September Events at the Estates



Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
Lisa Sbuttoni, PR/Marketing Director

Photo attachments: Homeschool classes begin at the Estates on September 16; Learn how to start your own organic vegetable garden at Estates Garden Talk on September 10

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – September 2011

FORT MYERS, FL (August 21, 2011) – September at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of Estates Homeschool Classes, continuation of Garden Talks, a new monthly program for children (ages 1-3) Emerging Inventors Early Learning Class, as well as a variety of children and adult programs throughout the month. The September schedule of programs and events include:

Estates open Labor Day, September 5, 2011, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

NEW - Emerging Inventors Early Learning Class, September 1 and 15, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
The Estates newest education program series is a child and parent learning class for children ages 1 -3 years that includes immersion into the buildings, museum and gardens. Each program is theme based combining early science, invention, story book reading and hands-on activities. The Learning Class continues twice a month throughout the year.

September 1, “Pet parade” - Thomas and Mina Edison loved animals. During Edison’s time there were peacocks, cats and many birds on the property. In this class children will explore pets using music. Bring your favorite stuffed animal for the pet parade. Cost: Estates Members $5 , non members $15. Registration is recommended.

September 15, “Row, row, row your boat” – Thomas Edison enjoyed taking guests on his electric launch for boat rides on the Caloosahatchee River. In this class children will have fun playing with water, watch shapes grow in water and see water do amazing things with science. Cost: Estates Members $5 , non members $15. Registration is recommended.

Garden Talk – How to start your own organic vegetable garden, September 10, 9 a.m.Organic gardening is the oldest method of gardening and was practiced by Thomas Edison, who grew many vegetables at his Fort Myers estate to eat, sell and ship up north. Estates horticulturists will teach the basics of organic gardening in southwest Florida including bed preparation, pest control, compost and planting from seeds. Reservations not required. Estates Members are free, non members $5, all participants will receive a $5 gift certificate to be used in the Estates Garden Shoppe.

Estates Science Fair Workshop for Homeschoolers and Virtual Students, September 13, 10 a.m. – noonThe Estates will be hosting the 2nd annual Homeschool and Virtual Students Young Engineers, Scientists and Inventors Fair on October 25, 2011. Homeschool and virtual students must enter to pre-qualify for the Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis Science & Engineering Fair. The Estates is offering workshops throughout the year to assist students with their science projects. The workshops focus on choosing a science fair topic, conducting the experiment, documenting results and designing a science fair display board. Cost: $5. Call the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419 to register.

Homeschoolers: Science Law and Order, September 16, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. OR 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.Homeschooled students will learn how scientific laws are made, put laws and theories to the test, and understand scientific processes and how they lead to scientific discovery. 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. Program recommended for grades 1- 6.

Monthly Volunteer Meeting and New Volunteer Orientation, September 20, 9:30 a.m.Join Estates volunteer staff and “Mr. and Mrs. Edison” as they present their trips to Edison’s Glenmont New Jersey home and the Chautauqua Institute (Mrs. Edison’s father was one of the founders). This is a regular monthly volunteer meeting and mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are also welcome.
Quilting and Stitchery Demonstration, September 24, 10 AM – 1 PM
Quilters from the Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild and members of the Southwest Embroidery Guild will demonstrate quilting and stitching and will be available to answer questions. Items will be available for purchase. The Quilters are preparing for the Estates Annual Clothesline Quilt Show on October 29, 2011, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Demonstration is FREE with purchase of Estates Complete Tour ticket.

Edison Garden Market vendor space available, November 19 & 20The 4th annual Edison Garden Market has space available for plant growers, fruit producers, garden art and garden supply vendors. The Edison Garden Market attracts nearly 1,000 gardeners and visitors looking for unique and historical garden items including flowering trees, tropical plants and fruits, bougainvillea, orchids, roses bromeliads, palms, cactus, herbs, bonsai, bamboo, fruit, ginger, butterfly plants as well as garden art, home and gardening supplies. For more information contact the Estates Garden Shoppe at 239-334-7419.

NEW German Language Tour, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.For German speaking visitors, the Estates offers a German language tour led by an Estates Site Historian on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. The tour includes the historic homes, gardens, and Edison Botanic Research Laboratory all presented in German. Groups can schedule a German Language tour, available throughout the week, by calling the Estates at 239-334-7419.

Behind the Scenes Tour, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.Visitors will enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour inside the Edison and Ford homes. These unique tours are offered at no cost to Estates Members and $40 for non members. Due to the intimate nature of “Behind the Scene Tours” space is limited and registration is required.

Estates Botanical Garden Tour Tuesday and Saturday mornings, 10 a.m.The Estates Botanical Tours will be offered on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. The tour includes a walk through the historical gardens, and a behind the scenes tour of the Estates Propagating Nursery led by Estates horticultural staff. Cost for the tour is Estates members, FREE; non members, $24 for adults and $10 for children ages 6 -12. Visitors may upgrade their ticket for $6 to include a self-guided audio wand tour of the historic buildings and Estates Museum. Group botanical tours are available at a discounted price and may be scheduled throughout the week by calling 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

# # #

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.