Holidays kick off today with downtown Tampa’s Winter Village

It’s that time of year.

Downtown Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is transforming into a winter wonderland.

Winter Village kicks off today with a variety of activities, including the Bay area’s only outdoor ice rink.

And this year, the celebration is even larger.

The event opens Friday at 6 p.m. with an opening ceremony followed by free skating and a free outdoor showing of the holiday movie “White Christmas.”

This year’s Winter Village also will include additional movies on the lawn, pop-up shops with local boutiques, new food and treat options and the Winter Village Express, a holiday-themed street car that will run on Sundays from Ybor City to Curtis Hixon Park serving milk and cookies along the way.

“People want to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather we have here in Florida,” said Kelsy Van Camp with the Tampa Downtown Partnership. “They want to bring their families and start making those holiday experiences so we’re really happy to provide an opportunity for them to come out here.”

After today, skating at the outdoor rink will cost $13. Rental skates are available.

The Winter Village will run through Jan. 5.