Tampa Bay area residents are fortunate to have a plethora of year-round entertainment options, ranging from festivals and theatrical performances to sporting activities and world-class concerts. To assist you in planning ahead, we’ve curated a selection of activities scheduled from now through October 2024.
With holiday extravaganzas, annual festivals and chart-topping artists performing at venues nearby, you will discover numerous lively diversions to captivate you both this year and the next.
Pavilion XXXVII: La Vie en Rose, a philanthropic celebration of beauty and art, will transform the Tampa Museum of Art into a world of pink, inspired by the iconic French song that celebrates life and love.Funds from this black-tie event will go toward supporting the museum’s efforts of making art more accessible to all community members.
Sanding Ovations Master’s Cup Nov. 16-19 and 25-26, 2023 Treasure Island Beach
Annual sand-sculpting exhibition and competition brings master sand sculptures from around the world to create larger-than-life masterpieces. This year’s theme is “It’s About Time.” Sanding Ovations is free and open tothe public.
Florida was home to the world’s largest sandcastle in 1986 and Treasure Island was declared the sand sculpture capital of Florida in 2001.
Tampa Bay Festival of Lights & Santa’s Village November 23 – December 31, 2023 (weekends) Hillsborough County Fairgrounds
Bigger than ever before with more than one million lights, seasonal and Florida-themed displays and a drive-thru animated tunnel. Holiday-themed rides, a winter market, visits with Santa, craft stations and self-guided walking tours of the Historical Village are just a few of the available activities.
Photos with Santa at The Florida Aquarium Saturdays & Sundays through December 17 (There will also be sensory-friendly photos with Santa on Thursday, December 2)
The Florida Aquarium
Get ready to capture your favorite family photo with Santa for your holiday card this year at The Florida Aquarium! Jolly old Saint Nick will be spreading holiday cheer and making several weekend stops at the Aquarium before he heads back to the North Pole. Be sure to bring a camera to snap your shots with Saint Nick.
Capture timeless moments with Santa and your family and make lasting memories that will warm your heart this holiday season! Photos with Santa are free for members and included with general admission.
The Florida Aquarium’s Snow Days Every Saturday and Sunday, and December 23-31 except Christmas Day on the 25th.
The Florida Aquarium
Who says Floridians can’t experience the magic of snow? The Florida Aquarium is excited to announce the return of Snow Days, a cherished holiday tradition in Tampa, offering even more icy excitement this year. Snow Days promises a 100 percent chance of snow!
Guests are encouraged to grab their gloves to immerse themselves in a variety of snow-packed activities. The “Sno Fly Zone” will feature a snowball toss and the popular snowball slingshot. The young and young-at-heart will let their creative side shine through with snow painting—where the snow becomes their canvas. There will be dashing through the ‘snow’ maze, snowball cornhole, dancing on the rooftop terrace and more.
This annual holiday bike ride through downtown Tampa and along Bayshore Boulevard raises money to purchase new bikes for kids and families across Tampa Bay. Post-ride party with music by LoCash Cowboys.
Since 2011, onbikes has built and donated more than 10,000 bicycles to children, teens and families in need.
OysterFest December 10, 2023 Tabellas at Delaney Creek
Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as you savor a variety of oysters from classic raw to delectable chargrilled and steamed options Whether you’re an oyster enthusiast or simply looking for a fun-filled day, Tampa OysterFest promises an unforgettable experience.
Next Generation Ballet’s Nutcracker December 21-23, 2023 Straz Center
A glittering holiday tradition into a fantastical world of dazzling dancing sweets, sword-fighting rodents and timeless ballet music featuring award-winning young dancers alongside guest principal dancers from across the nation.
NGB trainees have been employed by esteemed companies such as New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Dutch National Ballet.
Riverwalk Holiday Lighted Boat Parade December 23, 2023 Tampa Riverwalk
Tampa’s largest lighted boat parade begins at the southern tip of Davis Islands, travels through the Convention Center basin and up to the Heights where boats will turn around and head to Sparkman Wharf.
Since 2016, the bowl has paid $3.5 million to more than 170 Tampa Bay area nonprofit organizations.
Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival January 5-14, 2024 Multiple locations
This 10-day cultural event features speakers, musicians, artists, poets and craftspeople. Events include a music festival, 5K run and other events that increase awareness of African and African American culture and history.
The MLK Dream Big Parade is the country’s longest running MLK day parade.
Children’s Gasparilla January 20, 2024 Multiple locations
Celebrating the return of the Gasparilla season, the Children’s Gasparilla schedule includes an air invasion, preschoolers stroll, parade along Bayshore Boulevard with marching bands and floats and a fireworks finale.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Food & Wine Festival March – April 2024, Dates TBD Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Guests can sip and savor their way through flavorful eats and mouthwatering treats before finding their new favorite brew or cocktail. Park guests can explore a variety of flavors while enjoying a diverse concert lineup, including acts for all tastes.
Tampa Bay Wine& Food Festival April 9 – 13, 2024 Multiple Locations
The Tampa Bay Wine and Food Festival celebrates the culinary talents of chefs and gastronomic masters in Tampa, St. Petersburg and the surrounding areas. The event will support and benefit local charitable initiatives in the Tampa Bay area with Community Initiatives Foundation’s EAT SMART campaign.
Festa Italiana started in the spring of 1997 and is an annual, multi-day event that honors Italian culture and heritage. The event serves as one of the primary fundraisers for the Italian Club Building & Cultural Trust.
Ford Cuban Sandwich Festival Date TBD Centennial Park, Ybor City
Enjoy live music, cultural entertainment and the best Cuban sandwiches in the world; featuring contestants and chefs from all over the world competing for the grand prize, a ticket to compete in the World Food Championships!.