Father’s Day Fishing at Naples Botanical Garden

Does your dad like to fish? Have you planned something for Father’s Day yet? Still looking for ideas? You’d better hurry. We celebrate our dads this Sunday, June 16th. If you want something he’ll always remember, take him to the Father’s Day Fishing event at Naples Botanical Garden this weekend.

How do you plan on showing your dad how much you love him this weekend? Take him Father's Day fishing at Naples Botanical Garden. Dads and granddads get in free on the 16th.

What: Father’s Day Fishing
Where: Naples Botanical Garden (4820 Bayshore Dr)
When: June 15 & 16, 2019, 9 am to 2 pm
Admission: Included with the price of admission
Contact: Naples Botanical Garden (239) 643-7275

Father’s Day Fishing at Naples Botanical Garden

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The Windstar Fishing Club provides bait and tackle for anyone who wants to fish at Naples Botanical Garden this weekend. You just bring your pole, some sunscreen, and your dad, granddad or both. Catch and release to your heart’s content while listening to dad’s whale tales of “the one that got away”.

While You’re at the Garden…

Before you drop a line into the water, grab some brunch at Fogg Cafe. After you’re done fishing, the Berger Shop for souvenirs. Pick up one of their Grab ‘n Go selections if you built up an appetite from fishing all day. Then, visit the Mally Khorasantchi exhibit in Kapnick Hall. Learn about gardening at the Dig Deeper interactive exhibit. On Sunday, Irish musicians The Band Trinity play live in Kapnick Hall from 12 pm to 2 pm. And, of course, WONDER (Walk, Observe, Navigate, Draw, Explore) your way through the garden’s grounds. All of this comes included with the price of admission.

Ticket Info

Father’s Day fishing comes included in the price of admission. Both fathers and grandfathers get in free on Sunday, June 16th. All others pay $19.95 per adult for general admission. Kids ages 4 to 14 cost $9.95 each. Children ages three and under enter free of charge. Save yourself some time in line. Pre-purchase your tickets online at the Naples Botanical Garden box office.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019

With the Gulf of Mexico right in our backyard and the warm waters of the keys located just a short distance to the south, fresh seafood abounds in many Southern Florida restaurants. But our talented local chefs prepare more delicious delights than just seafood. And during the Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019, you can taste their creations at a discounted price.

Local chefs in Naples, Marco Island and nearby cities put together prix-fixe brunch and/or dinner menus for Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019.

What: Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019
Where: Various restaurants around Southwest Florida
When: May 30th to June 12th, 2019
Contact: Summer Sizzle website

Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019

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Local Naples and Marco Island chefs join Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019 from May 30th to June 12th. So, it really should be called restaurant weeks. Several restaurants in nearby Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Estero/Bonita also join the ticket for these 15 days of mouthwatering culinary masterpieces. In fact, several of the restaurants that Naples Daily News’ own food critic, Jean Le Beouf named as THE top Naples restaurants for 2019 partner up for Summer Sizzle.

Each participating restaurant puts together their own prix-fixe brunch and/or dinner menus created specifically for Summer Sizzle. All you need to do to participate is to visit the list of restaurants, pick which one you want to go to, and give them a call. While reservations aren’t always required, they are highly recommended. This tends to be a pretty busy time. Click on the menu link next to the restaurant’s name to see what’s available on the prix-fixe menu before you go. And make sure you specifically request the prix-fixe menu when ordering from your server.

Sizzle SWFL Scholarship Program

When you order one of the prix-fixe menus during Summer Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week 2019, $1 will be donated to the Sizzle SWFL FGCU Food & Beverage Scholarship. This scholarship award goes to students attending the Florida Gulf Coast University’s Resort & Hospitality Program. Between the two restaurant week events hosted throughout the year, over 60,000 meals are served. That helps several local students with their education. The Catch of the Pelican in Naples and Artisan Eatery in Fort Myers both pledged to donate more than $1 per meal served. So, show them some extra love when deciding where to eat. Bon appétit!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

Naples Botanical Garden Offers Free Admission for Veterans & Active Military

Memorial Day takes place in exactly one week from today. If you’re unsure where to go for Memorial Day weekend, might I make a suggestion? Naples Botanical Garden is full of blooming flowers right now. And, this weekend only, they offer free admission for all veterans and active military (with valid ID).

