How to get your family out of the house this holiday season - WFLA News Channel 8

How to get your family out of the house this holiday season

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Bok Tower Gardens carillon Bok Tower Gardens carillon
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Bok Tower Gardens is celebrating traditions at its 19th annual Holiday Home tour through January 5th.

The landmark is located just east of Lake Wales in Polk County, and features the singing tower with 60-bell carillon, botanical gardens, and the Pinewood Estate.

President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the tower in 1929, and since then more than 23-million visitors have made the trip to the gardens.

Brian Ososky, director of marketing and public relations, says Edward Bok constructed the tower and gardens after his grandmother gave him some advice.

"Edward Bok, when he was a young boy, was told by his grandmother, to make you the world a bit more better or beautiful because you've lived in it. And so Bok lived his life that way," said Ososky.

Carillonneur Geert D'Hollander plays Christmas music on the Carillon during the holiday season. He says this time of year holds a special place in his heart.

"I think the bells have something to do with peace," said D'Hollander, who has been a carillonneur for more than two decades.  "And Christmas time is about peace too. So it's the special connection that ... And if you play Christmas songs on a carillon, people just love it. "

Every room in the adjacent Pinewood Estate is also decorated for Christmas.  Individual local businesses decorate each room and compete for which one is best.

There are also activities for the children at Bok Tower Gardens.

"Kids can look for our buddy the elf, we have a little elf hunt," said Jennifer Beam, who is the visitor services & programs Director. "We have a little café outside, grab a drink, enjoy the carillon music from Pinewood if they would like. "

Bok Tower Gardens is open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Last admission is 5 p.m.
Admission is $12 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12.  Members and children under 5 are admitted free.  You can visit Bok Tower Gardens' website for more information.

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