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FAMILY FUN: #HolidayDriving Road Trip: St. Augustine yields engaging historical treasures for a great family vacation – Part 1 of 2 « PapiBlogger – Your Guide to Creative Parenting Tricks
#HolidayDriving Road Trip: St. Augustine yields engaging historical treasures for a great family vacation – Part 1 of 2 « PapiBlogger – Your Guide to Creative Parenting Tricks
December 2, 2013
Monday - Sunday : December 2 - 8
Nights of Lights Tours - The City of St. Augustine shines a little brighter during Nights of Lights. There are several tours available that make the holiday experience even more brilliant during this special time of year. Click here for Nights of Lights Tour Options.
Holidays at Colonial Quarter - During the annual Nights of Lights event, the Colonial Quarter transforms into a fantastic holiday wonderland each evening beginning at 6 p.m. and the two-acre site will be open at no charge. S'more stations, hot chocolate, cider and mulled wine will be served up along with the joyous sound of carolers. You can even climb the 35 ft. watchtower for a spectacular view of the city sparkling with white lights. 33 St. George St., St. Augustine. 904-599-2113 www.colonialquarter.com
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire at the IMAX Theater - The IMAX 3D Theatre at World Golf Hall of Fame features The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the continuing adventures of Katniss Everdeen in a futuristic dystopian world. Adults $13, Seniors/Students/Military $12, and Children 3-12 $10. Visit the website for showtimes. One World Golf Place, St. Augustine. 904-940-4133 www.worldgolfimax.com
"Watercolors of the World by Brad Bennett" - Through January 23, 2014, the St. Johns Cultural Council presents the Fine Art of Brad Bennett on display in the Rotunda Gallery at the St. Johns County Administration Building. Bennett has painted scenes for a number of books, calendars, stationery card sets, posters and prints. His artwork is regularly sought out by Hollywood for set decorations. Admission is free. Exhibit hours Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. in the Rotunda Gallery, St. Johns County Administration Building. 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine. 904-808-7330 www.stjohnsculture.com
Viva Florida Exhibit at the St. Augustine Art Association - Through December 29, Florida's 500th Anniversary year concludes with this popular exhibition at the St. Augustine Art Association celebrating the sights and structures, beaches and byways, flora and fauna, history and happenings that are uniquely Florida. The gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday noon - 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 - 5 p.m. Admission is free. 22 Marine St. St. Augustine. 904-824-2310 www.staaa.org
Miniature Historic St. Augustine Village Holiday Exhibit - Through December 29, a miniature village of historic St. Augustine buildings, created by woodworker Leonard Ruel, is on display at the St. Augustine Art Association. This special holiday installation features 39 small-scale replicas of iconic buildings such as the Cathedral Basilica, Villa Zorayda, Government House, the Pena Peck House and others. The gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday noon - 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 - 5 p.m. Admission is free. 22 Marine St., St. Augustine. 904-824-2310 www.staaa.org
New World in the Eyes of Explorers Exhibit - Through January 5, 2014, this intriguing exhibit of images of the New World and its indigenous peoples and animals provide a fascinating look at the first encounter between the peoples of the Old World and the New World -an epic event that changed the world forever. The exhibit is located in the St. Augustine Visitors Information Center and is open from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 10 West Castillo Dr., St. Augustine. www.StAugustine-450.com
Dressing of the Palms in Vilano Beach - Beginning December 5 through January 4, 2014, The second annual Dressing of the Palms along Vilano Beach features palm trees decorated in holiday finery -- A Celebration of Coastal Living. The trees showcase creative talents of residents, artists, businesses, clubs, schools, and organizations. Prizes will be awarded at the first Saturday Vilano Beach Sunset Celebration on Dec. 7. Vilano Beach Main St., St. Augustine. 904-910-8386 www.VilanoBeachFL.com
Monday - Thursday: December 2 - 59th Annual St. Johns County Festival of Trees at World Golf Village - Through Thursday, the St. Johns County Convention Center and Renaissance World Golf Village Resort showcase trees and wreaths decorated and donated by local businesses, organizations, families and friends from the community. The display is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the final day. Admission is free. The trees and wreathes will be part of a silent auction and visitors will also be encouraged to fill out a ballot indicating the number of votes (in minimum $1 bids) they would like to cast for their favorites. Proceeds will benefit the St. Augustine Record's Empty Stocking Fund and the United Way of St. Johns County. 500 S. Legacy Trail, St. Augustine. 904-940-4000 www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org
