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Exploring the Magic of Filoli

Home » Blog » Exploring the Magic of Filoli


Each season brings out Filoli’s unique beauty. But there’s something truly magical about visiting Filoli House and Gardens during the Holiday season. The historic estate, nestled in picturesque landscapes, transforms into a spellbinding Winter Wonderland, captivating visitors with its festive allure. Step into its enchanting embrace and experience the holidays like never before.

What to See at Filoli during the Holiday Season

Filoli House

Filoli House and Gardens during the Holidays - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Filoli Dining Room - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Filoli Library Room - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Filoli Ballroom Fireplace - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Filoli Courtyard - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Gingerbread House at Filoli - © lovetoeatandtravel.com

Filoli’s outdoor Courtyard is bathed in the soft glow of meticulously lit trees. Stepping inside the main House, we embarked on a self-guided exploration, each room resonating with the melodies of Christmas music. Although the upstairs quarters were closed during our visit, the lower level revealed a captivating narrative of the past. Wandering from room to room, including the Family Room, Library, Bedroom, Game Room, Staff Kitchen, Butler’s Pantry, Dining Room, and Ballroom, felt like a magical journey through time.

The ambiance was reminiscent of stepping into a Hallmark movie set, with exquisitely adorned Christmas trees, colossal fireplaces adorned with cascading garlands, and opulent wreaths at every turn.

Tree of Books at Filoli House - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Christmas Tree at Filoli House - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Fire pits at Filoli - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Christmas at Filoli House - © lovetoeatandtravel.com

Filoli Gardens – a Winter Wonderland

The highlight of our visit was strolling through Filoli’s magnificent gardens. Each path led to a unique vantage point of a Winter Wonderland that left us breathless. We lost count of how many “Wows” we uttered along the way.

The Walled Garden and Sunken Garden

The Walled Garden sparkles with twinkling lights in a myriad of colors, creating a visual feast that delights the senses. The tranquil Sunken Garden and the reflective Pool, bathed in festive lights, offers a serene respite. As we explored the gardens, we encountered captivating displays – colored orbs, Chinese lanterns, and multi-hued lighted balls strategically positioned to enhance the magic. A driftwood menorah quietly nestled among the illuminated trees added a touch of understated elegance.

Sunken Garden at Filoli House - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Sunken Garden at Filoli - © lovetoeatandtravel.com

Tunnel of Light

Watch the video below to experience walking through Filoli’s 400-foot light tunnel, where the changing colors created a mesmerizing symphony of light and shadow. Fun for kids and big kids alike!

Magical Gardens

Filoli is a truly magical place, where history, nature, and the festive spirit converge in a harmonious celebration of the season. Step into its enchanting embrace and experience the holidays like never before.

Garden Holiday Lights at Filoli House - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Reflective Pool at Filoli House - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Walled Garden Holiday Lights at Filoli House - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Holiday Lights at Filoli House - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Colored Orbs at Filoli House - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Tunnel of Lights at Filoli House - © lovetoeatandtravel.com

Quail Cafe

What a lovely setting to take a break for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. Quail Cafe offers a seasonal menu of hearty soups, quiches, freshly-made sandwiches and wraps, salads, and sweet treats.

Open daily 10am-8:30pm

Afternoon Tea for Two

Afternoon Tea for Two is available after 2pm daily. Indulge in an assortment of dainty tea sandwiches, a selection of teas, and decadent mini desserts.

Holiday Tea in the Garden House

Book well in advance because the Holiday Tea at Filoli’s Garden House sells out quickly. Enjoy champagne and tea while feasting on a selection of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries. Monday, Tuesday and Friday seatings at 11am and 1:30pm.

Clock Tower Shop

Have fun shopping for yourself, family and friends. The Clock Tower Shop was our last stop of the evening. And we could have spent more time shopping (if we hadn’t run out of time) – there’s so much to see. Guess we’ll just have to come back again in the Springtime and Summer.

Open daily 10am-9pm.

Quail Cafe at Filoli House - © lovetoeatandtravel.com
Clock Tower Shop at Filoli House - © lovetoeatandtravel.com

Private Holiday Fire Pit Experience

Indulge in cozy evenings and festive gatherings at your very own Private Fire Pit Experience. Snuggle up with your honey, family and friends by a private fire pit. Enjoy sipping special holiday drinks – from classic hot chocolate, to mulled wine and whiskey-cider.

Reserve your Private Outdoor Holiday Fire Pit space (15 guests maximum) well in advance as they sell out quickly, especially during the busy Holiday Season. Available daily at 3pm, 5pm and 7pm.

Fire Pits at Woodland Court

Nestled behind Filoli’s Walled Garden, Woodland Court provides an idyllic escape, offering an exclusive and intimate atmosphere for your holiday festivities. Gather around a fire pit while enjoying holiday cocktails and kid-friendly treats. Woodland Court is open daily 11am-9pm.

More Info on Holidays at Filoli House & Gardens

Filoli is located at 86 Canada Road in Woodside, about 30 miles south of San Francisco.

Open daily year-round, rain or shine. 10am-9pm

Filoli House & Gardens

Holiday Chalets at Woodland Court Filoli - © lovetoeatandtravel.com

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