Christmas Festivities at Bok Tower Gardens

Bok’s Christmas allure goes beyond Pinewood Estate

Bok Tower 300x225The Christmas festivities at Bok Tower Gardens are now under way and take place daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Jan. 3.

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 Orchestra (Dec. 5), winter walking tours, and more.

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 mansion’s decorations change each Christmas, and no two years are ever the same. For the 2015 edition, it’s 1937 and Pinewood Estate owner C. Austin Buck has invited his daughters and granddaughters to spend a holiday vacation with him in Florida, yielding this year’s design theme, “To Grandfather’s House We Go!”

The mansion’s decorations change each Christmas, and no two years are ever the same. For the 2015 edition, it’s 1937 and Pinewood Estate owner C. Austin Buck has invited his daughters and granddaughters to spend a holiday vacation with him in Florida, yielding this year’s design theme, “To Grandfather’s House We Go!”

All the rooms are lovingly decorated by different sponsored designers and volunteers while the hallways, entrances and other spaces are adorned by The Amaryllis Club at Bok Tower Gardens who have handcrafted much of the décor. Each room design has a different focus, and each brings out that special feeling of being together with family at Christmastime.

Children are encouraged to tour the 1930s-style home and participate in a fun hunt for a family of Pinewood Christmas Squirrels who are hiding throughout the Estate. An activity actually enjoyed just as much by adult visitors!

“This year’s Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate is elegant, yet warm and cozy,” says Jennifer Beam, director of visitor services & programs. “We want our visitors to feel like they’re coming home to celebrate Christmas with Bok Tower Gardens.”

With as much work that goes into every detail of the décor, the Holiday Home Tour wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated help from dozens of people who began preparing several months in advance.

“The staff, volunteers and designers who make this event happen have worked tirelessly throughout the year to plan for a spectacular display,” Beam said. “A project of this size and scope is truly a team effort.”

  • Following is a breakdown of the Holiday Home Tour room themes, designers and sponsors:
    Butler’s Pantry, Setting the Stage —Designed by the Bok Tower Gardens Volunteer Decorating Committee
  • Dining Room & Cigar Porch, Holiday Cheer & Merriment, —Sponsored by Wish Vintage Rentals, Designed by Lisa Malott
  • Mr. Buck’s Office, Oasis of Calm, —Sponsored by 1026 SoFlo Fine Art Gallery & Marketplace, Designed by Mary May Witte and Bill Hinson
  • The Loggia, The Heart of Christmas, —Sponsored by Nettle Creek, Designed by Candace Holladay, Courtney Marshall, Pat Weber, and Heather Wilson
  • Living Room & Porches, Holiday Tea, —Sponsored and Designed by The Amaryllis Club at Bok Tower Gardens
  • Mr. Buck’s Suite, A Gentleman’s Retreat, —Designed by the Bok Tower Gardens Volunteer Decorating Committee
  • The History Room (Bedroom 2), Christmas Through the Years, —Courtesy of the Bok Tower Gardens Volunteer Decorating Committee; Décor by Shelba Powell
  • Bedroom 3, Ribbons & Pearls, —Sponsored by CenterState Bank of Lake Wales, Designed by CenterState Bank Staff
  • Bedroom 4, Christmas Elegance, —Sponsored by Carlton’s Flowers & Cornerstone Events, Designed by Emily Eckstein
  • Lucy’s Bedroom, Winter Vacation with Granddaddy, —Sponsored by the Lake Wales Museum & Cultural Center, Designed by Monica Drake-Pierce
  • Special thanks to The Amaryllis Club at Bok Tower Gardens —Sponsored and Designed the Entrance Gates, Exterior, Entry Hall, Round Room, Lower Hall, Upper Hall, Landing, Morning Room, Living Room and adjacent Porches

See Full Article