Florida Events for September 2020
Whatever your passion, Florida has something for you. Here are just some of the major events (both outside and virtual) scheduled in the Sunshine State. Please check individual websites for more details:
NATURE CONNECTS: ART WITH LEGO BRICKS AT FLAMINGO GARDENS – Outdoors is the way to go these days and you will thoroughly enjoy this exhibit. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the craftsmanship of 13 displays created by more than half a million LEGO bricks, all nestled throughout the Arboretum at Flamingo Gardens. Some of the creations include a deer with a doe, a peacock, a monarch butterfly on a milkweed plant, a hummingbird on a trumpet flower and an eight-foot long dragonfly with a wingspan to mach. Yes, it’s outdoors, but you’ll still need to mask up.
When: Now through Sept. 13
Where: Flamingo Gardens, Davie
FLORIDA LOBSTER SEASON – There’s the mini season that lasts two days and the regular season that lasts eight months. The start of the regular season means that this is the time when restaurants can start serving up delicious lobster creations. An annual Lobsterfest in Key West scheduled for August was canceled due to Covid-19. But you can still go catch the crusty crustaceans and enjoy great lobster meals prepared in a variety of ways. There are good tips on how to catch the critters at the website below.
When: The regular season starts Aug. 6 and runs through March 31, 2021.
Where: All over Florida
DINE OUT DOWNTOWN DELRAY RESTAURANT MONTH – This event has been extended from one week to the entire month of August. You’ll discover a wide array of culinary experiences providing visitors the opportunity to enjoy great lunches and dinners in the downtown area. As of press time, indoor dining (at 50% capacity) was available. You can also eat outdoors and do take-out orders. Another change is that there is no one set fee, with participating restaurants setting their own lower-than-usual prices. There will be Happy Hour and brunch specials and demonstrations, such as pizza making, sushi rolling and creating cocktails.
When: Aug. 1-31
Where: Various restaurants in downtown Delray Beach
THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE & CARDED MINIATURE MASTERPIECES EXHIBITS – Two completely different exhibits under the same roof are opening at the same time. The former is a solo exhibition by celebrated artist Lesley Morrow and expresses the feminine experience through contemporary portraiture that has included both famous and iconic women, capturing the strength she sees in these women and their faces. The second one features small works of art that are only two and half by three and a half inches in size. Miniature art has been in existence for centuries, tracing its heritage back to illustrated manuscripts of scribes in the Far East and Europe.
When: Aug. 7-27
Where: Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center, Fort Myers
LLGF SCREAMIN’ REELS TOURNAMENT – Enjoy a weekend of learning and a non-intimidating, fun competition with the Ladies Let’s Go Fishing (hence LLGF) tournament. Choose an optional charter experience or fish from your own boat. This is a casual tournament with prizes for heaviest offshore fish and longest inshore fish. There will also be drawings for prizes for everybody who catches a fish.
When: Aug. 14-16
LIGHTHOUSE SUNSET TOUR – Climb to the top of a lighthouse and take in spectacular sunset views. You’ll also get an inside look at the nuts and bolts of a working lighthouse watch room. Tours are limited to 10 people and face coverings are required. Children have to be 48 inches tall and be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are required and have to be purchased online. Paid attendees will receive a free Tommy Bahama voucher, good for an appetizer, drink or dessert at the Harbourside Jupiter restaurant.
When: All four Wednesdays in August (5th, 12th, 19th and 26th)
Where: Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, Jupiter
MONTH-LONG VIRTUAL PARTY CELEBRATING HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH -- The folks at Miami Children's Museum have curated a wide variety of virtual activities that celebrate Hispanic culture. Take dancing lessons from Diana of the MiChiMu Theatre Troup, learn how to make arepas and tostones in cooking classes, learn how to speak Spanish, make musical instruments, create beautiful Panamanian molas and etch like the Nazca Lines (a group of large geoglyphs made thousands of years ago in the soil of the Nazca Desert in southern Peru).
When: Throughout September
Where: From the comfort of your own home
Web: miamichildrensmuseum.org/events (click on 2020 September events)
ART IN THE GARDEN – It is the 10th edition of this event and features, as always, sculptures by local artists spread throughout a beautiful botanical garden and tropical forest. The sculptures are all made of recycled and/or natural material, such as wood and stone. There will be some covid-19 restrictions, such as limited access and attendees will be asked to wear face masks. Fun fact: It’s the only frost-free tropical garden in the continental United States.
When: Now through Aug. 31
Where: Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden
J.N. “DING” DARLING WILDLIFE REFUGE – You can still drive, hike or bike through the four-mile wildlife drive every day. (Except Friday, to give wildlife a day off!) The Indigo Trail and the Bailey Tract are the trails still open. Sightings can include a large variety of wading birds and shorebirds, raccoons, marsh rabbits, alligators and occasionally otters and bobcats.
When: Any time
Where: J. N. “Ding Darling Wild Life Refuge, Captiva Island
OUTDOOR EVENTS AT EDISON FORD WINTER ESTATES – Two events are planned for September:
• Strolling in the Moonlight – It has been scheduled to coincide when a full moon is near. Visitors will be able to stroll the grounds at their own pace and can walk onto the porches of Thomas Edison’s and Henry Ford’s winter homes.
When: Sept. 1
Where: Edison Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers
• Summer Nights at Edison Ford – Visitors will be treated to music on the Ford lawn and have a chance to see a spectacular sunset over the Caloosahatchee River.
When: Sept. 18
Where: Edison Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers
Various Covid-19 measures will be in place for both events. Check the website before attending.
HEROES SALUTE WEEKEND – Military, fire rescue, police and medical personnel will be honored at this annual Labor Day weekend gathering. On Friday, there’s a Family Fun Night with an outdoor movie, face painting and games. Saturday during the day you can see vehicles, equipment and literature for the Coast Guard, fire department, Sheriff’s department, Secret Service and the Border Control. Saturday night features live entertainment, the Heroes Tribute and a fireworks show. On Sunday night, there’ll be more live entertainment and the All American BBQ with games and contests.
When: Sept. 4-6
Where: Hawks Cay Resort (Although you do not have to stay there to attend)
Web: Floridakeysheroes.com for event details and hawkscay.com/covid-19 for requirements regarding staying safe while attending
REEF’S UPPER KEYS LIONFISH DERBY – You can have a whole lot of fun and help control this extremely invasive species at the same time. Prizes are awarded to teams catching the most, biggest and smallest lionfish. The public is invited to watch the scoring, taste free lionfish samples and ask questions about lionfish. There’s usually a fun-filled festival, too, but that’s canceled due to Covid-19. But you can still go deep and go after those lionfish!
When: Sept. 11-13
ANNUAL SWIM FOR ALLIGATOR LIGHTHOUSE – If you like long-distance swimming, the one’s for you. And you’ll be helping to raise awareness of the need to preserve the treasured, historic off-shore lighthouses along the Florida Keys. Since 2013, swimmers have been doing the eight-mile round trip from Islamorada to the Alligator Lighthouse and back.
When: Sept. 12
PAUL ARSENAULT GARDENS ART EXHIBIT – Many of the contemporary impressionist’s paintings can be seen, with most of them featuring the 170-acre paradise that is Naples Botanical Gardens. There are also some other paintings of other famous gardens from around the world. Arsenault often paints at the Naples garden, so you might just see him if you also explore the grounds in addition to attending the exhibit. The exhibit is indoors, so admittance is limited and masks are required. The exhibit is included with the regular admission to the garden.
When: Now through Nov. 8
Where: Kapnick Hall, Naples Botanical Garden, Naples
SOUTH FLORIDA VIRTUAL EVENTS
INTERNATIONAL BALLET FESTIVAL OF MIAMI – You'll still be able to see some great ballet performances, just not in person. There will be 18 pre-recorded performances available for viewing and three live performances available via streaming. Companies from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the USA will be featured. Also included will be free online master dance classes and five more pre-recorded dance films from the festival’s archives.
When: Aug. 15-Sept. 13
Where: From the comfort of your own home!
