Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog - Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison Ford KIDding Around at Bell Tower Shops

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 28th
  • KIDding Around – April 4, 10:00 a.m. – Noon

Pearce kidding aroundBring the entire family for FREE kid’s activities at The Bell Tower Shops. Join Edison Ford at the “KIDding Around” event on April 4. Professor Pearce will be making the very popular “slime.” There is always something new to experience at this event. Other activities on-site usually include a bounce house, face painting, refreshments, and musical fun. Make sure to stop in the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower and check out the collection of educational toys and books for young readers.  Edison Ford Members remember to show your membership card to get your 10% discount.


Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops Adds Edison-Inspired Book Treasures

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 27th

Edison reading in chair     At the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower books are the top seller because it is a great place to browse the carefully selected large assortment of books for all interests and ages.

Edison Ford Shoppe has just added an area of Edison Inspired Book Treasures. “Edison Inspired” because Edison was a great reader, an eclectic reader and owned more than 10,000 books. The new book area is a project of rare book collector Brady Vogt who has amassed thousands of books, many of them signed first editions, and many of them Florida-specific on topics like history, gardening and geography. There are also beautiful first copies of fiction books like “The Yearling.”

Stop in the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower anytime, and be prepared to be educated and immersed in the arts, culture, literature, and lots of unique gift items.


April Daily Tours and Programs

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 26th

april 2015 daily

Edison Ford Shoppes and Stores

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 25th

Edison statue with hat     Thomas Edison is sporting one of the sporty new Edison Ford visors. Thomas Edison is in a black but they are also available in light bulb yellow and pink for Mina. Visors and hats (most of them with lots of UV protection) are available for adults and down to tiny babies. They are one of the big sellers at all of the Edison Ford stores.

Books and invention items for children (of all ages) are also big sellers and the collection is very large and exciting. The Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower has a new area of rare books, first editions and signed books are also a big attractor.

For Edison Ford, retail sales are an important revenue and help support education and the preservation of the site. Please shop often and remember you are also helping Edison Ford while you benefit from unique items. Edison Ford Members receive a 10% discount at all the Edison Ford stores and the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe.

Visit our online store!


Ford Thunderbird Exhibition

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 23rd
  • April 4, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

thunderbird white     The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will be hosting the Ford Thunderbird Exhibition. Thunderbirds, or T-Birds, as they are affectionately known from all eras, will be displayed on the historic, riverside property of Henry Ford. Owners will be on hand to visit with guests and answer questions.

The Ford Thunderbird lives on in the hearts of so many people, in the garages of collectors and in the memories of millions. thunderbird redAt one of the most beautiful sites in Fort Myers, this is a fitting tribute to the legacy of the American automobile and Henry Ford.

The history of the Thunderbird has included two-seaters, roadsters, convertibles and four-door models, hardtops and sedans, more than 4 million of them. Over the years there have been several different models, but the nostalgia has never waned.

A portion of the proceeds from the Thunderbird show will benefit the restoration of the antique car collection of Edison Ford. Visitors can look forward to:

  • thunderbird aqua“Henry and Clara Ford” leading informal tours throughout the event
  • Thunderbird Car Talks
  • Everglades BBQ for purchase at the Ford Cottage Lawn
  • Live Music


Thunderbird owners can register their car for this special show by calling Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419. There is no fee for registration.

Admission to the Thunderbird show: Edison Ford Members FREE; non-members $20 adults, $11 children and includes an audio tour, as well as admission to see the homes, gardens, laboratory and museum.

thunderbird emblem


Edison Ford Summer Camp 2015 Registration Open, Filling Quickly

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 21st

     Registration is open for Edison Ford Inventor’s Summer Camp beginning June 8 through August 21, 2015 in science, art and nature. Camps are separated by grade levels, 1st – 3rd and 4th – 6th. Classes are already filling up so register soon.

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230. To register or for more information contact Edison Ford at 239-334-7419 or email lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org. To download the required forms visit www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/education/summercamp2/ For students above 6th grade, contact Edison Ford for Junior Counselor applications to earn volunteer hours.

Pearce roboticsJune 8 – 12 - Kitchen Chemistry **FULL**

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200, non-members $230

June 15 – 19 - Movie Making Magic **FULL**

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200, non-members $230

June 22 – 26 - Video Game Design **FULL**

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200, non-members $230

June 29 – July 3 - Video Game Design **FULL**

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200, non-members $230

July 7 – 10 - Space and Rockets

Cost: Edison Ford Members $170; non-members $200

July 13 – 17 - Eager Engineers **FULL**

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230

July 20 – 24 - Electricity, Circuits and Lighting Design **FULL**

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230

July 27 – 31 - Robotics **FULL**

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230

August 3 – 7 - Robotics **FULL grades 4-6**

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230

August 10 – 14 – Smarts in Art **FULL for grades 4-6**

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230

August 17 – 21 – Animation

Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230


     Materials fee for: Engineering, Electricity, Circuits and Lighting Design – $15; Robotics – $20

     Please choose your Summer Camp weeks carefully, as no refunds will be provided after May 4, 2015.

