It might not snow in the Tampa Bay area on Christmas (it's blue like water instead of white like snow), but that doesn't put a damper on the holiday spirit around town. The month of December is packed with lighted boat parades, Christmas markets, and holiday shows. Here's a list of some of the best annual holiday events that mark the holiday season in the Tampa Bay area in 2017.
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Christmas in the Wild at Lowry Park Zoo
Santa’s reindeer have flown in for Christmas in the Wild at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and guests can see the reindeer along with more than a million twinkling lights, glimmering holiday displays, an animated Christmas tree, and of course, get photos with the big guy himself, Santa, in Santa's village. As a bonus, you'll get to see the zoo's animals at night. Visit Christmas in the Wild on Dec. 8 to 10, Dec. 15 to 17, Dec. 21 to 23, and Dec. 26 to 30, starting at 4 p.m.
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Largo Central Park is a beautiful, 70-acre park located in the heart of Largo, about a half hour's drive from Tampa. Its rolling grounds and fountains have set it apart as one of the finest parks in the county. During the month of December more than a million LED lights hang above the walkways creating an atmosphere perfect for a stroll with family, friends and loved ones to get in the holiday spirit. On Dec. 16, you can even play in the snow (yes, really) and greet Santa from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Snow Zone.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Every year the Victorian Christmas Stroll comes to the Henry B. Plant Museum at the University of Tampa. From Dec. 1 through Dec. 23 the museum will host its annual stroll from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The building is completely transformed from a museum dedicated to the life and work of Henry Bradley Plant to an exhibit of what a Victorian Christmas would look like. Fourteen rooms are decorated authentically with greenery, Christmas trees, toys, and ornaments. You can nosh on spiced cider and cookies on the veranda, and carolers will serenade in the evening starting at 6 p.m.
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