Archive for Kid Friendly

4th of July Fireworks in St. Augustine FL 2017

It’s that time of the year again! If you’re a fireworks junkie like I am, then you can’t miss the Fireworks over the Matanzas!

The event starts at 6 PM on the 4th of July. There will be a band  at the Plaza for a two-hour show. If you like live music, then the Plaza is the place to be.  They will also be performing some patriotic tunes to keep it festive. It’s free to attend, you may want to bring a blanket or a chair.St Augustine 4th of July Fireworks 2013

The fireworks start at 9:30PM, they will last about 20 minutes.  The show is choreographed to music that can be heard all along the Bayfront, from the Fort to the bridge.

The lawn of the Fort is a great place to watch them. It’s a good spot to bring a cooler and a picnic too. Read More→

Movies by the Bay Schedule for St Augustine FL



Looking for a FREE, family friendly night out? Check out the 2015 schedule of Movies by the Bay. Bring your lawn chairs, a blanket and a picnic and relax on the waterfront while being entertained by the big screen! Look for parking in Saint Augustine at the Fort, the bay front or the Parking garage. You can catch a free shuttle from the Visitors Information Center train stop to the marina so you don’t have to worry about carrying chairs and things too far. The movies are held at the St Augustine Municipal Marina, at the foot of the Bridge of Lions.




June 17 — “Shark Tale” (PG)

June 24 — “Annie” (PG)

July 1 — “The Boxtrolls” (PG)

July 8 — “Maleficent” (PG) — Maleficent will make an appearance.

July 15 — “The Lego Movie” (PG)

July 22 — “Big Hero 6” (PG)

July 29 — “Karate Kid” (PG)

Aug. 5 — “The Incredibles” (PG) — Superhero Back to School party with free mini golf, appearances by Captain America and Iron Man, games, prizes and activities. Participants are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite superhero. Activities begin at 7 p.m. and run through the start of the movie.

Free Summer Concerts in the Plaza – Schedule & information for St Augustine FL

promofoto1edit  Concerts in the Plaza Schedule for 2015

Free Concerts in the Plaza run every Thursday night all summer long. Bring a chair or a blanket and sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Picnics and coolers are welcome as are leashed well behaved dogs. Alcohol is not allowed in the plaza.

The show starts at 7:00 pm

The Plaza is located at the foot of the Bridge of Lions at the intersection of Cathedral and King Street,

St. Augustine, FL 32084

Phone: 904-825-1004




On street parking is available near the Plaza and is free throughout the city after 5:00pm. Parking is also available in the Historic Downtown Parking Facility at the St. Augustine and St. Johns County Visitors Information Center, a 10-minute walk along St. George St. from the Plaza. The cost for parking in the parking garage is $10 per entry or $3 with a ParkNow card.
For more information on parking, click here.


Schedule of Events




Ancient City Brass Band

Brass band standards



Ancient City Slickers

Big fun music



The Falling Bones

’60s party and dance rock



The Grapes of Roth

Classic rock



Rob Ellis Peck & Friends

Blues and rock




Mike Hart’s Decoy

Blues, jazz and rock



The Committee

Classic rock and originals



The Rick Arcusa Band

Classic rock



The Gatorbone Band

Original acoustic, jazz, swing, countrypolitan




Lonesome Bert & the Skinny Lizards

Original Americana


Looking for information on the Wednesday night concerts at the Pier? Click here.

Looking for more music & Nightlife? Click here.


Free Summer Movies at the St Augustine Amphitheater – Schedule & Trailers

muppetsSt Augustine is offering up free family-friendly movies at the St Augustine Amphitheater this summer. Check out the schedule and details here.


Community First Credit Union  and the St. Augustine Amphitheatre have partnered again this year to present the popular “Community First Night Owl Cinema Series 2014.” The free summer movie series will include seven family-friendly movie nights throughout the summer months.

Parking at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre is free on movie nights and a variety of concessions will be available for purchase. Moviegoers will enjoy special family friendly entertainment and activities inspired by the featured movie’s theme. Children of all ages are welcome to go dressed in character.