Wednesday: December 4Luminary Night at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, Inc. - The grounds of the St. Augustine Lighthouse will be lined with luminaries from 6 - 9 p.m. Climb to the top of the Lighthouse to see the acclaimed Nights of Lights, enjoy holiday music, cider and visit with Santa! 81 Lighthouse Ave., St. Augustine. 904-829-0745 www.StAugustineLighthouse.org
Lightner Museum Curator Tours - Lightner Museum curator provides a themed interactive tour designed to give participants an opportunity to see acquisitions in operation rather than just as static displays. The tour, which is included in admission, takes place at 10 a.m. on the second floor of Lightner Museum. Regular admission is $10 adults; $6 for active duty military; $5 college student and youth ages 12-18; under 12 are free. 75 King St., St. Augustine. 904-824-2874 www.lightnermuseum.org
Pet Friendly Food Tour - Bring Fido to join City Walks for a Pet Friendly Food Tour of St. Augustine's Historic District. Each Wednesday, join City Walks and explore the history and culture of St. Augustine through its rich culinary influences, visiting unique pet-friendly restaurants and eateries. Tours benefit the local St. Augustine Wild Reserve. Tickets are $49 and limited to 12 humans plus leashed pets. Tours depart at 2 p.m. from the Tour St. Augustine office, 4 Granada St. 904-825-0087. www.StAugustineCityWalks.com
Thursday: December 54th Annual Candlelight Tour of Villa Zorayda - Villa Zorayda staff provides holiday Candlelight Tours of the beautiful St. Augustine villa. A spectacular Christmas tree decorated in the colors of the Zorayda - red and gold - is located center stage in the Court of Lions. Over 100 candles are aglow throughout the museum. The tour starts at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults; Children 7 - 12 are $6. Children 4 - 6 are free. The candlelight tours are not recommended for children 3 and under. 83 King St., St. Augustine. 904-829-9887 www.villazorayda.com
Discover First America Program - "Calling All Tories and Patriots, Too! Towne Meeting!" - The Brits will take over Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the beginning of British rule in Florida and the eve of St. Augustine's annual British Nightwatch. Jesse Fish, a British Colonial entrepreneur and opportunist, will keep the audience on its toes with his unique mannerisms and wit. Also, Daniel Schafer, British Colonial scholar and professor emeritus at the University of North Florida, will recount life and politics in British St. Augustine. The evening will conclude with colonial dance and demonstrations. This program is sponsored by Tour St. Augustine and City Walks. Admission is free. St. Augustine 450th Commemoration passports with souvenir stampings are complimentary to attendees. 14 Granada St., St. Augustine www.Staugustine-450.com
Friday: December 6First Friday Art Walk - From 5 - 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month new exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments are featured at over 20 participating galleries in St. Augustine. Tours begin at San Sebastian Winery with a complimentary shuttle service to most galleries provided by St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains and Old Town Trolleys. 157 King St., St. Augustine. 904-829-0065
Tis the Season to Sparkle Featured at Amiro Art & Found - Amiro Art & Found Gallery celebrates the holiday season with a spectacular showcase of original wearable art created by ten different designers. Their designs use a variety of techniques and materials ranging from traditional metals and gemstones to recycle materials. Stop by during the First Friday Art Walk from 5 - 9 p.m. 9C Aviles St., St. Augustine, 904-824-8460 www.amiroartandfound.com
Treasure Appraisal - The St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum hosts Marc Anthony - noted treasure diver - who will appraise artifacts brought to the event by local residents. To have an item appraised, send a photo of it along with a brief description to firstname.lastname@example.org in advance. 6 - 8 p.m. The event is free. 12 S. Castillo Dr., St. Augustine. 877-467-5863 www.thepiratemuseum.com
Friday & Saturday: December 6-7"Unaffected Vision: Free to See Beautiful" - The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum at Flagler College hosts an exhibition of photographs by men and women with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The exhibition will be on view Friday and Saturday at the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum at Flagler College, with an opening reception during the Holiday Art Walk from 5 - 9 p..m. on Friday. The Museum is open Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 - 4 p.m.48 Sevilla St., St. Augustine. 904-826-8530