All retired military as well as active military and up to 5 of their family members receive free admission to the Naples Botanical Garden over Memorial Day weekend.

What: Naples Botanical Garden Memorial Day Appreciation Weekend
Where: Naples Botanical Garden (4820 Bayshore)
When: May 25th to 27th, 9 am to 5 pm
Admission: FREE for active & retired military members (with valid ID)
Contact: Naples Botanical Garden (239) 643-7275 or via email

Naples Botanical Garden Honors Our Military

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The garden offers several fun programs for all visitors this weekend. Dig Deeper offers sage advice for spending thyme in your own garden. Get out of the humid weather and take a walk through the Art of Mally Khorasantchi in Kapnick Hall. Or W.O.N.D.E.R. around the garden to find out what you can do to help Mother Earth thrive. Create wonderful works of art with recycled items. Learn more about recycling and reusing materials in your everyday life to keep them out of our landfills. There’s more life left in many objects than you might think.

Tickets cost $19.95 per adult (ages 15 & up). Kids cost $9.95 each (ages 4-14). Children ages three and under get in absolutely free. And, for Memorial Day weekend (May 25th to 27th), all active and retired military members get in absolutely free as well. Military members must show their ID to receive the discount. Tickets can be purchased online or at the garden’s box office.

Thanks to Blue Star Museums, active military and up to five of their families receive free admission any day through September 2nd. For more information about the Blue Star Museums program as well as what ID you’ll need in order to qualify, please visit the Blue Star Museums website here.

Marco Island Memorial Day Ceremony

The nearest Memorial Day parade occurs in Cape Coral on May 27th. However, that doesn’t mean that our vets are forgotten here in the Naples/Marco Island area. A special ceremony honoring our dearly departed heroes takes place from 11 am to noon on Monday, May 27th, at Veterans’ Community Park (901 Park Ave) in Marco Island. Organizers invite the public to pay homage to those we lost in battle over the years.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

Naples Sea Turtle Nesting Season is Underway Now

The Naples sea turtle nesting season officially started on May 1st. However, some people spotted evidence of nesting as early as April 22nd. During nesting season, sea turtles come up onto the beach, seeking shelter in the vegetation growing there. That’s where they lay their eggs. So, we should start seeing the hatchlings searching for their way back to the sea starting sometime in June. To keep this beautiful part of the eco-system safe, here are a few things you can do to help.

The Naples sea turtle nesting season is upon us. Between now and Oct 31st, we may see turtles and hatchlings traversing the beaches around sunset. Follow these simple rules to ensure their safety during this time.

Naples Sea Turtle Nesting Season

Lights Endanger Turtles

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Mama sea turtles and their babies travel our beaches at night. They use the light reflecting off the water to find their way back and forth. Streetlights, flashlights, and even camera/cell phone lights confuse them. This could endanger their lives by sending them off in the wrong direction, towards vehicle traffic that may kill them. Therefore, keep lights away from the beach.

When at the beach at night, turn off any light sources (lanterns, flash photography, flashlights, etc.). Use only long wavelength lamps/amber LED lights when needed. Shield them and keep them shining directly onto the ground in front of you. Lower your blinds that face the beach side of your Naples home. Keep light sources away from any window that faces the beach. Turn off exterior lights on your house, including porch lights, landscaping lights (solar, too), and any decorative lighting. We don’t want to confuse the hatchlings or their mamas.

Clean Up After Yourself

This makes sense anytime you visit a Naples or Marco Island beach. But, it’s especially true during the Naples sea turtle nesting season. Pack up all your beach chairs, towels, coolers, bags, umbrellas and trash when you leave. Fill in any holes you may have dug or that cropped up from your beach chairs. We need to leave a clear pathway for the turtles to travel.

Leave Them Be

If you’re lucky enough to see the turtles coming and going along the beach, stay back. Give them plenty of room to roam. Bright lights, loud noises, and even simply walking up to them could cause female sea turtles to turn around and abandon their nests. Also, let the turtles return back to the sea on their own.

If you come across a nest, leave it alone. Any eggs that have been handled by a human or moved from one place to another may harm the hatching process. It could even kill the hatchlings before they’re born. Even if you think you’re helping by moving the nests to what you feel is a more secure location, don’t. And leave all beach vegetation alone. Female sea turtles use this to protect their nests. If you trim it, it could leave the nests vulnerable to the elements.

