- WGHF operates the only two museums in our area; both are within walking distance of one another, located in the National Register Historic District, and are open 350 days a year from 1 pm to 5 pm at no charge to visitors. The Winter Garden Heritage Museum and Welcome Center on Plant Street features a three-dimensional walk through Winter Garden’s glorious past as well as visitor information—from local accommodations to must-see destinations—to help you make the most of your visit to the area. Our beloved fire truck, parked right out front, is a kid magnet! The Central Florida Railroad Museum on South Boyd Street contains an expansive collection of local, state and national railroad memorabilia. It’s kid-friendly and a must-see for all real train-buffs!
- WGHF maintains an extensive historic collection at our History Research Center, which serves as an archive and public research library as well as administrative office. The center contains local family files, historic photographs, historic publications, oral histories, artifacts, video, and other memorabilia important to the history of West Orange County and the communities of Winter Garden, Ocoee, Oakland, Windermere, Tildenville, Beulah, Avalon, and Killarney. The archives are also used for exhibitions, historic and civic publications, genealogy research, college and university studies, and archeological surveys.
- Throughout the year, WGHF offers educational programs tailored to groups of all ages, including guided walking tours of the museums and Winter Garden’s Historic Downtown District, as well as self-guided audio walking tours and geocaching (treasure hunts). School programs are designed to meet Florida Sunshine State and Core Curriculum standards.
Since 2006, we have hosted the Winter Garden MusicFest, a three-day outdoor music celebration on Plant Street in Historic Downtown Winter Garden. This free, fun, family event takes place in early October. It features dozens of live local and visiting performers in a variety of multi-cultural musical genres, as well as kids’ activities, arts and crafts, and food vendors. Proceeds from the event help to support our important work in the community.
- WGHF hosts several special events throughout the year to celebrate local heritage, create a strong sense of community, and honor key “history makers.” Since 2002, Winter Garden Heritage Foundation has presented exhibitions that use the visual arts to illuminate the history and heritage of Winter Garden and surrounding communities, in partnership with organizations such as:
Central Florida Memory
City of Winter Garden
Crealde School of Art
Friends of Lake Apopka
Green Mountain Scenic Byway
Lakeview Middle School
Oakland Nature Preserve
Ocoee Historic Society and the City of Ocoee
Orange County Library System
Orange County Regional History Center
Orange County Public School System
Town of Oakland
University of Central Florida Library
Winter Garden Merchants Association
Winter Garden Rotary Club
Winter Garden Masonic Lodge Post 36