Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Bok Tower Gardens Open and what are your hours of operation?
Bok Tower Gardens is back to regular gate operations. After monitoring the admission process during our Member preview, Bok Tower Gardens has suspended timed ticket entry. Admission to the Gardens can be purchased online or onsite. Bok Tower Gardens is open 365 days a year from 9 am to 6 pm. The last car is admitted at 5 pm. The Blue Palmetto Cafe and The Shop at Bok are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

Can I bring my dog?
Leashed and well-behaved dogs are permitted. Admission for dogs is $5.

What items are prohibited during visitation?
Firearms and weapons are strictly prohibited at Bok Tower Gardens. This includes knives, guns, martial arts weapons, and any other object that is used as a weapon. Glitter, confetti, balloons, and other photo props are prohibited and all parties must remain on paths. Smoking and vaping are also prohibited.

Do you have any admission discounts?
We are temporarily suspending all discount programs. We will continuously monitor and update our operations as evaluations are completed. We are offering free admission to active members of the military.

Do we need to practice physical distancing while in the Gardens?
Yes, physical distancing of at least 6 feet between visitors is required while visiting the Gardens. Our staff will also be following these guidelines and have been instructed to be at least 6 feet away from visitors at all times.

Are cloth masks or face covering required?
Visitors are required to have a mask or cloth face covering when visiting the Gardens. Masks are required and must be worn in all interior spaces and when interacting with our team members. We are not requiring visitors to use masks or face coverings while in outdoor spaces when physical distancing can be achieved. We highly encourage all visitors to respect our team and others by participating in this safety measure. The Bok Tower Gardens staff is required to wear masks while in public areas or when in close proximity to visitors. We also request visitors to bring hand sanitizer, bottled water, and snacks.

Are you accepting reciprocal admission?
If you are a member of another participating garden or cultural institution, we are honoring the reciprocal admission agreement. Please present your membership card upon arrival at the gate for complimentary admission.

Will the Blue Palmetto Cafe be open?
Take advantage of Blue Palmetto Cafe online ordering. Orders may be picked up on the Café Terrace outside the building. Interior seating is available at The Blue Palmetto Cafe in compliance with State of Florida guidelines.

Can I bring in outside food and beverage?
Yes, outside food and beverage are permitted. Limited outdoor seating is available at The Blue Palmetto Café Terrace, The Outdoor Kitchen, and in the picnic areas. We recommend visitors should bring a blanket or table covering for the outdoor tables. Visitors may also use picnic blankets in the Gardens. Please note: water fountains will not be available.

Will the shuttles, wheelchairs, or mobility carts be available?
No, for health and safety reasons, shuttle service will not be available. Wheelchairs and mobility carts are now available for rental at The Shop at Bok.

What areas of the Gardens are closed?
The historic tours of Pinewood Estate and the home’s interior will not be available; however, visitors can enjoy the exterior of the home and the beautiful gardens. The Visitor Center and Chao Exhibit Hall are open. For the protection of others and our team, please wear a mask while inside buildings and bathrooms. Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden is open.

Will the public restrooms be open?
Public restrooms will be available inside the Visitor Center, the hallway between the Blue Palmetto Cafe and The Shop at Bok, at the Alexander Discovery Center, and at the Information Booth near the Singing Tower. For the protection of others and our team, please wear a mask while inside buildings and bathrooms.

Will there be carillon concerts? Can we feed the koi?
Carillon concerts will be available at 1 pm and 3 pm. Programs can be viewed at Boktowergardens.org. Visitors will need to bring quarters to purchase fish food. Due to limited staff, coins for change will not be available.

How are you cleaning and sanitizing surfaces?
Our Facilities team will be cleaning and sanitizing high touch surfaces on a regular basis, using an EPA registered disinfectant. There will also be hand sanitizer located at various locations throughout the Gardens.

