Christmas Festivities in SW Florida

Holidays to sparkle with music, entertainment,
luminary trails, theater and more

The holiday season brings delightful weather and many opportunities to celebrate the season in our unspoiled island sanctuary. Many special events have been planned, including:

Holiday Nights at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers
Dates: From 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11 through Jan. 2
Admission: Tickets are $15 for adults and $1 for children (6-12)
Information: 239-334-7419 or www.efwefla.org

The Edison Winter Estate

Enjoyed by more than 33,000 visitors each year from all over the world, this 34-year Lee County tradition offers a chance to spend the holidays with southwest Florida’s first “snowbirds,” the Edison and Ford families. This year events include artist and craftsmen exhibits and appearances in the “Creative Cottage” as well as book signings and demonstrations located in the Edison Caretaker’s House; nightly entertainment by local school and community groups; Santa visits; and a “Children’s Tree Trail” with lighted trees showcasing handmade ornaments from Lee County students. Holiday items will be available to purchase in the “Creative Cottage,” Museum Store, Garden Shoppe and the historic Ford Cottage Shoppe. The Estates Museum and Edison’s Lab will be open nightly as well as Banyan Cafe for refreshments.

Christmas Luminary Trail and Open House on Sanibel and Captiva islands
Dates: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4 on Sanibel Island and Dec. 5 on Captiva Island
Admission: Free
Information: 239-472-1080 or www.sanibel-captiva.org

Sanibel Luminaries

An island tradition in its 25th year, this event draws visitors from all over the world as they join local residents to celebrate the season. Three miles of luminary candles line Periwinkle Way and area businesses are decorated for the holidays with candles illuminating the island pathways, storefronts and homes. Free trolley service will be available on Sanibel and Santa will visit the Sanibel Community Center with candy for the kids.

Holidays in Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island
Dates: Nov. 28-Dec. 12
Admission to all events: Free
Information: 941-964-0568 or www.bocagrandechamber.com

Boca Grande Lighthouse

  • Nov. 28: Boca Grande Christmas Walk, 5 p.m. The first in a month-long series of events sets the stage for a unique holiday on the Island of Gasparilla. Carolers walk among the shops, restaurants and galleries adorned in festive decoration along luminary-lit streets in Boca Grande. Holiday treats for children and a visit from Santa Claus, riding into town on a fire truck.
  • Dec. 5: Luminary Holiday Festival, scavenger hunt, Santa visit and golf cart parade, 3-7 p.m.
  • Dec. 6: Christmas caroling and tree lighting, 5 p.m.
  • Dec. 8: Holiday Boat Parade, 5:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 12: Annual lighting of the historic Port Boca Grande Lighthouse, 6 p.m. Enjoy a party with caroling, wine and holiday treats.

Holiday events in downtown Fort Myers
Dates: Nov. 20 through mid-December
Information: www.cityftmyers.com

Events include a festival of trees, art market, holiday jazz concert, breakfast with Santa holiday stroll and much more.

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Fort Myers
“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

Dates: Tuesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees, Nov. 19-Dec. 26
Admission: $27 to $53
Information: Call 239-278-4422 or www.BroadwayPalm.com

The musical version of the classic Christmas tale.

The Winter Wonderettes
Dates: Tuesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees, Nov. 5-Dec. 26
Admission: $25-$44

Information: 239-278-4422 or www.BroadwayPalm.com

It’s 1968 and the Marvelous Wonderettes are the entertainers at the Harper’s Hardware holiday party.

The Schoolhouse Theater on Sanibel Island
“Every Christmas Story Ever Told”

Dates: Dec. 15-31
Admission: Call for details
Information: 239-472-6862 or www.theschoolhousetheater.com

The Southwest Florida Symphony, Fort Myers and Cape Coral
Dates: Dec.11-19
Admission: Call for details
Information: 239-418-1500 or www.swflso.org

The Symphony Youth Orchestra will perform “Holiday Under the Stars” at 7 p.m. on Dec. 11 at Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers. Free.

The Christmas portion of Handel’s “Messiah” will be performed at Faith Baptist Church in Cape Coral, 4 p.m. on Dec. 13 and at Village Church at Shell Point on Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Featuring the Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Chorus, Chamber Orchestra and guest soloists.

“A Very Merry Pops” will be performed at 8 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19 at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. Visitors will enjoy music from beloved characters including Charlie Brown, the Grinch and Rudolph.

22nd Annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Dates: 6:10 p.m. on Dec. 5
Admission: Free
Information: 239-454-7500 or www.fortmyersbeach.org

Boats decked out in festive holiday decorations may be viewed from Snug Harbor, Matanzas Inn, Bonita Bills and Pink Shell Marina.

Imaginarium Hands-on Museum, Fort Myers
Dates: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dec.12
Admission: Call for details
Information: 239-321-7420 or www.imaginariumfortmyers.com

Kids enjoy visits and photos with Santa, printing holiday T-shirts, decorating holiday cookies, face painting, shrinky-dink ornaments and other activities exploring winter holidays around the world.