May Events at the Estates


May Events at the Estates


Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
Lisa Sbuttoni, PR/Marketing Director
Photo attachments: Celebrating Bromeliads opens May 1st in Edison Caretaker’s House; Enjoy Mother’s Day Brunch at the beautiful Ford Estate on May 8th.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – May 2011

Fort Myers, Florida (April 15, 2011) – May at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of Mother’s Day Brunch on May 8; new exhibit opening, “Celebrating Bromeliads;” and FREE admission to Veteran’s on Memorial Day, as well as a variety of special exhibits, children and adult programs, throughout the month of May. The May schedule of programs and events include:

• Exhibit Opening Reception: “Celebrating Bromeliads”
May 1, 1 PM – 4 PM
The Estates newest exhibit, “Celebrating Bromeliads” opens May 1, 2011 in the Edison Caretaker’s House. The exhibit features exquisite 18th century bromeliads illustrations collected by Jack Kramer, noted author and garden authority. “Celebrating Bromeliads” will be on exhibit until May 29, 2011 then will tour nationally. Opening reception events include historic print sale and book signing with Jack Kramer, author of Bromeliads for Home and Garden from 1 PM – 4 PM; Estates horticulturist, Debbie Hughes will present, “Beautiful Bromeliads: Tips and Care” at 2 PM; and the Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society will be selling bromeliads and related items throughout the event. Cost: Estates Members FREE; non members, $5.

• Director’s Tour: Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens and The American Orchid Society, Delray Beach
May 6, 8 AM – 6 PM
Visit some of Florida’s most renowned museums, historic homes, and gardens with Estates President & CEO, Chris Pendleton. This month, Pendleton will take participants on a tour of Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens. Participants will experience Japanese culture, art and beautiful gardens. The Morikami Gardens are ranked one of the top ten Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Tour will include a special exhibit on the Kimono. After lunch participants will enjoy a tour of the world headquarters of The American Orchid Society with lush gardens and exotic orchids. Registration required. Estates Volunteers $85; Estates Members $90; non members $95. Price includes transportation, lunch, behind the scene tour, refreshments and historical background lectures.

• Mother’s Day Brunch in the Gardens, May 8, 11 AM
Celebrate your Mom with a delectable brunch in the Estates Coconut Grove overlooking the Caloosahatchee River. The diverse menu will please every member of your family. Ticket price includes brunch, entertainment, and Estates tour. Registration required. Estates Members, adults $35, children ages 4 - 12 $15; non members adults $40, children ages 4 -12 and $18; children 3 and under FREE.

Free Admission to Mom’s on Mothers’ Day, May 8, 1 PM – 4 PM
The Estates is offering FREE admission to any mother accompanied with their paid child on Mother’s Day. Free admission includes a tour of the historic homes, the botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and Edison’s Research Laboratory.

• Monthly Volunteer Meeting and New Volunteer Orientation, May 17, 9:30 AM
Join Estates volunteer staff and site historian Jim Niccum, for a delightful morning as Jim discusses his experiences as a staff member of the Estates for the last 24 years. This is a regular monthly meeting and a mandatory training for all new volunteers. Potential volunteers are welcome. Interested potential and new volunteers are invited to an orientation and overview following the meeting.

• Estates Member Spring Celebration, May 13, 6 PM – 8 PM
The Estates is celebrating their members and launching a new website, Members are invited to join the Estates unveil the new website with new interactive kids pages, learn about the Edison & Ford Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp, and presentations with the Estates Wild Wizard. Reservations required. To become an Estates member and receive free admission to the Estates and hundreds of museums and gardens visit the new website or call the Estates Membership Department at 239-334-7419.

• Homeschoolers: “Body Systems,” May 20, 1 PM – 3 PM
Students will learn about the 11 systems of the body and how they work. Homeschooled students and their parents can enroll in a half day of curriculum that follows the Florida Sunshine objectives for learning. The program follows the Lee County mandated program and addresses environmental science, history and reading SOLS. Pre-visit curriculum materials will be mailed to registered families. Registration required. Estates members $5; non members $15 (one adult, one child) additional $5 per child.

• Free Admission to Veteran’s and their families on Memorial Day, May 30
The Estates is offering free admission to United States Veterans and their families on May 30. Free admission includes a tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and the Edison Research Lab. Veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers to receive free admission.

• Registration for Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp
The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is back again this year with the Estates Wild Wizard. Camp begins on June 13, 2011 and runs through August 5, 2011. Camps are open for grades 1st – 6th. Campers will make movies, become science detectives, launch objects into orbit, construct bridges and animate their own short films. Registration forms are available on line at or are available at the Estates. Estates Members: $200; non members $230. For more information on specific topics, dates and times contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at

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The Estates has received a grant from the Florida Legislature through the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.