Countdown to Christmas: A guide to holiday events in Naples

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Kassie Perkins, 4, reaches to grab fake snow as it floats down onto Third Street while she sits on her father, John's, shoulders during the annual Third Street Festival of Lights in Naples on Nov. 23, 2009. Thousands of area residents came to enjoy live music, performances and the lighting of the Naples Christmas Tree. Greg Kahn/Staff

Photo by GREG KAHN // Buy this photo

Kassie Perkins, 4, reaches to grab fake snow as it floats down onto Third Street while she sits on her father, John's, shoulders during the annual Third Street Festival of Lights in Naples on Nov. 23, 2009. Thousands of area residents came to enjoy live music, performances and the lighting of the Naples Christmas Tree. Greg Kahn/Staff

— We’re getting down to it.

The last month and a half of the years seems to swoop down on us with a crush of shopping, baking and entertaining to do. Luckily, the Southwest Florida weather makes it possible to enjoy much of it outside, or at least without having to fish out mittens in order to leave the house.

From Monday, when Mayor Bill Barnett will flip the switch on the mammoth tree at Third Street South and 13th Avenue South, until the week of Christmas, the calendar is jam packed with events to celebrate the holidays.

To help you navigate the busy holiday landscape, we’ve compiled a list of events leading up to Christmas day. The following events will almost certainly grow in number as we inch closer to Dec. 25, so be sure to check the Showcase calendar each week and our constantly updated online calendar at www.naplesnews.com for more.

Happy Holidays,

— The Showcase staff

Hanukkah

Menorah lighting, music, food and activities by Chabad Naples, 5-7 p.m. Dec. 1, Village on Venetian Bay, 4200 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., Naples. Free.

Hanukkah festivities and menorah lighting, live music, food, arts and crafts and a menorah made of canned food to be donated to local pantries, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Coconut Point, Fashion Drive (near Teavana), Estero. If you want to donate canned food call 949-6900. Sponsored by Chabad of Bonita Springs and Estero. Free.

Hanukkah celebration, 6-7 p.m. Dec. 3, Sugden Plaza, 701 Fifth Ave. S., Naples

Jewish Federation Hanukkah celebration, Naples Klezmer Revival band and menorah lighting, 5:45 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7, the Mercato, Strada Place, Naples. Free.

Christmas

This week

Santa’s Wonderland, a classic Christmas, games activities and crafts, noon-5 p.m. weekends through Dec. 19 and 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Dec. 23. Free 4 X 6 photos with Santa are available 5-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays, Bass Pro Shops, 10040 Gulf Center Drive, Fort Myers. Free. (239) 461-7800

Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the Rockettes, performances, 2, 5, and 8 p.m. today; 11 a.m., 2, 5, and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1, 4, and 7 p.m. Sunday; 8 p.m. Tuesday; 2 and 8 p.m. Wednesday; 11 a.m., 2, 5, and 8 p.m. Nov. 26-27; and 1 and 4 p.m. Nov. 28, Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 13350 Edison Parkway, Fort Myers. $39-$125. (239) 481-4849 or wwwbbmannpah.com

Christmas at Palm Cottage, 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays through Nov. 30; 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, starting Dec. 1; and 1-8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, starting Dec. 2, 137 12th Ave. S., Naples. $6, adults; free, children 10 and under. 261-8164

Sing-Along Messiah, with Voices of Naples, 3 p.m. Sunday, Naples United Church of Christ, 5200 Crayton Road, Naples. $10, advance; $15, at door. 455-2582

Third Street South Festival of Lights, music, Santa, snow and tree lighting, 6-9 p.m. Monday and continuing with music and snow 6-9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and Nov. 26-27, up and down Third Street South, Naples. Free.

“A Christmas Carol,” 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, Wednesday through Dec. 19 (no performance on Nov. 25 and 2 and 8 p.m. Nov. 28), Sugden Community Theatre, 701 Fifth Ave. S., Naples. $35, adults; $10, students through age 18. 263-7990

“Holly Jolly Christmas,” 11:45 a.m. lunch and 1:15 p.m. performance Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays; 5:30 p.m. dinner and 7 p.m. performance Sundays; and 5:30 p.m. dinner and 7:30 p.m. performance Tuesdays-Saturdays, Thursday through Dec. 25, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. $47 and $51, adults; $21, children; $27, show only adults; $17, show only, children. (239) 278-4422

Nov. 26 to Dec. 2

Festival of Trees, a magical display of elaborately decorated trees, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 26-27 and 29-30; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 28; 5-9 p.m. Dec. 2; and 5-10 p.m. Dec. 3, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, 2301 First St., Fort Myers. (239) 337-1933

Santa arrives on Marco Island on a fire engine, 6 p.m., Nov. 26, Shops of Marco

Breakfast with Santa, 8-11 a.m. Nov. 27, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, 2301 First St., Fort Myers. $12. (239) 337-1933

Bayfront tree lighting, with St. Nick, Mr. Ginger B. Man, live music and wassail, 5-8 p.m. Nov. 27, 436 Bayfront Place, Naples. Free. 594-2978

