Please check individual websites for complete details; be aware that dates can change and cancellations may occur.

The Key West World Championship Offshore Race.

 

Florida Events for October and November 2021

Whatever your passion, Florida has something for you. Here are just some of the major events scheduled in the Sunshine State.  Please check individual websites for more details.
 

South Florida

Central Florida

North Florida

Santa's Enchanted Forest in Hialeah Park.

 

SOUTH FLORIDA

NIGHT MARKET AT DANIA POINTE – When the sun goes down, farmers will have already laid out their produce, craft makers will already have set out their handmade, homemade and remade merchandise and a local musician begins to set the scene for the night. It’s all part of a street bazaar fashioned after the famous Temple Street in Hong Kong.
When: The second and fourth Friday night of every month for the rest of the year
Where: Dania Beach
Web: nightmarketatdaniapointe.com

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
Web: fws.gov/refuge/JN_Ding_Darling/visit/visitor_activities 

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
Web: letsroam.com/scavenger_hunt/Fort_Myers_Scavenger_Hunt

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
Web: letsroam.com

UNDERWATER BURLESQUE SHOWS – You’ll be able to enjoy living mermaids from MeduSirena and her pod of Aquaticats performing from a porthole view while enjoying a tropical cocktail and dining on fresh seafood. Recently added is a show with The Aquamen. Admission to the show is $60 per person, with a credit of $45 toward food and beverages during the show. Patrons are required to wear masks except while eating and drinking. There will be no bar seating and no dancing. Tables will be spaced out and capacity has been cut by 50 per cent.
When: Ongoing. The ladies perform every Friday and Saturday night and the men are on Thursday night.
Where: Wreck Bar at B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
Web: bhotelsandresorts.com/b-ocean-resort/eat-drink/mermaids-at-the-wreck-bar/

AVRON B. FOGELMAN SPORTS HISTORY MUSEUM – After being closed more than a year due to Covid-19, it is open again. The 3,500 square-foot exhibit holds 1,200 pieces of sports memorabilia valued at about $10,000,000. It is widely recognized as one of the largest private sports collections owned by a private individual. Highlights include: The 13 original rules of basketball by James Naismith, Babe Ruth’s uniform pants worn on his first day as a New York Yankee in 1921, Joe DiMaggio’s 1936 uniform, Roger Maris’s uniform worn in 1961 when he broke the single-season home run record, Hank Aaron’s uniform from 1974 when he broke the career home run record, the final cleats worn by football legend Jim Thorpe, a football signed by the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins, the 1969 Ryder Cup Trophy and the 1985 Kansas City Royals World Series Trophy (Fogelman once owned the Royals).
When: Now and ongoing
Where: Florida Atlantic University campus, Boca Raton
Web: fau.edu/artsandletters/fogelman-sports-museum/

FOR THE RECORD: CELEBRATING ART BY WOMEN – This exhibit at the Norton Museum of Art looks at the contributions by women to the visual arts through the lens of the museum’s collections. It explores themes such as labor, activism, race, identity and gender in a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photography and video. Some of the highlighted artists include Teresita Fernandez, Viola Frey, Ellen Gallagher, Nikki S. Lee, Mariko Mori, Alison Saar, Mary Sibande, Kate Shepherd and Jennifer Steinkamp. The museum is offering free admission on Saturdays through Labor Day to Palm Beach County residents (valid ID must be shown).
When: now through October 31
Where: Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach
Web: norton.org

HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD – That’s Hollywood, Florida, not Tinsel Town. This friendly city nestled about halfway between Fort Lauderdale and Miami has two monthly events that are worthy of your attention: the Downtown Artwalk and the Dream Car Classic. The former presents a mural tour and the Hollywood Artisan Market, which features pop-up shops, artist showcases and vintage shopping. The latter features dozens – up to 85 – of hot rods, custom cars and trucks, modern beauties and classics.
When: Respectively, third Saturday and first Sunday of each month.
Where: downtown Hollywood
Web: hollywoodfl.org

FORT LAUDERDALE INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW – More than $4 billion worth of merchandise will be on display, including extraordinary super yachts, runabouts, sport fishers, high performance boats, center consoles, cabin cruisers, skiffs, express cruisers, sailing yachts, motor yachts, bowriders, catamarans, ski boats, trawlers, inflatables, canoes, kayaks and an amazing array of marine accessories. Don’t miss the Bluewild Ocean Adventure Expo, which includes seminars and art exhibits. Pamper yourself and book space in the air-conditioned Windward VIP lounge in the heart of the super yacht section. Also included: kids’ fishing clinics, fishing and diving seminars, live water sports demonstrations, floating cocktail lounges and really good food. For Covid-19 safety protocols, click on “Attend” in the top left corner of the website below.
When: Oct. 27-31
Where: Various locations in Fort Lauderdale
Web: flibs.com

BOYNTON BEACH HAUNTED PIRATE FEST & MERMAID SPLASH – Event highlights include a pirate invasion, the Wheel of Death, live pirate reenactments, authentic pirate encampments, cannon shootings, continuous live music, adult and children costume contests, mermaid and pirate encounters, a mermaid pageant, Seven Seas Restaurant Row (featuring yummy food from local restaurants), comedy acts, crafts, games and a treasure hunt. Masks are not required, but they are recommended when social distancing is not possible.
When: Oct. 30-31
Where: downtown Boynton Beach
Web: bbpiratefest.com  

FANTASY FEST – Leave the young’uns at home and head for this non-stop, adult-themed mega-party. Some of the more high profile events (the Headress Ball, the street fair and parade) have been cancelled this year, but there will still be plenty of fun to be had, including costume competitions (one for pets, too!), island bands, pool parties, a scavenger hunt, a living art expo and great food. The theme for this year’s 41st celebration is: “All A Daze for a Holiday.” Click on the orange bar at the top of the website below for Covid safety information and protocols.
When: Oct. 22-31
Where: Various locations in Key West
Web: fantasyfest.com

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW – Several hundred new cars, crossovers and SUVs will be showcased. Attendees will be able to test drive new cars and trucks from Toyota, Chevrolet and Nissan. The Antique Automobile Club of America’s South Florida Region will present a lineup of classics. Vehicles expected to be on display include a 1959 Ford Skyliner, a 1956 Chevy Nomad wagon, a 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe, a 1968 Mercedes Benz 280SE coupe, a 1969 Camaro Indy Pace car, and a 1974 Detomaso Pantera.  At the end of the show one lucky visitor will win a new Hyundai Sonata. Masks are required.
When: Oct. 16-24
Where: Miami Beach Convention Center
Web: miamiandbeaches.com/event/miami-international-auto-show/121?category=12