VIRTUAL FEAST WITH THE BEASTS – The first 23 of these yearly fundraisers for Zoo Miami were held in person, but due to Covid-19, this one's going virtual. Get ready for some wild animal encounters and celebrity appearances by Shaquille O’Neal, Gloria Estefan, KC (of KC and the Sunshine Band) and ESPN’s Dan LeBatard. There will be a special musical performance by Latin Grammy Award winning artist Nestor Torres. Viewers will also be able to enjoy interactive rooms that will include chef demonstrations, DJs and beverage mixology sessions. The digital and silent auction will have a wide variety of items including sports memorabilia and beautiful wildlife photography by the zoo’s Ron Magill.
When: Aug. 28
Where: Virtually, at Zoo Miami in Miami
FORT LAUDERDALE SCAVENGER HUNT: BY THE NEW RIVER – Download an app and take this self-guided scavenger hunt. It will be easy to social distance and there are no inside locations. Walk from landmark to landmark to discover art, culture and history. Search plaques, statues and art to solve riddles that can only be found on location.
When: Any day you want, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Along the New River in Fort Lauderdale
THE VIRTUAL BASS – No, not the fish, the museum. Access all the interactive educational resources The Bass has to offer from your home via the museum’s virtual tour and video series. From virtual tours of select exhibits to thought provoking artist interviews and talks, there’s something for all to enjoy. If you’re interested in additional art-inspired home activities, check out @BassCreativityCenter on Instagram
When: At your convenience
Where: The Bass Museum, Miami
FORT LAUDERDALE VIRTUAL RECREATION CENTER – You’ll find free, fun and educational activities and resources for people of all ages. Visit the center often or follow the city’s social media channels for a variety of instructor-led classes, at-home activities and great ideas to keep you and your loved ones healthy, entertained and informed.
When: At your convenience
Where: Anywhere you are
#THEPLAYGROUND – The Miami-Dade Parks Recreation and Open Space department will present interactive videos you can watch from anywhere in order to enjoy the county’s parks. Videos will include fitness classes, tours of the parks and interactions with Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill. Programs change often, so check the web site below for updates.
When: At your convenience
Where: Anywhere you are
LIVE TURTLE CAM – Learn about sea turtle conservation and rehabilitation via a live turtle cam. The newest patient is Te Fiti, a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle that was found in St. Lucie with a deep wound on its right front flipper. The wound is being treated with antibiotics and topically with honey and a therapeutic laser.
When: Whenever you want
Where: Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Juno Beach
STATE PARKS OPENING! – As the state undergoes various stages of reopening, so are most of the Sunshine State’s beautiful 175 state parks. The parks folks have been busy during the closings, repairing hundreds of buildings and other facilities and treating large patches of invasive exotic plants. Parks Director Eric Draper is looking forward to visitors returning and enjoying the parks while demonstrating proper safety procedures. At parks where camping is offered, there may also be measures in place such as reduced density. Meanwhile, if you can’t make it in person, check out the “Parks from Anywhere” program, a web-based way for you and your family to learn more about Florida’s wildlife and includes coloring sheets, park webcams and other activities.
Where: Throughout Florida
A NIGHT (OR DAY) AT THE MUSEUM – The Nova Southeastern Art Museum in downtown Fort Lauderdale allows you to peruse its world-renowned contemporary art with a virtual tour. Check out the current exhibition "Happy!” It’s meant to spark joy and a range of emotions with its floating cloud balloons and colorful rainbows. The museum is encouraging virtual guests to select a piece that resonates with them and then share how it makes them feel with a friend or loved one.
JUDITH LEIBER: MASTER CRAFTSMAN, A VIRTUAL TOUR – This exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Florida at Florida International University in Miami honors the life of the late Holocaust survivor-turned mega handbag designer Judith Leiber. It features photographs, biographical information and, of course, some of her gorgeous ornately beaded handbags. She made handbags go viral – on the red carpet and off – long before social media even existed. Madonna, Beyoncé, Katie Perry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez and Blake Lively are just some of the current A-Listers who have worn her bags, as did Greta Garbo, Barbara Walters and former First Ladies Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton.
When: Now through mid-August
FLORIDA REP STAGE@HOME SERIES – After canceling the remainder of the 2020 season, the Florida Repertory Theatre has begun this new weekly program, hosted live on Zoom and streamlined to Facebook each Friday. The shows will feature a panel of experts and theater artists talking about a different aspect of producing professional theater.
Where: Florida Repertory Theatre, Fort Myers
FROST SCIENCE @HOME – This new digital platform learning series presented by the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami is perfect these days, with children having to stay home and not go to school. It gives visitors the opportunity to explore free educational resources, videos, DIY science activities and behind-the-scenes content. It also offers a 360 degrees exploration of a museum’s top exhibitions and a close look into the world of its resident rehabilitated loggerhead turtle, Miko. The museum also offers virtual tours of its current exhibits.
ARSHT@HOME – Stay connected with Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center, the arts and one another. You will be able to unleash your create your own masterpiece with your family, alongside local teaching artists. Watch as Miami actors perform monologues from your favorite plays and musicals. Sing along to Spotify playlists curated by staff members and artists from across Miami. “Living Room Live” gives front-row access to intimate performances by Miami musicians. The “From Our Resident Companies” (ballet, opera and symphony) program will keep you entertained while staying safe at home.
KRAVIS @HOME – The Kravis Center has launched its digital stage, featuring a line-up concerts, dance performances, lectures, dramatic play readings, arts educations activities for kids of all ages. New experiences are added every week so be sure to vist often.
DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK – Dive a shipwreck, swim through the third-largest coral reef in the world and tour a Civil War-era fort. You can do all this without leaving home, thanks to the virtual tour of this this secluded, 100-acre national park that sits 70 miles west of Key West. One of the most awe-inspiring sights at the park is the historic Fort Jefferson and its natural beauty that just might inspire a trip there in the future.
THE HENRY MORRISON FLAGLER MUSEUM -- Experience this National Historic Landmark in Palm Beach, as you take a virtual tour of Whitehall, Henry Flagler’s Gilded Age estate that was built in 1902. The mansion is 100,000 square feet and has 75 rooms. You’ll see some of the rooms on the first and second floors of the museum, the Pavilion, the library, the music room, the billiard room and several bedrooms.
VIZCAYA MUSEUM AND GARDEN – This beautiful estate of former agricultural industrialist John Deering on Biscayne Bay in Miami gives visitors a glimpse into a unique part of Miami’s history. Your virtual tour of this National Historic Landmark allows you to explore the grounds of the waterfront East Terrace, formal gardens (including the Orchidarium), ground floor of the estate, as well as the rooms along the north, south and east galleries.
BONNET HOUSE MUSEUM & GARDENS VIRTUAL AND VINTAGE TOUR – This is a beautiful and serene sanctuary across from the beach in Fort Lauderdale. If you’ve never seen it, take this virtual tour, which includes a four-part video series. The vintage videos offer special tours inside the home, historic lore told by the late Bonnet House owner Evelyn Bartlett and Irene Hart (who as a child lived at and near the Bonnet House) and extended clips from the Bartletts’ home movies. It’s a way to relive much simpler times, until the home reopens for tours.
BILTMORE HOTEL VIRTUAL 360 TOUR -- Wander through the historic Biltmore Hotel in Miami without leaving the comfort of your couch. Featuring a sizable library of 360 degree panoramic views, the Biltmore’s virtual tour takes you through the shared guest areas, including the Main Lobby ballrooms, the Palme D’Or Restaurant, the Fontana Courtyard and the iconic pool. And if you’re planning a conference or meeting once everything gets back to normal, some of the hotel’s meeting spaces are covered in the virtual tour.
When: Now through Dec. 31
ART DECO WEEKEND AT HOME – One of the highlights of the annual Art Deco Weekend on Miami Beach is the lecture series at Wolfsonian-FIU. The theme of this year’s weekend celebration and the lecture series was “Sheroes: Woman Who Made a Difference.” You can hear all seven of the lectures. Some of the subjects include publisher and artist Conrado Massaguer, trailblazing aviatrix Amelia Earhart, designer Hildreth Meiere, women architects of the Art Deco era and the fight for women’s suffrage.
