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

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Monthly Volunteer Meeting and New Volunteer Orientation

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 4th

● September 11, 9:30 a.m.
Chief Curator Alison Giesen and curatorial staff Mike Cosden and Matt Andres will present a gallery lecture and tour of the Estates newest exhibit, Edison & Ford in Cartoons: Then and Now in the Edison Caretaker’s House, as well as
demonstrate hands-on activities with the Museum Smart Cart.

Meetings and lectures are open to current Edison Ford volunteers as well as
prospective volunteers and the public.

For questions and additional information contact the Volunteer Department at 239-334-7419.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Open July 4th

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 29th

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, located at 2350 McGregor Boulevard will be open Fourth of July weekend including, Sunday, July 4th from 9 AM until 5:30 PM.

Programs include regular tours of the homes, garden and lab of the two inventors as well as orientation and touring in the Estates Museum. The 15,000 square foot air conditioned Museum has an impressive collection of inventions and artifacts, special exhibitions and archives. Demonstrations throughout the day include the Edison phonograph every half hour, and other Museum presentations including antique cars and the Edison Research Laboratory.

Throughout the summer the Estates offers visitors of all ages a chance to step back into “old Florida” and learn more about the world through unique historical, scientific and cultural experiences.

Admission includes use of the free audio wand tour. Estates members are FREE. In addition to providing the opportunity to explore the winter retreats of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, the site also offers opportunities for the public to enjoy its park-like environment for special events, weddings, corporate functions, and art and musical presentations as well as educational programs throughout the year.

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.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – June 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 7th
June at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of the Dead Fish Printing Workshop, Free Admission for Fathers on Father’s Day, and a new Botanic Lab Exhibit in the Museum.   Regular guided tours of the historic buildings and gardens as well as audio wand tours are available daily. Expanded Botanic Tours are available on Thursday and Saturday mornings at 9 AM and they include the botanical gardens as well as the propagating nursery. The Estates are open daily from 9 AM until 5:30 PM. Special activities include:     
 
Fish Printing Workshop, June 19, noon – 3 PM
Just in time for Father’s Day join guest artists and  architects for a Dead Fish Printing Workshop (ancient Japanese art form, gyotaku) on t-shirts or other clothes for a one-of-a-kind gift for dad. The workshop is free (a $5 donation is suggested  for Estates Summer Camp scholarships) and participants are encouraged to bring their own shirts, although shirts in limited sizes will be available for purchase.                                                                                                                                                          

Free Admission for Dads on Father’s Day, June 20

The Estates is offering FREE admission to any father accompanied with their paid child on Father’s Day. Free admission includes a tour of the newly restored homes, the historic botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and Edison’s Research Laboratory.

New Volunteer Orientation, June 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. Volunteers receive free Membership in the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and other benefits.
 
Docent Training, June 17, 9AM
New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch docents, Lab and Museum docents, or group tour docents of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory lecture and meeting.
 
Quilting and Stitchery Demonstration, June 26, 10 AM – 1 PM
Quilter’s from the Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild and members of the Southwest Florida Embroidery Guild will demonstrate quilting, knitting and stitching techniques. In the early 1900’s Henry and Clara Ford collected, celebrated and displayed quilts and other historical objects in their museums and homes. The Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild presented the Estates with a replica Ford Collection Quilt that is on exhibit in the Estates Museum. Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Home and Garden Tour ticket. 
 
Registration for Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp
The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is back again this year and the Wild Wizard is here all summer long. Camp begins on June 7, 2010 and runs through August 20, 2010.  Camps are open for grades 1-6 and sessions are separated by grade levels. Campers will make movies, become science detectives, launch objects into orbit, construct bridges and animate their own short films.  Registratin forms are available online at www.efwefla.org or are available at the Estates.  Estates Members $200; non members $230. Scholarships are available. For more information on specific topics, dates and times contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

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.

Print a Fish T-Shirt for Dad and Visit on Father’s Day

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 4th

What:   Fish Printing Workshop & FREE admission for Fathers
When: Workshop on Saturday, June 19, Noon until 3 PM
            FREE admission for Dad’s on Sunday, June 20, all day 
Where:   Edison & Ford Winter Estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers
Who:  Fathers, Grandfathers, children – bring the entire family

Join guest artists and architects for a Fish Printing Workshop (also known as gyotaku, the Japanese art of fish printing) at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in the Edison Caretaker’s House on June 19 from Noon – 3 PM.    Participating artists include Karen Flanders, City of Fort Myers Councilman and architect Mike Flanders and Parker Mudgett Smith architect Sean Gilmore.   Local real fish will be provided by the Edison Fish Market.