Families interested in a Edison Ford Scholarship can visit our website for an application. Scholarship applications are due no later than March 13, 2015. For more information contact Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419.


Art in the Gardens – Annual Exhibit of Children’s Garden Sculptures

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 19th
  • Opening Reception, April 12 – 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Art in the garden 2015 three pics     The students and teachers of Lee County are creating sculptures for the annual installation of garden art. Edison Ford staff are looking forward to their artwork!

There is still time for teachers to sign up and participate in this project. The installation will take place on the Museum West Porch from April 6 – April 12.

The theme for this year is “Flowers in the Garden.” Teachers will receive a $75 grant from Edison Ford to pay for materials. The installation must be able to withstand the weather for a few months. Teachers may choose to incorporate recycled materials, kinetic sculpture, and will focus on botanicals.

Contact Nadia Kluesner at Edison Ford for additional information, call 239-334-7419 or email nkluesner@edisonfordwinterestates.org.

“Art in the Gardens” is a FREE event and a collaboration with the Lee County Art Educators and the Education Department at Edison Ford.


Learn to Make an Herb Basket

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 18th
  • March 28, 10:00 a.m. - Museum West Porch

Garden herb basket     Join Jim Hopton, Garden Volunteer and Art Teacher, in using traditional decorative finishes such as stenciling, color washing, and gold-leafing to create an artistic herb basket with a wooden strawberry container. When finished you will choose your herbs from the large collection at the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe. This one-day workshop includes all supplies.

Class is limited to 10 participants. Estimated class time is 2 – 3 hours.

Cost: Edison Ford Members $30; non-members $35.


Two Different Workshops with artist, Megan Kissinger

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 16th

Megan kissinger     Award-winning nature artist, Megan Kissinger, will teach the basics of drawing flowers, leaves, and trees with informal drawing techniques. Multiple workshops are offered and include classroom lectures, and demonstrations in the Edison Ford gardens. Participants can choose one class or two classes as each has a different focus.


  • March 25, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., Drawing Peaceful and Contemplative Gardens (Zen Gardens)

     No artistic ability required. Creativity is the goal of this class. Participants will be inspired by the nature at Edison Ford as they stroll through the gardens. Cost: Edison Ford Members $40; non-members $60.


  • March 28, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Foliage Botanical Illustrations (Trees, Trunks and Roots)

     Illustrations in this class will be specific to greenery, leaves and stems. Cost: Edison Ford Members $75; non-members $90.


Edison Ford Director Tours 2015 Travel Season

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 14th

There are only two more Director Tours remaining in the regular season as we wind down a very successful eight months of tours. This year we visited Asheville and the Biltmore Estates, Palm Beach for the gardens and exhibits at some wonderful historic properties, Homestead and Redlands for the plant nurseries and we are planning our trips for next year already.

For the late Spring, Summer and Early Fall season, we are considering a few shorter and nearby Summer Director Tours to include a long boat trip cruising up the Caloosahatchee, the Estero Bay Fisheries and Mound House and Pine Island for a cruise, and also palm and plant nurseries. We decided to postpone our possible trip to Dearborn and the Ford Estate and Greenfield Village until 2016 but it is still in our headlights for sometime in the future.

There are only a few seats remaining on the two upcoming Director Tours. The tours include all travel arrangements and tour fees, as well as private lunch with a choice of selections. Cost: Edison Ford Members $100, non-members $110. For more information or to register contact Nancy Achter at nachter@edisonfordwinterestates.org or 239-335-3678.

  • Fort Lauderdale, Bonnet House & Gardens and Butterfly World, Coconut Creek, March 21, 2015     (Limited Seats Remaining)

lorikeet     Bonnet House was completed in 1920 on the narrow barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the town of Fort Lauderdale. This expansive Caribbean-style plantation house was designed and built for the artist Bartlett and his wife. Together they assembled an impressive collection of paintings (including their own) and decorative pieces from their international travel. The day also includes Butterfly World, the largest butterfly park in the world with hundreds of butterflies, hummingbird and lorikeet aviaries and exotic plants throughout the ten acres. Lunch will be at Casablanca Café.


  • Mid Century Modern Sarasota, April 18, 2015 (Limited Seats Remaining)

This tour will be led by Sarasota Historian and Fort Myers/Naples architect Joyce Owens who will be joined by architects and trustees of the Sarasota School of Design Foundation which oversees the historic structures of the Mid Century Modern centuries of the 1950’s. The day will include a walking tour of Lido Key and a bus tour of favorite Sarasota buildings with lunch on St. Armand’s Circle at the Shore Diner.

directors tour sarasota jan 2015