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December 2016 neafamily.com

COMPLIMENTARY

Tips on Balancing Hanukkah & Christmas Give Fewer Gifts For a Richer Holiday Birthday Parties for December Babies NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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Christmas Tree Sales!

Collier County Fairgrounds, under the pavilion Location: 731 39th Avenue N.E. Naples, FL 34120 Days & Times: Monday - Friday: 9am to 9pm Saturdays: 9am to 9pm Sundays: 9am to 6pm We have the best Quality Frasier Fir Christmas Trees from North Carolina, at low prices. Trees range from 3 feet to 12 feet Tall. tree stands also available. Come early - we will be selling trees until they are gone. Christmas card photo opportunity.

Big Swamp Smoke Off January 6 & 7, 2017 Come out to our BBQ Competition with the country’s top cook teams. Vote for the People’s Choice! Enjoy Craft Beer sampling, Face Painting, bounce houses, and Games for Kids! Admission is FREE! The Collier County Agricultural Fair & Exposition, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit organization that provides support for such community groups as the Collier County Sheriff’s Junior Deputy Program, Catholic Charities, 4-H Foundation, Open Youth of Collier County, Boy Scouts, Kiwanis Club, Naples Bears, Immokalee High School Band, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Youth Haven, and the Palmetto High School Fishing Club, Marching Band, and Band Boosters. In addition, our Making Life Fair Fund supports local individuals with life-altering illnesses or hardships.

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Collier County Fair

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NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

11/19/16 7:25 PM


IT SHOULDN’T HURT TO BE A CHILD At age 10, Caleb wanted to die. As a teen, diagnosed with many mental illnesses, he felt like a “loser.” Suicide beckoned. Only self-harm eased the pain.

Caleb’s life changed when he came to David Lawrence Center, a leader in advanced mental health treatment for children. He worked with our specialized pediatric psychiatrists, clinicians, case managers and therapists. Today, 16-year-old Caleb plays lacrosse and drums his heart out in the high school band. He wants to be a mechanical engineer, and we believe he will be. Recovery from mental illness happens every day at David Lawrence Center, providing world-class comprehensive children’s mental health care. If a child you know needs help, call our pediatric mental health specialists today. Your call is the start of life-changing wellness.

239.455.8500 DISCOVER WORLD-CLASS MENTAL HEALTH CARE RIGHT AT HOME NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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DECEMBER 2016 TABLE OF CONTENTS

in every issue . . . 07

FROM THE PUBLISHER

08

REEL LIFE WITH JANE Movie reviews for the entire family

10

COLLIER COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT UPDATE

11

FAMILY LAW Legal experts provide guidance

12

COLLIER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE Community safety advice

13

CITY CONNECTION City of Naples Parks News and Events

23

THE OUTNUMBERED MOTHER Advice from Amy Hunter

on the cover…

18

Principal for Day. Learn about joys and challenges of running a Title 1 elementary school. by Stacy Nicolau

20

Balancing Traditions. Some sage advice on celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas in your family. by Chrstina Katz

22

Holiday Tipping. We take the guess work out of deciding how much to tip your hair stylist or babysitter this time of year. by Pam Molnar

38

Lighting Up Your Holiday. A guide to the best light displays.

40

December Birthdays. Make your December baby feel special with a party that stands apart from other holiday celebrations. by Katy M. Clark

42

Travel. Search for the real Santa in Finland, Sweden, Canada, and Alaska. Or stick closer to home with holiday activities in SWFL. by Karen T. Bartlett

44

Gift Giving Options. A look at how local families are making their holidays richer by giving fewer gifts. by Anna Snyder

Reese is the 2-year-old daughter of John and Ashlei Mikitaroff of Naples. She loves to dance, read, color, watch YouTube videos, and play with friends. She also loves doggies, her family, and her favorite, lollipops! She is very excited for Santa to come, as well as her baby brother who is expected around Christmas time. Cover photo by Peggy Farren of Avant Garde Photography • 239-263-7001

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NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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Providing Care for Infants, Toddlers, Preschool, VPK NOW OFFERING AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS K-5th GRADE

Children guided by a balanced curriculum of thirty-eight objectives that incorporates academics, and the individual needs of the child

Educated, compassionate, and skilled teachers

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Instilling school preparedness through mathematics, science, literacy that enforces sight words, phonics, letter recognition, and a Kindergarten Readiness Program Parent Trainings and Workshops available! Field trips including: Barnes & Noble, The Artis Naples, The Children’s Museum, Naples Zoo, The Conservancy of SWFL, The Glenview Naples, and the Naples Botanical Gardens Afterschool Program that includes homework time, tutoring, games, crafts, and snacks!

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Find Us on Facebook! NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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REGISTER ONLINE & SAVE! When you register for the entire break, you get one day FREE! Visit www.GreaterNaplesYMCA.org and take advantage of this online deal!

When school is out, the Y is in!

YMCA WINTER BREAK CAMP Beginning December 22nd Sign up today! www.GreaterNaplesYMCA.org 6

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NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

11/19/16 7:26 PM


from the publisher… the parenting magazine devoted to collier county

P.O. Box 110656 Naples, FL 34108 info@neafamily.com Co-Publisher Leigh Ann Newman graphic design, accounting, editorial lanewman@neafamily.com 239-287-4221 Co-Publisher Stacy Nicolau advertising, marketing, social media, editorial snicolau@neafamily.com 239-370-5333 Travel Editor Karen T. Bartlett mostlykidsguides@gmail.com 239-595-9026 Feature Writer Anna Snyder Cover Photographer Peggy Farren Editorial Submissions are welcome. We reserve the right to edit, reject, or comment editorially on all material contributed. We cannot be responsible for return of any unsolicited materials. Articles and advertisements in Neapolitan Family do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher nor does the publisher assume responsibility for statements made by our advertisers or editorial contributors. Acceptance of advertising by Neapolitan Family does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services, or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. Neapolitan Family is available free of charge at over 275 distribution points throughout Collier County as well as digitally at neafamily.com. Neapolitan Family is ©2016 by Neapolitan Family Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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THIS MONTH: Celebrating the Season

Every December 25, I vow that next year I won’t buy my daughter so many Christmas presents. Those good intentions, however, never seem to stick around. But then I read Anna Snyder’s article on page 44 that offers alternative gift buying options for parents looking to take the focus off of “stuff” during the holidays, and I decided this is the year! For 2016, I’m implementing the “something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read” guidelines. Last night I sat my 11-year-old down for what I thought would be a difficult discussion. She surprised me by immediately embracing the concept. I was silently congratulating myself for raising a generous, mature daughter when she handed me her Christmas list. She described the MacBook Air as something she needs for school and an Irish dance solo dress, which starts at $1,500, as something to wear. I’m guessing the something she wants is a trip to Paris. Maybe a first edition Harry Potter for something to read? The magazine is all about the holidays this month. On page 20, Christina Katz offers advice on balancing Christmas and Hanukkah traditions; find out how much to tip your dog groomer and babysitter on page 22; discover the best places in Naples to view holiday lighting displays on page 38; turn to page 40 to learn how to make your December birthday baby feel special with a party that stands out from the rest of the celebrations; and enjoy Karen T. Bartlett’s article on page 42 that uncovers Christmas activities from Finland to Fort Myers. Co-publisher Stacy Nicolau takes us inside Parkside Elementary on page 18, with an insightful article on her experience as “Principal for the Day”, and the challenges and joys of running a Title 1 school. We’re excited to welcome new columnists to the magazine this month: Amy Hunter, The Outnumbered Mother (page 23), and Dale Klaus and Reuben Doupe, experts on family law (page 11). I hope you enjoy reading their columns as much as I did. Happy Holidays from Marcel, the official mascot of Neapolitan Family!

Leigh Ann Newman Co-Publisher

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REEL LIFE WITH JANE

By Jane Louise Boursaw

Family Movie & DVD Reviews New movies for kids and teens in December include a new “Star Wars” story, a cute family movie called “Sing,” and a couple of sci-fi flicks, “Passengers” and “The Space Between Us.” Note that all release dates are subject to change. glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition. Five lead contestants emerge: a mouse (MacFarlane) who croons as smoothly as he cons, a timid teenage elephant (Kelly) with an enormous case of stage fright, an overtaxed mother (Witherspoon) run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets, a young gangster gorilla (Egerton) looking to break free of his family’s felonies, and a punk-rock porcupine (Johansson) struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo. Each animal arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life. A MONSTER CALLS

SING Rated PG for some rude humor and mild peril • In Theaters 12/21 Ok for kids 6+ Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels Illumination has captivated audiences all over the world with the beloved hits “Despicable Me,” “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” and “Minions,” now the second-highest-grossing animated movie in history. In “Sing,” Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, and Tori Kelly star in a musical comedy about finding the shining star that lives inside all of us. Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, “Sing” stars Buster Moon (McConaughey), a dapper Koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal optimist (and scoundrel) who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now facing the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former 8

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Rated PG-13 for thematic content and some scary images In Theaters 12/23 • Ok for kids 13+ Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels Based on the award-winning children’s fantasy novel, this movie follows 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall), who attempts to deal with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that explore courage, loss, and faith. Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, this movie stars Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, and Lewis MacDougall.

from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Directed by Gareth Edwards, this movie stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, and Alan Tudyk. LA LA LAND Rated PG for some language In Theaters 12/9 • Ok for Kids 13+ Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels In this modern take on the Hollywood musical from director Damien Chazelle, the Academy Award-nominated writer and director of “Whiplash,” Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success mounts, they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart. Also stars John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Finn Wittrock.

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY Not yet rated; likely PG-13 In Theaters 12/16 • Ok for Kids 12+ Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels A rogue band of resistance fighters unite to steal the Death Star plans and bring new hope to the galaxy. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” takes place before the events of “Star Wars: A New Hope” and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe, exploring the galactic struggle NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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THE SPACE BETWEEN US

ask for, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction, until they discover the ship is in grave danger. With the lives of 5,000 sleeping passengers at stake, only Jim and Aurora can save them all. Directed by Morten Tyldum, this movie also stars Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne.

Rated PG-13 for brief sensuality and language • In Theaters 12/16 Ok for Kids 13+ Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet – never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot – an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing. While searching for clues about his father and the home planet he’s never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa. When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he’s eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars – from the most simple to the extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner’s organs can’t withstand Earth’s atmosphere. Directed by Peter Chelsom, this movie stars Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, and Carla Gugino. COLLATERAL BEAUTY Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language In Theaters 12/16 • Ok for kids 13+ Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels When a successful New York advertising executive suffers a great tragedy, he retreats from life. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing let-

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ters to Love, Time and Death. But it’s not until his notes bring unexpected personal responses that he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived, and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty. Directed by David Frankel, this movie stars Will Smith, Edward Norton, and Keira Knightley. PASSENGERS Rated PG-13 for sexuality, nudity, and action/peril • In Theaters 12/21 Ok for Kids 13+ Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels On a routine journey through space to a new home, two passengers, sleeping in suspended animation, are awakened 90 years too early when their ship malfunctions. As Jim (Chris Pratt) and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) face living the rest of their lives on board, with every luxury they could ever

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day. Directed by Justin Kurzel, this movie also stars Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, and Brendan Gleeson. JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it. Two Reels – Coulda been a contender. Three Reels – Something to talk about. Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick. Five Reels – Wow. The stuff dreams are made of. JANE BOURSAW is the film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Contact her at jboursaw@charter.net. Images used with permission of the studios and distributors.

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COLLIER COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

By Amanda Jackson, Communications & Community Engagement

Third-Grader Eire is Working to Save the Everglades, One Anklet at a Time

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“Animals are losing their habitat because of construction and pollution. I want to help fix it,” she explains.

Blending nature and fashion To do this, she combined her love of nature and fashion. Starting with a piece of faux leather, she uses different colored thread and charms to create unique anklets. Eire started selling them for $5 each at lemonade stands after school. Her fundraising efforts soon caught the attention of the Everglades Foundation, which invited her to its annual gala last month. Eire even wrote a book titled, We Need Help to Save the Everglades, and encourages potential customers to read it and understand why she’s raising money. At the end of the book, she left blank pages for people to sign and show their support. She’s already filled two pages with signatures, but when she gets enough, Eire says she wants to send the book to Florida Governor Rick Scott.

A family affair “This is very much Eire,” says her mother, Monet Layton. “She loves fashion but loves to be outside, so she tried to think of a way to combine the two. She wanted to follow in her sister’s footsteps, but do her own thing. It worked out perfectly.” Eire’s sister, Havana, is in sixth grade at Gulfview Middle School and created her own philanthropy during elementary school. “Havana’s Headbands for Hope” raises money for women and children in Nepal. The sisters find time to help each other with their ventures. “We couldn’t be happier. She had a plan and showed determination,” adds Monet Layton. So far, Eire’s fundraising efforts have been on the smaller scale, but she is looking for ways to expand. She hopes to sell her anklets in small businesses, at local farmers markets, and maybe in shops and restaurants in the Everglades. “It’s the only place like it in the universe,” she says. “I’ll do whatever I can to help.” If you are interested in purchasing Eire’s Anklets for Alligators or potentially selling them, please contact the Collier County Public Schools Communications Department by calling 239377-0180 or emailing communications@collierschools. com.

ife can extremely busy, especially for a third grader. With school, activities, family, and friends, it can be hard to find free time to make a difference, but Eire Layton doesn’t let that stop her. This Lake Park Elementary eight-year-old is well on her way to becoming a philanthropist. Eire’s been raising money to save the Everglades by creating what she calls, “Anklets for Alligators.” She’s raised $510 so far and has no plans to slow down. It all started last year, when Eire was in second grade. Her class was learning about the Everglades, and it inspired her. “We saw the pollution and all the trash in the Everglades and I wanted to do something to help,” Eire says.

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NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

11/19/16 7:30 PM


FAMILY LAW

F

By Dale Klaus and Reuben Doupe

Which Home for the Holidays?

or children of divorced or separated parents, the holidays are an opportunity for double the fun while school is out, but that depends on the parents’ communication, cooperation, and planning. For all such parents, especially those who do not have an effective co-parenting relationship with one another, the best thing you can do to address holiday timesharing is to plan well in advance. If you have already been through the court system, then you should have a written parenting plan. That parenting plan should set forth specific provisions for the division of holiday timesharing, including, at a minimum, the dates the children will be with each parent and the times and locations of the exchanges. Just like every family, every plan may be unique and crafted to fit the needs of you and your children. The written parenting plan is likely adopted by a court order, which means you will all need to follow the parenting plan unless both parents have agreed to deviate from the plan, in advance. If you have agreed to deviate, it is the best practice to have this agreement documented in an email or text, just to ensure there is no miscommunication. If the court-ordered parenting plan no longer meets the needs of your family, you should see an attorney to determine if you can have it modified. If you do not have a written parenting plan, then the best way to get through the holidays is to plan in advance. Don’t wait

until the middle of November to discuss where your children will spend Thanksgiving. Your children deserve to know where they will be for the holidays. There are some issues to consider when discussing the schedule. First, does either

parent have specific holiday traditions that should be honored every year? Second, where did the children spend last year’s holidays, and can you agree to alternate the holidays annually? For example, if the children are with Mom for Thanksgiving this year, they should be with Dad for Christmas, and switch those holidays next year. Also, consider whether the children will maintain their normal schedule for their winter school break, or will it be different (i.e., rotating the first and second weeks of Christmas/ Winter Break each year). For most parents, this will require you to discuss child care arrangements during the break while you are working.

