Holiday Events in Lee County

The Holiday season brings a special kind of cheer. Check out the Holiday events in Lee County and celebrate the beauty and cheer of the season in the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel.

Fort Myers Christmas

Beginning Butterflies, Koreshan State Park, Estero

Tuesday, Dec. 21
An Advanced Florida Master Naturalist will be in the park to share information on butterflies of Koreshan State Park and Southwest Florida. Topics will touch on differences between moths and butterflies, butterfly development, plants that support butterflies, netting techniques, and more. The session is informal and attendees may come and go to suit their schedules. 10-10:30 a.m. Talk is free with a park entry fee: $5 per vehicle with 2-8 occupants, $4 per single-occupant vehicle, and $2 for pedestrians and bicyclists. Masks suggested but not required. Koreshan State Park, 3800 Corkscrew Road, Estero, 239-992-0311,

The Star of Bethlehem Educational Talk, Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium, Fort Myers

Wednesday, Dec. 22
What is the star of Bethlehem? Discuss and see what the Magi were looking for, when they were looking, and what they might have seen over 2,000 years ago. 7 p.m., $10.Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium, 3450 Ortiz, Fort Myers, 239-275-3435,

Shell Factory & Nature Park cruise in, North Fort Myers

Thursday, Dec. 23
Open cruise in for all makes, models, years of cars and trucks. 4 p.m. Shell Factory and Nature Park, 2787 North Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers, 239-995-2141

Christmas Eve sunset dolphin & wildlife cruise, Fort Myers

Friday, Dec. 24
Before you go to sleep dreaming of dancing sugarplums, take a Christmas Eve sunset cruise around San Carlos Bay. Reservations required. $59, 4:45-6:15 p.m. Adventures in Paradise, Inc., 14341 Port Comfort Road, Fort Myers, 239-472-8443,

Sunset celebration at Times Square, Fort Myers Beach

Saturday, Dec. 25, Christmas
Live music, food and fun, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Sunset is at 5:42 p.m. Times Square, 830 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach,

Nature & sea life cruise, Tarpon Bay Explorers, Sanibel Island

Sunday, Dec. 26
Enjoy a naturalist-led, covered pontoon boat cruise around Tarpon Bay. Learn about the mangrove estuary ecosystem and see wildlife. The first 30 minutes includes a touch tank experience with sea stars, horseshoe crabs, oysters, and live shells. Then spend an hour boating around the bay. Tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. $30 adults, $20 children, reservations recommended. Tarpon Bay Explorers, 900 Tarpon Bay Road, Sanibel, 239-472-8900,

Manatee Santa

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre

“Holly Jolly Christmas,” Dec. 21-23, 25
“No Claus for Alarm,” Dec. 21-23, 25
“The Nutcracker,” Children’s Theatre, Dec. 21, 24
Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers, 239-278-4422,

Murder Mystery Dinner Train

“Wicked Winter Wonderland,” Dec. 22-24
Murder Mystery Dinner Train, 2805 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers, 239-275-8487,

Ongoing events

Wildlife on Wheels, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island

Celebrate the holiday season by visiting the Wildlife on Wheels mobile classroom and learn about our wild neighbors. The event is free and located outside the Visitor & Education Center, Dec. 21-23, 28-30, noon-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-noon Thursdays. J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel, 239-471-1100,

Mid-Cape Winter Lights, Cape Coral

This immersive holiday experience combines a beautiful assortment of wintery lights to create a must-see, picture-friendly holiday atmosphere you won’t want to miss. The route will run through the Mercola Market grounds and features a fun kid-friendly scavenger hunt that will have kids on the ultimate adventure to earn prizes for solving a fun challenge. Free through Dec. 31, begins at dusk. Mercola Festival Grounds, 125 SW 3rd Place, Cape Coral, Facebook event: Mid-Cape Winter Lights – Holiday Lights

Holiday Nights, Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers

The 46th annual Holiday Nights include thousands of lights, historic decorations, new light displays, visits with Santa, carolers, refreshments, family science shows, and more. Open nightly through Jan. 2, self-guided tours, 5:30-9 p.m., $20 adults; guided tours, at 6 and 7 p.m., $30 adults. Edison and Ford Winter Estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, 239-334-7419,

Mondays with the Shell Crafters, Sanibel Island

Free class, supplies cost between $3-$5 and the shell crafters will help you make something special. 9 a.m.-1 p.m., class begins at 10 a.m. The Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 239-472-2155,

Working waterfront tours of San Carlos Island shrimp fleet, Ostego Bay Foundation, Fort Myers Beach

Tours offered from 9 a.m.-noon Wednesdays give a close-up view of the shrimping industry, plus a visit to the Marine Science Center Museum. $20 adults, $10 children. Reservations required. Ostego Bay Foundation, 718 Fishermans Wharf, Fort Myers Beach, 239-765-8101,

Wednesday guided walks, San Carlos Bay Bunche Beach Preserve

Free guided beach walks at 9 a.m. will continue through the end of April 2022. The 718-acre property is an Old Florida natural tidal wetland that ranges from a sandy beach to mangrove forests to salt flats and wildlife. Parking is $2 an hour and the meeting point for the walks will be the southernmost end of John Morris Road in the parking lot. San Carlos Bay Bunche Beach Preserve, 18201 John Morris Road, Fort Myers, 239-533-7275,

Sunday garden tours at Manatee Park, Fort Myers

A volunteer naturalist leads the tours and participants can learn about the park’s history and the native flora and fauna that reside in some of Florida’s habitats. Optimum viewing for the Florida manatee is between the months of December through March. 9 a.m. Sundays through March 2022. Tours meet behind the welcome center. Free with paid parking. Manatee Park, 10901 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers, 239-533-7275,

The Birds of Southwest Florida

See bird illustrations by John James Audubon in the Caretaker’s House. Included with admission, runs through mid-January. Edison and Ford Winter Estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, 239-334-7419,

Small Works Off the Wall exhibit

This gallery show features art priced at $200 or less. Buy the art and take it home with you. Through Dec. 30. Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, 239-939-2787,