A Tropical Holiday Season – Christmas in St. Pete

Bonnibelle ChukwunetaDecember 3, 2018


St. Petersburg is a great destination choice for a holiday in paradise and I can literally come up with another blog post of reasons as to why you should visit during this time of year. Some Burgians might say that we don’t exactly have Christmas Christmas down here but that’s not true. If anything, it’s different, but welcome to Florida. What isn’t different?

The Burg is all about keeping it local and having a great sense of community, so you can only imagine the kind of festivities one can find during the holiday season. Even if it’s palm trees and pineapples we’re decorating, there’s plenty of holiday spirit to go around. Here are some things to do during the holiday season in St. Pete.

Things to Do in St. Pete This Holiday Season

Take Christmas Pictures Downtown

Nothing shouts Christmas and holiday season more than Christmas trees and decorations, and Downtown St. Petersburg is the place to find some if you’re in the area. DTSP is decorated with plenty of red, green, and plenty of lights to get you into the holiday mood. There are several locations perfect for a photo op, including North Straub Park, the Sundial, Beach Drive, and more. Make sure to visit at night to experience the holiday decorations to the fullest extent and make the most of the season.

Take a Waterfront Stroll and See the Holiday Lights

Going for a walk or run along the St. Pete waterfront is a good idea any time of year, but especially in December. Al Lang Park, Albert Whitted Park, Pioneer Park, and North and South Straub Parks are lit up and decorated for the holiday season until January 1. You’ll find a display of giant greeting cards at Vinoy Park on Bayshore Drive, crafted by St. Pete teens from the local recreation centers.

Go to the Holiday Night Market

1111 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL

Royal Palm Market is a local market featuring food, live music, craft cocktails, local boutiques, and plenty more. It takes place every Thursday and Friday night from 6 to 10pm this holiday season and makes for a different experience compared to day markets. From organic produce to succulents to locally made treasures like soaps and candles, there’s no shortage of interesting items one can find. Definitely worth checking out with friends or a date.

Check Out the Gulfport Holiday Hoopla

3101 Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport, FL 33707

The Gulfport Holiday Hoopla is a holiday street fair featuring and celebrating over half a mile of food, arts, and crafts from local artisans, craftsmen, and artists. 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Gulfport Holiday Hoopla, so count on it being special. There’s a variety of holiday music as well as characters and carolers. You’ll experience true local flare in a gorgeous waterfront atmosphere while shopping for unique gifts for friends and loved ones. Stay late to catch the Boca Ciega Yacht Club’s Annual Lighted Boat Parade.

Watch a Boat Parade

Speaking of boat parades, how awesome does a Christmas boat parade sound? We actually have a number to choose from in the St. Petersburg area, and you can’t go wrong whichever you decide. St. Pete’s boat parade was canceled this year due to ongoing construction of the new pier, but is expected to resume in 2019. Thankfully, there are boat parades on the gulf coast that are equally worth checking out. I recommend going to John’s Pass and catching the Treasure Island Boat Parade from the boardwalk. Drinks and delicious food on the pier while watching what’s often dubbed “Vegas on water”? Sounds good to me.

Holiday Boat Parade – Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Snag a Gift or Two at a Boutique

St. Pete’s all about keeping it local and so am I. Boutiques are an excellent place to get gifts because you often find handcrafted goods you can’t get anywhere else. St. Pete has a plethora of boutiques to choose from. This holiday season marks the opening of Holly’s Holiday Boutique, St. Pete’s first ever pop-up brick-and-mortar holiday boutique. Located on Central Avenue and across the street from Ashe Couture Boutique, expect to find crafts and items like locally made St. Pete apparel and traveler cocktail sets, perfect for the jet-setter in your family.

Holiday Movies at Vinoy Park

Holiday movies are a great way to get into the holiday mood. Watching movies in the park is nothing new, but there’s no better place to do it than at Vinoy Park. Holiday movies in a gorgeous waterfront location and occasional visits from dolphins. Admission is totally free and open to the public. Make sure to bring bug spray just in case.

2018 Holiday Movie Schedule

12/7 – A Christmas Story

12/14 – The Santa Clause

12/21 – Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws

Need a place to stay this holiday season? Here’s a list of places to stay in Downtown St. Pete!

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