When: Now through Dec. 31
PEREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI (PAMM) DIGITAL MUSEUM -- PAMM is open 24/7 via its Digital Museum, offering guided video tours of works from its permanent collection and special exhibitions, art-making activities for kids and art talks. “Virtual Local Views at PAMM” features Miami artists discussing works on view at the museum. The “Live Virtual Scholl Lecture Series” offers conversations with art world figures.
DEERING ESTATE VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS – The Learning Programs of the Deering Estate in Miami remain eager to continue the mission of delivering informal learning opportunities for students, through engaging hands-on/minds-on activities. This collection of virtual tours and trips would usually be offered to visiting field trip groups, and have been modified to provide an at-home experience.
When: Now through Dec. 31
CONCERTS FROM YOUR COUCH – Gobs of musical artists are streaming performances from their houses while they are practicing social distancing and that is great. But, the BB&T center in Sunrise has assembled a list of amazing full concerts from around the world that you can also watch from the comfort of your couch. Here’s the list: Lady Gaga, John Legend, Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Elton John, Queen, the Dead & Company and Linkin Park.
VIRTUAL TOURS WITH FLORIDA STORIES -- With history dating back centuries, Florida has many stories to tell. From Miami to the Panhandle, you can uncover the rich history of the Sunshine State with the Florida Stories app. It features story scripts written by history experts that are designed to increase your knowledge about local communities. The Florida Stories app is free to download on both the Apple Store and Android’s Google Play Store.
When: Now through Dec. 31
WYNWOOD WALLS VIRTUAL GALLERY TOUR – If you’ve already seen Wynwood’s graffiti-inspired walls and are hankering to see them again (and who wouldn’t want that?) or if you never have seen them, then check this out from the comfort of your own home. You can watch Wynwood Walls history unfold and witness the area’s transformation into a sprawling outdoor gallery featuring murals by internationally renowned artists.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: Wynwood district, Miami
HMM ON DEMAND – HistoryMiami Museum is, literally, a treasure. It has more than 37,000 three-dimensional artifacts that cover anything from prehistoric archaeological finds to 20th century Afro-Cuban folk art. You can see some of their exhibits on line and/or take advantage of the HMM on Demand program. Content for HMM on Demand changes every Thursday.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: HistoryMiami Museum
Web: historymiami.org/digital-museum for HMM on Demand and historymiami.org/online for the online exhibits
PALM BEACH COUNTY VIRTUAL CULTURAL EXPERIENCES, TOURS & CLASSES – Although many cultural organizations are closed, you can still enjoy what they have to offer. The broad categories are music and theater performances; history experiences and lectures; museum, art and gallery tours and lessons; science and nature experiences and dance classes.
Where: Various locations in Palm Beach County
LITTLE HAVANA LIVE – You will need Instagram for this one, but it’s certainly worth it. Every day at 4 p.m., you can hear live broadcasts about different aspects of life in Little Havana and its architecture, art, music, food, people, culture and history.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: Little Havana, Miami
VIRTUAL BLUEGRASS CONCERTS – Every once in a while the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach has live entertainment and such was the case back in April when two top blue grass bands were scheduled to perform. That, of course, was canceled, but you can still see the two groups perform. The headlining act was to be Grand Ole Opry members and multiple-Grammy award nominees Dailey & Vincent and the opening act was2019 International Bluegrass Association Entertainers of the Year Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers. The folks at Flagler have compiled a list of websites where you can watch both perform.
Where: Flagler Museum, Palm Beach
ZOO MIAMI’S ZOOCADEMY VIDEOS -- Yes, it is closed, but Zoo Miami is bringing the zoo to you with its new online program spotlighting resident wildlife and behind-the-scenes footage. The videos can be seen on YouTube and three new ones are posted each week. Some of the animals featured so far are giraffes, the Eurasian eagle owl, Galapagos tortoise, African elephants, Burmese pythons, black rhinos and the touching story of Hope, the first koala born in the zoo in more than 20 years, sharing tender moments with his mother.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: Zoo Miami, Miami
FGO GO – Every week, Opera lovers can settle in and enjoy a little bit of music courtesy of Florida Grand Opera’s online programming, newly designated as FGO GO. The company is company is creating a wealth of content so online viewers can enjoy all aspects of opera, such as highlights from Rigoletto and El Matrimonio Secreto (The Secret Marriage).
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: Florida Grand Opera, Miami
MIAMI SEAQUARIUM@HOME – Even while the Seaquarium is closed, you can explore the wonders of the ocean. The Kids Corner features activity sheets, fun facts and the Reef Ranger Apprentice program. Keep checking back as more activity sheets will be uploaded on an ongoing basis.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: Miami Seaquarium, Miami
O CINEMA VIRTUAL THEATER PROJECT– Until O Cinema opens again, you can still see new and exciting films from around the world. Some of the movies you can rent now are Spaceship Earth, Pahokee, Deerskin, The Infiltrators, The Times of Bill Cunningham, The Booksellers and Other Music.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: O Cinema, South Beach
VIRTUAL FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK – It’s a tradition in Delray Beach that has shifted gears due to the Covid-19 virus. It used to be in person, but now takes place on a virtual basis. Each month several downtown galleries create virtual tours with stories behind the art. This is your chance to explore them from the comfort of your own home.
When: First Friday of each month, probably through at least October, depending on conditions on the ground.
Where: Downtown Delray Beach
VIRTUAL CULTURE: MIAMI BEACH ARTS & CULTURE – Miami Beach brings the culture and arts to you with a recently launched virtual hub for the city’s countless online cultural experiences. Browse through for online art exhibitions, master theater workshops, live-streamed concerts, art salon programs and DIY art projects. Featured cultural institutions include The Bass Museum, the Wolfsonian, Miami New Drama, Miami Beach Urban Studios, New World Symphony, O Miami Poetry Festival, the Rhythm Foundation, Oolite Arts, O Cinema, Nu Deco Ensemble, Miami Jewish Film Festival, Miami City Ballet, Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Miami Design Preservation League, the Holocaust Memorial, Ballet Flamenco and the Jewish Museum of Florida. For updates on new virtual offerings, follow on Instagram using the hashtag #MBArtsAndCulture or sign up to receive weekly email newsletters.
When: Through Dec. 26
Where: Various locations in Miami Beach.
YOUTH FAIR FROM HOME – The annual fair had to be canceled this year, but it is going virtual and you can see a lot and stay safe at the same time. You can take virtual fair rides, do kid-friendly activities, visit the animal barn, see student exhibits and even try fair-food recipes.
When: Through Dec. 31
VIRTUAL CUBA LIBRE AND MOJITO COCKTAILS – Join Grace Della of Miami Culinary Tours as she goes on Zoom and prepares two of Miami’s most signature cocktails as she mixes in stories of the city’s history, culture and food. Be transported from the comfort of your own home to the tropics and feel the Miami-Cuban Spirit.
When: Thursdays through Sundays on an ongoing basis
JUNGLE ISLAND HOSTS WEEKLY #CHATSWITHCHATSFIELD – Every Thursday at 3:30 Dr. Jason Chatfield will be joined by such special guests as Rocco, a baby capuchin monkey, and Luna, a black and white lemur. Visit Jungle Island’s Facebook page on the designated day and time to watch the live stream on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Following Dr. Chatsfield’s presentation, Marisela Guitierrez will conduct the discussion in Spanish.
When: Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. through Dec. 31
Where: Jungle Island, Miami
FACTS ON THE TRACKS – The Gold Coast Railroad museum sends out interactive lessons that include facts about Florida railroad history, general railroad history and the museum’s history. Lessons begin with a video, text, a quiz and even a recipe.