St. Augustine Amphitheatre Night Owl Cinema Summer Movie schedule:

•Sunday, June 14: Napoleon Dynamite
•Sunday, June 21: Back to the Future {Happy Father’s Day!}
•Sunday, July 12: Muppets Most Wanted

•Sunday, July 19: Paddington
•Sunday, July 26: The Sandlot
•Friday, July 31: Cinderella (the original version)

•Friday, August 7: Babe


Gates open at 7 p.m. and each movie will begin at 8 p.m.

Tickets are not required, as the event is free and open to the public.

The St. Augustine Amphitheatre

1340C A1A South St. Augustine, FL 32080

There will be no charge to park at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre


Enjoy a Scenic Boat Ride to Explore Fort Matanzas in St Augustine FL

Fort Matanzas was completed in 1742 by the Spanish to protect St. Augustine from an attack by their enemies, both England and pirates.  It fell to ruin in the 1820’s, was stabilized by the War Department in 1916 and 1924.  The National Park Service took it over and rebuilt it in 1935.  It is an under visited gem in the NPS system. Read More→

The Fountain of Youth in St Augustine FL is a Pet Friendly Attraction Worth Seeing

Ponce De Leon’s World Famous Fountain of Youth is one of my favorite places in St. Augustine, FL. This attraction is very dear to my heart. My grandparents Joe & Nan Deuschle met and fell in love there in 1927. My grandfather was the gardener who discovered the skeletal remains of the Timucua Indians in 1934 while he was planting orange trees on the property.  This incredible discovery led to research conducted by the Smithsonian Institute and The University of Florida Museum of Natural History and is a large part of the parks history today.




The Park is located on 15 beautifully landscaped waterfront acres. This beautiful piece of property is home to many friendly peacocks. They love to display their colorful  feathers in hopes of being fed peanuts by the many guests who come through the Parks Gates. I visited the park recently and although I have been there many times before  I never tire of the gorgeous grounds. I ran into several locals that day who were all enjoying the Park and its views of the Intracoastal.

The Park is most famous for its springs, also known as The Fountain of Youth. About 60 years ago, they built a beautiful Coquina structure around the spring with a gorgeous fireplace to warm yourself on a cool winters day. The spring water comes directly from Florida’s aquifer and is said to contain over 30 minerals. I have been drinking from the spring since I was five years old, my first visit to the fountain of youth. Here they have cups of water so you too can drink from the springs magical waters.

The Park is a combination of an “Old Florida tourist attraction” and a world-class Archaeological Park.  The owners have gone through great lengths to preserve its’ history and to continually improve the Park and the exhibits. Even if you have been here before,  it’s worth coming back to see the new exhibits that are constantly added. On my recent visit, I was there to enjoy the new Founders River walk. The Park has recently added a 600 foot dock out into the gorgeous salt marsh. Here you have spectacular views of the inlet and the Bay. They have even included some benches to sit down and relax on while you breathe in the salt air and watch the wildlife out in the marsh.  This particular day I also took some time to learn more about the reconstruction of the Mission Church.  The structure was built using historically correct methods wherever possible using local cypress, which was known to 16th century Spaniards to be durable and resistant to wood-eating insects. The Mission church features a choir loft and rustic altar, and uses a palm thatch roof. The floor is crushed coquina, as is the area around the church.


The Park has living history exhibits performed by knowledgeable reenactors. One of my favorite demonstrations is the cannon firing. A crowd had gathered  to see this in depth demonstration of the firing of a Breech Cannon. BOOM! Hold your ears for this one. This is a beautiful Cannon and you don’t get to see one of these in action very often. I loved this demonstration and so did the rest of the visitors. We were also shown how to shoot a Crossbow that was of Spanish influence. That was a big favorite of all of the kids watching, but I loved it too. I think I’ll be adding one of those to my Christmas list.