Between now and early summer, Naples sea turtle nesting season is in full swing. After that, we’ll be seeing hatchlings returning to the ocean all the way through the end of October. Please be aware of these amazing creatures as they traverse our beaches over the next few months. We want to keep them safe on their journey so that they live nice long lives.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

Naples Food Angels Seeks Volunteers Now

According to, almost 40 million people in the United States experienced food insecurity in 2017. Children make up more than 13 million of that total. While it may be hard for many people to believe, thousands of these people reside right here in the Naples area. Places like Naples Food Angels help this underserved part of society every single week. But they could use your help in collecting, organizing, and distributing the food that passes through their facility each week. They need volunteers right now.

If you need to fulfill a community service requirement or just want to help out a great cause, volunteer for the Naples Food Angels right now. They could use your help.

What Do Naples Food Angels Do?

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During the week, Naples Food Angels visits local grocery stores to pick up almost expired foodstuffs (canned, boxed, fresh, frozen, etc). They bring it back to The Current Community Center located at 13510 Tamiami Trail North #4 in Naples. There, they sort all items out into appropriate sections.

On Saturdays, they open up their facility to the public from 10:30 am to 12 pm. All visitors shop to their heart’s content, no questions asked. No money ever changes hands either. After that, they take to the streets and bring the mobile pantry to those in need and without transportation. Every Wednesday evening, they cook up and serve a hot meal to the community as well as pass out food to take home.

Naples Food Angels Volunteer Opportunities

Do you want to become a Naples Food Angels volunteer? They need people to help with picking up retail rescue food every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. They also need assistance with unloading vehicles, organizing food, and placing it on the shelves at The Current on those same days. Every Wednesday, volunteers pack up filling station backs for homeless school-aged children and deliver those bags to two local Naples area schools. They could use your help in preparing and serving meals every Wednesday as well as passing out or assisting clients with their food selections on Wednesday nights (6 pm to 7:30 pm) and Saturday mornings (10:30 am to 12 pm).

If you’d like to volunteer for any of these positions, please contact Naples Food Angels at (239) 298-9506 or send them an email letting them know you’d like to offer up your time. Volunteer service always looks great on college applications. You can also use this opportunity to fulfill your court-ordered community service requirement if needed. Simply bring any necessary forms from your school, the court, or a civic organization (such as Boy/Girl Scouts). Give them to the people in charge before you start your “shift”.

If you can’t volunteer your time, Naples Food Angels also accept donations. Food items and toiletries can be dropped off at The Current on Saturday mornings from 10:30 am to 12 pm or Wednesday nights from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. Or, you can donate money online at any time. With this money, the angels purchase more foodstuffs for the pantry. Together, we can help end hunger in our community.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

StayinMay Festival 2019 in Naples is Bigger and Better Than Ever

One of the biggest and most diverse events in Southwest Florida straddles April and May every single year. And this year’s StayinMay Festival appears to be even bigger and better than ever before. So, if you plan on staying in the Naples area anytime between April 24th and May 7th, you might want to check out the festival calendar to see what’s going on, when it’s happening, and where you can catch it. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this amazing event!

The Naples StayinMay Festival 2019 truly offers something for everyone. Between April 24th and May 7th, enjoy live music, fantastic food, amazing art, short films, and so much more.

What: StayinMay Festival 2019
Where: Multiple Venues Around Naples
When: April 24th to May 7th
Cost: Varies per event (free to $95)
Contact: StayinMay website

StayinMay Festival 2019

StayinMay Festival Music

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StayinMay Festival 2019 literally offers something for just about everyone to enjoy. Do you like music? Several different groups perform everything from bluegrass to pop to classical music. The Henri Mancini Institute hosts a string trio one night and a piano trio another night. Visit the South Regional Library for Duke Ellington and Billy Stayhorn-era jazz music. If you love a capella, listen to the Grammy nominated Seraphic Fire perform at Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church on the final evening of the festival. For laughs and music, watch the 3 Redneck Tenors tackle everything from opera to bluegrass at Hilton Naples on the first night of the festival.

StayinMay Festival Food

Do you love food? Get your tickets for the “Flavor of Brazil” hosted by Venue Naples on May 2nd. Enjoy a special chef’s dinner featuring fantastic Brazilian food. While you eat, an artist paints a picture on the spot taking inspiration from the wonderful land that evening’s food comes from.