39th Annual British Night Watch - Celebrate the 250th anniversary of Florida's designation as a British colony. This year's British Night Watch features two days of immersion into the Sunshine State's British past with tours of an army camp, demonstrations and the ever-popular Night Watch parade through the streets of St. Augustine. The British Colonial Encampment at Francis Field on West Castillo Drive is open to the public 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. on Saturday. The colorful Grande Illumination Parade begins at 8 p.m. at the Plaza de la Constitucion and the public is encouraged to join in and march behind the Redcoats as they circle the historic district before returning to the Plaza where they will fire musket Volleys of Joy -- followed by Christmas caroling. 26 Cathedral Pl., St. Augustine. www.britishnightwatch.org
'Dickens' A Christmas Carol - The Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. by A Classic Theatre Company at the Pioneer Barn at Fort Menendez. This is a fundraising event and all tickets are $25. 259 San Marco Ave. St. Augustine. 904-829-5807 www.aclassictheatre.org
Saturday: December 7Old City Farmers' Market - Features locally grown fresh produce, baked goods, plants and more. Located at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Admission is free. 1340 A1A, St. Augustine. 904-471-3733
PAL Day - Sponsored by the Greater Jacksonville USO, St. Augustine area attractions provide free admission for active duty servicemen and their families. This year's participants include Old Town Trolley Tours, Oldest Store Museum, Authentic Old Jail, St. Augustine History Museum, Pirate and Treasure Museum, St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, Colonial Quarter, Government House, Ripley's Red Train Tour, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, Spanish Military Hospital, Oldest Wooden School House, Lightner Museum, Alligator Farm Zoological Park (admission only), City Walks Tours (50% discount), Fort Menendez, Dow Museum of Historic Houses and World Golf Hall of Fame. A free lunch is provided by the St. Augustine Elks Lodge, 1420 A1A S. (free shuttle service provided from downtown). 904-778-2821
2nd Annual Rails to Trails Festival - Celebrate the Rails to Trails Bike Trail with a fun walk, bike ride, local home-cooked food, blues-great Willie Green and four local bands, Gulllah Geechee history, a bike raffle and arts and crafts vendors. The festival is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 4950 Harvey Avenue, Armstrong. Parking is available at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds located on Rt. 207 in Elkton. In addition, at 9 a.m. a ceremony honoring African-American veterans will take place at the Armstrong Cemetery. 904-692-2307
59th Annual St. Augustine Christmas Parade - St. Augustine's Annual Christmas Parade is one of the largest in North Florida and includes floats, marching bands, cars, horses and the arrival of Santa. The parade starts promptly at 10 a.m. by the Mission of Nombre De Dios, continues through the downtown streets of historic St. Augustine and ends behind the Visitors Center on Castillo Drive. Pictures with Santa will follow in the Plaza de la Constitucion. 904-824-4997
Eco-Tour Boat Adventure - Join St. Augustine Eco Tours on a boat trip through the waters of St. Augustine to look for wild dolphins and amazing wading birds. Nature lovers of all kinds will enjoy this expedition guided by trained interpretive naturalists. Great photo opportunities! Departs from the Municipal Marina at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Special rate: $40/adults and $35/kids ages 3-12. 111 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine. 904-377-7245 www.staugustineecotours.com
Vilano Beach Sunset Celebration - A celebration of a spectacular sunset across the bay featuring dozens of market vendors, live music, local arts and crafts and more at the Vilano Pier on the Intracoastal Waterway. Activities are from 2 p.m. - dusk. Admission is free. 260 Vilano Rd., St. Augustine. 904-540-0402 www.vilanobeachfl.com
Surf Illumination at the St. Augustine Beach Pier Park - This colorful and exciting event complements the seasonal lighting of A1A Beach Blvd. in St. Augustine Beach. The event, from 4 - 7 p.m. at the pier, includes the ceremonial lighting of the seasonal tree by the mayor, food and beverages offered by local restaurants and many local arts and crafts vendors providing convenient shopping for the holiday season. Santa, musical performers and traditional carolers make it fun for all! 350 A1A Beach Blvd. St. Augustine Beach. 904-347-8007 www.thecivicassociation.org
Evening Nature Program at Anastasia State Park - Park rangers or volunteers present programs on various topics ranging from sea turtles to star gazing. Programs take place at open-air pavilions with one of the most beautiful scenic backdrops in Northeast Florida as inspiration. Program included in regular admission of $8 per vehicle. Times vary throughout year. 1340-A A1A South, St. Augustine. 904-461-2035 www.floridastateparks.org/anastasia
4th Annual Candlelight Tour of Villa Zorayda - Villa Zorayda staff provides holiday Candlelight Tours of the beautiful St. Augustine villa. A spectacular Christmas tree decorated in the colors of the Zorayda - red and gold - is located center stage in the Court of Lions. Over 100 candles are aglow throughout the museum. Refreshments are served at 6 p.m. and the tour starts at 6:30 p.m. (December 7 tour starts at 6 p.m. with refreshments at 5:30 p.m. because of the British Nightwatch.) Admission of $17 for adults; Children 7 - 12 are $8. Children 4 - 6 are free. The candlelight tours are not recommended for children 3 and under. 83 King St., St. Augustine. 904-829-9887 www.villazorayda.com
