For their 14th annual Candlelight Tours, The Villa Zorayda Museum offers a special Christmas experience featuring a huge lighted tree in the Court of Lions.
Visitors will enjoy an audio guided tour, before stopping at the appropriate time to gather in one of the special spaces near the Court of Lions. The museum will go dark and then the spectacular Christmas tree will be lit, as each floor of the museum is gradually brought back to holiday splendor.
The whole Villa is beautifully decorated for the holidays, with the Court of Lions serving as center stage for the spectacular Christmas tree festooned in the red and gold signature colors of the Zorayda. Victorian and traditional decorations are found in every room for visitors to enjoy. More than 100 candles are aglow throughout the museum as you take a state-of-the-art audio guided tour of this historic former home.
These special tours will take place on select evenings during St. Augustine's Nights of Lights. Tours start at 5:30 and 7:00, and reservations are suggested. Guests may tour at their own pace, using the audio guided tour at any time.
During each tour, guests will be asked to gather in certain locations before the evening's grand event. The museum will darken, and guests will experience the dramatic lighting of the Christmas Tree, floor by floor until the building is fully lit in spectacular fashion. The celebration includes a complimentary serving of Christmas punch and a cookie. Afterward, guests are invited to continue with their audio tour to complete the 60-minute experience.
This tour does require standing and walking for its duration and there isn't an elevator available at this historic old building. This tour takes approximately 60 minutes and includes an overview of Villa Zorayda's history, its previous owners, and the art and antique collection inside.
Each guest is served a cookie and a non-alcoholic beverage.
Admission: Tickets are $24.99 for adults and $12.99 for children ages 6 to 12. The audio guide, included in the ticket, is available in English, Spanish, and French. The tour is not recommended for children five and under.
Wednesday, December 27, at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 30, at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Where: The Villa Zorayda is located at 83 King St., across from Flagler College, in St. Augustine.
About the Villa Zorayda
The Villa Zorayda had its heyday as a popular casino in the 1920s. It was built in 1883 by Franklin Smith, utilizing his construction method of poured concrete and crushed coquina shell, as his winter home. The Zorayda sparked the Moorish Spanish revival style of architecture that is seen throughout the city of St. Augustine today. Visiting the Villa Zorayda Museum is like a quick trip to Spain without leaving St. Augustine, as the Villa Zorayda was built as a scaled-down replica of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.