Local Holiday Festivities for the Whole Family

If there’s one thing we love about living in Southwest Florida, it’s the festive spirit within and around our community here in Wellen Park. 

While holiday activities might look a bit different this year, there are still plenty of nearby attractions for you to safely get into the spirit of the season. From lights shows to holiday garden activations to gingerbread house competitions, round up the family for a fun-filled afternoon of festivities you just won’t want to miss.

University Town Center’s Holiday Festival of Lights

Less than 30 minutes away from Wellen Park, you’ll find the University Town Center celebrating their Holiday Festival of Lights. Expect the entire shopping center to be lit up until January 3rd, 2021 with countless light displays that you won’t want to miss. 

As the perfect family weekend activity, take the kids to experience the lights show choreographed to music, holiday movies under the stars on Fridays and Saturdays, firework shows, horse-drawn carriage rides, an outdoor holiday market, Ugly Sweater Alley, and giant holiday greeting card displays decorated by local schools.

Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Garden’s Gardens Aglow Event 

The 2nd Annual Gardens Aglow activation is the perfect place to fully embrace the gorgeous holiday weather in Southwest Florida. With plenty of open-air, outdoor space to explore, wander around the Garden’s sculptures and lights displays to take in the magic of the season. 

Located less than 40 minutes away in Punta Gorda, the annual lights show offers a stroll around the gardens full of thousands of lights and music, Zoom calls with Santa, s’mores roasting over the fire pit, food trucks, and activities for the whole family. Stop in the Garden Gift Shop to check out their holiday selection, too. 

Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida’s 12th Annual Gingerbread Festival 

If you love a good-spirited holiday baking competition, the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida have presented a gingerbread village only a 30-minute drive from Wellen Park. This year’s 12th Annual Gingerbread Festival will be held from December 11th – 20th at The Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota and is open free of admission during mall hours. 

Whether you choose to make the drive to see the gingerbread houses in-person or admire them on their website, be sure to cast your vote for the best hand-crafted houses, created by more than 150 local schools, youth groups, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

Marie Selby Botanical Garden’s Lights in Bloom

There’s still time to drive over to the gorgeous Marie Selby Botanical Gardens for this year’s Lights In Bloom exhibit on December 27th, January 1st and January 2nd. This open-air holiday light show features more than two million lights illuminated throughout the gardens. Get lost in the beauty of sensory light tunnels, flowers, rainforest butterflies, dragonflies, and more created from Christmas lights. Complete your holiday season with a trip up to Sarasota for this can’t-miss attraction.

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