SWFLA To Do List: Birds of Paradise continues, ‘Art’ at Joan Jenks, more

Marco Eagle

JULY

Free Family day at Rookery Bay 

Free Family Days are back this month at Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, 300 Tower Road, Naples, with the next one 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, July 22. Visitors can experience the center's touch tanks full of starfish, sea urchins other critters and wildlife exhibits. Other family fun activities include free face and/or arm painting, arts and crafts, story time with Collier County Librarians, a family-friendly movie and food truck onsite for lunch. More at rookerybay.org or 239-530-5972.

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At Off the Hook

Jiaoying Summers performs July 19-20. Pinky Patel performs July 28-31. Philadelphia Plowden performs July 30-31. All performances at Off The Hook Comedy Club, 2500 Vanderbilt Beach Road, No. 1100. $35 general admission, plus a fee. 7 p.m. both nights. offthehookcomedy.com or 239-389-6901.

‘Chicago: High School Edition’

At 7:30 p.m. July 21-23, 2 p.m. July 23, 3 p.m. July 24: Gulfshore Playhouse teens perform the Kander & Ebb musical comedy about two very different women working to get themselves cleared on murder charges — and strangely finding themselves teamed up. $20. gulfshoreplayhouse.org. 

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‘Art’ at Joan Jenks

Various times July 22 through Aug. 7 Joan Jenks Auditorium, Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples. The Studio Players production about three men whose 15-year-old friendship is torn apart, and then resolved, by a white canvas. It won 1996 Best Comedy Awards for both Oliver and Evening Standard and has been translated into 35 languages. $30, $15 students with ID. thestudioplayers.org or 239-398-9192.

Christmas in July

Noon-3 p.m. Saturday, July 23. Empty Bowls Naples Inc., 2221 Corporation Blvd., Naples. "Bowltique" to benefit its nonprofit hunger program, with 10 percent off all items and 20 percent off holiday-themed items. Attendance limited; reservations at friendsofebn@gmail.com. Information at emptybowlsnaples.com.

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AUGUST

#Marco25: Scavenger hunt and beach day

It begins at 8 a.m., Aug. 22, with a beach cleanup hosted by the Marco Island Civic Association (MICA) at South Beach. At 10:30 a.m. residents will conduct a scavenger hunt at the Marco Island Historical Museum. Several local organizations are participating which will give residents a chance to find clues and prizes around the city. Also, during the day, the Marco Island Library will host a scavenger hunt for younger children who are not in school. #Marco25 will be featured on signs and on social media to highlight and tag each celebratory event. The 25th Anniversary Celebration Committee includes representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, the Marco Island Historical Museum, the Marco Island Civic Association (MICA), the Marco Island Center for the Arts, the Marco YMCA , Marco Island Academy, the Marco Island Charter Middle School, Tommie Barfield Elementary, Collier County Public Library on Marco Island, the Marco Island Historical Society, and city staff. If any person or business is interested in sponsoring an event during the week, contact Casey Lucius at 239-389-3969.

#Marco25: Athletic Day

On Aug. 23, the Marco YMCA will host open swim and open fitness classes for Marco Island residents. The Marco Island Chamber of Commerce and Blue Zones will organize an evening 25-minute (2.5 mile) walk through Hideaway, and schools will have children walk for 25 minutes during gym class to recognize the 25th anniversary. Also, city staff will face off in a kickball game at Winterberry Park.

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#Marco25: Art Day – ‘Then and Now’

On Aug. 24, art will be displayed at the schools, elementary school children will have a coloring contest, the Marco Island Center for the Arts will host a wine event and City Hall will host an Art @ City Hall Open House.

#Marco25: ‘History Day’ and employee appreciation

On Aug. 25, schools will have assemblies with historical actors organized by the Marco Island Historical Society. There will be a history program at the library and a historical display in the lobby of the museum. The events will focus on the history of Marco Island and the beginning of cityhood. City staff will be honored at a luncheon at Mackle Park, recognizing those employees who have worked for the city for 25 years.

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#Marco25: ‘City Government Day’ and an evening concert

From 2 until 5 p.m., Aug. 26, city police, fire, public works, and utility vehicles and equipment will be on display for kids. There will be a meet and greet for residents to meet City Council members. From 7 until 9 p.m., a free concert by “The Rockefellers” will be held at the Marco Lutheran Church. Tickets will be available in advance of the concert.

