The holiday season is finally here, which means there are a ton of great family friendly events and activities happening around the Bay Area. Not only is this a great time to spend bonding with far-away family members, but there are some new traditions you can make. Here are some of our favorite events to get into that wonderful holiday spirit.

For the Whole Family

Symphony in Lights Bring the family out to the Shops at Wiregrass to not only get some holiday shopping done at the fabulous stores, but to enjoy the symphony in lights as well. Choreographed to the music of the Trans Siberian Orchestra, the 55 foot trimmed tree is lit with over 25,000 lights that change with the music. Shows begin every hour on the hour from 6-9 p.m. in the center court.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Experience the Bay Area’s largest Christmas celebration. Beginning Nov. 28 and running through Dec. 31 on select nights, guests at Busch Gardens can enjoy a winter wonderland with lights, elves and Santa Claus himself. Guests will also enjoy special entertainment, live music and Christmas and holiday treats. This year’s event is included with any annual pass, Fun Card or daily admission to the park.

Ice Palace Featuring Frozen at International Plaza

Experience a winter wonderland that celebrates the release of the Disney Frozen Sing-Along Edition on DVD and Digital HD. The Ice Palace will feature elements from the animated film as well as falling snow, a light show and other interactive activities. Guests end their journey with a visit to Santa and a special book. Best of all, it is free, and you can get your Christmas shopping done! The event runs through January 4.

Ice at Gaylord Palms

Join Clara and her Nutcracker Prince for a magical adventure in more than 2 million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures and four ice slides at Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando. Watch a carver create sculptures before your eyes and experience a full nativity as part of this unique Christmas tradition. Visit for more information. This event runs through December 24.

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown

Celebrate the season with the Peanuts gang. Through Jan. 11, the Tampa Bay History Center features classic Peanuts comic strips, memorabilia, and behind-the-scenes looks at the making of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Guests will get to learn everything they wanted to know about the Peanuts Gang. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is included with general admission to the museum.

Holiday FantaSea at the Florida Aquarium

It’s the ultimate winter water wonderland with cool stuff for everyone at the Florida Aquarium. From December 26th to 30th, there will be a play area featuring real snow for the kids. There will also be spectacular holiday lights and extended hours until 6:30 p.m. All exhibits will be open as well.

New Years Eve Events

Noon Year’s Eve at the Zoo Chime in the new year at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for a midday celebration. Party includes games, arts and crafts and live entertainment. Guests will pull out the noisemakers at noon for a 2015 juice toast. Included with zoo admission.

Aqua Eve New Year’s Celebration

Bring in 2015 with a splash at this celebration hosted by the Florida Aquarium. Enjoy live entertainment, complimentary food, beer and wine and fireworks.

Noon Year’s Eve at the Glazer Museum

The Glazer Children’s museum is hosting Noon Year’s eve with balloon drop, party hats, and noisemakers. It is included in the price of admission to the museum and the party starts at 11 a.m. running through the noon hour.

For more events, visit