Pumpkins, Spooks, & Fall Festivals: Halloween Family Fun in Northeast Florida

Pumpkin Time, EU Jacksonville, Fall Family Fun in Northeast Florida

  

Top 5 Destinations for Pumpkins and Fall Family Fun in Northeast Florida

BY JENNIFER MELVILLE

Homes all around Jacksonville are decked out with fall décor both traditional and terrifying. Weekends are jam-packed with festivals. Pumpkin spice permeates the air. It’s October! Our leaves may still be green and our temperatures tropical, but we know how to celebrate. For many, it’s time to reminisce times gone by and create meaningful memories with the special young people in one’s life. It’s the season for finding the perfect pumpkin, getting lost in a corn maze, and enjoying some good, old-fashioned fun. No matter where in town you live or how adventurous you’re feeling, there’s a pumpkin patch just begging for a visit. The pumpkins may be shipped in from out of state, but the fun is organic and the memories priceless. Here are a few favorite local pumpkin destinations:

Conners A-Maize-ing Acres, Pumpkin Time, EU Jacksonville, Fall Family Fun in Northeast Florida

Conner’s A-Maize-ing Acres

If you’re looking for an unbeatable farm experience, Conner’s A-Maize-ing Acres is the place to be. Plan to spend the day on this 125-acre farm northwest of Jacksonville. Kids will enjoy the horses, cows, pigs, sheep, and various farm fowl. Take a bumpy wagon ride to the corn maze or enjoy a photo op among the sunflowers. Run in the rat rollers, build a scarecrow, ride a cow or horse train, or race friends on pedal carts. Horseback riding and corn cannons are available for an additional cost. Bring a picnic or enjoy delicious farm-fresh fare. There are plenty of pumpkins to choose from. For the adventurous, enjoy a flashlight maze walk and nighttime wagon rides followed by hot chocolate and smores around the campfire. General admissions cost $14.95 (ages 5-64) and children 0-23 months are free. Conner’s offers a Saturday’s Hometown Heroes Discount (Active and Retired Military Personnel are free) and discounted rates for the very young and senior citizens. Address: 19856 County Rd 121, Hilliard, FL 32046; Phone: (904) 879-5453; Hours: Saturdays September 29 (10am-5pm), October 6, 13, 20, 27 (10am-10pm)

Isle of Faith Pumpkin Patch

This sweet pumpkin patch is a Beaches area tradition hosted by Isle of Faith United Methodist Church off San Pablo. Come out for a free Fall Festival and Opening Celebration Saturday, October 13th, and enjoy bounce houses, face painting, photo ops, and fun activities. Everyday admission is free, and there are hundreds of pumpkins big and small. Donations support the church’s missions and ministries here in Jacksonville and around the world. Isle of Faith is full of fall photo opportunities. There’s plenty for little ones to do and see while they search for the perfect pumpkin. Address: 1821 San Pablo Rd S, Jacksonville, FL 32224; Phone: (904) 221-1700; Hours: Open Daily October 13-31 (Sun-Fri 12-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm).

Photo by Marius Ciocirlan, Pumpkin Time, EU Jacksonville, Fall Family Fun in Northeast Florida
Photo by Marius Ciocirlan

Amazing Grace Family Farm

Located in Green Cove Springs, this family farm has it all. Littles will enjoy the corn crib and hay bale maze while children of all ages can’t pass up the rat rollers, duck races, carnival-style barnyard ball zone, and giant jumping pads. There’s a petting zoo, wagon rides, cow train, ball pit, crop maze, and a decent selection of pumpkins to choose from as well. There’s nothing scary here—it’s entirely family friendly. Concessions are available for purchase or bring a picnic. Tickets cost $15.95 at the gate, and children 2 and under are free. Address: 2899 Wisteria Farms Rd, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043; Phone: (904) 284-2949; Hours: October 5-27, Fridays (5-10pm) and Saturdays (10am-10pm)

Mandarin United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch

This fall destination just off San Jose Blvd offers hundreds of pumpkins to choose from. They have one of the best selections in Jacksonville and keep it well stocked throughout the season. Pumpkin sales support youth missions and activities. Cute props and décor make Mandarin’s pumpkin hotspot the perfect place for a family outing. Bring a camera! Admission is always free. Address: 1270 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32223; Phone: (904) 268-5549; Hours: Late September through October, Mon-Sat (9am-9pm), Sun (11am-9pm).

