Rockefeller Center in New York may have the most famous Christmas tree lighting event in the country, however, trees are being lit all over the United States this week. Here are some of the Southwest Florida festive and fun tree lighting events taking place. This week is when the lion’s share of decorations go up in businesses and communities from Naples to Punta Gorda and everywhere in between.

three men and a woman singing on stage outside

Holiday events and tree lightings in Southwest Florida are more than flipping a light switch. Most also highlight local entertainers, have, food and other activities.

Breaking down Southwest Florida Tree Lighting events

Snow is predicted to fall at a few of these events in spite of what the thermometer says. In fact, 100 tons will be on the ground in Naples for the annual Snow Fest celebration. In addition, holiday movies will be shown on a jumbotron.

Santa has quite the social schedule over the next couple of weeks. He plans to make appearances at all of the events listed below. Most of them offer much more than the flip of a switch to light a tree or a menorah. There is almost always some kind of entertainment and music. In addition, most events have food and drink options available. Most do not provide seating. It might be wise to put a lawn chair or blanket in the back of the car just in case you want to linger.

If you are looking for more local holiday activities to enjoy this weekend, find a few additional ideas and information here. In the meantime, check out this list of Southwest Florida tree lighting ceremonies taking place over the next several days. Most are free, all are great to share with then entire family. However, some do not allow your four legged friends to attend.

  • Punta Gorda Light Up The Night

    Light Up The Night Tree Lighting is Friday, December 1st in downtown Punta Gorda. The stage  is at end of Marion Avenue.  Enjoy a sing-a-long, live music and of course the big man himself, Santa Clause. 5:30-9:30 Tree lighting at 7. Free

  • Babcock Ranch

    The events take place in Founder’s Square with its giant tunnel of holiday lights. Santa arrives in a horse drawn carrige and his lighted sleigh serves as a backdrop for family photos. There will be food and entertainment as well. Friday, December 1, 5:30 to 9 p.m. Free

  • Coconut Point Mall

    Coconut Point Mall in Estero lights its 32-foot-tall tree Saturday. It’s a tropical theme with steel-drum music, Polynesian-inspired performances, and Caribbean food. Santa will also be on hand and lead the parade at 7pm. In addition, bring new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. Saturday, Dec. 2, 5-8pm. Free. More info here.

  • Dunbar's Holiday in the Park

    The Lee County Black History Society is hosting the 11th Annual Holiday in the Park and Soul Santa Parade. The community parade is Saturday and ends with a tree lighting ceremony at 6pm. There will be a firetruck parade and lots of kids activities. Both events are free and at Roberto Clemente Park in Fort Myers. More info here.

  • Cape Coral Festival Of Lilghts

    Cape Coral Parkway shuts down for this popular tree lighting. Enjoy three stages full of entertainment, take photos with Santa and enjoy a 5-ton snow slide. For kids, there are train rides, a Candy Cane Park with inflatables, and more. Food is also available. Saturday, December 2,  4-10 p.m. Santa arrives at 6:15 p.m. Free. Cape Coral Parkway between Del Prado Boulevard and Candia Street. More info here.

  • Holiday In The Park Bonita Springs

    Amphitheater decorated for Christmas and lit up at night

    The amphitheater at Riverside Park hosts entertainment for Bonita Springs annual tree lighting.

    This annual tree lighting event is at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs on Tuesday, December 5th. Santa arrives in the back of a convertible corvette here. There is a snow slide for the kids and it snows in the park when the tree is lit. Other highlights include all kinds of entertainment from local dancers, bands, choral groups and more. Food is available but bring your own chairs and blankets.  4:30-8:30 p.m., Free. More info here.

  • Naples Christmas On Fifth

    Naples’ famous Fifth Avenue South gets extra sparkly for this annual event. The 20-foot artificial Christmas tree in Sugden Plaza has some 10,000 lights. The stage will be filled with performances and the streets lined with cars from Porsche Naples. Friday, December 8th 5-10pm. More info here.

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