Virtual Florida Events for May and June
Whatever your passion, Florida has something for you. Here are just some of the major VIRTUAL events (and a few live events where you can easily practice social distancing) scheduled in the Sunshine State. Please check individual websites for more details:
A NIGHT (OR DAY) AT THE MUSEUM – The Nova Southeastern Art Museum in downtown Fort Lauderdale allows you to peruse its world-renowned contemporary art with a virtual tour. Check out the current exhibition Happy!” It’s meant to spark joy and a range of emotions with its floating cloud balloons and colorful rainbows. The museum is encouraging virtual guests to select a piece that resonates with them and then share how it makes them feel with a friend or loved one.
JUDITH LEIBER: MASTER CRAFTSMAN, A VIRTUAL TOUR – This exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Florida at Florida International University in Miami honors the life of the late Holocaust survivor-turned mega handbag designer Judith Leiber. It features photographs, biographical information and, of course, some of her gorgeous ornately beaded handbags. She made handbags go viral – on the red carpet and off – long before social media even existed. Madonna, Beyoncé, Katie Perry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez and Blake Lively are just some of the current A-Listers who have worn her bags, as did Greta Garbo, Barbara Walters and former First Ladies Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton.
When: Now through mid-August
FLORIDA REP STAGE@HOME SERIES –After canceling the remainder of the 2020 season, the Florida Repertory Theatre has begun this new weekly program, hosted live on Zoom and streamlined to Facebook each Friday. The shows will feature a panel of experts and theater artists talking about a different aspect of producing professional theater.
Where: Florida Repertory Theatre, Fort Myers
FROST SCIENCE @HOME – This new digital platform learning series presented by the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami is perfect these days, with children having to stay home and not go to school. It gives visitors the opportunity to explore free educational resources, videos, DIY science activities and behind-the-scenes content. It also offers a 360 degrees exploration of a museum’s top exhibitions and a close look into the world of its resident rehabilitated loggerhead turtle, Miko. The museum also offers virtual tours of its current exhibits.
Where: Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, Miami
ARSHT@HOME – Stay connected with Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center, the arts and one another. You will be able to unleash your create your own masterpiece with your family, alongside local teaching artists. Watch as Miami actors perform monologues from your favorite plays and musicals. Sing along to Spotify playlists curated by staff members and artists from across Miami. “Living Room Live” gives front-row access to intimate performances by Miami musicians. The “From Our Resident Companies” (ballet, opera and symphony) program will keep you entertained while staying safe at home.
KRAVIS @ HOME – The Kravis Center has launched its digital stage, featuring a line-up concerts, dance performances, lectures, dramatic play readings, arts educations activities for kids of all ages. New experiences are added every week so be sure to vist often.
DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK – Dive a shipwreck, swim through the third-largest coral reef in the world and tour a Civil War-era fort. You can do all this without leaving home, thanks to the virtual tour of this this secluded, 100-acre national park that sits 70 miles west of Key West. One of the most awe-inspiring sights at the park is the historic Fort Jefferson and its natural beauty that just might inspire a trip there in the future.
THE HENRY MORRISON FLAGLER MUSEUM -- Experience this National Historic Landmark in Palm Beach, as you take a virtual tour of Whitehall, Henry Flagler’s Gilded Age estate that was built in 1902. The mansion is 100,000 square feet and has 75 rooms. You’ll see some of the rooms on the first and second floors of the museum, the Pavilion, the library, the music room, the billiard room and several bedrooms.
VIZCAYA MUSEUM AND GARDEN – This beautiful estate of former agricultural industrialist John Deering on Biscayne Bay in Miami gives visitors a glimpse into a unique part of Miami’s history. Your virtual tour of this National Historic Landmark allows you to explore the grounds of the waterfront East Terrace, formal gardens (including the Orchidarium), ground floor of the estate, as well as the rooms along the north, south and east galleries.
BONNET HOUSE MUSEUM & GARDENS VIRTUAL AND VINTAGE TOUR – This is a beautiful and serene sanctuary across from the beach in Fort Lauderdale. If you’ve never seen it, take this virtual tour, which includes a four-part video series. The vintage videos offer special tours inside the home, historic lore told by the late Bonnet House owner Evelyn Bartlett and Irene Hart (who as a child lived at and near the Bonnet House) and extended clips from the Bartletts’ home movies. It’s a way to relive much simpler times, until the home reopens for tours.
BILTMORE HOTEL VIRTUAL 360 TOUR -- Wander through the historic Biltmore Hotel in Miami without leaving the comfort of your couch. Featuring a sizable library of 360 degree panoramic views, the Biltmore’s virtual tour takes you through the shared guest areas, including the Main Lobby ballrooms, the Palme D’Or Restaurant, the Fontana Courtyard and the iconic pool. And if you’re planning a conference or meeting once everything gets back to normal, some of the hotel’s meeting spaces are covered in the virtual tour.
