Florida Events for October and November 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:
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
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
DARK ART 2020 – This show features the very finest and most notorious collection of juried artwork in Southwest Florida, all dedicated to the spirit of horror, macabre and darkness during the month of Halloween. As always, the opening reception will be an immersive experience with music, live performances, live art and entertainment, in addition to the spooky art. Costumes are encouraged! Masks are strongly recommended and will be provided, but they are not required. There will be restrictions on how many people can be in the exhibition room (it will be in the very large Grand Atrium) at the same time.
When: Oct. 2 (the opening reception) through Oct. 20
Where: Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, downtown Fort Myers
FORT MYERS SCAVENGER HUNTS – Let’s Roam has some good ones for Fort Myers and all the stops are outdoors. You’ll 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. Work with a team to answer trivia questions and complete photo challenges. Earn extra points for each hidden treasure and photo your team takes.
When: Any day you want, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Fort Myers
TWILIGHT GREEN MARKET AT WELLINGTON – It’s focused on growing a true community market which will feature unique, locally-sourced fresh farm-to-fork produce from farmers and growers, ranging from fruits and vegetables, herbs, spices and fresh flowers to everyday favorites like fresh baked goods and local Florida honey. In addition, the Market will showcase artisan foods, seafood, flowers, breads, and pastries, an eclectic array of locally grown herbs, cooking demos, artists and crafters and incorporate plant-based and vegetarian products. Exhibitors and attendees are required to wear masks. Exhibitors will have hand sanitizers available.
When: Every Friday evening from Oct. 2 through March 26
Where: Town Center Boardwalk (with Lake Wellington as a backdrop), Wellington
FULL MOON KAYAK TOURS – You have two chances to do this in October because there is a full moon on the first and last day of the month. The former is the Harvest Moon and the latter is the Blue Moon. Paddle under the glowing sunset and the rising moon. The tours are perfect for all ages and skill levels. This trip will have you howlin’ at the moon – and s’mores are included! This trip is socially distanced. Masks are required upon entry and on the docks, but you may remove them at your own comfort level once you are out on the water. Book early because tours will be limited to 15 people.
When: Oct. 31
Where: Kayaks depart and return in both Fort Lauderdale and Key West
Web: bluemoonoutdoor.com for Fort Lauderdale and bluemoonkayakkeywest.com for Key West
THE HORRORLAND DRIVE-THRU HAUNTED HOUSE – No need to miss a Halloween-month haunted house experience, even in these times. All you need is a car! This drive-thru will take you deep into the darkness where creatures of the night such as monsters, vampires, ghosts and zombie will pop when you least expect them. Over the course of 35 minutes, this fully immersive attraction takes riders through seven themed scary events: Alice in Horrorland, Christmas Nightmare, Creepy Carnival, Zombie Apocalypse, Farm of Horrors, Asylum of Darkness and Scream’s Cemetery. The organizers are recommending that children under the age of 13 do not attend. And, once inside your car, keep your windows closed. Due to safety regulation, tickets must be purchased in advance and each car must have a drive-thru ticket.
When: Oct. 1-31
Where: Miramar Regional Park, Miramar
FORT MYERS FILM FESTIVAL – Originally scheduled for May, it has been moved to October and it will be live and in person, not virtual. The festival has garnered a deserved reputation of presenting films, shorts and documentaries before they are released to the general public. This year’s opening night offering is Ride Til I Die, a documentary on bull riding filmed in various South and Southwest Florida locations. More information, including an entire list of films, parties and celebrity attendees will be forthcoming, either on the festival’s web site or Facebook page. Safety will be a priority, with reduced capacity and spaced out seating. Masks are encouraged and will be given to patrons upon request, but they are not required.
When: Oct. 21-25
Where: Sydney & Berne Davis Art Center and other locations in Fort Myers
Web: fortmyersfilmfestival.com and facebook.com/fortmyersfilmfestival
WET & WILD IN NAPLES -- Naples is the place from to be from for these free splashy events, all under the Pro Watercross umbrella:
· Hydroflight athletes will perform timed free style routines, showing off their best flips, dives and spins as they attempt to rack up points in a quest to advance to the World Championships.
· SUPXCross changes up the pace, as stand-up paddle boarders (hence SUP) compete in closed course racing.
· Hydro Expo is the newest addition to the Pro Watercross World Championship and brings together all things watersport and beach-related.
· The Pro Watercross World Championship features the world’s best athletes in the explosive and exciting sport of personal watercraft racing.
Attendees are encouraged to wear face coverings and practice safe social distancing.
