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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for December, 2009

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – January 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 22nd

January at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with Sneak Peeks, Rain Barrel Workshop , the annual Estates Tropical Florida Bridal Fair as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month.  The January schedule of programs and events include:

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights, Through – January 2, 5:30 PM – 9 PM

The Estates holiday tradition continues with “Edison & Ford Holiday Nights,” southwest Florida’s 34 year annual event.  The winter homes of the Edison and Ford families will be seasonally decorated with the “favorite things” of the Edison and Ford families.  The Edison Botanic Lab and Estates Museum will be open every evening with special exhibits as well as nightly holiday performances by area students and groups.  Group rates are available to groups of 20 or more people with advance reservations.  For more information call 239-334-7419. 

Home Schoolers: “Eager Engineers,” January 8, 1 PM – 3 PM

Home schooled students and their parents will be inspired by Henry Ford’s inventions and learn how simple machines become complex machines, as well as the science of building bridges.  The programs follow the Lee County mandated program and addresses environmental science, history and reading SOLS.  Pre-visit curriculum materials will be mailed to registered families.  Registration required. Estates Members $5; non members $15 (one adult, one child) additional $5 per child. 

Etiquette at the Estates:  Mina & Mimi’s Manners, January 9 & February 6, 11 AM

Mina Edison, wife of Thomas Edison, was a gracious hostess and interested in the well being of children and the community.  Following in this tradition, Etiquette at the Estates, includes one day (two hour) lessons in etiquette and social skills.  Children will learn proper introductions, handshakes and dining etiquette during a three course meal.  Class will be taught by Suzanne Willis who has been teaching similar classes at the Ritz-Carlton hotels throughout the nation.  Registration is requires.  Estates Members $40; non members $50. 

Wild Wizard Lab Show, “Eager Engineers,”  January 10, 2 PM

The Estates Wild Wizards present a series of lab experiments exploring some of Mr. Edison’s and Mr. Ford’s illuminating inventions.  Join the Wizards and explore how simple machines become complex machines as well as the science of building bridges.  Fun for all ages.  Estates Members are FREE, non members: $10 adults, $5 children and includes Estates Lab and Museum admission.

New Volunteer Orientation,  January 12, 10 AM

Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information.  This is a mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are welcome.

Sneak Peek Tours for the Public, January 14, 21, & 28, 10:30 AM

This season a NEW behind-the-scenes tour inside the Edison and Ford homes open to the public and Estates members.   These unique tours are offered at no cost to Estates members and $40 for non members.  In addition, lunch will be served riverside by the Ford Estate following the tour for $15 per person.  Due to the intimate nature of “Sneak Peek Tours,” space is limited and registration is required.  To become an Estates member call the Estates Membership office to receive free admission to the Estates and hundreds of museums and gardens throughout the United States, discounts and an inside look into the homes of two of the nations greatest inventors and their families. 

Docent Training, January 21, 9 AM

New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch, Lab and Museum docents, or group tour docents of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory meeting.

Rain Barrel Workshop, January 23, 9 AM

Harvesting rainwater by using rain barrels has been around for thousands of years. Thomas Edison used cisterns and water tanks throughout his Fort Myers estate to help irrigate his gardens and to use for drinking water.   Join the Estates Horticulturist, Debbie Hughes and Tom Becker, Florida Yards and Neighborhoods for a unique approach on uses and construction of rain barrels and a tour of the Estates.  In addition southwest Florida artist, Marie Dyer will give a demonstration on painting your rain barrel to create a beautiful addition to your landscape.   Registration is required.  Estates Members $50; non members $55 and includes a rain barrel. 

Estates Tropical Florida Bridal Fair, January 24, 1 PM – 5 PM

The second annual Estates Tropical Florida Bridal Fair will be held on the beautiful grounds of the Ford Estate, southwest Florida’s premier wedding location.  With breathtaking water views, historic gardens and romantic sunsets the Estates is a perfect location for your special day.  Over 40 wedding professionals will be available to assist you as well as a bridal fashion show, dancing demonstrations, catering showcase and much more.  Cost: $5, FREE to brides.  Event is sponsored by Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Creative Events/Taylor Rental, Fort Myers, and Studio Six Eleven.

photo courtesy of Jamie Lee Photography

Coming in February: 

“Brunch with Mrs. Edison:  Living with a Genius,” February 19 & 20, 11 AM

Storyteller, writer, playwright and professional actress, Nan Colton will bring to life the remarkable and charitable Mina Edison with unforgettable tales of “living with a genius.”  Brunch will be served in the beautiful Estates gardens and garden hats are encouraged.  Reservations required, seating is limited.  Estates Members $50; non members $60.  Group rates are available.

Horse and Wagon Rides with Santa and The Edisons

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 21st


Holiday Wagon Rides at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates depart from the historic Ford Estate and tour the nearby old Edison Park neighborhood during the annual Edison & Ford Holiday Nights event. From December 21 – December 23 visitors can enjoy a wagon ride with Santa Claus and December 26 & 27 guests can ride with Thomas and Mina Edison. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 per children ages 12 and under. Visitors will be delighted with the meandering tour of the old neighborhood with the two stately French horses.

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights is an annual lighted event at the historic Estates of the two inventors. The event continues through January 2, 2010 (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).

