Holiday Nights opens Nov. 24 at Edison and Ford Estates
On Friday, Nov. 24 at 6 p.m., Edison and Ford Winter Estates will kick off the 48th annual Holiday Nights celebration with a tree lighting ceremony.
Guests will have an opportunity to participate in the countdown with Dave Elias from NBC-2 when the Christmas tree on the Ford property is lit with thousands of animated lights choreographed to holiday music. Female vocalists, the American Sirens, will perform shortly after the tree lighting.
This year’s theme is “Holidays on Wheels” and will incorporate many different types of wheels, especially car wheels because of the connection to Henry Ford, and also other wheels such as wagon wheels, bicycle tires, ships steering wheels, and train wheelsets. Holiday Nights will run nightly through Dec. 31 (will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas night). Guided Holiday Tradition Tours will be offered at 6 and 7 p.m. every night except opening night or visitors can choose to meander at their own pace on a self-guided tour. Inside-the-Homes tours will be offered on Nov. 29, and Dec. 6, 13, and 20 at 6:30 p.m. for a special up-close look at the homes’ decorated interiors.
Additional lights with new technology are being installed this year. Throughout the property, many of the displays will have more lights than ever before. The palms will have animated “magic lights” that will change colors, and for the first time, the historic pond near the river pavilion will be lighted and there will be lights on the waterfall that are animated and choreographed to music.
The family-oriented event includes the Children’s Tree Trail, which features 50 trees decorated with handmade ornaments from Lee County school children. On Sunday evenings from 6-8 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting, and on Dec. 3 and 10, children can get their face painted (additional charge for face painting). Then, on Dec. 16 and 23, there will be a teddy bear booth, where children can make a bear (additional charge).
There will also be music on several nights, including strolling carolers, a pianist, and tenor saxophone and trumpet players. In addition, The Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers will perform on December 13. An antique circus car (a Calliope) with a built-in pipe organ will be played at 6 p.m. on Dec. 12. Curators will be on hand to answer questions about the car, which is a modified 1914 Model T Ford.
Guests can shop for gift items during Market Mondays, when multiple craft and holiday vendors will have booths around the Banyan tree from 4-9 p.m. on Dec. 4, 11, and 18. In addition, the Museum Store and Garden Shoppe will be open until 9 p.m. every night of Holiday Nights and will be stocked with unique gift items for that hard-to-buy-for loved one. Refreshments will be available for purchase on select nights.
Holiday Nights tickets for adults are $20, teens (13-19) are $10, children (6-12) are $2, and $10 for Edison Ford members. Guided Holiday Tradition Tours are $30 for adults, teens are $25, children $18, and $15 for Edison Ford members. Inside-the-Homes Holiday Tours are $50 per person. Lee County residents with identification will receive $5 off Holiday Nights admission on Monday nights (cannot be combined with other offers). To purchase tickets or view the nightly schedule, visit the website at EdisonFord.org.