Things to do - Winter Holiday 2016/2017

Even in the sunshine state we can still experience a little bit of winter time ice fishing. Except in Florida, when we are talking about ice fishing, we’re talking about the icy cold drink in our hands! Who needs a hole in the ice and freezing cold temperatures?

Once a fish bites, we set that drink down and catch our next meal right from the Gulf of Mexico (or from a local lake)!

For those of you that would like to find out what is going on this winter holiday season (besides the fishing) , please read below:

Winter Activities near Port Charlotte:

Speedway Christmas
6pm-10pm | Until December 31st
Charlotte motor Speedway

Enjoy a pleasant drive through the infield while looking at 800 different displays, made with about 3 million individual holiday lights. The Christmas Village will have attractions such as a petting zoo, wagon rides, food and music, and classic Christmas movies on the big screen.


Outdoor Ice Skating
NASCAR Hall of Fame
Check site for dates and times (

If you are one of the ones that weren’t up for the “Floridian Ice Fishing” here is another chance to hit the ice. Enjoy a few laps around one of the few outdoor ice skating rinks in Florida. While there be sure to get a chance to take a picture with Santa or a Polar Bear or try to catch the tree lighting.


Temple Shalom Community Menorah Lighting
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm | December 30
Temple Shalom, 23190 Utica Ave. 
Port Charlotte, FL 33980 United States

Hanukkah begins at sundown December 24th and continues for 8 nights. Our “Festival of Lights” program which is lead by Rabbi, Solomon Again, is open to the community, all faiths are welcome and there is no charge. 


New Years Eve Celebration
5:00 pm | December 31
Fishermen’s Village, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade 
Punta Gorda, FL 33950 United States

Family Friendly Festivities begin at 5 PM!  Live Music/Dancing 5 pm - 12:30 am Center Court.  


Cheers to the New Year
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm | December 31
Cultural Center of Charlotte County Inc., 2280 Aaron St. 
Port Charlotte, FL 33952 United States

Enjoy an evening of music with the Charlotte Players as they ring in 2017 with some of the best singers around, performing with live musicians in cabaret style.  


Popular winter activities in Sarasota:

Winter Opera Festival
Check Site For Dates and Times (
61 N Pineapple Avenue

The Winter Opera Festival will showcase Beethoven’s only opera “Fidelio,” Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte,” and to end the season with The Verdi Cycle Grand Finale Festivities.


14th Annual St. Armand’s Circle Art Festival
10am-5pm  | January 28th-29th
411 St. Armand’s Circle

You can enjoy a lovely night of art if you choose to stop by and take a look at some incredible pieces by various artists. There will be 150 different exhibitors with their work on display for you to see.


Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
6pm-9pm | Until December 30th
900 South Palm Avenue

Take in a plentiful exhibit of holiday lights while walking through a tropical paradise. In addition to the pretty lights there will be many other attractions such as visits with Santa and elves, live entertainment and mini garden trains.


Holiday Lights Spectacular Dazzles All Ages
6:00 PM | Friday Dec 30, 2016 
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
3701 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, FL 34234

For the 15th year, Sarasota Jungle Gardens will create great family memories as it hosts the Holiday Lights Spectacular celebration.  Opening night is Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. and the celebration continues from 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 10, 16 & 17, 21-24 and 26-30. Price: $0 - $11 


Popular winter activities near Bokeelia:

South Cape New Year's Eve Trolley Event
Sat, Dec 31, 2016, 8:00 PM –
Sun, Jan 1, 2017, 1:00 AM EST
South Cape Coral
Cape Coral, FL

Board the exclusive trolleys in South Cape to celebrate. You'll travel to various locations to enjoy a specialty drink for just $2.50 at each*. Get your passport stamped at each place (no purchase required).


New Year's Eve Celebration 2016
SanJan Theater at Southwest Performing Arts Center
11515 Bonita Beach Road SE
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

BRING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH THE ULTIMATE NEW YEAR'S EVE EXTRAVAGANZA at the brand new Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center!!!


Polo Grill NYE Bash
Sat, Dec 31, 2016, 8:30 PM –
Sun, Jan 1, 2017, 1:30 AM EST
Fête Catering at Polo Grill
10670 Boardwalk Loop
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

Ring in the new year in the Fête Ballroom with live music & dancing by the fabulous Shevonne & the Bad Boys. Cash bar and a late night bites concession are available. 


Sat, Dec 31, 2016, 7:00 PM –
Sun, Jan 1, 2017, 2:30 AM EST
Big Top Brewing Company
6111 Porter Way
Sarasota, FL 34232

THIS EVENT IS FREE! (Please RSVP through the ticket link so we make sure we order enough champagne & goodies!). Come ring in the New Year with some BEER at our 1ST ANNUAL New Beers Eve! 


Holiday winter activities in or near Fort Myers:

Edison and Ford Winter Estates
5:30pm-9pm | Until January 3rd
2350 McGregor Blvd

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates offer a lot to see. Some popular attractions include traditional holiday lights and décor, a display of their inventions, and photos with Santa.


Festival of Lights
5:00 pm | Dec. 31
Fishermen’s Village
1200 W. Retta Esplanade
Punta Gorda. 

Free. More than 1 million tropical-themed holiday lights and decorations will be displayed through. Donated canned goods are requested for Share the Blessings Ministry.


Sunset Celebration at Time Square
5:00 PM - 10:00 PM EST | December 30, 2016
Live Music, Food and Fun at Time Square on Fort Myers Beach

- See more at:


New Year's Eve Downtown Countdown
8:00 p.m. | December 31, 2016

Southwest Florida’s best New Year’s Eve Celebration kicks off at 8:00 p.m.!  Come early and bring the family for the Junior Ball Drop at 9 p.m. at First and Hendry Streets with great giveaways for the kids.  Live bands throughout the night include Electric Mudd, Ever Rock, Razing Cape, and the featured U2 Tribute Band!  Vendors, great food, family fun will go through the evening and end with the Fireworks over the River and the Ball Drop at midnight!

See more at:


Annual Christmas at Historic Palm Cottage 
Continues through Dec. 31. Noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 1-8 p.m. Saturday. 

Thousands of twinkling lights illuminate Naples' oldest house, which was built in 1895. Tours are $13. Free for ages 10 and younger. Historic Palm Cottage, 137 Twelfth Ave. S., Naples. 261-8164 or


Find more info here for the Ft Myers area:

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