Sarasota Christmas Lights: Where to See the Best Holiday Light Displays in 2022

Jennifer Flanders
Jennifer Flanders
Published on December 23, 2022

Hot cocoa in a cup, holiday tunes on the radio, and evening strolls through festive holiday light shows- it’s finally that time we wait for all year long!

Yes, once December rolls around we all feel that collective instinct to take a leisurely ride through the local neighborhoods and shopping centers of Sarasota, and enjoy the abundant sights of string lights, inflatable figures, LED screens, and looping projections all in the name of spreading holiday cheer!

These fantastic outdoor displays continue to light up the night sky year after year, and it has become a tradition of creative and playful expression in our community to tap into the spirit of the season and bring smiles to faces.

Here in Sarasota we are blessed with more than a handful of these amazing light shows. And when you think about the amount of time, effort, and care- it’s no wonder you can’t help but stop and check out these outdoor decorations and light displays in awe.

From the holiday decor at University Town Center to extravagant light shows at a local residence in Nokomis, here is our list of Sarasota’s best Christmas Lights Destinations you have to see in 2022, brought to you by Jenn Flanders Sarasota Realtor!

Visit Enander’s Winter Wonderland

Address: 2281 Mission Valley Blvd., Nokomis

Hours: 6 to 10 p.m. through New Year’s Day (Learn more here.)

Cost: Free

Enander’s Winter Wonderland is a local holiday legend and treasure. It all started over 35 years ago when Bob Enander, a Chicago transplant who had just moved to the Sarasota area at that time, decided to start decorating their home for the holidays with his growing family.

Back then, the display was simple but promising- a few icicles here and there and some traditional lights were strewn across the home’s exterior. It wasn’t long before Enander discovered a local Florida company that specialized in creating custom light displays based off his own drawings. And once that connection was made, the possibilities became endless. Now there are multiple computer systems that are used to run the music and lights throughout the display.

This epic, FREE, family-operated walk-through light and sound show wonderland now features about 400,000 lights total and 400 figurines over their 2.5 acre property. There’s even a bubble machine! Many of the illuminated displays dance to holiday soundtracks, and the entire facade of the house lights up and animates to the tune of all your favorite songs of the season.

Enander’s Winter Wonderland has been open every year- even pivoting during COVID 19 to a drive-by light show. Since 2021 it has been fully re-opened as a walk-through display and you can visit through the end of the month from 6pm til late.

An entire 85 space parking lot was recently added adjacent to the property with a lighted guided pedestrian walkway and Boy Scout volunteers that greet you as you approach the official entrance of the exhibition.

The entire operation is so well organized that although they expect up to 1200 or 1400 visitors on busier nights, the experience is smooth and enjoyable from start to finish. The paved walkways are also wheelchair and mobility issue friendly. The Enander Family is constantly changing up and adding to the show year after year so be sure to check out Enander’s Winter Wonderland anytime you are in Sarasota for the holidays.

Looking for the perfect neighborhood in the Sarasota Area? Search our database for the latest Luxury Properties on the market:

Visit University Town Center

140 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota

UTC offers nightly light shows running every 30 minutes from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. during the season
fireworks display every Saturday at 9 p.m


Still have some last minute shopping to do? Whether or not you have all your to-dos crossed off this holiday, chances are you will be visiting University Town Center at some point in December!

Every holiday season you can expect to find this one-stop Sarasota shopping center decked out with a whopping four million lights. So while you make your rounds from department store to boutique to restaurant at UTC take a detour and delight in the holiday spirit.

The millions of lights on display here transform the mall into a winter wonderland each night until January 6- and it’s completely free! The spectacular light show runs every 30 minutes from 6:30 PM-9:30 PM. They even have a firework show at 9pm every Saturday during the season- so you do not want to miss that.

If you really want to step up your experience of the Holidays at UTC, hop in some ice skates and go ice skating at the Rink at UTC which is being held in the East District until January 2 from 11am-10pm daily. There are also horse-drawn carriage rides and you can catch Holiday Movies Under the Stars in the West District- check their website link above for the schedule.

Visit Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Lights in Bloom®

Selby Gardens’ Downtown Campus – 1534 Mound Street, Sarasota

December 10, 2022 – January 5, 2023
(select nights)

6:30 to 9 p.m.
Early Entry Begins at 5:30 p.m

See website for tickets

If you have never been to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, there’s truly no better time to visit. Founded in 1973 by Sarasota resident and gardener Marie Selby, Selby Gardens is a Smithsonian Affiliate that consists of two campuses encompassing a total of 45 acres- one in Downtown Sarasota and the other in Historic Spanish Point. Selby Garden is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to epiphytic orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns, and other tropical plants- and it is open year round for a number of rotating exhibitions. In the daytime, you can visit the gardens for a leisurely stroll through orchid gardens and banyan trees.

For the holidays, that same magnificent scenery lights up and becomes one of the most popular destinations in the state for holiday lights. Every year, the Downtown Sarasota campus of Selby Gardens holds the annual Lights in Bloom® which boasts more than two million lights across the 15 acre open-air bayfront garden.

Lights in Bloom® is a Sarasota area tradition so not only will you find a botanical light display with dazzling dragonflies and bright butterflies- there are plenty of other festivities to enjoy! From kid-friendly activities, to photo opportunities with Santa, as well as food and entertainment, this will be an evening well spent with the entire family for the holiday break. You can even opt for the full “Selby Experience” which includes perks like reserved parking, early entry, and an open bar!

Find out more and get your tickets at the Selby Gardens Website link above. Here’s a preview of Lights in Bloom®

Visit Holiday Tour of Lights

Cattlemen & Bee Ridge Rd., departing from the Burlington Coat Factory parking lot

December 6 through 31, nightly at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m

$18 per person

If you don’t feel like driving through, and want to really sit back and take in the sights, why not tour the best local neighborhood displays from your spot on Sarasota’s Only Classic Open-Air Trolley?

Sarasota Trolley is an open-air, vintage style experience complete with charming brass and wood interior that takes passengers around Sarasota to see the best of the best on various themed tours. Each trolley holds up to 34 people and they have been running for over 25 years in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Every year for the month of December, they hold the Famous Holiday Light Tour- an evening of fun, holiday cheer, and plenty of Christmas tunes! Bring your own snacks and beverages (it is encouraged) and take the whole family along to see this year’s spectacular illuminated displays. There’s no better way to share the holiday cheer.

The Tour departs from the Burlington Coat Factory parking lot at Cattlemen & Bee Ridge Rd. and you will need to reserve your seat! Buy tickets at the link above.

Whether you love to break out the holiday decorations and put on a light show for the neighborhood or just love checking out amazing holiday displays, Sarasota is the place to be for the most impressive holiday light destinations around. Our community is full of holiday cheer and seasonal spirit and during this time of year, it really shows!

Now that you have read this carefully crafted list, we encourage you to get together with your loved ones over the holiday break and find time to enjoy one or two- if not all of these inspiring displays.

Hi, I’m Jenn Flanders! I am a native of Sarasota and have been a licensed Realtor since 2010, obtaining my broker’s license in 2017. I would love to answer any questions you have regarding area real estate or anything to do with the Sarasota area!


We will cover Best Breakfast, Best Lunch, and Best Dinner. Plus we’ll check out the surrounding sights and scenery of each neighborhood we visit as we dine around town from the main Downtown Sarasota area, to the seaside shopping experience over at St. Armand’s.

Get A FREE Home Valuation!