BEER! BRATWURST! LIVE MUSIC! MORE BEER! -- It being October, we could only be talking about Oktoberfest. Here are some of the celebrations:

SOUTH BEACH SEAFOOD WEEK & FESTIVAL – Attendees will help kick off the annual Stone Crab season and enjoy a myriad of other seafood yummies prepared by Miami’s top chefs and restaurants. Also: live bands, culinary and mixology demonstrations, a kids zone, health village and VIP hospitality benefits.  All events are outdoors with ample room for social distancing. Masks are not required for guests, but they are invited to bring them if they want to do so. All staff will be in compliance with CDC guidelines.
When: Oct. 20-23
Where: Various locations in Miami Beach
Web: sobefoodfest.com

NAPLES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL – The highlight this year will be a presentation of Back to the Future, with the film’s music score performed live by the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. More than 50 films will be presented, including narrative features, documentary features, short films and student films. In 2019 MovieMaker Magazine named it among one of the top 25 coolest film festivals in the world. Organizers strongly recommend masks be worn and they are required if you are not vaccinated.
When: Oct. 21-24
Where: Various locations in Naples
Web: naplesfilmfest.com

REEF FEST – Activities include seminars, evening social gatherings, silent and live auctions and, of course, diving events along some of the best coral reef sites in the country. For non-Scuba folks, there will be snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding. All seminars are free, but pre-registration is recommended. Click on “FAQs” at the web site below for information on health and safety information.      
When: Oct. 14-17
Where: Various locations in and near Key Largo
Web: reef.org/REEFFest

CELEBRATE ORGULLO – This 15-day multi-genre extravaganza showcases Hispanic LGBTQ Pride (Orgullo means Pride in Spanish) during Hispanic Heritage & LGBTQ Pride Month. Highlights include fashion art work displays, art diva bus tours an Art Deco walking tour, an Art Diva bus tour, a concert and drive-in move night (this year’s flick is The Birdcage), writer workshops and a roller derby night. All CDC guidelines will be followed and wearing of masks in encouraged.
When: Oct. 1-15
Where: Various locations in Miami Beach and Miami.
Web: celebrateorgullo.com

ZOO BOO – Kids under the age of 12 can trick-or-treat in costumes, participate in costume contests, meet special characters, make Halloween crafts and see the animals get their Halloween goodies. Zoo Boo is included with general admission to the zoo. Masks are recommended but required only when feeding an animal.
When: Oct. 30-31
Where: Zoo Miami
Web: zoomiami.org/zoo-events/event/zoo-boo-2021

SCARECROWS GALORE – These scarecrows aren’t meant to scare anybody! Instead they will show how creative residents of these communities are.

  • Scarecrows in the Park – Ordinary folks of all ages will make their own scarecrows based on this year’s theme of book characters. They will be on display for two weeks. If you want to have a scarecrow shown, you need to register by Sept. 24. Scarecrows in the Park is part of a larger event called Fall Festival, which also includes a train ride, hay rides, bounce houses and yummy fare food. Masks are not required, but they are recommended if you can’t properly social distance in crowds.
    When: Oct. 15-31 
    Where:
    Lakes Park, Fort Myers
    Web: lakespark.org/scarecrows/
  • Scarecrows in the Forest Art Exhibit and Contest – These scarecrows are made from natural and recycled materials. There are cash prizes will be awarded in each of three categories: school-age individuals or groups, not-for-profit groups and businesses, amateur individuals and creative professionals. Masks are required.
    When: Now through November 30
    Where: Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden
    Web: keywest.garden

SWAMP CELEBRATION – For two days each year, visitors to the Big Cypress National Preserve can explore through guided swamp walks the private property surrounding noted photographer Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery. Tours are 45 minutes and are limited to 10 people adults and five children. Reservations are required, as are masks. Make sure to check out the gallery to see Butcher’s amazing nature photographs. Masks are also required inside the gallery.
When: Oct. 23-24
Where: Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee
Web: swampcelebration2021.eventbrite.com/?aff=EventListing

CARIBBEAN CULTURE FEST – Hungering for some live music in the soca, reggae, dance hall, zouk, salsa and kompa genres? If so, this event is for you. It has always been a fusion of art, food and music connecting the Caribbean countries.
When: Oct. 16-17
Where: Miramar Regional Park Amphitheater, Miramar
Web: caribbeanculturefest.eventbrite.com

MIAMI BOOK FAIR – After a virtual-only event last year due to Covid-19, one of the best book fairs in the country, if not the world, returns with a three-pronged approach. You can attend in person, via live streaming and virtually. Some of the attending authors will be (either in person and live streaming and virtual only) Cynthia Barnett, Matilda Bernstein, Charles M. Blow, T.C. Boyle, Andrea Elliott, Kaitlyn Greenidge, Laura Lippman, Joe Nesbo, Joshua Prager, Andrew Ross, Jane Smiley, Les Standiford, Paula Stone Williams, Lisa Taddeo, Vendela Vida and Thad Ziolkowski. Capacity for the in-person sessions will be limited and masks are required. For the always popular outdoor Street Fair, masks are recommended but not required. The same is true for the Children’s Alley and the Porch, which always features good live music.
When: Nov. 14-21
Where: Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, Miami
Web: MiamiBookFair.com

WET & WILD IN NAPLES -- Naples is the place for the splashy events below, all under the Pro Watercross umbrella and part of the world-championships final event of the year. In addition to the competitions, there are fun, family-friendly events for riders of all ages and skill levels. 

  • 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.
  • The MotoSurf event attracts the best motor-powered surfboard riders from around the world in a thrilling contest of nerves, fitness and skill.

