Towering oak trees and a sun-kissed waterfront surround the historical Burroughs Home & Gardens, providing comfortable blankets of shade and cool breezes while exemplifying the reverent collaboration between classic architecture and the natural world. The 1901 Georgian Revival mansion—once the setting for a silent 1920s reality show starring businessman Nelson Burroughs, his wife Adeline, and their glamorous daughters, Mona and Jettie—currently facilitates tours throughout its parlors, dining rooms, and sweeping verandas.
Guides share anecdotes from the family's journals and oral histories and point out examples of such turn-of-the-century luxuries as indoor plumbing, electricity, and steam-powered Nintendo. In keeping with the grounds' esteemed history, the public can also arrange to schedule weddings and social events like those that once hosted members of the Fort Myers elite, including the Edisons, Fords, and Firestones.
Stingrays, dinosaurs, and faux hurricanes can all be found at the Imaginarium Science Center, which soaks spongy young brains in knowledge via hands-on exhibits and 3-D movies about the natural world. Families can observe moray eels and other marine life in the Window to the Sea aquarium, or reach out to gentle stingrays in an open tank. Several daily shows with live animals compete for attention with a dino dig where patrons learn how archeologists excavate fossilized bones using nothing but the power of their minds. Kids can emulate their favorite sports heroes in the Sporty Science Arena simulator, then imitate their favorite TV weather-reporting heroes as they witness a simulated hurricane.
J.C. Cruises welcomes fete-ready sailors aboard a 600-person paddlewheeler for a three-hour cruise of the Caloosahatchee River enlivened by music, dancing, and a cash bar. Two climate-controlled enclosed decks encourage partygoers to mingle without fear of being caught in sudden anvil showers, and an open deck facilitates manatee spotting and cigarette breaks. Sips and snacks from a cash bar (not included with this Groupon) fuel the night of wave-top revelry as guests embrace the holiday spirit by hobnobbing with new friends or bear-hugging the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Soni Anderson has been a yoga enthusiast since infancy. As a baby in the Fiji islands, she received yoga massage from her grandmother while her grandfather danced and performed stories from ancient Hindu texts. Today, as a teacher and co-founder of SoniYoga, she strives to combine her grandfather's playful mindset with the therapeutic customs of her homeland, working with her husband and co-founder David, a fellow Yoga Alliance instructor.
Though SoniYoga's focus is on Hatha yoga, certain classes also incorporate restorative, Kundalini, and yin and yang postures. A serene atmosphere of acceptance welcomes students to challenge themselves each time they visit, whether they wish to push the boundaries of their flexibility with a more advanced pose or by practicing in a restrictive suit of armor. Soni also channels her holistic upbringing by offering ayurvedic counseling, products, and massage services which can help customize a wellness plan for clients based on their body type.
For its serendipitous 13th season, Florida Rep hails the new decade with a heart-warming yet humorous yarn from Tom Dudzick, the author of Florida Rep fan favorites Greetings! and Over the Tavern. The family dramedy, King O' the Moon, revisits the topsy-turvy lives of Over the Tavern's Pazinski family, who have (mostly) survived the idealistic ’50s only to come face to face with the mutating landscape of the turbulent ’60s. Those who missed the first installment won't feel left out as they set their eye globes toward the stage to watch the pandemonium that ensues when the intractable Vietnam War and Apollo 11's famous moon landing begin to hit home in this stand-alone sequel. The production features performances from reliable Florida Rep standbys Carrie Lund as recently widowed Ellen and Mark Chambers as Walter Fronzak. The production also features newly minted players, including Jason Parrish, Adam Jones, Jacob Womack, and Claire K. Guy.
At Yanos Restaurant, chefs glean inspiration from global pantries to plate dishes that have been lauded by Florida Weekly as “artful presentations comprised of first-rate ingredients.” Chefs augment the flavor of grilled duck breast with jicama slaw and black-bean puree and coat soft-shell crab in a crispy tempura batter. The wine list is equally broad in scope, with bottles hailing from Spain, South Africa, Germany, and Andromeda.
Yanos Restaurant’s sleek, wood-floor interior complements its contemporary fare: track lighting illuminates a Warhol-esque pop-art print of Marilyn Monroe and powder-blue and yellow walls. Outside, next to a palm-tree-lined cobblestone street, sturdy canvas umbrellas provide shelter from the elements.