When: Now through Dec. 31
ART DECO WEEKEND AT HOME – One of the highlights of the annual Art Deco Weekend on Miami Beach is the lecture series at Wolfsonian-FIU. The theme of this year’s weekend celebration and the lecture series was “Sheroes: Woman Who Made a Difference.” You can hear all seven of the lectures. Some of the subjects include publisher and artist Conrado Massaguer, trailblazing aviatrix Amelia Earhart, designer Hildreth Meiere, women architects of the Art Deco era and the fight for women’s suffrage.
When: Now through Dec. 31
STOCK ISLAND MARINA VIRTUAL FISHING TOURNAMENT – Actually, the tournament itself is not virtual; it's the judging. Here’s how it works: 1) Fill out a form on the web site below. 2) Go fishing! 3) Submit photos of your catch on the Stock Island Derby Facebook event page. Include an “OK” hand signal so the judges know it is a recent photo. Include the hashtag #StockIslandDerby. All participants will save 10% off a fuel purchase at the Stock Island Marina. Winners will be announced on May 13.
When: Now through May 13
Where: Stock Island Marina, Key West
PEREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI (PAMM) DIGITAL MUSEUM -- PAMM is open 24/7 via its Digital Museum, offering guided video tours of works from its permanent collection and special exhibitions, art-making activities for kids and art talks. “Virtual Local Views at PAMM” features Miami artists discussing works on view at the museum. The “Live Virtual Scholl Lecture Series” offers conversations with art world figures.
DEERING ESTATE VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS – The Learning Programs of the Deering Estate in Miami remain eager to continue the mission of delivering informal learning opportunities for students, through engaging hands-on/minds-on activities. This collection of virtual tours and trips would usually be offered to visiting field trip groups, and have been modified to provide an at-home experience.
When: Now through Dec. 31
CONCERTS FROM YOUR COUCH – Gobs of musical artists are streaming performances from their houses while they are practicing social distancing and that is great. But, the BB&T center in Sunrise has assembled a list of amazing full concerts from around the world that you can also watch from the comfort of your couch. Here’s the list: Lady Gaga, John Legend, Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Elton John, Queen, the Dead & Company and Linkin Park.
VIRTUAL TOURS WITH FLORIDA STORIES -- With history dating back centuries, Florida has many stories to tell. From Miami to the Panhandle, you can uncover the rich history of the Sunshine State with the Florida Stories app. It features story scripts written by history experts that are designed to increase your knowledge about local communities. The Florida Stories app is free to download on both the Apple Store and Android’s Google Play Store.
When: Now through Dec. 31
WYNWOOD WALLS VIRTUAL GALLERY TOUR – If you’ve already seen Wynwood’s graffiti-inspired walls and are hankering to see them again (and who wouldn’t want that?) or if you never have seen them, then check this out from the comfort of your own home. You can watch Wynwood Walls history unfold and witness the area’s transformation into a sprawling outdoor gallery featuring murals by internationally renowned artists.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: Wynwood district, Miami
MANGO FEST KEY WEST GOES VIRTUAL – The fourth annual edition of this event won’t be held, but the festivities will go on. Culinary demonstration videos presented by local chefs showcase all the possibilities the mango has to offer. A virtual Vendor Village will add to the festival atmosphere. Music will be provided virtually, along with live radio broadcasts. Also included: a photo contest, a poetry contest and virtual cocktail demonstrations
When: June 22-28
Where: Key West
HMM ON DEMAND – HistoryMiami Museum is, literally, a treasure. It has more than 37,000 three-dimensional artifacts that cover anything from prehistoric archaeological finds to 20th century Afro-Cuban folk art. You can see some of their exhibits on line and/or take advantage of the HMM on Demand program. Content for HMM on Demand changes every Thursday.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: HistoryMiami Museum
Web: historymiami.org/digital-museum for HMM on Demand and historymiami.org/online for the online exhibits
CORALPALOOZA: A DIGITAL EVENT – Like a healthy coral reef, the folks at the Coral Restoration Foundation who run this great event can adapt. And they have, big time. There will be a fully interactive digital platform where viewers can explore virtual booths, never-before seen video and photo content, exclusive presentations and interviews, kids activities and a digital treasure hunt to win Coral Restoration Foundation swag.
When: June 6
Where: Key Largo
PALM BEACH COUNTY VIRTUAL CULTURAL EXPERIENCES, TOURS & CLASSES – Although many cultural organizations are closed, you can still enjoy what they have to offer. The broad categories are music and theater performances; history experiences and lectures; museum, art and gallery tours and lessons; science and nature experiences and dance classes.
