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CORRECTION: "Napoleon Dynamite" star Jon Gries will appear July 30 at a Mighty Mussels game in Fort Myers. The Mussels changed the event date earlier this year, and a previous version of this article included the old date.
Go karts. Cycle-pub parties. Country-music superstars. Zombies.
If you’re looking for things to do this summer in Southwest Florida, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve been writing about entertainment options all year long. In case you missed them, here are some of our top things to do this summer in the Fort Myers/Cape Coral area (along with links to the original articles).
Party on a Cycle Co. bike pub
Grab your booze-filled Tervis cups and get ready to pedal: Bike pubs are back in downtown Cape Coral.
Party-bike business Cycle Co. reopened in March after shutting down just five months before. A new owner has taken over the business.
The covered, pedal-powered "cycle pubs" operate as a sort of bar on four wheels (yes, we know: That technically makes them quadricycles, not bicycles).
As many as 14 people can drink and pedal around downtown Cape Coral, stop for drinks or music at bars and restaurants, and then hop back on the bike to visit the next destination. Passengers bring their own booze.
Tickets are $25 each. For more information, call (800) 956-6212 or visit thecyclecompanies.com.
Race go-karts and bowl at FastTrax
After being dark for more than a year, the former Zoomers amusement park revved back to life last summer under new owners and a new name: FastTrax Entertainment.
The renovated fun park includes new videogames, go-karts, carnival rides, an expanded kitchen and a duckpin bowling alley. Unlike Zoomers — which catered mostly to kids — FastTrax also hopes to attract adults.
The renovated park's biggest attractions include its duckpin bowling alley and two go-kart tracks. Duckpin bowling is a first for Southwest Florida, the new owners say. It uses smaller bowling balls, smaller pins and a shorter, 24-foot-long lane.
For more information, call 481-9666 or visit fasttraxftmyers.com.
Catch a show at Hertz Arena
Hertz Arena has a summer’s worth of big-name shows heading to Estero — from concerts to kids shows to the WWE. Two of those shows might be out of many people’s price range, though.
Reggaeton legend Daddy Yankee plays the arena Aug. 28, followed by country superstar Luke Bryan on Sept. 29. But the remaining tickets for both concerts aren’t cheap. They start at $475 for Daddy Yankee and $180 for Bryan (the Bryan ones are all verified resale tickets).
Thankfully, most of the other shows are much more affordable. Tickets for country star Dierks Bentley, for example, start at $31, and there are plenty of seats still available. Bentley brings his Beers on Me Tour to Hertz Arena on Aug. 18, along with opening acts Ashley McBryde and Travis Denning.
Other summer shows at Hertz include the wrestlers of the WWE (July 16), “Trolls LIVE!” (Aug. 6-7) and Texas tejano/norteño band Intocable (Sept. 10).
Big shows heading to Hertz: Daddy Yankee farewell tour, Dierks Bentley, 'Blippi the Musical'
Shake your booty with The Calendar Girls
The Calendar Girls have been dancing at festivals and other events all over Southwest Florida for 17 years. Now the team of all-women, retirement-age dancers stars in the new documentary “Calendar Girls.”
The movie recently saw its Southwest Florida premiere at the Fort Myers Film Festival, and it’s expected to hit theaters and streaming services sometime later this summer.
But you don't have to wait for the movie: You can catch the Calendar Girls dancing every week at events in Naples, Fort Myers and the rest of Southwest Florida.
Meet the Calendar Girls: Senior dancers get SWFL movie debut at Fort Myers Film Fest
Stand up to vandalism with Ukraine exhibit
It started with two artists painting two murals supporting war-torn Ukraine. Then someone vandalized those murals.
That changed everything.
Within a month, Southwest Florida artists rallied for a second, even bigger mural exhibit at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers: At least 20 new murals, all with a Ukraine theme. The outdoor exhibit is a joint project between the Alliance and the Fort Myers Mural Society.
The Alliance’s executive director, Molly Deckart, said she couldn’t stand idly by after one or more vandals threw paint on those first murals in early April (the vandals haven't been caught). So the Alliance commissioned the new works.
“The cowardice of destroying somebody’s art — public art — was infuriating to me,” Deckart said. “And I just thought, ‘Well, if you’re gonna throw paint on two, you better get ready to throw it on 20.’”
The exhibit remains open through July 4. Learn more at artinlee.org/event/muralproject.
‘We come back even stronger’: After vandals, defiant Ukraine exhibit opening in Fort Myers
Ride the Fort Myers Water Taxi
Fort Myers Water Taxi gives people a new way to visit downtown Fort Myers and the restaurants, bars and various attractions in and around that area. All with the added beauty of seeing the city from the waters of the Caloosahatchee River.
The water-taxi service started in February with these three stops:
Pinchers Crab Shack at The Marina at Edison Ford, where the boat starts and ends its route;
Marinatown Yacht Harbour, including Sea-Craft Waterfront Tiki and Nauti Parrot Tiki Hut;
And the North Fort Myers Best Western hotel, including nearby Three Fishermen Seafood Restaurant.