When: Every two weeks on Fridays
Where: Gold Coast Railroad Museum, Miami
FLAMCAM AT THE EVERGLADES WONDER GARDENS – Who doesn’t like looking at beautiful flamingos? Well, now you can do that from the comfort of your own home, via the Flamingo FlamCam. Watch Amigo the Flamingo and the rest of the flamboyance (the official word for a gathering or flock of flamingos!) as they feed, preen and explore the flamingo lagoon and the beach. Other feathered friends, such as a white ibis and the gardens’ peafowl collection, including Picasso the Peacock (he’s the big blue one) and Prince Pierre (the white one). It’s best to check in at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the flamingos are fed.
When: 24 hours a day
Where: Everglades Wonder Gardens, Bonita Springs
JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE – Using interviews and rare archival footage, this film chronicles the recently-deceased civil rights icon’s 60 years of social activism and legislative action on voting rights, gun control, health care reform and immigration. Filmmaker Dawn Porter explores his childhood, his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957. In addition to interviews with Lewis and his family, the movie also features interviews with political leaders, congressional colleagues and other people who figured prominently in his life.
When: At your convenience.
Where: Streaming in support of Tower Theater in Miami
J.N. “DING” DARLING WILDLIFE REFUGE – #DingAtHome, established because of Covid-19, includes virtual experiences that all ages can enjoy from home. Keep in touch often with this ever-evolving web page. There are Wildlife Webcams to help you enjoy nature from your home. The Official Refuge Facebook page offers daily themed activity videos.
When: Any time
Where: J. N. “Ding Darling Wild Life Refuge, Captiva Island
NORTON FROM HOME – You can’t visit this West Palm Beach County museum at present but you can still see a whole lot that it offers. There are highlights of exhibits that appeared at the museum throughout the year before the closing, videos and podcasts of talks and behind-the-scenes features, activities inspired by the works of art and artists and you can explore highlights from the museum’s five curatorial departments (European, American, Chinese, Contemporary and Photography).
When: Whenever you want
ARCADIA SUMMER ANTIQUE FAIR – Go treasure hunting at one of the most well-known antique markets in Florida, which features more than 100 tables and tents offering a variety of goods, including old stamps, postcards, war memorabilia and vintage clothing. Stay the weekend and visit some of quaint Arcadia’s cafes and shops, many of which feature unique gifts and antiques as well.
When: Aug. 22
Where: Downtown Arcadia
WESTGATE SATURDAY NIGHT RODEO – Rodeo athletes from all over the southeast region hop aboard bucking bulls and horses to compete for top prizes in trick riding, barrel racing and bull riding, providing exciting entertainment for the whole family. Try your own hand at riding on the ranch’s wild mechanical bull, or head over the River Ranch Saloon for a fun, all-ages dance party.
When: Every Saturday in August
Where: Westgate River Ranch, River Ranch
DAYTONA BEACH BANDSHELL CONCERTS – The Daytona Beach Bandshell concert series returns with a “Star Spangled Summer” theme and some new distancing health protocols in place to keep its guests safe. Admission is now $2 but it includes a reserved chair. Check out cover bands playing the tunes of Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones, Foreigner and other classic rock favorites set against the beautiful backdrop of the east coast waves and surrounding park and shops.
When: Saturday evenings throughout August
Where: Daytona Beach Bandshell, Daytona Beach
DALI’S SACRED SCIENCE EXHIBIT – After reopening in July with new health protocols in place, this iconic art museum welcomed 54 fascinating prints and several mixed-media objects created during Dalí’s later period when the artist turned his mind to the scientific and the spiritual. As the Museum describes the five-suite exhibit: “In these rarely displayed works from the Museum’s vault, Dalí asserts the connection of science with the sacred, of word with image, male with female, the bodily with the divine.”
When: Throughout August
Where: The Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
TATER TOT THROWDOWN – Forget fancy charcuterie and fine dining. This free, family-friendly foodie festival honors the less glamorous – but totally delicious – fried potato puffs, also known as tater tots. More than two dozen gourmet food trucks will be providing at least one dish highlighting the spud delicacy while a DJ plays music and craft vendors peddle their wares at this pet-friendly downtown waterfront park.
When: Aug. 21
Where: Albert Whitted Park, St. Petersburg
SPIRIT OF WOODSTOCK – Set in the rolling hills of Brooksville, this camping-optional music festival gives guests plenty of space to spread out under the stars in tents if staying overnight and lots of roaming and dancing space while enjoying live music. Bring your kids, your dogs and your campfires supplies and connect with the great outdoors in the ‘70s spirit of Woodstock. Pack a few days of meals or purchase coffee, BBQ, vegan or vegetarian meals and other goodies from vendors on-site. There will also be yoga classes and children’s activities.
When: Aug. 14-16
Where: Sertoma Youth Ranch, Brooksville
SAFARI WILDERNESS TOURS – After several weeks cooped up at home, how fun does a romp through wild animal territory sound? Safari Wilderness offers tours across its 260-acre property that houses 450 animals representing over 50 different species including zebra, camels, ring-tailed and red-ruffed lemurs, red lechwe, nilgai, watusi cattle, as well as native Florida wildlife. The new social distancing guidelines are a plus that make for a more intimate touring experience.
When: Daily through June; reservations required
DRIVE-IN MOVIES – Drive-in movie theaters are enjoying a renaissance, catering to those who like to enjoy the group film-watching experience while also keeping a car’s length distance. The Central Florida region has a number of old fashioned drive-ins showing movies old and new, and patrons wearing masks can buy popcorn, soda and Twizzlers at the snack bars. Load up the family – some venues even allow pets – and check out some of the classics under the stars.
When: Five days a week to daily; check hours online
Where: Dade City, Ruskin, Lakeland, Ocala
Web: silvermoondrivein.com and ocaladrivein.info and joylandrivein.com and ruskinfamilydrivein.com
ST. PETE WING & CRAFT BEER FEST – St. Pete’s Albert Whitted Park allows for plenty of spreading out among the waterside locale, inviting guests to lounge on picnic blankets and lawn chairs to watch boats and private jets come and go. On the evening of Sept. 18, the park will also be hosting several food trucks and adult beverage vendors, as well as some arts and crafts tents and live music. The family-friendly event promises to serve up lots of delicious wings, BBQ, craft beer and sweet treats.
When: Sept. 18
Where: Albert Whitted Park, St. Petersburg
SEAWORLD’S FLICKS & FIREWORKS – Drive, dine and enjoy the nostalgia of a movie under the stars with SeaWorld’s park-and-view movie theatre, with the added bonus of a spectacular pre-show fireworks display. Guests can begin the night by purchasing dinner and treats from locally-sourced food trucks, then sit in the comfort of their vehicles and watch the exploding lights after sundown. Then the movie begins – either Toy Story 4, Grease or Moana, depending on the night – and if you get hungry again, the concessions stand is open all evening serving popcorn and soft drinks.
When: Sept. 4-6
Where: SeaWorld Orlando
SEPTEMBER VINTAGE MARKET – Antique collectors, decorators and shoppers looking for unique finds for their home or garden adore this monthly pop-up market filling 15,000 square feet of space with vintage treasures and one-of-a-kind artwork, furniture and clothing. For $5, get in a day early for first dibs inside the open and airy warehouse, or shop for free on Saturday and Sunday. Can’t make it in person? Check out the online market at vintagemarche727.com for a 24/7 array of shabby chic chairs, rustic tables, antique lamps, hard-to-find collectibles and fun conversation pieces.
When: Sept. 4-6
Where: Vintage Marche, St. Petersburg
LAKE APOPKA WILDLIFE DRIVE AUDIO TOUR – Go on your own mini-safari through the restored former farm fields of Lake Apopka North Shore, where you’ll find lots of native birds, turtles, alligators, bobcats, snakes and other wildlife, as well as spotting rare Florida plant species. The St. Johns River Water Management District created a cool audio tour, which you can access with your mobile device, as you drive along the 11-mile stretch and soak in the scenery and solitude.
