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Bonita & Estero Magazine

Holiday Happenings in Southwest Florida

Dec 05, 2023 08:00AM ● By Ann Marie O’Phelan

Enjoy the lights at the Edison Ford & Winter Estates. 

The holidays are a great time to get out and enjoy the festivities. There are a couple of places in Fort Myers to do so. One is at the historic Florida Repertory Theatre, as “A Sherlock Carol” plays through December 17. This family-friendly thriller is “full of intrigue and suspense with a helping of holiday cheer.”

“If you are not familiar with Florida Rep, we are a self-producing professional theatre, which means we build our productions from page to stage and cast the shows with open calls—much like Broadway. Many of our actors are NYC-based and come to SWFL to participate in our productions. We also employ professional designers and technicians who craft original sets, costumes, lighting, and sound for each production,” says Marketing Director Deborah Jonsson. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Box Office. 

Enjoy a show with the family at the historic Florida Repertory Theatre. 

Upcoming shows include their production of “The Mountaintop” starting on December 15 through January 14. This intense drama “reimagines the night before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. “Beehive: The 60s Musical”—a musical celebration of powerful women’s voices, opens January 11.

Plan your visit: Prices vary on production and seating selection. Florida Repertory Theatre 2268 Bay Street, Fort Myers,

Another place to enjoy holiday fun is at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, as guests can enjoy the 48th Annual Holiday Lights Celebration. The Estates, once the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, feature thousands of lights and hundreds of historic decorations. The event takes place nightly from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. from November 24 through December 23 and December 26-31. “Santa will be visiting. Plus, we’ll have refreshments, family activities, and musical performances on select evenings,” says Marketing & Public Relations Director Lisa Wilson. Check the calendar for details. 

Plan your visit: Tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket counter.  Adults $20, Teens (13-19) $10, Children (6-12) $2, Members $10, Edison and Ford Winter Estates, 2350 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers, 239-334-7419,

Lastly, the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium offers its Annual Holiday Lights Trail Walk—all December long. The one-third mile trail lights up with twinkling lights. Afterwards, gather around the fire, roast a marshmallow, and sip hot chocolate! 

Plan your visit: Tickets can be purchased online. Members free. Adults (13+) $10. Children (3-12) $5. Calusa Nature Center, 3450 Ortiz Ave., Fort Myers, 239-275-3435,

Ann Marie O’Phelan is a SW Florida resident and a regular contributor to TOTI Media.