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Monday, Oct 20, 2014

SeaWorld's Spooktacular: An Underwater

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This Halloween, take your family on an underwater "fantasea" at SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular.

With trick-or-treating, sea-themed arts and crafts stations and up-close animal encounters, it’s a daytime celebration perfect for families. And, it’s included with park admission.

Here’s a look at the fun you can have at this year’s Spooktacular event, Oct. 18-19 and 25-26 from noon to 8 p.m.

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New Thrill Slide Coming to Adventure Island in 2015

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Thrill seekers – prepare yourself for the Colossal Curl, set to debut at Tampa Bay’s Adventure Island Water Park in 2015.

This high-adrenaline ride will take riders through corkscrews and waterfalls, surrounded by the tropical scenery of the park. Riders, the folks at Adventure Island say, will feel a sense of weightlessness as they spin through the curls and exit into the pool below.

This new addition will be the tallest ride at Adventure Island, nearly 70 feet high. It's also 560 feet in length.

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See Creatures of the Night in St. Augustine

Published:   |   Updated: October 17, 2014 at 10:50 AM

This Halloween, experience creepy, crawly insects and beasts at the 10th annual ‘Creatures of the Night’ at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park on Oct. 24, 25 and 31 from 5:30 – 7 p.m.

There'll be plenty of treats, and families are encouraged to come in costumes. Make your way through the park for trick-or-treating and collect creepy creature cards along the way.

Be on the lookout for animal encounters, too – learn about eerie bugs and other beasts – adding another creepy element to Halloween.

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Crop Mazes and Fall Fun in Florida

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One of my family’s favorite pasttimes in the fall is to explore corn mazes and pumpkin patches throughout the state.

Besides being a fantastic day of fun, I love for my children to learn about agriculture and experience life on a farm.

Here are a few hot spots for just that from around the state:

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Foot-Stomping Fun at Disney's Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

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When most people think of Walt Disney World Resort, they think theme parks, and naturally so.

But there's so much more than rides and characters. There’s shopping, golfing, dining and great shows, too.

Disney’s Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a Disney legend, recently celebrating 40 years of shows at the campgrounds at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.

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Do the Monster Splash at Miami Seaquarium

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If you’re looking for an different way to celebrate Halloween with your children, look no further than the Monster Splash at the Miami Seaquarium.

Returning for its 20th year, this kid-friendly Halloween event takes place Oct. 24-26 and again on Oct. 31, 2014 from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Take your little monsters trick-or-treating at Sharky’s Sweet Tooth Station, experience the Little Monsters Play Area and get spooked at the Monsters in the Mangrove Haunted Walk. Save your moves for the dance floor at Flipper’s Dance Party and enjoy Halloween themed marine shows.

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Celebrate Gardening Season at Boktoberfest

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Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales invites families to celebrate the beginning of gardening season at the sixth annual Boktoberfest on Oct. 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., perfect timing for the cooling weather.

With free admission, families can explore close to 40 vendors with a huge variety of plants for sale, including orchids, palms, tropical fruits and plenty of Florida natives, too. The festival is a great place to learn about the Florida flora, and which plants may grow best around your home.

Besides the beautiful plants and flowers, the festival includes live entertainment, tree climbing, a petting zoo, face and pumpkin painting, and even a biergarten with craft and seasonal beers and authentic German food.

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Road Trip: From Northeast to Northwest Florida

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Road trips have been a part of my family vacations since I was a little girl. Not big into flying, my parents loved piling everyone in the car and hitting the road to explore the sights of the Sunshine State. Now that I have a family of my own, I’ve carried on my love of road trips to them.

Interstate 10 covers the state from Jacksonville to Pensacola with plenty of great spots to explore along the way. Here are some of our favorite places to visit along the trek from Northeast to Northwest Florida

JacksonvilleThe Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, just outside Downtown Jacksonville, has close to 5,000 works of art and a fantastic art education center for children. It's the largest fine arts museum in North Florida. The Art Connections center is designed for kids, and my girls love the ‘Gallery under Five’ area, with replicas of artwork found in the main galleries -- but on a much smaller scale -- that they can touch adn appreciate. 

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Frightening: Universal Orlando Resort's Halloween Horror Nights

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Halloween Horror Nights 24 is open at Universal Orlando Resort on select nights through Nov. 1.

Known as the number one Halloween event in the country, this annual event is intended for ages 13 and older– it’s scary, real and tons of fun.

As you make your way into the park, you'll encounter "scareactors" -- including voodoo practitioners -- recreating street scenes that frighten and give you a taste of things to come as you make your way through the park. That includes haunted houses.  

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SeaWorld Orlando Rehabs, Returns Rescued Manatee

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Today, I had the opportunity to watch the SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team return Skellington, a rehabilitated manatee, to the Intracoastal waterway near St. Augustine.

Skellington was rescued April 23, 2014 by The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which found him beached on a sand bar, lethargic and with a wound on his back. At the time, he weighed 735 pounds.

After receiving care and treatment for months at SeaWorld Orlando, Skellington was released at a healthy 860 pounds.

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