Holidays, Lights, Tampa
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How Floridians Celebrate the Holidays

Florida may not have snowmen and icicles, but we have holiday spirit. From festivities to fantastic shopping, the holiday season is in full swing around the Greater Tampa Bay area. Neighborhoods across our region will be hosting tree lightings, parties, and events for the holidays.  Our real estate team has compiled a few tips and ideas to help make your season merry and bright.

Seasonal Shopping & Festivities
Florida stores and malls go big when it comes to décor and attractions for the holidays. Up north, people linger in warm shopping centers to get out of the cold for hours, but Florida storeowners must compete with the wonderful weather luring shoppers to the outdoor parks and beaches instead of stores. The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel figured out a way to attract shoppers. During the December holidays, The Shops at Wiregrass present the Symphony in Lights in the evening with dancing light shows choreographed to music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, dazzling décor, and spectacular snow.

Downtown Tampa also creates a winter wonderland vibe with pop-up shops and ice-skating at the Winter Village in Curtis Hixon Park along downtown Tampa’s Riverwalk. Enjoy a cocoa from the waterfront snack bar and glide around the outdoor ice-skating rink this month.  The $14 fee for a 90-minute session includes skate rentals, which is convenient considering ice skates are much less common than flip-flops in Floridians’ closets.

Holiday Decorations and Donations
Florida’s holiday style overflows with decorative displays and charitable giving.  Just drive down Tampa’s streets in Carrollwood Village or Hyde Park to see brightly lit homes. In Pinellas County, you may visit Florida Botanical Gardens to discover flourishing natural wonders decked out with twinkling lights. The Holiday Lights in the Gardens is a seasonal escape with over 1 million LED lights on display this month.

For a grandiose display of vintage décor, check out the annual Victorian Christmas Stroll at Tampa’s Plant Museum on Kennedy Boulevard now through Dec. 23.  Sip cider and tour the museum to view tall trees with thousands of lights, decorations, and endless garland.

After you’ve dazzled your eyes, you can warm your heart by helping a local charity or non-profit.  The holidays are a special time to donate to food pantries.  Feeding Tampa Bay is the largest food rescue and distribution organization in our area. Feeding Tampa Bay partners with neighborhood non-profits, such as The Community Food Pantry in Carrollwood, allowing you to provide meals and groceries for families in need in a particular area. Our real estate team encourages you to check your neighborhood or local church for opportunities to donate or volunteer.  For example, we are proud to volunteer for Operation Helping Hand, a non-profit providing support for the families of wounded and injured active-duty military. We enjoy helping with their special dinners on the third Thursday of each month at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital.

Whether donating to charities, shopping for loved ones, or simply enjoying decorations and festivities with your family and friends – holiday joy is overflowing around the Greater Tampa Bay area.

We hope you enjoy a happy holiday season.  We are here to assist you now and throughout the New Year.  Contact Dick and Karla Nielsen at 813-294-5786 for more information about neighborhoods, home buying, investing, and home selling across Florida.