Come celebrate this holiday season in Downtown Tampa at Curtis Hixon Park. The park has transformed into a winter wonderland and is open for Christmas festivities.
Tampa Bay Lightning has put on a Christmas themed event called Winter Village and it is located along the Tampa River Walk across from the University of Tampa. The Winter Village will be available to the public now through the beginning of the new year, ending on January 6, 2019. The Winter Village is free and welcomes everyone of all ages.
At the Winter Village, people can do Christmas shopping, ice skate, and grab a drink or a bite to eat while walking around the area. Vendors from all across the Tampa Bay area have set up shop at the park, displaying their products for sale that can make Christmas gifts.
Local artists created jewelry, pillows, home-made soaps and lotions that are for sale at the event. Gifts for pets are also available too, such as pet toys and clothes in all shapes and sizes for furry friends.
The best way to support Tampa is to visit small businesses. Here are some shops you will find in the village. Black & Denim, The Modern Paws and Unlock Tampa Bay are a few stores that are promoting their business at the Curtis Hixon Park.
Along with the option to get some gift shopping done, park goers can enjoy outdoor ice skating, even in the warm state of Florida. An ice rink has been placed in the middle of the village and people of all ages are welcome to take the ice, with ice skate rentals available if you don’t own a pair of skates. Tickets for ice skating must be purchased, but the price includes the skate rental fee. Ice skating tickets do not have to be purchased in advanced. There is on-site staff at the entrance of the ice rink who can assist skaters.
As you’re walking around the Winter Village, make sure to stop at one of the many food and drink stops. Soup, grilled cheese, hamburgers and hotdogs are one of the few things to choose from. If that doesn’t sound good to you, grab a snack like a pretzel or popcorn or buy some hot chocolate to really get into the Christmas spirit. Check out places like Whatever Pops & Grilled Cheese, Kahwa Coffee Roasting and Mise Waterfront Bar if you’re in the mood for food or drinks.
Hours for this year’s Winter Village vary, with the event starting at 4 p.m. during the week, and on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and on Sunday at noon. The village will also be open on Christmas Eve from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. for any last-minute shopping and Christmas festivities.
Parking for the event is available and can be found in the nearest parking garage by Curtis Hixon Park, William F. Poe Parking Garage. This is located on the north side of the park. Dogs are also welcomed into the Winter Village, as long as they are kept on their leash.