When: Nov. 4-7
Where: All events are at Lake Avalon at Sugden Regional Park, Naples
Web: paradisecoast.com/event/pro-watercross-world-championships-sugden-regional-park/4951

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. Masks are recommended but not required for attendees.
When: Nov. 20-21
Where: Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers
Web: edisonford.org

THE TIMBERTECH CHAMPIONSHIP – If you are fan of the best older-than-50 golfers in the world, this one is for you. It’s the second leg of the three-tournament series that will determine the PGA Champions Charles Schwab Cup winner. The purse is $2 million, with $330,000 going to the winner. Fifty-four top golfers will be fighting for 36 spots in the final tournament the following weekend. At press time, the top 10 on the PGA Champions list, in order, were Bernhard Langer, Jim Furyk, Jerry Kelly, Ernie Els, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Retief Goosen, Kevin Sutherland, Mike Weir, Darren Clarke and Steve Stricker, who recently captained the United States team that beat the Europeans in the Ryder Cup. Besides the tournament itself, there will be men’s and women’s Pro-Ams, putting contests and clinics. Aside from walking the grounds, fans can check out the action from skyboxes and preferred seating. For those under 17 or over 70, admission is free. Masks are not required.
When: Nov. 1-7
Where: The Old Course at Broken Sound in Boca Raton
Web: thepalmbeaches.com/top-event/timbertech-championship

FEAST OF LITTLE ITALY – It’s the largest Italian festival in South Florida, with about 70,000 people attending each year. Of course, there will be great Italian food and wine, but so much more: live music, art, a bocce pavilion, wine seminars, cooking demos and pizza and lasagna eating contests.
When: Nov. 5-7
Where: Abacoa Town Center, Jupiter
Web: www.feastoflittleitaly.com 

SEED FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL – It’s one of the premiere plant-based food, wine and wellness fests in the country. There are cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, celebrity chef dinners, workouts and yoga, craft beer and spirits tastings, workshops and panels. The Plant-Based Burger Battle is one of the featured events. Everything served during the festival will be 100 percent plant-based/vegan and whenever possible organic and non-GMO verified.
When: Nov. 3-7
Where: Various locations in Miami-Dade County
Web: seedfoodandwine.com

LIGHTS! CAMERAS! ACTION! FILM FESTS!  There are four in SoFla in November that are sure to entertain movie aficionados:

  • The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival has worked its way into becoming one of the best in the nation, showcasing top independent films from around the world. It is recommended that masks be worn inside theaters, except while eating and drinking.When: Nov. 4-21
    Where: Various theaters in Broward County or from the comfort of your own couch with FLIFF’s Virtual Cinema on Demand option.
    Web: fliff.com
  • The Annual Miami Short Film Festival will present films from around the world that are short in length (no more than 20 minutes,) but long on creativity.
    When: Nov.12-14
    Where: The Deering Estate in Miami for the opening night outdoor gala and Regal Cinema South Beach for the movies. Fully vaccinated people no not have to wear masks while inside the theater.
    Web: miamishortfilmfestival.com
  • The Key West Film Festival always features films that exhibit excellence in story-telling. And, you can’t beat the setting for all the parties.
    When: Nov. 17-21
    Where: Various locations in Key West
    Web: kwfilmfest.com
  • Miami Film Festival GEMS showcases independent American and international films with an emphasis on Ibero-American movies.
    When: Nov. 4-10
    Where: Tower Theater, Miami
    Web: miamifilmfestival.com

KEY WEST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OFFSHORE RACE – The Indy 500 of powerboat racing, it’s the finals of the eight-month long Super Boat International series. High-speed offshore powerboats race for 6.5 miles in Key West Harbor and surrounding waters and reach speeds of 140 miles per hour. Attendees will be outside most of the time, so masks are not required.
When: Nov. 3-10
Where: Key West
Web: raceworldoffshore.com

SANTA’S ENCHANTED FOREST -- Get an early start to the ho-ho-ho season with SoFla’s tallest Christmas tree light show, millions of dazzling lights, hundreds of themed displays, delicious food, live music and carnival rides. Masks are not required outdoors, but they are highly recommended. Masks are required indoors.
When: Nov. 4-Jan. 2, 2022
Where: Hialeah Park, Hialeah
Web: santasenchantedforest.com

LAGOONFEST – Learn about the marvels of Lake Worth Lagoon and have a lot of fun in the process. The schedule includes live music, wildlife presentations, art exhibitions, children’s activities, mural wall painting, lagoon tours and water sports. Right next door is the West Palm Beach Green Market, featuring delicious locally grown seasonal fruits and veggies.
When: Nov. 6
Where: West Palm Beach Waterfront, West Palm Beach
Web: LagoonFest in West Palm Beach | Discover The Palm Beaches

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. Masks are not required.
When: Nov. 12-13
Where: Bergeron Rodeo Grounds in Davie
Web: davieprorodeo.com

DIVING IN POP CULTURE – This museum exhibit shows all the creative ways diving has been incorporated into pop culture for more than 100 years. It features representations of diving in literature, advertising, film, television (remember Lloyd Bridges in Sea Hunt?!), music, attractions and collectibles. Anyone over the age of 2 who is not fully vaccinated should wear a mask while inside the museum.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: History of Diving Museum, Islamorada
Web: divingmuseum.org

DAY OF THE DEAD – After taking a year off due to Covid-19, this spirited festival of remembrance and revelry is back. As participants say, it’s a day to remember the dead and party for the living. It’s a creative spectacle that honors Mexican and Latin American traditions, embracing a universe of ideas of talented skull inspired artists, mariachi musicians, painted performers and happy skeleton clad revelers. The highlight of the party is the Muertos Street Festival, featuring food trucks and traditional dance and street performers. Most of the events are outdoors, but the city of Fort Lauderdale recommends that masks be worn indoors and outside when social distancing cannot be practiced.
When: Nov. 2
Where: Various locations in downtown Fort Lauderdale
Web: dayofthedeadflorida.com

A HAVANA NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM – Ever wonder what Havana was like in its heyday back in the 1940s? You can find out by attending this outdoor event. There will be cabaret music, casino tables, dominoes, specialty cocktail, an elegant dinner and the opportunity to bid on trips, jewelry and other personal indulgences. No wonder Havana was once called “America’s Playground!”
When: Nov. 13
Where: Florida Keys History & Discovery Center, Islamorada
Web:  keysdiscovery.com/signature-event

CIRCUIT FESTIVAL – This had always been a popular international gay event, but it came to Miami for the first time in 2019 and returns this year after missing last year due to Covid-19. There will be massive nighttime events with world-class production in spectacular locations, daytime parties and top international DJs.
When: Nov. 25-29
Where: Various locations in Miami Beach
Web: circuitfestival.net/miami/

