November promises tasteful days and nights. In Everglades City, the Centennial Music Festival honors the city’s 100th anniversary. In Naples, Alexander Shelley debuts with the Naples Philharmonic as the new music and artistic director designate of Artis—Naples. And, both Fort Myers’ Taste of the Town and Sanibel’s Taste of the Islands highlight the local restaurant industry. Explore these and other events to round out your to-do list this month.
Now — Nov. 12
Misery at The Laboratory Theater of Florida
Adapted from the iconic Stephen King novel, this production marks the regional premiere of the thriller play. Fictional author Paul Sheldon finds himself being nursed back to health by a devoted—but ultimately dangerous—fan after suffering a tragic accident. It brings to the stage the 1990 horror film starring Kathy Bates, James Caan and Lauren Bacall.
Leonard Bernstein: Citizen Artist at Temple Beth El, Fort Myers
Author, narrator and filmmaker Jamie Bernstein explores the life and legacy of her father, the American master composer-conductor. The Southwest Florida Symphony performs select works from Leonard’s collection.
Nov. 1 – 19
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Naples United Church of Christ
Based on a sequel that takes place two years after the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice, this story focuses on Mary Bennet as the family celebrates Christmas at the Darcy residence. Ticketholders for the show, presented by The Naples Players, gain access to the exclusive Teas & Trees Festival (same dates and location), featuring holiday trees decorated by local artists and tea from The Spice & Tea Exchange of Naples.
The Macrame Art of Reiniery Mariani at DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery, Fort Myers
In his first Southwest Florida exhibit, the Miami-based Cuban-Italian artist combines esthetics and functionality with intricately knotted curtains, plant hangers, clothing and other pieces.
Whimsy and Wonder: Doug McGregor at Alliance for the Arts, Fort Myers
The children’s book illustrator and former News-Press editorial cartoonist presents a collection of his mosaic paintings and graphite drawings featuring wildlife and skyscapes. Fantasy, surrealism and playful puzzles take the viewer through Doug’s creative mind.
Everglades Centennial Music Festival at Rod & Gun Club, Everglades City
The Everglades Society of Historic Preservation honors the city’s 100th anniversary. In the days of Barron Collier, the city served as the original county seat. Local musicians, such as Charlie Price and Gator Nate, perform, and local artists auction off their works along the riverfront lawn of Collier’s Rod & Gun Club.
En Plein Air Painting with the Naples Art District
To celebrate Naples’ 100th anniversary, about a dozen artists from the Naples Art District create scenery pieces plein-air style along Third Street South and around the iconic Naples Pier shoreline. Watch for free as the artists work in ink, watercolors, acrylic and mixed media to create realist and abstract works.
WINK’s Taste of the Town at Caloosa Sound Amphitheater, Fort Myers
About 25 of Lee County’s best restaurants and food trucks gather at this annual event. Six bands rock the amphitheater throughout the two days, including popular local groups like Deb and the Dynamics and School of Rock.
Día de los Muertos Celebration at Naples Botanical Garden
Mexico’s Day of the Dead holiday comes alive in the garden with music, dance and food. The garden hosts La Calavera Catrina—a series of eight joyful skeleton sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Ricardo Soltero. Monarch butterflies, arts stations and a community ofrenda (offerings) further help explore the rich cultural celebration of the after-life.
Nov. 5, 9, 12 and 14
GO Divas Concert, various locations
This month, the opera group travels from Marco Island to Punta Gorda in November to raise funds to fight food insecurity. This year, the sextet’s golden voices survey four decades of popular female artists, including Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion and Adele.
Nov. 5 – 19
Taste of the Islands, Sanibel Island
A longstanding Sanibel tradition to support the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), the event pivots this year to present a two-part REBUILDING dine-out event. The traditional island passport offers dining specials November 13-19, with special trolley services on the 18th. Before that week, off-island restaurants offer discounts to support their island colleagues’ post-hurricane recovery.