Will The Shop at Bok be open?
The Shop at Bok is open with social distancing guidelines in place. The Shop at Bok merchandise is also available online at https://shop.boktowergardens.org/

Can we take photographs or have a photography session?
Portrait photography is permitted. All members of the party require a ticket. Photographers may not block any sidewalks and most follow physical distancing guidelines. Please note: Glitter, Balloons, Confetti, and Drones are prohibited.

Are you doing weddings and receptions?
We are closely monitoring the State of Florida guidelines for events and gatherings. We are accepting reservations for future events and you may request information here.

Can I volunteer?
The volunteer program is reopening in phases. For the summer, we will be welcoming back Horticulture volunteers who undergo additional safety training. We will begin processing new volunteer applications in Phase 2, which will be determined by public health and safety standards. Volunteer information is available at https://boktowergardens.org/volunteering/

Can I buy a membership?
Memberships can be purchased online at boktowergardens.org/membership/. Memberships can also be purchased via telephone at 863-734-1226.

Will you be having any free days or reduced admission offers?
Due to the nature of the pandemic, we are evaluating our plans each week. We do not have any free admission days on the calendar. If that changes, the information will be posted to Boktowergardens.org.

When you do you think the Gardens will return to normal?
We are monitoring CDC recommendations and guidelines to create a phased approach to our operations. We are evaluating plans weekly and will make adjustments as information and favorable conditions become available. Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, we are unable to provide a firm timeline for normal operations.

What if I visit and leave an item behind? Will you have a lost & found?
If you need lost & found assistance, please go to the Visitor Center for assistance or call 863-676-1408.

What can I do to help Bok Tower Gardens?
You can support the Gardens with a financial gift. Any amount is appreciated and will be applied to our annual fund. You can make a gift online at https://boktowergardens.org/support-the-gardens/

Will you continue to apply the day’s admission price to a new membership?
You can apply your daily admission towards the cost of a membership. Please go to the Visitor Center to learn more.

What are your plans for members-only events and experiences including Founder’s Room tours?
We are temporarily pausing our member events and Founder’s Room tours; however, we are working towards plans to continue these programs. We will communicate any updates through our weekly emails and website.

Is the Singing Tower open for visitors?
The Singing Tower is a musical instrument and not open to the public. As there is only one door for entering and exiting, safety regulations prohibit daily public tours of the Tower.

What is your photography and drone policy?
AFTER HOURS PHOTOSHOOTS ARE NOT PERMITTED.
Bok Tower Gardens is a no drone zone. Due to strong safety concerns and protection of our National Historic Landmark, drone flight or photography (or flight of unmanned, and/or remote controlled aircraft of any kind) originating from or flying over Bok Tower Gardens property, is strictly prohibited, except in collaboration with Bok Tower Gardens’ Marketing Department and with express written permission.

We encourage our visitors to make the most of the day by bringing a camera to take photos. Photography is allowed in all areas of the Gardens during regular operating hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with last admission at 5 p.m. Visitor, artistic and portrait photography is permitted anywhere on the grounds for personal, non-commercial use. Any parties who wish to take personal, non-commercial photography for bridal, wedding, engagement, birthday, reunion, or family portraits by professional photographers on the grounds of Bok Tower Gardens may do so with regular paid admission. Portrait photography may not block, disrupt or hinder visitor access or circulation of paths and walkways. Glitter, confetti and balloons are prohibited.

If you are interested in commercial photography, please contact Rita Horton at 863.734.1214 or email rdhorton@boktower.org.

What is the price of admission? What are your hours?
Bok Tower Gardens is open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the last admission at 5 p.m. Rates subject to change without notice.
Adults: $15
Children (ages 5-12): $5
Children (under 5): Free
Members: Free

Group rates are available with pre-registration of 20 or more.

Do you have wheelchairs or mobility carts available? Can I reserve one?
We highly encourage our visitors to bring their own wheelchair or mobility cart to the Gardens, if needed. We have several mobility carts for rent for $10 per hour, $30 per half day and $60 for a full day. Mobility carts are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrangements are made at The Shop at Bok. Wheelchairs are available free of charge.