HAY MAZE MIAMI – The main attractions are an 80-foot by 80-foot hay maze and pumpkin wall but also included are a beer garden, a leaf pit (throwing leaves is encouraged!) scarecrows, haystacks, sunflowers and all kinds of pumpkin-inspired food.
When: Oct. 22-Nov. 7
Where: Downtown Miami
Web: miamihaymaze.com

ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVALS GALORE – When the weather starts to cool down even just a little, the arts & crafts fairs and festival scene starts to heat up. Most of these are outdoors, but check city guidelines for possible Covid-19 protocols. Here’s the November South Florida lineup:

  • Artfest in the Pines: Nov. 6-7, at Charles F. Dodge City Center, Pembroke Pines. festivalnet.com
  • Boca Raton Fine Art Show: Nov. 6-7 at Mizner Park Amphitheater. HotWorks.org
  • Downtown Venice Art Festival: Nov. 6-7. artfestival.com
  • Naples Artcrafters Fine Art & Craft Show: Nov. 13 at Cambier Park, Naples. NaplesArtCrafters.com
  • Sanibel Masters Art Festival: Nov. 26-27, along Periwinkle Way, Sanibel. boulderbrook.net
  • Big Pine & Lower Keys Island Art Festival: Nov. 27, on the grounds of the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, Mile Marker 31, Oceanside. fla-keys.com/calendar
  • Art in the Park Art & Fine Craft Show: Nov. 27-28. Memorial Park, Stuart. festivalnet.com
  • Art in the Park Fine Art & Craft Show: Nov. 27-28 in 2021 in Memorial Park, Stuart. festivalnet.com
  • Punta Gorda Thanksgiving Weekend Sullivan Street Craft Festival: Nov. 27-28. artfestival.com

 

 

Stetson Mansion Tours for the holidays.

 

 

CENTRAL FLORIDA

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
Web: sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/lake-apopka/wildlife-drive

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.  
When: Daily 
Where: Lukas Nursery, Oviedo
Web: lukasnursery.com/butterfly-encounter

BUSCH GARDENS HOWL-O-SCREAM – Busch Gardens’ famous nighttime Halloween party returns with its terrifying, gory and spectacular haunted houses, immersive scare zones and costumed performers throughout the park. Geared toward adults and teens, Howl-O-Scream is sure to give even the bravest thrill-seeker a fright, and this year features three all-new haunted house experiences as well as electrifying music and dance performances at Festival Field and Dragon Fire Grill. In between screams, guests can ride Busch Gardens’ famous coasters in the dark.
When: Sept. 10-Oct. 31
Where: Busch Gardens, Tampa
Web: https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/howl-o-scream/

MOUNT DORA CRAFT FAIR – Now in its 37th year and ranked the #1 Contemporary / Craft Festival in America by Sunshine Artist magazine, the Mount Dora Craft Fair brings more than 400 exhibitors to the streets of historic downtown Mount Dora. Festival food, music, beer and a wine-tasting for adults round out the happenings.
When: Oct 23, 24
Where: downtown Mount Dora
Web: https://mtdoracraftfair.com/

FLORIDA BIRDING & NATURE FESTIVAL – Learn more about Florida’s rich and fascinating wildlife and come away with a new appreciation for reptiles, birds and wetlands after this three-day fest of walking, driving and boating tours and expert seminars. There’s also a cool nature expo where guests can learn more about getting involved with nature preservation organizations, photography and bird-watching, and for those who want to tune in virtually, the fest offers a number of educational Zoom seminars. Participation in the field trips is limited so register early.
When: Oct. 15-17
Where: Manatee Viewing Center, Apollo Beach
Web: https://www.floridabirdingandnaturefestival.org/

BIKETOBERFEST – Daytona Beach once again rolls out the red carpet for motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the country visiting the beach town for this fun, four-day party that fills the streets with a thunderous roar. Enjoy daily and nightly live bands, check out the latest gear and custom creations at the swap meet and bike show, sample locally made craft beer and take part in countywide rides with fellow bikers.
When: Oct. 14-17
Where: Daytona Beach
Web: https://www.daytonabeach.com/biketoberfest/

HUNSADER FARMS PUMPKIN FESTIVAL – Visit a real Central Florida working farm which opens its grounds for three weekends in October for a peek at country life at its finest. This festival has it all, including live animals and a kids’ petting farm, pony rides, a corn maze, chainsaw sculpting demonstrations, country bands, hayrides, a children’s train, homemade ice cream, pumpkin pie, roasted sweet corn, games, face painting and a walk-in butterfly exhibit.
When: Oct. 16-17, 23-24, 30-31
Where: Hunsader Farms, Bradenton
Web: https://www.hunsaderfarms.com/pumpkin-festival

FOX SQUIRREL CORN MAZE – The Futch family brings back this fan-favorite corn maze and fall fest for its 10th year, showing off its vast acreage while offering horse and pony rides, duck races, a gigantic slingshot aimed at a scarecrow, a toddler-sized hay bale maze and other fun activities for all ages. Shop for pumpkins, moo at some cows and dance along to live bluegrass music while noshing on fair foods like kettle corn and boiled peanuts.
When: Weekends only, Oct. 9-24
Where: Single R Ranch, Plant City
Web: https://futchentertainment.com/the-fox-squirrel-corn-maze/

DUNEDIN STONE CRAB FESTIVAL – Kick off delicious stone crab season at this annual low-key event held at a couple scenic waterside restaurants, where people can sit and enjoy some steamed claws, cold beer and live music. The fest has scaled down in recent years due to a tropical storm in 2019 and COVID-19 in 2020, but is still committed to serving up this sustainable seafood treat, either dine-in or to-go, and bringing out bands to entertain in a safe, outdoor setting.
When: Oct. 30
Where: Downtown Dunedin
Web: https://www.dunedinstonecrabfestival.com/

TOP DOG 2021 – Dog and human guests are invited to this memorable and hilarious Westminster-like dog show, held in two different locations to raise money for a Donte’s Den, a charitable long-term care facility for homeless dogs. Enter your pet into a variety of competitions, such as Best Kiss and Best Dressed, and enjoy an evening of dinner, cocktails and a special presentation by psychic and author Michael Bodine
When: Oct. 9 & 16
Where: Bradenton Yacht Club, Palmetto; Bird Key Yacht Club, Sarasota
Web: https://www.dontesden.org/top-dog-2021/

