Below is a review of the 2012 Holiday Tour of Homes. It will give you a better idea of what to expect when you attend this beautiful event…

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holiday tour of homes

Oh what a magical night! I am still awed by all the beauty and creativity I saw during the Candlelight Tour of Homes yesterday in Sanford.

It was like walking from one Christmas party to the next while enjoying delicious food samples and drinks and in some homes even live music: from classical piano and violin, to saxophone to a school choir – thank you Midway Elementary -to live singing. It was like a fun night out with friends and everyone was in a good mood. After last night I can tell you: I am 100% in Christmas mood (I even finished decorating our house today after buying some extra ornaments. My Christmas tree seemed quite naked compared to some of these awesome trees I saw last night).

Thank you to all the home owners who so graciously opened their doors to all of us! I am inspired now, I saw so many very creative decoration ideas. But even more I am inspired by the uniqueness and beauty of all the homes and gardens we saw! One would never even imagine those homes to be that perfect! Better than model homes, these lovingly decorated homes impressed surely everyone.

Sanford rocks! Last night you didn’t only feel the spirit of Christmas but also the spirit of community! And anyone living in Sanford Heights, this charming little historic neighborhood can call themselves lucky and blessed!

My top 2 favorite homes 2012:

• “Mayor’s Estate”, 113 W 15th Street – This home features amazing wood work, it’s a must see!

113 W 13th Street

• “Colonial Charmer”, 204 W. 18th Street – A true dream home, with pool built in the 1940s.


204 W 18th Street Sanford FL

Here are some pictures of my favorite homes and of the event in general (please excuse the poor lighting and blurriness!):

And here just a quick list of notes that might be useful for anyone who has never attended the Sanford Holiday Tour of Homes but is planning to in the future:

  • The Candlelight Tour consisted of 11 homes, so it was easy to tour them in the allotted time and still take several breaks at the booths, listening to music or chatting with old and new friends.
  • This is definitely an event that you can take your kids to.  Correction (December, 2015): This was back in the day when we had an “easy” 2 year old (the terrible 2s never happened for us, instead it was the terrible 3s, I think you get the idea…). Today we have a 4 year old and a 2 year old and we could not imagine bringing them to the tour for various reasons… Trust me, with small children, this tour will hardly be enjoyable (unless of course your kids are extremely well behaved…). On top of that, even small children will have to pay the full ticket price. I personally think the money might be better spent on your babysitter. But feel free to continue reading what I thought 3 years ago 😉 …
    (December 2012) – If they are into lights they will love it – just be sure they don’t touch the displays etc. A light-weight stroller should be fine, but be prepared to split up, meaning one person waits outside with the baby and stroller while the other goes in because some homes are just too narrow and crowded to maneuver a stroller inside. Of course, you can also just leave the stroller outside and get your kid inside with you.
  • No need to be there at 6pm sharp, the event goes from 6-9:30pm so you can arrive when it’s most convenient for you. I would suggest you arrive by 7pm though to give you enough time to go through the homes. UPDATE: The 2015 Holiday Tour of Homes will take place on a Saturday from 4-9pm. Calculate about 2-3 hours to tour the homes.
  • A great way to make this an even more eventful night is to visit Christmas in the Square at Magnolia Square in Sanford first and then head over to the event location (16th and Elm in Historic Sanford Heights). You can easily park at the event location. UPDATE: The 2015 Holiday Tour of Homes is taking place on the day after Christmas in the Square.
  • No need to have dinner before, you will be able to sample food and drinks of some of the best restaurants in Sanford while touring the homes.
  • This is not a guided tour, so you can tour the homes at your own pace and in the order you prefer.
  • You will get to meet many of the owners who will often greet you in the foyer welcoming you into their home. This makes the whole atmosphere even more cheerful.
  • Since we had our toddler with us we didn’t really have time to read through the provided manual right then but did it the following day. I think though it is worth taking the time reading the manual as you tour the homes so you can appreciate the history of these beauties even more and pay close attention to the details.
  • Don’t worry, there is a public restroom, so no need to awkwardly ask one of the home owners to use their bathroom (just kidding, I am sure nobody did, or did they??)
  • Bring your camera! You will want to capture some of these very creative Holiday arrangements. I collected a bunch of ideas, not only for Christmas decorating but also for home decoration in general.

Hope this little review gave you a good overview and made you curious about the annual Candlelight Tour of Homes. We will definitely be there again next year for the 25th Annual Holiday Tour of Homes. Maybe we’ll even get to do the Daytime Tour as well.

The Holiday Tour of Homes is organized every year by the Sanford Historic Trust.

Interested in living in a historic charmer in Sanford Heights? Here is a list of homes currently for sale in Sanford Heights.

Learn more about Sanford Heights