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

Posted: Updated:
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.

Get weather on the go! Download WeatherMax today. It’s FREE. http://8.wfla.com/1etbepy


  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Tax free back to school shopping is here

    Tax free back to school shopping is here

    Friday, August 1 2014 6:23 AM EDT2014-08-01 10:23:38 GMT
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
  • Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:10:55 GMT
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
  • Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:45:52 GMT
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Pinellas school district asks Crist to pull TV ad

    Pinellas school district asks Crist to pull TV ad

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:32 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:32:42 GMT
    The Pinellas County school district is asking former Gov. Charlie Crist to pull a television ad filmed at an area high school.
    The Pinellas County school district is asking former Gov. Charlie Crist to pull a television ad filmed at an area high school.
  • Closing US 301 for repairs create headaches

    Closing US 301 for repairs create headaches

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:16 AM EDT2014-08-01 04:16:16 GMT
    It’s been a headache for many who travel U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview after the roadway was shut down. But FDOT expects the roadway to be back open about midnight Thursday.After a nearby construction crew damaged a 24-inch water line in the area, water poured out and created a hole, damaging the asphalt on U.S. 301.“It’s still every penny counts, I would say $30 to $50 possibly,” is how much the road closure cost Bee...
    It’s been a headache for many who travel U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview after the roadway was shut down. But FDOT expects the roadway to be back open about midnight Thursday.After a nearby construction crew damaged a 24-inch water line in the area, water poured out and created a hole, damaging the asphalt on U.S. 301.“It’s still every penny counts, I would say $30 to $50 possibly,” is how much the road closure cost Bee...
  • New "Fire challenge" video spurs warnings

    New "Fire challenge" video spurs warnings

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-08-01 02:43:41 GMT
    Videos of a dangerous stunt are spreading all across social media. You can see examples on sites like Youtube and Facebook. It's called "The Fire Challenge" and involves young people dousing themselves with rubbing alcohol and lighting it up on their bodies. Burn victim and now, Tampa General Hospital volunteer, Joe Versaggi, knows all about the horrors of fire. He's undergone 30 surgeries after a fiery plane crash 8...
    Videos of a dangerous stunt are spreading all across social media. You can see examples on sites like Youtube and Facebook. It's called "The Fire Challenge" and involves young people dousing themselves with rubbing alcohol and lighting it up on their bodies. Burn victim and now, Tampa General Hospital volunteer, Joe Versaggi, knows all about the horrors of fire. He's undergone 30 surgeries after a fiery plane crash 8...
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Giraffe dies after smashing head on low highway bridge

    Giraffe dies after smashing head on low highway bridge

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:37 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:37:45 GMT
    A giraffe has been killed after smashing its head on a bridge while being transported dangerously on a highway in South Africa, wildlife officials said Thursday.
    A giraffe has been killed after smashing its head on a bridge while being transported dangerously on a highway in South Africa, wildlife officials said Thursday.
  • Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:48:04 GMT
    Facebook image from Dan FlynnFacebook image from Dan Flynn
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
  • Jury finds McTear guilty of 1st-degree murder in baby's death

    Jury finds McTear guilty of 1st-degree murder in baby's death

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:40:19 GMT
    The jury has reached a verdict for Richard McTear in the death of his ex-girlfriend’s baby.
    The jury has reached a verdict for Richard McTear in the death of his ex-girlfriend’s baby.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.