things to do in naples

Naples Originals Foodie Camp 2019

Living on the Gulf of Mexico, we enjoy some of the finest and freshest seafood around. Even if you don’t necessarily like seafood, some of the most talented chefs live and work right here in Southwest Florida. They pooled their talents and put together the Naples Originals Foodie Camp 2019 so that they can share their knowledge and skills with you.

Learn how to make some of your favorite dishes from your favorite chefs during Naples Originals Foodie Camp 2019 from Oct 21st to 30th. Proceeds fund scholarships and training programs for aspiring chefs in the area.

What: Naples Originals Foodie Camp 2019
Where: Various Naples Restaurants
When: October 21st to 30th, times vary
Cost: $60 per class
Contact: Beth Preddy, Event Coordinator (239) 404-5014 or via email

Naples Originals Foodie Camp 2019

Search homes for sale in the Naples/Marco Island areaWhether you’re a chef in your own right, work the grill at a greasy spoon or simply want to enhance your family’s dinner menus at home, everyone learns something new at this foodie camp. Over a dozen chefs, most of whom own and operate their own local restaurants, offer classes showcasing their special brand of cooking. Learn how to make a mouthwatering paella from Chef JC Perez at Lamoraga. Find out the perfect way to cook different cuts of beef from Chef Adam Nardis at M Waterfront Grille. Discover what it takes to make delicious crab cakes from 21 Spices’ very own Chef Asif Sayed. And put together the most delicious appetizers for your next party with the skills you learn from Jeanne Harvey at The Real Macaw. And those are only four of the talented chefs hosting classes at foodie camp.

Ticket Information

Tickets cost $60 per 90-minute class. During each class, students learn how to make a two or three-course meal. They also receive a quick mixology course including appetizers. Enjoy a glass of wine as well. Each class includes its own folder complete with recipes and helpful tips so you can practice your newfound skills at home. Plus you receive one raffle ticket to enter to win a Foodie Camp apron signed by one of the chefs and a $50 gift certificate to one of the restaurants represented at the camp. Foodie fun! Purchase your tickets online here.

Where Does the Money Go?

Proceeds from the Foodie Camp fund scholarships for hospitality school at Florida Gulf Coast University as well as the St Matthews House’s culinary training programs. Since 2015, the Foodie Camp has managed to raise more than $40,000 for these programs. With your help, they could take their efforts over the $50,000 mark. No matter what your skill (or lack thereof), please consider registering for at least one of the Foodie Camp classes this year. They’re all great and well worth it!

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

Naples Sunset Puppy Picnic to Benefit Humane Society Naples

Today is National Dog Day. Barbatella, Dorona, and Sea Salt celebrate with Dine for a Paw at their restaurants tonight. Ten percent of their proceeds from today’s sales benefit the Humane Society. And your pets can dine with you! Yet another fun way to celebrate your pets and support Humane Society Naples is by attending the Naples Sunset Puppy Picnic.

Enjoy delicious food, decadent champagne, fun games, and puppies at the Naples Sunset Puppy Picnic on the lawn at Mercato on Aug 31, 2019.

What: Naples Sunset Puppy Picnic
Where: Lawn at Mercato
When: Saturday, August 31st, 2019 5 pm to 8 pm
Contact: Naples Mercato (239) 431-8259

Naples Sunset Puppy Picnic

Search homes for sale in the Naples/Marco Island areaNaples Flatbread Kitchen’s Bubble Lounge provides the Veuve Clicquot Champagne and delicious tidbits for guests to purchase. Humane Society Naples provides the puppies for adoption. But that’s not all. Some of the special menu items created especially for this evening’s event include gouda mac and cheese bites, Santa Fe chicken egg rolls, Grandpa Vinny’s meatballs, and 72-hour short ribs. Pay just $5 each for these delicious morsels. The chef also plans on putting out a selection of their famous flatbreads for just $3 each. Or pick up a piece of pizza for just $2 per slice. Margaritas and vodka spritz cocktails will also be available for $10 each. For designated drivers and others not inclined to imbibe in alcohol, pick up a bottle of water for $2 each.

While puppies, food, and champagne may be the main courses of this event, that’s not all guests will have to keep themselves busy. DJ Travis plays music to keep the atmosphere festive. And you have the opportunity to play some fun lawn games as well.

Bottle Reservations Required

With limited supplies, bottles sell out quickly. So, they require reservations if you plan on purchasing one. To guarantee that you receive a bottle of yellow label or rose, visit the Naples Flatbed reservation website here. They start at $75 each. With each bottle, receive two free souvenir champagne flutes. They sell out quickly as well!

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

Dogs in the Garden at Naples Botanical Garden

Dogs provide companionship and a sense of calm for many people. They become members of the family, albeit a bit more harry than most. We enjoy taking them as many places with us as possible, just like we would our children. Right now, you can visit the Naples Botanical Garden with your favorite pooch two days a week for their Dogs in the Garden days.

If you love the gardens but can't bear the thought of leaving your precious pup at home, bring them with you during Dogs in the Garden days at the Naples Botanical Garden (every Sunday & Tuesday from now until the end of September 2019).

What: Dogs in the Garden
Where: Naples Botanical Garden (4820 Bayshore Dr)
When: Every Sunday & Tuesday from now through September 29th, 8 am to 11 am
Admission: $19.95 for human non-members, $14.95 per canine, members and their dogs get in for free
Contact: Naples Botanical Garden (239) 643-7275/(877) 433-1874 or via email

Dogs in the Garden at Naples Botanical Garden

Search homes for sale in the Naples/Marco Island areaIt’s a truly wondrous time to visit the Naples Botanical Garden right now. Blooming flowers present a beautiful landscape everywhere you look. Guided tours are available every day the garden is open. W.O.N.D.E.R. allows families to learn and play together in the garden with a different theme each month. And Mally Khorasantchi’s artwork is on display in Kapnick Hall through September 2nd. But every Sunday and Tuesday from 8 am to 11 am, the garden allows our extra-furry family members (ie, dogs) to explore the gardens with us. And for members of the garden, your pooches get in absolutely free as well. But, please, for your peace of mind as well as that of others on the garden’s grounds, please keep your dogs leashed at all times.

Tickets for the Botanical Garden

Tickets are always available at the on-site box office. However, if you like to plan ahead, purchase your tickets online via the Naples Botanical Garden website here. Adults (ages 15+) must pay $19.95 per person to enter. Kids ages 4-14 cost $9.95 while children under 4 get in absolutely free of charge. On Sundays and Tuesday through September 29th, non-members pay $14.95 per pup. However, all members get in absolutely free of charge as do their dogs. If you’d like to become a member, individual and family memberships are available on an annual basis. Visit the garden’s website here for more information.

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

Search homes for sale in the Naples/Marco Island area
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?