ISSUE 2: Fun Activities in Tampa during the Holidays

With the holiday time quickly approaching, we all need something to keep us entertained.

Cecilia Cheng, A&E Editor

As November slips through our fingers, everyone is beginning to play their Christmas playlist on repeat.

Christmas decor is starting to pop up at every street corner and no one can get enough of it. No matter what holiday you and your family celebrate, we can all agree that this is the most wonderful of the year. But you’ve got to admit, Tampa is not as festive as other cities when it comes to its holiday spirit. A lot of the time, my friends and I get stuck coming up with things to do around the holiday time. So, here are a few cheap holiday activities to do in order for you to get into the mood for this cheerful season.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

Every year, Busch Gardens holds its annual Christmas Town around the holiday season. The shining lights and spectacular shows are a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. (Photo Busch Gardens)

Starting from Nov. 12 and lasting till Jan. 2, Busch Gardens is hosting their annual holiday event, Christmas Town! From festive shows to incredible holiday dining and shopping, it’s something you definitely don’t want to miss. From personal experience, I really enjoyed my time there. The whole park was decorated with Christmas lights and they had numerous amount of trees up on display. They even have a special fireworks show and most importantly, let’s not forget about their thrilling rides. Save over $35 and purchase your tickets now on their website.

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

Going skating with your friends and family is a great bonding activity to do around the holiday time. At Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park’s Winter Village, you can escape reality and have fun around this chaotic time of the year. (Photo That’s So Tampa)

Located in Downtown Tampa along the Tampa Riverwalk, Curtis Hixon Park is having their Winter Village celebration from, Nov. 19 to Jan. 2. With fun activities for all ages, there are a variety of gift shops, a pop-up market, a waterfront cafe and even an ice skating rink. Although it does get crowded sometimes, you’ll definitely not regret your experience there. I went with my friends two years ago and made some amazing memories. Individual tickets are $17 for the skating rink, which includes rental for the skates. Visit their website for more information.

Lighted Boat Parade at the Tampa Riverwalk

Spend time with your loved ones at the Tampa Riverwalk Boat Parade! You have the chance to see tons of creative and wildly decorated boats! (Photo 813 Area)

Get excited because on Dec. 18 at 6 p.m., the Saturday before Christmas, Tampa will hold its largest lighted boat parade of the year. The lighted boat parade will start at the southern tip of Davis Island, traveling along the Riverwalk and ending at Sparkman Wharf. But it doesn’t end there. This is a competition. The best boats will win prizes and even receive a trophy. Even though this is a new tradition that I was totally unaware of, I am excited to see these heavily decorated boats light up the Riverwalk on a cold, dark winter night.

Besides all this, let’s not forget the things you can do in the comfort of your own home.

  • Build gingerbread houses – you can easily go to the store, get a gingerbread house and have a decorating competition with your friends and family
  • White elephant or Secret Santa – I always look forward to these every year. It’s always a surprise who you have to get presents for and you never know what YOU will get back!
  • Christmas movies – you can never go wrong with a good classical Christmas movie like “The Polar Express” or “Elf”
  • Bake cookies – I LOVE cookies, I mean who doesn’t. In my opinion, baking Christmas cookies and listening to Christmas music is the BEST thing to do around the holidays