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Gulf & Main Magazine

Reasons for the Season: Dazzling trees, homes, boats, performances

Oct 25, 2017 05:24PM ● By Mandy Carter

Each year, the Burroughs Home and Gardens makes a magnificent Holiday House. Photo courtesy of Burroughs Home & Gardens.


The annual Festival of Trees is a five-day event in which beautiful and creatively decorated trees are on display, to benefit Goodwill Industries of SouthwestFlorida. The festival runs from Tuesday, Nov. 28, to Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in the historic Fort Myers River District. A variety of events, from a gala to a family block party, are planned. Find more details at


The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is one of the most popular attractions in Southwest Florida and visitors get a special treat during the holiday season. The historic buildings, labs and gardens are decorated with thousands of lights and traditional holiday trimmings. “Holiday Nights” are the only times that the grounds are open past sunset. It’s an educational and beautiful way for families to spend an evening. Get the news at


This time of year, Fort Myers has a number of farmers markets throughout the city. You could plan to have farm-fresh food each day of the week if you map it out right! Mondays: Fenway South Farmers and Flea Market; Tuesdays: Sunrise Fresh Market at Santini Plaza; Wednesdays: Lakes Park Farmers Market; Thursdays: The River District Farmers Market; Fridays: Health Park Farmers Market, and Saturdays: Alliance for the Arts Green Market.


For 61 years, The Fort Myers Woman’s Community Club has hosted its Holiday House for two weeks during December. It’s a fun and festive community tradition in which hundreds of volunteers spend days embellishing the interiors and exteriors of the Burroughs Home & Gardens and also the Langford-Kingston Home. For exact dates and more information, visit


Tis the season to taste a lot of food. A favorite event in which the public gets to sample some delicious menu items from local restaurants is the Annual Taste of the Town. It’s sponsored by The Junior League of Fort Myers and takes place this year on Sunday, Nov. 5, on the grounds of the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. Check for info.


On Sunday, Nov. 5, for its fifth year, the Fort Myers Marathon brings in participants from near and far to run through the City of Palms and have spectacular water views from the city’s bridges. This year, there’s a new waterfront finish in Centennial Park—with a fun post-race party. Go to
The annual Fort Myers Marathon takes runners through the City of Palms. Photo courtesy of Fort Myers Marathon.



Each year, Norman Love Confections releases a special holiday collection and uniquely packaged candies that will make the perfect gift for that special someone. Favorite flavors in the past have included Pumpkin Pie and Orange Spice Truffle in autumn, and White Christmas, Candy Cane, and Java Jingle during the holidays. Details are at


The Broadway Palm Dinner Theater and the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at Florida Southwestern State College both have packed performance schedules during the holiday season. Offerings includes Broadway musicals, concerts, ballet performances, musicals, plays and more. Be sure to get your tickets early as they always sell out! Event listings are at and at


The 29th annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade is set for Saturday, Dec. 2, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will take place on Estero Bay, and the location offers great vantage points from restaurants and bars such as Parrot Key, Nervous Nellie’s and Matanzas on the Bay. Visit

Mandy Carter is a local mom with a passion for family travel, a popular travel blogger including her own family blog at and the Digital Content & Engagement Editor for TOTI Media.