All of the Reenactors at the Park are phenomenal. They are friendly, professional and have a wealth of knowledge. They are happy to answer your questions and teach you about the history behind the particular demonstration. The day I was there, they also had someone making  pottery, and someone carving a canoe out of a hunk of pine using the burn and scrape method. These reenactments were taking place in the Timucan Village.  The things they do here are amazing and so interactive.


Archaeologists have been excavating at Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park for over 80 years, and in that time the discoveries have rewritten history textbooks time and time again. Since 1934, archaeologists have made a long list of major finds at the Park, and excavations continue to this day. You can see some of these archaeological treasures on display within the Park.

If you go hungry, they have a great snack bar where you can grab an appetizer, hamburger, sandwich or one of the coldest beers in town. They also have a fantastic gift shop if you’re looking for the perfect souvenir. The Park is a pet friendly attraction too. 

So whether or not you love history or archaeology, lush landscaping and views of the Bay or friendly peacocks looking for treats, The Fountain of Youth has something for you. Take a few hours and be transported in time, enjoy and explore!


 Discover something old,

 discover something new,

 discover something beautiful 

 in a park with the perfect view.





The Fountain of Youth is open 9-6 daily and the last ticket is sold at 5:00pm.



Adult (13-59 yrs): 12.00
Child (6-12 yrs): 8.00
Senior (60+ yrs): 11.00

 11 Magnolia Ave  St. Augustine, FL

Phone: 904 829 3168

“Know What The Locals Know”


Relax and See the City from the Bay on a Delightful Boat Ride in St Augustine FL

One of my favorite things to do in St. Augustine, Florida is to hop aboard The Victory III Scenic Cruise Line. I love to go with my husband at sunset and take all of our friends and family as well. We have even celebrated my sister Christine’s birthday aboard eating LuLi’s Cupcakes.

The one hour and 15 minute tour Read More→

Anastasia State Park- A Great Place to Stay or Play

Anastasia State Park is a little slice of paradise located near historic downtown and the beaches in St. Augustine. Whether you are visiting for the day or camping for a week, this beautiful Park will appeal to all. I personally have camped there since I was a small child and I visit the park now on a regular basis to take advantage of all this little slice of paradise has to offer.

The campsites are truly reminiscent of old Florida. The breeze off the ocean has created some of the most picturesque, gracefully bent Cedar trees I have ever seen, to shade you from the Florida sun. It  Features 139 Sites with electric and water hookups for both RVs and tents. The park offers all amenities including a communal dump station, hot water showers and laundry facilities and free Wi-Fi hotspot. The campground is pet friendly for well-behaved pets.



The park itself is open daily from 8 AM until sunset all year round. There is an $8 entrance fee per car. The park allows fishing, boating, swimming and fires in designated areas.


The Park  is home to over 4 miles of beaches to walk, jog or bike. There is a store and a snack shack that sells beach sundries and  camping and fishing supplies. You can also rent bicycles, beach chairs and umbrellas. If you’re looking to picnic there are three different picnic areas, some with tables under pavilions with grills and a beautiful private hilltop gazebo with a table and grill. The picnic areas are  handicap accessible. The park also has plenty of public restrooms, showers and playground areas.




The beaches are absolutely gorgeous!  Cars are not allowed to drive on these beaches and  you can’t bring your pets either.  These are some of the most beautiful unspoiled beache you will find  with gorgeous sea oats covered sand dunes. There are lifeguards on duty to protect you during the summer months.  Here’s a locals’ tip for you …. they always fly a purple flag which means dangerous marine life. This is standard in all state parks to protect them as well as you. Don’t be discouraged by this, you can always ask a lifeguard before you swim if they have seen any dangerous marine life that day. If the tide is out, this is also a great beach to go shelling.

If you love water sports, Anastasia Water Sports is located within the park. ( see my review ) They rent kayaks, canoes, windsurfers, paddleboats, Hobie cat, Sunfish, and stand up paddle boards.  It’s best to make a reservation but if you can’t, just stop by, they will do their best to accommodate you. Some rentals are dependent on tides so it’s good to check with them first.

