Treat yourself to food, wine, music and art to start the New Year. From family-friendly seafood festivals to a romantic performance by Michael Bolton to a museum exhibit built around a centuries-old artifact, there’s something to remind everyone why we chose to call the south. -West Florida with us, even if it’s just for the season.
Marco’s main artifacts at Marco Island Historical Museum
Loan from the National Museum of Natural History, Marco Chat Key, a 6-inch kneeling feline sculpture (estimated to be between 500 and 1,500 years old) returned to her Marco Island home in 2019. The exhibit, which also includes other Calusa artifacts, has recently extended to April 2026, the longest loan in Key Marco Cat history.
TO RENT The 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers
After a 25-year run, the powerful musical by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Larson about a diverse group of friends trying to pursue their dreams amid the AIDS crisis in New York City in the late 80’s bowed out with this farewell tour. Starting at $ 48.
Fort Myers Seafood & Music Festival in the River District, Fort Myers
Head to the historic downtown waterfront to sample fresh seafood sustainably caught in the Gulf, as well as bites for carnivores and vegetarians. The three-day festival also features arts and crafts vendors and concerts from Tom Petty’s tribute band, Free Fallin ‘, blues musician Damon Fowler and energetic The Whole Band with Callie Chappell. To free.
Arthaus and Quattro Mani at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Fort Myers
Fort Myers-based photographer and artist Darryl Pottorf showcases his mixed media work in two exhibitions this month: his solo show, Arthaus, and Quattro Mani, which focuses on his collaborations with pop artist Robert Rauschenberg, who lived in Capitva. Free, donations encouraged.
Fighting Stereotypes – Member Exposure at the Alliance for the Arts, Fort Myers
Coinciding with the touring performance of Theater Conspiracy by The Museum of Colors—which highlights the stereotypes and struggles black Americans face through 11 theatrical exhibitions. This exhibition encourages artists who are members of Alliance for the Arts to create works that challenge stereotypes and embrace individuality. To free.
37th Annual Cape Coral Art Festival and Marketplace, Cape Coral
One of Lee County’s largest events, the festival attracts more than 100,000 participants. The Rotary Club of Cape Coral celebrates local and national artists with stalls that sell handmade jewelry, sculptures, paintings, ceramics and more. If you miss the street fair in person, exhibitors will also showcase their artwork and crafts online during the virtual festival, which runs from January 3 to 28. To free.
26th Annual Naples New Year’s Art Exhibition on Fifth Avenue South, Naples
This juried outdoor art exhibit on South Fifth Avenue connects passers-by with professional artists from across the country, showcasing ceramics, digital art, furniture, jewelry, sculpture and more. . To free.
Miami City Ballet with Naples Philharmonic at Artis — Naples
In the first of the ballet company’s two performances at Artis — Naples this season, the dancers present two Florida premieres accompanied by the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra: Herman Schmerman Pas de Deux, with choreography by William Forsythe and music by Thom Willems, and choreographer that of Christopher Wheeldon After the rain Pas de Deux to the music through Arvo Part. Starting at $ 59.
The Rocket Man Show at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers
Scotsman Rus Anderson, who was handpicked by Sir Elton John himself to play his official double, is known for his hyper-authentic performances. Expect a live band, decked out costumes, and full-fledged dance numbers at this show. Starting at $ 27.
Higher at the Gulfshore Playhouse, Naples
Written and performed by Broadway veteran Jeffrey Binder, and directed by Kristen Coury, the live premiere of this solo show – which was recorded and aired during my forties – merges two timelines to explore a story of faith and healing. Learn about Binder’s creative journey in the January issue of Gulf life. $ 38.
25th Annual Sullivan Street Craft Festival in Punta Gorda, Punta Gorda
A short drive from the Peace River waterfront, shop for handicrafts, including candles made from organic materials, flower arrangements, wire jewelry, and homemade hot sauces. To free.
Anna kincaïde at the Gardner Colby Gallery, Naples
Kincaide’s work echoes Georgia O’Keeffe’s magnified florals with ideas of femininity and power at the forefront in her paintings of lush multi-colored bouquets. To free.
Gatsby the magnificent at BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island
Desiree Sanchez, director of London’s innovative Aquilla Theater, reinvents F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel through a BIPOC lens to highlight themes of class and prejudice that still resonate nearly 100 years after the publication of the ‘story. $ 65.50 for adults; $ 8.50 for students.
Michael Bolton at Artis — Naples
The two-time Grammy Award-winning singer, known for his hits “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” and “When a Man Loves a Woman,” returns to the stage at Hayes Hall for an evening of romantic ballads. Starting at $ 89.
Commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Holocaust Museum and Cohen Education Center, Naples
Immerse yourself in the inspiring stories of Holocaust survivors to honor the 6 million Jewish victims and the millions more who died under Nazism. The event includes a video screening featuring Abe Price, a deceased Naples resident, lawyer, author and Holocaust survivor. To free.
Naples Winter Wine Festival at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
This premier event, hosted by the Naples Children & Education Foundation, has raised nearly $ 220 million for local at-risk children since 2001. The weekend is full of decadent dinners and wine-drenched evenings, including an epic live auction and farewell brunch on Sunday. From $ 15,000 per couple.