Someone needs to remind Mother Nature that it is October and it’s time to send in the cooler temperatures. But despite the heat, the rain, and the humidity we are currently experiencing in Northeast Florida – it is FALL! That means all things pumpkins, pumpkin spice, pumpkin flavors, and pumpkin patches! Most of us wouldn’t actually give up our year-round temperate weather we experience on the First Coast for the bitter cold months our neighbors north of us endure. And while it would be pleasant to enjoy fall-like weather and leaves changing colors there are a few places we highly recommend to enjoy the fall season (even if you do have to wear tanks, shorts, and flip-flops.)

Travel over to Green Cove Springs and enjoy a full day of fun at Amazing Grace Family Farms www.agcropmaze.com which is open Fridays and Saturdays through October 31st. The list of activities available at Amazing Grace Family Farms will keep children of all ages busy enjoying the adventures and will likely have them sleeping on the way home. From their pumpkin patch worthy of family photos to the enormous jump pad that will completely exhaust any kid or even kid-at-heart, there’s plenty to see and do. The crop maze will challenge the adventurers with its many twists and turns. The BarnYard Ball Zone will have the crowd going wild. The Tug-O-War brings just the right amount of competition for the family (or maybe family vs. family). And a highlight every year is the farm animal petting zoo where children are able to experience real life on the farm with these precious animals. Parents, be sure to have your phones ready because this beautiful farm provides plenty of picture perfect moments to capture the wholesome fun you’ll enjoy outdoors making memories.

Next on our list, is CONNER’S A-MAIZE-ING ACRES. This small family farm packs in a HUGE and exciting day. Located in Hilliard, CONNER’S A-MAIZE-ING ACRES is a local favorite for many reasons. With 125 acres of a working family farm, during October and select days in November, Conner’s A-MAIZE-ING ACRES is open to the public for people to enjoy their sweet farm animals, wagon rides, playground, ride horses, pumpkin patch, and most importantly the incredible corn maze that changes from year to year. With last year’s maze shaped with The Wizard of OZ theme, this year’s maze will have you lost in a web…Charlotte’s Web, that is! Be sure to bring your appetite, too. Conner’s A-MAIZE-ING ACRES offers plenty of eating options perfect for your day on the farm. For more information visit www.connerscornmaze.com

Rounding out our TOP 3 is SYKE’S FAMILY FARMS. The Sykes Family has more than 50 years of farming experience and provides their guests with a tradition people can enjoy year after year. The 9-acre corn maze is filled with twists and turns and will have families laughing and navigating as they enjoy the outdoors together making memories. Syke’s Family Farms also provides a play area, farm animals, cow milking, hayrides, pumpkin patches, cow train, teeter-totters, duck races, and plenty of wholesome entertainment to keep the family busy for hours. For more information about hours of operation and tickets visit www.sycofarms.com

All three locations are operating under state recommendations and providing COVID-19 precautions. Please contact the locations prior to your visit for a better understanding of how each farm is operating.

 
 
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Are you noticing things around St. Augustine seem to be slowly getting back to normal? While the pandemic and precautions are still part of our everyday lives, an overwhelming majority of St. Johns County students are back in school and for most of us that looks like a slight return to normalcy, bus routes in the morning and afternoon, and fewer crowds in our favorite spots. Let’s get out in our great city and safely enjoy the best that St. Augustine has to offer. Grab your bags Moms, Dads, Grandparents, and empty nesters! It’s time to act like a tourist and hit Davidson Realty’s Top 3 Places to Visit in St. Augustine! While it was very difficult for us to narrow it down to just three, our Davidson Realty team focused on a few that aren’t often found on everyone’s list like Leisure Group Travel Magazine and U.S. News & Travel.

St. Augustine Distillery 

As Americans seemed to experience the great hunt for toilet paper and hand sanitizer, one local St. Augustine company stepped up in a big way to help with the shortage of hand sanitizer across the First Coast. The St. Augustine Distillery is located in the historic district of St. Augustine in an old ice plant. Known for their vodka, rum, gin, and whiskey, you can find their labels on the shelves of local liquor stores. But you can also take a free tour of the distillery while also enjoying a sampling of their spirits. The St. Augustine Distillery is operating under CDC guidelines and accommodating tours every 30 minutes with no reservations but on a first-come-first-serve basis. Open Monday through Friday from 10 am until 6 pm, St. Augustine Distillery is a place we highly recommend touring and enjoying a cocktail.

