Archive for kid friendly

Island Mama Java is a New Kid Friendly Coffee Shop in St Augustine FL

Sorry folks they have closed.

Got kids? We’ve found the perfect place to take them. Island Mama Java! The Locals’ Guide to Saint Augustine predicts they will be wildly successful and “local approved” in no time flat!


I personally will vouch for the cappuccino, it’s delicious and made perfectly. I took mine with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.  Island Mama Java is just what St. Augustine needed. It’s perfect for children, moms, dads and grandma & grandpa too. Their “stay and play concept” seems to be very popular with the children. The day I visited they were all having a great time with big smiles on their faces. It’s a great spot to enjoy a cup of joe while your child gets to play with some fun toys and other kids.



It’s a coffeehouse and a café. All of their coffee and espresso is organic and they use local roasters, such as Sweetwater in Gainesville, Florida, and Martin in Jacksonville, Florida. They have a variety of other drinks to choose from including smoothies that look delicious. They serve breakfast and lunch and each day they have a different combination to put in your lunchbox. A breakfast box goes for $6.50 and a lunchbox goes for $8.00. You can get an adorable kids’ box that includes your choice of a grilled cheese sandwich, a peanut butter and jelly, or ham and cheese. They arrange it  into a cute little snail with marshmallow antennas for $5.00

They really cater to kids age 6 and under. The great thing about this place is you can bring yourself and your child and meet new people, or come with a friend for a play date. They have several different play areas set up with a variety of unique and fun toys and an indoor Cedar playground. They have an outdoor deck , so you can sit outside on beautiful days and visit with a friend.



It is owned and operated by Sommer Escamilla & Morgan Robinson. They seem to be really great people with the best of  intentions in mind. They are putting together some great programs and classes. Nicole from Anastasia Libraries outreach program is doing a free storytelling session on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday at 9:15 AM. They have also started a very successful program called music makers. It’s a music and movement class for babies and toddlers, taught by a well-known local musician. Here your child has an opportunity to play instruments and dance along to the music. This has a class fee of $10.00. They have recently started a baby sign language class. This class takes place on Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30 and has a fee of $10 per class. They are also starting a book club which I think is a fantastic idea. These meetings will be for adults only and will be a great place to meet new friends.

Island Mama Java is also a great venue to have a party. They will host birthday parties on Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 4pm. The space can be rented for $100 or $150 if you would like the café open for coffee and food. They can also do some catering for you. It’s a great spot to have a baby shower where children can attend, or any other private event that’s kid friendly.

So let’s wrap it up. Island Mama Java has delicious organic coffee, espresso and cappuccino. They serve healthy food with lots of organic ingredients and even some gluten-free breads. They do yummy smoothies and have fabulous organic fruit drinks. They have wonderful baked goods for breakfast and very creative and healthy sandwich boxes for lunch. They cater to children and went all out on the selection of toys they have to keep them entertained. This place is going to be a hit, I just know it.

St. Augustine needed another kid friendly place. Go check them out and tell them the Locals’ Guide sent you. And FYI, they have a BOGO on the back of the Winn-Dixie receipts. That’s your local tip of the day.

Mon – Fri: 7:00 am – 3:00 pm
Sat – Sun: 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Located across the street from the Oasis Restaurant on the Island
  • 4085 South A1A
  • Saint Augustine Beach, Florida 32080
  • 904-679-5266

You can find their class schedule on their Facebook page, so be sure to like it.


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”


The Best Place to Have a Drink on the Beach in Saint Augustine FL

People are always asking us  “where is a great place to have a drink on the beach in St. Augustine?”  The fact is we really don’t have a lot of choices on the beach. One great spot that myself and other locals love is The Beachcomber Restaurant on Anastasia island. It’s right on St. Augustine Beach at the A Street beach access ramp.

Nestled behind some beautiful large white sand dunes is The Beachcomber. It has an outside deck with several tables that have an ocean view. Even if you’re not at an ocean view table. You have a view of the sand dunes. These dunes are adorned with beautiful sea oats swaying in the gentle breezes that are coming off the Atlantic Ocean. No matter where you’re sitting you can hear the ocean singing to you. It’s impossible not to hear the beautiful sound of the waves crashing on to the shore.



It has a great Caribbean feel to it,  brightly colored painted picnic tables and umbrellas draw you in. The atmosphere is as casual and laid back as it gets. This is the beach life. The Beachcomber has a great view and is a fun spot to have a few beers or a glass of wine and start off your vacation. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to0. We happen to love their fish tacos,  their fish sandwich and they have some award-winning desserts. The key lime pie is a local favorite.  If you’re looking for an appetizer, they often have fresh oysters or local shrimp specials. They don’t have a liquor license so you are limited to beer or wine here  but it’s worth it.  

This is a beautiful spot to sit back with a beer and breathe in the salt air. It’s about as scenic as it gets. This ” locals favorite” will quickly become your favorite too.

2 A St
Saint Augustine, FL 32080
(904) 471-3744

“Know What The Locals Know”



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