Where: Various locations in Palm Beach County
LITTLE HAVANA LIVE – You will need Instagram for this one, but it’s certainly worth it. Every day at 4 p.m., you can hear live broadcasts about different aspects of life in Little Havana and its architecture, art, music, food, people, culture and history.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: Little Havana, Miami
VIRTUAL BLUEGRASS CONCERTS – Every once in a while the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach has live entertainment and such was the case back in April when two top blue grass bands were scheduled to perform. That, of course, was canceled, but you can still see the two groups perform. The headlining act was to be Grand Ole Opry members and multiple-Grammy award nominees Dailey & Vincent and the opening act was2019 International Bluegrass Association Entertainers of the Year Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers. The folks at Flagler have compiled a list of websites where you can watch both perform.
When: Ongoing, whenever you want!
Where: Flagler Museum, Palm Beach
ZOO MIAMI’S ZOOCADEMY VIDEOS -- Yes, it is closed, but Zoo Miami is bringing the zoo to you with its new online program spotlighting resident wildlife and behind-the-scenes footage. The videos can be seen on YouTube and three new ones are posted each week. Some of the animals featured so far are giraffes, the Eurasian eagle owl, Galapagos tortoise, African elephants, Burmese pythons, black rhinos and the touching story of Hope, the first koala born in the zoo in more than 20 years, sharing tender moments with his mother.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: Zoo Miami, Miami
VIRTUAL PALM BEACH INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW – The attend-in-person show is one of the best in the country. You see an amazing array of vessels – from Cigarette, Comanche, Super Cat, inflatables, cruisers, runabouts, fishing boats, high performance, bow riders and, of course, 150-foot super yachts. You’ll also find a full lineup of accessories and nautical fashions. It was scheduled for March but was canceled, but you can register for the virtual show and still get a feel for the show.
When: May 14-17
Where: West Palm Beach
FGO GO – Every week, Opera lovers can settle in and enjoy a little bit of music courtesy of Florida Grand Opera’s online programming, newly designated as FGO GO. The company is company is creating a wealth of content so online viewers can enjoy all aspects of opera, such as highlights from Rigoletto and El Matrimonio Secreto (The Secret Marriage).
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: Florida Grand Opera, Miami
MIAMI SEAQUARIUM@HOME – Even while the Seaquarium is closed, you can explore the wonders of the ocean. The Kids Corner features activity sheets, fun facts and the Reef Ranger Apprentice program. Keep checking back as more activity sheets will be uploaded on an ongoing basis.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: Miami Seaquarium, Miami
O CINEMA VIRTUAL THEATER PROJECT– Until it O Cinema opens again, you can still see new and exciting films from around the world. Some of the movies you can rent now are Spaceship Earth, Pahokee, Deerskin, The Infiltrators, The Times of Bill Cunningham, The Booksellers and Other Music.
When: Now through Dec. 31
Where: O Cinema, South Beach
VISIT THE DALI MUSEUM – Art lovers from all over the world have long enjoyed St. Petersburg’s fascinating Dali Museum, which has an astounding collection of over 2,400 Salvador Dalí works, including nearly 300 oil paintings, watercolors and drawings, as well as more than 2,100 prints, photographs, posters, textiles, sculptures and objets d’art. Now, anyone can view these works through a free 360-degree tour of the museum, as well as some special online-only exhibits and various tours, lessons, lectures, art classes and other stimulating activities for all ages.
When: Any time
FLORIDA AQUARIUM’S SEA-SPAN – Wondering what the Florida Aquarium’s penguins, sting rays, seahorses and a large Goliath grouper named Cleatus are up to while all the guests are away? Tune in to SEA-SPAN, the Aquarium’s new Facebook Live broadcast that keeps us connected to our underwater friends in Tampa until we’re able to return to pet the jellyfish and splash in the water park. Learn about conservation and get up-close insight into feedings, cleanings, care and other behind-the-scenes peeks. The videos are all posted on the Aquarium’s website.
When: Daily at 10 a.m.
GATORLAND’S SCHOOL OF CROC – If you’re into reptiles and other swampy creatures, be sure to check out footage of the daily feedings, encounters and other cool interactions at Gatorland, a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve located along South Orange Blossom Trail. Each morning at 10 a.m., the park airs “School of Croc,” which features fun up-close lessons on the resident gators, arachnids, wildcats, birds and more. Then check out the video blog posts, which are streamed each afternoon on YouTube.
When: Daily at 10 a.m.
Web: facebook.com/gatorland and youtube.com/channel
FLORIDA HOLOCAUST MUSEUM EDUCATIONAL SERIES – The Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg is a historical gem, bringing awareness and enlightenment to visitors as it honors honors the memory of millions of innocent men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. Take a virtual tour of the museum and then tune in to its three-days-a-week interactive educational series on Facebook.
