TAMPA, Fla. — Where can you spy on Santa's reindeer, meet the Three Wise Men, and enjoy a little snow? It's closer than you think - it's Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay!
But what is 'Christmas Town', you ask? Exactly what it sounds like: it's what happens when you take a Tampa theme park and Christmas and smush them together!
Christmas on Ice
One of this year's highlights at the event involves Christmas trees, Central Park, and love — all playing out inside the Moroccan Palace.
"Basically like looking into a snow globe,” explained skater Alex Nacsa.
Nacsa is one-half of a dreamy skating pair performing in "Christmas on Ice," one of the event's signature live shows. Throughout his performance with his partner they practically flip their way into a Lifetime Christmas Movie.
You see, Nacsa's partner, Allison, just isn't his skating partner. She's his "partner partner."
So what’s it like to skate with your main squeeze?
“It’s great — I love it,” said Allison Nacsa. “I get to spend every day doing what I love with the person I love. This time of year we get to do 'Christmas on Ice' and it's one of my favorite shows to skate, so it's amazing."
"I get to skate with the person that I love, doing what I love doing," said Alex, mirroring his wife’s comments. “All we are doing is having fun out there, and hopefully you are having fun with us."
Better than a lifetime Christmas movie, you say? Yes, I agree.
Getting lit with Santa
Christmas Town itself is, of course, all decked out for the holiday. It's lit and filled with decorations, holiday music, and an angel statue come to life.
If it happens to be cold outside on your visit, there’s also hot chocolate.
The big sell, though, is at Santa's House, where you'll find Santa’s helpers, cookies, and Mrs. Claus.
The best part, though, is one-on-one time with Santa in his study. It’s just you and the kids with the big guy and his elves.
No one is in a line behind you. No one is rushing you.
That could mean a long line for moms, dads, grandparents or caregivers, so bring a stroller and a snack. The payoff will be on your little person’s face.
Rudolph is cool, but ...
Also featured at Christmas Town are the characters from the beloved TV movie "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." But I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my favorite Christmas Town character isn't the ruby-nosed reindeer at the head of the sleigh.
It's Bumble. You know, Rudolph's Abominable Snowman buddy from the movie?
He's there, too, in all his abominably cuddly glory.
You can join them all and drink in as much Christmas cheer as you can handle at Christmas Town through December 31.