Sykes Family Farm

Sykes Family Farm is 10 miles west of St. Augustine and its 9-acre themed crop maze is one of the largest in the area. Young guests may like the two kiddie mazes featuring the story of Jack and the Cornstalk or The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin. Older explorers may enjoy wandering the expansive crop maze at night. There’s also a toddler area on the farm, hayrides, a playground, farm animals, sunflowers, cow train, corn popper, duck races, cow milking station, corn cannon, and more. Plenty of pumpkins and other farm-fresh goods are available for purchase at the Country Store Barn. Buy dinner at the farm or bring a picnic. General admissions (ages 3-64) costs $13 and children 2 and under are free. Military and senior citizen rates are available. Address: 5995 Brough Rd, Elkton, FL 32033; Phone: (904) 692-1370; Hours: October 6-November 4, Fri (6-10pm), Sat (10am-10pm), Sun (10am-5pm)

Get Spooked, Pumpkin Time, EU Jacksonville, Fall Family Fun in Northeast Florida, Photo by Stefano Pollio, unsplash

GET SPOOKED

It wouldn’t be Halloween without a spooky encounter. These locations have been designed to scare the bejesus out of you.

Jaycees Trail of Terror

Jacksonville’s oldest haunted attraction, The Hall of Terror, was started by the Jacksonville Jaycees. Also known as The Jacksonville Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Jaycees have been terrifying residents since 1970. The fright-fest took a rest for a while but the Jacksonville Jaycees resurrected the haunting in 2015 with the Trail of Terror. If you dare to visit the Trail of Terror, you will find it near the Jacksonville Zoo on the grounds of Paintball Adventures, 11850 Camden Road. Dates of terror are October 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, 31 from 7 – 11pm and October 18, 25, 30 from 7 – 10pm. Tickets start at $18. Get more information at jaxterror.com.

13th Floor Haunted House

Experience the truth about the legend of the 13th Floor at a haunted house created from your darkest fears. Legends and nightmares alike will come to life at the 13th Floor Haunted House’s gut-wrenching ride to untold nightmares 13 floors straight down! Get more info at 13thfloorjacksonville.com. Horror in the Heart of Jacksonville near Regency Square Mall, 9230 Arlington Expressway.

Haunt Nights at Adventure Landing

Dare to be scared as you explore Adventure Landing’s 4 haunted house attractions. Combo Haunt Ticket (Includes all 4 haunts) $26.99, Combo Plus Ticket (All 4 haunts plus Mini Golf Game or Go-Kart Ride) $32.99, Fast Pass on all 4 attractions (Skip the Lines) add $10. Get the schedule at hauntnights.com. 1944 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach.

The Haunted Brewery

Experience the haunted brewery at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery on select dates Oct. 19-27. Your mission will be to save the brewery from Zombies ensuring you get to drink the beer. Tickets $15-70. Anheuser-Busch, 111 Busch Dr., thehauntedbrewery.com

Jacksonville Zoo Spooktacular

On various dates, October 12-31, enjoy the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens during their most magical celebration with Halloween adventure for kids of all ages. Don’t miss one of Jacksonville’s most exciting Halloween events. Find a pumpkin patch, wizards, DJ, Spooktacular food, Scare Zones! and the Mini Monster Mash on October 31, 10am–2pm. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, 370 Zoo Parkway, spooktacular.jacksonvillezoo.org

The Old Spanish Trail

An outdoor haunted attraction nestled in the woods behind a haunted 200 year old building. Adult $25 and child $15. The Spanish Trail is located on Beaver Street approximately 3 miles west of Chaffee Road. Get more information, dates and times at ostjax.com.

The Union Art Studios and Gallery

It has been rumored that The Union Art District is one of the oldest and most haunted warehouses in Jacksonville. Tenants have reported disembodied whispers, shadows sliding along the subway walls, footsteps stomping in empty stairwells, door handles rattling, furniture moving, and odd mists drifting over from the City Cemetery across the street. On October 27th from 7 to 11pm several art studios open their doors to commune with the spirits of the night. Maps to guide you through the haunt will be provided. Union Art District, 700 E. Union St. Get more information at facebook.com/unionartdistrict.