When: Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays
Web: flholocaustmuseum.org/virtual-tour and facebook.com/TheFHM
24/7 IN MY GARAGE VIRTUAL CAR SHOW – Car enthusiasts who love seeing classics and antiques can still get their fix with Lead Foot City’s free, innovative virtual car show, which invites collectors and mechanics to display photos of their restored classic Chevys, antique trucks, race cars and other vintage vehicles to preserve this well-loved showcase of Americana until it’s safe to gather to see the cars, in Brooksville, in real life again.
When: Thursdays and Fridays
LIVE FROM BUSCH GARDENS – While Tampa’s famous, safari-centric theme park is closed to visitors, see and interact love with animals, rides and other favorite exhibits and areas from a new vantage point. Busch Gardens has been taking its Facebook fans along to an elephant birthday party, snack time for sloths, a flaming flock walk, a ride on Cheetah hunt and more.
When: Multiple times weekly
SHINE MURAL FESTIVAL VIRTUAL TOUR – In recent years, St. Petersburg’s colorful urban murals have become internationally revered, in part thanks to the SHINE Mural Festival, which takes visitors on several stops via foot or bike. Now, you can enjoy the 90-plus murals from the comfort of your home, complete with vivid descriptions of the artwork, info on the artists and other fun facts.
When: Any time
FLORIDA ORCHESTRA CONCERTS – As a special treat to classical music fans, the Florida Orchestra is now broadcasting live recordings that you can enjoy while taking a bath or making dinner. Experience some of the more powerful moments from the Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series, which includes Ravel’s Bolero, Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and Mason Bates’ Mothership. If you miss a radio broadcast, no worries – the concerts will be shared on-demand 45 days after they air.
When: Thursdays at 7 p.m.
MOTE GOES #REMOTE – One of Florida’s top sea life research labs is aiming to keep its fans and supporters connected by offering a number of virtual events, exhibit tours and programs, as well as featuring live web cams so you peer into the daily activities of its resident sharks, manatees and otters. For parents teaching or entertaining little ones at home, Sarasota's Mote is hosting virtual story times, providing Google Classroom content and doing Wednesday livestream lessons. Check out the Mote’s various social media pages, which stay active with adorable animal photos, videos and behind-the-scenes tours.
When: Any time
RINGLING’S MUSEUM FROM HOME – While the Ringling’s beautiful gardens, museum exhibits and education center in Sarasota are closed to foot traffic through the end of May, people can still view nearly 45,000 objects in the Ringling collection online, including circus artifacts, outdoor sculptures, stunning paintings and artwork and opulent furniture in the Ca' d'Zan house. Check out the interesting Art Chats series on YouTube or visit the Ringling’s social media pages for insights about popular museum features, staff favorites, objects of the week and tours.
When: Any time
ORLANDO VIRTUAL TOURS – Orlando is one of the world’s top playgrounds for theme parks, water parks, entertainment and attractions and the COVID-19 shutdown has left many craving the comfort and fun of their favorite spots. With this in mind, Visit Orlando now provides more than 100 virtual experiences including 360-degree tours, Facebook Live broadcasts, theme park thrills and more. Ride SeaWorld’s Mako, float down a lazy river at the Four Season, zip-line over alligators, take a walk through Universal Orlando Resort and take a swan boat ride on Lake Eola to get your Orlando fix while you’re waiting to visit in real life.
When: Any time
SOCIAL DISTANCE-SAFE BLUEBERRY PICKING – Several of Central Florida’s fruit farms are allowing people to take advantage of the Sunshine State’s prime blueberry-picking season while taking proper precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Enjoy the gorgeous outdoor spring weather and go home with boxes, bags or bushels of fresh, plump berries full of antioxidant goodness to help keep you healthy. Most farms require you to call ahead and reserve a time so they can ensure they are limiting the number of people in keeping with social distancing guidelines, as well as providing ample hand-washing stations and other safeguarding measures.
When: Throughout May; days and hours vary
CENTRAL FLORIDA SCENIC DRIVES – When your eyes begin to blur from looking at the laptop or cell phone, your kids are getting antsy and you’re craving a connection to the outside world, hop in the car and take advantage of the cheap gas prices and sparse traffic. Central Florida is known to have a number of well-traveled scenic drives and one-tank trips over arching bridges connecting communities across bays, through funky beach towns, past natural wildlife refuges and through historic towns. Clearwater’s Courtney Campbell Causeway, Anna Maria Island’s Palma Sola Scenic Highway and the eastern coast’s Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway are favorites among road trippers. The Florida Scenic Highway Program provides an excellent tool to map out your drive and check out the top features of each region and roadway as you plan.
When: Any time
VIRTUAL WALT DISNEY WORLD – While you’re waiting for your favorite Disney theme parks to reopen to visitors, or until you’re ready to visit, get your fix by take virtual tours through Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom and more – with no lines or crowds, and only a few workers wandering the grounds. Stroll down Main Street, gaze at the Valley of Mo’ara in a stunning nighttime view and visit the various countries at Epcot from the comfort of your couch. It’s a great way to map out your next trip to the parks and see some surrounding attractions as well.