Where: All events are at Lake Avalon at Sugden Regional Park in Naples
When: Oct. 23-Nov. 1
FORT LAUDERDALE INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW – The show must and will go on! It won’t be as big as in the past, but there will still be some 1,300 boats of all kinds and sizes to look at, along with an array of marine accessories. The crown jewel of the show is Superyacht Village, featuring vessels at more than 300 feet. To enhance your experience, check out the Windward VIP Club. The six miles of floating docks have been widened to up to 30 feet to ensure that there is proper spacing. Social distancing will be enforced throughout the show and face coverings are required. At the top of the home page (web site below), click on “Covid-19 Updates and Information” and check out the video before making plans to attend. And be aware that tickets (all contactless) are non-refundable.
When: Oct. 28-Nov. 1
Where: Bahia Mar Yachting Center and seven other marinas in east Fort Lauderdale Lauderdale
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
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
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.
HALLOWEEN DRIVE-THRU – Trick or Treat right from your car seat! Parents, have your kids dress up in their favorite costumes, get them into your car and help them enjoy a festive, safe and not-so-spooky Halloween. The first 500 children will receive a free treat bag filled with candy, healthy snacks, a book and other special treats. It is first-come, first-served and no walk-ups are allowed. Participants are required to stay in their cars at all times.
When: Oct. 31, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Miami Children’s Museum, Watson Island, Miami
SUGARLOAF SHOWDOWN – This catch-and-release fishing tournament and the target species are bonefish, barracuda and permit. There’s also a silent auction, outdoor BBQ and an awards ceremony. Wear a mask when indoors and outdoors when social distancing is impossible.
When: Nov. 5-7
Where: Upper Sugarloaf Key in the lower Keys
PRIDE FOLLIES – This event hilariously highlights Key West’s diversity and features the best (and as the organizers say, sometimes the worst!) of the performing arts community. This year’s program is directed and hosted by last year’s Fantasy Fest queen, Destiny Montgomery. It’s an indoor event with limited capacity and social distancing is required. Wear a mask.
When: Nov. 7
Where: Key West Theater
PARADISE COAST WINE & FOOD EXPERIENCE -- You can have a grand tasting adventure one of three ways: delivery, to go or dine-in (with the latter, the appropriate Covid-19 measures at the time of the event must be followed) at the participating restaurants. Take a picture of your food, receipt or a selfie and submit it for a chance to win restaurant gift cards or a Grand Tasting prize of $1,000.
When: Nov. 21
Where: Various restaurants in Naples
HARVEST FESTIVAL – It has been a fall tradition in Miami for 45 years, but in 2020 it moves to Palm Beach County. There’ll be arts and crafts, bounce houses, yummy food, a classic car show, pony rides, a model train village, a petting zoo, a cutest baby contest, corn hole playing, live music (headliner this year is Endless Summer, a Beach Boys tribute and oldies band) and, of course, a visit with Santa. Visitors and exhibitors must wear masks and practice social distancing.
When: Nov. 21-22
Where: South Florida Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach
EDISON AND FORD WINTER ESTATES FALL GARDEN FESTIVAL – Some 40 garden vendors from around the state will have tropical and native plants and trees for sale. The festival will also feature food trucks and live music. All visitors will be required to wear masks and sked to practice appropriate social distancing.
When: Nov. 21-22
Where: Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers
FILM FESTIVALS – There are usually four or five film festivals in November in South Florida. Not this year, but we did find two good ones that are still going on. They are both hybrid events (live at theaters and virtual):
· Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival – This will be the 35th edition and over the years, FLIFF (as it is affectionately called) has become one of the best in the country. There will be 44 new films shown this year, plus a sprinkling of some older films. Films will be shown in two theaters and also available online. This year’s opening film is The Comeback Trail, starring Robert DiNiro, Tommy Lee Jones, Morgan Freeman and Zack Braff. It’s a comedy about a washed up movie producer who tries to collect insurance money by killing his cowboy movie star during filming. For films inside theaters, capacity will be limited to 30% and masks must be worn.
When: Nov. 5-22
Where: Savor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale and Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood
· Miami Short Film Festival – It is dedicated to promoting the short film genre, showcasing films from one to 20 minutes long. The festival is international in scope, bringing exposure to the world’s best independent up-and-coming filmmakers. There will be three days of events in a theater, including 45 short films, filmmaker Q & A sessions and an awards ceremony. There is an all-access virtual pass that is good for 15 days and features all 70 of the films, a welcome video, seminars and filmmaker Q & A sessions. For in-theater showings, masks must be worn and there will be caps on capacity.