In May, it added a fourth stop in downtown Fort Myers, giving people water access to the River District and its many shops, restaurants, bars, and attractions. That includes Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Florida Repertory Theatre, and the new Caloosa Sound Amphitheater.
$ 15-day passes are sold at the boat. They're first-come, first-served.
To learn more, call 400-9179 or visit at ftmyerswatertaxi.com.
Rock out with Ted Nugent
The Motor City Madman will flex some “Detroit Muscle” this summer in Southwest Florida.
Hard rocker Ted Nugent plays Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in south Fort Myers on July 17. Tickets are $31-$74.
The part-time Naples resident is known for his outspoken conservative views, high-energy concerts and rock hits that include '70s songs “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Stranglehold" and 1990s songs “High Enough” and “Coming of Age" (both with the supergroup Damn Yankees).
The show is part of Nugent’s Detroit Muscle 2022 Tour in support of his new album, “Detroit Muscle.”
Other upcoming Mann Hall shows include comedians Kurtis Conner (June 10), Theo Von (June 24) and Jim Gaffigan (Sept. 23-24) and two Gulf Coast Symphony concerts featuring music from popular musicals (July 23 and Aug. 20).
For more information, call 481-4849 or visit bbmannpah.com.
Gulf Coast Symphony’s Mann Hall season: Rock, doo-wop, circus acrobats and more
Meet wrestler Jerry Lawler and “Napoleon Dynamite” star Jon Gries
Uncle Rico, himself, meets fans and sign autographs July 30 during a Mighty Mussels baseball game. Actor Jon Gries played the character in the cult 2004 movie “Napoleon Dynamite,” and he’s also appeared on “Lost,” “Seinfeld,” “Martin” and other TV shows.
The appearance is part of a summer’s worth of promotional events at Hammond Stadium. Other highlights include post-game fireworks shows, several beer fests and a meet-and-greet with wrestler Jerry Lawler (June 18).
Most events are free with game admission. Learn more at milb.com/fort-myers/tickets/promotions.
Fort Myers Mighty Mussels unveil promos: Miracle throwbacks, Carole Baskin
Laugh at Hitchcock’s “The Birds”
Lab Theater takes on Alfred Hitchcock’s movie thriller “The Birds” and adapts it into a zany parody (June 3-July 22). The world premiere features adult language and raunchy humor.
Lab also hopes to break a Guinness world record for the most birds — in the form of marshmallow candy Peeps — in one theatrical production.
Hitchcock’s thriller about murderous birds seemed ripe for the parody treatment, said writer/director Annette Trossbach.
“When you decide to write a parody, you're looking for scenarios that are already melodramatic,” she said. “If you give them one more little shove into melodrama, you are in comedic territory. 'The Birds' is perfect for that.
“You've got thousands of birds, some of which the lead characters believe are purposely trying to take over the human world. You've got an impulsive, mischievous leading lady, the hunky all-American guy, the townspeople ready to sacrifice outsiders. This show will be a camp, over-the-top homage to 1960s thrillers!”
Lab Theater isn’t the only theater offering an escape from the summer heat. Other shows include '80s glam-metal musical “Rock of Ages” at Broadway Palm (now through June 25), the classic “A Chorus Line” at Fort Myers Theatre (June 18-26) and the fairytale musical “Into the Woods” at new Cape Coral community theater The Belle Theatre (Sept. 16-25).
To learn more about “The Birds,” call 218-0481 or visit laboratorytheaterflorida.com.
Lab Theater’s new season: ‘Sweeney Todd,’ a wacky ‘The Birds’ parody and more
Fight zombies, robots at Gator Mike's
Strap on some virtual-reality goggles in the fun park’s new Virtuix Omni Arena and battle zombies, pirates, robots and more. It’s a first-of-its-kind attraction for Southwest Florida, according to Gator Mike's management.
It’s not like the VR video games you play at home, said Jose Maldonado, a Gator Mike’s employee who helps run the new arena. You don’t have to worry about accidentally hitting the furniture or a friend, for example.
Cape Coral's new VR arena: Fight zombies, robots and more at Gator Mike's attraction
Instead, you’re strapped into a harness inside a protective, hoop-like “Omni ring” that holds you in place. So all you have to worry about is zombie killing.
“It really puts you into the game,” Maldonado says. “You can really just get into it. You can start running and swinging like there’s a zombie right in front of you. It’s so much fun.”
The approximately $150,000 arena is part of the renovated video-game arcade at Gator Mike’s. All 45 arcade games are completely different from what was there in 2019, said owner Chris Scuderi.
Other changes are coming soon to Gator Mike's, too, including plans for a new drive-in movie theater and a Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant.
Learn more at gatormikes.com.
Connect with this reporter: Charles Runnells is an arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on Facebook (facebook.com/charles.runnells.7), Twitter (@charlesrunnells) and Instagram (@crunnells1).
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: 10 summer things to do in Cape Coral, Fort Myers: Go karts, concerts, etc.