When: Any time in June
Where: Lake Buena Vista, Orlando
SAFARI WILDERNESS TOURS – After several weeks cooped up at home, how fun does a romp through wild animal territory sound? Safari Wilderness offers tours across its 260-acre property that houses 450 animals representing over 50 different species including zebra, camels, ring-tailed and red-ruffed lemurs, red lechwe, nilgai, watusi cattle, as well as native Florida wildlife. The new social distancing guidelines are a plus that make for a more intimate touring experience.
When: Daily through June; reservations required
LIVING WATER BOAT CRUISES – The Living Water Boat Cruises are back in action, following special cleaning and distancing procedures to take small groups and families on pontoon boat rides through Winter Haven’s beautiful lake system. Spot some wildlife and gorgeous waterside homes, take a sunset cruise or take a lunch or dinner cruise and learn about Florida history and nature in an entirely new way.
When: Throughout June; reservations required
Where: Winter Haven’s Chain of Lakes
PONCE INLET LIGHTHOUSE AND MUSEUM LIMITED VISITS – This popular 1887 national historic landmark has reopened to visitors, keeping occupancy to smaller groups for safety. If you don’t want to wait in line, or if you simply want to save yourself the 203 steps to the top of Florida’s tallest lighthouse, take a virtual tour that features panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, Ponce Inlet, and inland waterways from the gallery deck at the top of the tower.
When: Daily in June
Where: Ponce Inlet, Volusia County
CRACKER COUNTRY VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS – Typically open only select days during the year, this fascinating rural Florida history museum has opened its virtual doors to folks any time by introducing some food and culture learning programs for school-age kids, plus games, activities and an archive of videos for all ages to delve more into the lives of our Sunshine State pioneers. Listen to bluegrass, get a washboard music lesson, play “all aboard bingo” while learning about the Florida railroad system and watch some old fashioned food prep that sustained our Floridian ancestors.
When: Any time
TAMPA THEATRE VIRTUAL CINEMA – While its historic auditorium remains dark, Tampa Theatre has launched Virtual Cinema, a collection of new, first-run movies released via streaming platforms exclusively for art-house audiences. Pop your own popcorn, pour your own wine and for $12, get a three-day rental of new titles such as “Clementine,” “Between Shadow and Soul,” “Deerskin” and “ROAR.”
When: Any time
VIRTUAL MOREAN ARTS CENTER – The Morean Arts Center has been a favorite among Florida art lovers for nearly a hundred years, offering art classes, exhibitions and other learning programs to people of all ages. During its closure, it recently launched a variety of virtual classes and demos, including online drawing and illustration for teens, Photoshop for photographers, still life drawing, clay and pottery demos and more. On “Virtual Saturdays,” check out the entertaining story time and art shows with mother-daughter teachers Sherri and Maddie.
When: Select days and times through June
Where: St. Petersburg
DAYTONA FLEA & FARMER’S MARKET – Adhering to CDC-recommended distancing and disinfection guidelines, the fun and family-friendly Daytona Flea and Farmer’s Market has reopened to bargain hunters, shopaholics and antique pickers. Peruse hundreds of vendor booths and tables for jewelry, home and garden goods, clothing, artwork, honeys and jams, crystals and other cool products and collectibles.
When: Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays in June
Where: Daytona Beach
ZIP LINING OVER TAMPA BAY – Empower Adventures Tampa Bay is putting adrenaline cravers back in action with zip line tours and courses over the waters of Tampa Bay and through the beautiful 400-acre Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve. Visitors are required to wear masks and pass temperature checks, then they’re set off to soar through the air, traverse over a 200-foot suspension bridge and rappel from great heights while enjoying stunning views of Florida wildlife and skylines.
When: By reservation only throughout June
GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM FROM HOME – Bring the Glazer Children’s Museum’s hands-on activities and science experiments into your kitchen or living room by delving into its at-home offerings for kids of all ages. Make solar oven s’mores and homemade butter, build a canister rocket or two-ingredient slime, watch videos of staff interacting with a blue-tongue skink or going bird watching and participate in a yoga session or ukulele singalong.
When: Any time
SIESTA KEY WATERSPORTS – After closing for a month and a half, Siesta Key Watersports reopened with some new guidelines in place to keep crowds and germs to a minimum while also allowing people to reconnect with sunshine, saltwater and sea life. Call to reserve a parasail flight or to rent a boat or jet ski to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico and Siesta Key waters while having a fun adventure with family and friends.
When: By reservation only in June
BODY MIND SPIRIT EXPO – While maintaining social distancing guidelines, this one-of-a-kind touring expo is returning to Tampa, bringing the latest and greatest in alternative health practices, products and ideologies, as well as psychics, mediums and spiritual teachers to help guide those seeking a holistic approach to wellness and life goals. For a $12 admission, attend a whole weekend of seminars on topics such as meditation, tarot readings, herbal medicine, financial health and relationships.
