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11 places to see Christmas lights in Tampa Bay

A Christmas tree is the centerpiece in a display of lights in the Wedding Garden in the Florida Botanical Gardens
JIM DAMASKE | Times
Published Dec. 19, 2016

It's the season to pile the family into the car be dazzled by Christmas light displays.

If you're looking for lights in the Tampa Bay area, you've got options, from a fast food restaurant in Tampa, to a stroll through an illuminated park in Largo to an entire neighborhood coming together for a public display in Seminole.

Holiday Lights in the Gardens: Stroll through the gardens with more than 1-million twinkly lights, lasers, Florida-style displays, animated figures, visits with Santa and entertainers lining the pathways. $4, 12 and younger free. Florida Botanical Gardens, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. (727) 582-5800. 5:30-9:30 p.m. daily.

Wonderland of Lights: This 38-day event incorporates animated and still light displays, as well as a Christmas village featuring horse-drawn wagon rides, North Pole train ride, amusement rides, food and crafts. Runs through Dec. 31. $20-$35. Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, Corner of Sydney Washer Road and Hwy 60, Brandon. (813) 737-3247. 6-9 p.m. today, 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday.

Kresge Mega Light Display: The annual Oakdale Christmas display (also known as the Kresge house) includes 10 trailer-truck loads of lights, an 18-train HO scale model railroad, inflatables, bubble machines, and window cabinet displays, all powered by numerous high-capacity electric meters. Free. South St. Petersburg MegaLight Display, 2719 Oakdale St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 896-6500. Open nightly 6-10 p.m. through Jan. 3.

Symphony in Lights: The holiday light show with more than 250,000 LED lights choreographed to holiday favorites chosen by mall guests. This year, it even snows. Free. The Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel. (813) 994-2242. Shows at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 31.

Lights of Lake Park Display: This 24th annual display to raise funds for Suncoast Hospice features multiple, elaborately decorated homes spanning a three-mile route through the Lake Park Estates, Wieker, Lakeside Estates, and Lake Seminole Village neighborhoods. 6 to 10 p.m., Dec. 1 to Dec. 31. Begin route at 10742 95th Street N., Seminole. Free, but donations are accepted along the route.

St. Petersburg Waterfront Light Display: Stroll along a pedestrian only walkway to see thousands of lights and decorations including snowflake lights and a giant greeting card display. Free. Straub Park, at Beach Drive and Fifth Avenue NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 893-7441. 5-11 p.m. daily.

Chick-fil-A Christmas Lights: The fast food restaurant dazzles with its annual lights display and Christmas decorations. The lights come on nightly at sundown throughout the holiday season, and stay on until closing time at 10 p.m. Chik-fil-a, 6299 W. Waters Avenue, Tampa.

Wilderness Wonderland: Drive your car through the North Pole with lights dancing to holiday music and snow flurries. Visitors should tune their radios to 89.5 FM to listen to the music. 6 p.m., Dec. 9 to 11 and 15 to 18. J.B. Starkey Wilderness Park, 10500 Wilderness Park Blvd., New Port Richey. $2 per vehicle.

Largo's Holiday Stroll: More than two million LED lights brighten the park every night this holiday season in the shapes of trains, toy soldiers forest animals and a 100-foot blue whale. Stop by the center of the park for a campfire and s'mores after strolling. New this year: a carousel and Ferris wheel will be open nightly as well. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. through Jan. 2. Largo Central Park, 101 Central Park Drive, Largo. (727)586-7415

Streamside Drive Lights: This Tampa home features 55,000 LED lights synchronized to music that's played over your car radio. Drive over and tune to 88.3 FM while checking out the 17-foot helicopter with pilot Santa, plus Disney characters a train and more. 6 to 9 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 6 to 10 p.m., Friday to Sunday. 11048 Streamside Drive, Tampa. Free.

Bella Garden Lane Light Show: This display in Plant City features more than 35,000 lights dancing to music on two homes. It includes 40 strings of the lights that were previously used in the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights as well as decorations previously used at Disney World. Begins at sundown, through Dec. 31. 3212 Bella Garden Lane, Plant City. Free.

Spring Hill display: Joe and Connie Castorino, 7452 Alhambra Court, off Waterfall Drive, invite the public to view the display of Christmas lights and ornaments that covers their front and side yards, and the more than 300 lighted and animated buildings and accessories — including Lionel trains, trolleys, Disney monorails and a drive-in theater — that fill their two-car garage. 6 to 9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 27. Free.

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