Like most everything else, the longer you put off discussing the schedule and the details, the more likely that there will be a disagreement that cannot be resolved before the specific holiday. Whether or not you have a written parenting plan, any unresolved issues regarding the timesharing schedule for the holidays and locations for exchanges of the children ideally should be resolved during the preceding summer break from school. All parents should remember that these Winter holidays are about family and the children, and each should do their part to make sure their children can have an enjoyable holiday without the unnecessary burden of arguments about when or where exchanges are taking place. Our perspective on these issues comes from not only our experience as family law attorneys, but as children of divorce. If you don’t take the early, necessary steps to reduce the potential for conflict during the holidays, the unfortunate memories that will be created during childhood will negatively impact the family dynamic during the holidays for a lifetime.

DALE KLAUS and REUBEN DOUPE are partners at Klaus Doupe, a leading law firm in Naples focusing solely on marital and family law. For more information please go to www.Marital-FamilyLaw.com or call 239-403-9800.

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COLLIER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE By Kristine Gill

CARE Database Aids Missing Kids, Adults

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f your child has ever gone missing, you know what it’s like to panic in the precious moments before he or she is found. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) recognizes that when it comes to children with disabilities, that fear can be heightened. That’s why the agency developed its CARE program (Community Assistance Resource Education), which allows parents of children as well as loved ones of adults with certain disabilities to work with deputies to record important information about individuals who frequently go missing. Family members of enrollees provide identifying information so that deputies have all the tools they need when they begin a search. “The program was written in-house and started as a way for us to make sure the Project Lifesaver participants in each district were made known across districts,” says Angela Larson, Victims Advocate Supervisor for the CCSO. Project Lifesaver is a national program that outfits certain children and

adults with transmitters that monitor their location should they go missing. “Now all districts could do a search and find the information. It was especially helpful with people who go missing because they don’t respect district boundaries, obviously. They wander wherever they wander,” Larson says. More than 400 individuals are currently in the CARE Program database, which also records their addresses, phone numbers, information on relatives, and photographs both past and present. For adults with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other conditions such as schizophrenia, the database includes information about what kind of vehicles they drive and which kinds of establishments they’re known to frequent when they go missing. And for children with autism or children who are nonverbal, the database includes triggers for deputies to avoid. Maybe your daughter is afraid of men. The Sheriff’s Office can then try to send a female deputy out to find her. Perhaps loud

noises can be frightening for your son, or he doesn’t like being told “no.” If your child has a tendency to wander to the local ice cream shop or toward bodies of water, you can note that. Larson explains you can also tell deputies about the presence of animals in your home should they have to visit, and include basic medical information about your child if it’s helpful. “That way deputies know how to approach and communicate more effectively,” she says. Deputy Brian Kilcoyne has used the program on a regular basis since it began. He says it makes it easier to go into a call understanding the basics about an individual’s history with the agency. He’s even found himself running into the same children or seniors, and being able to recognize them from the database helps him read a situation more quickly. “It’s very useful,” he says. “And I think it’s even better for kids.” If you think your child could benefit from CARE, call 239-252-0232 or email Angela.Larson@colliersheriff.org.

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NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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CITY CONNECTION PARKS DEPT. By Laura Tichy-Smith

Celebrate the Season at City Parks December is filled with lots of fun things to see and do, courtesy of the City of Naples Community Services Department. Winter Camps for Children K-12 With an astonishing variety of themes offered in nearly a dozen winter break camps, you’re sure to find a day camp to please every child in your household. While the camps are educational, your kids will be having so much hands-on fun they won’t even realize they are really learning. Offerings include: fun days, tie dye, creative arts, BMX, fitness, hip hop, rock climbing, skateboarding, Legos snapology, and mixed media arts. For details, call 239-213-3020. Christmas Parade Kick off your family’s celebration at this parade where a certain jolly old elf is certain to make an early appearance. The fun begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the corner of Broad Avenue South and 3rd Street South, just north of the Naples Pier. The parade route proceeds north on 3rd Street and then east on 5th Avenue South. The parade turns south at the corner of 8th Street South and ends in front of Cambier Park around 8 p.m. For more information, call 239-213-7120. Free Holiday Open House at Naples Preserve and Eco-Center Get into the holiday mood at the annual Preserving the Holiday Spirit Open House, where the Naples Preserve is transformed You may sign up for both Mondays and Wednesdays!

into a holiday wonderland. The family friendly event will feature live animal ambassadors; live music (Friday); seasonal refreshments; holiday trees illustrating environmental education themes; night camera footage of the preserve’s wildlife; an onsite activities passport for children to complete to earn a gift; story time; and a child-sized gopher tortoise burrow replica to explore. Friday, Dec. 9 through Sunday, Dec. 11 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 239-261-4290. (1690 Tamiami Trail N., Naples, at the corner of U.S. 41 & Fleischmann Blvd.) Free Sunday Nature Talk Series Bring your children and learn together how nature can flourish in the city, with the proper care. The Naples Preserve continues the tradition of its free nature talk series, but now on Sundays at 2 p.m., when it is easier for you to attend. The presentations will inform and entertain both adults and children over the age of five. The schedule is: Dec. 4, “Turtles of Southwest Florida”. For more information, call 239-261-4290. (1690 Tamiami Trail N., corner of US 41 & Fleischmann Blvd.) Parents’ Night Out How about a Friday night date for you and your spouse? Fleischmann Park has got you covered. Movies and games with

A fabulous finale for your holiday celebrations, the City of Naples’ breathtaking New Year’s Eve fireworks display rockets over the water from the Naples Pier starting at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 31. Park in the early evening at one of the many city beach access points along Gulf Shore Boulevard (free with your beach parking sticker), and enjoy the fiery beauty of nature’s sunset show with your family before the fireworks begin. For more information, call 239-213-7120.

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Festive Year-End Finale Fireworks

Covenant Church of Naples Mom’s Morning Out Mondays and Wednesdays 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Ages 2 years to 4 years by January 1

NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

new friends plus dinner equals a tired kid to pick up. Friday, Dec. 16 at Fleischmann Park from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. $20 for first child and $15 for sibling if pre-registered; $25 without pre-registration. For more information, call 239-213-3020. (1600 Fleischmann Blvd., Naples)

Winter 2017 Session 1

Mondays: January 9 - February 13 Wednesdays: January 11 - February 15

Winter 2017 Session 2

Mondays: February 20 - March 27 Wednesdays: February 22 - March 29 You can choose one or both days! neafamily.com

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YOUR COMMUNITY NEWS & EVENTS

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SWFL Children’s Charities Announces 2017 Child Artists

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ive-year-old twins Leo and Lola Grabinski have been named 2017 Child Artists by SWFL Children’s Charities. Their original artwork will be auctioned off at the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. The child artist program benefits pediatric care at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Leo and Lola were born 13 weeks early on July 26, 2011. As newborns, they spent the first 98 days of their lives in the Golisano Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Born weighing just a little over two pounds, a fourth of what the average full-term baby weighs at birth, the twins have an amazing story of survival. “The night they were born, the neonatologist in the NICU said to me, ‘Dad, we need to talk to you. We’re having a really hard time with Leo’,” said Matthew Grabinski, the twins’ father. “Leo was lifeless, he was blue. The alarms were going off, the doctors and respiratory therapists were rushing around and working on him. We came really close to losing him. Thankfully he pulled through, and thankfully we were at the Golisano Children’s Hospital because it took an experimental piece of equipment that not all children’s hospitals have to save Leo.” Now five years old and healthy, the child artists spent a recent morning at Alliance for the Arts with art mentor Jolie Black, creating a one-of-a-kind abstract painting that will be auctioned off during the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest Live Auction on Feb. 25, 2017. Their collaborative artwork features a stylized outline of their bodies and handprints in vibrant tones of red, blue, and green. An energetic depiction of two survivors who are just beginning their journey in life, the abstract painting is full of promise for the children’s futures. “Every little thing that makes them happy, from painting to blowing bubbles to hugging each other, I capture those moments in my mind because eventually those will take over and I won’t have those images in my mind of them as tiny, very sick newborns,” NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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said the twins’ mom, Laura Grabinski. “When you have a facility like the children’s hospital in your backyard, it’s like an insurance policy – you hope you never need it, but you’re glad it’s there. Every day, they are saving lives and we are truly grateful.” The child artist program has raised more than $1 million over 11 years to benefit pediatric care at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, the only children’s hospital to serve the five-county region. Bids for the artwork will start at $5,000, and last year’s child art raised $150,000. Traditionally, the works are donated back to the hospital, where they are displayed for patients, families, visitors, and staff to enjoy. SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised $15.6 million over the past eight years. 100% of proceeds are donated to three local beneficiaries: Golisano Children’s Hospital, and Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

FREE OPEN HOUSE Sunday, January 15th • 9am-1pm Come in and play for free! Games, music, puppets, rides, and more! Plus, take advantage of exclusive Open House discounts!

Conservancy Offering December Camps for Kids in Grades 2-5

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egistration is now open for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida 2016 Winter Camp, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. December 28-29. Designed for children in grades 2-5, the camps combine outdoor adventures, live animal encounters, and nature-based activities for the budding environmentalist. Camps are $60 per day for Conservancy members and $80 per day for non-members. The two-day camp will feature field trips to explore rich ecosystems, including cypress swamps and mangrove estuaries. Campers will search for alligators, turtles, wading birds, and other wildlife and will learn how these animals adapt to the changing seasons. Children should wear closed-toed shoes and bring a backpack containing lunch and snacks, water bottle, sweatshirt or jacket, bug spray and sunscreen. Space is limited and is anticipated to fill quickly. For more information and to register online, visit www.Conservancy.org/ Camps.

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YOUR COMMUNITY NEWS & EVENTS

Collier Child Care Resources’s Child’s Path Benefits from CarMax Donation, Volunteers

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ollier Child Care Resources (CCCR) has received $11,500 from the CarMax Foundation. The donation will help provide much-needed equipment and materials for Child’s Path, one of four early childhood development centers operated by CCCR. The donation includes $1,500 from The CarMax Foundation’s Volunteer Team-Builders gift program, which donates to nonprofit organizations when a group of employees volunvwwc

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teer and undertake a project together. Local CarMax employees’ volunteer activities this year have included working on special art activities with children at CCCR’s early learning programs and collecting back to school supplies. CCCR provides high-quality early childhood care, education, and resources to children, families, and early learning professionals in Collier County. Many of the children who attend the programs are at risk for academic failure and come from lower-income working families, with some living at or below the poverty level. For additional information, visit www. collierchildcare.org or call 239-643-3908.

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ore than 100,000 books made their way into the hands of over 6,000 students in Collier County last year, thanks to Books for Collier Kids (BCK), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a steady stream of new books to children in low-income families. “Unfortunately, 60% of Collier County’s 43,000 students are economically needy, placing them at significant risk for perpetuating the cycle of poverty through poor reading skills,” says Sallie Williams, BCK’s board chair. “By the end of fifth grade, children in need are nearly three grade levels behind their peers in reading skills. Our volunteers and partners are working diligently to change this locally.” By providing books to at-risk students, “we are opening them to new worlds not only through their imaginations, but through the skills, knowledge, and abilities they are developing for the future. We can help them escape the cycle of poverty,” concludes Williams. Children from low-income families receiving titles from Books for Collier Kids enjoy a brand new, high-quality, ageappropriate book once a month throughout the academic year. BCK has distributed more than 700,000 new books to students in grades pre-K to second. For details, visit www.booksforcollierkids.org or call 239-394-4062. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

11/19/16 7:32 PM


A New Montessori Preschool Opening Fall 2017 in East Naples.

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EDUCATION

T

By Stacy Nicolau

Principal for a Day

ucked way back in a crowded East Naples neighborhood, where the yards are surrounded by chain link fences and the windows are adorned with bedding as curtains, is a fresh, modern looking school known as Parkside Elementary School. As I walked up to the school where I was about to serve as “Principal for the Day,” I was greeted by lines of grinning children making their way to the waiting school buses as their Principal Tamie Stewart excitedly waved goodbye to them. She told me that the fifth grade class was on their way to Tigertail Beach on Marco Island, and that for more than half of those children, this would be the first time they had ever seen the Gulf of Mexico. For many people in Collier County, a day at the beach is only a short drive away; but many students at this school do not have transportation or anyone who can take them there, Stewart explained. Stewart described the time when the school took the first group of students to see the Gulf. “It was one of my favorite days as an educator,” she said. “When the water washed up on their feet, you could hear the squeals of delight. They were just mesmerized.” This fact would be just one of many surprising and heartwarming things I would learn as Principal for the Day at Parkside Elementary. This annual program, organized

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Above: Publisher Stacy Nicolau (left) and Principal Tamie Stewart tour the Parkside campus. Below left: “Power Packs” of food await students on Friday afternoons. Below right: Parkside students engage with iPads.

by the school district, places a community member in each of the schools as a way to spread awareness about what the schools are accomplishing for Collier County’s children. The accomplishments are impressive. When Stewart was transferred to Parkside from high-achieving Lake Park Elementary in 2012, most of the teachers were starting their first year as educators and the school had received F ratings. Parkside became one of 11 schools in Florida to receive a school improvement grant for $3 million over three years from the Department of Education. The first School Improvement Grant goal that Stewart set for the school was teacher retention. The school could not improve, she explained, if every year she got a batch of new teachers. Experienced teachers often don’t want to come to a low performing school where hard work may not translate into desired progress. So, she set out to make Parkside not only a wonderful place to learn, but also to work. She made sure that key influencers in the community visited the school often to encourage the staff. She includes the entire staff in shared decision-making. Stewart also pointed out that when you have young

teachers, they tend to be at the stage in their life where they are having babies. Childcare becomes an issue for these teachers, who often live far from the school. Stewart worked hard to create “Tiny Tadpoles,” a unique in-school daycare staffed by the Marco Island YMCA for the children of Parkside employees. Classroom resources help to keep education relevant for the children, and each classroom has four desktop computers and five iPads. Many of the students’ homes have internet access through phones, but the children themselves often do not own the technology to be able to use the many educational apps outside of the classroom. Another way to help the students learn and support the teachers was to use the grant for additional human resources. “I could have only bought stuff,” Stewart says, but hiring additional academic coaches and staff also impacts learning. The money also staffs afterschool and summer enrichment programs that nearly the entire student population attends. These programs not only provide a safe environment for the children to be after school and in the summer, but also a place where they can receive an additional meal. The challenge that Stewart and the School Improvement Grant cannot remove is the demographic of the student population, nor can it be used to assist it. Parkside Elementary draws from one of the poorest communities in Collier County where 98% of the children are on free or reduced lunch. With 87% of the students coming from nonEnglish speaking families, chances for parental involvement is limited. Parent-teacher conferences are rare because, in addition to the language barrier, a parent missing an hour or

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two of work to come to school can translate into $50 out of the weekly household budget after lost wages and transportation. Parents often cannot even volunteer at the school without a staff escort, because if they are undocumented residents, they cannot pass the security clearance required to interact with the children. To alleviate the stress of the prevalent poverty, Stewart and guidance counselor Tom Gemmer must continually market the school to solicit support from community business partners and nonprofits. The response has been overwhelming. Each Friday, most students receive a bag of healthy groceries consisting of food that they can prepare themselves in case they find themselves alone due to a parent’s work schedule. Affectionately called a “Power Pack,” the food is provided by Catholic Charities. An onsite food pantry is supplied by the Harry Chapin Food Bank and staffed by volunteers from North Naples United Methodist Church. Catholic Charities also provides a mental health counselor several days per week that both the students and the parents can utilize. Like most elementary schools in the district, Parkside has a uniform dress code

and every student is provided with a uniform package from the nonprofit Angels Undercover. Laces of Love steps in to provide shoes and sneakers at the beginning of the school year and as needed when student referrals are made. The Botanical Gardens provides materials for and help in the school’s own garden. Other assistance is provided by the East Naples Foundation Civic Association, the Marco Island YMCA, Literacy Volunteers of Collier County, East Naples Kiwanis, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, Seacrest Country Day School, and area churches. Since Stewart became principal at Parkside, the school has been able to raise its grade from an F to a C, but Stewart emphasizes: “C is not for Ceiling.” As we toured the school, success was evident at every level. Each classroom door was opened and held by a designated student greeter. The kindergarten classes were quietly on task. While the teacher worked at a table with one group, the others were engaged on one of four computers, iPads, or deskwork. Next, we observed fourth graders working at zSpace, the only virtual reality lab in a Collier County school, made possible by

the School Improvement Grant. Stewart explained that for a school population where the majority of the students are English language learners, experiential learning is a key to success. The students in the lab were excited to share their 3-D glasses and show us what they were learning about on the screens. Another fourth grade class was busy dissecting owl pellets and charting their results, an activity I recognized from my own children’s school. The fifth grade classes were busy with activities related to Veteran’s Day. The babies in the daycare were peacefully sleeping while lullabies softly played. The school’s small but enthusiastic PTO was assembling items for a holiday shop where the students will be able to buy inexpensive gifts for families and friends. Throughout the classrooms and the halls, students were engaged, neatly dressed, polite, and enthusiastic. Stewart points out that behavior referrals are rare here. The school’s mission is “Empowering Students for Lifelong Success,” Stewart explains. “We are teaching them to reach beyond what has been expected of them in the community.”