When: June 20-21
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
CATTY SHACK RANCH WILDLIFE SANCTUARY VIRTUAL NIGHT FEEDINGS — Get to know the cats (think tigers and lions) that have found their forever home at Jacksonville’s big cat sanctuary. For fans of the ranch who have attended the night feeding in person, the virtual setup is similar. Executive Director Curt LoGiudice walks viewers through the cats’ dinner time, provides background on the residents, introduces you to key staff members and shows off some of the habitat changes from the ongoing $8 million renovation project. For example, viewers will learn that the female lion Nyra, who has spent almost 18 years at the ranch, gets more frequent and smaller meals of prime beef and chicken breasts to help with her senior needs, which differs from the diet of the younger big cat residents that includes bones and more. And with all the current interest in big cat sanctuaries thanks to Netflix’s Tiger King series, it should be mentioned that Catty Shack Ranch is a true sanctuary that doesn’t breed, trade, sell or buy residents.
When: Facebook Live Virtual Night Feedings Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Facebook Live Educational Program Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 p.m.
LIVE #ONTHELINE FROM THE FLORA-BAMA LOUNGE, PACKAGE AND OYSTER BAR — So you can’t sip your margarita with your toes in the sand while listening to live tunes. But you can find a sunny spot in your home, pop the top on the beer and join the iconic bar’s live stream daily through Facebook. It’s almost like bringing the vacation home with you. During performances, give them a shoutout from where you’re listening, make song requests and then just close your eyes — the beach isn’t as far away as you think.
When: 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. CST daily
JACKSONVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA — With many of our favorite musical artists performing from more intimate spaces, the musicians of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra are doing somewhat the same. With social distancing rules in place, life has changed their live performances at Jacoby Symphony Hall to feature a much smaller part of the whole; for example only a string quartet. But the orchestra is still bringing virtual life to beloved music of the past. In between their Friday live performances, members of the JSO are also releasing solo in-home performances on the orchestra’s Facebook stream. And for those who want a little insider knowledge, check out the behind-the-scenes video with music director Courtney Lewis as he walks us through his process of learning and prepping a musical score for a performance.
When: Fridays at 8 p.m.
Web: hjaxsymphony.org/live or facebook.com/jaxsymphony
NORTHSIDE STAGE LIVE CONCERTS — This Tallahassee live music venue’s goal is to connect regional and local artists with the community and that hasn’t changed even while closed. Musicians are still performing virtually through a Facebook Live in a series of concerts they’re calling NSSOnline. As of now the venue has online events scheduled through April 24.
When: 9 p.m. on April 17, 8 p.m. on April 20 and 7 p.m. on April 24
BLUE ANGELS DEBRIEF — Spring is usually prime time to catch up with the country’s premiere flyers at their home base along Pensacola’s waterfront beaches while they’re prepping for the season’s air show circuit. In the past, spring breakers could attend these practices, which also include a weekly meet-and-greet with the pilots. While you’re homebound, they’re still practicing and they’re offering fans an opportunity to get to know the Angels’ top guns and learn more about their signature maneuvers. Each week, one of the pilots breaks down a maneuver and walks you through it from their cockpit vantage.
When: Fridays at 9 a.m. on Facebook
GULFARIUM MARINE ADVENTURE PARK — Did you know that gopher tortoise like strawberries, that dolphins have a belly button and that albino alligators have poor vision? Learn all this and much more through the frequent educational Facebook videos about the marine residents at Gulfarium's waterfront park in Fort Walton Beach. When the trainers can schedule a live segment they’ll announce it ahead of time.
When: varies throughout the week on Facebook
PENSACOLA MUSEUM OF ART — The museum’s team is still working hard to maintain a vibrant Facebook page with almost daily adult or child-appropriate art and craft projects using found materials — one included using socks to make stuffed bunnies, which were pretty fantastic. They’re also using this space to include Facebook Live talks with the artists whose work is currently exhibited at the museum. If you’re looking for additional inspiration or background on the artists, the museum also has created virtual tours of its exhibits at pensacolamuseum.org.
When: varies throughout the week on Facebook
OUTSIDE THE ODDITORIUM: RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT — In 1950, the original Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum opened to the public in the Warden’s Castle in St. Augustine. Since then, the museum, which maintains a collection of more than 25,000 pieces, has expanded to 12 states (plus Canada) and added aquariums to its roster. During the shutdown, the museums’ researchers, illustrators and editors are keeping their home audience entertained with live virtual events throughout the week. These include Q&As, a look at some of their oddest exhibits, drawing tutorials and more.
