By Michelle Colesanti

Central Florida is most noted for its theme parks, but not too far away from the hustle and bustle is Bok Tower Gardens, a quiet alternative. Since 1929, visitors have enjoyed this oasis in central Florida, where visitors can enjoy historic landscape gardens and the unique Singing Tower carillon, along with Pinewood Estate, a 20 room magnificent 1930’s Mediterranean-style mansion.  Bok Tower Gardens offers visitors a place of artistic, cultural, personal and spiritual enrichment.

This holiday season, festive events at Bok Tower Gardens will run through January 4, 2015.  This year celebrates the 20th Anniversary Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate, special carillon concerts, winter garden tours, poinsettia displays and much more.

The Sunset & Symphony Holiday Concert featuring the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will take place on Saturday, December 6 from 6-9:30 p.m.

Prior to the concert, the Instrument Petting Zoo begins at 4:30 p.m. Guests can meet Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra musicians and learn about the instruments they play. Guests can try their hand at a variety of instruments with the help of the musicians on the Olmsted House lawn.

Bring the family and prepare themed picnics and experience a magical evening as the sun sets atop Iron Mountain. Advance tickets cost $20 per person, $8 per child ages 5-12.

Now in its 20th year, Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens has become one of Central Florida’s favorite holiday destinations. With glittering decorations at the 20th anniversary Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate and bright, colorful poinsettia displays lining the River of Stone, visitors will notice a touch of Christmas on everything at the Gardens.

The Bok Tower Website notes, “We have also added many new activities including a family holiday weekend, decorating workshops, special nighttime carillon concert with live choir, and much more. We invite you to gather with your family and friends and escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season. With a host of festive events, there is something for everyone to enjoy this Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens.”

Christmas Combo Admission Tickets are available and includes admission to Bok Tower Gardens, admission to the Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate, poinsettia displays, carillon concerts, winter walking tours and more. Visit boktowergardens.org/christmas/.