Amelia Island’s Best Family-Friendly Events: July 14-20

This week you can attend a birthday party for a massive turtle who comes out of the water just once a year for his birthday weigh-in. You can also enjoy a “musical explosion” at Summer Fest 2017 in Fernandina, enjoy a special nighttime event at the zoo in Jax or step back in time at Pioneer Day at a local hobby farm.

Learn about all these and more fun events in our Top 10 list below. You can also check out our larger calendars using these buttons:

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So many events, we can hardly keep up! Check out our calendar for Jax Jumbo Shrimp games coming up Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week.

So many events, we can hardly keep up! Check out our calendar for Jax Jumbo Shrimp games coming up Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week.

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Mamamelia’s Top 10 Event Picks for the Week Ahead

1) 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday: Summer Fest 2017 / Fernandina Beach

The Greater Fernandina Beach Church of God welcomes everyone to its Summer Fest at Martin Luther King Jr. Rec Center off Elm Street in Fernandina. This kid-friendly event will include a “musical explosion concert” featuring reggae, rap, Motown and gospel PLUS a fashion show, bounce house, face painting, a Spelling Bee and more.

2) 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday: Tonca the Turtle’s 51st Birthday at MOSH / Jacksonville

Join the fun as MOSH hosts a 51st birthday bash for Tonca, their beloved Apalachicola Alligator Snapping Turtle!  Tonca has been the unofficial mascot of the Museum since 1994. Don’t miss Tonca’s annual weigh-in and check-up, which will take place at 1 p.m. I a recent year he weighed in at a whopping 178 pounds! This is the only day of the year Tonca is taken out of his pond briefly for the public to see up close and personal. Other activities will include games, animals encounters & more! If you’ve never been to the zoo, check out our review from a few years back here.

3) 6:30 to 10 p.m. Friday: Night at the Zoo: ’80s Night / Jacksonville

See Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in a whole new light during their Night at the Zoo events! Tonight’s theme, ’80s night, means big hair and bad fashion collide! Join them for live ’80s music, food trucks, cash bars, plus your chance to see the animals on exhibit until 8:30 p.m. There will be animal encounters, keeper talks, bounce houses and more. Get tickets and details at Members: $5/adults and $3/children (3-12), Non-member: $10/adult and $5/children (3-12), kids 2 and under: free (but still require a ticket)
Tickets are available by pre-sale, online purchase only.


4) 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday: Pioneer Day at Celestial Farms / Jacksonville

Celebrate the resourcefulness of our ancestors by learning a new skill, competing in games and skill challenges, fishing, tours, horse and hay rides, splash zones, as well as participate in a silent auction with amazing gifts and baked goods at Celestial Farms! Tickets are $15 and include lunch from PDQ, mini-classes, and a fishing tournament with prizes. Tours are free and pony rides as well as hay rides are $3 each. All proceeds benefit their animal rescue and educational programs. You are welcome to bring treats for the animals such as carrots, apples or crackers. Celestial Farms is a farm-based daycare, camp and animal rescue program — in other words, it’s one of a kind! Check out Mamamelia owner Tiffany Wilson’s review of Celestial Farms on another website she manages,

5) 9:30 to 12:30 Saturday: World Golf Village Amazon Adventure Day / St. Augustine

Enjoy a meet and greet with animals from the St. Augustine alligator farm before going into World Golf Village’s IMAX theater to watch a new documentary, Amazon Adventures. There will be free hands-on activities for kids (recommended for third graders and up). Movie shows at 10 a.m. and again at 11 a.m.