The food industry is pumping out some incredibly talented chefs. If you’d like to taste a dish prepared by future culinary superstars, come to Venue Naples on May 6th. Local area high school students enrolled in culinary programs want to “wow” you with food they’ve prepared from their favorite countries.

StayinMay Festival Movies

Do you love movies? You have the chance to see three different short film festivals throughout the entire fun of StayinMay Festival 2019. Sheffield Theater hosts all three on April 28th, May 1st, and May 5th. It costs just $15 per day to view three award-winning films on their respective days.

StayinMay Festival Art

Do you love art? Join the Art Alive Gallery Hop on May 1st. Visit 60 different galleries around the Naples area. Several of the artists featured put together special gift baskets to be given away to guests that evening. Admission to Art Alive is absolutely free.

Many other events take place throughout the entire 12-day StayinMay Festival 2019. To find out more about each event as well as purchase your tickets, visit the StayinMay website. Most of these events sell out quickly. So, I’d suggest you get online and reserve your tickets today.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Naples Earth Day 2019 Fun at the Conservancy

Officially, April 22nd is Earth Day. But, honestly, every day should be Earth Day. For almost 50 years, people and organizations use this day to point out what we should be doing to help the environment. When everyone makes even a small change in their unhealthy habits, it makes a mighty big impact. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida highlights how our day-to-day habits affect wildlife at their Naples Earth Day 2019 event.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida hosts their Naples Earth Day 2019 activities on April 13th. Enjoy several hands-on activities, interactive exhibits, and fun yet educational introductions to various animals living at the conservancy.

What: Naples Earth Day 2019
Where: Conservancy of Southwest Florida (1495 Smith Preserve Way)
When: Saturday, April 13th, 10 am to 3 pm
Admission: $10/adult, $5/child
Contact: Conservancy of SW Florida (239) 262-0304

Naples Earth Day 2019 at the Conservancy

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This year, the Conservancy celebrates Naples Earth Day 2019 on Saturday, April 13th. Mr. Glen hosts the Super Science Show with his animal buddies (both puppets and real life). Various staff members discuss how animals spend their day, including reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds. Travel around the waterways at the Conservancy via boat.

Kids will love all of the interactive exhibits on display. Get your face painted before you participate in an archaeological “dig” for prehistoric fossils. Visit the care center to see how the conservancy makes sick animals feel better. Play some of the fun games set up on-site. And, when you get hungry, stop at one of the food trucks for delicious bite to eat.

Admission to Naples Earth Day 2019

Admission to all Naples Earth Day 2019 activities at the Conservancy is totally affordable for all. Adults pay just $10 per person. Each kid costs $5 per person. However, if you’re a member of the conservancy or are under two years old, you get in for free. Everyone is welcome. Ask about how to become a member when you visit. It’s easy to join and worth much more than the price of admission. Happy Earth Day!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Naples Art in the Park 2019 – Last Show of the Season

If you desire to see beautiful works of art while enjoying the gorgeous Southwest Florida weather, there’s just one place to go: Cambier Park. In February, they hosted the Naples National Art Festival. Earlier this month, they hosted the Artcrafters Fine Art Show. And, since November, the park featured an outdoor art market on the first Saturday of each month. However, this next Naples Art in the Park will be the last show of the season.

Don't miss the last Naples Art in the Park show for the 2018/2019 season. The artists won't be back for this juried art show until November.

What: Naples Art in the Park 2019
Where: Cambier Park
When: Saturday, April 6th, 10 am to 4 pm
Admission: FREE
Contact: Naples Art Association (239) 262-6517 or via email

Naples Art in the Park 2019 – Last Show of the Season

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Looking for something new to add to your home’s decor? An interesting sculpture? A delicate watercolor? Perhaps an industrial-style metal piece? Maybe you need something unique to dress up your outdoor living space. Whatever it is you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it at Naples Art in the Park 2019.

For over six decades now, Naples Art in the Park has brought artists and shoppers together in one location. This takes the artists out of their studios and into nature where anyone can admire their work. Speak directly to the artist whose work you enjoy. Learn about their process, their inspiration, and their experience in an unfiltered backdrop of natural beauty.