For a one of a kind gift for Dad, participants will create fish print t-shirts or fish prints on other clothing.  The Estates will furnish the fish, paint, and skill for participants to make a lasting keepsake of the day and a great Father’s Day gift 

Both the Edison and Ford families were well known for their love of fishing and fish.  It is not known if they tried gyotaku although the art form has been around for centuries as it was the first method for recording information about fish by printing the fish impression on rice paper. 

The workshop is FREE (a $5 donation is suggested which goes toward Estates Summer Camp scholarships) and participants are encouraged to bring their own shirts or printable fabric.  The Estates will have some t-shirts in limited sizes available for purchase.

On Father’s Day, June 20th,  Dads will be admitted FREE to tour the Estates accompanied with their paid child.    FREE admission for dad’s includes a tour of the newly restored homes, the historical botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and the Edison Research Laboratory.

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.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – February 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On January 28th

February at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with Thomas Edison’s Birthday Celebration, Estates Antique Car Show, Brunch with Mina Edison and the continuation of Sneak Peek Tours as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month.  The February schedule of programs and events include:

Registration for Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp begins

The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is back again this year and the Wild Wizard is here all summer long.  Camp begins on June 8, 2010 and runs through August 13, 2010.  Camps are open for grades 1 – 6 and sessions are separated by grade levels.  Campers will make movies, become science detectives, launch objects into orbit, construct bridges and animate their own short films.  Registration forms are available on line at www.efwefla.org or are available at the Estates.  Estates Members $200; non members $230.  For more information on specific topics, dates and times contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

Sneak Peek Tours February 4, 11, 18 & 25, 10:30 AM

NEW, behind-the-scenes tours 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 inside the Edison Caretaker’s House following the tour for $15 per person.  Due to the intimate nature of “Sneak Peek Tours”, space is limited and registration is required. 

Home Schoolers:  “Movie Making Secrets” February 5, 1 PM – 3 PM

Home schooled students will act, direct, operate a camera and build a set while learning about Edison’s contributions to the movie industry.  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 is required.  Cost:  Estates Members $5; non members $15 (one adult, one child), additional $5 per child.

Antique Car Show  February 6 , 10 AM – 2PM

Nearly 100 antique car collectors will display their antique cars throughout the Ford Estate. Other activities during the day include live music, food available for purchase on the Ford Cottage Terrace, Mr. & Mrs. Ford leading informal tours of the Ford Estate.  Cost is FREE to Estates Members and $5 for non members. 

Antique Car Show Model T Tour and Lecture February 6, 11 AM & 1 PM

Learn the history of Henry Ford and his automobiles first-hand through the Estates collection.  Participants will tour the Ford Estate and meet antique car owners who will provide interesting information specific to their Ford.  Estates Members FREE; non members $5, lecture included in the price of Antique Car Show admission.

Naples Historical Society Presentation February 6, 2 PM, Estates Museum

Elaine Reed and John Mayer of the Naples Historical Society will present “Tales from the Past,” a history of the City of Naples.  They will discuss the pioneers and other colorful characters that put Naples on the map.  Estates Members FREE; non members $12 adults, $6 children ages 6 – 12 and includes admission to the Estates Lab and Museum. 

Etiquette at the Estates February 6, 11 AM – 1 PM, (Children ages 6 -12)

Etiquette at the Estates teaches children proper introduction, handshakes and dining etiquette during a three-course meal.  The classes will be taught by etiquette expert Suzanne Willis who has been teaching similar classes throughout the nation.  Registration is required. Cost:   Estates Members $40; non members $50.

New Volunteer Orientation February 9, 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’s 163rd Birthday Celebration and Book Signing February 11, 10 AM

Celebrate Edison’s birthday at the Estates with the staff, distinguished guests and Edison Park Elementary School students who will perform music from the Edison era.  Performance begins at 10:00 AM with cake to follow. The birthday celebration is FREE to the public.  In addition, Tom Smoot, Jr., author of The Edisons in Fort Myers; John Sheppard, author of One Man’s Family in Early Fort Myers; and Alan S. Maltz, author of Visions of Beauty Fort Myers, Sanibel & Beyond will be available to sign their books throughout the morning in the Estates public Heritage Gardens. 

