5 things to do with the family this weekend


Once Thanksgiving leftovers are packed, the Tampa Bay area has loads of things to do with family and all out of town visitors this weekend.

There are light shows you can walk through, ice rinks have popped up in soft spots by the water’s edge, and sand sculptures and kites dot the beaches.

Related: Four seasonal rinks arrive in the Tampa Bay area

If you’re looking for an excuse to get out of your house, here are some ideas.

The 80-foot illuminated Christmas tree shone through the center of the maze at Enchant Christmas at Tropicana Field in 2019. The illuminated maze returns from November 26 to January 2. [ DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times ]

Enchant Christmas

Lights, ice skating and Santa Claus will return to Tropicana Field from November 26, and new this year is a simulated North Pole night sky with thousands of lights synchronized on the stadium ceiling.

The Maze of Light, which will run until January 2, was a big hit when it opened in 2019, with many sold-out weekends. This did not happen in 2020 because of the pandemic. Tickets start at $ 25, $ 20 for ages 3-17. Seniors, military, and EMS workers can save $ 3 on regular adult tickets. Prices increase, depending on the date chosen, to EnchantChristmas.com.

The Tampa <a class=Winter Village Ice Rink at Curtis Hixon Park will open from November 26 to January 2.” class=”lazy” data-src=”data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/2000/svg” viewBox=”0 0 6000 4000″/%3E” style=”object-position:50% 50%;transition:opacity 0.5s ease 0.5s;opacity:0″ title=”The Tampa Winter Village Ice Rink at Curtis Hixon Park will open from November 26 to January 2.”/>
The Tampa Winter Village Ice Rink at Curtis Hixon Park will open from November 26 to January 2. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Ice skating

Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa and St. Pete’s Pier both have waterfront ice rinks that have opened for the holiday season. Winter Village in downtown Tampa has a tented ice rink open daily from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm by the river. It uses a paperless ticketing system at wintervillagetampa.com, where $ 17 allows you to rent skates and 75 minutes on the ice. At the St. Pete Pier, it also costs $ 17 for skate rentals and 75 minutes of skating at winterbeachstpete.com/ice-skating.

Canadian artist Abe Waterman is working on his piece, "Circular argument" for the Sanding Ovations sand sculpture event on Treasure Island in 2018. The event is back and Treasure Island will also be hosting a kite festival from November 26-28.
Canadian artist Abe Waterman is working on his piece “Circular Argument” for the Sanding Ovations sand sculpture event on Treasure Island in 2018. The event is back and Treasure Island will also be hosting a kite festival from the 26th to the 25th. November 28. [ Tampa Bay Times (2018) ]

Treasure island

There is a beach kite festival this weekend and also an encore weekend of Sanding Ovations, the annual sand sculpture competition on Treasure Island. Kites fly from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and you can also see the sand sculptures along Treasure Island Beach Trail Park, 10400 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is bringing Christmas back to the wild with new light shows and other holiday features added on 18 selected nights through December 30.
ZooTampa at Lowry Park is bringing Christmas back to the wild with new light shows and other holiday features added on 18 selected nights through December 30. [ ZooTampa ]
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ZooTampa

ZooTampa in Lowry Park has improved its holiday game with Christmas in the Wild. There are six new illuminated light zones, including two light shows across the entire manatee circle. Shows are every 15 minutes. And you can dance and play reindeer games at the Wallaroo Wrap Party.

The zoo’s Africa Tunnel will be transformed into an ice cave of glowing lights, and the Roaring Springs area will be transformed into Tacky Christmas, where holiday decorations get ridiculous.

Admission is $ 29.95; Reservation fee of $ 5 for members reimbursed in the form of a voucher; zootampa.org/christmas-in-the-wild/. It runs from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and some evenings until December 30. 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa. (813) 935-8552.

The elaborate Florida-themed illuminated displays and traditional winter vacation will be $ 25 per car starting Friday at Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Brandon.
The elaborate Florida-themed illuminated displays and traditional winter vacation will be $ 25 per car starting Friday at Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Brandon. [ EVE EDELHEIT | Times (2012) ]

Light shows

A number of locations will be activated by dazzling light displays starting on Friday. Christmas lights in the gardens will illuminate Largo’s Florida Botanical Gardens with 1 million twinkling LED lights in a multitude of colors. Vibrant laser lights and illuminated figures complete the display to wow guests of all ages. Suggested donation: $ 10 for 13 years old and over. It opens from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. every evening starting Friday at 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. (727) 582-2117. flbgfoundation.org. In Brandon, the Festival of lights is a drive-thru of nearly 3 km of continuous light followed by a festive walking tour of the village of Santa Claus. The elaborate Florida-themed light shows and traditional winter holidays are complemented by individual presentations depicting Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. $ 25 per car (up to 8 people). 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly starting Friday at Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, 215 Sydney Washer Road, Brandon. (813) 737-3247. hillsboroughcountyfair.com. In the city of plants, Glorious Night: A Driving Christmas Light Show is a 30 minute light show with Christmas carols, a story of hope and thousands of programmed Christmas lights. To free. 6 pm-10pm every evening from Friday. First Plant City Baptist Church, 3309 James L. Redman Parkway, Plant City. (813) 752-4104. fbcpc.com


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