#Marco25: City of Marco Island 25th Anniversary Adult Prom

On Aug. 27, the week will be capped off with an adult prom from 6 until 9 p.m., at the Marco Island Hilton. Tickets will be sold for this event. The “prom” will have a 1990s theme to recognize Marco Island becoming a city in 1997. Throughout the week, businesses that have been operating on Marco Island for 25 years or more will be recognized.

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ONGOING

Art exhibit at Botanical Garden

A new exhibit opens this weekend in Kapnick Hall at Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples. "Christy Noonan: Meditations on Waterlilies at the Naples Botanical Garden" runs through Sept. 11, featuring the work of the Southwest Florida artist. For more than a year, Noonan visited the Garden to study these floating wonders and captured them on canvas. More at naplesgarden.org or 239-643-7275.

The Everglades and its wet habitat has long been known as the place to be for birds.

Birds of Paradise: Historical Museum presents the feathered friends of South Florida

The Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) is hosting a new exhibit, “Birds of Paradise: The Birds of South Florida and the Everglades,” featuring oil paintings and mixed media works by artist Inez Hudson. The exhibit runs through Oct. 1, at the Marco Island Historical Museum. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Marco Island Historical Museum is located at 180 S. Heathwood Drive. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, and the site is accessible for those who need it. For information, visit themihs.org or call 239-252-1440.

Summer Opera Series

At 3 p.m. first and third Wednesdays through October. Wang Opera Center; 2408 Linwood Ave., Naples. Famous operas from Europe's best known theaters — La Scala, Baden Baden, Salzburg, more — with stars like "Turandot"; Aug. 3, "Ariadne auf Naxos"; Aug. 17, "Faust"; Sept. 7, "Falstaff"; Sept. 21, "Der Rosenkavalier; Oct. 5, "Rusalka"; and Oct. 19, "Elektra." Refreshments available, including popcorn. $22; $10 students. See peranaples.org for details. 

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Photo exhibit at Naples Depot Museum

"Wallace W. Abbey: A Life in Railroad Photography Exhibition" is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through Aug. 20 at Naples Depot Museum, 1051 Fifth Ave. S., Naples. Exhibition presents the life work of one of America’s most dynamic railroad photographers, Wallace W. Abbey. As a photographer, journalist, historian, and railroad industry executive, Abbey captured often overlooked perspectives from the 1940s through the '70s. Information: 239-252-8419 or colliermuseums.com.

New art exhibit at Coastland Center

"Bucolic Florida" runs through Sept. 10 at the COCO Art Gallery, Coastland Center, 1900 Tamiami Trail N., Naples. Free. Juried exhibition from the Arts Council of Southwest Florida (ACSWF) along with COCO Art Gallery. The theme celebrates peaceful, happy scenes and aspects of Florida life. More at cloudfolios.com/exhibitions/236.

‘Something Rotten’ at Sugden Community Theatre

Hit Broadway musical comes to The Naples Players. The Bottom Brothers are having a horrible time scoring a hit in their 16th-century oeuvre of London, especially against a guy named Will until a soothsayer whispers the wave of the future to them. Various times now through July 24 at Sugden Community Theatre, 701 Fifth Ave., Naples. Cost: $47. Information: naplesplayers.org or 239-263-7990.

Revs Institute

Did you know Naples is home to one of the top 10 car museums in the world? If you haven't done so yet, check out this amazing collection of vehicles assembled over decades. 2500 Horseshoe Drive S. Visitors must observe COVID-19 protocols. Reserve tickets online for specific dates and times in advance. No walkups. Information: revinstitute.org or 239-687-REVS.

The Factory Run Club

At 6.30 p.m., Tuesdays. Paradise Coast Sports Complex, 3940 City Gate Blvd. N., Naples. The Factory Run Club is a fun social run around the lake loop — just under 1 mile — adjacent to The Cove at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex. Your skill level is the right one. Jog a single lap or run as many as you choose. Drinks at The Cove afterward are discounted for participants. And you’ll be ready to cool off after that virtuous workout. You get a R.I.O.T. shirt after completing eight runs. And it’s free, free, free.

YMCA summer camps

The YMCA of Southwest Florida is hosting summer camps starting at various locations in Lee County. The Bonita Springs Recreation Center, 26740 Pine Ave, Bonita Springs, will be hosting traditional and teen leadership summer camps Monday through Friday from now until Aug. 5. Camp hours run from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. There is a $30 fee to register for summer camps. Parents or guardians can register online at the YMCA website or in person at a YMCA location. The cost of the summer camps varies by location. Information: visit ymcaswfl.org/programs/child-care/summer-camps.

Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Daily, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (last ticket) Residents of Lee and Collier counties can visit for half-price through Sept. 30. Stroll the 2.25-mile boardwalk through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, freshwater marsh and the largest old-growth bald cypress forest in North America. And it's a great opportunity this month to see the rare "Super" ghost orchid. Several days a week, uniformed naturalists are there to answer questions. Talks (online reservations required): Introductory guided boardwalk — July 15 and 29; butterfly orientation and walk — July 15; night walk — July 25. Discounted admission of $8 adults, $3 youth and free ages 5 and under. Regular admission (for non-Lee and Collier residents) is $17 adults, $6 kids 6-14, free ages 5 and younger. Online tickets at Corkscrew.Audubon.org/Visit.

Conservancy Little Explorers

Thursdays, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. through August. Little Explorer Play Zone in the Nature Center, The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples. Preschool programs for ages 18 months to 5 years old, with various themes for each month — July, nature, such as tracking critters and learning where turles live; August, land animals, such as living like a black bear. Plan your visit around one of the daily talks for adults at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15p.m. Free with admission. $17.95 adults, $9.95 ages 3 and older. See details on the website, conservancy.org or call 239-262-0304.

Summer camp registration

 Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Announces Wild Florida Adventure Camp registration, with weeklong programs for kids aged 6 to 10 running now through Aug. 26 with themes from swamp sleuthing to "insect investigators" to "Wild Wings and Bird Nerds" to "Animal Architects." Rates, times and availability of before- and after-care at corkscrew.audubon.org/summer-camp-22.

Free summer art programs

Marco Island Center for the Arts is expanding access to arts programs for young people in Collier County for the second year in a row by offering their entire slate of children’s summer classes free of charge to applicants. Each year Marco Island Center for the Arts works to increase the opportunities to bring the next generation of artists and art patrons into the classroom with great teaching artists and innovative programs.  Expanding the next generation of artists means creating programs that are available to all students and reducing barriers to access including cost. The 2022 slate of Children’s Summer Classes includes traditional visual art classes as well as performing arts selections. Registrations are being accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Classes are filling up quickly. Information about specific classes can be found on the Art Center’s website at https://www.marcoislandart.org/childrens-summer-classes/.

History lessons at Collier County museums

Collier County has a rich history, and there's five museums to learn about it — Collier Museum at Government Center (Naples), Museum of the Everglades, Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch, Naples Depot Museum, and Marco Island Historical Museum. Visit colliermuseums.com to learn more.

Rookery staff, volunteer art show

Friends of Rookery Bay presents “The Land They Love: Rookery Bay Reserve Staff and Volunteer Art Show,” now through Oct. 28 in the art gallery at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, 300 Tower Road, Naples. Two staff members and 10 volunteers share their insights of the 110,000-acre reserve by showcasing their photography and paintings. Most of the items are for sale. The artists are Paul Allen, Geoffrey Britt, Terri Caton, Ann D’Allesandro, Sarah Falkowski, Jean Hall, Keith Laakkonen, Kathleen Lunday, Terry Lumb, Macy Noll, Evan Sherer and Martin Strasmore. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, free for active and retired military personnel and their families, and free on the second Saturday each month for Collier County residents. On Fridays through July 22, the center hosts BOGO Family Fridays that include arts and crafts, “Meet the Librarian” story time and family movies. Learn more at rookerybay.org or call 239-530-5972.

Koreshan walking tour

Discover the various botanical specimens collected by the Utopian pioneer Koreshans and their specific purpose on this walking tour. Guests will tour the late 18th/early 20th century settlement and learn the history of this progressive society which promoted women's right to vote, equality of the sexes and education for all. Cost: $10 and $4 park admission. Purchase tickets online at  friendsofkoreshan.org/page-7741.

Koreshan Unity Settlement

Explore the 19th century religious Koreshan Unity Settlement, its structures, and gardens. Join guided walking tours in Koreshan State Park and learn about these idealistic pioneers. Guided Tours are $10, non-refundable, and may be purchased online only at http://friendsofkoreshan.org/shop/guided-tours/historic-settlement-tours/.

Koreshan State Park Farmers Market

The Sunday Farmers Market at Koreshan State Park continues every Sunday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Local produce, honey, fresh guacamole and salsas, sea glass, jewelry, street food, arts and crafts, tie-dye and more. Free with paid park admission $4 for single occupancy or $5 for up to eight people in vehicle). Vendor applications @ http://friendsofkoreshan.org/farmers-market-application-2/. Park entrance fee required. $4 single occupancy or $5 for up to eight in vehicle. Please bring exact change, no change provided. Credit card payment can only be made online @ https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/koreshan-state-park. No additional cost for the event. Volunteers needed for the farmers market and other Koreshan State Park Events. If interested: friendsofkoreshan@gmail.com.