“The Nutcracker,” performed by Miami City Ballet, 2 and 8 p.m. Nov. 27 and 2 and 7 p.m. Nov. 28, Philharmonic Center for the Arts, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Starting at $59, adults; $25, students. 597-1900

Dave Koz and Friends, a smooth jazz Christmas 2010, 8 p.m. Nov. 30, Philharmonic Center for the Arts, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Starting at $69. 597-1900

Christmas Walk, music, entertainment and Santa, 6-9:30 p.m. Dec. 2, Fifth Avenue South, Naples. 435-3742

“A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra,” with Ray Livosi singing the famous crooner’s hits, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2-4, Norris Center, 755 Eighth Ave. S., Naples. $25. 213-3058

Grand Illuminations, tree lighting, holiday music, carolers, caricaturists, face painting and complimentary photos with Santa, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 2, Village on Venetian Bay, 4200 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., Naples.

Dec. 3 to Dec. 9

“A Walk Through the Story of Christmas,” music, cookies, beverages and a walk through Nativity, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 3, outside the United Methodist Church, 6000 Goodlette-Frank Road N., Naples. Free, but canned foods donations will be appreciated. 593-7600

3 Redneck Tenors, Christmas Spec-Tac-Yule-Ar, 6 and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 3-4, Philharmonic Center for the Arts, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Starting at $45. 597-1900

Living Christmas Trees, musical drama, 7 p.m. Dec. 3, 5, 9, 9, 10 and 12 and 4 p.m. Dec. 5 and 12, First Baptist Church of Naples, 3000 Orange Blossom Drive, Naples. Tickets $8.50, $10 and $12.50. (888) 795-1559

Christmas keyboard festival, four grand pianos, sanctuary choir and orchestra and guest Paul Todd, 7 p.m. Dec. 3; 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 4-5, First Assembly of God, 4701 Summerlin Road, Fort Myers. Free, reserved seating available by calling (239) 936-6277.

Breakfast with Santa, Wii game system and interactive cooking games, prizes, goodie bag and coloring contest, 8:30-11 a.m. Dec. 4, Brio Tuscan Grille, Waterside Shops, 5505 U.S. 41 N., Naples. $7, children; $10, adults. Reservations requested. 593-5310

Snowfest, featuring 100 tons of snow, ice skating, food and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 4, Golden Gate Community Park, 300 Santa Barbara Blvd., Naples. $1, children 3 and younger free. 252-4000

Holiday car cruise, with falling snow, carolers, face painting, magic and live entertainment, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 4, the Mercato, Strada Place, Naples. Free.

Marco Island tree lighting, 6 p.m. Dec. 4, Veterans Community Park, Park Avenue and Elkcam Circle, Marco Island.

Fort Myers Beach Christmas parade, approximately 6 p.m. at dark Dec. 4 from the Pink Shell to Pearl Street docks through Siesta Isles canals and ending at the Matanzas Inn. 454-7500

Holiday concert with John Tesh, celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, 8 p.m. Dec. 4, Ritz-Carlton, Naples, 280 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples. $80, 7 p.m. champagne reception and concert; $115, 7 p.m. champagne reception, concert and post-show dessert reception; and $240, includes 5:30 p.m. three-course dinner, concert and post-show dessert reception. 598-6644

Holiday concert, Bonita Springs chorus, 2 p.m. Dec. 5, Unity Chruch of Bonita Springs, 28285 Imperial Parkway, Bonita Springs. Free. 596-6928

Holiday in the Park, the City of Bonita Springs celebration with music, Santa and winter activities, 4:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Riverside Park, 27300 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs. Free.

Christmas Parade, 5 p.m. Dec. 7, Fifth Avenue South, Naples. 435-3742

Tuba Christmas, 6-7 p.m. Dec. 8, Sugden Plaza, 701 Fifth Ave. South, Naples. 435-3742

Santa in the Gardens, Santa Claus will be in the Norris Gardens at the Palm Cottage for children 10 and under from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 9-11, 137 12th Ave. S., Naples. Free. 261-8164

Village boat parade, live entertainment and a live pirate, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 9, Village on Venetian Bay, 4200 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., Naples.

Holiday Wishes, Evening on Fifth, 7-10:30 p.m. Dec. 9, up and down Fifth Avenue South, Naples. Free.

“The Santaland Diaries,” by David Sedaris, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 9-11, 14-81 and 21-23; 2:30 p.m. Dec. 11-12, 15, 18-19 and 22; and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Florida Rep, Arcade Theatre, 2268 Bay Street, Fort Myers. $35 (239) 332-4488

Dec. 10 to Dec. 16

Paradise Coastmen Barbershop Chorus, harmonized Christmas favorites, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10, Norris Center, 755 Eighth Ave. S., Naples. $15. 213-3058

Children’s Christmas Party, Santa Claus, food, games, crafts and face painting, 2-5 p.m. Dec. 11, the Last Connection Inc. 2275 U.S. 41 E., Naples. $5, per child; free, parents. Information: 692-4351

Holiday stroll and fashion show, snow show, photos with Santa, carolers and face painting, 4-7 p.m. Dec. 11 and 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 18 (no fashion show), the Mercato, Strada Place, Naples. Free.

