I don’t know about you, but I could use some good old fashioned holiday cheer. 2020 has been a doozy: Australian brush fires, Harry and Megan quit the royal family, the loss of Kobe Bryant and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, President Trump’s impeachment, worldwide pandemic, black lives matter protests, a very divided election, a record number of named hurricanes in the Atlantic, and murder hornets. I could go on, but you get the picture. It feels like a decade’s worth of events happening in one year. With the holidays just around the corner, maybe you’re thinking about a trip. Might I suggest southwest Florida? Plenty of holiday happenings to bring you some yuletide cheer combined with the perfect weather equals one great getaway.
At the time of writing, Florida has no Covid19 travel restrictions, but understand that cities and municipalities may put their own in place. So, be sure to research your destination to know what you can expect. The weather is perfect this time of year, the humidity has dropped, and the need for outdoor activities has risen. I’ve taken the liberty to put together a one-stop guide for Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Sanibel holiday happenings.
My first suggestion, if you’re planning an overnight, weekend, or even a week-long trip, stay at the Hibiscus House Bed and Breakfast!! You know the reasons why; comfortable, relaxed atmosphere, it’s got that home away from home feel and beautifully decorated for every occasion. Their food is always delicious and made with special attention to compliment the
season. You won’t find any pumpkin or peppermint there in the spring. Let’s dive into our
Traditional Holiday Lights Display
Edison and Ford Winter Estates “Holiday Nights” November 27-January 3
- A holiday lights display unlike any other. General admission, guided tours and inside guided tours are available. Prices and Covid19 safety information is available on their website https://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/events/holiday-nights-edison/
The Historic Burroughs Home and Gardens “Holiday House” December 11-23
- A glittering winter wonderland presented by the Fort Myers Women’s Community Club. The club will deck the halls and gardens with holiday decorations and lights that is sure to get you in the holiday mood. Keep up to date with the FMWCC at https://www.fmwcc.net/house.
- Don’t forget to take a beautiful ride over to Sanibel Island where you can see the historic Sanibel Lighthouse decorated for the holidays
What’s more Christmas than Shopping?
Christmas House at the Shell Factory and Nature Park.
- At this shop it’s Christmas all year long https://www.shellfactory.com/christmas-house
- Miromar Outlets Designer and brand name outlets, SWFL’s premier place to shop and dine. Recipient of TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice award 2020. Check out their events page for their Toy Drive, free gift wrapping, holiday mini horse trails and other events https://www.miromaroutlets.com/events/
Sanibel Captiva’s Luminary Week, December 4-11
- A week-long, shop small celebration with discounts from local businesses. Luminary week offers can be found here https://sanibel-captiva.org/luminary-week-offers/
The Best Holiday Festivals in SW Florida
Festival of Trees, December 3-6 at the Sydney & Berne Davis Arts Center
- View trees decorated by local businesses, vote on your favorites and buy a raffle to win a tree. Proceeds benefit Goodwill of Southwest Florida and the Arts Center. Events include a Wreath Lighting on the 4th, Santas Block Party on the 5th and Raffle Drawling on the 6th. Check it out https://www.sbdac.com/festival-of-trees/
Holiday Festival of Lights, December 5, Downtown Cape Coral
- SWFL’s official start to the holiday season, Cape Coral turns into Christmas Town on December 5. Includes a tree lighting, a visit from the big man himself Santa Clause, multiple stages for entertainment, craft vendors, food, and fun for kids. Information can be found here
Unique to Southwest Florida, Boat Parades
- The 32nd annual Fort Myers Beach Boat Parade on December 5 – https://www.fortmyersbeach.org/events/christmas-boat-parade/
- The Bonita Springs Boat Parade on December 14 – https://bonitaboatparade.com/
- Holiday Boat a Long, Cape Coral Boat Parade on December 19 – https://www.capecoral.net/department/parks_and_recreationhome/special_events_division/index.php
Neighborhood Holiday Lights Display (personal favorite)
McQuade Family Christmas Show, November 25-January 1
- A Christmas Crazed couple who turns their home into a Christmas lights extravaganza. Updates https://www.facebook.com/groups/588714304564503/
Cape Coral Holiday Lights Map
- I discovered this interactive map showing all the Cape Coral holiday lights displays in the neighborhood. It’s dated for 2018 and 2019. I’m hopeful the creator will have an updated map for 2020 soon. So, check this one out often. https://www.winknews.com/2019/12/08/interactive-map-shows-all-holiday-light-displays-in-cape-coral/
Just an FYI so you don’t have to scan every station to find some holiday tunes, the official holiday music radio station is Sunny 106.3: https://sunny1063.com/
Southwest Florida Symphony presents Holiday Pops concert series, December 3-6
The symphony musicians will play holiday favorites at four locations. Two in Fort Myers, one in Cape Coral, and one on Sanibel Island: https://www.swflso.org/concerts/holiday-pops-2/
Wishing you every happiness this holiday season and throughout the coming year.
Superpowers include finding the BEST neighborhood holiday lights displays