THE HAUNTED ROAD –After a successful launch last year, Central Florida’s first contactless, drive-through Halloween experience is back, complete with bloody, creepy characters, spooky dark corners, sound effects and immersive storytelling. The 40-minute ride of terror builds on the “mysterious occurrences” and paranormal activity claims from last year, prompting some to wonder if Lake Pickett Road really is haunted. You decide, and if you make it to the end alive, there’s a special open-air add-on experience at the end that includes drinks, BBQ, a market and some bonus haunts.
When: Select dates throughout October
Where: Orlando
Web: https://www.thehauntedroad.com/

BUSCH GARDENS HOWL-O-SCREAM – Busch Gardens’ famous nighttime Halloween party returns with its terrifying, gory and spectacular haunted houses, immersive scare zones and costumed performers throughout the park. Geared toward adults and teens, Howl-O-Scream is sure to give even the bravest thrill-seeker a fright, and this year features three all-new haunted house experiences as well as electrifying music and dance performances at Festival Field and Dragon Fire Grill. In between screams, guests can ride Busch Gardens’ famous coasters in the dark.
When: Oct. 1-Oct. 31
Where: Busch Gardens, Tampa
Web: https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/howl-o-scream/

RIVERWALK HALLOWEEN HUNT – This free, family-friendly, not-too-spooky virtual scavenger hunt can be played any time along the Tampa Riverwalk by downloading an app and scanning a QR code. Players of all ages can solve riddles and puzzles, carry out tasks and enjoy the beautiful waterside space while competing as teams or individuals to be the top HalloWinners. And yes, that means prizes!
When: Oct. 16-31
Where: Tampa Riverwalk, downtown Tampa
Web: https://thetampariverwalk.com/events-news/events/halloween-hunt.html

ST. PETERSBURG SCIENCE FESTIVAL –Geared toward kiddos from kindergarten through middle school, this beloved educational fest is going virtual again this year, bringing the wonders of science, technology, engineering, art and math to families’ homes and teachers’ classrooms. Check out dozens of online live demonstrations, unique behind-the-scenes tours, and videos that explore robotics, slime, animals, puzzles and other cool STEAM activities. The two-day event will again be held in conjunction with MarineQuest, Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute's annual marine discovery day, which will also be streamed virtually for convenience and safety.
When: Oct. 15 & 16
Where: Virtual
Web: https://stpetescifest.org/

MOUNT DORA PLANT & GARDEN FAIR – After taking last year off out of an abundance of caution, this plant-lovers’ fair is returning slightly smaller and more spacious between vendors. Still, there will be no shortage of gorgeous blooms, fascinating native plants and baby trees, orchids and bamboo, as well as handmade wood furniture and whimsical yard art. Cocktails, beer, wine and food will also be available on site, and if you have time, check out some of the cool cafes and restaurants in Mount Dora while you’re visiting.
When: Nov. 13-14
Where: Donnelly Park, Mount Dora
Web: http://mountdoraplantandgardenfair.com/

FESTIVAL OF TREES – As a windup to the holiday season and a fundraiser for the Orlando Museum of Art, this fest features beautiful displays of designer-decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, creative gingerbread creations, stunning holiday vignettes, a silent auction, pop-up shops and a Toyland Town activity area for children. On select nights or weekend days during the festival, check out special OMA gala events, breakfast with Santa, treats in the Festival Café and other fun happenings as part of the celebration.
When: Nov. 13-21
Where: Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando
Web: https://omart.org/events/festival_of_trees/

SARASOTA OPEN AIR FINE ARTS SHOW – Bringing a monthly juried fine art and fine craft show to the pretty Phillippi Estate Park during the cooler months of the year, this event draws art lovers and shoppers from all over to check out original paintings, clay pottery, glass art, sculpture, fiber work, wood work, jewelry and handmade clothing and accessories for display or for sale. Enjoy the spacious, outdoor setting while also enjoying various gourmet food vendors and live music as you peruse.
When: Nov. 20-21
Where: Phillippi Estate Park, Sarasota
Web: https://artsandeducationinc.org/events/sarasota-open-air-fine-art-show/

STETSON MANSION CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR TOURS – Get into the holiday spirit by taking a self-guided tour through this grand and historic mansion, the largest and most modern home ever built in Florida before 1900. Beginning Nov. 1, several rooms in this state gem will be adorned with elaborate designer decorations and 24 nativities from around the world, and visitors can also see original School House featuring a soaring 15-foot Polynesian ceiling. As a pandemic precaution, the hour-long tours require timed reservations in limited groups, and masks are highly encouraged.
When: Nov. 1-Jan. 22
Where: Stetson Manion, DeLand
Web: https://www.stetsonmansion.com/christmas-tours

HALIFAX ART FESTIVAL – One of the oldest continual festivals in Florida, this 59-year-old event features hundreds of artists lining Daytona’s beautiful Beach Street (as well as some other area’s in the new layout this year), all in the breezy outdoors. Check out various works such as oil paintings, metal sculptures, pottery, wearable crafts and more. For the littlest guests, pick up a “Little Van Gogh to Go” kit to take home and let them create their own masterpiece.
When: Nov. 6, 7
Where: Daytona Beach
Web: https://halifaxartfestival.com/

YANKEETOWN ARTS, CRAFTS & SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – If you want a taste of what old Florida was like back in the day, check out Yankeetown, a small and relatively untouched coastal fishing village with moss-draped oaks and cracker-style homes. This quaint, free outdoor festival celebrates the town’s heritage by featuring handmade goods such as stained glass artwork and garden décor, as well as serving up fresh mullet spread, crab cakes and other seafood dishes.
When: Nov. 20-21
Where: Yankeetown
Web: https://yankeetownseafoodfestival.com/

THE CASEMENTS GASLIGHT PARADE & ANTIQUE CAR SHOW – Returning for its 63rd year, this post-Thanksgiving tradition is a car lover’s delight, beginning with a long and colorful Friday night street parade of classic and antique cars, including a  locally owned1953 Chevrolet 210. Then on Saturday, spectators can get up close and personal with the chrome-faced beauties lined along the Halifax River while enjoying the gorgeous Fortunato Park and snacking on refreshments.
When: Nov. 26-27
Where: The Casements, Ormond Beach
Web: http://thecasements.net/events.php

MAGIC OF LIGHTS – See over a million holiday lights in this brilliant drive-through holiday light display your 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 and the latest in digital animations depicting the favorite characters of the season, including a 200-foot light tunnel, animated snowmen, poinsettias, candy canes, a huge toy-land, a Victorian village and an enchanted forest, and of course, a jolly Santa Claus appearance.
When: Nov. 19-Jan. 1
Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach
Web: https://magicoflights.com/events/daytona/

