There are two major New Years Eve Fireworks displays going on in Tampa Bay to ring in 2012. The good news is that both sides of the bay have display options for fireworks. Tampa’s Channelside option is more geared towards the twenty-somethings who party hard while the Pinellas option in St. Petersburg is kids, teens, family’s and the older singles crowd.
Light Up Tampa Bay
The party in Tampa for New Years Eve starts at 1pm at Tampa’s downtown Channelside district. Enjoy live music, entertainment, dining, nightlife and a huge fireworks display at midnight over Tampa Bay. Channelside’s New Years Eve Celebration begins at 1PM is a free and open to the public event.
Make it a day long celebration by eating at one of the many restaurants in Channelside district and then some after dinner drinks. Some of the restaurants and bars with waterside views are taking reservations so call ahead. Plus, Tampa Bay Lightning are playing the Carolina Hurricanes at the newly renamed Tampa Bay Times Forum. The game starts at 5 PM on NYE. Going to the game before all the New Year’s Eve celebrating is a great date night option for the sports loving couple.
Viewing of the Fireworks from the Wharf Area will be limited to only the first 3,000 people. Wristbands will be given out for access at the Garrison Street Gate at 8:30 pm. Only people with wristbands will be allowed on the wharf for the midnight fireworks. No coolers or fireworks allowed.
This is really not a event that you want your children to be at. The party goers are young and the crowds are large. St. Petersburg has a better option for the teens in your family to enjoy New Years Eve.
First Night St. Pete
First Night St. Petersburg is more family friendly plus, it’s alcohol-free. There is a cost for all the concerts and entertainment. To enjoy all the First Night St Pete event you have to buy a button and wear it for entry into all the different events. The button will cost you $10 per person or child. Children 5 and under are free.
Not only is this event more child friendly it is a great option to satisfy that picky teen in your household as well.
Here are just some events going on in St. Peterburg.
For the younger family members
5–8:00, The Pier
Winter Olympics Skating
6–Midnight, North Straub Park
Bring your own socks
Former American Idol Michael Lynche
performing with the B Tampa Bay Steel Orchestra
7–8:00, First United Methodist Church
Disco Eve at the Mahaffey with Q105. Tickets Are Two for One and Start at $75 . Walk ups welcomed.
There are two fireworks displays in St Petersburg over the Vinoy Basin one at 9PM and the other at midnight. The early display is perfect for the young ones and the teens who have a curfew.
Best spots for viewing the both sets of fireworks include Straub Park, Vinoy Park, the Pier, North Shore Park and Demens Landing.
For adult options of dinner and drinks before the fireworks call ahead for reservations. The best restaurants like Bella Brava, require reservations. The fire-pit bar area at the Renaissance Vinoy is hot spot for hanging out while having a drink or two.
- Best New Year’s Eve Parties Around Tampa Bay (tampa.cbslocal.com)
- Tampa Bay’s Best Movie Theaters With Food And Alcohol (tampa.cbslocal.com)
- Maxine Nightingale, Sister Sledge and Gloria Gaynor at Mahaffey for New Years (tampa.cbslocal.com)