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    Holiday Events Near MacDill AFB

    Florida doesn’t have the iconic white Christmas some people dream about, but what it lacks in sweater weather is offset by the many festive events in the area.

    Tampa started its holiday festivities during November, but there are still many more to come! If you’re in the Tampa area, you'll find plenty of holiday fun both on base and in the nearby communities. 

    If you're not sure where to start, begin with a few from our list, and then branch out even further!

    Holiday Events Near MacDill AFB


    1. Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

    Nothing gets the family into the holiday spirit quite like a visit to Christmas Town, Busch Garden's award-winning holiday event. Enjoy animal encounters, holiday shows like Christmas on Ice, fireworks, thousands of twinkling lights, dining and shopping, Rudolph's Winter Wonderland, and the Holly Jolly Express. Christmas Town at Busch Gardens runs through January 7.

    2. Holiday Light Limo Tours

    Enjoy the festive lights and local hot spots around Tampa Bay from the comfort of a luxury limo this holiday season! One option is to book your tour through Showtime Transportation from December 1 - 29.

    3. Christmas in the Wild

    Join the holiday cheer at the Tampa Lawry Park Zoo Christmas in the Wild. Santa will be visiting, and you can sample yummy treats, view one of Tampa's largest light displays, and experience the zoo’s wildlife at night. Select dates are available during November and December. Check the website for more details.

    4. Winter Village at Curtis Hixon Park

    Head to Curtis Hixon Park to enjoy ice skating, the village cafe, holiday shops, "silent disco" Fridays, a 360 degree light show, and numerous special events. The Winter Village is open until January 1. 

    5. Nutcracker at the Mahaffey Theater

    Bring the whole family for a Christmas celebration with an international cast and Ukrainian principal dancers for this year's Nutcracker Ballet on December 30. Visit the Mahaffey Theater website for more info and show times. 

    6. Tampa Hot Chocolate Run

    If you're a runner, this one's for you! On December 10,  join "America's Sweetest Run" and support the mission of the Special Olympics. You have the option to participate in 5k, 10k, or 15k races. Enjoy sweet treats along the road, get amazing swag, and celebrate after you complete the race.

    7. ReliaQuest Bowl New Year’s Eve Parade

    Formerly known as the Outback Bowl, the ReliaQuest Bowl New Year's Eve Parade and Big Storm Pep Rally will take place on New Year’s Eve in historic Ybor City. Watch high school marching bands from across the country, floats, college bands, and cheerleaders. The Big Storm Pep Rally takes place at the end of the parade, and then the party moves to restaurants and night spots in Ybor City and Tampa. Parade starts at 5:30 p.m. 

    What's your favorite holiday activity in the Tampa area? Let us know in the comments!

    Check with individual venues and locations for the most updated information.

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    Jen McDonald


    Jen McDonald

    Jen McDonald is the Content Editor for MilitaryByOwner Advertising. She's a longtime writer, the author of the books You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse and Milspouse Matters: Sharing Strength Through Our Stories. Jen is also the host of the Milspouse Matters podcast, and has written hundreds of articles and essays which have been published in other books and numerous publications. She was a military spouse for 30 years and is the mom of four, including one son in the military. One of her happiest roles now is being a grandmother. She and her veteran Air Force husband have been stationed all around the world from Europe to the Pacific and won’t count how many houses they’ve lived in because that would be too depressing. Her passion is encouraging young military spouses and regularly sharing about topics like military life, parenting, homeschooling...and now grandparenting! See more from Jen at her site, Jen McDonald and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram , and Pinterest.

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