SWFL Gets Into The Holiday Spirit!
While the weather outside is more delightful than frightful here in Southwest Florida… we still like to spread holiday cheer this time of year! Below we’ve listed a few “can’t-miss” holiday events taking place this season.
Nothing screams Southwest Florida like Annual Holiday Boat Parades! These fun community events can be watched from local restaurants and parks, free of admission. Watch as a number of SWFL’s cheerful skippers deck out their vessels in lights and holiday spirit. Be sure to look out for Santa!
Fort Myers Beach
The 26th Annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Saturday, December 3, from 6:00-8:00pm
The parade will pass by such establishments as Bootleggers Waterfront Barbeque, Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, Matanzas on the Bay, Nervous Nellies, Doc Fords and Bonita Bills where you can kick back and enjoy the fun. Click here for more info on the FMB boat parade.
Bonita Springs Boat Parade
Saturday, December 10, 5:00pm
The US 41 bridge in Bonita Springs, over the Imperial River is an excellent vantage point to see the parade. Parking is limited. Click here for more info on the Bonita Springs boat parade.
Christmas Boat Parade on Naples Bay
Saturday, December 10, 6:15-8:30pm
The parade may be viewed from: Pincher’s Crab Shack, Riverwalk Restaurant, Naples City Dock, Naples Landing, Kelly’s Fish House, The Boat House Restaurant and Bayview Park. Click here for more info on the Naples boat parade.
Cape Coral Christmas Boat Parade
Saturday, December 17, 4:00-10:00pm
You can also watch as the boats line up in Bimini Basin for the parade which first passes by Four Freedoms Park beach before heading down various canals in South Cape Coral. Click here for more info on the Cape Coral boat parade.
Town Holiday Celebrations
Each town has a handful of events throughout December. Here are a few community-driven celebrations that warm your soul and put a smile on Santa’s face.
CenturyLink Holiday Festival of Lights
Saturday, December 3, 4:00-10:00pm
About 20,000 people attend every year to ring in the holidays with fun activities, photos with Santa and the lighting of the city's official Christmas tree. Click here for more info on the Festival of Lights.
Naples Christmas Parade
Thursday, December 6, 6:00-8:00pm
The annual parade starts with floats and participants lining up on Broad Avenue. Then they’ll turn right on Third Street South, right on Fifth Avenue South and end on Eighth Street South.
Holiday in the Park - Riverside Park
Thursday, December 6, 6:00-8:00pm
The annual event features a "blizzard" in the park, a giant snow slide, a snow pile, train rides, free cookies and cider, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
South Seas Island Resort Holiday Stroll
Friday’s and Saturday’s through December 24, 6:00-9:00pm
Families are invited to visit South Seas Island Resort for a display of holiday lights and family activities during the Holiday Stroll. Children can make ornaments, eat s’mores and visit with Santa. Click here for more info on the Holiday Stroll.
With a number of stellar museums in the area, each presents its own spectacular holiday events. Bring your camera and be sure to capture the beauty and awe of the season not only in photos but with family memories as well.
Christmas at Historic Palm Cottage
Through the month of December, Hours vary by day
See thousands of twinkling lights illuminate Naples' oldest house, which was built in 1895. Click here for more info on Christmas at Palm Cottage.
Night Lights in the Garden - Naples Botanical Garden
December 15 - January 4, 6:00-9:00pm
Each night will include holiday performances, family activities and festive sweets and treats. Click here for more info on Night Lights in the Garden.
The 41st Annual Edison & Ford Holiday Nights
Through January 1, 5:30-9:00pm daily
See the winter homes, gardens and historic buildings of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford as they are decorated with thousands of lights and decorations. Click here for more info on the Holiday Nights celebration.
Holiday House - Historic Burroughs and Langford Kingston Homes
December 9-23, 5:00-9:00pm daily
The holiday tradition celebrates its 60th anniversary with the theme “Let Heaven and Nature Sing.” Enjoy holiday treats and live entertainment, visit Santa Claus and tour the lavishly decorated, historic homes. Click here for more info on the Holiday House.