Brunch with Mrs. Edison “Living with a Genius” February 12 & 13, 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. Hats are encouraged!  Reservations are required, seating is limited.  Estates Members $50; non members $60.  Group rates available.

Docent Training February 18, 9AM

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

Art in the Gardens “Butterflies at the Estates” Exhibit February 28 – June 2010

In the heritage gardens at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Lee county students create an environmentally interactive artwork exhibit using recycled materials to make life-like garden art. The exhibit is sponsored by The Foundation of Lee County Public Schools, ArtFest, and Truly Nolen.  The exhibit is FREE to the public.

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.

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.

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is offering FREE admission to United States Veterans and their families on November 11, 2009. The Estates is honoring the men, women and their families who have served our country.  Free admission includes a tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, the Estates Museum, and Edison’s Research Laboratory.  In addition, Veterans will receive a 10% discount on Estates membership and items in the Museum Store. 

Veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers to receive free admission. Current servicemen and women may also gain free admission by presenting an active military ID. 

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is recipient of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Stewardship Award, a National Register Historic Site and a Florida Historic Landmark.  The Estates is open daily from 9 AM until 5:30 PM year-round.  The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is a private non-profit organization and receives grants through the State of Florida Department of Historical Resources as well as tourism marketing grant from the Lee County Tourism Commission.  Call 239.334.7419 or check the website at www.efwefla.org.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – November 2009

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 23rd

November at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of the Estates Edison Garden Market and Creative Cottage as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month of November.  The November schedule of programs and events include:

  • FREE Admission to Veterans and their Families, November 11

The Estates is offering free admission to United States Veterans and their families on November 11th.  Free admission includes a tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and the Edison Research Lab.  Veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers to receive free admission. 

  • Edison Ford Winter Estates Foundation 9th Annual Foundation Gala, November 6

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates and Sam Galloway, Jr., President of the Edison Ford Winter Estates Foundation are celebrating “Moments in Black & White.”  The Gala features a reception and private dinner on the grounds of the Ford Estate including live entertainment, silent and live auctions featuring items that represent a “piece of the past and treasures of today”.  Limited seating!  For more information contact the Edison Ford Winter Estates Foundation office at 239-274-2377.  The Edison Ford Winter Estates Foundation provides preservation and restoration support to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc.    

  • New Volunteer OrientationNovember 10, 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.

  • Docent Training, November 19, 9 AM

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

  • Home School:  “Rocks, Minerals & Thomas Edison,” November 20, 1 PM – 3 PM

 Home schooled students and their parents can enroll in a half day of curriculum that follows the Florida Sunshine objectives for learning.  Home schoolers will learn about minerals and rocks including what Edison did with iron ore and Edison’s own concrete mixture.  The program follows 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. 

  • Estates Closed Thanksgiving Day, November 26, Open Friday, November 27
  • Estates “Creative Cottage” Opens, November 27 – mid January

The seasonal Creative Cottage is back again in the historic Edison Caretaker’s House with a wonderful group of local artists, authors, craftspeople and chefs.  The “Creative Cottage” will be open 10 AM – 5 PM daily until December 11.  During the Estates Holiday event, “Edison & Ford Holiday Nights” hours will be extended to 9 PM.  Estates Members are FREE; a “shoppers pass” may be issued at the main ticket office to visit the “Creative Cottage”. Call 239-334-7419 for additional information. 

creative cottage local art

  • Edison Garden Market, November 27, noon – 5 PM; November 28,  9 AM – 5 PM; November 29, 9 AM – 3 PM

The Edison Garden Market attracts plant vendors from throughout the state to sell unique plants, orchids, herbs, trees and garden merchandise.  The event also includes workshops, food sales, music and other activities.  The Market is a great event for family and friends on Thanksgiving weekend. The event is FREE to the public.

edison garden market

  • 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.

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights: December 11, 2009 – January 2, 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 30th

With a theme of “Favorite Things,” Edison & Ford Holiday Nights at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is a 34 year tradition attracting visitors from all over the nation to see millions of lights and decorations throughout the riverside homes and gardens of the famous families.

