Winter Village brings ice rink, boat parade, wonder ride to Curtis Hixon Park


It may not snow this winter in Tampa, but the spirit of the season will certainly be alive at Curtis Hixon Park. The annual Winter Village brings back the always popular skating rink, the massive tree lighting ceremony, a full on lighted boat parade and a lot more.

The festivities will run from November 16 through January 5. Filled with holiday cheer yet?

Movies in the park at Curtis Hixon

This year, the Tampa Theatre will join the fun with two movie screening in Curtis Hixon Park: Home Alone on Friday, November 16, and The Santa Clause on Friday, November 30. Both screenings begin at 7:30pm and are free and open to the public to attend.

The skating rink is always the main attraction. It’s the kiss of winter we crave down in Florida. Individual tickets to the skating rink cost $14 and provide skaters with 90 minutes on the ice. Don’t have skates at home? Yea, us either. Don’t worry, you can rent skates on-site.

Outdoor ice skating in Tampa

Open skate hours will be Monday through Thursday, from 4-9pm; Friday, from 4-10pm; Saturday, from 10am-10pm; Sunday, from 12pm-9pm.

Teco Line Streetcars will transform into the Polar Express throughout the holiday season. Winter Village Express riders can board the Express at Whiting Station or Centro Ybor on select Sundays to enjoy treats, music, and activities during the non-stop ride.

Round-trip tickets aboard the express run $5 per person.

Cafe and shopping village 

Because it’s Tampa, you can easily work up a sweat on the ice. You can hit refresh at the Winter Village Cafe featuring Kahwa Coffee, Whatever Pops & Grilled Cheese, and Mise waterfront bar.

Need to get some holiday shopping done? In addition to the cafe and skating rink, the Winter Village also hosts several local shops for you to peruse. Announced shops include Chef Inspired Popcorn Company, Fro Dough, Don Me Now, Unlock Tampa Bay, The Modern Paws, A Gift From Africa, Cotton Candy Bar and Williamsburg Cucina Caffè e Bottega.

Have a dog you’d like to bring to the festivities too? All leashed dogs are allowed along the The Tampa Riverwalk, which runs adjacent to the Winter Village activities.

Santa Fest and parades on the horizon

What else do you have to look forward too? The always electric Tampa Christmas Parade and Santa Fest on Saturday, December 1 and the amazing Lighted Boat Parade on December 22.

Want more details about Winter Village? Visit the event website for a closer look at vendors and special events.

All photos courtesy of the Winter Village

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Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of ThatsSoTampa.com. New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape.” He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. Phone: (727) 896-3435 / Email: andrew@rkc.me