Christmas in Tampa Bay: Snow, Holiday Boat Parades, Tree Lightings & More!
Despite the warm temperatures that still linger on in Florida well into November and December (this time of year, the daily highs average in the low 70’s and nights in the 60’s), you can still enjoy a few fun themed events to help you get into the holiday spirit. Even though by day temperatures are still in the 70’s, by night it has usually cooled down enough to wear a sweater and/or light jacket. Rare cold fronts have brought night temperatures into the lower 40’s on several occasions. It’s not uncommon to see long time residents bundled up in heavy jackets and gloves.
For those visiting from colder climates, the weather for you will likely be a real treat. Those visiting from the Midwest and Northeast will most likely feel as if the air is tropical compared to back home! Throughout the month of December, you will find a variety of seasonal activities in the Tampa Bay area, including: Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, festive parades, holiday concerts and plays, and even a bit of snow!
Tampa Bay’s many small Gulf Coast communities draw thousands and thousands of visitors each December with their lineup of unique Christmas events, including the allure of snow in Florida!
Below I have listed some of the top annual holiday events to check out while visiting the Tampa Bay area this holiday season. Enjoy the list and feel free to share some favorites of your own.
Florida Botanical Gardens Holiday Lights
Location: Largo, Florida
Cost: Free, $10 pp suggested donation. Free parking
2023 Dates: Nov. 24 – Dec. 31st, from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m
The premier event in the Tampa suburbs is the Florida Botanical Garden’s Holiday Lights extravaganza. If you only have time for one event, this is the one to attend. Holiday Lights in the Gardens is a wonderful event featuring over a million lights, unique tropical Florida themed displays, and visits from Santa. As you stroll along the many diverse gardens, all beautifully lit for the season, you will definitely find yourself getting into the holiday spirit. It is difficult not to with all the gorgeous lights and fantastic photo opportunities.
Colorful displays over the years