Warehouse 31 Unleashed

Known for their intense and intimate experiences that bring your biggest fears to life, this year’s five unique attractions will not disappoint. Try to outrun the undead in Lockdown, hide from the cannibals in Mr. Tasty’s Meat Factory, wade through the swamp of nightmares of Dark Waters, try not to become part of the show in Slaughter’s Circus, and, finally, take your last ride home on The Ghost Ship! $25-40. Get dates and times at warehouse31unleashed.com. Located at 11262 Beach Blvd.

Oktoberfest Engine 15, Photo by Cristina OConnor, Pumpkin Time, EU Jacksonville, Fall Family Fun in Northeast Florida
Photo by Cristina OConnor

FALL FESTS

Oct 5-27 2018 FALL FESTIVAL & CROP MAZE! Amazing Grace Family Farms hosts a Fall Festival & Crop Maze. Journey through the crop maze, pick the perfect pumpkin, and enjoy many farm attractions such as the cow train, wagon rides, jump pad, rat rollers, farm animals, corn crib, and more! Bring a camera for those Fall photos with the family! Farm festival foods will be available. Amazing Grace Family Farms, www.agcropmaze.com

Oct 6 FIRST SATURDAY BREWS – OKTOBERFEST Enjoy First Saturday Brews at the Riverside Arts Market featuring a different brewery or choice of beer each month! This month celebrate Oktoberfest with German beers including: Spaten’s Oktoberfest, Erdinger’s Oktoberfest, Spaten’s Lager, Lederer’s Pilsner. Beers are $5 each and proceeds benefit the Riverside Arts Market/Riverside Avondale Preservation. Throughout the day enjoy artists, makers, farmers, live music, and all the things the market has to offer. Riverside Arts Market, www.ram.riversideavondale.org

Oct 6 CONGAREE & PENN OKTOBERFEST Local farm Congaree & Penn will host an Oktoberfest celebration to benefit the Jaguars Foundation for underprivileged youth. The event will feature authentic, locally sourced sausage, schnitzel, chicken, pretzels and other German fare, live music with Junco Royals and The Wetlands Stringband, and a Lederhosen contest judged by Jaguars mascot Jaxon deVille. The festivities will also include beer by German and local breweries Hofbrau, Aardwolf Brewing Company, Intuition Ale Works, Veterans United and Congaree & Penn’s own Farm Cider. Tickets include admission, two german beers, food and a commemorative beer stein. http://904tix.com/events/oktoberfest-congaree

Oct 6 OP BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL The first annual Bluegrass Festival features Backwater Bluegrass, Brett Bass & Melted Plectrum, and headliners The Grascals. The event will also include the Southern Rhythm Cloggers, bounce houses, hay rides, a petting zoo and square dancing to welcome fall to Orange Park. Orange Park Mall, www.orangeparkmall.com

Oct 6 OKTOBERFEST ON MAIN STREET Hosted by the businesses of Main Street, Oktoberfest will include live music with Five Hungry Germans, Kalani Rose Duo and Ouija Brothers, amazing food, hand-crafted beer proudly brewed in Springfield, and activities for all ages. Crispy’s Springfield Gallery will host traditional Oktoberfest Beer Games. Vendors include Engine 15 Brewing, The Block Skate Supply, 1748 Bakehouse, Atomic on Main, and Maddy D’s Sweets and Confections. The event is dog and family friendly. Hyperion Brewing

Oct 6 THE 9TH ANNUAL TSI OKTOBERFEST/BIERFEST AT SHANTYTOWN PUB “An Urban Core Tradition,” the 9th Annual TSI Oktoberfest/Bierfest at Shantytown Pub hosted by Jason Grimes is the most authentic Oktoberfest party in town!!! Huge Bavarian beers, authentic food, and the infamous drinking games!!! Shantytown Pub www.facebook.com/events/521681531623678

Oct 7 PUMPKIN FESTIVAL + FALL MARKET Celebrate all things pumpkin at Wicked Barley’s inaugural Pumpkin Festival + Fall Market. The festival takes place in the Beer Garden and features local live music and special beer releases as well as a Fall Market with local vendors from 11am-5pm. Congaree and Penn will have a limited number of farm fresh pumpkins available for purchase. Wicked Barley

Oct 7 AMELIA ISLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL The critically acclaimed Requinte Trio, featuring Grammy-winning vocalist Janis Siegel, a founding and longtime member of Manhattan Transfer, and veteran Chicago guitarist Henry Johnson, are headlining the 2018 Amelia Island Jazz Festival.