Trolley Tours

With a couple to choose from (and we don’t want to single either one out) we highly encourage you to hop aboard one of the trolley tours in this historic St. Augustine area. Even in the hottest of temperatures, the movement along the bank and through the streets of downtown provides a breeze and a little bit of relaxation as you get a St. Augustine History 101 tour and learn about Ponce de Leon and the early settlers. The Trolley Tours are also a great way to navigate some ideal and popular dining spots. Hop on and hop off as you view the beautiful buildings, experience the historic charm, and enjoy the ride. 

Vilano Beach

With so many beautiful choices of sandy beaches in St. Johns County, our Davidson Realty team selected Vilano Beach as one of our favorite places to visit. It’s important to know the history of Vilano Beach to fully appreciate why it’s one of our favorites. The prestige of this beautiful stretch of shoreline dates back to the late 1800s when Henry Flagler would host his millionaire friends at Vilano Beach. A quaint little beach village, Vilano offers some of the area’s most charming restaurants, shopping, and plenty of rentals to enjoy a “staycation” in your own backyard. Vilano Beach offers a casual, laid back atmosphere, beautiful natural surroundings, and some of the best sunset views. Pack up the car because Vilano Beach also allows four-wheel drive vehicles on the beach making it so convenient to spend a day on the sand.

With so many options to choose from that include the Castillo de San Marcos, the Lightner Museum, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and so much more, sometimes it’s fun to tour the road less traveled. We encourage you to tour our Top 3 Places to Visit in St. Augustine, maybe for the first time but likely for a repeat visit, and let us know what you think!

 
 
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Mother’s Day is fast approaching (Sunday, May 10) and we can all agree this year’s special day will be a little different. While we may not be able to take Mom out to eat or to the day spa due to social distancing guidelines, there are lots of creative ideas out there to make her feel special!

Here are some creative ways to make this year’s Mother’s Day even more extraordinary than any other year:

  1. Make a picnic for Mom.While going out to eat is not in the cards, you can plan to go “out” to eat at a nearby park or even your backyard. Everyone will enjoy getting out of the house for some fresh air and a relaxing picnic. You can make her favorite meal at home or, if cooking is not a good option, plan to arrange delivery or takeout ahead of your excursion
  2. Create a memory scrapbook.Pull out your dusty photo albums and transform old pictures of Mom into a new collage. Gather the whole family to peruse together, asking questions about her younger self—old jobs, schools, hobbies, travels, friends, even old fashion choices! Mom will love the trip down memory lane.

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There is no doubt that this year’s Easter celebration on Sunday, April 12, will be like no other we’ve ever had. The great thing is people are getting very creative with their celebrations!

Many churches are streaming their services online and drive-in style services have popped up around the country. Families have also taken to apps like Zoom and Skype to be “together” during these holidays while complying with social distancing guidelines. Seeing everything from virtual Easter egg hunts to family gatherings via Facetime, it is clear we as people are nothing if not resourceful.

Here are some other ways you can connect with loved ones this holiday weekend:

Organize a neighborhood Easter parade. Many communities have Facebook pages where activities like this are planned. Neighbors may decorate their cars and golf carts, meet at the community clubhouse and conduct a slow parade around the neighborhood playing music and waving hello—a special treat for anyone who cannot leave their home!

Live in the King & Bear? The community will have an Easter Bunny Drive-by on Easter Sunday. Check out the K&B Facebook pageto learn more and make sure he drives by your house!

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If you’re like many of us who are at least partly self-quarantined, you have binged all the Netflix you can handle and taken more naps than you can count. Cabin fever has set in for the entire family and you’re looking for something to engage the whole crew.

Now is the perfect time to start a family home project. Here are some ideas to get inspired and get everyone to pitch in and help—without taking a single trip to the home improvement store or spending a dime!


1.) Garage overhaul –
This is a great project because nearly all of us need to do it, everyone can help, and it doesn’t require any additional equipment! The best way to tackle to garage overhaul is to empty everything onto the driveway. Once empty, determine where all the “like” items will go—lawn equipment, home improvement tools, camping gear, beach stuff, bikes, etc. Everything should have a home together.

Make a point to only add the items you currently use or will use in the next 12 months. Consider donating, selling or tossing anything that isn’t useful to you. JDog Junk Removal & Hauling, a local veteran-owned company, is a great resource to take away your garage junk. Click hereto check out JDog’s garage clean-up guide.

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The First Coast is ramping up for the 2020 Players Championship from March 10 to 15 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. Whether you’ll be attending the tournament or watching at home, there are several new changes being implemented to note.

