Family

Ft. George

Fort George: Island Time and the Scent of Saltmarsh

BY KATE MATTHEWS I arrived on  near midnight on an early summer’s eve under a bright half-moon. There was a feeling of being submerged in the hot, liquid air while the narrow, sharply curving road pulled me through tunnels of oak hammocks draped with thick Spanish moss. A glimpse of coquina ruins shimmered on my left, followed by silhouettes of palm trees to the right, framing marshland and the Fort George River. I have since learned that every islander I have met had a similar, often nearly mystical, moment of falling in love with Fort George. I found myself living …

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“Big Block” Play at Hemming Park’s New Imagination Playground

Hemming Park unveils Imagination Playground, a giant, mobile play set that unlocks the limits of imagination of children, young and old. Imagination Playground is big block play; an innovative mobile equipment system that will transform the park into a play space that encourages learning, social development, movement, and fun! It is child-directed and open-ended. Jacksonville has a new home for imagination at . In addition to , children will have the opportunity to create a community mosaic outside city hall, hula hoop, get their faces painted, take a yoga class, and take photos in a mobile photo booth. Fun 4 …

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GastroFest 2015 Schedule of Events & Tastings! March 21st, Hemming Park 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Welcome to GastroFest; we hope you are excited! This program of events will give you the details on what is happening, when, and where throughout the day. Our goal is to bring you tastes from around the First Coast, expert speakers, chef demos, kids’ activities and more! So get out there and try some of the finest cuisine Jacksonville has to offer – and don’t forget to use #GastroFest2015 and #321GastroFest! What are Taste Tickets, how do they work, and where do I get them? Taste Tickets will be your currency during . Each Taste Ticket costs $1 and, on …

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On the D’Land Productions Music Stage

On March 21st, in Hemming Park from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. GastroFest will have food from around the First Coast, expert speakers, chef demos and more! This food focused fest has a wide variety of activities, from homebrew to local wine and whiskey tastings.  All of this will be set to local music from the free D’Land Music Stage! The D’Land Music Stage  lineup starts at 11:00 a.m. with the poetic and introspective stylings of hip hop artist Tough Junkie.  At 12:20 p.m., the eclectic, diverse and energetic alternative/folk band Jacksonvegas takes the stage.  Jazz fusion sets the mood for a …

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Spring Camps

ART, IMAGINATION, DISCOVERY March 16-20 Join Jacksonville educators for a dynamic art-making experience this spring break. Each class includes a tour followed by art projects based on the artist studied that day. Children in grades K-5 will learn about contemporary art and grow their visual vocabulary. Daily camp themes include March 16: All about Picasso; March 17: Contemporary realism; March 18: Rauschenberg to Oldenburg; March 19: Urban art and March 20: WHITE. 366-6911 [email protected] March 19 Families are invited to the unveiling of the goodies stored inside Imagination Playground. Bring your family and friends and let the kids create, explore, …

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GastroFest Kid’s & Education Zone

On March 21st, in  from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.  will have food from around the First Coast, expert speakers, chef demos and more! This food focused fest has a wide variety of activities, from homebrew and wine tastings to kid-friendly activities. Our GastroFest Kid’s & Education Zone during the festival will be in and around  on Laura Street from 11a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Inside Visit Jacksonville, we have bees under glass from the . A beekeeper will be there to answer questions and educate both kids and adults about the hard-working insects that not only produce honey, but also support agriculture …

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Unity Plaza Annual Events 2015

The mission to unify and uplift Jacksonville through thoughtful wellness activities, community classes and performing art experiences is exemplified in the annual events schedule for 2015. Partnering with non-profit organizations and sponsors like Gen W, , , , , and many others will produce experiences which will ignite new and powerful interpersonal and professional connections within the Jacksonville community at large. Beginning in February, Unity Plaza set the stage with Orender Unlimited’s Gen WOW to found “Community Stewardship Day” – now officially recognized annually as the first Saturday in February by the City of Jacksonville, followed by the formal dedication …

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Northeast Florida Scottish Games & Festival

What: 2015 Northeast Florida Scottish Games & Festival When: Saturday February 28th – 9am-10pm Where: Clay County Fairgrounds The  is upon us. This will be the 20th anniversary of the games and festival where attendees can expect to see Scottish heavy athletics, Highland dancing, Scottish breed dogs, Scottish pipe and drum bands as well as food and merchandise vendors. This is the opportunity that you’ve been waiting for to finally try mutton! The event has grown every year and is now the largest one-day games in Florida and a good portion of the southeast. More than bagpipes and tossing incredibly …

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Veg Fest, Jacksonville, FL

Veg Fest – March 7 in Riverside Park

There are lots of fun events and festivals going on in Jacksonville this spring, but make sure you add the Northeast Florida Veg Fest to your calendar. This festival is more than a great food and beer selection. Veg Fest, presented by , a Jacksonville-based nonprofit focused on animal, health and environmental issues, connects people to local businesses that prove profits and principles can go hand-in-hand. Come relax at the park and enjoy gourmet popsicles, innovative nachos, stonecore pizzas and Jamaican specialties from  out of Gainesville, Florida. Sit in the  beer garden and listen to live music from  and the …

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Tree Hill Nature Center, Old Arlington, Jacksonville, FL, photo by Fran Ruchalski

OLD ARLINGTON: Tree Hill

“Follow the trail. It is well marked. The alligator will be on your right and the black goats on your left.” These were the intriguing instructions I received on my quest for the  at  on Arlington’s Lone Star Road. I liked Tree Hill instantly when I saw a sign offering free compost at the front gate. I also liked the fact a staghorn fern roughly the size of a golf cart graced the entrance. Well-marked trails led to the office and to the helpful man who provided the garden location instructions. Because the trails close at 4pm, and it was …

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