When: Monday through Friday, various times
ST. AUGUSTINE ALLIGATOR FARM ZOOLOGICAL PARK — From the 15-foot, 1,250-pound saltwater croc named Maximo to the mouse-sized pygmy marmosets, the zoological park, home to lots and lots of alligators, is staging weekly Facebook Live Virtual Events to educate and entertain. All events include a Q&A session and you can submit questions ahead of time through Facebook.
When: Various times
NATIONAL NAVAL AVIATION MUSEUM — Satisfy your child’s need to take flight from their homebound life while exploring some of the treasures in the world’s largest museum dedicated to naval aviation. The Pensacola museum’s 350,000 square feet of exhibit space includes 150 restored aircraft representing the Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. Other than our military’s top flying machines, it also includes an exhibit dedicated to the Apollo space missions. Explore the space’s 360-degree tour and learn about the different flying machines on its website.
THE GROVE MUSEUM — Take a virtual walk through Florida’s antebellum history at the Call-Collins House (circa 1840) and its 10.5 acre grounds that make up The Grove in Tallahassee. The Grove has been open to the public only since 2017 and was named to the National Register of Historic Places. The staff of the museum is posting multiple videos each week, including Virtual Nature Walks through the grounds, live story time, and behind-the scenes glimpses into specific rooms. Learn more about the home’s history and the role it played in Florida’s Civil Rights movement. Visit the museum’s home page for its upcoming Facebook Live event schedule at thegrovemuseum.com.
FORGOTTEN COAST MUSEUM TOUR — Did you know the father of air conditioning was from Florida? Or, that you can hold a 20,000-year-old oyster shell in Carrabelle? The communities of Carrabelle, Apalachicola, Alligator Point, St. George Island and Eastpoint consider themselves the Forgotten Coast along the Panhandle despite their rich history. Get a chance to explore this history through a collection of short videos highlighting the Raney House Museum, Carrabelle History Museum, John Gorrie Museum and more.
CASTILLO SAN MARCOS VIRTUAL TOUR — The star-shaped fort in St. Augustine holds the key to 450 years of history, and the University of South Florida Libraries and the National Park Service have teamed up to create this 360-degree virtual tour. Visitors will understand the lay of the land and the true size of the fort from a drone view while the tour loads. From there, the map will allow you to choose your own path as your explore the fort. Tour includes video explaining what life was like for its inhabitants and as well as its long and varied history under different flags as well as through close up views of the fort’s signage. The tour includes some interactive 3-D models that are virtual reality compatible.
GAMBLE ROGERS MUSIC FESTIVAL — With the 25th anniversary folk festival postponed with a new date still TBD, the organizers are still bringing live music to their fans. Catch the second week of concerts featuring Davis Loose, Sam Pacetti, Todd Jones, Katherine Archer and Charley Simmons. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and are presented by the St. Johns Cultural Council. The council has also created a YouTube channel so you can watch concerts you may have missed, including five which were live the week of May 4-8.
When: May 11-15
TRIVIA NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: PRESERVATION AT HOME EDITION — Virtually explore the Florida Historic Capitol Museum’s exhibits, architectural features, artwork and artifacts through interactive floor plans, photo tours and a video tour. Then sign up to see how much knowledge you retained by joining other fans on Zoom for a live trivia night. Registration is required and details on how to participate will be relayed after registering for the event.
When: Zoom, 6 p.m. on May 14
SEACREST WOLF PRESERVE — Get to know the wolves of this Chipley preserve which started as a small rescue effort and has expanded into a large preserve dedicated to wolf and wildlife conservation. While the preserve is still closed for VIP tours, their staff has created a robust collection of videos explaining the species covering topics like care for their pups, anatomy and pack dynamics. Seacrest is home to 30 wolves (Gray, Arctic-Type and British Columbian) as well as small Florida native species such as foxes, raccoons, skunks and foxes.
ART TALKS LIVE! & VIRTUAL ART CAMP — The Gadsden Arts Center & Museum is bringing their current exhibits to your home with a collection of live online forums about featured artists. The most recent presentation aired on May 7 and was hosted by Anissa Ford, the museum’s education director, who discussed the life and work of Gainesville artist Eddy Mumma. Mumma was a shut-in who painted more than 1,000 works but refused to sell any of them. His work was eventually discovered and 800 pieces were rescued from a dumpster and now hang in permanent museum homes. For more art from home, also check out their Facebook page for curator-led tours which include a behind-the-scenes look at their collection in the vault. The museum also will be hosting a Virtual Art Camp in June to keep kids creating.
CADE AT HOME — With home schooling wrapping up and summer camps canceled, virtual activities are a great way to keep kids engaged and active. Gaineville’s Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention has taken its “Think, Meet, Be” mission in exploring inventors and entrepreneurs to create a home-based program of easy to replicate STEAM lessons and activities for different age ranges. A Little Sparks (ages 0-4) activity may include a song and craft whereas a Tech & Design (ages 10 and up) track will teach simple 3-D coding used in Minecraft through an ongoing series of video lessons.