When: Nov. 13-15 for in-theater films; Nov. 1-15 for the all-access virtual pass
Where: Regal South Beach Cinema, Miami Beach
CONCH REPUBLIC INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION – Did the Florida Keys secede from the United States? Their official slogan is “We Seceded Where Others Failed,” but you will have to judge for yourself by attending this tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek celebration. It has been scaled down this year due to Covid-19, but there will still be lots of fun to be had. Events include the opening breakfast, raising of the Conch Republic colors, Higgs Beach cleanup, mini bed races, the Hot Havana Night Party and the ceremonial burning of hurricane warning flags, signaling the official end of Hurricane Season. Wear a mask indoors and outside when social distancing is difficult.
When: Nov. 27-30
Where: Various locations in Key West
ART AND CRAFT FESTIVALS ARE RETURNING! You’ll be able to see (and purchase) works in a variety of genres, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, metal, stained glass, clay, photography, wearable art and wood. Naturally, there are Covid-19 restrictions, including reduced capacity, mandatory and/or recommended mask wearing and social distancing. People should not attend if they have recently been diagnosed with Covid-19, awaiting test results for Covid-19 or are showing any symptoms of the virus. Here are some upcoming festivals:
· Las Olas Art Fair, Fort Lauderdale, Oct. 17-18; artfestival.com
· Downtown Stuart Craft Festival, Stuart, Oct. 17-18; artfestival.com
· Siesta Fiesta, Siesta Key, Oct. 24-25; artfestival.com
· Naples Open Air Fine Art Show, Naples, Oct. 31-Nov. 1; hotworks.org/events/naples-fine-art-show-oct-2020
· Downtown West Palm Beach Art Festival, West Palm Beach, Nov. 21-22; artfestival.com
· Bonita Springs Invitational Art Festival, Bonita Springs, Nov. 21-22; boulderbrook.net
· Masters Art Festival, Sanibel Island, Nov. 27-28; boulderbrook.net
· Punta Gorda Thanksgiving Weekend Sullivan Street Craft Festival, Punta Gorda, Nov. 28-29; artfestival.com
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
SOUTH FLORIDA VIRTUAL EVENTS
CELEBRATE ORGULLO – This 15-day multi-genre extravaganza showcases Hispanic LGBTQ Pride (Orgullo means Pride in Spanish) during Hispanic Heritage & LGBTQ Pride Month. All the events are virtual this year, except for one (Drive-In Movie Night). Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the organizers have come up with a diverse, educational and fun-filled program.
When: Oct. 1-15
Where: From the comfort of your own home
JAZZAID LIVE AT THE BANYAN BOWL – In the mood for some live jazz? Live yes, but not in person. Some of the best jazz artists and vocalists will be doing streaming concerts for only $15 per show or $100 for the entire eight-show monthly series. The series starts in October with international superstar and multi-Grammy Award winning vocalist Jon Secada. Other performers in the series are Arturo Sandoval, Kurt Elling, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Wycliffe Gordon, Dafnis Prieto conducting the Frost Concert Jazz Band, Grace Kelly, child prodigy Joey Alexander and The Manhattan Transfer. Concerts will air only once starting at 8 p.m. on any internet based device, including some smart TVs, computer monitors, tablets and smartphones.
When: Oct. 17 for the Jon Secada concert. See the website below for dates of the other shows.
When: All shows will be streamed live from the beautiful Banyan Bowl in Pinecrest Gardens.
Web: pinecrestgardens.org/jazzaid. For information on how to view the concerts on a Screen or TV click on the following link: help.eduvision.tv/show-your-live-event-on-screen-or-tv/
A RECYCLED NIGHT IN BLACK AND WHITE – With the support of the Southwest Florida community, women who are survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence or residing in shelters and unemployed will receive attire for job interviews, counseling and career development tools. This year the Dress For Success Southwest Florida (DFSSWFL) fundraiser will be virtual. Local designers will showcase runway-ready ensembles crafted from recycled clothing and accessories via livestreaming on the organization’s Facebook page. Click on the Facebook icon in the upper right hand corner of home page for the web site below. Also, check out the event’s Cork Pull, a relatively inexpensive way to contribute and possibly win some amazing prizes, including a one-day rental of a Tesla!
When: October 15
Where: From the comfort of your home
FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY THEATRE LAB -- This year it is all virtual. On Sundays throughout October, Theatre Lab (the professional resident company of FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters) will present some of the nation’s emerging and established playwrights. They will share readings of their newest plays followed by a masterclass to discuss how they do what they do. Playwrights this year are Rachel Teagle, Jeff Bower, Jahna Ferron-Smith and Vanessa Garcia.
