. We’ve selected a few that will have you oooohhhhhing and awwwwwwing all night long!
1.) The Oakdale Christmas House– 2719 Oakdale Street S., St. Petersburg, Florida
Traveling on I-275, take Exit #22 (the old exit 9), which is 175-E. Turn right on
to 4th St., heading south. Go about 1 mile, crossing over 22nd Ave. S. The
next street on the left is Oakdale. Turn here, and go two blocks and look.
This Christmas light display features more than a half million lights. It’s been featured on NBC’s Today Show and HGTV many times. This is the 38th year for the Oakdale Christmas House. Just hop in the car and make a visit!
2.) Nextdoor.com allows residents to post their holiday lights. You can choose which light displays to put on your holiday list.
3.) Safety Town at the Concourse– 15325 Alrick Pottberg Rd. Spring Hill, Fl 34610
Enjoy a mile long drive filled with thousands of twinkling lights. This event is $20 per car load and includes a trip to Jingle Bell Junction where 14 buildings are decked out in all of their Christmas glory. There’s concessions, holiday treats, and even gifts available for purchase.
With all of these events you certainly won’t be bored this holiday season! However you choose to spend these next few weeks we hope you enjoy them with close family and friends!
Happy Holidays to you and yours from all of us!