Principal for the Day at Sea Gate: Karen Conley While I was enjoying my day at Parkside, Karen Conley was across town at Parkside’s sister school, Sea Gate Elementary, where my own children have attended over the past 11 years. Sea Gate, which draws from a more fortunate demographic and boasts one of the most active Parent Teacher Organizations in the district, partners with Parkside by sharing its resources, fundraising, and volunteers for field trips. Conley, who is the president and CEO of the local nonprofit Charity for Change, was Principal for a Day at Parkside Elementary last year. During her day with Sea Gate Principal Beverly Budzynski, she attended a PTO meeting, observed fourth grade musicians playing the xylophone, fifth graders dancing the Cha-Cha-Cha as part of a social dance initiative, and students gardening with a parent volunteer in the school’s organic garden. One of the things that surprised Conley the most was the overwhelming attendance of parents at the PTO meeting. “The most interesting aspect of the exNEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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perience was seeing the level of involvement from passionate and caring parents in the PTO,” she observed. “It was eyeopening to see the disparity in the level of involvement between this school and the Title 1 school I visited last year, where the parents did not have the same capacity to participate.” Conley noted that despite the difference in demographics, the two schools and the student experience have a lot of similarities, which she attributes to the extraordinary educators and principals. “Despite the difference in parental participation, the students and halls of the campus looked very much the same. The passion for student success is very evident at both schools. The culture of kindness and teamwork was very similar and impressive,” she said. Budzynski also noted that while the challenges may be different at each school in the district, the needs of the children always have one thing in common. “The students, regardless of where they are from don’t care about the size of the rewards,” she said. “They just want to be recognized for their achievements.” neafamily.com

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HOLIDAYS By Christina Katz

Ho-Ho Hanukkah!

How to Balance Hanukkah & Christmas Traditions

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ou don’t have to be an interfaith family to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas each year. Any family can choose to celebrate whichever holiday traditions they wish. Holiday joy can be doubled, rather than halved, when you choose to light the menorah and decorate the Christmas tree to honor the cultural and religious traditions of both parents. So forget the “December Dilemma.” When it comes to religion, families increasingly run the Judeo-Christian gamut. In our family, we have Orthodox Jews on one side of the family tree and Born-again Christians on the other side. But my husband and I both share the same beliefs about diversity, tolerance, and spirituality.

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And that’s what we intend to pass on to our daughter. As a woman who was raised Catholic and has been happily married to a Jewish man for the past 13 years, I can attest that once you become the parent in an interfaith family, you quickly become accustomed to not being able to please everyone. But since the wisdom of your hearts brought you and your partner together in the first place, why not call on that same source of wisdom to guide you through creating your own version of happy holidays? Here are a few tips based on what our family has learned from holding the middle ground over the years: Talk to Each Other First and Last. The bottom line on family celebrations, holiday or otherwise, is to always do whatever you and your spouse deem best for your family. The only way to come to an understanding about what this means is to discuss it with each other first and last. Be prepared for this to be an ongoing conversation, and probably one that you revisit each year. Protect Your Joint Point of View. Never let bossy or opinionated family members horn in on conversations that rightly belong between you and your partner. You only have one spouse, and that’s the person whose opinion you should value most. Your kids come next and the grandparents after them. Don’t treat your parents like children or allow them to treat you like a child. This behavior will only create conflicts between you and your spouse. Ignore Disapproving Outsiders. Never apologize for being an interfaith family, even if people in your extended family or circle of close friends do not approve of your union. You are not seeking their permission – as Perchick expressed so boldly in Fiddler On The Roof – you are asking for their blessing. Creating harmonious and joyful dual holidays in your own home is your parental right and your familial duty, even if it means agreeing to disagree with certain members of your extended family. Stick to Separate but Equal. Christmas may be more common and commercial than Hanukkah, but don’t let that trump your holiday fun. The nice thing about Hanukkah is that it lasts for eight nights. Light the menorah candles and say the Hanukkah prayer every night, if you possibly can. You may be amazed at how moving and inspiring such simple rituals can be, even on busy school nights. Look for the quieter, more awe-inspiring moments in Christmas as well, such as ending the day admiring the beauty of the decorated tree and window lights. Keep Both Sets of Traditions. At our house, we celebrate as much of both traditions as we can, without a worry about whether the holidays overlap or not. For me, this means the Christmas tree, the presents, the cookies, the big dinner. For my husband this means lighting two menorahs for eight nights (one for him and one for my daughter), having our daughter’s friends over for potato latkes, and some lively dreidel games. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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Fun Holiday Family Reads Don’t Double Your Gift Budget. We make an effort to celebrate the bounty of two holidays without going overboard. If you are an interfaith family, your kids’ friends may consider them “lucky” because they assume that they get double the gifts every holiday season. However, that’s not necessarily the case at our house. Our daughter typically gets a little present on the first day of Hanukkah and a bigger present on the last day of Hanukkah. One set of grandparents send a couple of little Hanukkah gifts and a check and the other sends a couple of stocking stuffers and a check. The amount of gifts she receives is essentially the same as it would be if we only celebrated one holiday. Share the Love. Another thing we enjoy about dual holidays is that our daughter can share traditions about both holidays with her friends, no matter what religion they follow, exposing them to a culture they may not have had the opportunity to learn about. Participate Wisely. When invited to join a new or old tradition on either side of the family, give the ritual a chance. We will try just about anything once. But we reserve the right to say no to pressure or anything that makes us uncomfortable. Maintaining an atmosphere where you can say yes or no to your parents without stern chastisement may not come easily in your extended family system. But start trying it, or you’ll never get there. Honor the Choices of Others. We don’t protect our family members from our choices. They need to be exposed to what we value, if we expect them to understand and accept our choices. However, we also try to respect the choices that each of our family members make without imposing our life choices on them. The Jewish families get Happy Hanukkah cards and the Christian families get Christmas cards. When we cross over, we go with “Happy Holidays.”

Hanukkah Hanukkah! by Roni Schotter and Marilyn Hafner Lots Of Latkes, A Hanukkah Story by Sandy Lanton and Vicki Jo Redenbaugh When Mindy Saved Hanukkah by Eric Kimmel It’s A Miracle! A Hanukkah Storybook by Stephanie Spinner and Jill McElmurry Christmas The Christmas Story by Jane Werner Watson and Eloise Wilkin ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas or Account of A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg Celebrating Both My Two Holidays, A Hanukkah and Christmas Story by Danielle Novack and Phyllis Harris Light The Lights, A Story About Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko CHRISTINA KATZ is an author, journalist, and writing coach who loves celebrating the winter holidays with family and friends. Each year her family enjoys exchanging ornaments for the tree and inviting a new group of friends over to play the dreidel game and enjoy potato latkes.

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HOLIDAYS

By Pam Molnar

A Holiday Tip and Gift Guide

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he holidays are a perfect time to say thank you to the people who provide great services to us all year long. An envelope with cash is nice, but a gift they can unwrap shows you took the extra time to appreciate their hard work. If you are stuck for the idea for the babysitter, hair stylist, postman, or the cleaning lady, check out a few of these one-size-fits-all gifts. A gift of the movies. In today’s busy world, people still appreciate the opportunity to sit down in front of a movie and relax for a few hours. If you don’t know which movie theatre is closest to their house, consider a fandango.com gift card. Looking for something a little more budget friendly? Purchase a gift card online from redbox.com and wrap up with a box of microwave popcorn and a box of M&M’s. An automotive gift. This is the perfect gift for the babysitter with her first car, a male teacher, or the football coach. Consider a gift card to purchase gas, get an

How much should I give? Money is the most popular holiday tip, but the question remains, “How much should I give?” It is customary for the holiday tip to be the cost of a regular service. For example, if your normal haircut is $40, then the holiday tip should be $40 on top of the regular service fee. For the occasional service, like a holiday cleaning service or vacation pet sitter, a small $10 to $15 tip is appreciated. Gifts for the building superintendent, your son’s coach or math tutor should be based on how often you use them and how much help they have provided – $25-$50 is appropriate. Many companies put a limit on what their employees can accept as a gift so it is best to check ahead of time. The U.S. Postal Service, for example, cannot accept gifts valued at more than $20 and alcohol is prohibited. 22

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oil change, or have the car detailed. Other gifts might include air fresheners, ice scrapers, or an emergency road kit. The gift of good health. Winter is cold and flu season and we all want to do our best to avoid getting sick. Create a basket with hand sanitizer, individual tissue packs, lip balm, hand cream, and cough drops. Not sure if they like cherry or honey flavor? Consider adding a Walgreens, CVS, or Rite Aid gift card instead. Your babysitter might enjoy the gift card to buy makeup or other cosmetic products. The gift of a good meal. Choosing a restaurant gift card for someone is risky. They may have had a bad experience at there or have food allergies that you don’t know about it. A restaurant.com gift card allows the recipient to purchase their own gift cards from local restaurants at a discounted rate. There are also deals available on restaurant.com for travel, entertainment, and lifestyle items. The gift that keeps on giving. A magazine subscription is something that can be enjoyed long after the holidays are over. Let the receiver choose from over 3000 magazine titles including People, Parents, and Sports Illustrated with a gift card to magazines.com. A gift that freezes time. Many local, professional photographers offer mini photo sessions that include five or six digital images. These are perfect for headshots, senior pictures, an updated family picture, or just the opportunity to be silly. If that is a little out of your budget, a mall studio like

The Picture People might be a better fit. A gift they can choose themselves. Sometimes the best gift is one that you can pick out for yourself. Give the gift of an Amazon or eBay gift card and you open the doors to countless gift options. If online shopping is too difficult for older recipients, a Visa gift card can be used at local stores, restaurants, or for any service they choose. It’s a wrap. The coolest gift I received from a customer was a box of wrapping paper. It is something we all need during the holiday season. This is an inexpensive gift if purchased at the end of the season or at the dollar store. Create a gift of matching paper or gift bags, tissue, gift tags, ribbons, and bows. Don’t forget to include tape and scissors. PAM MOLNAR is a freelance writer and mother of three. As a former service industry worker, she knows how important a holiday tip is to a working mom (or dad).

Make your list, Check it twice Don’t forget all the people that help you throughout the year: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Postal Delivery Person Trash Collectors Cleaning Service Providers Newspaper Delivery Person Dog Groomer Hair Stylist/Barber Nail Technician Day Care Provider Babysitter/Nanny/Au Pair Personal Trainer Tutor Private Music Teacher Coach Landscaper Dog Walker

NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

11/19/16 7:34 PM


ASK THE OUTNUMBERED MOTHER

By Amy Hunter

Tips on Dealing with Disrespectful In-Laws and Kids Terrified of Santa

Amy Hunter grew up in the suburbs of Long Island singing Barbara Streisand hits into her hairbrush. When she’s not writing her hilarity fueled parenting memoir as The Outnumbered Mother, she’s a Naples-living, butt wiping, soccer team carting, gourmet chef attempting, tennis skirt wearing, nontennis playing, self-proclaimed bad mamma jamma to three sons and a very understanding husband. You can find Amy online at the Theoutnumberedmother.com. Amy: Hey y’all. Welcome to my very first, Ask The Outnumbered Mother. This month, I’m fielding all your hard-hitting holiday questions. Let’s get this party started.

Q. My family is Catholic. More specifically, my children and I are Catholic. My husband was raised Methodist but is agnostic. He fully supports the Catholic upbringing of our children. The last three holiday gatherings, we’ve hosted his sisters and their families. As we sit to eat our holiday meal, hands are clasped, and they begin their prayer. My kids don’t know the prayer. But they are respectful and say the parts they’ve learned. I try as well. Then when they’re done, they wait for the six of us say ‘our’ prayer. There are snickers and mumbling of words that I take as disrespectful. How CEDR 1003 NeaFamily 1-4 pg Horiz.4_Layout do I approach this next holiday where 1

we again are hosting? I do not care what prayer we say, only that EVERYONE is respected. Amy: First off, let’s just chuck the whole “difference of religions” by the wayside for a second. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that guests in your home respect your beliefs. Whether you’re a vegan, you have a pet chicken that sleeps in your living room, or you refer to your triune God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit or the genderneutral language of the creator, redeemer and sustainer. Your pad, your food, your chairs, you deserve respect. In this case, it sounds like you’re dealing with people who, while they are related to you, don’t comply with the way you’ve chosen to worship. It seems they’ve made that point very clear for the last three years. At this juncture, the situation can only be resolved in one of three ways: you decide you’ve had enough and discuss the situation with the other adults head on; you stop inviting them to your home for the holidays altogether; or you realize the confrontation isn’t worth the hassle and stomach their bad manners every year, forever and ever, until the biggest bully dies. That sounds crappy, right? That’s why I think you should approach this situation with your big girl panties on and have the uncomfortable conversation with the offending adults before the big holiday dinner. That way you can (hopefully) 2/18/13 9:45 AMdecide Page 1on a way to pray that

I love my

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NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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makes everyone feel like their voice is heard and you can get onto the important parts of the holiday season: kids opening gifts, copious amounts of booze, and pie. Q: We’ve always taken our children to take pictures with Santa Claus with no major objections. However, my youngest son is now terrified of him. Should I skip the photos all together this year, only include the children that don’t mind, or make them all participate? Amy: There is something to be said for a holiday picture with all the kids and Santa. Heck, I’m Jewish, and my motherin-law still takes the kids for their annual Santa picture as a yearly reminder of how much they’ve grown. With that in mind, I don’t think we’ve ever had a picture with Santa where all of the kids were happy at the same time. But none of my kids were ever “terrified” of the stranger with a white beard in a red suit when I asked them to sit on his lap and tell him all of their favorite things they want as a present. Come to think of it; I’m pretty terrified now. Maybe we should skip Santa this year as well? In all seriousness, you should probably attempt to take all the kids for their annual Santa photo, but bring an extra adult to help you out if your terrified kid loses his mind. Who knows if he’ll still feel the same way by the time the holidays come along?

the things he sees are not just remembered, they form a part of his soul.

