Jul 182014

fountain of youthThrough August 29, Florida educators with a school ID or paystub from an educational institution can get free admission to theFountain of Youth park in St. Augustine. The deal is part of the Florida Educators Appreciation Summer offerings and represents a savings of $12 over regular admission. The park is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Jul 182014

RAMRiverside Arts Market will be in full swing Saturday, with plenty of opportunity to soak up fresh air, buy fresh produce and listen to a mix of blues, reggae and folk entertainers. Check out Chillakaya 1 from noon to 2:15 p.m. on the River Stage.

The market is bustling every Saturday morning beginning at 10 a.m.  Visitors come to the plaza under the Fuller Warren Bridge for live entertainment, crafts, artists, gourmet packaged foods and onsite refreshments. A stop at the RAM food court is highly recommended. The free fun goes on until 4 p.m.

Jul 032014

Thumbnail for 13157Just because you’re having a stay-at-home Fourth of July weekend doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun.  Although Hurricane Arthur has brought a few drizzles to the First Coast,  there are still plenty of places to watch the rockets’ red glare. 

St. Augustine is planning a celebration befitting the nation’s oldest city: A free big band concert with The All Star Orchestra brings swing music to the Plaza de la Constitution from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by fireworks over the Matanzas Bay at 9:30 p.m.  Restaurants downtown will have extended hours, so instead of sitting in traffic after the pyrotechnics, just grab a seat at a local eatery and enjoy the Independence Day specials.

The City of Jacksonville’straditional downtown fireworks show will go on, on the St. Johns River, with plenty of good viewing spots on both the North and South Riverbanks.  The show begins at 9:45 p.m. However, beginning at 5 p.m., there’s family fun (with face-painting, inflatables and other activities) at The Shipyards, music at The Landing, and hands-on fun by MOSH at Friendship Fountain.

If you’d rather watch fireworks by the sea, the Jacksonville Beach display begins at 9 p.m. and can be seen from Atlantic Beach to South Jax Beach.

On Amelia Island, you can party all day at the Stars and Stripes Freedom Festival, at Central Park in Fernandina Beach, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The 4th of July Parade is at 7 p.m. on Centre Street, followed by patriotic music at 8:30 p.m. and fireworks over the river at 9 p.m. 

Of course, all the festivities are free!

Jul 022014

mike shackelfordThe latest edition of the Atlantic Beach Songwriters’ Concert series is Sunday, July 6 at Adele Grage Center from 6 to 8 p.m.  Doors open at 5:45 p.m. You can bring one or two original songs and perform in an intimate theater setting, or you can grab one of the seats and listen to local talents.   Local musical icon Mike Shackelford hosts. (Contact him at if you plan to perform.)

Jun 232014


megalodonGet your jaws flapping over Megalodon, the largest shark that ever lived, at the Museum of Science and History on Jacksonville’s southbank. The exhibit, featuring a replica of the 60-foot prehistoric shark, goes on through September 14. Entry to MOSH is $5 on Fridays, which is 50-percent discount over the usual adult entry fee.  Also on Fridays — the museum is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

MOSH is at 1025 Museum Circle, Jacksonville, 904-396-6674.

Jun 232014

frozen posterCelebrate hump day with free Movies by the Bay at the City Marina in St. Augustine. Every Wednesday evening at 8:30 p.m. families and friends can pull up lawn chairs and blankets to watch family-friendly fare, courtesy of Ripley’s attractions and the City of St. Augustine Municipal Marina.  June 25, Turbo will be featured, followed by Frozen on July 2.  The weekly film nights go on until August 13, when the series closes with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.Ripley’s Red Train Tours offers a free shuttle to and from the marina from the VIC train stop.

Jun 182014

Wild Wonders, an introduction to the furry and amphibious creatures that inhabit the Dutton Island Nature Preserve, as well as some critters from around the globe, will be held Saturday, June 21, at 11 a.m, with educator Mike Rossi.  Bring the kids to the Dutton Island Pavillion at the end of Dutton Island Drive for this free, hands-on experience that covers animal behavior, feeding and habitat.  Wild Wonders is sponsored by the City of Atlantic Beach.