Four Fantastic Charity Events – Where to See and Be Seen in Season 2024

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Naples is packed with opportunities to see and be seen, but what’s more fun than attending a great party that benefits a fantastic local cause?

The sheer number of fundraisers and charity events during season in Naples is dizzying, and 2024 is no exception. Not all charity events are open to the public, however, and not all events are created equal. In this post we’ll preview four upcoming charity events – the Naples Winter Wine Festival, Cars on Fifth, Zoobilee and Hats in the Garden.

How did we pick these events amongst the sea of opportunities? These four events are ones that we’ve attended in the past, and, quite simply, they are a handful of the most fun events that we’ve attended in Naples. This year we plan to attend Zoobilee and Hats in the Garden so we hope to see you there! As always, if you book a luxury Naples vacation home though Naples Florida Rentals, Dana is available to offer customized recommendations for dining and entertainment.

Now…on with the show!

Naples Winter Wine Festival – Friday January 26th to Sunday January 28th

    • Date: January 26-28, 2024
    • Location: The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
    • Cost of Tickets: $17K+ for 2
    • Benefits: The Naples Children & Education Foundation

While tickets to the three-day event are pricey, the Naples Winter Wine Festival deserves a spot on this list due to its sheer magnitude and the cause it serves. The Naples Winter Wine Festival stretches over three days of events at the Ritz-Carlton Tiburon and is often viewed as the epitome of in-season fundraising. Exclusivity and luxury is key for this weekend of exquisite tastings, gourmet dining, and live auctions. The combination is a winning one for the festival – in 2023 the auction raised nearly $26 million for the Naples Children & Education Foundation, helping to improve the lives of underprivileged children in Collier County.

Tickets are available for the entire event only, but there’s more than one way to participate. Bidding on online auction items opens this week on January 19th and the auction closes on January 30th at 5PM. Unable to make the date but interested in the experience? This year’s pre-festival wine dinner is being held for a select group of 40 at the always-excellent Bleu Provence on January 25th. To sample some of the wines that will be included in the dinner, dine in at Bleu Provence’s delicious French restaurant or pick up a bottle at their extensive wine cellar next door. There’s a discount on cases of wine in-store, so, pick up a bottle or two, contribute to the Naples Children and Education Foundation here, and have your own unique Naples Wine Experience from the comfort of your couch in one of our luxury vacation rentals.

Cars on Fifth – Saturday February 3rd

Cars on Fifth is the most accessible event on this list due to size (they won’t run out of tickets), price ($35 for adults), family-friendly-ness (youth tickets are $10 and you can walk your dog down 5th Avenue) and timing (arrive any time between 10AM-4PM and stay as long as you want).

    • Date: February 3, 2024
    • Location: Fifth Avenue South, Naples
    • Benefits: Saint Matthew’s House

Car enthusiasts unite each year on Fifth Avenue South as it is transformed into an automotive paradise with Cars on Fifth. This charity event showcases a stunning display of classic and exotic cars, attracting collectors and enthusiasts alike. Beyond the gleaming chrome and rare collectables, the event supports St. Matthew's House, an organization dedicated to providing food, shelter, and a path to recovery for those in need.

We have attended the event many times in the event, and I highly recommend going towards the end of the day so that you can watch the massive parade of luxury cars exit 5th Avenue at the conclusion of the event.

Zoobilee – Friday February 9th

    • Date: Friday February 9th, 2024
    • Location: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
    • Benefits: Naples Zoo
    • Tickets: $150 regular, $250 VIP available here

Zoobilee 2024 promises a night of wild fun in support of wildlife conservation. Set in the beautiful Naples Zoo, attendees walk between the animal exhibits while enjoying animal encounters, live entertainment, and delectable cuisine. Funds raised contribute to the zoo's efforts in wildlife preservation and education, ensuring a brighter future for the diverse species it cares for.

Zoobilee dispenses with the usual formalities of an evening charity event (skip the sit-down dinner and live auction) and gets straight to the fun. What’s better than a glamourous night out where you get to sample of some of the finest dining in town, meet new friends and see the zoo after-hours? This year you can try out outstanding new restaurant Bicyclette (see our recent review here) and New England newcomer Kelly’s (featured in our post here). Personally, I’m excited to sample what’s new from La Playa’s Baleen Restaurant because I haven’t had a chance to visit since their post-Hurricane Ian reopening last summer.

Hats in the Garden – Wednesday March 20th

    • Date: March 20, 2024
    • Location: Naples Botanical Garden
    • Tickets: Not yet available. Website is here.
    • Benefits: The Naples Garden Club

This year marks the 20th Hats in the Garden, which combines elegance and philanthropy, inviting guests to showcase their most stylish hats amid the breathtaking scenery of the Naples Botanical Garden. The event supports the Naples Garden Club and the Garden's mission to connect people with plants, nature, and the environment. Attendees can expect a day filled with fashion, floral displays, and a commitment to fostering environmental stewardship.

Each year, Hats in the Garden features a renowned designer during the event’s fashion show. This year attendees will view a collection by Carolina Herrera while enjoying lunch under a tent. Included with your ticket is the welcome Champagne Reception in the Garden at 11AM, Luncheon and Fashion Show at 12:15PM and Afterglow Party at 2PM. 

Philanthropy and Fun

Combining philanthropy and fun is one of the things Naples does best. As Naples, Florida, prepares to host this wide range of exceptional charity events, the community eagerly anticipates the opportunity to come together for a good cause. Whether you're a wine connoisseur, a car enthusiast, a wildlife lover, or someone with a passion for fashion, these events offer a chance to make a positive impact while having fun. Save the dates, mark your calendars, and book your luxury vacation rental today with Naples Florida Rentals.