Oct 12-13 OKTOBERFEST @ ANHEUSER BUSCH The festival is a two-day celebration of German cuisine, culture and great beer featuring a variety of entertainment, food vendors providing German and traditional festival fare, live music and beer. Games and activities are available both days. VIP upgrades are available. Oktoberfest Jacksonville is family friendly. Kids 12 and under are free. Anheuser Busch Brewery, www.oktoberfestjacksonville.com

Pumpkin Time, EU Jacksonville, Fall Family Fun in Northeast Florida, Greek Festival St Augustine

Oct 12-14 GREEK FESTIVAL ST. AUGUSTINE Opa! Francis Field is transformed into a virtual Greek village for the 21st Annual St. Augustine Greek Festival with plenty of Greek food and pastries, traditionally-costumed Greek folk dancers, free Greek dance lessons, and live Greek music all weekend long! Nationally-known Ellada will perform live all weekend in the main tent. The Nisiotes and Asteria Greek dance troupes will demonstrate the rich culture of Greek dance. Visitors can learn the steps and participate. This family-friendly event includes an outdoor marketplace and a Kids Center with games, rides, and activities. Vendor booths will be set up throughout the Festival, offering jewelry, arts and crafts, and a selection of reading material on the Greek Orthodox faith. Icons and other unique items will be available for purchase. www.stauggreekfest.com

Oct 13 ATLANTIC BEACH FALL FESTIVAL Annual fish fry event held in October to celebrate the beginning of the fall season. Food, train rides, clothing give-away, games and more. Come out and enjoy the cool refreshing season.

Oct 13 GREEN COVE SPRINGS SOUL FOOD FESTIVAL The annual celebration of local foods, dance contests, children’s activities, entertainment, and fun. A parade kicks off the day. Other activities include a dance contest with categories for kids, teens and adults, sweet potato pie contest, BBQ rib contest, and Gospel explosion. There will be music from local artists and line dancing throughout the day. Other festival activities include a softball tournament, pony rides, Mr. C train rides, and food and craft vendors. www.greencovepsrings.com

Oct 13 FALL FUN ON THE FARM Fall Fun on the Farm is a FREE community event, full of fun activities and an opportunity to explore Seamark Ranch. Families will enjoy tours, music, wagon rides, petting zoo, a Seamark market, and concessions. www.seamarkranch.com

Oct 13 FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT The Annual fundraiser of Angels for Allison, a charity that helps families who have lost a child, is an outdoor music and arts festival. The event is family friendly. Intuition Ale Works, www.angelsforallison.org

Oct 13 BEACHES TOWN CENTER FALL FESTIVAL AND COSTUME PARTY This is a free family event for children of all ages held on First Street between Lemon Street and Orange Street. Make-your-own-crafts, games, and refreshments provided. The Fletcher High School Interact Club volunteers make this event possible! Register for the costume contest and be eligible to win prizes donated by Beaches Town Center businesses. Trick or Treat in all of the participating shops and restaurants in Beaches Town Center during and after. www.beachestowncenter.com

Oct 13 FALL FAMILY DAY IN HEMMING PARK Come to Hemming Park for a day of free Fall family fun with food trucks, vendors, a pumpkin patch, Bee Friends Farm, River City Chicks, Inc., double dutch with Jump4Jax, a petting zoo and more. The Jacksonville Public Library presents Jax Makes, a celebration of local makers highlighting crafters, artisans, and entrepreneurs. www.hemmingpark.org

Oct 13 YOGA FEST Namaste #underthebridge! Enjoy a full day of yoga classes and yoga-related activities benefiting the Christina Phipps Foundation. This year, for those 21+ w/ a valid ID, purchase local beers from Wicked Barley Brewing Company. Morning Yoga at RAM will kick off the day at 9am. Classes are taught by yoga instructors from Northeast Florida. There will be three stages, similar to previous years, and the classes will be announced. www.ram.riversideavondale.org