Third Street South Famers Market

From 7:30-11:30 a.m. every Saturday. Parking lot behind Tommy Bahama off Third Street South in Old Naples; Entry is from 13th Avenue South. Fresh produce, flowers, pastas, seafood, baked goods, prepared foods, jams, relishes, fresh-roasted coffee, more. Music, dog treats.

Key Marco artifacts

Thanks to an unprecedented five-year loan extension by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, the world-famous Key Marco Cat will continue on exhibit at the Marco Island Historical Museum (MIHM) through 2026. Through April 30, 2024, 13 additional Key Marco artifacts from the PENN Museum will be on exhibit at MIHM. Marco Island Historical Museum is located at 180 S. Heathwood Drive. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free. For information, call 239-389-6447 or visit theMIHS.org.

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center

The attraction at 300 Tower Road in Naples features aquariums, a touch tank with marine critters, natural history exhibits, art gallery, gift shop, butterfly garden, picnic areas and walking trails. Hours are 9 a.m-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Admission of $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12 benefits the Friends of Rookery Bay, a nonprofit that supports the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Guests may apply their admission fee toward Friends of Rookery Bay membership on the day of their visit. Active and retired military personnel and family members are free year-round, as are guests on kayak and boat ecotours booked through Friends of Rookery Bay. More at rookerybay.org or call 239-530-5972.

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

Did you know Collier County is home to the largest state park in Florida? Explore this mesmerizing trip back to yesteryear and see wildlife in the wild. Safety protocols in place. Open 8 a.m. to sunset; $3 vehicle fee. 137 Coastline Drive, Copeland. Information: floridastateparks.org; 239-695-4953.

Rookery Bay Eco Kayak & Boat Tours

Join Rookery Bay Research Reserve for a guided boat tour or kayak adventure into the beautiful waters of Rookery Bay Reserve. With our kayak tours, guests paddle through beautiful mangrove tunnels, teeming mudflats and intricate oyster reefs while searching for amazing wildlife like sea stars, large snails, birds, dolphins and manatees. Our boat tours are small 6-passenger boats and offer a comfortable and informative ride. Guests can choose from different tours including a shelling trip to a deserted a barrier island or a sunset tour. Find out more at RookeryBay.org or call 239-530-5972. 

Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum

Now open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every day, at 3075 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel. Admission is $23.95 for adults (18 and older), $21.95 for seniors, $14.95 youth (12 to 17) and students with their ID, $8.95 for children (5 to 11) and free to children younger than 5 and active military. Visitors who bike to the museum receive $1 off admission. Information: 239-395-2233, shellmuseum.org. 

IMAG History & Science Center

Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2000 Cranford Ave., Fort Myers. Tickets are available online, and advance ticket purchases are necessary currently to limit the number of guests in accordance with CDC recommendations. Information: theimag.org.

Gordon River Greenway

A hidden gem in Naples is the Gordon River Greenway. Walk, ride your bike or kayak on or along the scenic from 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. There's 12-foot wide pathways and 10-foot-wide elevated boardwalks. Restrooms and other amenities available. (1596 Golden Gate Parkway; 239-252-4000 or gordonrivergreenway.org)

Naples Zoo

New hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples. Offering timed online tickets to the general public. All guests will be required to reserve a timed ticket online, with reduced ticket prices. Tickets can only be purchased online. Information: 239-262-5409, napleszoo.org.

Golden Gate Community Farmers Market

Open year-round, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at 4701 Golden Gate Parkway, Golden Gate; Sundays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at 11725 Collier Blvd., Golden Gate. Visit farmermarket2.com for more. 

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Farmer Mike's U-Pick

Open 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Wednesdays to Sundays, year-round at 26031 Morton Ave., Bonita Springs with an onsite market and cafe, as well as U-pick produce and flowers. Call 239-498-4576 or click farmermikesupick.com for more. 

Immokalee State Farmers Market

Open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily year-round at 424 New Market Road E., Immokalee. For more, call 239-658-3505 or visit fdacs.gov.

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For more event listings, navigate to the Entertainment section and click on the SWFLA To Do List at marconews.com or visit the-banner.com. Calendar items must be emailed to mail@marconews.com or news@naplesnews.com and should be submitted at least a week before desired publication.