Alabama Shakes Concert - Three-time Grammy nominees Alabama Shakes perform at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Based in Athens, Alabama, the group was named Best Touring Band at the Pollstar Awards, Emerging Artist of the Year at the Americana Music Association's Honors and Awards ceremony and Best New Artist of the Year at the Triple A radio conference. Tickets are $29.50 - $39.50. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. (gates open at 6:30 p.m.). 1340 A1A South St. Augustine
Sunday: December 8Discover the Birds of Anastasia - Led by an Anastasia State Park volunteer, this fun and informative walk is open to participants of all birding levels. From 8:30 - 10:30 a.m., observe a diverse variety of shore birds, marsh birds, and hammock birds by walking the beach, boardwalks, nature trails, and other areas. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars, water, comfortable walking shoes, and a field guide if you have one. Meet at the Island Beach Shop & Grill pavilion. The program is included in the regular admission of $8/vehicle with 2-8 occupants, $4/single-occupant vehicle, and $2/bicyclist or walker.. 1340 A1A South, St. Augustine. 904-461-2035 www.floridastateparks.org/anastasia
45th Annual Garden Club Christmas Tour of Homes - This annual tour showcases holiday decorations at a selection of St. Augustine's most outstanding private homes. In celebration the 500th anniversary of the founding of Florida by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, this year's theme will be La Navidad en la Florida. Enjoy a taste of nostalgia in the colorful and natural floral decorations and arrangements designed and hand crafted by members of The Garden Club of St. Augustine. In addition, a delightful tea is included in the ticket price. The tour takes place from noon - 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 and should be purchased in advance because of limited availability; $25 the day of the tour. 904-797-0660 www.gardenclubofstaugustine.org/tourofhomes.html
St. Augustine Beach Sculpture Garden Concert - Have a picnic in the park and enjoy live music and the Sculpture Garden from 4 - 6 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month. Admission is free. 2300 A1A South, St. Augustine Beach. 904-824-4493 www.st-augustine-sculpture-garden.org
Love Lights at Lightner - From 5 - 8 p.m., the Parque de Menendez in front of St. Augustine's Lightner Museum will glow with luminaries lit in honor of loved ones. This is the 22nd year for this Pilot Club event and fundraiser. The cost of luminaries is $3 each or two for $5. They can be ordered in advance by calling 904-692-2663 or can be purchased at the event. 75 King St., St. Augustine.
Lots to do in the Old City even on a rainy day:
- Ranked #2 on the What To Do In St. Augustine List on TripAdvisor, the Ximenez-Fatio House is "One of the Best" museums in the city, "Interesting and Informative", and "Distinctive and Memorable" according to recent reviews. The museum complex is located only 2 blocks from the St. Francis Inn on Aviles Street. From their website: "The property includes a ca. 1798 coquina stone House, the region's only detached Kitchen building, a reconstructed ca. 1802 Wash House and a new Visitor Center with state-of-the-art interactive exhibits and a Museum Store."
- Ranked # 3 on TripAdvisor is Flagler College. Originally built as a resort hotel for the very rich, this historic campus sits in the heart of town and offers two tours a day. Enjoy.
- Ranked # 6 is the Basilica Cathedral. "Absolutely beautiful." "Awesome"
- Ranked # 7 is the Memorial Presbyterian Church built by Henry Flagler. Easily accessed by either Red Train or Old Town Trolley (it's a popular stop for both), also easy walking distance from the heart of downtown.
- St. Augustine Pirate Museum aaaaaarrrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhh!
- St. George Street shopping! We provide umbrellas!
- The Lightner Museum You've got to see the handmade rug with the mean poem about in-laws. :)
- The Spanish Military Hospital Museum Close by on Aviles Street.
- The Authentic Old Jail - BEHAVE! Or they might not let you leave!
- Ripley's Believe It or Not! The ORIGINAL Ripley's - and once home to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling.
- Father Miguel O'Reilly House - again near the Inn on Aviles Street. Home of the "Hurricane Lady".
- The Oldest Store Museum - located on the same property as the Old Jail.
- The Villa Zorayda Museum - nearby on King Street - truly unique!
- Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse
- Pena-Peck House
- Gonzalez-Alvarez House (Oldest House)
- St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine
- AND...you can always relax at the St. Francis Inn - in the sitting room - in your room - watch a DVD - we have a large library of DVDs from which you can borrow! Have a coffee and enjoy yourself!