Oct 13 SECOND SATURDAY ARTS & FARMERS MARKET Start your Christmas shopping and support local vendors with over 40+ vendors with crafts, food, jewelry, coffee, plants, a bounce house for the kids, and more. Family friendly and pet friendly as long as pets are on leashes and well behaved. Owners need to be responsible and clean up after their pets. 11924 San Jose Blvd., www.secondsaturdaymarket.com

Oct 13 GOLF FESTIVAL AT WORLD GOLF VILLAGE The event is free to the public. It will feature interactive activities with something for golf fans of all ages, including free admission to the Hall of Fame and putting, a Demo Day at the Slammer & Squire Golf Course, golf clinics, a kids’ zone, and more. Plus, have a chance to win a car with the Hole-in-One Contest at the Challenge Hole! Food and beverages will be available for purchase. worldgolfvillage.com

Oct 13-14 BEACHES OKTOBERFEST This family friendly festival boasts a large variety of German beer, live music on three stages, with such acts as Inspection 12, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, S.P.O.R.E., and the Honey Hounds, food trucks, a 110+ ft Ferris wheel, arts & crafts vendors, games & activities and more. This is an all-ages festival. Latham Plaza, the arts market and the food court are free and open to the public. Tickets for concert areas are required. Parents are responsible for bringing hearing protection for their children. SeaWalk Pavilion www.beachesoktoberfest.com

THE GREAT AMERICAN SCARECROW FESTIVAL, Pumpkin Time, EU Jacksonville, Fall Family Fun in Northeast Florida

Oct 20 THE GREAT AMERICAN SCARECROW FESTIVAL It’s that time of year again for the family tradition of The Great American Scarecrow Festival at Simple Gestures in St. Augustine. Bring your old clothes, and the hay, the food, the music and the fun will be provided! www.visitstaugustine.com

Oct 19-20 PARTY IN THE PINES North Florida’s largest country festival will feature music on two stages with such national artists as Zac Brown Band, Little Big Town, Kip Moore, Luke Combs, Dan & Shay, Granger Smith, The Cadillac Three, Lindsay Ell, Mark O’Connor Band, Cassadee Pope and more.  The family-friendly festival offers camping, food and beverage options, and a limited number of VIP packages. www.partyinthepines.com.

Oct 20-21 ORANGE PARK FALL FEST The event is Clay County’s oldest and largest Arts and Crafts Festival! The Fall Festival began in 1982 with 12 craft booths and a couple guitar players, and now, 36 years later, this two-day festival has over 200 artists & vendors and two stages packed with entertainment from regional and local artists. Kids can enjoy bounce houses in the in Kids Zone. Local artists will sell art, unique gifts, handmade quilts, jewelry, pottery, and even treats for your furry friends. Over 30 food vendors will provide a wide variety of food from barbecue and local seafood to funnel cakes and turkey legs. Farmer’s Market fans can even pick up some fresh produce. www.opfallfest.com

Oct 20-28 HIDDEN FIELDS JAX Bring the family and enjoy a day on the farm! Each admission includes a Hay Ride to the Pumpkin Patch for the family, a pumpkin for each child, pumpkin carving and decorating (we have all the supplies!), Scarecrow Building (bring your own clothes, we have the straw, etc.), S’mores & Apple Cider, and, of course, a Pony Ride for each child. Playground and picnic tables on site. Miniature horses and piglets to feed and pet. This is an RSVP event. Please RSVP to reserve space. Payment due at entry, not at registration. Cash or checks only. Concessions will be available. 2259 Forest Blvd., www.hiddenfieldsjax.com

   
Oct 26-28 SUWANEEHULAWEEN Fans dress up for Halloween’s jammiest annual event hosted by the String Cheese Incident, who plays to sets every evening. The jam band-filled lineup, featuring such acts as Odesza, Jamiroquai, Mavis Staples, Janelle Monae, STS9, Lettuce, Trampled by Turtles, The Revivalists, Tipper, Stephen Marley, Troyboi, Rezz, Gramatick, Bishop Briggs, The Roosevelt Collier Band, Dr. Dogg, Medeski, Galactic, Martin & Wood, Turkuaz, Younder Mountain String Band, and more, will be on multiple stages throughout the Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park. The official pre-party is held Oct 25. All-weekend passes, car upgrades, VIP packages, and camping upgrades are available. Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park, www.suwaneehulaween.com