TAMPA BAY TIMES FESTIVAL OF READING (VIRTUAL) – For the second year, St. Petersburg’s beloved reader-devoted festival will be completely virtual, featuring both live and recorded author readings, discussions and interviews over a weeklong 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 several different genres. This year’s headliner is Louise Erdrich, winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Night Watchman.”
When: Nov. 8-14
Where: Virtual
Web: https://www.tampabay.com/expos/festival-of-reading/

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 “Sandlantis” and this year guests can enjoy these intricate works of art made from Florida west coast sugar sand for two weekends instead of one. Vendors will also be selling food and sweet treats while live bands entertain the crowds, who will have plenty of room to space out along the beach.
When: Nov. 18-21& Nov. 26-28
Where: Treasure Island
Web: http://sandingovationsmasterscup.com/

GREEK FEST – Celebrate all things Greek with this free, three-day extravaganza of delicious food, dancing, live music, church tours and presentations. Dine on authentic dishes such as spanakopita and baklava while dancing along to live bouzouki music or enjoying dance troupes young and old. The fest will be following COVID-19 precautions, limiting indoor attendance and pre-wrapping or boxing items when appropriate. Come hungry and plan to stay late as you learn more about Greek culture and make some new friends.
When: Nov. 5-7
Where: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Maitland
Web: https://www.orlandogreekfest.com/

BARBERVILLE PIONEER SETTLEMENT’S 45th ANNUAL FALL COUNTRY JAMBOREE – Experience old Florida pioneer history by strolling 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 a goose named Igor and a donkey named Tamale, watch living history demonstrations, snack on some BBQ and check out an authentic sugar cane boil and buy some handmade crafts and wares. Masks are required in indoor spaces and social distanced will be encouraged throughout the settlement.
When: Nov. 6-7
Where: Barberville, Volusia County
Web: https://www.pioneersettlement.org/events-calendar

SHOPAPALOOZA – This post-Thanksgiving shopping tradition returns, devoted to small, local businesses and family-friendly fun and ensuring CDC-guided health and safety protocols are in place throughout the weekend-long event. Check out more than 250 booths, tents, stages and tables showcasing local shops, artists, musicians, food vendors and service providers. Pick up some holiday gifts, try some locally made treats and spend time in one of St. Pete’s most scenic waterside parks.
When: Nov. 20-21
Where: Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg
Web: https://www.shopapaloozafestival.com/

LONGWOOD ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL – Held in the streets of Longwood’s historic downtown district, this event will feature more than 200 artists and crafters showing and selling one-of-a-kind jewelry, purses, clothing, artwork, honeys, jams, spices, body lotions, glass sculptures and other curiosities for guests to get a jump-start on holiday shopping. Attendance is free and there will be plenty of fair food, beer, wine, desserts and other goodies for sale.
When: Nov. 20-21
Where: Longwood
Web: https://longwoodfestival.com/

 

  

                                                       

Super Girl Surf Pro Contest & Festival in Jacksonville.

 

 

 

NORTH FLORIDA

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.
When: Daily
Where: Pensacola
Web: emeraldcoasttours.net/segway-tours

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
Web: kayakamelia.com

FALL ON THE FARM — The weather might still be summer, but these northeast Florida farms bring a little taste of autumn to the Sunshine State with hayrides, corn mazes and pumpkin patches. 

  •  Sykes Family Farm Crop Maze (Oct. 2-30, Elkton): Sykes Family Farms’ 9-acre corn maze has four phases and provides guests with a passport with questions to help guide you through the maze. The first two phases cater to adults, the last two phases are for kids and feature large storyboards of Halloween-themed picture books throughout the journey. After reaching the finish line, kids can go on a hayride, meet the farm’s animals, watch duck races and check out the cow milking station. https://sycofarms.com
  • Amazing Grace Family Farm (Oct. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30, Green Cove Springs): Amazing Grace is honoring hometown Olympian, swimmer Caeleb Dressel, in the design of its 2021 maze. (Seriously, check it out on their Facebook page!) Other fall activities include visiting the pumpkin patch and sunflower field, hula hoop fun, a jump pad and meeting the farm animals. https://www.agcropmaze.com/fall

ART FESTS — It’s never too early to start checking items off your holiday shopping lists at one of these art festivals which each provide a one-of-a-kind shopping opportunity.  

  • Ocala Arts Festival (Oct. 23-24, Ocala): More than 150 artists will compete for $22,000 in prize money at the 56th annual fest. Includes live entertainment on two stages, food vendors, a student art showcase and kids activities. http://www.fafo.org/about-the-ocala-arts-festival
  • Festival of Arts (Oct. 30-31, Destin): Presented by the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, the 26th annual festival features the work of 65 artists in various disciplines including ceramics, digital art, jewelry, fiber and wood. Includes live entertainment, local food trucks and a beer garden. https://mkaf.org/arts-festival

RHYTHM & RIBS — Kiss a pig, groove to three days of live music and fulfill all your BBQ cravings from regional and national barbecue champions at one of St. Augustine’s largest food fests. The annual festival, which was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, is back and although it’s moved from spring to fall, the two things remain constant: the BBQ’s award winning and the live music keeps toes tapping and hips swaying. The headliners include Jordan Fletcher (Friday), Travis Tritt (Saturday) and the Luke Langford Band (Sunday). Includes kids games, rides and arts and crafts vendors. 
When: Oct. 15-17
Where: St. Augustine
Web: https://rhythmandribs.net

THEY’RE PLAYING MY SONG — You sing these tunes in the shower, while you’re making dinner or in the car. Now, get a chance to meet the real faces (and voices) behind some of your favorite hit country songs at one of these music fests that feature intimate stages in small venues.

