File photo from the 2013 Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade. This year's parade takes place Saturday night. / Andrew West/news-press.com
Here's our list of family-friendly events happening this weekend in Southwest Florida, from Friday, Feb. 14 through Sunday, Feb. 16. Of course there's the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade and Celebration, but there's also a date night for parents, a daddy-daughter Valentine's Day dance and more.
Edison Festival of Light Crafts on the River & Vintage Market Crafters display their creations for sale at this non-juried event. Many different mediums are available, like jewelry, koozies, aprons and wood crafts. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Downtown Fort Myers. 334-2999. edisonfestival.org
FRIDAY, FEB. 14 -- VALENTINE'S DAY
Cape Coral Parks and Rec Youth Service's Date Night Parents can enjoy a night out on the town with their Valentine. Children will enjoy a fun night with trained recreational staff. For kids from prekindergarten to eighth grade. 6 p.m.-midnight. $15 per child, includes pizza and entertainment. Registration preferred. 6 p.m.- midnight. Oasis Charter Elementary School, 3415 Oasis Blvd., Cape Coral. 242-3950. capeparks.com
Daddy Daughter Dance Let the DJ spin some tunes, enjoy good food and drinks. There will be photo-ops (bring your camera) and prizes, too. Make sure to dress your best; a king and queen will be crowned. 6-8 p.m. $10 per couple and $3 for each additional daughter. Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples. 252-4180. colliergov.net
Nature Connects, Art with Lego Bricks Naples Botanical Garden opens the traveling exhibit Nature Connects, Art with Lego Bricks, on display through May 11. The Lego sculptures by Sean Kenney -- the world’s first Lego-certified professional -- are made with nearly 500,000 Lego bricks. Admission in included with regular Garden admission, $12.95 for adults, $7.95 for ages 4-14 and free for ages 3 and younger, as well as Naples Botanical Garden members. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Drive, Naples. 643-7275. naplesgarden.org
Rockin' at Riverside Park Food, fun and philanthropy take center stage at this free public concert benefiting The Immokalee Foundation. Tonight's performance is a Billy Joel tribute. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating. Coolers are not allowed. 5:30-9 p.m. Riverside Park, 10450 Reynolds St., Bonita Springs. 430-9122. immokaleefoundation.org
SATURDAY, FEB. 15
10th Annual Asia Fest Asian cuisine, martial arts, Chinese lion dance performance, Japanese Taiko drum group, Philippine performing arts company, Thai and Javanese dancers, vendors and more. Net proceeds benefit the Naples Asian Professionals Association Florida College Scholarship program, the Greater Naples YMCA Child Development Center, the Big Brothers and Sisters of the Suncoast, and the Education Foundation of Collier County as well as other non-profit educational programs. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $5 for adults, free for ages 12 and younger. Mercato, 9118 Strada Place, Naples. 404-5836. naplesasianprofessionals.org
Bats of Florida All ages are invited to Barefoot Beach Preserve to learn about various parts of the local environment. Saturday’s topic: Climate Change in Big Cypress. Feb. 22: Snakes of Florida. 10-11 a.m. Free with a Collier County park permit, $8 per vehicle without the permit. Barefoot Beach Preserve Learning Center, 505 Barefoot Beach Blvd., Bonita Springs. 591-8596. fobbp.smugmug.com
Love Your Park Art Show The Koreshan State Historic Site hosts the second annual Love Your Park Art Show featuring local art and demonstrations. Food and beverage will be available. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Entry fee is $5 for a vehicle of 2-8 passengers, $4 for a vehicle with one person, $2 to walk or bike in. Koreshan State Historic Site, 3800 Corkscrew Road, Estero. 992-0311.
Book Blast Bring the family and join the Simon Kidgit's Club in celebrating books and the joys of reading. Let your imagination take you on a fun-filled journey that brings stories to life. Book Blast activities include book readings and crafts. The club is also collecting new or gently used books to be donated to a local children's charity. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Edison Mall, 4125 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers. 939-1933. simon.com
Edison Festival Parade Celebration, 5K Race & Grand Parade of Light Experience a day filled with family-friendly entertainment during the Parade Celebration on the community stage, watch athletes compete in the 5K Race (which includes chip timing), and end the day with the Grand Parade of Light -- one of the largest lighted night parades. Noon-10 p.m. The Parade Celebration starts at noon in Centennial Park. The 5K Run starts at 5:45 p.m. (applications available online). The Grand Parade begins at 7 p.m. and travels from the Fort Myers High School stadium to downtown Fort Myers (route available online). Free. Downtown River District, Edwards Drive, Fort Myers. 334-2999. edisonfestival.org
Love Bugs A special day of Valentine's Day arts, crafts, cookie decorating, songs and more. Parents are not required to stay. Noon-3 p.m. Registration required. $12 for residents, $17 for nonresidents. William “Bill” Austen Youth Center, 315 SW Second Ave., Cape Coral. 242-3950. capeparks.com
The Bumbles The Bumbles and HoneyBees are an original children's music show in Naples. They love writing and performing fun and educational skits that illustrate the original songs and music for young and old. There's Wally and Bobby Bumble, Bonnie Bee, Cherie Bee, Froggy and Gracie the Elephant, all having fun on stage creating a world of imagine-nation. 1-2 p.m. $5. Norris Community Center, 755 Eighth Ave. S., Naples. 213-3049. Pierogi / Slovak Pirohi Dinner The church is having a pierogi/pirohi dinner with stuff cabbage, vegetables, dessert and drinks for $12. No reservations needed. 3-6:30 p.m. All Saints Byzantine Catholic church, 10291 Bayshore Road, North Fort Myers. 543-6363. allsaintsbyzantinechurch.com
Circus Arts United-All Walks of Art Festival The All Walks of Art event by Circus Arts United is expanding this year to a block party featuring art, music, entertainment, dancing and food vendors. There will be more than 50 local artists, 20 live performers (including stilts, aerial silk ballet with trapeze rigging, fire performances, local dance troupes, a unicyclist/juggler, magicians and musicians. The evening will also feature a skateboard exhibition and what’s being billed as Southwest Florida’s largest community chalk art drawing where anyone can help create an incredible piece of live art. 4-11 p.m. $5 suggested donation. 10% of proceeds go to Sweet Magnolia's Coffee House and Marketplace, a center that offers assistance to single mothers. Takes place along 47th Terrace, Cape Coral. 970-343-2570. circusartsunited.com
Youth Center Valentine's Dance Students in grades 4-6, come dressed in your best and celebrate Valentine’s Day with games, dancing and more. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $5 per person. William “Bill” Austen Youth Center, 315 SW Second Ave., Cape Coral. 242-3950.