When: Respectively, Oct. 18 and Oct. 25
Where: All sessions are on Zoom.
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
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.
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.
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
MIAMI BOOK FAIR ONLINE – More than 200 authors will participate in this eight-day, all-virtual and free book-a-thon. The headliner is Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments). The eclectic lineup also includes Peter Baker, Dave Barry, Erin Brockovich, Lee Child, Louise Erdich, Eddie Glaude Jr., Fred Guttenberg, Dean Koontz, Walter Mosley, Bill Nye, Joyce Carol Oates, P. J. O’Rourke, Jodi Picoult, Natalie Portman, Dee Snider, Jacob Soboroff, Les Standiford, Paul Theroux, Jeffrey Toobin and Abby Wambach. The fair features programs in English, Spanish and Creole and such genres as fiction, memoir, poetry, comics, politics and history. There are also programs for young children and teens. Signature events such as “Evening With…” and IberoAmerican and ReadCaribbean programs also return, albeit all virtual.
When: Nov. 15-22
Where: Where ever you are!
SOUTHEASTERN CIRCUIT RODEO FINALS – Some of the top rodeo performers in the country take will be competing in all the exciting events: bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. The big prize: Top all-around cowboy. Winners will advance to the Nationals later this year. However, at press time it was scheduled to be an all-virtual event, with only contestants and working personnel allowed in. It will be live-streamed via the Cowboy Plus App and broadcasted on the Cowboy Channel Television Network. Check the web site below closer to the event to see if the no-fans ruling has changed.
When: Nov. 13-14
Where: Bergeron Rodeo Grounds in Davie
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
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
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
BUSCH GARDENS HOWL-O-SCREAM – One of Tampa’s creepiest events is returning for a 21st year, this time with enhanced health and safety measures such as “open-air scare zones” and an outdoor version of its fan-favorite Fiends Show. The theme this year is “The Fear Is In Your Eyes” and Busch Gardens never disappoints in its frightful performances and décor. Book your visit early! In order to maintain physical distancing, reservations are required and attendance is limited.
When: Weekends throughout October
Where: Busch Gardens, Tampa
FRUITVILLE GROVE PUMPKIN FESTIVAL – Continuing a decades-long tradition, the Fruitville Grove farm will be welcoming the public to its free, outdoor fall festival featuring rides, a petting zoo, costume contests, circus tricks, pumpkin painting and photo opps. Each weekend features a different lineup up food trucks serving BBQ, vegan dishes, popcorn, ice cream, tacos and more. Visit the Farm Market to take home some delicious souvenirs.
When: Saturdays & Sundays throughout October
LIGHTED HALLOWEEN BOAT PARADE – Boat owners from all over the Tampa Bay region will be competing for the spookiest and best decorated sea vessels along downtown Tampa’s Riverwalk, a long and spacious walkway that lines the Hillsborough River. Tampa’s boat-loving community is sure to show off some elaborate and exciting themes, lights and Halloween props to the delight of its audience watching from dry land. Proceeds from the boat registrations and sponsorships benefit the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
When: Oct. 24
Where: Tampa Bay Riverwalk, downtown Tampa
THE FOX SQUIRREL CORN MAZE – Bring back that autumn feeling and create family memories at this popular Plant City pumpkin patch that has everything you could ever want from a fall festival: kettle corn, crafts, local honey stands, pumpkin painting, cornhole games, duck races, dummy steer roping and a good, old fashioned corn maze, all set against the backdrop of a real central Florida farm.
When: Saturdays & Sundays, Oct. 10-Nov. 1
Where: Plant City
THE HAUNTED ROAD – Looking to feel both utterly terrified and perfectly safe at the same time? Check out Central Florida’s first contactless, drive-through Halloween experience, complete with bloody, creepy characters, spooky dark corners, sound effects and immersive storytelling. The 40-minute ride of terror could be a bit much for little ones so there’s a daytime family-friendly version with fairytale characters, music, dancing and a contactless sweet treat.
When: Select dates throughout October
Where: Lake Pickett Road, Orlando
SEAWORLD HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR – Included in regular SeaWorld admission, this daytime Halloween event has been modified to allow guests to enjoy some spook-tacular fun while staying safe and healthy. Explore the trick-or-treat trail, meet silly Halloween characters and show off your costume while enjoying the wonders of marine life at the park’s shows, displays and demonstrations.