  • Blast on the Bay Songwriters Festival (Oct. 15-17, Port St. Joe): Celebrating 11 years, Blast on the Bay brings the best musicians and songwriters from Nashville to the Gulf Coast. This year’s group has penned songs for Faith Hill, George Strait, Jason Aldean and Garth Brooks. Features more than 25 artists and seven venues. https://blastonthebay.com
  • St. Augustine Songwriters Festival (Oct. 22-24, St. Augustine): Learn the stories behind top country hits like Some of It performed by Eric Church, Homemade performed by Jake Owen and Already Gone performed by Sugarland when the songwriters take their place in the spotlight. Features more than 25 songwriters performing on multiple stages around the historic downtown. http://staugustinesongwritersfestival.com/index.html

39TH ANNUAL FALL FESTIVAL Orange Park’s inaugural Fall Festival consisted of 12 vendor booths and a few guitar players. Now, it’s one of the largest fall festivals in the greater Jacksonville area. This year’s fest will include more than 200 artists, crafters and vendors, two stages for live entertainment, 25 food vendors and a large Kids Zone with face painting, pony rides and a bungee jump. The Atlantic City Boys will be the event’s headliner performing each day.
When: Oct. 16-17
Where: Orange Park
Web: https://opfallfestival.com

PENSACOLA INTERSTATE FAIR — Have you missed deep-fried Oreos? A stomach-turning spin on the Wheel or Gravitron? The opportunity to attend a live concert? The 87th annual fair has announced their live entertainment lineup and Rodney Atkins, one of the top selling country singer/songwriters will headline the event. Other acts include a comedic stunt dog routine, blues and soul singer Jordan Chase, Sea Lion Splash and Cirque Ma’Ceo by Cavallo Equestrian Arts.
When: Oct. 21-31
Where: Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds
Web: http://www.pensacolafair.com

NATIONAL DOG SHOW — It’s four months until go time at Westminster for the nation’s floofiest, poofiest, well-bred hounds. While waiting to see which breed will take top billing, you can catch the top goldens in action at the Golden Retriever Club of America’s annual show. For more than a week, top dogs representing the breed will be judged in agility trials, field trials, tracking and obedience skills leading up to the main event, the Best of Breed show.
When: Oct. 22-30
Where: World Equestrian Center
Web: https://2021.grcanational.com/schedule

FLORIDA FOREST FESTIVAL — Help celebrate the “Tree Capital of the South,” aka Taylor County, with a day that promotes the benefits of the Sunshine State’s forest lands with cross cut saw and chainsaw competitions, the King Tree Parade and heavy equipment lumberjack shows. Guests can also partake in the free fish fry, a Strutt Your Mutt contest, kids parade and fireworks.
When: Oct. 23
Where: Perry
Web: http://www.floridaforestfestival.org

FLORIDA BAT FESTIVAL — Other than catching some of the largest bat species in action — be prepared to meet Calvin, a large flying fox, and his six-foot wingspan — what else can guests look forward to when attending the 17th annual fest? Baby bats! Bat-themed merch! You’re picking up on the theme, right? Bat education seminars! Plus, live music, food trucks and vendors, a kids zone with bounce houses and games and a beer garden. Festival goers ages 21 and up can purchase a ticket for the Beer Garden that includes a souvenir glass and unlimited pours from local craft brewers like Swamp Head Brewery, Azalea City Brewing Company and First Magnitude Brewing  Company. 
When: Oct. 23
Where: Lubee Bat Conservancy, Gainesville
Web: https://www.lubee.org/batfest

ORCHIDS IN THE GARDEN — Kanapaha combines its annual fall plant sale with the Gainesville Orchid Society’s annual juried show. Kanapaha welcomes all guests to explore their 68 acres of botanical gardens for free during the annual event. The plant sale includes more than 40 vendor booths selling a wide variety of plant species and garden accessories. The Orchid Society’s show will take place inside the main building and includes orchid suppliers and vendors.
When: Oct. 23-24
Where: Kanapaha Gardens, Gainesville
Web: https://kanapaha.org/fall-plant-%26-orchid-sale

FLORIDA GEORGIA PICKLEBALL CLASSIC — It may have been the fastest growing sport most people had never heard of until the pandemic left these same people searching for outdoor sports that promoted social distancing. Enter pickleball, which mashes up tennis, badminton and ping pong. Now players of all ages can relive their athletic glory days in weekend tournaments that feature singles or doubles competition with a net separating the playing surface. Psst ... in case you were wondering, this will not be the biggest Florida/Georgia competition of Halloween weekend. That’s actually happening in Jacksonville at TIAA Bank Field when the Gators and Bulldogs play their annual rivalry game on Saturday.
When: Oct. 29-31
Where: Treaty Park, St. Augustine
Web: https://www.pickleballtournaments.com/tournamentinfo.pl?tid=4991

BLUE ANGELS HOMECOMING SHOW — After spending half the year traveling the country performing their awe-inspiring, mid-air feats at air shows, the Blue Angels return to their home base for the winter. The air show kicks off with their arrival back at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Wednesday, followed by Thursday’s dress rehearsal. Due to Covid restrictions, the air show was moved to Pensacola Beach.   
When: Nov. 3-6 
Where: Pensacola Beach
Web: https://www.visitpensacola.com/events/signature-events/blue-angel-air-show

FOO FOO FESTIVAL — This 12-day celebration of arts and culture includes an eclectic lineup of culturally creative events and happenings around Pensacola from Nov. 4-15. See the full list at http://www.foofoofest.com. Some of the more intriguing events in this year’s lineup include:

  • Son et Lumiere (Nov. 4-7): When the lights go down, the old Escambia County Courthouse comes to life during this sound and light 3D digital projection showcase. The mashup will include scenes, people and imagery from 2o0 years ago projected on the building’s architecture which will add dimension and optical illusions. The show is paired with audio recordings.
  • Stamped Film Festival (Nov. 12-14): This weekend film festival celebrates an international lineup of LGBTQ films and filmmakers. On Sunday, the fest features a family-friendly day of viewing with films appropriate for all ages. That day also includes kids activities like face painting and balloon art.
  • Jazz for Justice (Nov. 14): This annual concert fundraiser will help close out Foo Foo Festival and features beloved New Orleans jazz artists Tuba Skinny and the New Breed Brass Band.