When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from sunrise to sunset
Where: Lake Apopka North Shore farmlands, Orange County
CAMP WORDIER: A 1980s SLASHER MURDER MYSTERY – A murder mystery sleepover game for book nerds? This St. Petersburg-based literary group is bringing back its Camp Wordier weekend in which each guest is assigned a character and a series of clues. You take care of the KOA camping accommodations (reserve your spot early because camping is popular this year) and Camp Wordier arranges the mystery game, a group hike, arts & crafts, and other camp-type programming, as well as lunch and dinner on Saturday, breakfast on Sunday and a Camp Wordier t-shirt.
When: Sept. 12-13
Where: St. Petersburg-Madeira Beach KOA
REPTICON KISSIMMEE – This strange and slithery two-day reptile show and sale features live and unusual animals from around the world, with some just on display and some pets for purchase, as well as specialty products you can buy directly from the experts. Guests of all ages can learn more about these fascinating cold-blooded and exotic animals at live seminars and demonstrations. The event is held in a spacious venue and masks are required.
When: Sept. 26-27
Where: Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee
LUKAS NURSERY BUTTERFLY ENCOUNTER – This year-round butterfly and bird conservatory is a fun and memorable experience for kids and adults alike, offering up-close encounters with stunningly graceful butterflies, chirping finches, Chinese button quail and lots and lots of beautiful plants and flowers. Learn about butterfly gardening and life cycles from the on-site experts and feed these fluttering friends right from your fingertips before peak season ends in late September. Can’t make the trip? The nursery offers virtual tours via its YouTube channel: youtube.com/lukasnurserybutterflyencounter.
Where: Lukas Nursery, Oviedo
THE ESSENTIALS MARKET – Hyde Park Village’s popular outdoor market came up with a safe and distance-friendly way to reconnect its shoppers with their favorite regular vendors: With a five-hour, appointment-only event offering a selection of its most sought-after goods. Guests can register online for a 30-minute trip to pick up produce, baked goods, handmade soaps and skin products and other “essentials,” enjoying lots of space and free strolling while they peruse the vendors. Registration is free and all guests are required to follow CDC-recommended guidelines such as mask-wearing, hand-washing and distancing.
When: Sept. 6
Where: Hyde Park Village, Tampa
ZOOTAMPA AT LOWRY PARK’S DINOS ALIVE! – This larger-than-life, realistic dinosaur exhibit features more than 30 prehistoric species, animated and roaring in a wild, jungle-like setting. Check out the final week of the creatures’ visit and take part in a hands-on Dino Dig while you and your family learn about these roaming giants who once ruled the Earth, a lesson in extinction on its own. Special reservations for the exhibit, which can be booked online, are required.
When: Through Sept. 7
Where: ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Tampa
CENTRAL FLORIDA VIRTUAL EVENTS
VISIT THE DALI MUSEUM – Art lovers from all over the world have long enjoyed St. Petersburg’s fascinating Dali Museum, which has an astounding collection of over 2,400 Salvador Dalí works, including nearly 300 oil paintings, watercolors and drawings, as well as more than 2,100 prints, photographs, posters, textiles, sculptures and objets d’art. Now, anyone can view these works through a free 360-degree tour of the museum, as well as some special online-only exhibits and various tours, lessons, lectures, art classes and other stimulating activities for all ages.
FLORIDA AQUARIUM’S SEA-SPAN – Wondering what the Florida Aquarium’s penguins, sting rays, seahorses and a large Goliath grouper named Cleatus are up to while all the guests are away? Tune in to SEA-SPAN, the Aquarium’s new Facebook Live broadcast that keeps us connected to our underwater friends in Tampa until we’re able to return to pet the jellyfish and splash in the water park. Learn about conservation and get up-close insight into feedings, cleanings, care and other behind-the-scenes peeks. The videos are all posted on the Aquarium’s website.
When: Daily at 10 a.m.
GATORLAND’S SCHOOL OF CROC – If you’re into reptiles and other swampy creatures, be sure to check out footage of the daily feedings, encounters and other cool interactions at Gatorland, a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve located along South Orange Blossom Trail. Each morning at 10 a.m., the park airs “School of Croc,” which features fun up-close lessons on the resident gators, arachnids, wildcats, birds and more. Then check out the video blog posts, which are streamed each afternoon on YouTube.
When: Daily at 10 a.m.
Web: facebook.com/gatorland and youtube.com/channel
FLORIDA HOLOCAUST MUSEUM EDUCATIONAL SERIES – The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg is a historical gem, bringing awareness and enlightenment to visitors as it honors honors the memory of millions of innocent men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. Take a virtual tour of the museum and then tune in to its three-days-a-week interactive educational series on Facebook.
When: Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays
Web: flholocaustmuseum.org/virtual-tour and facebook.com/TheFHM
24/7 IN MY GARAGE VIRTUAL CAR SHOW – Car enthusiasts who love seeing classics and antiques can still get their fix with Lead Foot City’s free, innovative virtual car show, which invites collectors and mechanics to display photos of their restored classic Chevys, antique trucks, race cars and other vintage vehicles to preserve this well-loved showcase of Americana until it’s safe to gather to see the cars, in Brooksville, in real life again.
When: Thursdays and Fridays
LIVE FROM BUSCH GARDENS – While Tampa’s famous, safari-centric theme park is closed to visitors, see and interact love with animals, rides and other favorite exhibits and areas from a new vantage point. Busch Gardens has been taking its Facebook fans along to an elephant birthday party, snack time for sloths, a flaming flock walk, a ride on Cheetah hunt and more.
When: Multiple times weekly
SHINE MURAL FESTIVAL VIRTUAL TOUR – In recent years, St. Petersburg’s colorful urban murals have become internationally revered, in part thanks to the SHINE Mural Festival, which takes visitors on several stops via foot or bike. Now, you can enjoy the 90-plus murals from the comfort of your home, complete with vivid descriptions of the artwork, info on the artists and other fun facts.
FLORIDA ORCHESTRA CONCERTS – As a special treat to classical music fans, the Florida Orchestra is now broadcasting live recordings that you can enjoy while taking a bath or making dinner. Experience some of the more powerful moments from the Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series, which includes Ravel’s Bolero, Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and Mason Bates’ Mothership. If you miss a radio broadcast, no worries – the concerts will be shared on-demand 45 days after they air.
When: Thursdays at 7 p.m.
MOTE GOES #REMOTE – One of Florida’s top sea life research labs is aiming to keep its fans and supporters connected by offering a number of virtual events, exhibit tours and programs, as well as featuring live web cams so you peer into the daily activities of its resident sharks, manatees and otters. For parents teaching or entertaining little ones at home, Sarasota's Mote is hosting virtual story times, providing Google Classroom content and doing Wednesday livestream lessons. Check out the Mote’s various social media pages, which stay active with adorable animal photos, videos and behind-the-scenes tours.
RINGLING’S MUSEUM FROM HOME – While the Ringling’s beautiful gardens, museum exhibits and education center in Sarasota are closed to foot traffic through the end of May, people can still view nearly 45,000 objects in the Ringling collection online, including circus artifacts, outdoor sculptures, stunning paintings and artwork and opulent furniture in the Ca' d'Zan house. Check out the interesting Art Chats series on YouTube or visit the Ringling’s social media pages for insights about popular museum features, staff favorites, objects of the week and tours.
ORLANDO VIRTUAL TOURS – Orlando is one of the world’s top playgrounds for theme parks, water parks, entertainment and attractions and the COVID-19 shutdown has left many craving the comfort and fun of their favorite spots. With this in mind, Visit Orlando now provides more than 100 virtual experiences including 360-degree tours, Facebook Live broadcasts, theme park thrills and more. Ride SeaWorld’s Mako, float down a lazy river at the Four Season, zip-line over alligators, take a walk through Universal Orlando Resort and take a swan boat ride on Lake Eola to get your Orlando fix while you’re waiting to visit in real life.
CENTRAL FLORIDA SCENIC DRIVES – When your eyes begin to blur from looking at the laptop or cell phone, your kids are getting antsy and you’re craving a connection to the outside world, hop in the car and take advantage of the cheap gas prices and sparse traffic. Central Florida is known to have a number of well-traveled scenic drives and one-tank trips over arching bridges connecting communities across bays, through funky beach towns, past natural wildlife refuges and through historic towns. Clearwater’s Courtney Campbell Causeway, Anna Maria Island’s Palma Sola Scenic Highway and the eastern coast’s Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway are favorites among road trippers. The Florida Scenic Highway Program provides an excellent tool to map out your drive and check out the top features of each region and roadway as you plan.