Frank Stewart at Artis—Naples
The American photographer—whose exhibition, Frank Stewart: An American Photographer’s Journey, 1960s to the Present, is on display at The Baker Museum through January 7—joins the exhibition’s original curator, Ruth Fine, in conversation for an evening.
Christopher Cross at Seminole Center, Immokalee
The five-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist brings his pop rock sounds to the Gulf Coast. Throughout his more than five-decade career, the San Antonio musician has sold more than 10 million albums.
Candlelight: The Best of Hans Zimmer at Music & Arts Community Center, Fort Myers
The internationally renowned concert series debuts in Southwest Florida, featuring thousands of flameless candles illuminating the Listeso String Quartet as it plays selections from the composer’s greatest hits, including themes from Pirates of the Caribbean, Dune and The Lion King.
Fort Myers Boat Show at the Historic Downtown Riverfront
Boats, boat gadgets and boat lovers take over the Caloosahatchee riverfront downtown for four days. Paddleboards, grand yachts, fishing gear, boating apparel and the like make up Southwest Florida’s biggest boat show, drawing thousands. Local experts are on hand to answer questions about basic boating know-how, safety and recreational opportunities.
The Marvelous Wonderettes at Naples United Church of Christ
Due to the popularity and sell-out of this musical comedy, The Naples Players have extended performances one week longer than the original scheduled dates. A nostalgic journey to the 1950s and 1960s, the production follows four girlfriends from their high school prom to their 10-year reunion. By purchasing a ticket for the show, you gain access to the exclusive Teas & Trees Festival (same dates and place), featuring holiday trees decorated by local artists and tea from The Spice & Tea Exchange® of Naples.
Nov. 10 — Dec. 25
Elf: The Musical at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Fort Myers
It’s the Will Ferrell holiday classic set to music: Follow Buddy the Elf as he leaves the North Pole and travels to find his family in New York City. The jolly soundtrack features holiday classics and original music.
Veterans Day Parade, Cape Coral
As a Purple Heart City and home to Veterans Park monuments and the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library Cape Coral is very patriotic. It shows its reverence for America’s heroes past and present with a two-hour parade of marching bands and veteran groups down Cape Coral Parkway.
Nov. 14 — March 2
Out of the Sand: The Origins of Golf on Marco Island at Marco Island Historical Museum
The interactive exhibit explores the 50-plus years of history and importance of golf in the island community through images and artifacts and a three-hole mini course visitors can play. Topics include the Tony Lema Memorial Tournament in 1967 and celebrity players, such as Gene Sarazen, Arnold Palmer, Glenn Campbell and Mickey Mantle.
Nov. 15 — Jan. 6
Patricia Schnall Gutierrez: Love Me Now – Couture in Art at Aldo Castillo Gallery, Estero
The solo show includes abstract and figurative paintings and drawings that reflect on how women dress, with emphasis on haute couture. Charcoal drawings and large portraits incorporating clothing into the works bring fashion collections to a purely conceptual level.
Overture to Alexander — A Toast to the Future at Artis—Naples
Alexander Shelley, the new artistic and music director designate of Artis—Naples, makes his concert debut with the Naples Philharmonic. In honor of his new role, the orchestra performs a mixture of beloved overtures and lesser-known gems, like Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, Strauss’ Overture to Die Fledermaus and Joan Tower’s Sixth Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman.
Jazz at the MACC – Blue Train: Music of John Coltrane at Music & Arts Community Center, Fort Myers
Gulf Coast Jazz Collective pays homage to John Coltrane, one of the musical genre’s most influential musicians, whose timeless compositions recall the golden era of jazz. The musical journey boards Coltrane’s most iconic album, Blue Train.
Nov. 16 — Dec. 17
Winter Wonderettes at Gulfshore Playhouse, Naples
Holiday hits from the 1960s put the merry into your Christmas season as the storyline follows the disappearance of Santa Claus from a 1968 party at Harper’s Hardware. The local singing group, the Marvelous Wonderettes, save the day in four-part harmony.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas at Artis—Naples
Created by Grammy Award-winning percussionist and composer Chip Davis, classical holiday tunes meet new age and rock as this 35-year tradition delights alongside dazzling multimedia effects in an intimate setting.