37TH ANNUAL FRANK BROWN INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL — With more than 200 performers taking the stage at 20 venues, guests of the longtime festival, named after the Flora-Bama’s former night watchman, will be treated to 11 days of music. From award winners to up-and-coming songwriters, you’ll be able to pick and choose your personalized lineup from 11 days of great music. Help plan your week ahead of time by listening to the Spotify and YouTube playlists the fest has created. Some top names at the 2021 fest include Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Dean Dillon, Rick Carter, Tess Frizzell and Bridgette Tatum.
When: Nov. 4-14 
Where: various venues along Florida, Alabama Gulf Coast
Web: https://www.frankbrownsongwriters.com

FLORIDA SEAFOOD FESTIVAL — The long-limbed oaks along the Apalachicola River make Battery Park a gorgeous venue for thousands of visitors seeking fresh seafood paired with country music. Christian artist Dante Bowe and country artist Drew Parker (While You’re Gone) will headline the annual festival live music showcase. Also features an oyster eating and oyster shucking contest, blue crab races, a blessing of the fleet and the 5K Redfish Run.  
When: Nov. 5-6 
Where: Battery Park, Apalachicola
Web: https://www.floridaseafoodfestival.com

GREAT GULFCOAST ART FESTIVAL — Score one-of-a-kind holiday presents at Pensacola’s fall art extravaganza. More than 200 artisans will be displaying their unique viewpoints in the different mediums including pottery, jewelry design, painting, woodworking, glass, sculpture and more. After crossing items that you need and don’t need off your shopping list, don’t forget to enjoy some of the other festival highlights including live music, performances by local dancers and folk groups, craft demos of traditional trade skills like blacksmithing and spinning in the Heritage Arts Area and the Student Art Show showcasing more than 2,000 works by local elementary, middle and high school students.  
When: Nov. 5-7 
Where: Seville Square Park, Pensacola
Web: https://www.ggaf.org

CIVIL WAR REENACTMENT: OCKLAWAHA RIVER RAID — Join hundreds of reenactors of all ages for a living history event that commemorates the only Civil War skirmish to take place in Marion County when the Union army raided area plantations. Includes two battle reenactments, authentic military camps and period displays.   
When: Nov. 5-7 
Where: Florida Horse Park, Ocala
Web: https://www.ocalamarion.com/events/civil-war-reenactment-ocklawaha-river-raid3

MCINTOSH 1890S FESTIVAL — Turn back time under the live oaks in Victorian McIntosh. Arts and crafts vendors will host demonstrations. Don’t forget to stop by the town’s museum in the restored historic railroad depot. Also antique vendors, children’s activities and food.  
When: Nov. 6 
Where: McIntosh
Web: http://www.friendsofmcintosh.com

RIGHT WHALE FESTIVAL —  In late fall, the endangered North Atlantic right whales return to the warm water off the coast of northeast Florida and southeast Georgia to give birth and nurse their young. This annual festival is part of the local efforts to educate the public and protect them from extinction in a fun, family-friendly environment. Includes ocean-themed activities and exhibits, live music, arts and craft vendors, kids activities, a beach clean-up, food and more. Guests will be encouraged to practice social distancing and face coverings will be required. 
When: Nov. 6-7 
Where: Fernandina Beach
Web: http://www.rightwhalefestival.com

TALLAHASSEE BEER FESTIVAL Sips and suds will be plentiful at Tallahassee annual craft brew fest featuring more than 200 different beers to sample. Not a traditional beer fan? They’ve got you covered with other offerings including ciders, meads, sparkling sodas and wine. All guests will receive a tasting cup, plus have the option to string their own pretzel necklace. More ambitious guests can register for the Beer Mile, a one-mile race in which participants get to drink a 12-ounce beer after each quarter-mile loop. Postponed from August.
When: Nov. 7
Where: Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, Tallahassee
Web: https://tlhbeerfest.com

SUPER GIRL SURF PRO CONTEST & FESTIVAL — Catch some of the top female surfers of the World Surf League at this three-day fest that combines a celebration of women’s action sports with a festival that focuses on female empowerment through social, athletic, cultural and business opportunities. The surf contest will take place at the Jacksonville Beach pier with the Festival Village located at the Sea Walk Pavilion. The Festival Village will feature live music, family-friendly activities, an all-female DJ competition, women’s beach soccer and volleyball tournaments, free fitness and dance classes and celebrity speakers. All events are free and there is a beer garden. Attendees will be able to get autographs from the pro surfers.    
When: Nov. 12-14 
Where: Jacksonville Beach
Web: https://www.supergirljax.com

PETANQUE AMELIA ISLAND OPEN — Petanque (pronounced pay-tonk), a cousin of horseshoes and bocce which originated in Southern France, pits players from opposing teams trying to throw hollow steel balls as close as possible to a small wooden target ball. Sounds easy? Maybe. Which is why the largest petanque tournament in the US is open to beginners, amateurs and champions who all play together in hopes of claiming a piece of the prize purse.  
When: Nov. 12-14 
Where: Amelia Island
Web: https://www.unitedpetanque.com/amelia-island

WUFFSTOCK FESTIVAL 2021 — Dog lovers rejoice, this festival is for you … and your favorite canine. Yes, not only are dogs welcome, they’re encouraged to participate! There’s the WuffStock Parade of Paws, costume contests and a K9 Team Challenge. In the past, prizes have also been awarded to the pooch Who Traveled the Furthest to Attend or the Oldest Dog in the Crowd. The event highlight is always the Doxie Derby, aka the Dachshund races, featuring some super speedy pups. Humans who want to have fun as their pooches can register for the Wuffstock 5K Fun Run/Walk and take on the course with or without their pet.
When: Nov. 13 
Where: Lake City
Web: https://www.covenantpettrust.org/events

NIGHT OF LIGHTS — Experience the magic of the holidays when historic St. Augustine gets the star treatment after being draped with millions of twinkling lights. Wander the brick streets of the old city center and the tree-lined sidewalks of the neighborhoods to take in the magical atmosphere which kicks off the Saturday before Thanksgiving with the official Light Up! night. Other options to view the city include trolley, train, boat, horse-drawn carriage and luxury golf cart.   
When: Nov. 20 - Jan. 31 
Where: St. Augustine
Web: https://www.floridashistoriccoast.com/nights-lights

JACKSONVILLE LIGHT BOAT PARADE — Now that the Super Bowl winning Bucs and the Stanley Cup winning Lightning have shown the rest of the country how well Florida does boat parades, here’s your chance to enjoy one of the best holiday parades on the water in North Florida. Boats decked out will cruise the St. Johns between downtown Jacksonville’s north and south banks. At the parade’s conclusion, the city’s biggest fireworks display of the year will light up the night. Don’t forget to get your smartphone ready to take video of the sparkling waterfalls that rain down from the city’s Main Street and Acosta bridges. It’s always the “wow” moment of the evening.  
When: Nov. 27 
Where: Jacksonville
Web: https://specialevents.coj.net/Special-Events/Light-Boat-Parade.aspx

 

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