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Orlando Museum of Art’s annual Festival of Trees celebrates the Season of Joy

by Susan and Simon Veness

The Christmas season is nearly here! Ring in the holidays in person or online as the Orlando Museum of Art presents its Festival of Trees, with this year’s theme of “Joy to the World – Celebrating a Season of Joy.”

orlando museum of art

For the last 34 years, the Orlando Museum of Art has made the festive season even more joyful as it transforms into a holiday wonderland with its annual Festival of Trees. Wander along the museum’s decorated hallways; enjoy more than 25 elaborately adorned designer Christmas trees in various sizes; and wonder at stunning gingerbread houses, festive vignettes, hand-designed wreaths, and elegant Entertaining By Design table settings. Many of the items on display are available for purchase.

Pop-up vendors and gift boutiques will be on hand, and local entertainers will enhance the holiday spirit through seasonally inspired musical performances. Visiting with youngsters? Santa Claus “sightings” take place on weekends so that children can pass on their written “wish lists.”

In recognition of the challenges endured in 2020 and the need for a cheery end to a difficult year, the event will be held both in-person and through online tours of the decorations and displays, virtual events, and even the opportunity to purchase a Christmas tree without leaving the comfort of your own home.

In-person and online visitors can also purchase tickets for special drawings, and all proceeds from the event go toward supporting the museum, its exhibits, and its community-focused lifelong learning and children’s educational programs.

Jill Toole, president of the Council of 101, the organization dedicated to furthering the appreciation of the visual arts, says, “The Festival of Trees is truly a favorite tradition here in Central Florida. It’s what really makes it feel like the holidays for so many people. While some things will be different this year, we’re proud we could still bring the holiday spirit to our community, perhaps when we need it most.”

Festival of Trees takes place from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. starting Nov. 12 and running through Nov. 29 (excluding Mondays and Thanksgiving Day).

Our insider tip: Visit on Saturday, Nov. 14, and take part in Ugly Sweater Day. Wear your most garish holiday-themed sweater, post a selfie to #FOTUSD2020 to be featured on the festival’s Ugly Sweater Wall, and you’ll be entered into the competition for ugliest, most creative, and spirited sweaters. Appearances by dignitaries and special ambassadors will add to the day’s fun.

With health and safety in mind, visitors to the in-person event will be required to wear face masks and observe social distancing guidelines. Admission tickets should be purchased in advance to allow for limited capacity.

General admission is $15 for adults, $7 for ages 3-11, $12 for Seniors (65+), and $12 for military personnel and first responders (with valid ID). Parking is available onsite, for a fee.

The Orlando Museum of Art is located at 2416 N. Mills Ave. Orlando. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit CouncilOf101.org or call 407-896-4231, extension 254.

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