30+ Free Vacation Events in Tampa Bay for a Vacation Date (2023)

30+ Free Vacation Events in Tampa Bay for a Vacation Date (1)

Finding ways to spend quality time together is very important this holiday season. With gifts to buy and other commitments, it's nice to have a little holiday cheer, for free. We've rounded up some of the best free holiday events in the Tampa Bay area this season.

Please note: This list of free holiday events is subject to change. Check the event websites for up-to-date information on security and possible cancellations.

Free Boat Parades on Holidays

We'll start with one of the most Floridian ways to celebrate the holidays. And here in Tampa with our wonderful waterways, we have some of them. Fill your December calendar with these festive boat parades around the bay. Participation in all events is free; If you wish to participate, entrance fees may apply.

Annual Boat Parade in Tarpon Springs
December 2, 2022, 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Parque Craig, Tarpon Springs, Florida
The boats leave from Sponge Docks and end at Spring Bayou. Public viewing areas include Sponge Docks, Whitcomb Bayou, Craig Park, and Spring Bayou.

56th Annual Festival of Lights Boat Parade
December 10, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Best Public Exhibition at ROC Park – Praia da Madeira
This annual boat parade begins at ROC Park and ends at John's Pass Village.

37. Jährliche Treasure Island Party and Celebration Illuminated Boat Parade
December 17, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
Treasure Bay Entertainment Complex
Festa Junina starts at 5 p.m. with departure from the parade of boats at 18:20.
Watch the parade from a spectacular vantage point and take part in the events at Treasure Bay. A DJ, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, interactive performers and food and drink concessions will be available.

37th Annual Illuminated Holiday Boat Parade
December 17, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
Starts at the Gulfport Municipal Marina
See the Osgood Point Parade, Gulfport Municipal Marina, Williams Pier, Gulfport Beach and Casino, Town Shores, Pasadena Yacht & Country Club, Pasadena Golf Club Estates, and Isla del Sol. Route changes reserved.

Parade of illuminated festive boats on the Tampa Riverwalk
December 17, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
Rain date: December 18, 2022
tampa riverwalk
The parade begins at the Basin Convention Center, heads to the Heights, and ends at Sparkman Wharf.

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30+ Free Vacation Events in Tampa Bay for a Vacation Date (2)

Holiday Boat Parade on Indian Rocks Beach
December 17, 2022, 7 p.m.
Paradeplan en el Holiday Inn Harbour Side
The parade begins at Walsingham Bridge, passes through Fingers, and ends at Harbor Drive North.

Free festive events:Turning onand spectacular

Take a walk to see a spectacular display of holiday lights at these tree lighting ceremonies, holiday light shows and more.

tree lighting + symphony of lights
Saturday, November 12, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (lights on until December 31)
The Shops at Wiregrass
Enjoy a lively array of dancing lights, dazzling décor, and snow. Symphony in Lights is an incredible Christmas light show choreographed to the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

12th Annual Ybor City Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 16, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Christmas music starts at 6:00 p.m. m. at the Ybor Center, Mayor Jane Castor lights the tree at 7:00 p.m. m., followed by photos with Santa.

Winter Wonder Wharf Tree Lights
November 18, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sparkman Pier
Celebrate the season with special themed areas and photo opportunities, including a forest of colorful trees, melting snowmen and more! Santa Claus and his fancy elves will be there to light up the 30-foot tree.

Holiday lights at Chick-Fil-A on Waters Ave.
From November 18 to January 6, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
6299 W Waters Avenue, Tampa FL 33634.
This Chick-fil-A store has a tradition of taking Tampa Christmas lights to a whole new level, and they're back with this year's Christmas lights. Even Santa Claus comes to visit! Add this annual Tampa Bay Christmas Lights event to your family's Christmas lights wish list!

spectacular vacation
November 28, 2022 - January 2, 2023
tampa riverwalk
Exhibits include the 35-foot-tall LED-illuminated Christmas tree that floats in the harbor (tree lighting takes place on November 28), various other illuminated displays that float on river barges, and the illuminated garland and the red ribbons at Riverwalk-Light.