You can walk for miles at Anastasia State Park  enjoying the wildlife, ocean views and salt air.  It is truly a wonderful way to spend a day.




Painting with Dolphins

One of the most unique and educational attractions St. Augustine has to offer is Marineland Dolphin Adventure. There are a few places in the US where you get to interact with dolphins. They offer several programs to choose from to fit almost any budget.
General admission guests are able to view the dolphins through 6 x 10 ft acrylic windows as they swim, play and interact with guests in other programs. Admission fees are:
$9.95 for adults ages 13 and above, $5.95 for children (ages 3-12), $8.95 for seniors (60+)
I have personally experienced the Dolphin Designs Program and the Touch and Feed. I received the Dolphin Designs program as a birthday gift one year. As a dolphin lover, this experience BLEW me out of the water. You get to interact with the dolphin, with a canvas and paints and with your help, he creates your beautiful masterpiece. You hold the canvas and the dolphin holds the paint brush in her mouth.
 I have swam with dolphins before in the Dominican Republic and it was a wonderful adventure. However this is something you have to do if you love dolphins and  it is a completely different interaction. You  must be at least five years old to participate in this program. The cost is $90 per person and I highly suggest making reservations as this program sells out quickly. The experience is about 15 minutes long with the dolphin, about a half hour total, including picking out your paint colors and the instructions with your trainer. Of course you get to bring your picture home too. My dolphin’s name was Dazzle and here is the picture we painted together.
The touch and feed program is about five minutes long. You or your child will get to feed the dolphin some fish and pet him after he introduces himself to you.
You must be three years old or older to participate in  this program. The cost is $29 per person. You do get wet during all of these programs so wear a bathing suit or dress accordingly.
So far these are the only programs I have participated in.  I can’t vouch for the Immersion, the Discover Dolphins or the Trainer  for a day prgrams. I do want to try these  sometime in the near future and update this review.
All in all, I would have to say that if you or your child loves dolphins you really should stop in at Marineland. If you just do the general admission, the viewing area is small enough that you can really see what’s going on with the other programs and the huge glass windows give you a great view of the dolphins playing below the water. Marineland is located right on the beach so you have beach access and gorgeous views while you’re interacting with dolphins.
Marineland Dolphin Adventure
9600 Oceanshore Blvd.
St. Augustine, FL 32080
Phone: 904-471-1111 or 877-933-3402

Fun Parks for Kids to Play- Saint Augustine

Davenport Park –180 San Marco Ave-   904-823-3388

Davenport Park has a full scale, antique carousel offering rides for little ones 7 days a week all year round for $1 per ride.

This park has a very nice playground area with a nice shaded tree canopy covering the many picnic table areas.

The climbing structure is very nice and has some interesting, and fun things for kids to do. The play structure was funded by a non profit foundation in memory of Kourtney Nicole Schmidt, who lost her life at the age of 10 months to Spinal Macular Atrophy. Her remarkable parents, who were grieving, decided to set up a foundation in her honor to do something good for the community.

The foundation created the play structure inside Davenport Park. It is called Kourtney’s Korner, and is fully handicapped accessible, meaning a wheelchair can go right up the ramp and kids can play with some fun interactive things up at the top of the structure.



Splash Water Park at The Saint Augustine Pier:  Lots of fun for the kids!! Right there by the pier entrance is a splash park for your kids to run and play in along with a little play ground.  It is right on the beach so you can go and enjoy the waves too!  There are picnic tables and bathrooms available as well as free parking.


S.W.I.N.G. Park: Located in downtown by the parking garage and next to Francis Field.  This is an awesome park for the kids!!  The structure is mostly wood with lots of things to climb and walk across.  There are regular swings and a tire swing.   There is also a separate section for the smaller children.


Treaty Park:  Located off Wildwood Rd off SR207.  This park has a dog park too!!  There is a playground, tennis courts, racquetball courts, skate park and nature trails.  There is also a dock that is over a pond to feed the ducks and turtles.  This park also has a covered pavilion with picnic tables.


Contributed by, Jennifer Ellen Ellis -Olde Towne Toys