Holiday Weekend Trips Close to Greater Tampa Bay - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
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Holiday Weekend Trips Close to Greater Tampa Bay

Holiday Weekend Trips Close to Greater Tampa Bay

Check out these fun, weekend drive-able destinations that are sure to get the family in the holiday spirit.  

St. Augustine, FL * Night of Lights

Voted one of the “10 Best Holiday Lighting Displays in the World,” by National Geographic, St. Augustine’s Night of Lights dazzles viewers with 3 million twinkling white lights adorning every corner of the city’s historic district. The spectacular holiday display runs Nov. 19, 2022 to Jan. 31, 2023. Don’t miss photo opportunities with the Christmas tree in the center of the Plaza de la Constitución or on the bay front. Dine and shop along nearly 20 blocks of decorated downtown buildings. Choose from many special viewing options, including golf cart, train, trolley, boat, pirate ship and helicopter. The City of St. Augustine offers a free park-and-ride shuttle service for Night of Lights through December 30, 2022. For more information, visit  

Kissimmee, FL * Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center ICE!

Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center’s ICE! offers hours of holiday entertainment. This seasonal family-friendly experience includes a winter wonderland carved out of two million pounds of colorful ice with scenes from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.™ From Nov. 18, 2002 through Jan. 1, 2023 enjoy ice slides, tubing, a snow factory, character meals, gingerbread decorating, an Elf Training Academy, a Naughty or Nice Escape Room, a Christmas Tree Trail, the Shine Light Show and more. The Broadway-style Cirque Spirit of Christmas show featuring acrobatics and high-flying stunts celebrates the season with flair. For more information, visit

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Tallahassee, FL * Winter Fest Celebration of Lights, Music & Arts

Visitors to downtown Tallahassee on Dec. 3 can enjoy food vendors, arts and crafts merchants and holiday illumination displays. The annual Winter Fest Celebration includes multiple stages of live entertainment featuring local actors, dancers and musicians. Stroll down Candy Cane Lane in McCarty Park or watch a family-friendly holiday movie at Kleman Plaza. The event also includes the Lighting Ceremony, Jingle Bell Run and the Nighttime Holiday Parade. For more information, visit While in Tallahassee, stop by Dorothy B. Oven Park, which is illuminated with more than 250,000 twinkling lights for the holiday season. Walk or drive through the grounds from 6-11 p.m. on weekdays and 5:30-11p.m. on weekends through Jan. 1, 2023.

FUN FLORIDA FACT: If the season’s holiday travels bring the family to Orange County, consider a quick stop in Christmas, Florida. The small town’s name originated during the Second Seminole War. On Dec. 25,1837, 2,000 U.S. Army soldiers and volunteers arrived to build a fort, they named Fort Christmas. Visitors flock to this post office to mail holiday cards with the coveted “Christmas” postmark. A special mailbox in the lobby is designated for letters to Santa. Streets names in the quaint town include Antler Street, Jingle Road, St. Nicholas Avenue and Yule Court.   

By Jennifer Kennedy.

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