CRACKER COUNTRY VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS – Typically open only select days during the year, this fascinating rural Florida history museum has opened its virtual doors to folks any time by introducing some food and culture learning programs for school-age kids, plus games, activities and an archive of videos for all ages to delve more into the lives of our Sunshine State pioneers. Listen to bluegrass, get a washboard music lesson, play “all aboard bingo” while learning about the Florida railroad system and watch some old fashioned food prep that sustained our Floridian ancestors.
TAMPA THEATRE VIRTUAL CINEMA – While its historic auditorium remains dark, Tampa Theatre has launched Virtual Cinema, a collection of new, first-run movies released via streaming platforms exclusively for art-house audiences. Pop your own popcorn, pour your own wine and for $12, get a three-day rental of new titles such as “Clementine,” “Between Shadow and Soul,” “Deerskin” and “ROAR.”
GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM FROM HOME – Bring the Glazer Children’s Museum’s hands-on activities and science experiments into your kitchen or living room by delving into its at-home offerings for kids of all ages. Make solar oven s’mores and homemade butter, build a canister rocket or two-ingredient slime, watch videos of staff interacting with a blue-tongue skink or going bird watching and participate in a yoga session or ukulele singalong.
STEAMPUNK EXPLORATION – A VICTORIAN VIRTUAL GALA – Great Explorations, a non-profit, hands-on children’s museum, is taking its annual fundraiser gala virtual this year. Guests can pay an entry fee to attend the gears-and-gadget-themed online presentation and auction, or upgrade to a dinner for two and have meals and wine sent to your home to enjoy during the event. Hear special guests and speakers, enjoy live music and bid on artwork, gift certificates, memberships, spa products and more.
When: Sept. 12
Where: Virtual, hosted by St. Petersburg’s Great Explorations Children’s Museum
THE RINGLING MUSEUM FROM HOME – The Ringling continues to provide remarkably engaging and educational content, artist talks, virtual tours, classes and more, even after reopening its doors to in-person guests in early July. Its Museum From Home page features nine interesting “Art Chats” with professionals from various fields, downloadable digital postcards with quirky images from the past, word searches and puzzle challenges and craft tutorials for kids. Get your circus history fix or art museum infusion right from the comfort of your couch.
Where: Virtual from The Ringling, Sarasota
GULF SCALLOP SEASON — The family that goes scalloping together, eats together. Harvesting bay scallops is more like a fun-filled Easter egg hunt. All you need is eagle eyes, a saltwater fishing license, snorkel, mask and dive flag — all readily available from local outfitters. Scallops love making a home near the seagrass beds near the sandy part of the ocean floor and can be reached either on foot or by boat slightly offshore. Just look for glowing blue eyes along the shell’s edge, drop the dive flag and start collecting your dinner.
When: July 1 - September 24
Where: Wakulla County
VIP NIGHT FEEDINGS — During quarantine fans of the north Jacksonville tiger sanctuary were able to tune in through Facebook Live for a virtual VIP view of their favorite tigers during the fan favorite Night Feedings. When Catty Shack Ranch was allowed to open its home up to guests again, the Night Feeding was the first event back on the weekly calendar. To keep the groups smaller, attendance is capped nightly an hour before the tour begins. Includes time for you to take a self-guided walking tour and visit with the tigers, lions, cougar, leopard and coatimundis before the main event. Volunteers and park staff are available to answer questions about the cats.
When: Friday and Saturday nights in July and August
Where: Catty Shack Ranch, Jacksonville
CCA FLORIDA STAR FISHING COMPETITION - Engage in a family-friendly fishing competition for any level of angler in your favorite Sunshine State saltwater playground. The competition, which awards prizes for both onshore and offshore fishing, lasts for 100 days and features more than $500,000 in prizes and scholarships.
When: July 1-Oct. 4
GHOSTS, MURDERS AND MAYHEM SEGWAY TOUR — Learn a little more about Pensacola’s dark side and the ghosts who wander the city’s old Red Light District once the moon rises. Guests will zip along the city’s streets visiting the site of a street car bombing or the first drive-through funeral home. They’ll also learn about Seville Quarter’s bartending ghost. Tours must be booked in advance and are limited to only 6 guests. Stories told on the tour vary nightly.
KAYAK AMELIA — With Florida’s state parks now open, Kayak Amelia, which has its home base on the Big Talbot Island State Park, is back in business. The coastal barrier island, known for its boneyard beach, sits just south of Amelia Island and on Jacksonville’s far northeast corner. If you’re an experienced kayaker and want to set out on your own, they rent kayaks and paddleboards by the hour. But if you want to learn more about the coastal ecosystem join one of the guided kayak tours. Tour options include a Salt Marsh Eco Tour or an Eco Tour to Kingsley Plantation. For paddleboarders, Kayak Amelia offers an introductory class or SUP Yoga.
When: Dates vary
Where: Big Talbot Island
BEYOND BASEBALL — With the minor league baseball season canceled in 2020, local ballparks have come up with inventive events to bring fans back to the stands. Don’t worry, all stress social distancing.
- Taps on the Diamond: Summer at the ballpark usually means peanuts, popcorn and Cracker Jacks. Throw in some inexpensive beer and hot dogs and you’ve almost got a five-course meal. Almost. To turn that stereotype on its head, the Blue Wahoos executive chef is turning out a real five-course meal (think oysters, ceviche and spicy thai chicken) with each course paired with local craft brews from Oyster City Brewery. Fans will receive a commemorative cooler to keep the beer cool and can play catch on the field before or after dinner. Reservations required for socially-distanced seating.
When: Aug. 21.
Where: Blue Wahoos Stadium, Pensacola
- Friday Night Frights: The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp’s socially-distanced movie nights concludes its summer run with Plan 9 From Outer Space. On-field group seating is designated by the “square” with horror movie fans able to purchase seating accomodations from two to eight guests. Blankets are permitted, but chairs are not. The ballpark concessions are open and reservations are required. When: Aug. 28.
Where: 121 Financial Ballpark, Jacksonville
FLAGLER SPORTFISHING CLUB ANNUAL CLASSIC TOURNAMENT — Honestly, 2020 might be the year of the fishing tournament; it’s one of the few sporting events that allows for social distancing and high participation at the same time. The Flagler Sportfishing Club’s one-day annual event has more than $5,000 in prize money with $600 going to lucky anglers who reel in the biggest trout, redfish and flounder. Contestants can also compete for the Flagler Slam, which goes to the fisherman who hooks a trout, redfish, flounder and black drum with the highest total weight.
When: Aug. 21-22
Where: Palm Coast
LET’S GO TO THE DRIVE-IN — Normally, Floridians flock to live performances even during the dog days of summer. Unfortunately with most canceled, the ability to stage a little drive-in fun seems like a welcome blessing.
- Drive-In Astronomy: Go stargazing at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds when the Ancient City Astronomy Club holds an Astronomy 101 class that will teach participants about constellations and star names. Registration is required and parking spaces will be assigned. Upon arriving, guests are allowed to either sit on the tailgate of their vehicle or set up chairs next to the car. Only 5 people are allowed per space.
When: Aug. 22
- Drive-In Concert: The country rockers Hayfire will perform a live outdoor concert on a temporary stage with state-of-the-art sound and light. Tickets are $20 per vehicle and concert attendees can bring their own chairs which can be set up in their specially-marked, assigned parking spaces.
- When: Sept. 13
Where: Palm Coast
TEA FOR TWO — Missing the theater? Black C Art Gallery in Gainesville has the solution to our current woes. Tea for Two features two performers plus two audience members (you and a guest) for the ultimate 30-minute, social-distanced performance based on August Strindberg’s play, The Stronger. Guests have two performance options with the VIP option including the opportunity to name the date and time of “your” show, plus the chance to ask questions of the cast and learn more about the creative process. Tea, of course, is served.
