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12 Years of Lights in Bloom

Selby Gardens is featured weekly on ABC7 News at Noon. Tune in Thursdays to see more informative segments like this one.

This December, Lights in Bloom returns to Selby Gardens for its twelfth year, bringing Sarasota a stunning display of more than half a million twinkling lights from December 18 thru the 30th. Come explore the Gardens’ tropical take on holiday traditions, from the Bromeliad Tree to the Radiant Rainforest.

Start your tour at the family-friendly Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden. At sunset play swings and tropical huts fade in the glow of giant lighted butterflies and oversized flowers swinging from the treetops. This year, a magnificent lighted aerial net trying to capture the butterflies adds to the playfulness.

Another family-favorite spot for the young and young-at-heart is Santa’s Workshop and Toyland. Overlooking Sarasota Bay, Saint Nicholas will be taking photos with families in the days leading up to Christmas Eve before he heads to the North Pole. There are also old-fashioned games to enjoy like tic-tac-toe, spinning tops and bean bag toss. Nearby at the historic Payne Mansion, nightly entertainment of live music and dance performers add to this festive area of the event.

Of course, the holidays are also a time to reflect on the year that has passed and contemplate the future. For these quieter moments, visitors are invited to write down their thoughts and dreams for the year ahead at The Wishing Tree. This is the very same type of bodhi tree that Buddah sat under when he attained enlightenment and is a special spot for many Gardens visitors. Different colored ribbons represent happiness, tranquility, peace, celebration, or can be left in memory of a friend or loved one.

The holiday season isn’t complete without a few surprises, including a new wave tunnel of lights that transports you from the tropics to a winter wonderland. And, there just may be a chance of snowfall, even in sunny Sarasota. Happy Holidays! We look forward to seeing you in the Gardens!

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