The 2017 Sanford Holiday Tour of Homes – 29th Year- 29 Stops-$29!


There’s hardly an event in Sanford I get more excited about than the annual Holiday Tour of Homes. I have been attending this festive, community focused event for at least 6 years now which means it’s basically a holiday tradition for us at this point. It’s the day the holiday season officially kicks off for me and I wouldn’t want to ever miss that! This year I am especially excited, not only because I have been more involved in the planning of the event (I can tell you the organizers and volunteers have put numerous hours into the event already), but also because the tour will be even bigger and better than any year before! So for anyone who has never attended this unique event, here are my top 11 reasons why you should consider attending the 2017 Holiday Tour of Homes and making this a holiday tradition for you as well…

Browse the Tour Guide

1. Community

First and foremost, this event is a community centered event. Participating homeowners and volunteers alike welcome guests into all the beautifully decorated homes and you’ll find yourself talking to many and finding out more about life in historic Sanford. Mostly, attending this event feels like hopping from one friend’s Christmas party to the next.

2. Historic Homes

Historic homes are already charmers all the way as they are. And don’t we all love adoring them from the outside? Well, how awesome is it that we get to see them from the inside during the tour. And how much more awesome is it that we get to see them decorated and dressed up for the holidays? It’s like an Open House event on steroids! And to top it off, you even get to talk to the owners who put all their decorating (and interior design!) skills in it. Which leads me back to reason number 1. It’s like a progressive holiday party in the neighborhood.

3. Holiday Spirit

Living in Florida, for most of us who have moved here from places with actual seasons, getting into the holiday spirit can be a challenge. Sure, there’s Christmas music playing on the radio, in the stores and wherever else you go, but sunshine and palm trees and 0% chance of snow makes it a bit hard at times. Enter the annual Sanford Holiday Tour of Homes! For myself it’s been a true fix to get into the holiday spirit. A few hours walking through beautifully decorated historic holiday homes will do the trick and get you on the festive path. Expect to leave with lots of decorating ideas, too! Good thing we still have a few weeks until Christmas…

4. Free narrated Trolley Rides and Limocycle Loops

Sanford Heights (the gorgeous historic neighborhood where most of the homes are located) and Historic Downtown are not right next to each other. It’s about a 15 block walk, really not to bad if you’d want to walk with the gorgeous cooler weather we’ve been having or get out your bicycle or even rent one from Pedal Driven which is also one of the photo stops. However, the organizers of the tour have also arranged a free Trolley with narrated tours (sponsored by Heritage Park) that will be connecting Sanford Heights, Downtown Sanford, Horstmeyer Farm & Garden and the Marina Island areas. To top it off, until 6pm, guests will also be able to go on a 15 minute LimoCycle Tour that loops around Downtown Sanford.

5. Tiny Homes and a House Boat

On this year’s tour the Sanford Historic Trust put a few “alternative” homes on the tour: two tiny homes and a house boat! So if you have been dying to see one from the inside, here’s your chance!

Come and see the inside of Shorty’s Tiny House and see her piano that doubles as her bed! This tiny home will be located on the Marina Isle – near the Houseboat and the Floating Bungalow, one of the many photo stops on the tour! (Just a note: the Marina Isle closes early at 7:30pm while the rest of the tour is open until 9pm!)

6. Fun photo stops! Sip a craft cocktail with Santa

This year the tour also includes fun photo stops, some of them with themed Santas. How about a fun picture with “Cowboy Santa”, “South Pole Santa” or “Cycling Santa” on his tandem at Pedal Driven, remember, the place where you can also rent a bike for the tour? My favorite though is “Fire Sation Santa” where you can sample a craft cocktail sponsored by The Imperial at Washburn Imports. I also can’t wait to pose on the BIG chair at the corner of Park & 2nd Street!

7. Photo Contest

Your best selfie game at above mentioned photo stops will not just make your friends giggle on social media, it might also be rewarded with a pretty awesome prize package! The Sanford Holiday Tour of Homes is holding a photo contest where you can win a one night stay at the – drumroll please…

8. Old Fire Station AirBnB

…yes, the Old Fire Station is not just one of the gorgeous historic buildings you get to see, or the place where you’re sipping craft cocktails with “Fire Station Santa”, a one night stay here is also part of the photo contest prize package. Other prizes in the package that totals over $300 are a $50 gift card to Hollerbach’s, $25 to Mattie’s Delectable Desserts, 2 tickets on a public pub crawl tour by LimoCycle Tours and 2 tickets to “Who Killed Santa” at Dangerous Theatre!

9. A Hidden Cottage

During the tour you also get to tour Horstmeyer’s “Hidden Cottage”, the ultimate space for hip, urban living. Doug and Annie Horstmeyer who own Horstmeyer’s Farm & Garden recently renovated this special place to call home. It is tucked away next to their store that was built in the early 1920s.

10. Get your Christmas Tree while having fun

Fresh Christmas trees will be for sale at the Christmas Tree Photostop at Horstmeyer’s. Trees can be reserved and picked up post-tour!

11. Specials at Participating Merchants

Tour guest also get to take advantage of specials by participating merchants. Magnolia Square Market will be serving up Gluehwein (delicious mulled wine from Germany) and Bienenstich (bee sting cake, a classic German dessert you shouldn’t miss), Mattie’s Delectable Desserts will be giving out yuppie cuppie cupcakes and Sanford Brewing will have $5 pours of SBC beer for all tour guests and free brewery tours at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and 7pm.

Please also consider helping those who have not much. Your donations are welcome!

Get all the 2017 Holiday Tour Info

Bonus Reason: Hysterical Tour of Gnomes

On the same night that holiday tour guest tour historic home, hysterical gnomes will be invading 13 of Sanford’s pubs and bars during the 7th Annual “Hysterical Tour of Gnomes” organized by Little Fish Huge Pond and the Sanford Pub Invasion. This is definitely a unique and whacky pub invasion experience where smurfs, trolls, pixies, fairies, elves, and other magical creatures are welcome, too, so why not join them after the tour?

Little fish HUGE Pond will also be collecting non-perishable foods for Harvest Time International, boxes will be available for drop off .


A Video Recap of the 2016 Annual Holiday Tour of Homes