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

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for December, 2014

January Daily Tours and Programs

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 30, 2014

Everyday of the week Edison Ford offers visitors historian-led guided tours, audio tours in English, German, Spanish and French; museum demonstrations and hands-on science activities.

  • Daily Daytime River Cruises on the M/V Edison Explorer ~ 10:30 a.m.; 12:30 p.m.; 2:30 p.m.

Departing from The Marina at Edison Ford, river cruises will take passengers up the Caloosahatchee River to learn Edison Ford river history, river ecology, as well as viewing dolphins, manatees, birds and river life up close.


  • Inside the Lab Tour ~ Tuesdays & Fridays – 10:30 a.m.

This in-depth exploration inside the Edison Botanic Research Lab, a National Historic Chemical Landmark includes areas of the laboratory which are normally closed off to the public and also includes Museum guided tour.


  • Garden Tour ~ Wednesdays – 10:30 a.m.

Join Edison Ford garden staff to tour the 20 acres of gardens and homes of the Edison and Ford families. Admission includes audio tour of homes, museum and lab.


  • German Language Tour ~ Wednesdays – 10:30 a.m. & Fridays – 12:30 p.m.

Historian-led tour of homes, gardens, lab and museum in German language.


  • behind the scenes mike with electrolier Behind-the-Scenes Tour ~ Thursdays – 11:00 a.m.

A Behind-the-Scenes tour takes you inside and up close in the Edison and Ford homes led by curatorial staff, and  includes the homes, gardens, lab and museum. Space is limited and reservations are suggested by calling 239-334-7419.


  • Spanish Language Tour ~ Saturdays – 1:00 p.m.

Historian-led tour of homes, gardens, lab and museum in Spanish plus the audio tour in Spanish.


  • Young Inventor’s Tour ~ Saturdays – 11:00 a.m.

Children of all ages will have fun while participating in hands-on science activities based on the inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Activities include an assembly line, phonograph demonstrations and much more.


NEW – Member & Community Plot Garden

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 21, 2014

Garden spots are still available in the new Edison Plot Garden, located behind the lab but filling up fast with interested gardeners and family groups. There are only 20 plots available in this new “experiment” of Edison Ford’s garden staff.

community garden dec 2014      The garden area is entirely organic and each 4×10 plot has already had the soil amended and waiting for a renting gardener. In fact, staff created this garden area a few years ago and it is so successful that we are opening it to Members and the community.

Organic vegetables and seed are Available in the Garden Shoppe and Garden staff is available for advice.

Complete the form or call Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 for more Information, or visit the Web site to download the form.



Edison Ford Summer Camp 2015 Registration NOW Open to MEMBERS ONLY

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 19, 2014

     Registration is now 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.

Registration for the general public opens in January. Sign up soon as camps fill up quickly.

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 our Web site.

For students in 7th through 12th grade, contact Edison Ford for Junior Counselor applications to earn volunteer hours, or download the form here.

summer camp young thomas edison dec 2014 updateJune 8 – 12 – Kitchen Chemistry

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

June 15 – 19 – Movie Making Magic

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

June 22 – 26 – Video Game Design

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

June 29 – July 3 – Video Game Design

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

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

July 20 – 24 – Electricity, Circuits and Lighting Design

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

July 27 – 31 – Robotics

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

August 3 – 7 – Robotics

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

August 10 – 14 – Smarts in Art

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.


Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 17, 2014

The gorgeous Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower is a wonderful place to shop for unique gifts for everyone … all ages and interests, art lovers, plant lovers, book lovers, and art, art, and more art by our favorite invited artists. The Shoppe at Bell Tower features the work of more thBell Tower Shoppe dec 2014 updatean a dozen local artists and craftsmen and writers. There are also jams, jellies, candy and local honey, and of course, the Edison Cookbook.

The Shoppe is also a great spot for last minute stocking stuffers … like an Edison Ford Gift Card or the Gift of Membership to the Edison Ford Winter Estates. As they say, the gift that keeps giving all year long.

For gift purchases, Edison Ford Members receive a 10% discount on all purchases.

The Edison Ford Shoppe at the Bell Tower is open Christmas eve from noon until 5:00pm, and can be reached at 239.437.3754.

Edison Ford Gift Card for the Holidays

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 15, 2014

Give a Membership, the Gift of Tickets, Education Programs or a Shopping Spree in the Museum Store or the Garden Shoppe

Members already know that as a Member of Edison Ford there are lots of benefits, such as discounts on tours, Museum store, Garden Shoppe, programs, Inventor’s Summer Camp, and Homeschool.

Did you know that you can purchase an Edison Ford gift card on-line at www.edisonfordwinterestates.org to give to friends or family member? This is a great way to become involved with the nifty Edison Ford Gift card shown here.

For more information call Darlene Hermey, Membership Coordinator at 239-334-7419.

gift card back


Registration for Adult Programs Now Open

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 13, 2014

Two Different Workshops with artist Megan Kissinger

Megan banyan tree dec 2014     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 as a different focus.

  • January 30, 2015, 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.

  • January 31, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Foliage Botanical Illustrations

     Illustrations in this class will be specific to greenery, leaves and stems.

Cost: Edison Ford Members 75; non-members $90.