Surf Asylum

6) Kids’ Movie Matinee Deals / Fernandina Beach, St. Marys and Jacksonville

Every summer, local movie theatres offer a great deal on kids’ movies that they show early on weekday mornings. It’s a fun way to get out of the heat and have a “date” with your little one! See the details and showtimes at local theatres for the whole summer here. This week’s highlights are:

  • B&B Theatres Summer Kids Series in Fernandina Beach, $3 per-person, 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays:
    • July 13 (this morning): Kung Fu Panda 3
    • Next Tuesday-Thursday, July 18-20: The Iron Giant
  • Kings Bay Cinemas Summer Kid Show Series in St. Marys, $1.50 admission, $1.50 drinks, $1.50 Website popcorn, 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays
    • July 13 (this morning): Sing
    • Next Tuesday and Thursday, July 18 and 20: Storks
  • Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express in Jacksonville, $1 admission, 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays:
    • Next Tuesday and Wednesday, July 18 and 19: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and The Adventures of Tintin

7) Now through Aug. 13: Annie at Alhambra Dinner Theatre / Jacksonville

A classic for the entire family is showing now though Aug. 13 at the Alhambra Dinner Theatre! Enjoy a delicious grown-up dinner while the kids dine on kid-friendly fare. Then relax as you see the story of this famous orphan unfold, complete with Miss Hannigan in the orphanage, “Daddy” Warbucks in his mansion, and of course fantastic songs along the way!
Evening Show Times:

  • Doors open: 5:30 pm
  • Meal served: 5:30 pm – 7:20 pm
  • Curtain up: 7:30 pm

Details at

kristi garber fernandina beach realtor

9) 11:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays: Peterbrooke Chocolatier for a Day Camp / Fernandina Beach

Become a chocolatier for a day at Peterbrooke Chocolatier for a Day Camp!
– Learn about chocolate.
– Make some chocolate treats.
– Package them into a gift box.
– Pizza for lunch and Gelato for dessert.
Cost is $48 per person, reservations required. Call (904) 277-0162 to learn more.

10) Daily May 27 to Sept. 10: Dinosaurs in Motion at the MOSH / Jacksonville

Dinosaur lovers, get ready! You’re going to love the Dinosaurs in Motion exhibit on display at Jacksonville’s Museum of Science and History now through Sept. 10, 2017. The interactive exhibit includes 14 majestic life-sized metal dinosaurs that actually move. These dinosaur sculptures were inspired by real fossils. This interactive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) exhibition will virtually bring the dinos your kids have been learning about to life. Learn more at You can also view our review of Jacksonville’s MOSH here.

PLUS: Don’t forget

6 p.m. Saturday: Callahan Speedway Go-Kart Races / Callahan

Every Saturday Night at 6 p.m., Callahan Speedway hosts exciting go-kart races. Come sit in the grandstands and enjoy the show! Admission is $10 (ages 6 years & Under FREE). For information on getting started in Cart Racing, call 904-254-7085.

Various times daily: Campground Critters Show at the Zoo / Jacksonville

Join Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for its all-new rescue animal show featuring dogs and cats, ducks and macaws, and a few surprise animals. The show lasts about 20 minutes and features a meet-and-greet with human and animal stars after the show. Tickets are $3 for members and $4 for non-members. Campground Critters is included on Value Tickets and Member Value bands. Show is weather permitting. Offered 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.daily with an additional 4:30 p.m. show on weekends. Read our review of Jacksonville Zoo here.

Don’t forget this is just a roundup of our top 10 local family-friendly events. There are many more events listed in our special events calendar. Thanks for reading! ~ Mamamelia

Do you know about an event that should be on Mamamelia’s calendar? Tell us about it! This website is managed by busy moms on a bare-bones budget, so it’s a huge help when folks drop us a note about an event when it’s not already on the calendar. If you hear about a great local family-friendly event, send us an email at, message us on Facebook or use the “Submit an Event” link on the website to make sure it gets added to the calendar.

A special thank you to all of the sponsors who help keep Mamamelia going! Please consider using these great local businesses, including:

  • Two Sisters Travel Agency: Whether you’re planning the trip of a lifetime or a quick family getaway, Ginger Joiner can help you find the deals and details that will make it spectacular.
  • Surf Asylum: This fantastic Amelia Island-based business empowers boys and girls to learn to surf and understand water safety, as the two must go hand-in-hand. Offerings include lessons, summer camp, birthday parties and more!
  • Krisit Garber, Licensed Realtor, Berkshire Hathaway Homesource Chaplin Williams Realty. Call 904-335-7512 or visit to talk about your real estate needs in the Fernandina Beach area.


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