Bonita Springs Holiday Boat Parade, 4 p.m. Dec. 11, Imperial River, Bonita Springs. Best vantage point is the U.S. 41 bridge, Bonita Springs with parking at Kmart, Fresh Market, Riverview Terrace Office Park.

“Nutcracker,” 5 p.m. Dec. 11 and 2 p.m. Dec. 12, Naples Ballet, Gulf Coast High School, 7878 Shark Way, Naples. $10-$30. 732-1000

Marine Industries Christmas Boat Parade, lighted parade of boats circling Naples Bay, 6-8 p.m. Dec. 11, Naples Bay with viewing at Pincher’s Crab Shack, Riverwalk Restaurant, Naples City Dock, Naples Landing, Kelly’s Fish House, the Boat House Restaurant and Cove Inn. 682-0900

Christmas Parade, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 along San Marco Road from Balfour Drive to Barfield Drive, Marco Island. 250-8348

Christmas concert, the Naples Orchestra and Chorus, 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and 2 p.m. Dec. 12, Golden Gate High School, 2925 Magnolia Pond Drive, Naples. Free.

Seasonal Treasures, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonic Center Chorale, 8 p.m. Dec. 11, First Presbyterian Church of Naples, 250 Sixth St. S., Naples. Starting at $40, adults; $17, students. 597-1900

Christmas Concert, Vanderbilt Presbyterian Chancel Choir and Carillon Ringers, 4 p.m. Dec. 12, Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church, 1225 Piper Blvd., Naples. Donation.

Gingerbread house workshops, ages 2 and up, 5:30 and 6:45 p.m. Dec. 13 and 5:30 and 6:45 p.m. Dec. 20, Headquarters Regional Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Drive, Naples, 593-0870; 6 p.m. Dec. 14, Estates Branch Library, 1266 Golden Gate Blvd. W., Naples, 455-8088; 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16, Marco Island Branch Library, 210 S. Heathwood Drive, Marco Island, 394-3272; and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 20, Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples, 262-6853. Free. Registration is required at www.colliergov.net/library.

“Home for the Holidays,” by Voices of Naples, 7 p.m. Dec. 13, Beach United Methodist Church, 155 Bay Road, Fort Myers Beach. Donation. 455-2582

Christmas Magic Show, five magicians and a juggler, 7 p.m. Dec. 13, Arcade Theatre, 2267 First St., Fort Myers. $15, adults; $10, children 12 and under, benefits the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Magic will be performed in the lobby from 6:30 to 7 p.m. (239) 332-4488

Holiday fun, for children, 3:30 p.m. Dec. 16, Golden Gate Branch Library, 2432 Lucerne Road, Naples, 252-4542. Free. Registration is required at www.colliergov.net/library.

Holiday concert, Naples High School Symphonic, Concert and Jazz Bands with the Percussion Ensemble, a bake sale, face painting and hot cocoa will also be part of the event, 7-9 p.m. Dec. 16, Cambier Park, 755 Eighth Ave. S., Naples. Brings chairs and blankets for seating. Donations.

“The Nutcracker,” 7 p.m. Dec. 16, Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers. $20, $12 and $7. (239) 481-4849

Dec. 17 to Dec. 22

Christmas movie, 6 p.m. Dec. 17, Veterans Community Park, Park Avenue and Elkcam Circle, Marco Island. Bring chairs for seating. Free. 642-9122

Gaither Homecoming: The Christmas Tour 2010, 7 p.m. Dec. 17, Germain Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero. $44.50 and $34.50. www.tickemaster.com

Charles Dicken’s “Christmas Carol,” with a party for the audience following, 10 a.m. Dec. 18, Norris Center, 755 Eighth Ave. S., Naples. $12. 213-3058

An Anglican Christmas, the choir of Trinity-by-the-Cove with a carol sing-a-long, 5 p.m. Dec. 18 and 4 p.m. Dec. 19, Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church, 553 Galleon Drive, Naples. Donation. 262-6581, ext. 207

Marco Island Christmas Boat Parade, 6 p.m., Dec. 18, start in Factory Bay and proceed upriver to the Marco Island Yacht Club, returning past the Esplanade, Hideaway Beach and La Peninsula on the Isles of Capri and ending across from the Snook Inn, Marco Island. 250-8348.

“Christmas, Island Style” events on Marco, 6 p.m. Dec. 19, Greater Marco Family YMCA

Natalie MacMaster, Celtic Christmas in Cape Breton, 8 p.m. Dec. 20, Philharmonic Center for the Arts, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Starting at $47, adults; $22, students. 597-1900

“A Christmas Carol,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21, Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers. $39, $29 and $19. (239) 481-4849

Paul Todd Christmas Concert, 7 p.m. Dec. 22, Shepherd of the Glades Lutheran Church, 6020 Rattlesnake Hammock Road, Naples. $20, benefits Grace Place and Sunrise Community (T.E.C.H.). 775-3932 or 774-5822

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