Christmas is right around the corner and that means it’s time to start thinking about gifts. Chances are, you’re trying to find the right gift for the special ones in your family. Sometimes, we pass up on the idea of giving an experience rather than an item. Whether it’s for your kids, cousins, or that special someone, here’s a Tampa Bay Experiences holiday gift guide to help.

There’s no shortage of activities in the Tampa Bay area. These days, it’s easy to take time with the family or loved ones for granted. With advanced technology like video calling, texting and other social media apps, people aren’t interacting as much face to face as they used to.

Shopping during the holidays is never easy. For kids, an article of clothing might fit one year and then be completely useless the next. Choosing experiences over traditional gifts can lead to a lifetime full of memories to remember and fun for the entire family! It might seem odd at first, but it might be just what you needed this Christmas season to give the perfect gift.

What events are happening in Tampa in 2024?

We can’t decide what events you should buy for gifts, but we’re here to help. Whether it’s for your kids who love theme parks, your partner that loves to cook, or your brother/sister that loves music, there are so many different options.

Florida has tons of theme parks all within a few hour drive of Tampa, You have Disney in Orlando, Busch Gardens, and so much more to choose from.  Gifting an experience isn’t just great for the holidays! Gift someone a ticket to an adventure for their birthday or anniversary, or Valentine’s Day. 

Check out all of these Tampa Bay Experiences that make the perfect gift for any occasion.

  • Hands-On Cooking Class

    One of the most popular Tampa Bay experiences can be found in Hyde Park Village. If you have someone in your life who loves to cook or bake, consider gifting them an upscale cooking class from Sur La Table. You can choose between different types of cuisine, dates, or class type (date night, family fun, baking, etc.). Not only are you gifting an experience that you can learn valuable lessons from, but depending on the class, you also get a three course meal! Other cooking class options also include cozymeal and AJ’s Kitchen Drawer.

     

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    A post shared by Sur La Table (@surlatable)

  • See A Show/Concert

    If someone in your family loves the theater, gifting them tickets to a show at the Straz Center is a great idea. The Straz Center has an exciting lineup of shows for the 2023-2024 season including Company, Next Generation Ballet®’s NUTCRACKER, MOLIN ROUGE! The Musical, Mrs. Doubtfire, Peter Pan, Clue, and more. Click here for available shows and tickets.


    Do you have a concert lover in your family? I’m sure if you gift them tickets to an upcoming show at Amalie Arena, they’ll be forever grateful! So many big names are coming to Tampa next year like TimMcgraw, Drake and J Cole, Madonna and more!

     

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  • For Thrill Seekers

    Gift your thrill-seeker an incredible two-hour ziplining adventure this holiday season. Empower Adventures located at 423 Lafayette Blvd, Oldsmar offers a great package for the holidays. for $50 a person you get a 2 Hour, fully-guided Zip Line Adventure including:

    5 Ziplines
    4 Adventure elements
    200 ft suspension bridge
    and a fun rappel while exploring Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve


    Another great and unique gift for thrill seekers could be a helicopter ride over Tampa Bay! Take flight over the Gulf of Mexico and sit back to enjoy breathtaking views of the coast of Tampa. Choose between a downtown tour, romantic tour, sunset tour, beach tour, quickie tour, or even just a gift card and let them choose their own adventure. Click here for more info.

     

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    Yacht Starship’s Bay Rocket, a 2,800-horsepower speedboat thrill ride running from 11 a.m.-sunset every weekend, Friday-Sunday. This “cruise” features views of the Bay and the skyline as well as interactive games, narration, a hand dance party, turns, bows, dips and 180-degree spins. Click here to book & more info!

  • Gift A Craft Experience

    There are multiple craft experiences around Tampa Bay you can gift someone. You don’t have to be a professional to participate in any of these super fun classes.

    Painting With A Twist:

    Painting with A Twist and Pinot’s Palette are instructor-led classes that give you the chance to create a painting on canvas. You can choose which class you want to take at the location near you or you can give a gift card and let them choose!


    Color Me Mine

    Color Me Mine is a pottery studio located in Tampa. They’ll help you select the perfect ceramic piece! You’ll select your paint colors – no limit to how many or how much! They’ll glaze it for you then you can enjoy your masterpiece. Choose a class that you think would be interesting or give a gift card!


    The Candle Pour

    Create your perfect scent at The Candle Pour in Hyde Park Village.

    The process in our shop only takes about 45 minutes for all products. Once your candle is poured, it will need to set for 2 hours before it is ready to go home (most of our flameless options can be taken with you immediately). Hyde Park provides several great options for shopping, restaurant, theatre & fitness to fill your time while you wait, or you can come another day to pick up your candle. Book a reservation as a gift or give them a gift card!

     

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    A post shared by The Candle Pour (@thecandlepour)

     

  • The Gift of Relaxation

    Resortpass is this cool service that lets you into popular Tampa Bay hotels amenities without booking a stay. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a staycation without spending money on a room! Visit the website, search your location, and browse through all of the participating hotels. Some hotels also offer passes available as monthly memberships so you can make daytime relaxation a regular part of your monthly routine. You can also give a gift card and let them choose their hotel preference!

  • Go On A Trip!

    Give the gift of flying! Start planning your next vacation by gifting plane tickets to your destination of choice!

     

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    A post shared by Tampa International Airport (@flytpa)

  • Theme Park Lovers

    Any theme park enthusiast would LOVE an annual pass to their favorite theme park this holiday. This is a gift that keeps on giving with annual pass perks and unlimited visits to your favorite theme park!

    Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is offering some limited-time Black Friday deals on single day tickets, Fun Cards, and Annual Passes. Other big Florida theme parks like Disney and Universal Studios don’t offer Black Friday specials, but you’re in luck if you’re a Florida resident. Click here to compare prices to each theme park.

  • Animal Lovers

    Visit the elephants, feed the giraffes, and watch the manatees swim. There’s so much to do and see at ZooTampa that makes for a great holiday gift. Any animal lover would go crazy over a membership that allows them to keep visiting their favorite exhibits. Maybe you’re already a member? Give the gift of an animal encounter instead!

     

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    A post shared by ZooTampa at Lowry Park (@zootampa)

  • Go To A Lightning Or Bucs Game

    Is there a sports lover in your family? Game day tickets are in high-demand for the Buccaneers and the Lightning! Both are incredible experiences that they won’t forget!

     

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    A post shared by Tampa Bay Lightning (@tblightning)

  • Explore Tampa On The Water

    Give the gift of exploration! Urban Kai Stand Up Paddle Board Shop in Tampa offers a wide range of SUP equipment, training, private lessons, and adventure tours. Click here for reservations. 

     

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