Ice skating returns to downtown Tampa on Friday at 6 p.m. as part of the new Winter Village concept at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park formerly known as Tampa On Ice.
A temporary ice rink will be open daily at the edge of the park along Ashley Drive through Christmas Day. Skating costs $12 per person for 90 minutes and includes skate rental.
A snack bar at the rink will be serving roasted chestnuts, snowflake lollipops, chocolate bark and candied nuts, while the Sono Cafe by Mise en Place will offer a seasonal menu with sandwiches, soups and festive sweets, plus a full bar with holiday-themed drinks, beer, wine and coffee.
New this year are the Winter Village Shops, a pop-up holiday market with more than 20 rotating boutiques setting up shop inside PODS storage containers in the park. Vendors will be selling holiday decorations, apparel, toys, jewelry, pet accessories and other items. The shops will be open Thursdays through Sundays through Dec. 24, except for Thanksgiving. A full schedule of which shops will be open when is available at wintervillagetampa.com.
Visitors to the Winter Village can also get a look at the City of Tampa's official tree, which will be lit during a ceremony at the park featuring Mayor Bob Buckhorn on Dec. 2.