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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

“Holiday Nights” Opens November 28, 6:00 p.m.

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On November 21st

Mark your calendar now for a very special Thanksgiving Weekend for your family and friends, with the opening of Holiday Nights set for Friday, November 28 at 6:00 p.m.

Holiday Nights cartoon palm tree     All areas of Edison Ford will be open and decorated for the season, and there are some special events just for opening night:


  • Tree lighting at 6:00 p.m. with the Edisons, Fords and Santa and Mrs. Claus
  • Performances throughout the gardens by the Naples Carolers
  • Holiday Wagon Rides with the Whispering Pines Clydesdales
  • The Marina at Edison Ford open for sunset River Cruises and dinner at Pinchers


Holiday Nights will be open from November 28, 2014 through January 2, 2015 every night, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Members can pick up their “Complimentary Guest Tickets” at the ticket counter or in the Museum Store beginning November 10. Groups of 20 or more can call 239-334-7419 for special rates and reservations.


Holiday Nights – Coming November 28!

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On November 11th

Click HERE to download the Holiday Nights flyer!

Holiday Nights






























Holiday Nights 2012

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 28th

Edison Ford Holiday Nights

  • December 1 – 30, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.

 Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Edison & Ford Holiday Nights, a Southwest Florida family tradition for 38 years.

  •  November 30 – Edison & Ford Preview Party, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.
  • December 1 – opening night
  • December 16 – Artists & Authors Night
  • December 30 – closing night
  • Nightly Holiday Tradition Tours with Site Historian at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.
  • Edison Ford era musical performances on select nights
  • Santa visits on select nights
  • Nightly musical performance in Edison Ford public gardens (check on-line to see who is performing)
  • Holiday parties can be scheduled throughout the event with special rates for Edison Ford Members

 Remember: Edison Ford Members receive complimentary “Guest” tickets for Holiday Nights and discounts in the Museum Store, Cottage Shoppe and Creative Cottage. Edison Ford Members can pickup their guest tickets beginning November 1, 2012 at the ticket counter. Members must present their current membership card in order to receive their Holiday Nights guest tickets.


Mark Your Calendar … dates set for Holiday Nights 2012

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 11th

The Edison Ford is busy planning the 37th annual Holiday Nights event set for December 1 – December 30 and Holiday Preview Party November 30, 2012. New this year to Holiday Nights is the Edison Ford Legacy Shoppe located in the Edison Caretaker’s House. The Shoppe will feature replica items from the Edison Ford collection including the Edison talking doll, ink well and turtle as well as a variety of other gift items made for the Edison Ford.

Holiday Nights has been a great success due in part to the wonderful host groups who help direct and guide visitors during the event. Community organizations, church groups, businesses and clubs interested in assisting with Holiday Nights can call the Edison Ford Volunteer Department to schedule a night to serve as a “host group” at 239-334-7419.


Edison & Ford Holiday Nights 2011 at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On July 7th


Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
Lisa Sbuttoni, PR/Marketing Director
What:  Edison & Ford Holiday Nights 2011
When:  December 2 – December 31, 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where:  Edison & Ford Winter Estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, FL

Photo attachments:  Edison and Ford Estates, Holiday Nights 2010, photo credit:  Mike Shapiro

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights 2011 at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates
December 2 – December 31

Fort Myers, FL(July 6, 2011) The 36th annual Edison & Ford Holiday Nights at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida, has been scheduled for December 2 – December 31, 5:30 – 9 p.m.

During the holidays the homes and gardens of Thomas and Mina Edison and Henry and Clara Ford will be seasonally decorated and visitors will have the option of a self guided tour or a guided tour with an Estates site historian.

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights includes nightly entertainment by school and community groups, culinary demonstrations, book signings and appearances by artists, and the “Children’s Tree Trail” a forest of trees decorated by Lee County Students. The Estates Museum and Edison Botanic Research Lab will also be open during the event.

This year “Creative Cottage,” located in the Edison Caretaker’s House, will feature elements of an Old Florida Christmas and will include the artwork of Florence Sansom, Megan Kissinger and Buell Lee Whitehead.  Traditional Florida foods will be available for tasting and purchase celebrating the Edison Caretaker’s House, an original Cracker House built in the 1870s.

Tickets for a self guided tour are $15 for adults and $1 for children (6 -12); guided tours are $20 for adults and $1 for children (6 -12).  Groups may schedule guided or unguided tours from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. and will receive a discounted group rate.

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.edisonfordwinterestates.org.

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.

Group Experience at Edison & Ford Holiday Nights

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On November 3rd

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is offering wonderful group experiences this holiday season.  This unique opportunity is available for groups of 20 or more and is perfect for businesses, clubs, and other organizations.  Contact the Estates Education Department at 239.334.7419 for more details.

Holiday Nights Group Experience, $55/person


  • Refreshments upon arrival
  • Choice of Presentation (Holiday Traditions or Henry Ford & the Model T)
  • A guided tour of the Edison Botanic Research Lab
  • A behind-the-scenes tour inside the Edison and Ford homes
  • Buffet dinner on the Ford Property
  • Time to enjoy Holiday Nights; 20 acres of historically decorated homes and gardens

Available December 12, 2009 – January 2, 2010

Program begins at 2PM and concludes at 6PM leaving time for guests to see Holiday Nights.

Holiday Traditions: Take a step back in time and see how the Edisons, the Fords and the rest of America celebrated the holiday season throughout our history.

Henry Ford & the Model T: Henry Ford revolutionized travel and transportation with the Model T and the Assembly Line.  Learn about Henry Ford’s life, his accomplishments and his time here in Fort Myers.

Click here to view our vacation packages.

Spend the holidays with southwest Florida’s first “snowbirds,” the Edison’s and Ford’s, at the 34th annual Edison & Ford Holiday Nights at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers.  Edison & Ford Holiday Nights attracts visitors from throughout the world annually to view the lights and seasonal decorations that fill 20 acres of gardens, and the recently restored Edison and Ford historic homes. 

The theme for Edison & Ford Holiday Nights has always been a combination of historical decorations amidst the orchids, exotic trees and plantings that fill the gardens.

This year there will be events including the artist and craftsmen exhibits and appearances in the “Creative Cottage” as well as book signings and demonstrations located in the Edison Caretaker’s House;  nightly entertainment by local school and community groups; Santa visits; and a “Children’s Tree Trail.”  The “Trail” will be a veritable forest of lighted trees with handmade ornaments from Lee County students. 

During the holidays the homes of Thomas and Mina Edison and Henry and Clara Ford will be open nightly from 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The event also includes special exhibitions, nightly performances of dance, instrumental and choral music (by area groups and schools) and holiday items in the “Creative Cottage”, Museum Store, Garden Shoppe and the historic Ford Cottage Shoppe.  The Estates Museum and Edison’s Lab will be open nightly as well as the Estates Banyan Café for refreshments.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $1 for children (6-12).  Groups may schedule special times and group rates.  In addition, the Estates will be offering Lee County residents special “hometown discounts” on December 11 & 12. 

The Estates is open daily 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.