When: daily availability
Where: Black C Art Gallery, Gainesville
TALLAHASSEE BALLOON FESTIVAL — Be awed by dozens of multi-colored hot air balloons hovering overhead. The weekend festival, rescheduled from the summer, will operate at a reduced capacity with many modifications due to CDC guidelines. Tickets must be purchased in advance and online and the guests will be able to enjoy the outdoor event from special social-distanced viewing circles.
When: Sept. 11-12
Where: North Florida Fairgrounds
DISTILLER FOR A DAY — If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to mash, ferment, distill and barrel age whiskey this exclusive class is calling your name. Jacksonville’s Manifest Distilling is taking limited registration for it’s 2nd Annual Distiller for a Day seminar where participants will learn the ins and outs of how to operate a 500-gallon still as well as other in depth details of the business. Registration is limited and all attendees will earn their diploma at the end of the day.
When: Sept. 21
Where: Manifest Distilling, Jacksonville
NORTH FLORIDA VIRTUAL EVENTS
FLORIDA INSPIRED — Normally one of the best ways to beat the heat in July is any outing that involves air conditioning. Tallahassee’s Museum of Florida History is giving you the opportunity to explore our gorgeous state, from the Panhandle to the Everglades, without leaving your home. This 15-minute, docent-led tour features some of the key works that Ron Risner collected and commissioned to celebrate the diversity of the state’s natural beauty. It includes more than 125 landscape paintings by 98 artists. The paintings were donated to the museum’s permanent collection and will also be available for in-person viewing when the time is right for the museum to reopen to the public.
CATTY SHACK RANCH WILDLIFE SANCTUARY VIRTUAL NIGHT FEEDINGS — Get to know the cats (think tigers and lions) that have found their forever home at Jacksonville’s big cat sanctuary. For fans of the ranch who have attended the night feeding in person, the virtual setup is similar. Executive Director Curt LoGiudice walks viewers through the cats’ dinner time, provides background on the residents, introduces you to key staff members and shows off some of the habitat changes from the ongoing $8 million renovation project. For example, viewers will learn that the female lion Nyra, who has spent almost 18 years at the ranch, gets more frequent and smaller meals of prime beef and chicken breasts to help with her senior needs, which differs from the diet of the younger big cat residents that includes bones and more. And with all the current interest in big cat sanctuaries thanks to Netflix’s Tiger King series, it should be mentioned that Catty Shack Ranch is a true sanctuary that doesn’t breed, trade, sell or buy residents.
When: Facebook Live Virtual Night Feedings Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Facebook Live Educational Program Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 p.m.
LIVE #ONTHELINE FROM THE FLORA-BAMA LOUNGE, PACKAGE AND OYSTER BAR — So you can’t sip your margarita with your toes in the sand while listening to live tunes. But you can find a sunny spot in your home, pop the top on the beer and join the iconic bar’s live stream daily through Facebook. It’s almost like bringing the vacation home with you. During performances, give them a shoutout from where you’re listening, make song requests and then just close your eyes — the beach isn’t as far away as you think.
When: 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. CST daily
JACKSONVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA — With many of our favorite musical artists performing from more intimate spaces, the musicians of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra are doing somewhat the same. With social distancing rules in place, life has changed their live performances at Jacoby Symphony Hall to feature a much smaller part of the whole; for example only a string quartet. But the orchestra is still bringing virtual life to beloved music of the past. In between their Friday live performances, members of the JSO are also releasing solo in-home performances on the orchestra’s Facebook stream. And for those who want a little insider knowledge, check out the behind-the-scenes video with music director Courtney Lewis as he walks us through his process of learning and prepping a musical score for a performance.
When: Fridays at 8 p.m.
Web: hjaxsymphony.org/live or facebook.com/jaxsymphony
BLUE ANGELS DEBRIEF — Spring is usually prime time to catch up with the country’s premiere flyers at their home base along Pensacola’s waterfront beaches while they’re prepping for the season’s air show circuit. In the past, spring breakers could attend these practices, which also include a weekly meet-and-greet with the pilots. While you’re homebound, they’re still practicing and they’re offering fans an opportunity to get to know the Angels’ top guns and learn more about their signature maneuvers. Each week, one of the pilots breaks down a maneuver and walks you through it from their cockpit vantage.
When: Fridays at 9 a.m. on Facebook
GULFARIUM MARINE ADVENTURE PARK — Did you know that gopher tortoise like strawberries, that dolphins have a belly button and that albino alligators have poor vision? Learn all this and much more through the frequent educational Facebook videos about the marine residents at Gulfarium's waterfront park in Fort Walton Beach. When the trainers can schedule a live segment they’ll announce it ahead of time.
When: varies throughout the week on Facebook
PENSACOLA MUSEUM OF ART — The museum’s team is still working hard to maintain a vibrant Facebook page with almost daily adult or child-appropriate art and craft projects using found materials — one included using socks to make stuffed bunnies, which were pretty fantastic. They’re also using this space to include Facebook Live talks with the artists whose work is currently exhibited at the museum. If you’re looking for additional inspiration or background on the artists, the museum also has created virtual tours of its exhibits at pensacolamuseum.org.
When: varies throughout the week on Facebook
OUTSIDE THE ODDITORIUM: RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT — In 1950, the original Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum opened to the public in the Warden’s Castle in St. Augustine. Since then, the museum, which maintains a collection of more than 25,000 pieces, has expanded to 12 states (plus Canada) and added aquariums to its roster. During the shutdown, the museums’ researchers, illustrators and editors are keeping their home audience entertained with live virtual events throughout the week. These include Q&As, a look at some of their oddest exhibits, drawing tutorials and more.
When: Monday through Friday, various times
ST. AUGUSTINE ALLIGATOR FARM ZOOLOGICAL PARK — From the 15-foot, 1,250-pound saltwater croc named Maximo to the mouse-sized pygmy marmosets, the zoological park, home to lots and lots of alligators, is staging weekly Facebook Live Virtual Events to educate and entertain. All events include a Q&A session and you can submit questions ahead of time through Facebook.
When: Various times
NATIONAL NAVAL AVIATION MUSEUM — Satisfy your child’s need to take flight from their homebound life while exploring some of the treasures in the world’s largest museum dedicated to naval aviation. The Pensacola museum’s 350,000 square feet of exhibit space includes 150 restored aircraft representing the Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. Other than our military’s top flying machines, it also includes an exhibit dedicated to the Apollo space missions. Explore the space’s 360-degree tour and learn about the different flying machines on its website.
THE GROVE MUSEUM — Take a virtual walk through Florida’s antebellum history at the Call-Collins House (circa 1840) and its 10.5 acre grounds that make up The Grove in Tallahassee. The Grove has been open to the public only since 2017 and was named to the National Register of Historic Places. The staff of the museum is posting multiple videos each week, including Virtual Nature Walks through the grounds, live story time, and behind-the scenes glimpses into specific rooms. Learn more about the home’s history and the role it played in Florida’s Civil Rights movement. Visit the museum’s home page for its upcoming Facebook Live event schedule at thegrovemuseum.com.
FORGOTTEN COAST MUSEUM TOUR — Did you know the father of air conditioning was from Florida? Or, that you can hold a 20,000-year-old oyster shell in Carrabelle? The communities of Carrabelle, Apalachicola, Alligator Point, St. George Island and Eastpoint consider themselves the Forgotten Coast along the Panhandle despite their rich history. Get a chance to explore this history through a collection of short videos highlighting the Raney House Museum, Carrabelle History Museum, John Gorrie Museum and more.
CASTILLO SAN MARCOS VIRTUAL TOUR — The star-shaped fort in St. Augustine holds the key to 450 years of history, and the University of South Florida Libraries and the National Park Service have teamed up to create this 360-degree virtual tour. Visitors will understand the lay of the land and the true size of the fort from a drone view while the tour loads. From there, the map will allow you to choose your own path as your explore the fort. Tour includes video explaining what life was like for its inhabitants and as well as its long and varied history under different flags as well as through close up views of the fort’s signage. The tour includes some interactive 3-D models that are virtual reality compatible.