When can I hear the bells?
The current carillon schedule features live performances by carillonneur Geert D’hollander on Thursday – Sunday at 1 and 3 p.m. and recordings from the Anton Brees Carillon Library collection for the remainder of the week. Visitors can hear clock music selections at 8:30 a.m. and every half-hour following.

Can you recommend nearby accommodations?
Yes, we have several partner accommodations listed for those visiting Central Florida.

Do you have a place that sells lunch and snacks on the property?
Yes, the Blue Palmetto Café features a wide assortment of lunch and snack selections. Offering indoor and outdoor seating, the Blue Palmetto Café is located near the Visitor Center and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Do you offer fun activities for children?
Yes.Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden offers fun ways for children to discover the natural world.

Which credit cards do you accept?
Bok Tower Gardens accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.

I am interested in booking a group. Who do I need to speak to?
Please email our Group Sales Representative at programs@boktower.org or call (863) 734-1222.

Are the paths easily accessible by wheelchair, walker, or electric cart?
Bok Tower Gardens is committed to making the garden experience accessible to all who visit, and we are working to make our facilities and grounds more accessible. However, due to the historic nature of the gardens, some areas may present challenges to persons with disabilities. Most areas are accessible. The incline leading up to the Tower is paved and most of the pathways are mulched.

What is the famous quote attributed to Mr. Bok?
“Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it.” Originally, these were the words of Mr. Bok’s grandmother but were adopted by Edward Bok.

Do you allow picnics?
Yes, we have designated picnic areas with benches for your enjoyment. They are located just off the main parking area. The south picnic area is located on the south side of the parking area and features picnic-style tables and benches with some shade. It is adjacent to some popular family-friendly garden enhancements. The west picnic area is located on the west side of the parking area near the Visitor Center. It features picnic-style tables and benches in a shaded area. Visitors are welcome to bring their own refreshments or purchase them at the Blue Palmetto Café which is located near the Visitor Center.

Is the historic mansion open for tours?
Pinewood Estate is closed until further notice.

Can I bring my class to Bok Tower Gardens?
Yes, we encourage school groups to make reservations to visit. Check out our Education pages for program information and contact.

Can I feed the squirrels?
For the safety of visitors and the well-being of wildlife in their natural surroundings, we ask you not to feed the squirrels. When visitors feed the squirrels, they tend to become increasingly aggressive, always expecting a treat.

How long does it take to walk the Gardens?
To fully enjoy the true essence of the Gardens through its many experiences – a historic Olmsted landscape garden, the majesty and music of the Singing Tower carillon, Pinewood Estate mansion tour, the museum exhibits, café, gift shop and more – we recommend that you plan a minimum of three to four hours. Many visitors comment they wish they would have allowed more time in their schedule for a longer stay.

Can Bok Tower Gardens provide sponsorship for our event or fundraiser?
As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Bok Tower Gardens is unable to provide financial sponsorships or program advertising in support of fundraising events. However, we may be able to provide ticket donations to your event. Ticket donation requests must be made through email or fax and received by the Gardens a minimum of six weeks prior to the event in order to allow sufficient time for review and processing. Due to the volume of inquiries we receive, we can not guarantee full consideration of a request that is submitted with less time. While each request receives careful consideration, we regret that we are unable to accommodate all organizations that ask for our assistance. Please email requests to receptionist@boktower.org or fax to 863.676.6670 (Attn: Receptionist; Ticket Donations)

Do you allow drones in or near the gardens?
Bok Tower Gardens is a no-drone zone. Due to strong safety concerns and protection of our National Historic Landmark, drone flight or photography (or flight of unmanned, and/or remote controlled aircraft of any kind) originating from or flying over Bok Tower Gardens property, is strictly prohibited, except in collaboration with Bok Tower Gardens’ Marketing Department and with express written permission.

BOK TOWER GARDENS

1151 Tower Boulevard

Lake Wales, Florida 33853

863-676-1408

info@boktowergardens.org

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Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and Visit Central Florida.
A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of consumer Services by calling toll-free within the state. 1-800-435-7352. FreshFromFlorida.com registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. Charitable Registration Number: CH1161

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