The all-free, all-fabulous Jacksonville Jazz Festival begins this Friday, May 24 and goes through Sunday, May 26, with live performances on multiple stages downtown, including sets by the Yellowjackets, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Trombone Shorty. There’s also a new Jazz After Dark feature at participating restaurants and bars on Saturday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Click here for a full schedule and details.
Every third Thursday of the month from 5 to 9 p.m., strollers through Atlantic and Neptune Beach can peruse handmade jewelry, photography, paintings and crafts from more than a dozen artists, plus enjoy live music and specials offered by participating North Beaches Art Walk merchants. Start your walk at the Adele Grage Cultural Center in Atlantic Beach, then take a shuttle bus to Beaches Town Center for the rest of the fun.
The Jacksonville Senior Expo takes place May 15 and 16 at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. Admission is free, and visitors can access city agencies, businesses that cater to seniors and health and wellness info. Plus, entertainment–including all-seniors dancing groups–will be included. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.
Riverside Arts Market will be holding the Spring Arf Barket this week, May 11, with a Pooch Parade, a doggie splash pool and pet costume contest. The market–with many vendors and a juried art show–is bustling every Saturday morning beginning at 10 a.m. Come out to the plaza under the Fuller Warren Bridge for live entertainment, crafts, artists, gourmet packaged foods and onsite refreshments. Definitely make it a point to stop at the food court. The free fun goes on from until 4 p.m.
Flowers not enough? Give Mom a whole garden to behold.
To take advantage of a free event, log on to the National Public Gardens Day website.
The site offers a sign up section to receive vouchers for free entry at participating venues for National Public Gardens Day, May 10. May 10 also is the start of Mother’s Day weekend.
Several venues in Florida are participating in the program.
- Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales
- Botanic Garden at Lakes Park in Fort Myers
- The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville
- Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables
- Heathcote Botanical Gardens in Fort Pierce
- Miami Beach Botanical Garden in Miami Beach
- Montgomery Botanical Center in Coral Gables
- Naples Botanical Garden in Naples
- Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee
- The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai Resort in Key Largo
- University of South Florida Botanical Gardens in Tampa
It’s the first full weekend of the month, and that means Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers can visit museums free through the bank’s Museums On Us program. Just show your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card Saturday or Sunday and you’ll get free admission to more than 150 museums and attractions in cities across the United States.
If you’re traveling, you can also get free entry to other Florida museums in Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, West, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
Get your batsuits or web-throwers ready. The inaugural ComicCon at the Beaches will be held May 4 at the Beaches Branch Library from 2 to 5 p.m. Contests, games and an opportunity to create your own comic hero will be among the activities at the free event. Superhero Beach comic book shop on Third Street is a sponsor.