SEACREST WOLF PRESERVE — Get to know the wolves of this Chipley preserve which started as a small rescue effort and has expanded into a large preserve dedicated to wolf and wildlife conservation. While the preserve is still closed for VIP tours, their staff has created a robust collection of videos explaining the species covering topics like care for their pups, anatomy and pack dynamics. Seacrest is home to 30 wolves (Gray, Arctic-Type and British Columbian) as well as small Florida native species such as foxes, raccoons, skunks and foxes.
ART TALKS LIVE! & VIRTUAL ART CAMP — The Gadsden Arts Center & Museum is bringing their current exhibits to your home with a collection of live online forums about featured artists. The most recent presentation aired on May 7 and was hosted by Anissa Ford, the museum’s education director, who discussed the life and work of Gainesville artist Eddy Mumma. Mumma was a shut-in who painted more than 1,000 works but refused to sell any of them. His work was eventually discovered and 800 pieces were rescued from a dumpster and now hang in permanent museum homes. For more art from home, also check out their Facebook page for curator-led tours which include a behind-the-scenes look at their collection in the vault. The museum also will be hosting a Virtual Art Camp in June to keep kids creating.
CADE AT HOME — With home schooling wrapping up and summer camps canceled, virtual activities are a great way to keep kids engaged and active. Gaineville’s Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention has taken its “Think, Meet, Be” mission in exploring inventors and entrepreneurs to create a home-based program of easy to replicate STEAM lessons and activities for different age ranges. A Little Sparks (ages 0-4) activity may include a song and craft whereas a Tech & Design (ages 10 and up) track will teach simple 3-D coding used in Minecraft through an ongoing series of video lessons.
PENSACOLA CHILDREN’S MUSEUM & VIRTUAL TOUR — Again, the amount of great online activities that local museums are providing for children is a gold mine. The museum has 11 projects and frequently adds new ones to keep you coming back for more. Projects include making water fireworks, learning how to make your own jellyfish, or learning the basics of binary computer coding and decoding. Each activity has a downloadable activity sheet that includes a supply list, step-by-step instructions and fast facts related to that project. Did you know that 60,000 jellyfish have been in space? You didn’t, right? Not to worry, we’re all learning something new every day. Want to get out and explore? You can also do that from your computer because the site has a virtual tour of 15 downtown Pensacola historic sites.
ARTS AT HOME — Tallahassee’s Council on Cultural Arts has created a one-stop guide to virtual events in the local art, music, theater, education and literary community. From streaming a children’s storytime to offering private online arts lessons to learning a foreign language to screening an arthouse flick, there’s something for everyone in this easily searchable community calendar.
VIRTUAL SCAVENGER HUNT — Set the kids free on a virtual scavenger hunt through Jacksonville. They’ll get to explore historic sites like Kingsley Plantation and the Ritz Theatre and Museum, hot tourist spots like Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary and the Museum of Science and History, and kid-friendly favorites like Sweet Pete’s. Each attraction has a list to check off by using 360-degree video to explore the location. Find them all and win an #onlyinjax prize.
VIRTUAL ASADO — Master grilling tips will be dispensed, meats and seafood will be rendered deliciously over high (or low) heat and barbecue queens and kings can ask questions and talk virtually with other fans of the grilling community. Urban Asado, a St. Augustine retailer which specializes in Argentinian-style grills, went looking to unite a community in isolation and in doing so birthed a series of live, virtual grilling experiences that bring together local chefs and mixologists. Most of the grilling experiences are about 60 minutes. Previous videos can be viewed at facebook.com/UrbanAsado.
When: Sundays, Facebook Live
2020 SPRING MEMBERS SHOW — To allow for social distancing and quarantine rules, the annual spring members exhibit of the St. Augustine Art Association has become an online show. View more than 90 works of art created by local artists that celebrate St. Augustine, Florida’s lush natural world and the human form, many of which are available for purchase. This was a juried art show with monetary prizes awarded. Todd Lane’s sculpture “The Workin’ Man” was the best-in-show winner and Martha Ferguson’s oil painting “Afternoon Light” took first place.
MERMAID ENCOUNTERS — Sister of the Sea & The Dive Bar have brought back their Live Mermaid Encounters over the weekend. Enjoy outdoor drinks or fresh catch while watching the coastal comings and goings as mermaids also frolic in their saltwater pool. The bar has also added a Live Mermaid Cam so you can watch from your home.
When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 3-6 p.m. in Panama City Beach
SOCIAL DISTANCING SUP EVENTS — With the state reopening for outdoor recreation, now’s the time to look at activities like stand up paddle boarding that achieve social distancing all on its own. Join V-Star Fitness, out of St. Augustine, for sunset stand up paddle tours. SUP gear rental is included in the tour price and there’s no charge if participants have their own SUP gear but everyone must have a leash, personal flotation device and lighting (if it’s night tour).
When: Ongoing in St. Augustine
FORT TO FORT CYCLING CHALLENGE — If you think you can pedal 875 miles in 12 weeks then this virtual cycling challenge already has your name on the finisher medal. Although bicycling can be a solitary event, the racing community has seen events canceled due to social-distancing challenges. To counter this and keep people moving, many new races are moving to the virtual space with wacky (and lengthy) challenges that wouldn’t exist in our pre-COVID world. Florida’s cycling challenge rewards participants for logging 875 miles (which can even be done on a stationary bike!) covering the distance along the state’s west coast from Fort Pickens in Pensacola to Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West. Finalists who log only enough mileage to either cover the northern or southern stage, will still receive a finisher medal -- it’s just not as fancy.
When: through Sept. 7
LESSONS FROM THE MARJORIES — Explore the history of Florida’s environmental issues as inspired by the work of the state’s three famous Marjories: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Marjorie Harris Carr. The virtual presentation will be hosted on Zoom by Hannah Brown and Becca Burton of the Alachua Conservation Trust. Online registration is required to receive the meeting link.
When: Aug. 20
POWER OF THE BALLOT: BEYOND THE 19TH AMENDMENT https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0rde6trjMoEtcx8ZcKL6ER6ot1WAecp4PQ— To celebrate the centennial of women finally receiving the right to vote with the 19th Amendment, the Florida Historic Capitol Museum has arranged a conversation with the University of Florida’s Dr. Paul Ortiz and Dr. Ashley Robertson Preston. The duo will speak about the work of 19th and 20th century’s black women’s clubs, the impact on the 19th Amendment in the sunshine state and how the fight to overcome disenfranchisement continued through the 20th century. Online registration is required; and the audience will be able to submit questions for the panelists ahead of time.
When: Aug. 26
SWEET SYMPHONY — Usually the summer months are the offseason for most symphony orchestras as they regroup and plan for the fall kickoff. With the 2020 season cut short, both Tallahassee and Jacksonville’s top talent are keeping fans in tune.
- Jacksonville Symphony Live (Fridays at 8 p.m. on Facebook): The Jacksonville Symphony quickly embraced the virtual space and performed social-distanced, small group concerts when live performances were canceled in March. The orchestra, led by music director Courtney Lewis, have continued to entertain fans all summer with music premieres, cocktail recipes as well as interviews with local entrepreneurs about how music inspires their lives. Viewers can find themselves trapped in a rabbit hole as they catch up on past performances, meanwhile regulars wait each week for Friday night’s Facebook watch party.
When: Fridays, 8 p.m.
- Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra (anytime): Treat yourself to an evening of live music from the orchestra’s archives as you pick and choose pieces to suit your current mood. In keeping up with the final months that would have rounded out the season, the orchestra posted weekly selections each with a personal note from a member of the organization. From Mozart to Star Wars, there’s something for everyone. When:
MOCA JAX SMART ONLINE — Jacksonville’s Museum of Contemporary Art has created a complete virtual museum experience that includes student sessions featuring University of North Florida artist spotlights, Micro Concerts which pair live music as a response to an artwork, North Florida artists’ studio tours artists and live art lessons.
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