Maria Montessori

inspiring the love of learning since 1984 neafamily.com

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10:00 a.m. Candy 1:00 p.m. Santa on 4:30 p.m. Meals of Cane Cruises. Take the Sand. Bring your Hope Mobile Food

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3:00 p.m. Saint Lucia Day Make and Take. Join us for this special Swedish holiday celebration. Make a traditional craft and share a tasty treat. All ages. Registration is not required. Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. Call 239-262-6853 or check public.collier-lib.org.13

6:30 p.m. Films for Film Lovers. Films begin at 7:00 p.m. Join our lively and entertaining discussion after each film. Located at Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs, 26100 Old 41 Rd., B o n i t a Sp r i n g s . C a l l 239-495-8989 or check artcenterbonita.org.

2:00 p.m. Cloth Diaper Q&A. A free class in cloth diapering as we explore the different brands, styles, laundering, and storage of dirty diapers. Located at Twinkle Twinkle Little Store, 4172 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. Call 239-262-5904 or visit twinkletwinklelittlestoreofnaples.com. 11

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monday

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6:00 p.m. Christmas Parade. The Naples Christmas Parade will line up on Broad Avenue. The floats will turn right on to Third Street South, then right on Fifth Avenue South, and end on Eighth Street South. Call 239692-8436.

sunday

2:00 p.m. Free Concerts at the Bandshell. Bring a blanket for the whole family and enjoy free jazz concerts in Cambier Park. Located at 755 8th Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-2133058 or check www. naplesgov.com for details.

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24 2:00 p.m. Holiday 10:00 a.m. Toddler Cookie Decorating. Tales at South Coun-

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1:00 p.m. Holly Jolly Collage Workshop. Learn how to style and assemble small colored and textured images into a holiday masterpiece. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100.

8 4:00 p.m. LEGO Club. Share ideas, be creative, make new friends, and have fun. Bricks will be provided. Your creation will be put on display at the library. Ages 5-11. Registration not required. Estates Branch Library, 1266 Golden Gate Blvd. W., Naples. Call 239-4558088. 14

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4:00 p.m. Up Close with Animals. Use the library’s iPads to learn about some artistic apps and create a masterpiece. Grades 3-5. Registration required. Marco Island Branch Library, 210 S. Heathwood Dr., Marco Island. Call 239-394-3272 for additional information.

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5:00 p.m. Christmas Holiday Movie. The Year Without a Santa Claus. Free. Veteran’s Park, 901 Park Ave., Marco Island. Call 239-566-2367 or check www.colliergov.net for additional information.

7:00 p.m. Harry Potter Magical Holiday Ball. Dress like your favorite Harry Potter character, wear your holiday best, or come as you are and join us for dancing, music, activities, and giveaways. Located at Barnes & Noble, 5377 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. Call 239-597-2040 or check bn.com. 9

10:30 a.m. The Most Famous Reindeer of All. Now through Dec. 24. Price includes lunch and show. Tickets available at www.broadwaypalm. com. Located at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. Call 239-278-4422 or check website for more information. 2

5:30 p.m. Gingerbread House Workshop. Decorate a cookie house with delicious treats. Ages 2+. Registration required. Located at Immokalee Branch Library, 417 North First St., Immokalee. Call 239-657-2882 or check www.public.collier-lib.org.

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thursday

7:00 p.m. Youth Jazz Orchestra. Artis-Naples’ newest student ensemble in its first annual winter concert. Located at Artis-Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Call 239-5971900 or check www.thephil.org for additional information.

wednesday

9:00 a.m. Holidays Without Hunger.

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10:00 a.m. “Christmasy” Celebration. Jazz up your day with a snowball toss and a Christmas Dance Party. Jingle on over to play with us. C’mon, 15080 Livingston Rd., Naples. Call 239514-0084 or check www. cmon.org for additional information.

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4:00 p.m. Preserving the Holiday Spirit. Enjoy lights, displays, refreshments, guided boardwalk tours, and lots of surprise guests and activities. Naples Preserve, 1690 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. Call 239-261-4290 or visit www.naplesgov.com.

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3:00 p.m. Snowfest. Snow will be in the forecast to celebrate the winter holiday. Located at Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-4180 or visit colliergov.net for additional information.

saturday

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10:00 a.m. Candy Cane Cruises. Take advantage of the beautiful Southwest Florida weather and get in the holiday spirit with Pure Florida. Free candy canes to kids on every daily cruise from Tin City. 1200 Fifth Avenue South, Naples. Call 239262-4200 or check www. tin-city.com. 18

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2:30 p.m. New Year’s Craft. Decorate a mask or a hat to wear New Year’s Eve, and enjoy a sweet treat in the bargain. Ages 5-11. Registration required. Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239593-0870 or check public. collier-lib.org.

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6:00 p.m. Art After Hours. Free admission to The Baker Museum from 6-9 p.m. Musical entertainment. All ages are welcome to view the galleries and learn from our docents. Artis-Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Call 239-597-1111 or visit artisnaples.org.

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5:00 p.m. Chanukah and the Chocolate Factory. The lighting of the Chocolate Menorah, Oompa Loompa Latkes, Golden Tickets, rock climbing, tempting treats, and more. Cambier Park, 755 8th Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-262-4474 or visit chabadnaples.com.

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5:45 p.m. Hanukkah C e l e b r a t i o n . The Je w i s h Fe d e r a t i o n o f Collier County presents a Chanukah Celebration. Latke eating contest, live concert, candle lighting, free crafts, and food available for purchase. Mercato, 9128 Strada Pl., Naples. Call 239-594-9400.

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10:00 a.m. Toddler Tales at South County Regional Library. Interactive time for ages 18-36 months and caregivers including storytelling, wordplay, fingerplays, and music-making. Registration required. South County Regional Library, 21100 Three Oaks Pkwy., Estero.

2:00 p.m. Holiday Cookie Decorating. Visit our cookie table and decorate two cookies for the holiday, while supplies last. All ages welcome. Registration is not required. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Avenue, Naples. Call 239-262-6853.

4:30 p.m. Meals of Hope Mobile Food Pantry. The Meals of Hope Mobile Pantry will be in the YMCA parking lot every Tuesday. Frozen food, fresh produce, and canned goods will all be given away to families in need. 5450 YMCA Rd. Naples. Visit greaternaplesymca.org.

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1:00 p.m. Santa on the Sand. Bring your children, grandchildren, and friends for an afternoon of lunch, games, and prizes on the beach with Santa. Located at Lovers Key State Park, 8700 Estero Blvd., Estero. Call 239463-4588 for additional information.

239-262-5904 or visit 239-495-8989 or check Central Ave., Naples. Call 1266 Golden Gate Blvd. x100. twinkletwinklelittlestore- artcenterbonita.org. 239-262-6853 or check W., Naples. Call 239-455ofnaples.com. 11 12 public.collier-lib.org.13 8088. 14

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2:00 p.m. The Search for Santa Paws. First come, first seated. All ages. Registration not required. Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information.

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7:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve Fireworks. Find a spot on the beach for the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks blast off from Naples Pier, 25 12th Avenue, Naples. Call 239-213-3062 or check www.naplesgov.com for additional information.

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9:00 a.m. Holidays Without Hunger. Help us pack half a million meals for our neighbors in need in Southwest Florida. Located at Harborside Event Center, 1375 Monroe St., Fort Myers. Call 239-321-8110 or check www.harborsideevents. com.

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cmon.org for additional information.


YOUR COMMUNITY December EVENTS CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS:

1 THURSDAY

To submit your event for both our online and print calendars, go to the Calendar at neafamily.com and follow the instructions for inputting event information.

8:30 a.m. Goddess Yoga in the Park. This form of yoga incorporates goddess mythology into the physical practice of yoga, allowing participants to embrace and internalize the symbolic nature of each goddess in the practice. Located at Koreshan State Historic Site, 3800 Corkscrew Rd., Estero. Call 239-992-0311 or check www.floridastateparks.org for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Tai Chi in the Garden. Instructor Karen McNeil hosts this energy-flow exercise in the South Grove of the Garden. Every Thursday. Located at Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples. Call 239-643-7275 or check www.naplesgarden.org for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Toddler Tales at South County Regional Library. This interactive time for toddlers ages 18-36 months and their caregivers will include storytelling, wordplay, fingerplays, and music-making designed to advance pre-reading skills. Registration is required. Located at South County Regional Library, 21100 Three Oaks Pkwy., Estero. Call 239-479-4636 for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Fort Myers Beach Art Association: Acadia Tour Group. Open to the public through Dec. 8. Located at Studio 2, 3030 Shell Mound, Fort Myers Beach. For additional information, call 239-463-3909 or visit www.fortmyersbeachart.com. 10:00 a.m. Fort Myers Beach Art Association: Member Judged Show. The event is free and open to the public through Dec. 8. Located at 3030 Shell

The deadline for print calendar events is the 12th of the month preceding publication. You can submit events anytime for the online calendar. Note: Please check dates and times before attending events. As Neapolitan Family staff does not enter all calendar data, we cannot guarantee its accuracy.

Mound, Fort Myers Beach. For additional information, call 239-463-3909 or visit www.fortmyersbeachart.com. 10:00 a.m. Little Explorers. Explore nature and discover amazing animals through multi-sensory, interactive activities, stories, and animal-themed crafts. No registration is required to join in the fun. Ages 18 months to 5 years. Located at Conservancy of SW Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples. For additional information, call 239-262-0304 or check www.conservancy.org. 12:00 p.m. Megyn Kelly Book Signing. Megyn Kelly will be signing her memoir Settle for More. We will begin to distribute wristbands at 9 a.m. on the day of the event. Located at Barnes & Noble, 5377 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. Call 239-597-2040 or check bn.com for additional information. 3:30 p.m. Songwriters at Sunset. Free concert with park entry. Located at Lovers Key State Park, 8700 Estero Blvd., Estero. Call 239-463-4588 for additional information. 4:00 p.m. Technology Thursdays at Naples Regional Library. Join us after school for a fun hour of hands-on activities dedicated to STEM technology. View the Young Adult bulletin board for details. Grades 6-12. Registration is not required. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. Call 239-262-6853 or check public.collier-lib.org for more information. 5:00 p.m. Annual Christmas Walk and Tree Lighting. Bring friends and family for this annual

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tradition on Fifth Avenue South. Located at 649 Fifth Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-692-8436 or check www.fifthavenuesouth.com for additional information. 5:30 p.m. Gingerbread House Workshop. Decorate a cookie house with delicious treats. Ages 2 years and older. Registration required. Located at Immokalee Branch Library, 417 North First St., Immokalee. Call 239-657-2882 or check www. public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Free Concert on the Lawn. Victor Wainwright and the Wild Roots. Located at Mercato, 9128 Strada Pl. Naples. Call 239-594-9400 or check www. mercatoshops.com for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Tree Lighting. Located at Immokalee South Park, 418 School Dr., Immokalee. Call 239-252-4677 or check www.collierparks.com for additional information. 7:30 p.m. Handel’s Messiah. Experience the power of the 100-voice Naples Philharmonic Chorus as they present Handel’s masterful oratorio. Located at Artis-Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Call 239-597-1111 or check www. artisnaples.org for additional information.

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2 FRIDAY 9:00 a.m. Baby Boot Camp at Miromar Outlets. Certified fitness professionals instruct exercise classes for pregnant, post-natal and ultra-fit moms. Classes are weekly on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at MundoMax Playland. Located at Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Rd., Estero. Call 239-948-3766 or check www.miromaroutlets.com for additional information. 9:00 a.m. Find it Fridays at Everglades Wonder Gardens. Kids enjoy a scavenger hunt all day. Located at Everglades Wonder Gardens, 27180 Old 41 Rd., Bonita Springs. Call 239-992-2591 or check www.evergladeswondergardens.com for additional information. 10:30 a.m. The Most Famous Reindeer of All. Now through Dec. 24. Price includes lunch and show. Tickets available at www.broadwaypalm.com. Located at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. Call 239-2784422 or check www.broadwaypalm.com for additional information. 1:00 p.m. Gel Printmaking Workshop. We will use a gelatin plate, paint, rollers, and many different types of materials to create dynamic prints. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for additional information. 5:00 p.m. First Friday’s Art for Art Lovers. Gourmet food, fine wine, and art demonstrations. Located at Shoppes of Old Marco, 258 Royal Palm Dr., Marco Island. Call 239-394-2787 for additional information. 5:00 p.m. Ave Maria Celebration of Lights. Join the fun in the outdoor winter wonderland including the town parade, outdoor ice skating rink, festive food and beverages, photos with Santa, and live performances by local schools and organizations. Located at Ave Maria Town Center, 5076 Annunciation Circle, Ave Maria. Call 239-867-4322 for details. 6:00 p.m. Wine Tasting & Live Music. Join us the first Friday of every month in the cafe and Lifestyle Center for wine-tasting and live music. This month enjoy over 25 wines from around the world. Proceeds benefit a local charity. Located at Whole Foods, 9101 Strada Pl., Naples. Call 239-552-5100 or check www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/naples for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Immokalee Community Park Indoor Movie Night. This program allows couples an opportunity to enjoy the night without children. Popcorn and drinks will be provided. Located at Immokalee Community Park, 321 North 1st St., Immokalee. Call 239-657-4449 for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Chocolate and Spirits Festival. Admission is free with a requested $3 donation. Located at Gulf Coast Town Center, 9903 Gulf Coast Main St., Fort Myers. Check www.gulfcoasttowncenter.com/shop/gulf.nsf/salesevents for additional information. 7:00 p.m. The Polar Express Pajama Storytime. Come in your PJs and join us for a magical evening as we host our annual Polar Express Storytime. Coloring and activities to follow, including writing a Dear Santa letter. Located at Barnes & Noble, 5377 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. Call 239-597-2040 or check bn.com for additional information. 8:00 p.m. Southwest Florida Country Music Fest. Features Hunter Hayes, Kellie Pickler, and Lauren Alaina. Located at Germain Arena, 11000 Everblades Pkwy., Estero. Call 239-335-0457 or check www.germainarena.com for details. 8:00 p.m. The Marshall Tucker Band. For tickets and information go to www. swflpac.com. Located at Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center, 11515 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs. Call 239-389-6901 or check www.swflperformingartscenter.com for additional information.

NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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3 SATURDAY 7:30 a.m. Third Street South Farmer’s Market. Parking lot behind Tommy Bahama’s. Located at Third Street South, Naples. Call 239-434-6533 or check www. napleschamber.org for additional information. 8:00 a.m. Community Yard Sale. Find yard sale bargains in one location. If you are interested in reserving a spot to sell used items please call to reserve a spot. Located at Immokalee Community Park, 321 North 1st Street, Immokalee. Call 239-657-4449 for additional information. 8:00 a.m. JDRF One Walk. Enjoy a one-mile trail walk nestled along a beautiful lake then over the pristine nature preserve bridge at North Collier Regional Park. Together, we will create a world without type 1 diabetes. Located at 15000 Livingston Rd., Naples. Call 239-252-4060 or check colliergov.net for additional information. 9:00 a.m. Greenmarket. Join us on our 10-acre campus every Saturday to find an exclusive selection of locally grown, caught and cultivated foods, and other products available to sample and purchase. Located at Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Call 239-939-2787 or check www.artinlee.org for additional information. 9:00 a.m. Breakfast with Santa. Dec. 3 & 10, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Dec. 4 & 11, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Register early as this event sells out each year. $30 per person (children under the age of one are free). Located at Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, 15080 Livingston Rd., Naples. Call 239-514-0084 or check www.cmon.org for additional information. 9:00 a.m. Free Breakfast with Santa. Celebrate the holidays with decorating cookies, sweet treats, crafts, face painting, and pictures with Santa. Located at Immokalee Community Park, 321 North 1st St., Immokalee. Call 239-657-4449 for more information. 9:00 a.m. Educator Holiday Shopping. Pre-K through 12 educators are invited to a special holiday shopping event. Receive a 25% discount on books, toys, games, movies, music, and more. Plus, 10% off in the cafe and select Nook devices. Located at Barnes & Noble, 5377 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. Call 239-597-2040 or check bn.com for additional information. 9:30 a.m. WONDER Kids at Botanical Gardens. Drop in anytime between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday to the Smith Children’s Garden for fun activities. Located at Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples. Call 239-643-7275 or check www.naplesgarden.org for additional information. 9:30 a.m. Breakfast with Santa. Celebrate your holiday with a delicious pancake breakfast provided by the GG Kiwanis Club and the GGCC staff. Bring your camera for pictures with Santa. Arts & crafts. Bus transportation to Snow Fest provided. Located at Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-4180 or check colliergov.net for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Artists@Work at GreenMarket. Members of the SWFL Florida Fine Craft Guild demonstrate their specialties during this free, family friendly demo day that takes place during our weekly GreenMarket. Located at Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Call 239-939-2787 or visit www.artinlee.org for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Free Kids Fishing at Bass Pro Shops. We provide the rod and reel and the bait for any kid who wants to have a fun time fishing until 4 p.m. Located at Bass Pro Shops, 10040 Gulf Center Dr., Fort Myers. Call 239-461-7800 for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Little Explorers. Explore nature and discover amazing animals through multi-sensory, interactive activities, stories, and animal-themed crafts. No registration is required to join in the fun. Ages 18 months to 5 years. Located at Conservancy of SW Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples. Call 239-262-0304 or check www. conservancy.org for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Great Outdoor Adventure Day. Food, touch tanks, children’s activities, and ranger-led programs highlight this family friendly fun-filled day. Located at Lovers Key State Park, 8700 Estero Blvd., Estero. Call 239-463-4588 for additional information. 10:30 a.m. Swamp Heritage Festival. Campfire presentations, along with music and more will take place outside. Located at Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center, 33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee. Call 239-695-4758 or visit www.nps.gov/ bicy/planyourvisit/2016-swamp-heritage-festival.htm for additional information. 11:00 a.m. How the Grinch Stole Christmas Storytime. We will have good deed badges and tracking booklets for kids to log all the good things they do this holiday season. Activities to follow. Located at Barnes & Noble, 5377 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. Call 239-597-2040 or check bn.com for additional information. 2:00 p.m. Alligator Fishing. Join us for alligator fishing every Saturday. For $5

NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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on top of regular admission prices, you get a cane pool with a hot dog on the end of it to feed our 37 gators. Located at Everglades Wonder Gardens, 27180 Old 41 Rd., Bonita Springs. Call 239-992-2591 or visit evergladeswondergardens.com for additional information. 2:00 p.m. The Naples Players present “The Nutcracker Goes Pop”. Additional performances at 7:00 p.m.; Dec. 3 &10 at 2:00 p.m.; Dec. 4-6 & 11-13 at 7:00 p.m. Over 100 local students sing and dance their way through this modern song and dance version of the beloved classic. Located at Sugden Community Theatre, 701 5th Ave. South, Naples. Call 434-7340, x39, or check www.naplesplayers.org for additional information. 2:00 p.m. The Nutcracker. Presented by Miami City Ballet. Through Sunday. Located at Artis-Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Call 239-597-1111 or check artisnaples.org for additional information. 3:00 p.m. Snowfest. No matter what the “real” weather is that day, snow will be in the forecast to celebrate the winter holiday. Located at Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-4180 or visit colliergov.net for additional information. 4:00 p.m. Improv Cafe. Bring your family out to Little Shop of Improv the first Saturday of every month. Located at Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs, 10150 Bonita Beach Rd., Bonita Springs. Call 239-495-8989 or check artcenterbonita. org for more information. 4:00 p.m. Tea at the Ritz. Join the Make-A-Wish Fountain for its Sixth Annual Tea at The Ritz-Carlton. Located at Ritz-Carlton, 280 280 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples. Call 239-598-3300 or check www.ritzcarlton.com for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Fort Myers Christmas Boat Parade. Enjoy some Christmas spirit at the Annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Located at Fort Myers Beach. Check www.visitfortmyersbeach.com for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Marco Island Tree Lighting. Christmas, island style. Located at Veteran’s Park, 901 Park Ave., Marco Island. Call 239-566-2367 or check www.colliergov.net/ your-government/divisions-f-r/parks-and-recreation/parks/veterans-community-park for additional information. 7:00 p.m. Night Sky Program. View one of the darkest night skies in the eastern United States this winter by attending this ranger-led astronomy program at Big Cypress National Preserve. Located at Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center, 33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee. Call 239-695-4758 for additional information.

8:00 p.m. Improv Tonight at the Center for The Arts Bonita Springs. Be as involved in the show as you’d like; whether you’re just setting a scene with your suggestions, or on the stage as a player. Beer and wine available for purchase. Located at Center for Performing Arts-Moe Auditorium, 10150 Bonita Beach Rd. SE, Bonita Springs. Call 239-495-8989 or check www.artcenterbonita.org for additional information.

4 SUNDAY 8:00 a.m. Farmers Market. Join us in the historic settlement of Koreshans. Our quaint summer market offers local produce, fresh seafood, local honey handcrafted goods, pickles and olives, and fresh mozzarella cheese. Located at Koreshan State Historic Site, 3800 Corkscrew Rd., Estero. Call 239-992-0311 or check www. floridastateparks.org for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Historical Tours at Koreshan State Park. Walk the grounds of the utopian community that helped establish Estero. Located at Koreshan State Historic Site, 3800 Corkscrew Rd., Estero. Call 239-992-0311 or check www.floridastateparks.org for additional information. 11:15 a.m. Spanish Church Service. St. Monica’s Church, in support of the Latino community, holds a Spanish speaking service every Sunday. Located at St. Monica’s Church, 7070 Immokalee Rd., Naples. Call 239-591-4550 or check www. stmonicasnaples.org for additional information. 12:00 p.m. Sip and Shop Sunday. Enjoy $5 bloody marys or mimosas with 100% of proceeds from bar sales benefiting Fun Time Early Childhood Academy’s ongoing efforts to meet the needs of low-income working families. Located at Waterside Shops, 5415 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. Call 239-598-1605 or check www.watersideshops.com for additional information. 2:00 p.m. Free Concerts at the Bandshell. Bring a blanket for the whole family and enjoy free jazz concerts in Cambier Park. Located at 755 8th Ave. S., Naples. Call 239-213-3058 or check www.naplesgov.com/index.aspx?NID=576 for additional information. 3:00 p.m. Meet the Composers Classical Music Series. Join international artist and lecturer, Dr. Anne McLean the first Sunday of each month as she performs in a multi-media presentation highlighting a great composer’s music, fascinating historical insights and visual images of that unique era. Located at Center for

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Performing Arts – Hinman Auditorium, 10150 Bonita Beach Rd., Bonita Springs. Call 239-495-8989 or check www.artcenterbonita.org for additional information.

5 MONDAY 6:30 p.m. Films for Film Lovers. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and films begin at 7:00 p.m. Be sure to join our lively and entertaining film discussion after each film. Located at Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs, 26100 Old 41 Rd., Bonita Springs. Call 239-495-8989 or check artcenterbonita.org for additional information.

6 TUESDAY

7 WEDNESDAY 7:30 a.m. Marco Island Farmers Market. Every Wednesday. Located at Veteran’s Park, 901 Park Ave., Marco Island. Call 239-566-2367 or check www.colliergov.net/ your-government/divisions-f-r/parks-and-recreation/parks/veterans-community-park for additional information. 9:00 a.m. Whole Foods Farmer’s Market. Every Wednesday on the front patio. Located at Whole Foods, 9101 Strada Pl., Naples. Call 239-552-5100 or check www. wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/naples for additional information. 9:30 a.m. Historical Walking Tours. Come enjoy this 2 to 2.5 hour walking tour through parts of the Naples Historic District including alleys and the Naples Pier. Located at Historic Palm Cottage, 137 12th Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-2618164 for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Free Kids Crafts at Miromar Outlets. Kids from toddlers to 12 are invited to participate in fun activities. Located at Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Rd., Estero. Call 239-948-3766 or check www.miromaroutlets.com details. 10:00 a.m. Preschool Story Time at South County Regional Library. Parents and caregivers encourage independence by waiting nearby. The stories and activities may be longer but just as fun. You must register for each week of the six-week session. Please be on time. Located at South County Regional Library, 21100 Three Oaks Pkwy., Estero. Call 239-479-4636 for additional information. 10:30 a.m. Family Story Time at Bonita Springs Library. This program is for the whole family and lasts about 30 minutes. Located at Bonita Springs Public Library, 26876 Pine Ave., Bonita Springs. Call 239-992-0101 or check library.lee-county. com/services/locations/BN/pages/default.aspx for additional information. 2:00 p.m. Holiday Artistry for Teens & Kids. Make holiday creations. Ages 5 & up.

2016

8:30 a.m. Traditional Yoga in the Park. Traditional yoga class focuses on breathing, stretching and postures. Modifiable for all ages and levels of participants. Located at Koreshan State Historic Site, 3800 Corkscrew Rd., Estero. Call 239-992-0311 or check www.floridastateparks.org for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Moms and Tots Storytime with Miss Jessica and Miss Mary Ellen. A toddler favorite, the girls read, sing, dance, and color, creating a fun atmosphere of learning and lots of laughter. Ask about the little green frog song. All ages are welcome. Located at Barnes & Noble, 5377 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. Call 239-597-2040 or check bn.com for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Family Story Time at South County Regional Library. An enjoyable, all-ages storytime that encourages the development of pre-reading skills through songs, rhymes, fingerplays ,and stories. All children attending must be registered. Please be on time. Located at South County Regional Library, 21100 Three Oaks Pkwy., Estero. Call 239-479-4636 for additional information. 3:30 p.m. Holiday Crafts. Come to the library for holiday stories, crafts, and cookie decorating. Grades K-5. Registration required. Located at Golden Gate Library, 2432 Lucerne Rd., Naples. Call 239-252-4542 or check public.collier-lib. org for additional information. 4:30 p.m. Meals of Hope Mobile Food Pantry. The Meals of Hope Mobile Pantry will be in our parking lot every Tuesday until 6:30 p.m. Frozen food, fresh produce, and canned goods will all be given away to families in need. Anyone is welcome.

Located at Greater Naples YMCA, 5450 YMCA Road, Naples. Call 239-597-3148 or check greaternaplesymca.org for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Christmas Parade. The Naples Christmas Parade will line up on Broad Avenue. The floats will turn right on to Third Street South, then right on Fifth Avenue South, and end on Eighth Street South. Located at 649 Fifth Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-692-8436 or check www.fifthavenuesouth.com details.

100 Tons of snow will be falling at the Winter Wonderland. It’s going to be SNOWMAZING!

Saturday, December 3

3 p.m. - 9 p.m. Golden Gate Community Center

4701 Golden Gate Pkwy. $2 • 3 & under free www.snowfestnaples.com • 239-252-4000

CARNIVAL December 2 • 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. December 3 • 3 p.m. - 11 p.m.

MRS. CLAUS’S KITCHEN • SANTA’S SOUTH POLE SELFIES SNOW MOUNTAINS • CARNIVAL GAMES & RIDES ENTERTAINMENT • ARTS & CRAFTS LASER TAG • GIANT INFLATABLES

Join us for fun in the snow 30

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DON’T WAIT IN LINE, REGISTER ONLINE ON THE GO, USE OUR MOBILE APP

follow us NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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Located at Bonita Springs Public Library, 26876 Pine Ave., Bonita Springs. Call 239992-0101 or check library.lee-county.com/services/locations/BN/pages/default.aspx. 7:00 p.m. Youth Jazz Orchestra. Artis-Naples’ newest student ensemble in its first annual winter concert. Located at Artis-Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Call 239-597-1900 or check www.thephil.org for additional information.

8 THURSDAY 4:00 p.m. Up Close with Animals. We will be using the library’s iPads to learn about some artistic apps and create a masterpiece or two. Grades 3-5. Registration required. Located at Marco Island Branch Library, 210 S. Heathwood Dr., Marco Island. Call 239-394-3272 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 5:00 p.m. Art House: Open Windows. Youth Haven and Thomas Riley Studio are hosting a mixed media art exhibit featuring artwork by the children at Youth Haven. The children’s work is available for purchase for a suggested donation price with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Youth Haven’s Children’s Art Program. Located at Thomas Riley Studio, 26 10th Street South, Naples. Visit www.youthhavenswfl.org. 5:30 p.m. Hand Painted Wine Glasses Workshop. Paint a pair of wine glasses with colorful designs. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for additional information. 5:30 p.m. Gingerbread House Workshop. Decorate a cookie house with delicious treats. Ages 2 years and older. Registration required. Located at Immokalee Branch Library, 417 North First St., Immokalee. Call 239-657-2882 or check public. collier-lib.org for additional information. 6:30 p.m. Evening on Fifth. This fabulous free street party happens every second Thursday through April featuring live music,dining, dancing, shopping, and fun. Located at 649 Fifth Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-692-8436 or check www. fifthavenuesouth.com for additional information.

We buy & sell gently used kids stuff • Clothing (newborn to size 16), toys, baby furniture, equipment and more. • We pay cash on the spot. • No appointment necessary, clothes must be freshly laundered and brought in a plastic container.

13560 Tamiami Trail N #4, Naples,

239-596-6096

9 FRIDAY 9:00 a.m. Beaded Wrap Bracelet Workshop. Learn how to use the lashing technique to weave natural gemstones, crystals, glass, and wood beads on leather cording. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for additional information. 1:00 p.m. Gel Printmaking Workshop. Use a gelatin plate, paint, rollers, and many different types of materials to create dynamic prints. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x 100 for additional information. 4:00 p.m. Preserving the Holiday Spirit. Enjoy holiday lights, displays, refreshments, guided boardwalk tours, and lots of surprise guests and activities Dec. 9-11. Live music Dec. 9. Located at Naples Preserve, 1690 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. Call 239-261-4290 or visit www.naplesgov.com/index.aspx?NID=590 for additional information. 5:30 p.m. Preview Reception for Passionately Repurposed Exhibit. The Naples Art Association is hosting a preview reception for Passionately Repurposed: Art from Recycled and Found Materials & There Is a Song in My Art Exhibitions. Free. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Parents’ Night Out. Kids will enjoy a variety of games and activities in a safe environment. Dinner will be provided. $20. Located at Vineyards Community Park, 6231 Arbor Rd., Naples. Call 239-363-9669 or visit colliergov.net. 6:30 p.m. Christmas Event. Come join us for our annual Christmas event and pictures with Santa. There will be crafts, food, and music to enjoy. $5 per family. Located at Max A. Hasse Jr. Community Park, 3390 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-348-7500 or check colliergov.net for additional information. 7:00 p.m. Harry Potter Magical Holiday Ball. Dress like your favorite Harry Potter character, wear your holiday best, or come as you are and join us for dancing, music, activities, and giveaways. Located at Barnes & Noble, 5377 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. Call 239-597-2040 or check bn.com for additional information. 7:00 p.m. David Lawrence Young Executive Holiday Bash. Enjoy live music, signature cocktails, and delicious hors d’oeuvres in an intimate, island getaway atmosphere. Located at Hilton Naples Hotel, 5111 Tamiami Trail North, Naples.

