Christmas bells are ringing all over Tampa


Alison Foley

Hyde Park dresses up for the holiday season.

The holiday season is in full swing. Decorations and lights are popping up all over town. With winter break right around the corner, it is time to start fun festive activities, and Tampa is full of an assortment of Christmas events.

A casual trip to International Plaza will transport you to a winter wonderland. It is also a great place to meet Santa and tell him your wish list. International offers a wide variety of stores from Tory Burch to Gap, to ensure all your shopping can be taken care of at once.

For north Tampa girls, The Shops at Wiregrass sports a large beautiful Christmas tree and display; Shopping here will really get you into the holiday spirit.

Hyde Park is one of Tampa’s best kept secrets, and the perfect place to find inner Christmas spirit. You can make a day out of a trip to Hyde Park. The quiet street is lined with little cute shops such as Poppy and Francesca’s.  Infamously delicious restaurants such as Piquat and Timpano are also a must.

The gorgeous Christmas display is a great place to take holiday photos. “My sister and I always go shopping and take Christmas pictures in Hyde Park,” says junior Lauren Calka.

If you are interested in something a little colder, ice skating in downtown is a place for you.  It’s a magical setting. Senior Abena Baffoe-Bonnie enjoys, “going ice skating with my friends every year. It’s a tradition for us.”

Admission is only ten dollars per person and a picnic in Curtis Hixon Park with Christmas goodies afterwards is the perfect ending.

Other places like Lowry Park Zoo and Busch Gardens put a festive touch on their establishments.

Lowry Park Zoo offers a Wild Wonderland where you can meet Santa and his reindeer too!  It is available select nights throughout December. Christmas Town is set up at Busch Gardens. Visitors to the park are able to play in real snow. This is a treat since snow rarely happens in Florida! Freshman Victoria Baldor describes her time with the snow as a, “surreal experience.”

Hopefully these places will show you all Tampa has to offer during the holiday season!