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14 places to see holiday lights in the Tampa Bay area

Pack the family in the car and head out for some holiday fun. Here’s a list of places to get into the holiday spirit.
The Wonderland of Lights Tampa Bay is a 1-mile drive-thru holiday show at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds. Also included is Santa's Village, camel and pony rides and a variety show. The event runs through Dec. 27.
The Wonderland of Lights Tampa Bay is a 1-mile drive-thru holiday show at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds. Also included is Santa's Village, camel and pony rides and a variety show. The event runs through Dec. 27.
Published Dec. 2, 2020
Updated Dec. 2, 2020

Streamside Drive Christmas Display: See more than 55,000 lights that are synchronized to music you can play on your car radio. Also, a 17-foot Mickey Mouse and an outdoor train. Bring new, unwrapped gifts for Toys for Tots. Free. 6-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday through Dec. 31. Streamside Drive Christmas Lights, 11048 Streamside Drive, Tampa.

Hyde Park Village Lights the Park: Take the family for a stroll through Hyde Park’s light displays set up all along Swann Avenue. Free. 6-10 p.m. daily through Dec. 26. Hyde Park Village, 1609 W Swann Ave., Tampa. 813-514-8300.

Christmas in the Park: The fifth annual Forbes Family Christmas Light Display features thousands of lights synchronized to music heard on 106.7 FM on your car radio. Donations accepted. 6-9 p.m. daily through Dec. 31. Masonic Park & Youth Camp, 18050 U.S. 301 S, Wimauma. 727-322-5217.

Wonderland of Lights: Drive through 1 mile of holiday lights and themed displays during the fifth annual event that also has a variety show, camel and pony rides, amusement rides and a visit to Santa’s Village. $15-$75. 6-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Sunday, 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday through Dec. 27. Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, 215 Sydney Washer Road, Brandon. 800-377-4625.

Holiday Spectacular on the Riverwalk: Several displays float on barges in the river, along with a 35-foot lit Christmas tree that floats in the harbor. Hotels, restaurants and bars along the Riverwalk are also decorated and add to the general display. Free. 6 p.m. daily through Jan. 2. Tampa Riverwalk.

Festival of Lights: The Raprager Family Farm is filled with a massive light display, a 34-foot Christmas tree with dancing lights and a mini North Pole Christmas town, with photo opportunities and a hayride to a gingerbread village. $9. 6-10 p.m. Thursday and Sunday and Dec. 23 and 30, 6-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday through Dec. 30. 16907 Boy Scout Road, Odessa. 813-922-2799.

In 2019, cars rode through a tunnel of Christmas lights, one of many displays at Nights of Shimmering Lights. This year, it moves to Dover and is converted to a 1/4-mile walk-through.
In 2019, cars rode through a tunnel of Christmas lights, one of many displays at Nights of Shimmering Lights. This year, it moves to Dover and is converted to a 1/4-mile walk-through. [ Times (2012) ]

Shimmering Lights Winter Festival of Lights: SunKissed Acres has teamed up with Nights of Shimmering Lights to create a ¼-mile walk-through trail featuring holiday lights, synchronized music, games, outdoor movies, duck/boat races, a scavenger hunt and crafts. Face masks are required for all activities in the corral. $7, 2 and younger free. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11-13 and 17-26. SunKissed Acres, 2302 N Dover Road, Dover. 813-494-5678.

Harbor Holiday Nights: Use special glasses to view a holiday light display. Then, enjoy holiday-themed activities and a campfire. $4. 5-9 p.m. Dec. 11-12 and 18-19. Folly Farm Nature Preserve, 1562 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, Safety Harbor. 727-724-1530.

The Christmas Trail: Stroll along a Christmas light walking trail before walking to Bethlehem in the Nativity light maze. Then, take in the Jack Frost Light Show and a Christmas tree show before trying your hand at the Naughty or Nice escape game. $15 per vehicle (up to eight people). 5:30-10 p.m. Dec. 11-13 and 18-23. The Christmas Trail, 2837 S Frontage Road, Plant City. 844-970-3097.

Offerings at Sylvan Ramble Holiday Lights in Tampa include a holiday-themed light show.
Offerings at Sylvan Ramble Holiday Lights in Tampa include a holiday-themed light show. [ Sylvan Ramble Lights Facebook ]

Sylvan Ramble Holiday Lights: A holiday-themed light show with more than 200,000 strings of controllable lights flashing to popular Christmas songs, along with fountains, smoke effects and moving props. Benefits Clothes to Kids. Donations appreciated. 7:30, 8 and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 11-12, 18-19 and 21-26. Sylvan Ramble Light Show, 4412 W Sylvan Ramble St., Tampa. 813-733-8806.

Oakdale Holiday Display: This year brings many upgrades and additions to the giant holiday light display with a religious theme. The 42nd annual edition includes an 18-train HO scale model railroad, half a million lights, a 70-foot-tall Christmas tree, a 150-piece manger scene and multiple moving characters. Free. 6-10 p.m. daily through Jan. 3. Oakdale Christmas House, 2719 Oakdale St. S, St. Petersburg.

The Kresge House in St. Petersburg's Oakdale neighborhood takes more than three months to set up and has been on TV.
The Kresge House in St. Petersburg's Oakdale neighborhood takes more than three months to set up and has been on TV.

Holiday Lights on the Waterfront: Stroll along the St. Petersburg waterfront and see thousands of holiday lights and decorations. Displays are available for viewing at Straub Park, Pioneer Park, Vinoy Park and the St. Pete Pier. Takes place as part of Holidays in the Sunshine City. Free. 6-10 p.m. daily through Jan. 3. North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive, St. Petersburg. 727-893-7441.

Lights of Lake Park Estates: Residents in the neighborhoods of Lake Park Estates, Wieker, Lakeside Estates and Lake Seminole Village join together to decorate their homes and yards with more than 3 miles of lights for a drive-by experience. Benefits Suncoast Hospice. Free (donations appreciated). 6-10 p.m. daily through Dec. 31. Lights of Lake Park at Lake Park Estates, Bryan Dairy Road and 109th Terrace N, Largo. 727-586-4432.

The Lights of Lake Park Estates celebration commemorates loved ones and is a fundraiser for Suncoast Hospice.
The Lights of Lake Park Estates celebration commemorates loved ones and is a fundraiser for Suncoast Hospice.

Celebration of Lights: The community joins together for a series of holiday-themed light displays. A Christmas Express train runs every Friday and Saturday night. Free (train ride additional). 6-9 p.m. Dec. 11-13 and 18-20. The Concourse, 11919 Alric Pottberg Road, Shady Hills.