A Few Local Gift Ideas and Upcoming Holiday Events
If you’re looking for a gift that hits home, this time of the year is the best time to obtain memberships that will last for a year. The good news is that you may purchase these memberships as gifts or for yourself.
• If you’re a frequent visitor to Anastasia State Park, consider joining the Friends of Anastasia State Park for $25 per year. Membership entitles you or the recipient to 12 park entrances throughout the year.
Without the membership, admission fees are $8 for vehicles with two to eight people, $4 for single occupant vehicles. For membership information on go to www.friendsofanastasia.org.
• For those who travel throughout the state, an annual membership is also available that covers entrance to most Florida State Parks. Individual passes cost $60. Family passes are available at $120. For details, go to www.floridastateparks.org/learn/florida-state-parks-annual-pass.
• St. Augustine Lighthouse Museum offers several annual membership levels including $25 for an individual, $35for two people, and $50 for admission of two adults and children under the age of 18. Several other variations are available. The memberships include discounts on museum store purchases, subscription to the Spyglass museum magazine, invitations to special events, plus discounts to other attractions. The Lighthouse is located at 81 Lighthouse Avenue on Anastasia Island. For information, call 829-0745 or go to www.staugustinelighthouse.org.
• St. Augustine Beach Civic Association not only entertains the public with free summer concerts and sponsors other beach events, it also offers an annual individual membership for $15. Family and corporate memberships are $25. Use the membership card year-round for 10-to 15-percent discounts at more than two dozen restaurants and for other products and services offered on the island as well as on the mainland. Membership is not restricted to St. Augustine Beach residents. They can be purchased online at www.sabca.orgor at The Sunshine Shop and Tim’s Wine Market.
• St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, located on the island at 999 Anastasia Boulevard, offers individual annual memberships at $99.95 and family membership for $129.95.There is even a grandparent membership for two adults and grandchildren 16 and younger for $119.95 per year. The memberships include unlimited admissions year-round, gift shop, birthday parties, zoo camps and other discounts. For membership details, go to www.alligatorfarm.com/zoo-membershipor call 824-3337.
•Marineland Dolphin Adventure, located at 9600 Oceanshore Boulevard, offA1A South, now offers annual passes. Options include Individual Pass, $65 (1adult); Dual Pass, $110 (2 adults or children); Family Pass, $145 (2 adults, 1child/grandchild); and Family+ Pass: $200 (2 adults, all children/grandchildren). Each annual pass includes unlimited Behind the Seas park pass admissions for one year, one free “Touch & Play” program for each member plus certain discounts. Annual passes may be purchased at the Marineland ticketing office or call 877-933-3402 for information.
• The St. Johns County Beach Driving Passes are now available. If you plan to frequent St. Johns County beaches during the period of March 1 through Labor Day you can either pay by the day or by the season. 2019 daily rates will be $10 for residents and nonresidents and $5 for handicap and active military. Or — purchase an annual pass for yourself and/or as a gift to others at substantial savings. The cost for residents is $50, $100for nonresidents, and $40 for handicap passes. Passes are available during normal business hours at all St. Johns Tax Collector offices. They can be purchased on the island at the St. Johns County Beach Services office, 901 Pope Road and St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier Gift Shop, 350 A1A Boulevard. For information about annual beach driving passes, call the St. Johns County Beach Services Office at 904-209-0341.
Anastasia Island holiday events
• Santa Suits on the Loose 5Krun/jog/walk, Saturday, Dec. 8. It’s a great spectator event. Starting at 8a.m., hundreds of runners of all ages, some dressed in colorful Santa suits and holiday shirts, will dart through the streets of St. Augustine Beach starting from the St. Johns County Beach Pier. The course follows a flat 3.1 mile area through St. Augustine Beach neighborhoods and finishes at Pier Park. The charitable event benefits St. Augustine Youth Services which provides residential therapeutic services to boys who have been the victims of child abuse and/or extreme neglect. Registration fee is $35 on the day of the race. Children in strollers do not have to register. For registration and other information go to www.racesmith.comand click on the Santa Suits on the Loose icon or email [email protected].
•The third annual St. Augustine Makers Fest will be held from 11 a.m.to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 at the St Augustine Amphitheatre. Presented by Friends of the St Augustine Amphitheatre, the celebration will showcase the work of more than 40 local and regional artisans, artists, chefs, brewers, musicians, dancers and performers. Hands-on activities will be offered for all ages. New this year is a Gingerbread Forest play area. There will be plenty of food available for purchase. Admission is free for ages 17 and under and $5 per adult The St. Augustine
Amphitheatre is located at 1340C A1A South on Anastasia Island. The St. Augustine Makers Fest serves as the principal fundraiser for the St. Augustine Public Montessori School, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and St. Johns County Public charter school. For information, go to www.staugustinemakersfest.org.
• The St. Augustine Beach Police Department invites children (with a parent or an adult) to meet and greet Santa Claus from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12. The Christmas with Cops and Claus event offers free photos with Santa, a North Pole Christmas list mailbox and goodie bags for children along with seasonal music. There will also be an arts and crafts table hosted by the Sea Grove Library, a Christmas movie, and close-up looks at a fire truck and police vehicles. Although geared toward children 10 and under, anyone can get their picture taken with Santa. The Police Department is located at 2300 A1A South. For information, call 471-3600.
• St. Anastasia Catholic Church will present a Christmas Concert and Messiah Sing-Along at7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 22. The holiday program will feature the parish chorale, children choristers, Sunday Morning Ensemble and guest soloists including Joseph Colsant, Lisa Lockhart and Dirk McCoy. Curtis Powell will accompany on the piano and harpsichord. Helen Morin will lead the string quartet and Michael Thomas will add rhythmic splash on the drums. The free concert will take place in the church sanctuary, 5205 A1A South on Anastasia Island. Parking is free. A wine and cheese reception will follow in the parish Celebration Hall. The church is located at 5205 Weff Road off A1A South. For information, call471-5364.