30+ Free Vacation Events in Tampa Bay for a Vacation Date (3)

Tree lighting – Saint Petersburg
November 26, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.
Parque Nord Straub
Santa and Mayor Rick Crisisman will light up the tree and the park. This Christmas tradition promises to be a pleasant evening for everyone.

Sidewalk and Christmas tree lighting
December 3, 2022, 6 p.m.
Langer Central Park
Largo Central Park has over a million LED Christmas lights for you to enjoy as you stroll. $10 parking on site.


Oakdale Christmas Lighthouse
November 25, 2022 to January 3, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
2719 Oakdale Street South, San Petersburgo, FL
Prepare to be dazzled by an array of half a million colored sparkles for a free holiday light display, which was one of 3 finalists on NBC's Today show.

Oldsmar Zeremonie Tree Lightning
November 29, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
Oldsmar Town Hall
Enjoy this Christmas tree lighting ceremony with Citizen of the Year. The program includes Christmas carols performed by local groups.

Safety Harbor Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 2, 2022 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
John Wilson Park Pavilion
Bring family and friends to enjoy the lighting of Safety Harbor's gigantic Christmas tree. Corals will cheer up the crowd for Santa's visit!

30+ Free Vacation Events in Tampa Bay for a Vacation Date (4)

Festival of Lights - Tree Lighting
December 3, 2022, 4-9 p. m.
Time Square, sin Centro de Zephyrhills
Annual event on Main Street Zephyrhills. Enjoy a night of festive cheer, festive food trucks, tree lights and more! Admission is free!

Tree lights in Tarpon Springs
December 3, 2022 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The lighting of the tree will take place at 5:45 p.m.
Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks
A unique vacation tradition in Tarpon Springs. A place full of history and fun.

Santa Tampa City Celebration
December 3, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.
Curtis Hixon Coastal Park
The parade starts at 1 p.m. beginning at Morgan Street and Madison Street. It runs west on Madison Street to Ashley Drive, turns north, and ends at Ashley Drive and Cass Street. The best view is along Madison Street. After the downtown parade, stop at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for entertainment and activities at Santa Fest from 3:30 p.m. m. to 5:30 p.m. m. Stick around for the Tampa Tree Lighting entertainment from 6:00 p.m. m. to 6:30 p.m. m. Watch Mayor Beaver and Santa light the tree before a Christmas movie shows in the park to end the day.

Santa Claus in the Park – Saint Petersburg
December 10 to 11, 16 to 23, 2022, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Parque Nord Straub
Enjoy a date with Santa at North Straub Park! Welcome cameras. This year's event will feature Santa in a rocking chair with a designated area for attendees to chat and take photos with Santa.

free festivals andChristmas market

Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park
November 18, 2022 - January 4, 2023, multiple times
Parque Curtis Hixon
Presented by the Tampa Bay Lightning, The Holiday Market is free, additional activities have an entrance fee. Ice skating is $17 including skate rental. New this year, you can also play a fun game of curling or drink a celebratory cocktail like the Campfire Old Fashioned.

30+ Free Vacation Events in Tampa Bay for a Vacation Date (5)

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Christmas Market in Tampa Bay
November 19 to 20, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Colosseum, Saint Petersburg
Local vendors provide everything you need to get you in the holiday mood. Get an early start on your holiday shopping including household items, unique handmade gifts, cosmetics, party decorations, groceries, clothing, accessories and much more!

29th Annual Dunedin Arts and Crafts Festival
November 19 to 20, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
271 tallo principal Dunedin, FL
Along Dunedin's main street, you'll find some of the country's best artists and craftsmen, featuring American-made products. Ceramic pots, functional ceramics, hair accessories, unique handcrafted jewelry and a large green market to suit all tastes and budgets.

Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Festival
November 26 and 27, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Avenida Tarpon, Tarpon Springs
Craft vendors set up their stalls on charming brick-paved Court Street. Do your holiday shopping while helping local merchants!

