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Best Things To Do With Kids Around Tampa Bay During The Holidays

The kids are out of school for the holidays and you have no idea how to keep them occupied. Here are some things to do with the kids that include Santa, holiday boat parades and ice skating that will thrill you and them this holiday break.


Twinkle In Tampa Bay

Channelside Boat Parade

Date: Saturday, Dec. 21 at 6:30pm

This Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade takes place along the water at the by Davis Island, Harbour Island and the Channelside District. You will be able to see the parade along the a great stretch of land from Davis Island to Channelside near downtown Tampa. Channelside Bay Plaza is a great place to enjoy yourself before or after the parade. Parking is available at several public parking lots.  Estimated public crowds of over 10,000 view the parade.


Related Link: Best Holiday Lighted Boat Parades Around Tampa Bay


See Holiday Neighborhood Lights

Admission is FREE

Want to see a hole neighborhood a-glow in festive during Christmas lights? The Tampa neighborhood on Hyaleah Road in Tampa puts on a spectacular light show. Hyaleah Road is between Serena Drive and Poinsettia Avenue E near Busch Gardens. Residents use the stately trees that line the block to light up the street, even running lights across the road from house to house to create a canopy. To get the best effect the steady stream of traffic will turn their headlights off as they cruise the street. On Christmas Eve, neighborhood children hand out candy canes to the long line of cars.


Henry B Plant Christmas Stroll

Henry B Plant Museum
401 W Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL  33606
(813) 254-1891

Date: Dec 1 - 23 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Admission: Adults - $13 Seniors - $11 Children - 4-18 $7

Experience the beauty of an old-time Christmas holiday by taking part in the 31st annual Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B Plant Museum. Listen to carolers singing old-fashioned Christmas carols as you stroll through the museum. Feel free to join in the singing as you experience the various rooms at the museum. Admission is $13 for adults $11 for seniors and $7 for children ages four to 18.


Related: Best New Year's Eve Parties And Fireworks In Tampa Bay


Tampa Model Train Show & Sale

Florida State Fairgrounds - Special Events Center

Dates & Times: Sat: 9am - 5pm | Sun: 10am - 5pm
Admission: Adults - $8 | 12 & under free
Parking: $6 per car - $12 per RV or bus - cash only


Tampa's Downtown On Ice

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
600 N. Ashley Drive
Tampa, FL 33602

Dates: Now – Jan. 5, 2014
Cost: $10 for 90 min (includes skates)

Tampa's only outdoor ice skating rink is open Monday through Sunday with special holiday hours (check website for details). If you don't want to take advantage of the 90-minute skate time, there's also the Lunch Time Skate where you just pay $7 for 30 minutes on the ice.


Wild Wonderland

Lowry Park Zoo
1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL 33604
813-935-8552 |

Dates: Dec. 17-23 & 26-30 Hours: 6:30 – 10 p.m.

Meet Santa and his merry mammals – REAL REINDEER, only at the Zoo. More merriment awaits with charming animated displays, a million twinkling lights, free Zoo rides and traditional holiday treats. Don't miss this Tampa tradition, a whimsical world of holiday magic at the Zoo.


Vertical Ventures Rock Climbing Gym

5402 Pioneer Park Blvd · Suite E
Tampa, Florida 33634 |
(813)  884 – ROCK
Admission: Adults: $14 - Kids 8 & Under $7

Do the kids love to climb things? Vertical Ventures is the place for them. Fun, Safe and cheap.


Related: Budget Dining: Best Kids Eat Free Deals In Tampa Bay


Skating & Santa In St. Pete

North Straub Park
1400 19th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33713

Dates: 18-23 Cost: Glace Skating is $5 for 30 minute session Santa is FREE

Visit Santa in the Park and go "glice" skating on a simulated ice rink in North Straub Park. Both activities are from 6 to 9PM.  Personal cameras are allowed.


AirHeads Trampoline Arena

2 locations: Tampa & Largo
813-324-5761 OR 727-324-6772

Cost: $16.95 a day unlimited jumping - $29.95 per month
Extras: Grip Socks: $2.85 (Required to Jump and are a one time purchase and can be brought back for future uses without any additional cost).


Monster Indoor Mini Golf

6429 U.S. Highway 19
New Port Richey, FL 34653
727-849-4653 |

Prices: $8 Big Monsters 13 and older – $7 for Little Monsters 12 and younger

This monster-themed, indoor, glow-in-the-dark course, complemented by a wacky DJ, raises this local haunt to an above-average mini-golf must-do despite the drive.


Related:  Best Bad Weather Activities For Kids In Tampa Bay


NYE First Night St. Pete

Downtown St. Petersburg

Time: 4 PM – Midnight  Price: $5 per child & $10 per adult.

A citywide, family-friendly alcohol free New Year's Eve celebration in downtown St. Pete featuring tons of live entertainment and 2 fireworks  displays.  Adults and children are encouraged to come out to multiple venues throughout the area for an evening filled with live entertainment including music, dance and two fireworks displays (8 p.m. & midnight) to ring in 2014.


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