By Southern Living Editors
May 28, 2017
Tampa, Fl. skyline
SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

Disney might get most of Florida’s holiday traffic, but Tampa truly takes it to the next level with its own elaborate homemade and professional light displays. These seven light displays will convince you to spend your next Christmas in Tampa.

Symphony in Lights

With 250,000 lights choreographed to the Trans Siberian Orchestra, Symphony in Lights is a true holiday thrill. The event takes place at the open-air shopping mall at Wiregrass and is free to enter. It’s the perfect way to end a grueling day of holiday shopping.

Spring Hill

At 7452 Alhambra Court, Joe and Connie Castorino take holiday home decor to the next level. In addition to the lights and ornaments that cover their yard, the couple stages an elaborate Christmas scene in their two-car garage. The 11 tiers of mini holiday villages include skaters gliding across ponds, a Ferris wheel, a carousel in motion, skiers going down a mountain, a floating hot air balloon, and a dance company performing The Nutcracker -- to name a few.

Holiday Lights in the Gardens

Stroll through the Florida Botanical Gardens during the holidays, and you’re bound to get into the holiday spirit. Along the pathways, you’ll be surrounded by more than a million lights, lasers, animated figures, and entertainers -- you may even get a visit from Santa.

Lights of Lake Park Display

Every year since 1993, the neighborhoods of Lake Park Estates, Wieker, Lakeside Estates, and Lake Seminole Village band together to create more than three miles of Christmas lights for the public. The Lights of Lake Park originated to celebrate the life of local neighbor, Ruby Dow, and is one of the most beloved Tampa Christmas events. In her honor, the charitable event has raised more than $700,000 for Suncoast Hospice.

See: Where to See Christmas Lights in Nashville

Wonderland of Lights

Tampa Bay’s Wonderland of Lights is a mile-long drive through animated and still light displays. Park your car to tour the Christmas village and take a ride on a camel, a horse-drawn wagon, or the Polar Express train. Its crafts shops are also a great place to nab some last-minute holiday gifts. The event is so popular, it receives an average of 20,000 cars per season.

Wilderness Wonderland

The drive through Wilderness Wonderland is made to look like a trip through the North Pole. Tune into 89.5 FM to hear the soundtrack as you drive to dancing light displays dancing and snow flurries.

See: Where to See Christmas Lights in Dallas

The Oakdale Christmas House

With more than 600,000 lights splayed across half an acre of land, the Oakdale Christmas House is not only one of the top displays of Christmas lights [in] Tampa -- it’s also one of the best in the country. It features two outdoor TV presentations, inflatables, a nearly 200-piece manger scene, a train and railroad, and carnival rides, to start. And the roof of the house is topped with four giant Christmas trees -- made entirely of lights, of course.