4th Annual Playa Feliz Market
December 4, 2022, from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Over 50 local vendors will delight holiday shoppers. Also live shows and food and drink stalls. The market is also a venue for The Christmas Toy Shop to make the Christmas season brighter for local children. Even better, the event is pet and family friendly and takes place rain or shine. Two Special Treats After the Merry Beach Market is an ideal vantage point to watch the start of the 54th Annual Madeira Beach Illuminated Boat Parade and the official lighting of the Madeira Beach Christmas Tree.

Craft Fair and Bake Sale and Craft Fair in Seminole Heights
December 3, 2022, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Seminole Heights United Methodist Church
The Holiday Craft Fair, which has been held annually for over 50 years, features handmade Christmas gifts and decorations, a variety of vendors, and a bake sale.

10th Annual OE Christmas Gift Bazaar
December 1, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
oxford stock exchange
Inspired by eclectic and bustling European markets, this space transforms into a fun-filled shopping venue for one night a year, just in time for the holiday season.

30+ Free Vacation Events in Tampa Bay for a Vacation Date (6)

Tampa Makers Holiday Celebration
December 10 to 11, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
hydraulic park
This market features home accessories, plants, local artwork, handmade jewelry, chef-prepared and small-batch foods, baked goods, honey, spices, paper products, pharmaceuticals, sauces, and more.

SEE MORE INFORMATION:Must-Have Tampa Bay Christmas Markets for Unique Gifts

Free Holiday Events: Holiday Movies + Celebrations

Spectacular Water Street Station
November 18, 2022, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
tampa waterway
Enjoy live music, a Christmas silent disco. additional festive photos, hot chocolate bars, seasonal cocktails and snacks, photos with Santa Claus and much more. Then wander over to Sparkman Wharf to enjoy Winter Wonder Wharf, where you can find a variety of Instagram-worthy photos and a variety of activities and special treats. A portion of the proceeds from the spectacular season will be donated to the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation - Bolts Giving Benefiting Feeding Tampa Bay and Metropolitan Ministries.

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Oldsmar's Christmas Wonderland
December 2, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Parque D. Olds
Free annual event with a giant snow run, photos with Santa, giveaways and lots of family fun! Come at 17:00 for the final concert of Miss Suda's Dancers.

There's a snowy place like Tarpon Springs
December 2, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
100 E. Tarpon Avenue. Tarpon Springs, Florida
Enjoy vendors, live performances, crafts, carriage and train rides, a snow slide and more!

Drink and shop in downtown Safety Harbor
December 2, 2022, 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
safe haven downtown
Enjoy shopping and drink specials, a Christmas decorating contest, Dickens carols and a self-serve station at the Chamber of Commerce! Hang out with a drink at your favorite downtown bar after your Christmas shopping.

Safety Harbor Christmas Parade
December 3, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
main street of the security port
Floats, vintage cars, Shriners and Santa Claus are just a few of the highlights.

Holiday nights in the harbor at Folly Farm
December 9, 10, 16 and 17, 2022, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Folly Farm Conservation Area, Safety Harbor
Four nights of Christmas fun for the whole family! The event includes Christmas lights, a bonfire, children's activities and more.

12 Days of Christmas in Clearwater Beach
December 1 to 15, 2022
parque 60
Local businesses in Clearwater host this holiday celebration, which includes Christmas tree lighting, caroling, parade, dog paw wheel, Christmas market and more. Free pass.

30+ Free Vacation Events in Tampa Bay for a Vacation Date (7)

Jingle Bell Bazaar no Centennial Park
December 11, 2022, 12:00 - 18:00
Centennial Park, Ybor City
The annual Jingle Bell Bazaar is a fun and festive event in historic Ybor City. There will be live music, entertainment, food, crafts and more!

Vacation in the park movie – TBA-Film
December 17, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
parque craig
Grab your lawn chairs and blankets for a night of free fun! Families can choose a special gazebo in the park for the movie.

Photo Credit: City of Tampa

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