Brew-Ha-Ha Craft Beer Fest at Mercato, Naples
Benefitting PACE Center for Girls, the 12th annual festival treats guests to unlimited sampling of more than 60 craft beers, including local producers like Ceremony Brewing and Coastal Dayz Brewery Ceremony Brewing. West Wave performs, and food trucks Addison’s on the Go and Only Doubles are at Mercato shopping and entertainment center. Fun competitions include mustache judging and a stein-holding contest.
Nov. 18 — Dec. 31
Festival of Lights at Fishermen’s Village, Punta Gorda
Kicking off with the lighting of the riverfront shopping and entertainment center with more than a million lights, the festival continues with live entertainment and drop-ins from Santa Claus and The Grinch. King Fisher Fleet offers its traditional, festive Christmas Light Canal Cruise around Punta Gorda from December 1-31. The festivities culminate with a New Year’s Eve celebration and fireworks.
Jim Breuer at Off the Hook Comedy Club, Naples
Known for his Goat Boy bits on Saturday Night Live in the mid-1990s, Jim Breuer went on star in stand-up tours, comedy albums television and films—including Half Baked and Dick, with Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams.
Nov. 20 — Dec. 8
The Heartbeat of the Cosmos at East West Fine Art, Naples
Hayden Wilson lends his artistic stylings to practical glassware, balancing contemporary flair with traditional techniques to create this display of unique and colorful vases. A second-generation glass artist, he produces utilitarian and artistic pieces, from elevated tableware to bubble chandeliers and sculptures.
Nov. 21 — Dec. 30
Small Works of Art Feature at Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples
The gallery’s artists, including neo-expressionist creator Hunt Slonem and the late Richard Segalman, contribute small paintings in this annual show, a perfect opportunity for finding one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts.
Gobble Gobble Thanksgiving Day 5k at The Village Shops on Venetian Bay, Naples
Runners wake up early the morning of the holiday to race through Naples’ downtown area and along the city’s waterfront—warming up their appetites for later. Each year, the event raises thousands of dollars for St. Matthew’s House.
Nov. 23 — Jan. 2024
Victor Vasarely: The Absolute Eye at Naples Art Institute
Known as the ‘grandfather’ of the Op Art movement, the artist established a worldwide reputation for optical illusion and abstract patterns. The exhibition of 150-plus serigraphs, lithographs, gouache paintings and drawings explores visual perception and spatial relationships.
Nov. 24 — Dec. 30
Holiday Nights at Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers
A festive, classic holiday tradition for nearly 50 years, the month-long occasion features thousands of bulbs lighting up the historic riverfront homes and gardens. Period decorations emulate the 20th century Special events include caroling concerts, holiday-themed guided tours and appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Nov. 24 — Jan. 7
Johnsonville Night Lights in the Garden at Naples Botanical Garden
Thousands of lights bring an extra burst of color and brightness to the garden for holiday evenings. Enjoy live music each night, photo ops, a living bromeliad tree and holiday treats and drinks for purchase.
Nov. 25 & 26
Thanksgiving Weekend Sullivan Street Craft Festival, Punta Gorda
Dozens of crafters and artists come from across the country to showcase their wares in historic, riverfront downtown Punta Gorda. The fifth annual event centers around the charming cottage galleries and boutiques of Sullivan Street.
Darren Criss: A Very Darren Crissmas at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers
The Glee actor and singer-songwriter performs music from his recent holiday album—a mix of classic tunes, modern-day hits and original music. The musician’s yuletide show hits 24 stops across the United States and Europe.
Lee Greenwood: A Tennessee Christmas at Caloosa Sound Amphitheater, Fort Myers
Singer-songwriter and saxophonist Lee Greenwood brings twang to the holidays riverside at downtown Fort Myers’ outdoor amphitheater. The award-winning star will perform classic country hits and holiday renditions. Local emerging country artist and The Voice semifinalist Ben Allen appears as a special guest.