Christmas outings around the Bay

Published on: December 17, 2020

The Christmas Trail

The Christmas Trail is an outdoor Christmas attraction located at 2837 S Frontage Road, Plant City. Featuring over a 1/4 mile walking trail filled with Christmas themed scenes and several thousand lights throughout. Guests can walk the trail at their leisure but can expect it to last around 15 minutes. Photo ops, a 25ft tall Christmas tree and, even, snow highlight a few of the magical aspects of The Christmas Trail. You might even catch a glimpse of Santa walking through the trail! Along with the trail, guests can purchase an assortment of concessions including marshmallows for roasting and hot chocolate. Santa is also at the Trail nightly for pictures, and Jack Frost creates magical snowfalls through the night. There are also vendors and free face painting.

Masks are required, and tickets are $15 per car load. Tickets must be purchased online before attending the event. Tickets cannot be purchased onsite. To purchase tickets, visit

Wesley Chapel Holiday Tree and Light Display with Santa’s Dreamland Carnival

With a display of over 1,000,000 lights, Wesley Chapel’s Tree and Light Display, 6330 Wesley Grove Blvd., Wesley Chapel, FL 33544, is sure to bring joy. The event admission ticket, for $25, includes all carnival rides, Santa visit, Santa’s workshop, snow time, community entertainment, carriage or sleigh ride with real Clydesdale horses, trees, display, lights and more. There will also be Christmas vendors with handcrafted items for sale. It is open from 5 to 10 p.m. now through Jan. 3, 2021. At over 20 acres, there will be plenty of room for social distancing, and children under 4 can get in for free.

For more information, visit

ZooTampa Christmas in the Wild

With the return of Christmas in the Wild, one of Tampa’s most beloved holiday traditions, it’s the most wonderful time of the year at ZooTampa at Lowry Park. Families looking for safe holiday fun will be immersed into an outdoor seasonal adventure featuring twinkling lights, delectable holiday treats, amazing wildlife and new jolly adventures. Attractions at the annual ZooTampa event include Christmas tree light shows, a marketplace with European-style holiday treats, meetings with Santa and his reindeer and a holiday kaleidoscope light show. There’s also a European marketplace, featuring German food and unique merchandise, to explore. Reservations are required for this event, and tickets start at $26.95 per person.
Christmas in the Wild is a limited-capacity event. Advance date & timed reservations are strongly encouraged and the best way to guarantee admission. For tickets, visit Zoo Tampa is at 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa.

Victorian Christmas Stroll

Experience the extravagance and grandeur of a Victorian Christmas at the former 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel during the Henry B. Plant Museum’s Victorian Christmas Stroll. Allowing visitors a glimpse of Christmas past, the event runs now through Dec. 31, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).
With a different theme in every exhibit room, there is sure to be something for everyone. Look closely in exhibit cases and you will find snow babies and tiny antique trees. Travel back to the 1890s with a Christmas display, including original watercolor paintings by nationally recognized artist Kathy Durdin. Paintings will be available for purchase, and all will benefit the Museum. Gaze in wonder at a 14’ tree bedecked in antique ornaments. Other decorations include a replica Plant System train, vintage fashions, antique toys, orchids, fruit, shells and fanciful ornaments.
To ensure the safety of all visitors, timed tickets to the Victorian Christmas Stroll are available in limited numbers and should be purchased in advance by visiting Masks are required for all visitors, and sanitization stations are available throughout the Museum.
The Tampa Bay Hotel (aka the Henry B. Plant Museum at University of Tampa) is at 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.
Adults – $16, Seniors – $14, Youth – $10
Last tickets sold at 4:30 p.m.

A Pirate’s Christmas

Setting sail from Sparkman Wharf, Lost Pearl’s A Pirate’s Christmas is a 45-minute family-friendly cruise that will bring sailors by Holiday Island to get a look at Tampa’s largest floating Christmas tree. Children will also write and mail a letter to Santa to drop into Tampa’s only floating mailbox. In addition, there will be pirate sing-alongs, featuring Christmas carols, swashbuckling games, temporary tattoos and face painting. The magic of Christmas may even bring some snow flurries.
Cruise times begin on the hour, every hour from 6 to 9 p.m. now through Jan. 3 at 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. For more information, call 813-223-7999 or visit
• Adults: $25 plus $2 marine fee & tax
• Children (ages 2-12): $20 plus $2 marine fee & tax
• Infants (under 2): Free
• 45-minute cruise
• Write & mail letters to Santa
• Sing-a-long Christmas carols
• Pirate Ship decked out in holiday decor
• $5 coupon to redeem at Sparkman Wharf for each adult
• Cash bar