When: Weekends throughout October
Where: SeaWorld Orlando
RATTLESNAKE FESTIVAL – The quaint town of San Antonio brings back the Rattlesnake Festival for the 54th year, inviting all ages to this pet-friendly event filled with kids’ games, rides and arts and crafts booths, gopher tortoise races, BBQ and ice cream treats, a rodeo cowboy show, and of course, rattlesnakes on display. Learn about local history and wildlife while enjoying the outdoors and spacious fairgrounds.
When: Oct. 17-18
Where: Pasco County Fairgrounds, Dade City
BIKETOBERFEST – This fun, four-day party that fills the streets with a thunderous roar will take on a more safe and open-air approach this year with some modifications that will shift guests’ focus toward Daytona Beach’s beautiful weather and outdoor spaces. Many of Daytona’s businesses, which welcome the event’s bike-loving visitors each year, will be open for food, drink and merriment while also following capacity and distancing measures.
When: Oct. 15-18
Where: Daytona Beach
HONEY BEE FESTIVAL & CRAFT FAIR – One of the nation’s largest producers of honey pays homage to the humble bee with this adorable festival filled with sweet treats, homemade crafts and artwork. Sample honey wine and learn more about starting your own hive, beekeeping tips and the local honey industry. This year’s fest will also feature a pumpkin sale fundraiser, a car show and Bartow’s monthly antique market.
When: Nov. 14
Where: Downtown Bartow
MAGIC OF LIGHTS – See over a million holiday lights in this dazzling drive-through holiday light display that the whole family can enjoy from the safety and comfort of your own vehicle. Guests slowly drive their way through a nearly two-mile winding course to view sparkling LED displays depicting the favorite characters of the season, including animated snowmen, elves, poinsettias, candy canes, a huge toy-land, a Victorian village and an enchanted forest. Save the best for last – an appearance by the jolly St. Nick himself.
When: Nov. 13-Jan. 2
Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach
BARBERVILLE PIONEER SETTLEMENT’S PLAYING ON THE PORCHES – Experience old Florida pioneer history by making your way through this small village of moss-draped oaks and charming shacks and cottages and hearing old acoustic tunes played by musicians in period clothing. Visit the farm animals, watch living history demonstrations, snack on some BBQ and, at the Nov. 7 event, check out an authentic sugar cane boil and buy some handmade crafts and wares.
When: Nov. 7 and Nov. 21
Where: Barberville, Volusia County
BUSCH GARDENS BIER FEST – Imbibe in some seasonal favorite craft beer and – new this year – some brew-inspired dishes featuring fall flavors from 16 “culinary cabins” at Tampa’s safari-themed, spacious, outdoor theme park. Capacity will be significantly limited to create even more room for park guests to explore locally and internationally brewed beer and cider, plus they can sample delicious beer-inspired dishes and bites throughout the physically distant, open-air festival area.
When: Oct. 31-Nov. 1, Nov. 7-8 & Nov. 14-15
Where: Busch Gardens, Tampa
THE DALI MUSEUM’S VAN GOGH ALIVE – Be among the first to experience this immersive, walk-through, multimedia show featuring the greatest works of Vincent van Gogh, an exhibit that is sure to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to this already popular museum. Get a glimpse into this brilliant artist’s mind by making your way through larger-than-life works and learning about Van Gogh’s life, teachings and methods that influenced some of the most famous paintings in the world.
When: Opens Nov. 21
Where: The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg
SHINE MURAL FESTIVAL – St. Petersburg once again celebrates its colorful tapestry of murals splashed on various walls, alleyways and business storefronts throughout the city with its SHINE mural festival. This distance-friendly event will feature both virtual tours and in-person, self-guided tours for guests to gaze and learn more about the artists and their masterpieces. Titles “Sea Walls: St. Petersburg,” this year’s artist lineup will focus entirely on Florida-based artists with an emphasis on Tampa Bay muralists and sea life.
When: Nov. 7-14
Where: St. Petersburg
SANDING OVATIONS MASTERS CUP – Master sculptors from all over the world bring their best stuff to Treasure Island for this must-see sand sculpting competition held on one of Pinellas County’s most beautiful beaches. This year’s theme is “Sandhedge” and guests can expect to be dazzled by intricate works of art, all made from the famous Florida west coast sugar sand. Vendors will also be selling food and sweet treats while live bands entertain the crowds, which will be properly spaced along the beach.
When: Nov. 19-22
Where: Treasure Island
SHOPAPALOOZA – This post-Thanksgiving shopping tradition devoted to small, local businesses returns stronger than ever, with health and safety protocols in place to ensure distancing and hand-washing throughout the weekend-long event. Check out more than 250 booths, tents and tables showcasing local shops, artists, musicians, food vendors and service providers and pick up some holiday gifts while you’re at it.
