Southwest Florida Holiday Events
The holidays have arrived and there are so many events to attend this year in Southwest Florida! From Santa’s arrival and Christmas tree lightings, to holiday concerts and musicals, here are a few we think you’ll enjoy. Oh, and please note that many of these events are pet-friendly!
Bonita Springs Holiday in the Park: 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 4th, at Riverside Park, 10450 Reynolds St., Bonita Springs
Event features a giant snow slide, snow piles for the children, train rides and free cookies and cider. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by horse and carriage. Free.
Bonita Springs Christmas Boat Parade: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, December 8th, on Imperial River in Bonita Springs.
There will be several viewing spots along the river including Riverside Park and the Imperial River Boat Ramp. 239-495-0455. bonitaboatparade.com.
Bonita Springs Concert Band Christmas Concert: 2 p.m. Sunday, December 9th, at Riverside Park, 10451 Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs
Bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating. 315-783-1971.
“Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer the Musical”: 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, December 21st, at Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero.
For one night only, “most famous reindeer of all” will return with the critically acclaimed “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.” Tickets range $24.40 to $54.50. $10 for parking. Germainarena.com.
Joyful Holidays and Tree Lighting: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, November 30th, at Gulf Coast Town Center, 9903 Gulf Coast Main St.
Event features a hot chocolate station, games, crafts, community performances, a cookie creation station, tree lighting and more. Free. 239-267-5107.
Fort Myers Santa Block Party: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, December 1st, in downtown Fort Myers, 2125 First St.
See Santa ride down First Street in a fire truck before he stops to meet and greet kids of all ages. Children can also take part in Santa's Workshop where they can make holiday art, color Christmas and holiday cards, decorate cookies from Publix, and build a wooden craft with The Home Depot. Food trucks will be on site serving food and drinks available for purchase. Free admission. Santa’s workshop is $6 per child. Sbdac.com.
“The Nutcracker”: 2pm and 7 p.m. December 1st. Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 13350 FSW Parkway
Gulfshore Ballet and professional guest stars, with the Gulf Coast Symphony, Andrew Kurtz conducting, in the Tchaikovsky holiday classic. $29-$85. gulfcoastsymphony.org
Christmas Carol Sing: 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, December. 11th, First Presbyterian Church, 2438 Second St.
Bring non-perishable canned goods to donate. 239-334-2261. Fpcfortmyers.org.
Fort Myers Festival of the Trees: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, November 27th- Sunday, December 2nd, at The Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center, 2301 First St.
The Festival of Trees is a showcase of holiday trees designed by local businesses, individuals and organizations. Trees are auctioned and raffled. $2 per person. sbdac.com/festival-of-trees-2018.
Festival of Trees/Santa/Gingerbread Houses Party: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 27th-29th. Marco Island Center for the Arts, 1010 Winterberry Drive
Compact seasonal joy in a forest of 3-foot or smaller trees locally decorated. A silent auction is part of the event. There is a gingerbread house-making party 4-5:30 p.m.on November 27th for 6- to 12-year-olds. The houses will be judged. Price is $15 and advance registration is required. Santa also makes a visit 4-6 p.m. that day to hear Christmas wishes. Free admission. 239-394-4221
Santa’s Arrival: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 23rd at the Shops of Marco, 1811 San Marco Road
Santa will be available for a meet and greet and photos with children. Free. Christmasislandstyle.com.
Tree Lighting Ceremony: 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, December 1st at Veterans Community Park, 901 Park Avenue
Join Marco Island as citizens light the Island's Christmas tree in this annual event at Veterans Park. Event features live music, performances, songs and food and beverages for purchases. Free admission. christmasislandstyle.com.
Christmas Boat Parade: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, December 8th at Marco Island Esplanade, 760 N. Collier Blvd.
Decorated boats will be passing by The Esplanade Shoppes and Snook Inn Restaurant & Chickee Bar along Collier Bay. Free. Christmasislandstyle.com.
Christmas Street Parade: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, December 15th on San Marco Rd.
The parade will feature floats, marching bands, music, costumes, candy and Santa Claus. Parade begins at Balfour and San Marco Road and will end at San Marco and Barfield. Free. christmasislandstyle.com.
Naples Snow Fest: 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday, December 1st, at the Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Parkway
100 tons of snow will be made from 1, 200 blocks of ice that are trucked in and put through an ice chipper. Event also features Santa’s selfies at Santa’s South Pole, Mrs. Claus’s Kitchen, giant inflatable slide, bounce houses, giant laser tag, giant inflatable rock wall and carnival rides and games. $2 per person. Children ages 3 and younger are free. Snowfestnaples.com.
Community Hanukkah Celebration: 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, December 3rd, on the Lawn across from Silverspot Cinema at the Mercato, 9132 Strada Place
Event features concert by the Naples Klezmer Revival Band, Menorah lighting, Jewish war veterans' flag presentation, kids’ corner with face painting, crafts and performances and food available for purchase. Jewishnaples.org. 239-263-4205.
Hanukkah Celebration at Cambier Park: 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 4th, at Cambier Park, 755 Eighth Avenue S.
The party in Cambier Park will feature a giant painted Menorah, rides, games and crafts, refreshments and Chanukah treats. There will also be a live performance presented by the Preschool of the Arts school. Free. 239-272-4474.
Christmas Boat Parade at The Village Shops: 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 4th, at The Village Shops on Venetian Bay, 4200 Gulf Shore Blvd. N.
See boats decorated with Christmas lights, inflatables and costumed characters. Enjoy live entertainment, face painting, balloon art, holiday carolers, stories with Mrs. Claus, an appearance by Santa Claus and a snow show that starts at 7pm. Venetianvillage.com.
Christmas Walk and Tree Lighting Ceremony: 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, December 7th, on Fifth Avenue South, 649 Fifth Avenue S.
Event features musical performances and a tree lighting. Free. Fefthavenuesouth.com. 239-692-8436.
East Naples Breakfast with Santa: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, December 8th, at East Naples Community Park, 3500 Thomasson Drive
Decorate cookies, eat some sweet treats, do some arts and crafts and take some holiday pictures with Santa Claus. $5 per person. 239-252-4414.
Christmas Parade: 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 11th, on Fifth Ave. S., 649 Fifth Ave. S.
Floats, fire engines, school groups, bands, dance troupes, boy and girl scouts and civic groups make their way north on Third Street, then east on Fifth Avenue South and then south onto Eighth Street. Santa and Mrs. Claus will conclude the parade. 239-213-7120. Naplesgov.com.
Naples Santa Paws: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, December 13th, at The Village Shops on Venetian Bay, 4200 Gulf Shore Blvd. N.
Bring out the pups to meet and take holiday photos with Santa. Adoptable pets from the Humane Society of Naples will be on site. Drop off your receipts from Thursday, Dec. 13, to Sunday, Dec. 16, and The Village will donate 10 percent back to the Humane Society of Naples. venetianvillage.com/event/santa-paws-2.
Naples Zoo Winter Fest: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, December 15th-16th, at the Naples Zoo, 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road N.
Zoo guests can enjoy meet and greet opportunities with Santa and one of his elves, and see animals enjoy enrichment themed to look like holiday presents. Regular zoo admission applies. Napleszoo.org.
Santa and Mrs. Claus at Waterside Shops: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, December 15th-16th, at The Waterside Shops, 5415 U.S. 41 N.
Free. Guests are strongly encouraged to bring personal cameras. Well behaved, leashed pets are welcome. watersideshops.com/events/santa-1