Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens is an annual celebration for all ages and one of the best times of year to visit the National Historic Landmark, located just outside the Central Florida city of Lake Wales. Events and festivities take place daily November 25 through January 8.
Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens is an annual celebration for all ages and one of the best times of year to visit. Events and festivities take place daily November 25 through January 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The ever-popular Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate is the highlight of Bok Tower Gardens’ season of holiday-themed events, but the Christmas fun doesn’t stop there. Visitors will enjoy poinsettia, bromeliad and amaryllis displays, live music on the 205-foot Singing Tower carillon, Sunset & Symphony Holiday Concert with the Orlando Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra (December 3), winter walking tours, and a variety of educational programs.
Scroll down for the full schedule.
Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate
Touring the 20-room, 1932 Mediterranean-style Pinewood Estate is like taking a step back in time for a glimpse of how families might have celebrated the holidays during a bygone era. The estate’s decorations change each Christmas, and no two years are ever the same. For the 2016 edition, it is 1940’s post war and Pinewood Estate owner C. Austin Buck has invited his whole family to celebrate the holidays in Florida and the safe return of his son from the war, yielding this year’s design theme, “Home for the Holidays!”
Adding Sparkle to a National Historic Landmark
Inspired by the history and beauty of Pinewood Estate, members of The Amaryllis Club are decorating the main floor of the estate and the entry gates. A volunteer patron group, their mission is to promote and preserve the heritage and vintage style of this historic home, and to take on other special projects on behalf of the Gardens. They will be joined by three additional community room design partners including: Citizen’s Bank (Mr. Buck’s Bedroom), Nettle Creek (Lucy’s Bedroom) and the Lake Wales Museum (one of the guest bedrooms).
A Holiday Hunt for the Whole Family
Children are encouraged to tour the historic estate and participate in a fun hunt for a family of Pinewood Christmas Squirrels who are hiding throughout the Estate. Before or after the tour, families can also enjoy the all-new Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden with nearly three acres of nature inspired play areas and gardens.
Winter Walking Tours
- November 25 – January 8
- Monday – Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and Noon
- Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
Gardens’ volunteers lead an hour-long winter walking tour, sharing information about the flora and fauna and guiding visitors through the Gardens from the Visitor Center to the Singing Tower.
Included with general Gardens admission.
Christmas Carillon Concerts LIVE!
- November 25 – January 8
Geert D’hollander performs Christmas music from around the world at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday on the 60-bell Singing Tower carillon.
All 30-minute carillon concerts included with Gardens admission.
Gingerbread Houses with Mrs. Claus
- Nov. 27 and Dec. 11 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Gingerbread Houses with Mrs. Claus is fun for the whole family; decorate your own gingerbread house and take a tour of the Holiday Home Tour. Each participant will receive their own gingerbread house to decorate and storybook to take home, which will be read by visiting Mrs. Claus.
$40 per child, includes admission to Holiday Home Tour, gingerbread house and storybook (price includes admission for one chaperone). Regular admission applies to additional chaperones and guests.
1940's HoliDAYS at Pinewood Estate
- November 29, December 6, 13, 20 and 27 at 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
See vintage Model A’s outside Pinewood Estate, meet historical characters from the 1940's, and catch a few surprise personalities from the past.
Included with Gardens admission.
Sunset & Symphony Holiday Concert with the Orlando Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra with special guest Michael Andrew
- December 3
Enjoy the sounds of the season as the Orlando Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra and Singing Tower carillon perform in one of Central Florida’s favorite holiday concerts. Visitors are encouraged to prepare themed picnics and arrive early to participate in the instrument petting zoo beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Advance tickets are $20/adults; $8/children ages 5-12. Children under 5 free.
Holiday Happy Hour at Pinewood Estate
- December 7 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Join your friends for an early evening tour of Pinewood Estate and toast the season with a complimentary drink, light fare and holiday tunes.
$35.00 per person; ages 21 and over. Call 863-734-1222 for more information.
Holiday Home Workshop “Living Succulent Wreath”
- December 10, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Spend the morning with Project Blooming founder, Linda Worle creating a beautiful succulent wreath. It's easy to mix succulents in an array of types and colors that will last year-round. Workshop includes instruction, basic framework materials, and plants.
Advance tickets are required and can be purchased for $70.00.
UF/IFAS Extension Partnership Celebrated Chef Series: Three Authors and A Rancher
- December 17 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
“Field to Feast, Recipes Celebrating Florida Farmers, Chefs, and Artisans” authors Heather McPherson, Pam Brandon and Katie Farmand, along with members of the Lightsey Cattle family, will cook, entertain with stories, and serve small bites of everything from rib-eye hot off the grill to delicious olive oil cake. Each guest will receive a signed copy of “Field to Feast” ($29.95 value), and the authors will be on hand to personalize copies – with additional copies for sale at a discount for holiday gifts.
Tickets are $55.00 per person.
Carillon & Chorale Concert plus Holiday Home Tour Open Late
- December 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Enjoy an hour-long carillon concert with a live choir under the stars. Pinewood Estate remains open late for a special nighttime tour complete with hot chocolate and cookies. Light dinner available at the Blue Palmetto Café before the concert for an additional fee.
Last entry to Pinewood Estate is 7 p.m. Concert Only: $10/adult and $5/child. Concert & Home Tour: $18/adult and $11/child.
Christmas Day at Bok Tower Gardens
- December 25
Celebrate Christmas Day and enjoy the sounds of the season with live carillon concerts at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Holiday Home Tour open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Café and gift shop open 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
PLEASE NOTE: Regular Gardens admission and Holiday Home Tour rates apply to Christmas Day.