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December 21 - 23

6-8 pm

(Note: the Garden will close at 5pm
and reopen for our event at 6pm)

McKee Botanical Garden is decking the Hall of Giants and trimming the palm trees with lights in preparation for its annual “Holidays at McKee” event taking place December 21, 22 and 23 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.


Among the highlights of this year’s holiday celebration will be the return of a vintage Wurlitzer band organ playing classic holiday music. The organ was a popular attraction at last year’s event, and is back this year at visitors’ request. Another returning favorite is McKee’s G-scale model train.


This year, a fourth train has been added to the display which features 200 ft. of track on three levels, centered around a miniature town. For the past year, train volunteer Peter Tyson has been working on a number of enhancements for the elaborate display. Many of the buildings have been repainted and adorned with signs and accessories to elevate their realistic quality. A new bridge has been added along with a lighted clock and street lights, new cars, street signs and animals, all to scale. The sound of cattle ‘mooing’ will be detectable in this year’s audio system. Also making its debut is a water tower that Tyson dedicated 30 hours to creating. The tower features several true-to-life details and a weathered appearance achieved by applying colored powders over the paint. Construction of the display at McKee is done all by hand, a process that takes approximately 200 hours. Tyson described the work as a labor of love, and stated, “It takes a lot of time to put the train display together, but it’s worth it in the end. My reward is sharing it with others and seeing their reaction.”


Tyson will act as conductor at “Holidays at McKee” and “Nights of Lights.” Assisting him will be fellow train volunteer Eric Menger who built a new farmhouse and barn for this year’s display.


In addition to the band organ and train display, other attractions will include holiday letter writing and visits with Santa, Mrs. Claus’ Serendipity Candy Shop as well as thousands of twinkling lights and festive decorations displayed throughout the Garden. The Garden Gift Shop and Elizabeth’s at the Garden Café will also be open.

General admission rates apply. For more information, please visit www.mckeegarden.org or call 772-794-0601.


“Holidays at McKee” is sponsored by YP Advertising Solutions, 93.7 The Breeze, and 97.1 Ocean FM.





(Note: the Garden will close at 5pm and reopen for our holiday event at 6pm)



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