       Holiday Nights 08 092

This year there are many new surprises and the return of the successful favorites making this a ‘must do’ for families, residents, visitors and groups.   The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is a National Register Historic Site and has just completed more than $12 million in award winning restoration to the historic Edison and Ford buildings, and historic gardens.  In fact, the project won the top award for restoration from the National Trust for Historic Preservation this year because of its attention to restoration detail and authenticity. Just recently the Estates is adding a new outdoor lighting system for an additional $500,000.

The historic site prides itself on recreating the holiday tradition in the days of the Edison and Ford families and their hundreds of visitors.  The historic buildings, porches, interior rooms and the gardens are all seasonally decorated.  This year, there is a new spin – the lights will be brilliantly colored which was the fashion and original design of the 1920’s.  The lights are a combination of tiny bright lights, new LED varieties and antique light displays from the collections of the Estates and museums as far away as the Schenectady Museum in upstate New York (home of GE who manufactured the lights).  The site has also added areas with projected laser light star fields (Edison would have enjoyed this contemporary spin!).

 

Some of the old favorites and new additions for December 2009 include:

•           Millions of colored lights throughout the site which includes nine historic buildings and unique structures such as the 1910 above ground swimming pool and teahouse

•           Favorite Things theme for the antique, replica and designer decorations

•           Projected laser light star fields in the trees

•           Live performance holiday music nightly in the Estates Heritage Garden by groups (free to the public)

•           Children’s Holiday Tree Trail created by schools throughout Lee County

•           Holiday music throughout the gardens

•           Riverside Lights Café open nightly offering beverages and light foods for purchase overlooking the beautiful riverside property

•           Estates Museum and the Edison Botanic Research Lab will be open nightly with new exhibits and hundreds of artifacts as well as the Estates Museum Store

•           Historic Edison Creative Cottage open for the holidays with spectacular work for purchase by regional artists, authors and chefs

•           Holiday Cottage Shoppe open on the Ford Estate for wonderful gift items including tree ornaments, cards, books, jams and jellies, clothing and art work – including decorator holiday shirts by Leoma Lovegrove

•           Garden Shoppe open for purchase of Edison heritage plants and trees, flowering plants and new this year, hanging herb baskets which will be featured decorations throughout the historic site as well

•           Special Holiday Party to kick off the season at the gloriously decorated homes and gardens of the Estates on December 10 from 6 PM – 9 PM.  A spectacular evening with food and drinks by the river; live music; Creative Cottage artists and authors available to personalize gifts; photos with Santa, Thomas Edison & Henry Ford; special silent auction of wreaths.  Members $50, non members $60 

•           The Twenty One Wreaths of Holiday Nights, auction featuring designers/artists who will create a holiday wreath reflecting their unique design signature.  Wreaths will be auctioned off to the highest bidder at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates Holiday Party on December 10

“In addition to the millions of dollars in improvements to the overall site, the budget for Holiday Nights is always somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000 depending on the theme and other new concepts,” says Estates spokesperson, Lisa Sbuttoni.  “We also rely on the volunteer spirit and creativity of dozens of regional groups, businesses and other volunteers for their decorating skill and contributions.”  This year, the group includes:

Southwest Florida Community Bank; GE; Florida Power and Light; Hilton Garden Inn Fort Myers; Residence Inn by Marriott, Springhill Suites by Marriot; Courtyard by Marriott Gulf Coast Town Center; City of Fort Myers; Sak’s Fifth Avenue; Sondra’s Furniture Consignments;  The Edison Restaurant; Edison Park Neighborhood Association; Edwards family and friends;  Brinson family and friends; Jeanne Dozier; Lee County Convention Bureau; Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce; Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce; Margaret Sirianni; Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects; Chris-Tel Construction; Edison Ford Winter Estates Foundation;  Goetz & Stropes Landscape Architects; South Florida Water Management District; O’Donnell Landscape Inc.; Society of Florida Landscape Architects of Southwest Florida; Smoot family and friends; Hospice of Southwest Florida, The Institute of Interior Design School, Southwest Florida College at the International Design; Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild; Royal Palm Yacht Club; WGCU Public Media; Thompson Family; Creative Events/Taylor Rental of Fort Myers Inc.