When: Nov. 28-29
Where: Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg
THANKSGIVING BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL – A fun Florida outdoors tradition for more than four decades, this youth ranch fundraiser combines a potluck-style Thanksgiving feast with some of the state’s best bluegrass and folk bands playing under an 8,000-square-foot pavilion. Bring your RVs, campers and tents and relax under the stars on the sprawling, gorgeous grounds. This year’s headliners include Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, the Malpass Brothers and the Trinity Rivers Band.
When: Nov. 26-28
Where: Sertoma Youth Ranch, Brooksville
UNCASKED NOVEMBER CONCERT – Enjoy the cooler fall temperatures outdoors among the historic, picturesque Bok Tower Gardens at this concert that features gentle tunes from its full-time carillonneur, Geert D’hollander. Sip from a special flight of three craft beers by Grove Roots Brewery and snack on soft pretzels and other crunchy, sweet-and-salty snacks. Tickets include general admission to fully explore the garden, bird sanctuary and other Bok Tower beauties.
When: Nov. 7
Where: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
CENTRAL FLORIDA VIRTUAL EVENTS
ST. PETERSBURG SCIENCE FESTIVAL – One of St. Pete’s most science-y fests – and a favorite among schoolchildren from kindergarten through middle – is going virtual this year. Check out dozens of online live demonstrations, unique behind-the-scenes tours, and videos that explore various types of science, math, engineering and more. This year’s festival will be held in conjunction with MarineQuest, Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute's annual marine discovery day, which will also streamed into homes and classrooms for convenience and safety.
When: Oct. 16-17
BROADWAY BALL AT HOME – “The show must go on,” according to Tampa’s not-for-profit Straz Center, which considers this their most important Broadway Ball due to the halting of many of its theatre and musical productions scheduled over the past several months. This year’s ball will be held virtually and includes a side-by-side performances of Broadway stars and its young Patel Conservatory students as well as a live auction to help keep the center’s mission thriving during a difficult year.
When: Oct. 17
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.
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
TAMPA BAY TIMES FESTIVAL OF READING – Typically held one day each year on a college campus in St. Petersburg, this year’s beloved reader-devoted festival will be completely virtual, featuring both live and recording author readings and interviews over a three-day period. This free event caters to those with a love of literature and is filled with local and guest authors from around the country, representing every genre from children’s books to science fiction to poetry. This year’s headliners include Colson Whitehead, Laura Lippman, Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke and many more.
When: Nov. 12-14
NATIVE RHYTHMS FESTIVAL – For the first time since its inaugural fest 12 years ago, this event is going virtual to safely honor the culture of the indigenous peoples of the Americas through the music of the Native American Flute and other songs, genres of music, performance and dance. Because they are not location-bound, some of the performers are broadcasting from the spots such as the mountains of New Mexico, a cornfield in Iowa, an old stage in Maine and the Ocala National Forest here in Florida.
When: Nov. 14-15
Where: Virtual; tune in on YouTube or Facebook
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
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
AL FRESCO CONCERT SERIES — Bring your favorite tailgate chairs or a lawn blanket and settle in for an evening of live music presented by the Pensacola Opera. Each Saturday, the company will perform a free outdoor, pop-up concert at sunset at one of the city’s different parks.
When: Oct. 17, 24
Where: various venues, Pensacola
DESTIN FISHING RODEO — Anglers hopeful to land the “big one” have 31 chances to come out on the top during this month-long competitive fishing tournament. Since 1948, fishermen and women have been cruising the coast along Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island. The festival’s first prize-winning King Mackerel netted the top angler a new suite of kitchen appliances including a sink. In 1950, the top prize was a piece of Destin property complete with survey, title and insurance. As a sign of how things have changed -- this year, more than 30,000 competitors will be hoping to win their share of the $100,000 cash and prize purse. There are divisions specifically for junior, teens and seniors. Plus, any child who enters and lands a fish that weighs more than a pound will receive a rod, reel and certificate.
When: Oct. 1 - 31
SYKES FAMILY FARM CROP MAZE — With 9 acres to play with, the Sykes Family Farms Maze has grown and changed throughout the years. Now, intrepid adventurers have options as they travel through the maze’s four phases of agritainment. Each guest has the option to fill out a “passport” to help guide them through the maze or go at it blind. The first two phases are more challenging, with the final two phases featuring child-themed fun including large storyboards for The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin and Jack and The Cornstalk.