Oct 26-27 The FEST 17 An independent, underground music festival held annually in Gainesville and approaching its 20th year. Live music from over 400 bands including the 20th anniversary of Lagwagon. There is a Pre-Fest in Ybor City the two days before the festival starts in Gainesville. www.thefestfl.com

Oct 27 ANCIENT CITY KIDS DAY The free family event features over 40 youth service organizations, each of whom will offer games, activities, crafts, giveaways, bounce houses, or fun contests for kids! There will be free t-shirts/goody bags for kids while they last. Live entertainment all day! Coordinated by EPIC Behavioral Healthcare and brought to the community by a committee of children organizations. www.epicbh.org

Oct 27 CONNER’S A-MAIZE-ING FALL FAMILY FUN FEST Come on out and visit the farm in Hilliard. A scavenger hunt will be held from 10am to 1pm for kids 12 years and under to find characters around the farm to fill a yummy treat-filled bag. Treat Bags are available for the first 300 children. A Costume Contest begins at 2pm. Categories include Funniest, Most Original, Best Duo or Group, Cutest and Best Handmade. All regular farm activities will be available for your enjoyment during the day. Food is available for purchase as well. Brave the Haunted Trail from 7-10pm. Last person admitted at 9pm. www.connersa-maize-ing-acres.com

Oct 27-28 MICANOPY FALL FESTIVAL A fall arts and crafts festival under the oak trees of this quiet town for more than 40 years featuring local artists, crafters, and musicians, as well as other artists from across the southeast. The tradition and ever-evolving quality of the show attracts a broad range of festival goers. The main stage plays host to a variety of good time music throughout the festival and an old time auction of items donated by participating vendors on Saturday afternoon. www.micanopyfallfestival.org

Oct 31 HALLOWEEN IN HEMMING Visit Hemming Park during Downtown Vision, Inc.’s “Trick or Treat on the Street” and enjoy lunch served by Manny’s Cuban Food Truck and Jammasjax, music by DJ Professor Clock, fun and games with myGym, a costume contest, treats and more! www.hemmingpark.org

Oct 31-Nov 11 JACKSONVILLE FAIR With a carnival-like atmosphere, livestock, kid’s events, live music and more, the Jacksonville Fair is one of the most beloved events in Jacksonville. With cooler temperatures, locals love this iconic event each year. Downtown Jacksonville www.jacksonvillefair.com

Springfield PorchFest, Jacksonville, FL, Photo by Debra Heuskin
Photo by Debra Heuskin

Nov 3 PORCHFEST This free event features over 20 performers on 20 porches throughout historic Springfield, followed by an evening concert in Klutho Park. Enjoy over 50 vendors ranging from food trucks to fine art. Proceeds support arts related activities in Jacksonville’s urban core. Big Sam’s Funky Nation headlines and the NolaDelic Powerfunk Band from New Orleans will close out the festival in Klutho Park. The Klutho Park Opener is Roosevelt Collier from Miami. Porch Performers include 418 Band, Caint Never Could, Chelsey Michelle, Chris Thomas Band, Crazy Daysies, DiCarlo Thompson (D Lo), El Conjunto Tropical, Eric Carter, Groove Coalition, Junco Royals, King Eddy and Pili Pili, Mama Blue, Melodist Brynn, MJbaker, Spade McQuade, Super Martin Brothers, The Broomestix, and Universal Green. The Soul Porch and the Springfield Open Mic Porch with Al Poindexter will also return. There will be a whole block geared towards kids with performances by Ortega Elementary Steel Drum Band and the Douglas Anderson Guitar Ensemble, art activities and games. Dogs are allowed all over the festival on a leash. Water stations, dog treats, a place to get some festival swag, and a dog photo booth is located in the Dog Zone near the baseball field. www.jaxporchfest.org

