Lights in Bloom® returns to Selby Gardens’ downtown Sarasota campus for 20 nights, starting Dec. 11

Tickets selling quickly for many nights, with holiday event scheduled through Jan. 2

This is the Wedding Oak adorned for the 2021 presentation of Lights in Bloom®. Photo by Cliff Roles, courtesy of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

On Dec. 11, Lights in Bloom®: An Open-air Holiday Light Show will return to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ downtown Sarasota campus, Selby Gardens has announced.

“But with tickets selling quickly through both Selby Gardens’ website and its Welcome Center, purchasing tickets early is strongly advised,” a news release points out.

Lights in Bloom® features more than 2 million lights “illuminating the gardens and walkways throughout the 15-acre site,” the release says. This iconic holiday experience will be presented on 20 select nights from Saturday, Dec. 11, through Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, the release adds. “The opening evening has sold out.”

“Lights in Bloom® transforms our downtown Sarasota campus into a holiday wonderland and a wonderful place to gather outdoors with friends and family,” said Jennifer Rominiecki, president & CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, in the release. “We’re seeing this annual tradition’s appeal in just how quickly tickets have been selling. We encourage guests to secure their tickets now to ensure they can join the fun this year,” she added in the release.

This is the Caterpillar Tunnel as it will appear during the 2021 Lights in Bloom®. Photo by Cliff Roles, courtesy of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

“The much-loved light show” includes annual favorites such as a field of antlered pink flamingos dubbed ‘Florida reindeer’; a winding, 180-foot-long Caterpillar Tunnel; “and an inspiring ‘Wishing Tree’ to which visitors can tie colored ribbons with their handwritten wishes,” the release notes.

“Among new displays and innovations is a soaring ‘rain banyan’ streaming colorful lights from high up in its canopy. Diving, lighted dolphins have joined the lovable manatees in the lagoon behind historic Payne Mansion. Colorfully detailed video is projected onto the Children’s Rainforest waterfall this year in addition to the Selby House. And the ever-popular butterfly lights have fittingly flown into the Butterfly Garden.”

In addition to the lights, the release points out, guests may enjoy “a signature holiday photo opportunity,” children’s arts and crafts, face painting and balloon art, among other activities. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, including a cash bar, the release adds.

This is how the Selby House will look with the Lights in Bloom® projection. Photo by Cliff Roles, courtesy of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Selby Gardens offers several admission options for Lights in Bloom®. General admission starts at 6 p.m., while an early entry ticket offers access at 5 p.m., the release notes. On Dec. 18, a special “Selby Experience” option includes reserved parking, early entry, food, and drinks, the release adds.

The Gardens close at 9 p.m. during Lights in Bloom®.

For pricing and to purchase tickets, visit

Lights in Bloom® is in the running for USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice award for Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights in the country, the release also reminds the public. “In 2019, Lights in Bloom® finished ninth in the national competition.”