Group rates for Edison & Ford Holiday Nights are available in advance by calling 239-334-7419. In addition to touring the 20 acres of beautifully decorated gardens, historic homes, Edison Lab and Museum, food and beverages are available for purchase on the river, there is nightly music in the Estates Heritage Gardens and Creative Cottage is open featuring area artists, authors and craftspeople for one-of-a-kind gifts.

Artists and Authors Night at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 16th

On Sunday, December 20, 2009, 4 PM – 7 PM at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates meet Estates Creative Cottage Artists and Authors for one of-a-kind gifts for the holiday season. The seasonal Creative Cottage is back again this year in the historic Edison Caretaker’s House with a wonderful group of local artists, authors and craftspeople.

Featured artists include:

• Photographer, Manfred Behr with work including hand painted boxes and photographs of the Estates Banyan tree

• Ceramic artist and painter, Augusta Crane featuring handcrafted bowls and sculptures of orchids, hibiscus and other tropical flowers and leaves

• Impressionist painter, Ellen Sheppard who has captured tropical south Florida and forgotten landscapes on canvas

• Painter, Marie Dyer who loves painting on found objects and her work includes furniture, floor cloths and rain barrels

• Metalwork artist, James DiGiorgio with specially designed pieces combining classic lines with modern design

• Jewelry artist, Anita Singh featuring earrings, necklaces and bracelets

Virginia Harper, a self taught artist whose joyful work includes painted garden furniture, posts and other outdoor three dimensional painted creations.

Karen Flanders with dazzling glass work, wearables and colorful three dimensional art in clay and multimedia

• Matlacha artist and gallery owner, Leoma Lovegrove who is known for her colorful iconic depiction of Florida themes and modern impressionism

• Painter, Pat Dunn with Florida landscapes and still life in impressionist style

Norman Love, internationally known, award winning chocolatier who has created a special hand-crafted chocolate in honor of Thomas Edison

Featured authors include:

Tom Smoot, Jr., The Edisons of Fort Myers

John Sheppard, One Man’s Family in Early Fort Myers

Doug MacGregor, Get Creative…Turn on the Bright Side of Your Brain

Estates Creative Cottage Artists and Authors will personalize artwork and books for a one of a kind gift and Estates Members will receive a 10% discount. Shoppers passes will be issued at the Estates ticket counter. Call 239-334-7419 for a list of participating artists.

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Estates was awarded the National Trust for Historic Preservation Award in 2008 and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – December 2009

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 1st

December at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with Edison & Ford Holiday Nights, the return of Creative Cottage, and Artists and Authors Night as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month of December.  The December schedule of programs and events include:

Home Schoolers: “Experiments for the Holidays,” December 4, 1 PM – 3 PM

Home schooled students and their parents will study the science of the holidays, learning how a jolly chubby man can fit down a chimney, how reindeer fly and how a spinning dreidel keeps from falling.  The half day curriculum follows the Florida Sunshine objectives for learning.  The programs follow the Lee County mandated program and addresses environmental science, history and reading SOLS.  Pre-visit curriculum materials will be mailed to registered families.  Registration required. Estates Members $5; non members $15 (one adult, one child) additional $5 per child. 

Wild Wizard Lab Show, “Experiments for the Holidays,” December 6, 2 PM

The Estates Wild Wizards present a series of lab experiments exploring some of Mr. Edison’s and Mr. Ford’s illuminating inventions.  Join the Wizards and explore how a jolly chubby man can fit down a chimney, how reindeer fly and how a spinning dreidel keeps from falling.  Fun for all ages.  Estates Members are FREE, non members: $10 adults, $5 children and includes Estates Lab and Museum admission.

New Volunteer Orientation, December 8, 10 AM

Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information.  This is a mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are welcome.

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights, Holiday Party, December 10, 6 PM                                               

Kick off the holiday season with the first annual holiday party at the gloriously decorated homes and gardens of the Estates.  Guests will enjoy a special preview of the Estates annual event, food and beverages by the river, live music and much more.  Estates members, $50; non members $60.  To RSVP call 239-334-7419.

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights, December 11 – January 2, 5:30 PM – 9 PM

The Estates holiday tradition continues with “Edison & Ford Holiday Nights,” southwest Florida’s 34 year annual event.  The winter homes of the Edison and Ford families will be seasonally decorated with the “favorite things” of the Edison and Ford families.  The Edison Botanic Lab and Estates Museum will be open every evening with special exhibits as well as nightly holiday performances by area students and groups.  Special discount nights available to Lee County Residents opening weekend (December 11 &12).  Group rates are available to groups of 20 or more people with advance reservations.  For more information call 239-334-7419. 

Estates Artists & Authors Night, December 20, 4 PM – 7 PM

Looking for the perfect gift for the person on your list who has everything?  Estates Creative Cottage Artists and Authors will personalize artwork and books for a one of a kind gift. Estates Members are FREE; shoppers passes will be issued at the Estates ticket counter for non-members.

Holiday Schedule

The Estates will close at 2 PM on December 24th and be closed December 25th.   Holiday Nights is open nightly from 5:30 PM- 9 PM thru January 2 (closed December 24 & 25).  The Estates will be open December 31st and January 1 from 9AM – 9PM.

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation  and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site.  For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.