Little Pine Island Guided Hikes The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park hosts guided nature walks at the High Marsh in Little Pine Island on Wednesday and Saturday mornings through April 12. 9 a.m.-noon. Free. Registration required. Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park, 12301 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda. 941-575-5861. floridastateparks.org/charlotteharbor
Guided Walks at Hickey's Creek Mitigation Park Explore natural plant communities on this guided walk. See firsthand the plants and animals that make southwest Florida so unique. Participants should be able to walk about two miles. This trail is only stroller and handicap accessible for about a quarter of a mile. Dress appropriately and bring a water bottle. Children must be accompanied by an adult. This program is free with paid parking. Limit 25 participants. For information call 822-5212 or email email@example.com. 9-11 a.m. Free with paid parking. Hickey's Creek Mitigation Park, 17980 Palm Beach Blvd., Alva. 822-5212. leeparks.org
Family Craft and Story Join a naturalist for story-time at the refuge and enjoy a wildlife-themed story and craft.Appropriate for students from prekindergarten to sixth grade, although everyone is welcome. Inside the Education Center. 11-11:30 a.m. Saturdays. Free. J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel. 472-1100. dingdarlingsociety.org
Wildlife at the Refuge Is it an alligator or crocodile? Learn about the order Crocodilia, including crocodiles, gharials, alligators and caimans in the Gators and Crocs program, 10-10:30 a.m. Saturdays. Then discover which raptors live in Southwest Florida and learn about their adaptations for survival in Raptors of the Refuge, 11-11:30 a.m. Saturdays. Learn interesting facts about birds and how to identify them in the estuary in the Birds of the Refuge program, 1-1:30 p.m. Saturdays. Free. J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel. 472-1100. PRICE: Free. dingdarlingsociety.org/winter-programs
Pups 'n' Books Read to a dog or simply pet one. Registration not required. 1:30 p.m. Free. Headquarters Regional Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Drive, Naples. 593-0870. colliergov.net/library
SUNDAY, FEB. 16
Kiwanis Club of Marco Island Car Show Annual fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club. Food and beverage available for purchase. $5 spectator fee. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Marco Island Healthcare Center, 40 Heathwood Drive, Marco Island. 272-0816.
Edison Festival of Light - Mutt Strutt & Classic Car Show The Mutt Strutt is a puppy parade that will leave your tail waggin'. Different vendors will be on hand with information and services that promote animal welfare. The Classic Car Show is coordinated by Hot Chili Rods of Cape Coral. Hundreds of classical, antique and muscle cars line Edwards drive with beautiful displays. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. Centennial Park, downtown Fort Myers. 334-2999. edisonfestival.org
Endangered Species Learn about Florida manatees, 11-11:30 a.m. Sundays. Then discover other endangered species of Southwest Florida and what you can do to help, 1-1:30 p.m. Sundays. Free. J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel. 472-1100. dingdarlingsociety.org/winter-programs
Old Fashioned Fish Fry Old fashioned fish fry with live blue grass music. Noon-2 p.m. $12 in advance, $15 day of, $5 for kids. Riverside Park, 27300 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs. 390-2092. bonitaspringshistoricalsociety.org
Jazz on the Green Concert Series Naples area jazz fans will be treated to a fourth season of lively open-air performances by some of Naples' best-known and loved jazz musicians. Bayshore Cultural and Performing Arts Center Inc. presents Jazz on the Green, concerts free and open to the public. 2-4 p.m. on Sundays each month through-April. Edison State College Collier Campus, 7007 Lely Cultural Parkway, Naples. 775-2800. bayshorecapa.org
Jazz Pianist Eugene Lowry Celebrated theologian, author, lecturer and jazz pianist Dr. Eugene Lowry will be in concert of jazz standards that emphasizes the interrelationships between African American-based blues and spirituals idioms. A lecture on this subject will precede the concert. Doors open at 7 p.m. Event is 7:30-9 p.m. Free. Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2439 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. 334-8937.
SW Florida Wiener Dog Club Wiener dogs and their humans get a chance to play and socialize. An on-site wiener dog race track is available for practice races or just for fun. This is an opportunity for "newbies" to learn if their dog can compete in the big races like WienerFest coming in November. Bring your dog’s favorite toy or treat and water. Dogbones Cafe opens at 11 a.m. All dogs must have proof of current tags and vaccinations. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 9-11 a.m. Free. Shell Factory, 2787 N. Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers. 458-3294. swfloridawienerdogs.com
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