See every shot by every player

First, every single shot by every single player during golf’s unofficial fifth major of the season will be broadcast all week from about 120 cameras set up throughout the course. To see it, you must be a subscriber to PGA Tour Live on either NBC Sports Gold or Amazon Prime.

If you’re a golf fan, it looks to be well worth it! You will be able to select which player you would like to follow as well as switch between players during the broadcast. According to the PGA Tour, the company is hoping this new feature will be something they can promote at every PGA Tour event going forward.

Track shot trails through TourCast

The PGA Tour will also launch a new and improved TourCast, which allows you to see the shot trails of every ball hit. Using the TourCast, you will receive access to on-demand video highlights and ShotLink Data on the PGA Tour’s mobile app as well as theplayers.com.

Mobile-only and day-specific tickets

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The weather will soon start warming up and Northeast Floridians will start thinking about getting in shape for the summer. What better place to start your health journey than at the 2020 Health & Wellness Expo?!

The annual event will be held at the Renaissance Resort World Golf Village this Saturday, February 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The free event is designed to provide the newest information and trends in wellness, nutrition, and fitness, helping you to be your best YOU! Guests will enjoy free samples and demonstrations, giveaways, and complimentary promotional items. Also, the first 30 guests receive FREE swag bags!

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Have you been looking for ways to get involved in the community, make new friends and stay active? No matter what recreational activities you enjoy from ballet to pickleball, World Golf Village neighborhoods have upcoming opportunities for you!

Ballet

A 6-week beginner ballet series for adults is coming to the King & Bear Fitness Center starting on Tuesday, November 6 at 7:45 p.m. The series cost is $60. Spaces are filling up quickly so reserve your spot by emailing info@destinydancecenter.com.

Writing

The annual Florida Heritage Book Festival Writer’s Conference is coming to World Golf Village on February 21 and 22. Workshops will be held like Kick your Writing Up a NotchE-Publishing–The Future is Nowand Short Story Writing for Publication, as well as speaking sessions by multiple authors and individual writing critiques with award-winning authors. A reception on Sunday, Feb. 22 will feature Craig Pittman, award-winning journalist with the Tampa Bay Times and author of Oh, Florida!: How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country. All writers are encouraged to attend. Register at www.fhbookfest.com.

Pickleball 

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If you don’t have Valentine’s Day plans yet, look no further! From sailing away to boogying down, there are plenty of special events on Friday and Saturday to suit any interest—and for those both single and coupled.

If you’re tired of the same old Valentine’s Day tradition of going out to eat, try these fun and novel events to shake up the holiday:

Pirates of the Caribbean meets The Love Boat!On Friday, February 14, Black Raven Adventures is hosting “Valentine’s Day the Pirate Way” that includes a moonlit sail with live entertainment, drinks and a special gift for the lasses aboard. The cruise sets sail at 6:15 p.m. at the Municipal Marina in historic St. Augustine. Seats are limited for this very special cruise ($19.95 per person). Click here to learn more.

Tour & Taste throughout the town!Tasting Tours is offering three Valentine Tour Experiences: “Carriage, Bubbly & Dessert” includes a 45-minute scenic horse-drawn carriage ride with decadent treats, the “Galentine Celebration” is 2 ½ hours of fun with your friends including champagne by the Bridge of Lions, and “Food & Wine Pairing Tour” is three hours of amazing food and wines at five of St. Augustine’s best restaurants.

A new kind of romantic comedy!On Saturday, February 15, Corazon Cinema & Café will host “Valentine’s Weekend Improv Comedy: 3 Blind Dates.” Sit back and watch a troupe of talented improv comedians perform this interactive Valentine-themed show, which won Best Improv Form in the 2015 Colorado Improv Awards. The show starts at 8 p.m. The Corazon is located at 36 Granada Street. Click here for tickets($15 in advance, $20 at the door).

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If you enjoy spending weekend mornings at Riverside Arts Market perusing the vendor booths, sampling eats and listening to live music, you are in for a treat! On Sunday, February 9, the city’s inaugural Food & Wine Festival will hit the market grounds from 12 to 8 p.m.

Visitors can sample more than 60 wines from lots of Northeast Florida’s top restaurants and food trucks.

Also on hand will be more than 40 local vendors, live art installations and live bands on the waterfront stage including Chelsey Michelle (12 p.m.), Evan Michael & The Well Wishers (1:45 p.m.), The Band Be Easy (3:30 p.m.), and Chris Thomas Band (6 p.m.).

General public admission is free, and guests can purchase food and beverages directly from the on-site vendors. All concessions and most vendors are cash only (ATMs will be set up around the grounds).

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