PENSACOLA CHILDREN’S MUSEUM & VIRTUAL TOUR — Again, the amount of great online activities that local museums are providing for children is a gold mine. The museum has 11 projects and frequently adds new ones to keep you coming back for more. Projects include making water fireworks, learning how to make your own jellyfish, or learning the basics of binary computer coding and decoding. Each activity has a downloadable activity sheet that includes a supply list, step-by-step instructions and fast facts related to that project. Did you know that 60,000 jellyfish have been in space? You didn’t, right? Not to worry, we’re all learning something new every day. Want to get out and explore? You can also do that from your computer because the site has a virtual tour of 15 downtown Pensacola historic sites.
THE VIRTUAL TABLE — Madison Social, which under normal circumstances draws Tallahassee locals with its unique happy hour drinks and rocking trivia nights, has turned to the virtual space to allow its patrons to host home-based happy hour drinks that are shaken, stirred or garnished with a twist. Locals can register for the classes for a small fee that includes all the needed ingredients. Everyone else (Non-locals, we know you’ll still be interested!) can pop over to Facebook or Instagram live at 7 p.m. on the class date to follow along and then create a personal shopping list to make your own drinks at a later date. Upcoming classes are liquor centric and feature bourbon, rum and Tito’s. Cheers!
When: Through June 12
ARTS AT HOME — Tallahassee’s Council on Cultural Arts has created a one-stop guide to virtual events in the local art, music, theater, education and literary community. From streaming a children’s storytime to offering private online arts lessons to learning a foreign language to screening an arthouse flick, there’s something for everyone in this easily searchable community calendar.
VIRTUAL SCAVENGER HUNT — Set the kids free on a virtual scavenger hunt through Jacksonville. They’ll get to explore historic sites like Kingsley Plantation and the Ritz Theatre and Museum, hot tourist spots like Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary and the Museum of Science and History, and kid-friendly favorites like Sweet Pete’s. Each attraction has a list to check off by using 360-degree video to explore the location. Find them all and win an #onlyinjax prize.
VIRTUAL ASADO — Master grilling tips will be dispensed, meats and seafood will be rendered deliciously over high (or low) heat and barbecue queens and kings can ask questions and talk virtually with other fans of the grilling community. Urban Asado, a St. Augustine retailer which specializes in Argentinian-style grills, went looking to unite a community in isolation and in doing so birthed a series of live, virtual grilling experiences that bring together local chefs and mixologists. Most of the grilling experiences are about 60 minutes. Previous videos can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/pg/UrbanAsado/videos.
When: Sundays, Facebook Live
2020 SPRING MEMBERS SHOW — To allow for social distancing and quarantine rules, the annual spring members exhibit of the St. Augustine Art Association has become an online show. View more than 90 works of art created by local artists that celebrate St. Augustine, Florida’s lush natural world and the human form, many of which are available for purchase. This was a juried art show with monetary prizes awarded. Todd Lane’s sculpture “The Workin’ Man” was the best-in-show winner and Martha Ferguson’s oil painting “Afternoon Light” took first place.
MERMAID ENCOUNTERS — Sister of the Sea & The Dive Bar have brought back their Live Mermaid Encounters over the weekend. Enjoy outdoor drinks or fresh catch while watching the coastal comings and goings as mermaids also frolic in their saltwater pool. The bar has also added a Live Mermaid Cam so you can watch from your home.
When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 3-6 p.m. in Panama City Beach
SOCIAL DISTANCING SUP EVENTS — With the state reopening for outdoor recreation, now’s the time to look at activities like stand up paddle boarding that achieve social distancing all on its own. Join V-Star Fitness, out of St. Augustine, for sunset stand up paddle tours. SUP gear rental is included in the tour price and there’s no charge if participants have their own SUP gear but everyone must have a leash, personal flotation device and lighting (if it’s night tour).
When: Ongoing in St. Augustine
SUN-RAY CINEMA POP-UP DRIVE-IN— Jacksonville’s indie-favorite, art-house movie theater Sun-Ray Cinema might have the best marquee in the city this spring: “Cinema Closed Until Real Life Doesn’t Feel Like a Movie”. During the closure, they’ve been offering fans the opportunity to stream new indie films from home with a portion of the ticket price going back to the cinema. In the meantime, they’ve been looking for a socially-distanced way to bring the film community together and the Callahan Speedway stepped up to the table. For two nights only, the theater will be hosting a Pop-Up Drive-In for 100 cars. You’ll provide the sound (through your FM radio) and they’ll provide the flicks (Smokey and the Bandit on Friday and Mad Max: Fury Road on Saturday) on a 32-foot wide screen. Bathrooms will be available for attendees under up-to-date CDC guidelines. Tickets can be purchased in advance.
When: May 29-30 in Callahan
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