10 SATURDAY 8:00 a.m. Adventure Race. Enjoy a 3k kayak along Henderson Creek and a 4k trail run at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center to benefit the Friends

NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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Also in: Fort Myers at 239-274-0039 Port Charlotte at 941-764-8121

onceuponachildnaples.com

Temple Shalom Preschool

Planting the Seeds in the Minds of our Future Exceptional Education for ages 2 - 5

i NOW REGISTERING i

for Little Cubs, from 18 months to 2 years

the

TSP

experience

TempleShalomPreschool.org

239-455-3227

4630 Pine Ridge Road

i

Naples, FL 34119

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of Rookery Bay. Located at Rookery Bay, 300 Tower Road, Naples. Call 239-4176310 or check www.rookerybay.org for additional information. 8:00 a.m. Winter Craft Bazaar. There will be a variety of items for sale crafted by local patrons. Located at Vineyards Community Park, 6231 Arbor Rd., Naples. Call 239-363-9669 or check colliergov.net for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Twinkle Jacket & Shoes Giveaway. It still gets chilly in SWFL, especially at night and early morning. We have jackets we are giving away at this event, as well as shoes to those in need. All are welcome. Located at Twinkle Twinkle Little Store LLC, 4172 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. 10:00 a.m. Sugar Wonderland. Parents can get their holiday shopping done or spend an afternoon relaxing while their kids enjoy this super sweet day camp. Ages 5-12. Located at Rockstar Cheer, 2383 Linwood Way, Naples. Call 239-261-6331 for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Passionately Repurposed: Art from Recycled and Found Materials Exhibit. Passionately Repurposed is an exhibition of artwork created from recycled materials and found objects. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for additional information. 10:00 a.m. There Is a Song in My Art Exhibit. There is a Song in My Art exhibition features two- and three-dimensional work ranging from mixed media to jewelry to woodworking, ceramics, and fiber art. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Fine Art & Craft Show. Located at Cambier Park, 755 8th Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-213-3058 or check www.naplesgov.com/index.aspx?NID=576 for additional information. 11:00 a.m. Lighthouse of Collier Christmas Party. Join us for a Christmas party for children with visual impairments and their families. Date and time subject to change. Located at Lighthouse of Collier, 2685 Horseshoe Dr. South, Naples. 11:00 a.m. Youth Symphonia. Join the Naples Philharmonic Youth Symphonia for a delightful blend of chamber music and full ensemble conducted by Naples Philharmonic violinist Gregg Anderson. Located at Artis-Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Call 239-597-1111 or check artisnaples.org for additional information. 11:30 a.m. Teddy Bear Tea. Fluffy oversized teddy bears and aromatic teas fill the beach resort’s Lobby Lounge during the Ritz-Carlton’s annual Teddy Bear Tea. Located at Ritz-Carlton, 280 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples. Call 239-598-3300 or check www.ritzcarlton.com for additional information. 2:00 p.m. Teen Book to Movie Club at South Regional Library. Teens are invited to join the Movie Club featuring primarily book-to-movie adaptations. Bring your friends, chow down, and let us know if the movie lived up to the book. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-7542 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 2:00 p.m. Patchwork Puzzle Balls. Ages 10-14 years. Registration required. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-5930870 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Animal Refuge Center’s Annual Lights of Love. For a donation, ARC will illuminate a white light for each pet that “lives” on in your memory. Located at Bell Tower Shops, Daniels Pkwy. and US 41, Fort Myers. Call 239-489-1221 or check www.thebelltowershops.com for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Christmas Treating. Cornerstone Church will be hosting a Trunk or Treat for Christmas. All are welcome. Located at Cornerstone UMC, 8200 Immokalee Rd., Naples. Call 239-354-9160 or check www.cornerstonenaples.org for additional information. 6:30 p.m. Naples Boat Parade. Pick your spot along Naples Bay to enjoy the colorful and sparkly annual Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade. Located at Tin City, 1200 Fifth Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-262-4200 or check www.tin-city.com for additional information. 7:00 p.m. Music Makers’ Show Band. The Music Makers Show Band brings big band music to the Naples area. Located at Cambier Park, 755 8th Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-213-3058 or check www.naplesgov.com/index.aspx?NID=576 for additional information.

11 SUNDAY 11:30 a.m. Methodist Day School Mingle & Jingle. Free games for children of all ages, food, silent auction, Christmas ornaments for sale, Christmas caroling, Santa, and much more. Located at Methodist Day School & First United Methodist Church of Naples, 388 1st Avenue South, Naples. 2:00 p.m. Cloth Diaper Q & A. Are you thinking about using cloth diapers? Join us for a free class in cloth diapering as we explore the different brands, styles,

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laundering, and storage of dirty diapers. Located at Twinkle Twinkle Little Store LLC, 4172 Tamiami Trail North, Naples. 7:00 p.m. Judy Collins in Concert. For tickets and information go to www.swflpac. com. Located at Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center, 11515 Bonita Beach Rd., Bonita Springs. Call 239-389-6901 or check www.swflperformingartscenter. com for additional information.

13 TUESDAY 3:00 p.m. Saint Lucia Day Make and Take. Join us for this special Swedish holiday celebration. Make a traditional craft and share a tasty treat. All ages welcome. Registration is not required. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. Call 239-262-6853 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 4:00 p.m. Gingerbread House Workshop. Treat yourself this holiday season. Decorate a milk carton with candy and treats to make your own gingerbread house. Ages 3-12 years. Registration required. Located at Vanderbilt Beach Library, 788 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples. Call 239-597-8444 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 4:00 p.m. Beginning Cooking for Fun. Have fun and learn at the same time with some easy recipes for the whole family to do together. Presented by 4-H group. Ages 5-10 years. Registration required. Located at Vanderbilt Beach Library, 788 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples. Call 239-597-8444 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 5:00 p.m. Holiday Boat Parade. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. and the boat parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Located at Venetian Village, 4200 Gulf Shore Blvd., Naples. Check venetianvillage.com for additional information. 5:30 p.m. Dinner with Artists. Dinner with Artists is an interactive artistic experience in an intimate and engaging setting. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Winter Crafts for Kids and Teens. Drop in anytime between 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for a variety of winter and Christmas-themed crafts. Located at South County Regional Library, 21100 Three Oaks Pkwy., Estero. Call 239-4794636 for additional information.

Accepting New Patients • • • • •

Specializing in Infants, Children and Teens. Over 15 years experience. After-school and Saturday appointments available. Most insurance accepted. In-network provider for Cigna, MetLife, Principal and more.

Located near Veterans Park Dr. Jennifer B. Hughes, DMD Pediatric Dentist 1879 Veterans Park Dr. Suite 1203 Naples, FL 34109

Phone: 239-260-7672

info@pediatricdentistryofnaples.com

PediatricDentistryofNaples.com

14 WEDNESDAY 4:00 p.m. LEGO Club at Estates Branch Library. Share ideas, be creative, make new friends and have fun. LEGO® bricks will be provided. Your LEGO® creation will be put on display at the library. Ages 5-11 years. Registration is not required. Located at Estates Branch Library, 1266 Golden Gate Blvd. W., Naples. Call 239455-8088 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 7:00 p.m. Epilepsy Support Group. Join us for our monthly support group. Located at Greater Naples YMCA, 5450 YMCA Rd., Naples. Call 239-597-3148 or check greaternaplesymca.org for additional information. 7:30 p.m. Christmas with the Beach Boys. Additional performance at 4:00 p.m. Located at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 13350 Edison Pkwy., Fort Myers. Call 239-481-4849 or check www.bbmannpah.com for additional information. 8:00 p.m. Frank Sinatra’s Christmas Starring Ray Livosi. For tickets and information go to www.swflpac.com. Located at Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center, 11515 Bonita Beach Rd., Bonita Springs. Call 239-389-6901 or check www.swflperformingartscenter.com for additional information.

15 THURSDAY 9:00 a.m. Pine Needle Basket Workshop. Learn the techniques of weaving a beautiful and natural pine needle basket. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for additional information. 9:00 a.m. Stained Glass Workshop. Capture the spirit of the season in a beautiful piece of stained glass art. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for additional information. 9:00 a.m. Wire Wrapped Jewelry & Origami Box Workshop. Create unique, colorful, one-of-a-kind watercolor holiday cards using simple techniques and design skills. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Little Explorers. Explore nature and discover amazing animals through multi-sensory, interactive activities, stories, and animal-themed crafts. No registration is required to join in the fun. Ages 18 months to 5 years. Located at Conservancy of

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INFANT TODDLER CHILDREN’S HOUSE with integrated VPK

ELEMENTARY ADOLESCENT Ages 8 weeks to 15 years

Call today to schedule a private tour

239-597-2255

More information can be found on our website

www.naplesmontessori.org 2659 Professional Circle, Suite 1118, Naples, Florida 34119 License #C20CO0026 DAILY HOURS 7:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. neafamily.com

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FREE registration when you bring in this ad!

• Serving ages 1-5 • Licensed quality early care & education • Reggio Emilia inspired philosophy with a daily focus on the arts & music • Safe learning environment with credentialed teachers • High-quality, experiential, child-centered curriculum • Scholarships available • School Readiness & VPK vouchers accepted • Open Monday-Friday, 7 am–5:30 pm

Now Enrolling! Call 239.980.9021

Located in Emmanuel Lutheran 777 Mooring Line Drive, Naples, FL Visit www.collierchildcare.org

SW Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples. Call 239-262-0304 or check www. conservancy.org for additional information. 1:00 p.m. Holly Jolly Collage Workshop. Using a wide variety of small colored and textured images, learn the techniques of how to style and assemble them into a holiday masterpiece. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for additional information. 1:00 p.m. Spiced Cider for Two Workshop. Using specialty markers that won’t wash off, create two unique mugs for yourself or to give as a gift. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for additional information. 3:30 p.m. Holiday Craft. Come make a holiday craft of your choice. Grades 2-5. Registration required. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 4:00 p.m. LEGO Club at Marco Island Library. Join the club and share ideas, be creative, make new friends, and have fun. Lego® bricks will be provided. Ages 5-11 years. Registration not required. Located at Marco Island Branch Library, 210 S. Heathwood Dr., Marco Island. Call 239-394-3272 or check public.collier-lib. org for more information. 5:00 p.m. Selfies with Santa. Get in the Christmas Spirit by sitting on Santa’s lap and taking a picture. Bring your electronic device. Located at Golden Gate Community Park, 3300 Santa Barbara Blvd., Naples. Call 239-252-6128 or check colliergov.net for additional information. 5:00 p.m. Santa Paws. Bring out the pups to meet and take holiday photos with Santa. Meet the adorable, adoptable pets from the Humane Society of Naples and make your holidays even more dog-friendly. Located at Venetian Village, 4200 Gulf Shore Blvd., Naples. Check venetianvillage.com for additional information. 5:30 p.m. Here Comes Santa Claus. Santa Claus is coming to your library. Be sure to come by and whisper what you want for Christmas. Don’t forget your camera. All ages. Registration is not required. Located at Immokalee Branch Library, 417 North First Street, Immokalee. Call 239-657-2882 or check public.collier-lib.org. 6:00 p.m. Third Thursday on Third Street South. Live music in the Fleischmann Courtyard. Located at Third Street South, Naples. Call 239-434-6533 or check info@napleschamber.org for additional information. 7:00 p.m. PFLAG Support Group Meeting. The Naples chapter of PFLAG (Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Call 239-513-4568 for location. 8:00 p.m. Holiday Pops. Celebrate the season with an all-new program of holiday classics, featuring the Naples Philharmonic Chorus and Youth Chorus. Dec. 15-18 (call or check website for times). Located at Artis-Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Call 239-597-1111 or check artisnaples.org for additional information.

16 FRIDAY 9:00 a.m. Winter Fest at Naples Zoo. RSVP for Breakfast with Santa Dec. 16 or 17. Enjoy winter activities, including animals tearing into colorfully wrapped holiday packages packed with their favorite treats. Located at Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, 1590 Goodlette-Frank Rd., Naples. Call 239-262-5409 or check www.caribbeangardens.com for details. 5:00 p.m. Christmas Holiday Movie. The Year Without a Santa Claus. Free. Located at Veteran’s Park, 901 Park Ave., Marco Island. Call 239-566-2367 or check www.colliergov.net/your-government/divisions-f-r/parks-and-recreation/ parks/veterans-community-park for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Beer Tasting and Live Music. Drop by for beer tastings the third Friday of every month. This month sample tons of different beers, including select seasonal beers. Vendors will be on-site to answer questions and offer recommendations. Located at Whole Foods, 9101 Strada Pl., Naples. Call 239-552-5100 or check www. wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/naples for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Immokalee Community Park Indoor Movie Night. This program allows couples an opportunity to enjoy the night without children. Popcorn and drinks will be provided. Located at Immokalee Community Park, 321 North 1st St., Immokalee. Call 239-657-4449 for additional information.

17 SATURDAY 8:00 a.m. Community Yard Sale. Find yard sale bargains with the convenience of having all the sales in one location. If you are interested in reserving a spot to sell used items please call the respective park to reserve a spot. Located at Max A. Hasse Jr. Community Park, 3390 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-348-7500

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or check colliergov.net for additional information. 8:00 a.m. Bark on the Ark. Passengers can enjoy a peaceful cruise with Pure Florida along the Caloosahatchee River followed by a playful time on the island, socializing with man’s best friend. Located at The Marina at Edison Ford, 2360 West First St., Fort Myers. Call 239-919-2965 or check www.pureFL.com for additional information. 8:00 a.m. Super Hero 5K. Every participant gets an authentic event superhero cape and collectable run bib. Located at Estero Community Park, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd., Naples. 9:00 a.m. Cookies with Santa. Enjoy cookies and milk with Santa. Free. There will be a live DJ, crafts, inflatables, and pictures with Santa Claus. Please bring a new toy donation to have a free picture with Santa printed on-site. Located at Rockstar Cheer, 2383 Linwood Way, Naples. Call 239-261-6331 for additional information. 9:00 a.m. Cookies and Milk with Santa. Come and enjoy cookies and milk with Santa. Located at Eagle Lakes Community Park, 11565 Tamiami Trail East, Naples. Call 239-252-4414 or check colliergov.net for additional information. 9:45 a.m. Cookies and Milk with Santa. See Santa arrive by helicopter. Located at The Family Church, 1450 Winterberry Dr., Marco Island. 10:00 a.m. Democratic Women’s Club of Collier County. Join us to discuss issues important to all progressive Democrats through the eyes of the Democratic Women of Collier County and its supporters. Located at Walden Oaks, 6710 Lone Oak Blvd., Naples. Call 239-434-7754 for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Candy Cane Cruises presented by Naples Pure Florida. Take advantage of the beautiful Southwest Florida weather and get in the holiday spirit with Pure Florida. On Dec. 17-24 and 26, Pure Florida will be giving free candy canes to kids on every daily cruise from Tin City. Located at Tin City, 1200 Fifth Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-262-4200 or check www.tin-city.com for additional information. 10:00 a.m. “Christmasy” Celebration. Jazz up your day with a snowball toss and a Christmas Dance Party. Jingle on over to play with us. Located at Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, 15080 Livingston Rd., Naples. Call 239-514-0084 or check www.cmon.org for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Little Explorers. Explore nature and discover amazing animals through multi-sensory, interactive activities, stories, and animal-themed crafts. No registration is required to join in the fun. Ages 18 months to 5 years. Located at Conservancy of SW Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples. Call 239-262-0304 or check www. conservancy.org for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Kids Science Cruise. Pure Florida’s Naples location will offer a Kids Science Cruise featuring a fun and engaging science show by Glen Beitmen of “Super Science & Amazing Art” on “The Wonders of Water.” Located at Tin City, 1200 Fifth Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-262-4200 or check www.tin-city.com for additional information. 11:00 a.m. Free Kids Archery at Bass Pro Shops. This free event requires nothing more than a child willing to give archery a try. Located at Bass Pro Shops, 10040 Gulf Center Dr., Fort Myers. Call 239-461-7800 for additional information. 11:00 a.m. Pictures with Tropical Santa. Bring your camera. Regular admission fees apply. Free to members. Holiday cookies and cider will be available during Santa hours. Located at Everglades Wonder Gardens, 27180 Old 41 Rd., Bonita Springs. Call 239-992-2591 or check www.evergladeswondergardens.com for additional information. 12:00 p.m. Santa and Mrs Claus. Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming to town, and you get to meet them. Don’t miss out on this holiday event Dec. 17 and 18, from noon to 4 p.m. Located at Waterside Shops, 5415 Tamiami Trail N, Naples. Call 239-598-1605 or check www.watersideshops.com for additional information. 5:00 p.m. Santa Stroll Glow Run. Run on paths lined with thousands of lights and dozens of lighted characters and add to the excitement and fun by running or walking with glowing decorations. Located at Sugden Regional Park, 4284 Avalon Dr., Naples. Call 239-793-4414 for additional information. 7:00 p.m. Nutcracker. Additional performance Dec. 18 at 2:00 p.m. Located at Gulf Coast High School, 7878 Shark Way, Naples. Call 239-377-1400 or check www.gch.collierschools.com for additional information.