As I stated before, April 6th marks the final Naples Art in the Park of the season. They won’t open back up again until November. So, if you want to purchase a new art piece for your collection, you should do it now. Keep in mind that art makes a great gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, and any other occasion you can think of. Support artists and the beauty they provide. Come to Naples Art in the Park next month.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Naples Downtown Art Show 2019

The first day of spring happens this Wednesday, March 20th. Can you believe it? That means that the Naples Downtown Art Show 2019 becomes the first official spring art event in town.

Come to the Naples Downtown Art Show 2019 this weekend (March 23rd & 24th) for the first art show of spring in the Naples/Marco Island area.

What: Naples Downtown Art Show 2019
Where: 701 5th Ave S
When: March 23rd, 10 am to 6 pm & March 24th, 10 am to 5 pm
Admission: FREE (donations accepted)
Contact: Naples Art Association (239) 262-6517 or via email

Naples Downtown Art Show 2019

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Known for its rich art scene, Naples hosts several award-winning art shows all year long. Earlier this month, people packed Cambier Park for the Artcrafters Fine Art and Crafts Show. At the end of February, over 20,000 people filled up Cambier Park for the National Art Festival. This weekend, you won’t want to miss one of Sunshine Artist magazine’s 200 Best Classic & Contemporary Craft Shows. Last year’s Naples Downtown Art Show ranked #34 on that list, as a matter of fact.

Over 200 artists from all over the United States as well as a few foreign countries showcase their work in this juried art show. That makes the Naples Downtown Art Show 2019 a truly international experience. Come see the amazing talent on display for yourself. All artists in the show benefit from advertising paid for by the show.

Naples Downtown Art Show 2019 Admission & Parking Info

Anyone interested in seeing the artwork on display at the Naples Downtown Art Show 2019 gets in absolutely free of charge. However, donations are always accepted. The money raised from the show benefits the educational programs provided by the Naples Art Association.

Free parking can be found all around 5th Ave South. It should be a beautiful sunny day. So, if you’d rather, forget about trying to find a parking spot. Ride your bicycle to the show instead. Make it a family outing and bring your kids and friends along, too. The choice is yours. Enjoy!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Collier County Fair 2019

Do you remember how excited you got when the fair came to town as a kid? Sticky, yummy food. Ring toss for prizes. Rides that went round and round? Relive those fun times again with your own kids during the Collier County Fair 2019.

Bring the whole family to the Collier County Fair 2019 for food, games, rides, live entertainment, animals, and so much more between March 14 & 24.

What: Collier County Fair 2019
Where: Collier County Fairgrounds (751 39th Ave NE, Naples)
When: March 14th to 24th, 6 pm to 11 pm Mon, Tues & Thurs, 2 pm to 11 pm Wed, 6 pm to 1 am Fri, 1 pm to 1 am Sat & 1 pm to 10 pm Sun
Admission: $5.50 to $28 (rides cost extra)
Contact: Collier County Fairgrounds (239) 455-1444

Collier County Fair 2019

The Collier County Fair 2019 hosts the usual types of things you expect to find at the fair: food vendors, fairway games, carnival rides. But they also showcase fantastic live entertainment and other activities. Some of the acts on the schedule include the ventriloquist Tom Crowl, DJ Negro at Fiesta at the Fair, and the Sweeney Family Band. Watch the Rhinestone Roper’s Wild West Show. See the aquatic acrobatics of the Fair Flayes Water Show. Puppet Grandpa Cratchet teaches kids about safety. And you definitely won’t want to miss the petting zoo, pig races, pony rides or arm wrestling. On St Patrick’s Day, the demolition derby comes to the fair. All of this and so much more is included in the price of admission!

Outside food and beverages are prohibited. Food vendors are available on-site. Feel free to bring your own chair or blanket if you’d like. Only service animals are allowed on the premises. Large crowds scare even the tamest of pets. For the safety of you, your pet and the people around you, please leave Fluffy or Fido at home.

Tickets for Collier County Fair 2019

Admission to the Collier County Fair 2019 costs $12 per adult per day. Children ages 6 to 11 get in for just $5.50 per day. All kids under the age of 6 get in absolutely free of charge with an accompanying parent or guardian. Until midnight on March 20th, you may purchase a MegaPass armband for $28 (adult or child). This armband allows you admission to the fair for one day as well as unlimited rides. The MegaPasses can be used any day of the fair (March 14th to 24th) but will be unavailable for purchase after the 20th. Purchase your tickets at the Collier County Fair’s online box office or in person at the fairgrounds.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos