Florida Events for September and October 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:
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
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
KEY WEST PADDLE CLASSIC – Water sports enthusiasts on paddleboards and other self-propelled watercraft can race around the continental United States’ southernmost island. The 12-mile challenge takes competitors past island landmarks such as the Southernmost Point marker, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park and Mallory Square, site of Key West’s nightly sunset celebration. Masks are required only on land, not when you are out on the water.
When: Oct. 3
Where: Off the waters of Key West
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. 1 and 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.
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
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)
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. 4, Oct. 11, 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
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
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
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
PLANT CITY BIKE FEST – After skipping its spring event, Plant City Bike Fest is cautiously returning with several distancing and safety protocols in place. The evening event features a motorcycle show including classic and antique bikes, a variety of food trucks serving up eats and treats, dozens of vendors selling everything from biker gear to artwork, live music and other fun activities for all ages.
When: Oct. 3
Where: Downtown Plant City
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
MOUNT DORA BICYCLE FESTIVAL – Cyclists from all over the world love this four-day weekend of multiple routes along gorgeous Mount Dora, with distance-friendly activities ranging from a photo scavenger hunt to crushing hill climbs, as well as pre-ride breakfasts, a beer garden and other activities. This year offers new “Gran Fondo” timed challenge options for the chance to be named the Gran Fondo King and Queen.
When: Oct. 3-6
Where: Mount Dora
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
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
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
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
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
TRAM TOUR — The Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserve will resume its monthly tram tours of the preserve this month. The 2-hour adventure includes 30-minute history talk at the visitor center before heading into the preserve for the nature tour. The tram moves slowly so guests can listen to an environmental specialist while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. Reservations are required, as are masks inside the visitor center. The open-air tram will not run at full capacity and there will be an empty row between each group.
When: September 17
Where: St. Joseph Bay Buffer State Preserve
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: Sept. 19, 26, Oct. 3, 10, 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
COSMIC CONCERTS — With so many spooktaculars canceled this fall, the Museum of Science and History’s Cosmic Concerts set to Halloween-themed playlists are here to fill the void. The planetarium show will spark the senses with laser lights, high-def imagery and digital sound. Guests can choose from four shows with lighter, more child-friendly hits like Thriller and Monster Mash scoring the first two shows. The playlists get “darker” as the night progresses with the Laser X show including a mostly 90s metal lineup that concludes with White Zombie’s More Human Than Human. Pink Floyd fans can close out the night with a special concert set to the band’s iconic album, The Wall.
When: Oct. 2
Where: Bryan-Gooding Planetarium at MOSH, Jacksonville
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
GREEK FESTIVAL 2020: TO GO — For 22 years, the annual Greek festival was a harbinger of fall in St. Augustine with families lining up for gyros and spanakopita then dancing off the calories to traditional Greek tunes. Instead of canceling the festival completely, the organizers have turned it into to-go eats and treats. Fans can place their orders online starting now and then specify date and time for pickup on Oct. 9 or Oct. 10. For savory options, choose from Chicken Souvlaki, Roast Lamb, Moussaka, Pastitsio and more. And don’t forget dessert. The Kourabiedes are calling your name.
When: Oct. 9-10
Where: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, St. Augustine
AMELIA ISLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL — Pajamas or cocktail attire? Dirty martini or bordeaux? These are the tough decisions jazz fans have to face while preparing to tune in for Amelia Island’s annual headliner concerts from the comfort of their living room. Yes, living room. The annual fest will be live-streaming both headliner concerts from Story & Song on Amelia Island. Friday’s will feature The Dynamic Les DeMerle Band with Bonnie Eisele in a salute to Duke Ellington. Meanwhile, trumpeter Longineu Parsons will perform To Satchmo With Love on Saturday night. To round out the weekend, WJCT’s Electro Lounge will host a Radio Jazz Brunch featuring memorable performances from previous years.
When: Oct. 9-11
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.
GAINESVILLE LATINO FILM FESTIVAL — For 16 years, Gainesville’s film fest celebrating Latin American culture has featured groundbreaking and highly-acclaimed films. Although guests will not be able to physically gather to watch and discuss this year’s works, at least two feature films will be available each week for online viewing. The festival kicks off with Birds of Passage, which offers another take on the origins of the Colombian drug trade through the eyes of one family.
When: Sept. 10 - Oct. 3
SING OUT LOUD VIRTUAL SESSIONS — Sadly, St. Augustine’s 5th annual September musicpalooza was postponed until 2021, but festival organizers didn’t want to leave music fans without some sweet sounds. Instead, they organized three weekends of music featuring 28 acts live-streamed from some of St. Augustine’s iconic live music venues including The St. Augustine Amphitheatre and the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.
When: Sept. 19-20, 26-27
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
PIRATES OF THE HIGH SEAS FEST — This year’s fest, postponed from the summer, is perfect for landlubbers as it’s going virtual for 2020. The virtual fest will be geared toward kids. Fans will be able to tune into Facebook for live-streamed events including a pirate battle, social media costume contest, virtual scavenger hunt, live music, pirate invasion and more. A preliminary event line-up is available at https://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com/piratesofthehighseas with more details to come.
When: Oct. 5-11
Where: Panama City Beach
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
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