18 SUNDAY 2:00 p.m. WGCU Presents “We’re All Family” Holiday Concert with Ethan Bortnick. For tickets and information go to www.swflpac.com. Located at Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center, 11515 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs. Call 239389-6901 or check www.swflperformingartscenter.com for additional information.

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December Picks L C IN EE OUNTY

19 MONDAY 1:00 p.m. Santa on the Sand. Bring your children, grandchildren, and friends for an afternoon of lunch, games, and prizes on the beach with Santa. Located at Lovers Key State Park, 8700 Estero Blvd., Estero. Call 239-463-4588 for additional information. 3:00 p.m. Crafty Mondays at South Regional Library. Drop-in the Children’s Department to make a fun craft. There will be recycled crafts, useful crafts, and holiday crafts. All ages. Registration is not required. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-7542 or check public. collier-lib.org for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Paul Todd and Friends It Must Be Christmas. Enjoy a fabulous gourmet dinner show to celebrate the Christmas season and raise funds for the Greater Naples YMCA. Located at Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center, 11515 Bonita Beach Rd., Bonita Springs. Call 239-389-6901 or check www.swflperformingartscenter. com for additional information.

20 TUESDAY 4:00 p.m. LEGO Club at South Regional Library. Join the club and share ideas, be creative, make new friends and have fun! Lego®bricks will be provided. Ages 5-11 years. Registration is not required. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-7542 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 4:00 p.m. Gingerbread House Workshop. Decorate a cookie house with delicious treats. Ages 3-10 years. Registration required. Located at Estates Branch Library, 1266 Golden Gate Blvd. W., Naples. Call 239-455-8088 or check public.collier-lib. org for additional information.

Santa’s Wonderland-Classic Christmas Bass Pro Shops, 10040 Gulf Center Dr., Fort Myers Through December 24

Over 3,500-square foot Christmas village chocked full of fun games, activities and crafts for the whole family. Comprised of both animated and live elves, nutcrackers, reindeer and more. 239-461-7800

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers (through January 1) open nightly until 9 p.m. 293-334-7419

The Most Famous Reindeer Of All Broadway Palm Children’s Theatre, Fort Myers December 2 - 24

This fun-filled twist on the classic story about a reindeer who simply wants to fit in. Along the way, he encounters friends like Sammy the Snowflake and Ike the Elf and faces off against Evilla the Ice Witch. 239-278-4422

Great Outdoor Adventure Day

Lovers Key State Park, 8700 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach Saturday, December 3•10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Food, music, touch tanks, children’s activities, as well as Ranger-led programs will highlight the fun-filled day 239-463-4588

Annual Holiday in the Park

Riverside Park in downtown Bonita Springs Tuesday, December 6•4:30 - 8 p.m.

Musical guests, snow slide and snowfall area for kids, family activities and the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree. 239-949-6262

LEE COUNTY’S ORIGINAL FAMILY PUBLICATION FOR 25 YEARS!!

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21 WEDNESDAY 10:00 a.m. Hello Yellow Exhibit. Experience yellow on every level at this free, public exhibit in The Cuthbert Studio Gallery. Located at Naples Art Association, 585 Park St., Naples. Call 239-262-6517 x100 for details. 2:00 p.m. Holiday Cookie Decorating. Visit our cookie table and decorate two cookies for the holiday, while supplies last. All ages welcome. Registration is not required. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Avenue, Naples. Call 239-262-6853 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 3:00 p.m. Winter Wonderland. Kick off the first day of your school vacation with a winter craft. Ages 5-11 years. Registration required. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or check public. collier-lib.org for additional information.

22 THURSDAY 3:00 p.m. Holiday Cookie Decorating. Drop-in to decorate cookies (while supplies last). Ages 3 years and older. Registration is not required. Located at Marco Island Branch Library, 210 S. Heathwood Dr., Marco Island. Call 239-394-3272 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 5:00 p.m. Family Movie Night. Enjoy a great movie and a holiday treat with your family and friends at your East Naples Library. Movie will be announced later. All ages. Registration is not required. Located at 8787 Tamiami Trail East, Naples. Call 239-775-5592 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information.

24 SATURDAY 9:00 a.m. Holidays Without Hunger. Join over 2,000 volunteers this Christmas Eve and pack half a million meals for our neighbors in need right here in SWFL. Located at Harborside Event Center, 1375 Monroe Street, Fort Myers. Call 239321-8110 or check www.harborsideevents.com for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Sensory Friendly Screening of Sing. The lights are up, the sound is down and you are totally free to move around. Located at Paragon Pavilion Theaters, 833 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples. Call 239-596-0008 or check www. paragontheaters.com for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Santa’s Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise. Bring the family and cruise out among the dolphins to sightsee and then visit with Santa on Picnic Island, where

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he’ll be waiting with gifts for all the kids. Photos of your little ones on Santa’s lap will be provided for free. Located at Port Sanibel Marina, 14341 Port Comfort Rd., Fort Myers. Call 239-472-8443 or check www.adventureinparadiseinc.com for additional information.

LITTLE PEOPLE’S SCHOOL • For 2-5 year olds 868 94th Ave. N, Naples (239) 597-5064

26 MONDAY 8:00 a.m. Greater Naples YMCA Basketball Camp. The Greater Naples YMCA Basketball camp is led by YMCA staff members and will focus on the fundamentals of basketball in addition to strategies to improve your child’s overall game. Kids will learn the tactics, skills, rules of the game, fitness concepts, and character development. Located at Greater Naples YMCA, 5450 YMCA Rd., Naples. Call 239-597-3148 or check greaternaplesymca.org for additional information. 5:45 p.m. Hanukkah Celebration. The Jewish Federation of Collier County presents a Chanukah Celebration on the lawn at Mercato. There will be a latke eating contest, live concert, candle lighting, free crafts at the kids corner, and food available for purchase. Located at Mercato, 9128 Strada Pl., Naples. Call 239-5949400 or check www.mercatoshops.com for additional information. 8:00 p.m. 42nd Street. Through Sunday. Located at Artis-Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Call 239-597-1111 or check artisnaples.org for details.

27 TUESDAY 5:00 p.m. Sensory Night at C’MON. C’mon provides Sensory Nights for children on the autism spectrum and or with other sensory integration disorders. Limited participation in order to minimize crowds, and registration is required. Located at Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, 15080 Livingston Rd., Naples. Call 239514-0084 or check www.cmon.org for additional information. 5:00 p.m. Chanukah and the Chocolate Factory. Free admission and Chanukah Willie Wonka t-shirts (limited supply). The lighting of the Giant Chocolate Menorah, Oompa Loompa Latkes, Golden Tickets, rock climbing, tempting treats, and more. Located at Cambier Park, 755 8th Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-262-4474 or visit www.chabadnaples.com.

28 WEDNESDAY

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6:00 p.m. Art After Hours. Enjoy free admission to The Baker Museum the last Wednesday of each month from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. A local band offers musical entertainment and audiences of all ages are welcome to view the galleries and learn from our docents. Located at Artis-Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. Call 239-597-1111 or check artisnaples.org for additional information.

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2:30 p.m. New Year’s Craft. It’s almost 2017! Decorate a mask or a hat to wear New Year’s Eve, and enjoy a sweet treat in the bargain. Ages 5-11 years. Registration required. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information. 5:00 p.m. Walk at the Promenade. Located at Promenade at Bonita Bay, 26795-27911 South Bay Dr., Bonita Springs. Call 800-799-0178 or check www. promenadeshops.com for additional information.

30 FRIDAY 2:00 p.m. The Search for Santa Paws. First come, first seated. All ages. Registration is not required. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or check public.collier-lib.org for additional information.

31 SATURDAY 6:00 p.m. New Year’s Eve on Third. Bring in the New Year on Third Street South with hats, favors and fun. Located at Third Street South, , Naples. Call 239-4346533 or check info@napleschamber.org for additional information. 7:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve Fireworks. Find a spot along Naples Beach for the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks, blasting off from Naples Pier. Located at Naples Pier, 25 12th Avenue, Naples. Call 239-213-3062 or check www.naplesgov.

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HOLIDAYS

Lighting up Your Holiday EVENTS AND NEIGHBORHOODS WHERE THE LIGHTING DISPLAYS ARE THE STAR OF THE SHOW.

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e may not have snow to get us into a holiday mood but Naples is no stranger to awesome holiday lighting displays! There are several neighborhoods that are perfect for a slow drive. You’ll also find beautiful displays at a few of our shopping areas. We’ve also included a few spots for the kids to visit and have photos taken with Santa Claus. Make a thermos of hot chocolate, grab a handful of candy canes, buckle in the kids, and head off for an enchanted evening of holiday fun! NEIGHBORHOODS Palm River. Located off of Immokalee Road between Airport and Goodlette, Palm River is usually nicely lit with a few houses that go all out. Pelican Bay. Many of the ungated neighborhoods of Pelican Bay are brightly decorated for Christmas. Enter at Pelican Bay Boulevard and meander around. The association decorations are especially pretty and make excellent photo backdrops. Port Royal. This very upscale neighborhood off Gordon Drive in south Naples offers brightly lit, beautifully decorated large homes. Victoria Park. Located in North Naples off Airport Road (about one mile south of Immokalee), Victoria Park has some of the most over-the-top holiday lights displays in town. The biggest displays 38

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are usually on the side streets. Many of the streets have matching decorations (arches, tree, candy canes) lighting the way. Victoria Park has a luminaria display on Christmas Eve that attracts thousands. Be prepared for a VERY slow drive and huge crowds. Willoughby Acres. Another North Naples neighborhood, Willoughby Acres is located off Immokalee just north of Palm River. In previous years almost all houses have been lit. ON THE WATER Bonita Springs Boat Parade. The Bonita Springs Holiday Boat Parade is Saturday, December 10 at approximately 5:00 p.m. This year the parade starts at The Fish House Restaurant on Bonita Beach Road. For more information call 239-495-0455 or check www.bonitaboatparade.com. Cape Coral Holiday Boat-A-Long. The focal point of this event on Saturday, December 17 is a parade, which starts at 7:00 p.m., of approximately 100 boats decorated in a festive holiday fashion. Located at Four Freedoms Park on Cape Coral Parkway, the festival, which starts at 4:00 p.m., has food, music, crafts for the kids, performances by local students, and a visit from Santa Claus, along with the parade. You can also watch as the boats line up in Bimini Basin for the parade which first passes by the park’s beach before heading down various canals. Immediately following the boat parade, there will be a free screening of the movie “A Christmas NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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Story” in the park. For additional information, call 239-549-0558. 28th Annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade. 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 3. The parade will pass though Matanzas Harbor and the first two canals of Siesta Isles. For more information, visit www.fmbboatparade.com. 27th Annual Marine Industries Christmas Boat Parade. The “Super Hero” boat parade will start at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 10 on Naples Bay. The parade may be viewed from: Pincher’s Crab Shack, Riverwalk Restaurant, Naples City Dock, Naples Landing, Kelly’s Fish House, The Boat House Restaurant, and Bayview Park. Call 239-682-0900 for details. Village on Venetian Bay Boat Parade. This Village tradition will be held on Tuesday, December 13 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A twinkling procession of boats will make its way down Venetian Bay starting at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy live holiday entertainment, a snow show, face painting, balloon art, holiday carolers, stories with Mrs. Claus, and a special appearance by Santa Claus. For more information, check www. venetianvillage.com. COMMERCIAL LIGHTING DISPLAYS 42nd Annual Christmas Walk and Tree Lighting Ceremony. This annual tradition on Fifth Avenue South features local choral groups, dance troupes, and school and church choirs on Thursday, December 1 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy festively decorated storefronts and windows, twinkling lights, and stores open late with holiday cheer. Don’t miss Santa and Mrs.

Claus as they pose for photos and hand out candy. Call 239-692-8436 or visit www. fifthavenuesouth.com for details. Celebration of Lights. On Friday, December 2 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the public is invited to join the fun in the outdoor winter wonderland in Ave Maria, including a town parade, outdoor ice skating rink, 260 foot-long zip line, rock wall, spider mountain bungee and vertical climb, 35-foot-high fun slide, polar extreme obstacle course, festive food and beverages, photos with Santa, and live performances by local schools and organizations. Call 239-262-2600 or visit www.avemaria.com. Edison & Ford Holiday Nights. The historic buildings and acres of gardens at Edison Ford are decorated with lights and holiday decorations, and live music is performed nightly. Enjoy holiday tradition tours, Santa visits (on select nights), evening river cruises, and food. Holiday Nights runs through January 1 (closes at 2:00 p.m. on December 24). Check the website at www. edisonfordwinterestates.org for additional information. Night Lights 2015 Holiday Celebrations at Naples Botanical Gardens. Naples Botanical Gardens turns into a beautiful holiday wonderland December 15-23; December 26-30; and January 2-4. Your family will enjoy live musical performances, family activities, and festive sweets and treats. New this year, Night Lights in the Garden will include Origami in the Garden, a seasonal exhibit lit especially for the evening event. The 25 playful large-scale works of art will be on view each evening during Night Lights in the Garden. For ticket information, visit www.naplesgarden.org.

SANTA CLAUS Coastland Center Mall. Through December 24. Make a reservation to see Santa and spend less time in line. Reservations and photo purchases are not required to visit Santa. Regular Hours: Monday to Saturday, 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Special Hours for December 16-23, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Christmas Eve, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (break from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.). Santa may take occasional breaks to feed his reindeer. Call 239-262-2323 or visit www.coastlandcenter.com for additional information. Bass Pro Shop’s Santa Wonderland 2016. Gulf Coast Town Center. Through December 24. Free 4x6 picture with Santa and free personalized digital Christmas card (additional photos available for purchase). Santa is available for photos Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday (and Christmas Eve) from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Get a free Bass Pass while supplies last to skip the line. Free crafts and children’s activities, including Lincoln Log building area, laser arcade, remote control trucks, foam toy area, and more. Please check store for crafts and activities schedule. For more information, visit www.basspro.com or call 239-461-7800. Miromar Outlets. Photos with Santa are available now through Friday, December 23. Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. In Suite 67, next to Neiman Marcus Last Call. Children, families, and pets welcome. Visit www.miromaroutlets.com or call 239-948-3766.