When: Oct. 3 - 25
Where: Sykes Family Farm, Elkton
PADDLE THE SUWANNEE RIVER WILDERNESS TRAIL — Enjoy a lazy 65-mile paddle along the Suwannee River from Madison Blue Spring State Park to Ivey Memorial Park. The trip includes camping, meals and shuttle service and is geared for beginners in good physical condition who know how to swim. Along the way, paddlers will have the chance to explore the state’s natural springs (bring a snorkel and mask!), to enjoy nightly musical entertainment, to chill out with their traveling companions around an evening campfire and to learn about the natural area they’re paddling through from educational speakers. Paddlers looking for a shorter adventure can sign on for a “Lite” trip with options of 1-4 days.
When: Oct. 16-21
Where: Madison Blue Spring State Park, Lee
38TH ANNUAL FALL FESTIVAL — Orange Park’s inaugural Fall Festival consisted of 12 vendor booths and a few guitar players. Things have definitely changed as the event has become the largest fall festival in the greater Jacksonville area. This year’s fest will include more than 200 artists and vendors, two stages for live entertainment, more than 30 food vendors and a large Kids Zone. The outdoor festival will be following CDC guidelines and encouraging social distancing by spreading out both the vendors and the tables for guests to eat. The Kids Zone will be frequently sanitized.
When: Oct. 17-18
Where: Orange Park, Jacksonville
SUNSET GARDEN PICNIC — With outdoor dining on the rise, the Cummer is opening up their gardens on Fridays through the end of 2020 for a picnic-style evening out along the banks of the St. Johns River. The menu varies, but tote bags are portioned for either 1 or 2 guests and include gourmet sandwiches, sides and dessert. Includes museum admission.
When: Fridays through December
Where: Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville
ZOO BOOS — Parents looking for a different kind of trick-or-treating experience need look no further than some of the North Florida zoos.
- Boo at the Zoo (Gulf Breeze Zoo, Oct. 17-18, 24-25, 31): Expect scare-free, daytime fun that includes a trick-or-treat trail, bounce houses, face painting and a chance to visit with the zoo’s animals. The trick-or-treat trail has been expanded to encourage social distancing and all vendors will be following CDC guidelines. Tickets must be pre-purchased. www.gbzoo.com/events/boo-at-the-zoo
- Creatures of the Night (St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, Oct. 23-25): Take a walk on the wild side at this after-dark trick-or-treat experience that includes meeting some of the zoo’s eeriest bugs and prehistoric beasts. Children must bring their own trick-or-treating bag and pre-purchased tickets are required. www.alligatorfarm.com/creatures-of-the-night
- ZooBoo (Zoo World, Oct. 31 - Nov. 1): This celebration features a trick-or-treat trail with full-size candy bars for the kids and hatchet throwing for the parents. Plus, all guests will get a sneak peek at the debut of the Panama City Beach zoo’s mystery animal in its newest exhibit. Pre-purchased tickets available online. zooworldpcb.com
- Spooktacular (Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, Oct. 23-31): The zoo’s 33rd annual event will still be mystical and magical … and slightly different due to COVID-19 protocols. Both children and adults are encouraged to attend in family-friendly costumes. The zoo’s Great Lawn will be home to a kid-friendly maze and ghost stories will be told in Range of the Jaguar. Pre-purchased, timed tickets are required. www.jacksonvillezoo.org/spooktacular
PENSACOLA INTERSTATE FAIR — Have you missed deep-fried Oreos? A stomach-turning spin on the wheel? Maybe the chance to rub noses with a few prize cattle? Although many summer fairs were canceled, the late autumn date for Penscola’s 86th annual fair gave organizers time to rethink the event for 2020. All amusement rides, concessions, livestock exhibits and ground acts, including the Sea Lions Splash show, are a go. The indoor exhibits and entertainment acts on the outdoor stage have been suspended. The fair will be following CDC guidelines like frequently disinfecting the rides and adding social distancing markers to all lines.
When: Oct. 22 - Nov. 1
HOWL AT THE MOON KAYAK TOURS — Costumes are encouraged on this night paddle through the marshes between Atlantic Avenue and the Amelia River. With only the moon’s light to illuminate your way, you’ll be immersed in the sounds of nature on your guided tour. All kayaking experience levels are welcome and guests with their own gear are welcome to join the tour at a reduced rate. Reservations are required.
When: Oct. 30-31
Where: Amelia Island
FALL GHOST WALK — Learn about Apalachicola’s maritime industry history from the prominent figures buried in Chestnut Street Cemetery. Ultra creepy? Of course. The perfect Halloween tour? Undoubtedly. History buffs don period dress and appear as some of the community’s most “notable” inhabitants to set the scene of life 180 years ago.
When: Oct. 31
Where: Chestnut Street Cemetery, Apalachicola
OLD FLORIDA CRACKER CRAFT SHOW & THANKSGIVING FESTIVAL — This outdoor celebration includes the best of the fall holidays: Halloween costumes, trick-or-treating and Thanksgiving feasting. Yes, along with a large arts and crafts fair and produce market, “kids” of all ages can compete in a Halloween costume contest and then enjoy their first Thanksgiving feast of 2020 complete with turkey, ham, dressing, sweet potatoes, casseroles and more. New in 2020 is the addition of a pie baking contest, pie auction and corn boil.
When: Oct. 31
Where: Harbison Farm Cattle & Produce, Anthony
LA VIE EN BLEU — Be awed by more than 80 works by the French impressionist, Marguerite Castaing, who was accepted into the French Salon with a collection of pen and ink landscapes at age 16. After moving to Paris in 1918, she studied under Paul Laurens and Pierre Bonnard, exhibiting her work in the Paris Salon for 15 years. This will be the first public exhibition of her work in over a decade.
When: Nov. 4 - Dec. 31
Where: St. Augustine Art Association Gallery
MOUNTAINFILM ON TOUR — For 20 years, Mountainfilm has curated an annual collection of documentaries that use art and ideas to inspire. After debuting the festival lineup in it’s Telluride home the featured films go on tour and they will get an extra-special treatment with one-day of Drive-In Viewing on the 9th hole of the Watersound Origins Golf Course. Guests will be required to remain in their cars and are encouraged to bring food and drinks. Fans who would prefer to enjoy the films from their sofa, can access the film collection virtually for 48 hours.
When: Nov. 6-7
PENSACOLA SEAFOOD FESTIVAL — Sample a variety of dishes featuring locally caught seafood while enjoying live entertainment. The Gulf to Table area of the fest features the city’s best chefs serving up fresh creations sourced directly from the Gulf. Also, learn how you can up your own game in the kitchen when some of these culinary masters work the Fiesta Seafood Grille, an outdoor demo kitchen. The 43rd annual event also includes Gulf Coast arts and craft vendors and kids’ zone. The festival was previously scheduled in September.
When: Nov. 6-8
Where: downtown Pensacola
PUBLIC EYE SOAR — In any other year when the lights go down, Panama City’s downtown buildings come alive with projection art, photography and short films submitted by artists from around the globe. Instead of canceling this year’s event, organizers looked for a solution. The large blank walls of the Panama City Mall were the perfect solution. Guests will be able to view the interactive art from the privacy of their cars as Eye SOAR becomes a drive-thru experience.
When: Nov. 6-7
Where: Panama City Mall
5TH ANNUAL BLOODY MARY & MUSIC FESTIVAL — There are trophies. And then there are TROPHIES. Like the one that goes to the mixologist that stirs up the “Best Bloody Mary in the Grand Lagoon” and is four feet tall and topped with a tomato. Although it’s a friendly competition, Dat Cajun Place is probably hoping to make a second victory lap this year. Guests will be encouraged to social distance and wear masks when not drinking or eating.
When: Nov. 7
Where: Sheraton Panama City Beach Golf & Spa Resort
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
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.
ARTSQUEST FINE ARTS FESTIVAL: VIRTUAL EXHIBITION — For 32 years, ArtsQuest has been giving up-and-coming artists and craftsmen the opportunity to find new fans in the Sunshine State. But everything is different this year. Instead of a weekend event, the festival will be going online for the whole month of October. Art lovers still will be able to view and purchase original artwork from more than 150 artists in fields like ceramics, jewelry, digital art, photography, watercolor, printmaking and more. The ArtsQuest jury will still award more than $10,000 in cash prizes.
When: Saturday, Oct. 1-31
MOCA JACKSONVILLE: ONLINE TOUR — Although Jacksonville’s Museum of Contemporary Art has reopened for in-person visits and tours, they understand that many might still prefer to visit from the comfort of home. Virtual visitors will embark on a live 360-degree tour of the galleries led by either one of the museum’s curators or members of the educational team. The tour includes two temporary exhibits, Project Atrium: Rina Banerjee and Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Print Media; as well as the permanent collection.
When: Tuesdays through Thursdays
THE DOWNTOWN FESTIVAL & ART SHOW — All you need to experience Gainesville’s 39th annual art festival is a wifi connection or smartphone. Following in the footsteps of several other in-person art fests canceled due to COVID, organizers are taking their event to the virtual space. Guests will be able to support local and national artists in all mediums with online purchases, watch live performances and keep your child creating with the online Imagination Station that includes hands-on art activities they can complete at home.
When: Nov. 7-8
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