Nov 3 10th ANNUAL RIGHT WHALE FESTIVAL Celebrate the annual return of the endangered North Atlantic right whales to the warm coastal waters off northeast Florida and Georgia, where they give birth to and nurse their young. Scientists estimate only about 450 North Atlantic right whales remain, but with the tragic death of 17 right whales last year and no calves born last season, it is more important than ever to protect the remaining whales. This family-fun event raises awareness of the threats to right whales, and how we can help in their recovery. The festival highlights local efforts to protect these whales from extinction, as well as ocean-themed activities and exhibits that emphasize education, and environmentally responsible adventures and products. Help kick off the day with a beach clean-up at 8am and a 5k run/1 mile walk at 10am. SeaWalk Pavilion, www.rightwhalefestival.com

Nov 3 4th ANNUAL BARTRAM PARK CAR SHOW & FALL FESTIVAL The annual community event benefits Toys for Tots, and this year, the Dreams Come True Foundation. Food trucks, vendors, a DJ, raffles, games for the kids, a car show with prizes, and several other surprises will be featured at this family friendly charity event.

Nov 9-10 8TH ANNUAL ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL The worlds of art and electronic dance music collide in the annual event using cutting edge technology to create a total sensory experience. The two-day weekend Under the Electric Sky welcomes the breathtaking kineticLOVE stage design, which debuted at this year’s EDC Las Vegas. More than 50 artists from every genre imaginable in dance music including Kaskade, Bassnectar, Space Jesus, Martin Garrix, Alesso, Saymyname, Don Diablo, Sloth, and The Martinez Brothers perform across three top-of-the-line stages. Tinker Field, Orlando, www.orlando.electricdaisycarnival.com

Nov 17 MANDARIN FALL FESTIVAL & CHILI COOK OFF The annual Fall Festival and Chili Cook-Off is a fundraising event for the Mandarin Council of the JAX Chamber with live music, a bounce house, the Chili Cook-Off contest, a silent auction, and more. Each year the Mandarin Council of the JAX Chamber helps fund various school and community projects through a program we call “Community Support.” Past recipients include the Mandarin Food Bank, Junior Achievement and the Janice Meisel Scholarship Fund. www.mandarincouncil.org

Nov 23-25 CHRISTMAS MADE IN THE SOUTH – AN ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL What better way to get ready for the holiday season than buying American-made treasures crafted with creativity? Shop for pottery, jewelry, metal sculpture, woodworking, glass, Christmas ornaments, photography, fine art, delicious gourmet delights and more! P.S. Old Saint Nick will be there, so bring your gift list. www.madeinthesouthshows.com

Dec 8 SPRINGFIELD HANDCRAFTED HOLIDAY MARKET IN THE RAINBOW ROOM The Sweet Spot Inspiration Foundation, Inc., is hosting a Holiday Market in Springfield. The market will feature items that are handmade from Jacksonville locals such as candles, trinkets, jewelry, homegoods, jams & jellies, crafts, bath bombs, soap, lotion, accessories, and more. Find some of the best holiday gifts at the Springfield Holiday Market and get a picture with Santa. swtsptfoundation.org

Dec 8-10 25TH ANNUAL ST. AUGUSTINE B&B HOLIDAY TOUR Tour over 20 beautifully appointed B&Bs on Saturday & Sunday afternoons in historic St. Augustine as you enjoy the tastings from local eateries all in the holiday spirit! “Nights of Lights” begins at the end of November until the end of January. www.staugustinebandbtour.com

Dec 9 3RD ANNUAL ST. AUGUSTINE MAKERS FEST The 3rd Annual St. Augustine Makers Fest will be held in partnership with the Friends of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre for a day full of creativity, music, food, and fun! Local artisans will be showcasing their amazing crafts and leading workshops. Our Makers Stations provide making opportunities for Makers of all ages. Proceeds from St. Augustine Makers Fest benefit the St. Augustine Public Montessori School. St. Augustine Amphitheatre, www.staugustinemakersfest.org

  

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About Jennifer Melville

Jennifer Melville is a contributing writer for EU Jacksonville, South Magazine, Folio Magazine, Green Prints, Focus on the Family, and various other print and online publications. She’s a military wife, mother of four, and a leader in the NE Florida homeschooling community. You can check out more of her work on her website, Azalea Publications or follow her on Twitter.
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