Scarf Art with artist Marie Dyer

  • scarf art dec 2014 update  January 24, 2015, March 14, 2015 – 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

      Join artist, Marie Dyer and create your own hand painted silk scarf. Marie will teach a variety of techniques to inspire painters of all levels to create their own one-of-a-kind scarf. All materials will be provided to produce a finished piece. “Scarf Art” classes will be located on the West Museum Porch at Edison Ford. Bring a lunch or enjoy lunch at the Banyan ]Refreshment area or Pinchers at The Marina at Edison Ford. Cost: Edison Ford Members $75; non-members $80 (includes all materials and scarf).

Call Edison Ford to register at 239.334.7419.



Winter Break Camp – Robotics and Engineering

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 11, 2014
  • pearce robotDecember 22 & 23; December 29 & 30

      Learn to build and program robots, work with LEGO EV3 Mindstorms and NXT programming software. No experience required, just a passion for engineering and robotics. Cost: Edison Ford Members $90; non-members $100.

For more information call the Edison Ford Education Department at 239-334-7419.


December 2014 Garden Talk

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 9, 2014
  • December 13, 10:00 a.m.

Join Debbie Hughes and Todd Roy for a hands-on workshop on making centerpieces and other holiday decorations from live plants including our favorite Tillandsia air plants, Christmas Cactus, herbs, and other unique materials. The workshop will be held on the Museum West Porch. Debbie and Todd are both artists as well as Edison Ford Horticulture Staff. The Garden Shoppe offers a 10% discount to Members as well as class participants.garden talk dec 2014 bromeliad

Cost: Edison Ford Members $5; non-members $10 helps us defray the cost of materials. Participants are welcome to stay all day.



Pre-register by email: lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org, by calling Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 or register the day of the class. Space is limited to 25 and always best to pre-register.




Children’s Holiday Tree Trail – 54 Schools and 55 Trees

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 8, 2014

This year, the annual tree trail is spilling out into more space, with more trees, lighting and pathways. Thanks to the work of the Lee County Art Teachers and Edison Ford, we have been able to invite in some new schools to showcase the work of their students.

The theme is always “something Edison and Ford” meaning their inventions, their hobbies, or their interests. This year, the light bulb and lighting will be the focus. Teachers were awarded $25 each as a scholarship from Edison Ford to help with the cost of materials – although it is a given that the students and teachers always utilize recycled materials and innovative uses.

childrens tree trail dec 2014


The list of participating schools and teachers is as follows: Allen Park Elementary School (Susan Fansler), Bayshore Elementary School (James Lefko), Bonita Springs Elementary School (David Martin), Cape Coral Elementary (Connie Willis), Challenger Middle School (Sandy Rayannic), Cypress Lake High School (Marguerite Petcher), Cypress Lake Middle School (Joy Williams), Diplomat Middle School ( Jacqueline Ward), East Lee County High School (Samantha Hower),Edison Park Creative and Expressive Art Elementary School (Karen Flanders), Fort Myers High School (Crystina Castiglione), Gateway Elementary School (Sara Severson), Good Shepherd Luthern School (Rosemary Jones), Gulf Elementary School (Jodie Holland), Gulf Elementary School (Liz Olancin), Hancock Creek Elementary (Danielle Hopkins), Harns Marsh (Patricia Mulligan), Island Coast High School (Linda Meyer), J. Colin English Elementary School (Tracy Loso), Lee Virtual School (Ken McNew), Lee Virtual School (Kelly Welborn), Lehigh Acres Middle School (Debbie Prashad), Lehigh Senior High School (Betsy H.), Life Skills Class: S. Fort Myers High School (Kim Bathey), Manatee Elementary (Andrea Luizzi), Mariner High School (Jennifer Riley), Mirror Lakes Elementary School (Angela Weiss),North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts (Theresa West-Taylo), Orange River Elementary (Alexis Pyszka), Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School (Kellen Mills), Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School (Nicole Bizjak), Pelican Elementary (Ann Sealey), Pine Island Elementary School (Gloria Van Duzer), Ray V. Pottorf Elementary School (Sharon Tomasko), Rayma C. Page Elementary (Robert Sherry), San Carlos Park Elementary School (Deborah Bowers), Skyline Elementary School (Jeff Nelson), South Fort Myers High School (Jeanne Dozier – 2 trees), Spring Creek Elementary Trudy Kellum),St. Andrew Catholic School (Diana Villadolid), St. Francis Xavier Catholic School (Vanessa Lombardo), Tanglewood Elementary School (Mary Chavoen), The Sanibel School (Tylor Stewart), Three Oaks Elementary School (Laurie Belle), Three Oaks Middle School (Laura M. Campbell), Tice Elementary School (Jill Kessler), Tortuga Preserve Elementary School (Christina Sterrett), Trafalgar Elementary School (Helen Garcia-Valdez), Trafalgar Middle School (Margaret Horn), Varsity Lakes Middle School (Marjorie Resler), Veterans Park Academy for the Arts (Cyndi Johnson), Veterans Park Academy for the Arts (Jill Antonucci)

Artists and Authors Night at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On December 7, 2014
  • December 13, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.; Museum and West Porch

artists and authors dec 2014 update      Looking for the perfect gift for the person who has everything? Edison Ford Artists and Authors will personalize artwork and books for a one-of-a-kind gift.

For more information on which Artists and Authors will be available visit our events page online or call239-334-7419.