ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Christmas would not be the same without twinkling lights, a tradition that children and grownups look forward to each year.
This holiday season, St. Petersburg Tropicana Field has been turned into a winter wonderland with more than 2 million colorful lights and larger than life sculptures in the 90,000 square foot space. It’s the first time the creators of Enchant Christmas have brought the holiday display to Florida.
"It is considered the world's largest light maze," Stephen Riordan, city manager of Enchant Christmas in St. Peterburg said.
It’s a light maze that begins with a story titled “The Great Search," revolving around Santa’s nine famous friends: his reindeer.
“All of Santa’s reindeer were released accidentally out of their stable into the forest,” Riordan said of the plot.
Guests are given a scratch-off postcard with the names of Rudolph, Prancer, Dasher, Comet, Cupid, Blitzen, Donner, Vixen and Dancer. After they have chosen a door to enter the light maze, they have to help Santa and save Christmas by searching for the reindeer.
Each path of the maze leads guests through Christmas trees, huge snowflakes, icicles and, finally, to jolly Saint Nick who’ll be waiting to take pictures with the little ones.
“To be able to have this kind of experience here in Florida is really, really exciting,” Riordan said.
Riordan said guests might even catch a special moment if they’re close to the large diamond ring sculpture placed in the maze.
"We've had some engagements here at Enchant Christmas where people get in front of that engagement ring and propose to their sweetheart," he said.
The light attraction also features a German-themed Christmas market and an ice skating rink.
At the center of the maze is an 80-foot lit pine tree. The creators of this holiday attraction, which began in Vancouver, wanted to bring the winter feeling to the Sunshine State.
“It does make you get into the spirit so much greater so much more quickly and with so much more excitement and I think what we’re doing here at St. Pete is bringing that from maybe other parts of the country,” Riordan, a native of Florida said. “You get that same experience without having to bundle up for 30 and 40-degree weather.”
What to know before you go:
Enchant Christmas runs through Dec. 29 from 4 to 11 p.m. daily.
Admission prices: $19.99-$32.99, depending on the date (Tuesdays are cheapest), $14.99-$25.99 for children 4-14.
There are discounts for military, emergency workers and students.