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BIRTHDAYS

By Katy M. Clark

10 Tips on Making Your December Baby’s Birthday Party Special

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hen my daughter was born on a snowy December night, I was overwhelmed with love. I remember cuddling with her as my husband and I listened to Christmas music. We found an ornament in the hospital gift shop with her name on it. We dined on a Christmas dinner that year that someone else prepared. Having a baby in December? It was better than I expected. Fast forward 10 years and seven birthday parties later. December birthdays can be sweet, but they can be hard when it comes to throwing birthday parties. Luckily, I have years of experience and 10 tips to share that will make your child’s next December birthday party as fun and stress-free as possible. Top 10 December birthday party tips 1. Plan in advance. Everyone is busy during the holidays. There are gifts to buy, parties to attend, and special activities at school. I recommend picking a date for your party a month ahead of time, if possible. 2. Be flexible with your date. Every year our town hosts a holiday parade on the Saturday closest to my daughter’s birthday. Everyone goes so we usually have her party the following weekend to avoid competing. 3. Consider piggybacking on a special event. Once we took my daughter and her friends to a trick-or-treat with Santa event. Children visited businesses in a shopping center collecting candy or toys before visiting with Santa. The treats served as their goody bags (bonus!) and afterwards we celebrated with cake at our house. That party was one of the easiest and most fun we’ve had. 4. Think right before or after the holidays. I have found that if you can wait until the weekend before Christmas kids are ready to attend a birthday party. By 40

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then, they’ve already visited Santa, had their school party, performed in the holiday play, etc. Same goes with right after New Years. All the holiday excitement is gone and kids are bored – and available. 5. Skip the week between Christmas and New Years. Not only is it both Hanukkah and Kwanzaa this year, but people are traveling or entertaining relatives then. 6. Prepare your child that not everyone can come. One year a friend couldn’t come because she was celebrating the holidays with her grandma early. However, it’s no different from at other times of the year. My oldest child has a summer birthday and someone is always on vacation. 7. Go full-out birthday party mode. Yes, Christmas music blares from every stereo and the stores offer gifts galore for Hanukkah’s eight nights. That makes it even more important to celebrate with a standard birthday cake and typical birthday party decorations.

8. Someone may double-up on a birthday/holiday gift. Most kids don’t do this. Usually, the two-for-one gift is from a relative. It’s not the end of the world. 9. Give yourself a pep-talk. I’m not going to lie. Planning and throwing a birthday party amidst all the other things you have to do during the holidays is hard. But, we are moms. We are nothing if not strong! 10. Remember it is your child’s special day, no matter where it falls on the calendar. I like to remind people of this fact whenever I hear, “It must be so hard having a birthday in December.” Throwing a birthday party during the holidays? It can be done. And, if you keep these tips in mind, it can be a happy birthday indeed. KATY M. CLARK is a writer who embraces her imperfections as a mom at ExperiencedBadMom.com. She lives with her family in Michigan. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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ABC Swim School

Survival swimming lessons for babies & toddlers 6 months to 4 years old in your backyard pool in Naples.

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TRAVEL By Karen T. Bartlett

In Search of Santa, Elves, and Rudolphins

I

don’t know about you, but for me there’s something about December that evokes thoughts of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Dolphin, taking a zip-line ride with Santa, seeing the banyan tree all sparkly with lights, and renewing my Reindeer Driver License. Yes, I really have one. I got it on a reindeer farm at the North Pole – the one on the Arctic Circle at the tip-top of Finnish Lapland, which is where the Real Santa lives. Canada and Alaska dispute that claim, and Sweden also begs to differ. But I’ll get to that in a minute. Santa himself showed up on his snowmobile to witness my reindeer road test on a snow bank deep in the forest. But first he had to hug every single reindeer in sight. My adorable young reindeer and I both put our prints on the official document. Way cool. I know it’s around here somewhere... North Pole, Finland If you have a spare week or two, I highly recommend you bundle up the kids and head up to meet The Real Santa Claus himself at one of his favorite North 42

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Poles, Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finland. Santa Claus and his elves make the toys at night so they can hang with kids during the day. You can visit the elves doing chores in their underground cavern, take reindeer sleigh rides and snowmobile rides, see performances, visit Santa Claus in his office (yes, there’s a HUGE book of children’s’ names), and lots more. For a few euros you can buy an official Niceness Certificate, signed by Santa Claus himself. santaclausvillage.info. North Pole, Sweden When you meet the Real Santa Claus in this magical theme park called Tomteland (Santa World), he explains that he moved from the actual North Pole a long, long time ago. In Santa World you can also meet his pet reindeer and miniature goats, along with elves, Sparkle the Winter Fairy, the elegant King and Queen of Winter, Gingerbread Woman, Julius the living Christmas Tree, lots of mischievous trolls in the Trollkingdom forest, and even a real live witch on a flaming broomstick. The kids will never forget this trip! tomteland.se.

North Pole, Canada If you want to write to the Real Santa and get a letter back, the address is simply, Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada HOH OHO, according to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. You wouldn’t dispute the PM, would you? North Pole, Alaska Any Alaskan will tell you that the Real Santa lives at 325 Santa Claus Lane, North Pole, Alaska, 99705. Santa sends and receives hundreds of thousands of letters from here each year. If you’re in the Fairbanks neighborhood between now and December 31, pop in to meet the Old Elf himself in the red and white gabled Santa Claus House. You can’t miss it. It’s the one with the world’s largest Santa statue (42 feet high) and living reindeer at the entrance. santaclaushouse. com. Closer to home If you had more of a one-day holiday adventure in mind, here are some of my favorites just a short drive from home. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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Holiday Express Train, Lakes Regional All aboard the mini train, with a real engineer. You’ll chug through decorated miniature villages, into a forest and through the spectacular lighted tunnel. Along the way are cartoon character inflatables and decorations. The train runs all year, but the Holiday Express runs through the end of December. 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers. Holiday Nights, Edison & Ford Estates The month-long magic starts with the grand illumination of the massive banyan tree at the entrance. There’s nightly entertainment, holiday tradition tours, evening Caloosahatchee River cruises, and twinkling lights all over the estates. Santa will be there too. Check the website for dates and times. edisonfordwinterestates.org. Sanibel and Captiva, Holiday Style Sanibel and Captiva Islands do the holidays to the max. We love the totally goofy parade of golf carts disguised as everything from a gingerbread house to our friend “Rudolphin.” Don’t miss the lights at Tween Waters Inn. On Holiday Stroll nights at South Seas Island Resort, kids can visit with Santa and make s’mores and ornaments. captivaholidayvillage.com. Santa’s at The Shell Factory Every day of the year is Christmas at the Shell Factory and Nature Park. There are rooms and rooms of trees and decorations. There’s a mailbox to send letters to Santa, and he answers them all. Kids 42 inches high or taller can win a drawing for

Left: Santa and his reindeer in Lapland. Above: Rudolphin in the Golf Cart Parade at Captiva Holiday Village. Photographs by Karen T. Bartlett. Below: Waltzing Waters during Holiday Nights. Photo courtesy of Edison & Ford Winter Estates.

a ride on the zip line with Santa. Check his scheduled times and dates, as children must be present at the drawing to win. shellfactory.com. Island Adventures Treat your out-of-town guests to a unique holiday adventure with one of these ideas from my new family guidebook, A (mostly) Kids’ Guide to Sanibel & Captiva Islands and the Fort Myers Coast. Pirate Cruise You and your grown-up mateys get sworn in as pirates to sail aboard the Spanish galleon, Pieces of Eight, along with its

scurvy crew, Poop Deck Pappy, Peg Leg Meg, Pick Pocket Pete, and the rest. There are hilarious games, face painting, pirate grog and grub, secret treasure maps, and plenty of pirate booty. Salty Sam’s Marina, Fort Myers Beach. floridapiratecruise.com. Calusa Ghost Tour Calusa John will take your group through the deep dark mangroves and tell stories about the ancient Calusa Indians. He even brings along weapons and masks. Several launch locations. calusaghosttours.com. Sea Life Encounter Hop aboard the big yellow Adventures in Paradise catamaran and sail to a desert island to seine for all kinds of creatures in the soft sea grass. You might catch a tiny shrimp or crab, a king’s crown shell with the creature still inside, or even a live seahorse! On the boat ride, watch for dolphins jumping, and see what the naturalists scoop up in their big nets. Departing from Port Sanibel Marina, Fort Myers. adventureinparadiseinc.com.

KAREN T. BARTLETT is Travel Editor of Neapolitan Family. She is the author of 11 destination travel books, and publisher of the award-winning book, A (mostly) Kids’ Guide to Naples, Marco Island & The Everglades. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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HOLIDAYS By Anna Snyder

Too Much Stuff?

Here are several ideas for pulling backs on gifts this year and instead focusing on family and the reasons for the season

A

re you searching a way to give meaning and structure to your family’s holiday gift-giving? When it comes to gift giving during the holidays, we want to show love to one another and make the time spent with our families special and memorable. This can be a difficult task for parents, and with all of the special events the season brings, purchasing and giving gifts adds a dimension of stress that many of us would love to alleviate. In seeking out various perspectives from parents, I have a few fantastic ideas to share with you about holiday gift giving – ones that will (hopefully) encourage you during the upcoming season. The Wise Men and Their Three Gifts Adam Meistrell, a Naples native, and his wife, Monica, have four children ranging in age from eight years old to eight months old. When their first child was about three months old, Monica read an article in a magazine sharing various holiday traditions. “The article talked about a family who only gave three gifts to each of their children, in keeping with the theme of the three gifts the wise men gave Jesus after he was born,” she says. “I was instantly drawn to this idea. It was the beginning of November, and I had already begun receiving enormous toy advertisements and gift guides. I already felt overwhelmed by the idea of my child (and future children) presenting me with long

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lists of items they wanted. I needed an alternative.” The Meistrells began the three gifts tradition with their oldest daughter, who was five months old on her first Christmas. “My children don’t know any differently, and so they don’t complain that they only get three gifts each Christmas,” she says. “We aren’t overwhelmed by huge quantities of stuff, and I’m not overwhelmed with the task of purchasing a lot of items.” The idea of giving three gifts, Monica explains, is based on how the

how the wise men presented Jesus with three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh, Monica explains. “The gold gift we get each one of our children is a present they really want. The frankincense gift is a spiritual gift, because frankincense was used in worship at the altar, and myrrh is a gift for their bodies, such as clothes or athletic equipment. On Christmas morning, we read the Christmas story from the Bible, and when the story talks about the wise men, we open our gifts.” Another Naples couple, Jose and Courtney Silva, also hold to this three gifts tradition with their three kids (ages 14, four and one). “For us, it keeps things simple,” Courtney says. “It keeps us on a budget, and our family is less focused on gifts and more focused on the birth of Jesus.” Courtney and Jose have been keeping to this tradition for three years. “I put pressure on myself to make sure gifts I give are perfect, and I struggle to remain focused, and that is one of the reasons I chose to start and continue to uphold this tradition,” Courtney explains, and points out that with fewer gifts, her children are able to better remember their gifts. “Putting the gifts into a frame of reference makes it easier for them; it creates more of a memorable experience for them.” Want, Need, Wear, Read Another method of gift giving focuses on giving children four presents: one gift they want, one they need, one gift to wear, and one to read. Casey Nance, and her NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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husband, Matt, parents of two girls ages nine and five, began this tradition of giving last Christmas. “We wanted to teach our kids a spirit of gratefulness and contentment,” says Casey. “We didn’t want their focus to be about what was in it for them, and I wanted the focus to be on our family. The previous Christmas, the children would discard one gift just to move onto the next, and without any acknowledgment or appreciation. I also didn’t want to be racing around and stressing about buying a lot of gifts.” How did Casey’s daughter’s react to the idea of receiving four gifts on Christmas morning? “We set the expectation ahead of time,” she says. “Around Thanksgiving, we discussed how the gifts were going to be given. Since the expectations were set early, we never heard any complaints. The simple outline of giving made selecting the gifts easier. I wasn’t trying to come up with things I thought they might like, and throughout the year, I think about things that fall into each category.” I asked about the impact this tradition has had on their family. “I am not stressed about making everything perfectly even between my girls. And Matt and I have found that the fewer the gifts, the more appreciative our girls are for them. Our ultimate hope is that our children learn true contentment and focus on the real gift of the season: Jesus.” Another Naples mom of two girls aged one and three, Sarah Wilhoit, heard about this way of gift giving through a friend in South Carolina. “I was pregnant with our first child at the time,” Sarah says. “My husband and I thought that it was a great way to keep things in perspective around the holidays. Our kids are so young and really don’t know any different, so it has been an easy tradition to start for our family.” The benefits Sarah experiences resonate: “I love to buy gifts for other people, and I tend to go a little overboard with my shopping, so this helps me to stay on track and reminds me that Christmas isn’t just about giving and receiving presents.” A local grandmother of four, Sherry Break, holds to this tradition with her grandchildren, who range in age from four years to 12 months. “I wish I would have known about this when my children were young. I was overwhelmed with all of the gifts my grandchildren were getting, and they were too! This simplifies the Christmas season and keeps me on track.” NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2016

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Ideas for Chanukah Gift Giving For those who celebrate Chanukah – December 24 to January 1 this year – giftgiving traditions are varied. Rabbi Adam Miller of Temple Shalom shares his perspective on gifting during Chanukah: “The growth of the gift giving industry for the winter holidays has expanded exponentially in recent years. I often talk with parents and grandparents who feel overwhelmed by the materialism that now dominates the mainstream society around these celebrations.” As for Rabbi Miller’s own family, “My children look forward to receiving their own gifts, as well as the ritual of lighting candles

“My children don’t know any differently, and so they don’t complain that they only get three gifts each Christmas.” – Monica Meistrell each night at Chanukah. They each have their own menorah, and we all appreciate the symbolism of adding light during the darkest time of the year.” The Miller family also takes one night each year to give to others. “Our three boys receive gift cards to purchase gifts for children in need. They pick out gifts, and then we take them to an organization like Toys for Tots or Grace Place. We teach our children about gratitude and remind them that there remains injustice in the world.” Anna Solomon, the Director of Congregational Education at Temple Shalom, and her husband have three boys, aged 17, 13, and nine. Her family takes time around Thanksgiving to choose a theme for each of the eight nights of Chanukah, and the gifts for each night revolve around family activities and experiences. It varies from year to year, but they often do a movie night, a video game night, a mini-vacation spanning

two nights of Chanukah, a night of giving to those in need, and one night where they each receive one gift they really want. “We try to make it about our family spending time together as much as possible,” she says. “We assign different nights to different family members,” says Daryl Sissman, a mom of three. “One night gifts are from parents, another night gifts are from grandparents, and so on. One night the kids receive money to donate to a charity of their choice.” She and her family also focus on experiences and time together over material gifts. “My in-laws love to give experiences. Sometimes it involves camping in the backyard or going on an outing together.” Rabbi Fishel Zaklos and his wife, Ettie Zaklos, of Chabad Jewish Center of Naples do not give their children gifts on Chanukah. “Our children are still gifted an excess of toys, books and games,” says Ettie Zaklos, “but they do not receive these gifts particularly during the eight days of Chanukah. Chanukah is about remembering the miracle of how the Jews were saved in ancient Israel. It has always been a time to celebrate with family, light the Menorah, and recognize the true gifts in our lives.” The Zaklos family’s tradition “is to follow the original Jewish custom of giving our children ‘Chanukah gelt’,” Ettie explains. “The chocolate coins immediately come to mind, but gelt is actually just the Yiddish term for money. By giving the children some coins or dollars, they have ownership of their gift and learn the meaning of giving charity of their own money (traditionally 10%), while still having something for themselves that they can then purchase and enjoy.” Gift-giving at Christmas and Chanukah is a way to celebrate, show our love for one another, and create memorable, special family experiences. Rabbi Miller adds, “Whatever holiday you celebrate, know that it is a blessing to experience happy moments in our lives. A blessing made even more special when we share that joy with others, to lift up their spirits, and make the world around us just a little brighter.” ANNA SNYDER has a degree in English and Secondary Education from Wheaton College. She and her husband, Jim, have a daughter, Windley. Anna is passionate about writing, cooking, running, and playing the piano. neafamily.com

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Neapolitan Family December 2016  

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