Dec. 25-31 Happenings Calendar
What's coming up in events, comedy, classes and more in Northeast Florida
GATOR BOWL WEEKEND
The annual celebration features pep rallies with marching bands and cheerleaders, a 5K run, a parade and fireworks as well as the football game with the University of Georgia Bulldogs up against the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers at noon Jan. 1. The game is run live on The Jacksonville Landing's Jumbotron, 2 Independent Drive, Downtown, jacksonvillelanding.com.
FLAGLER HISTORIC TOURS
Tours of the Markland House are offered 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 28 at 102 King St., St. Augustine. Visitors may glimpse some of the original grandeur of this historic home and learn background on the residence and its importance to St. Augustine's rich history. Admission is $12; reservations are required, 823-3378, legacy.flagler.edu.
SS AMELIA GINGERBREAD PIRATE SHIP
The 17-foot-long, 12-foot-tall ship is displayed through Dec. 28 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, 277-1100.
VILLA ZORAYDA CANDLELIGHT TOURS
The fourth annual event features a courtyard Christmas tree, nativity scene and guided candlelit tours of the historic villa, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 27, 28 and 30, at 83 King St., St. Augustine; tickets are $17; $8 for ages 7-12, 829-9887, villazorayda.com.
Laser Holiday 7-8 p.m., Laser Spirit 8 p.m., Laser Magic 9 p.m., Laser Country 10 p.m. Dec. 27; online tickets $5, Bryan Gooding Planetarium, Museum of Science & History, 1025 Museum Circle, Southbank, 396-7062, moshplanetarium.org.
NIGHTS OF LIGHTS
St. Augustine’s historic district presents its 19th annual holiday event nightly, 6:30 p.m. through January at Plaza de la Constitución, downtown historic district, 825-1004.
AMELIA FARMERS MARKET
Farm-direct fruit and vegetables, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every Sat. at Shops of Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Amelia Island, 491-4872, ameliafarmersmarket.com.
BOOKS & LIBRARIES
BRENTWOOD BOOK SALE
The Friends of the Brentwood Library seeks new members; join for $5. Shop for books 10 a.m.-noon and 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. every Tue. and Thur. at Brentwood Branch Library, 3725 Pearl St., Downtown, 630-0924, jpl.coj.net.
FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY BOOKSTORE
Hard-back, soft-cover, audio and kids’ books are offered 9 a.m.-noon Tue., Thur. and Sat. at University Park Branch Library, 3435 University Blvd. N., Arlington, 630-2304, fjpl.org.
KIDS READING CLUB
Readers read popular favorites to kids 6 months-8 years, 4 p.m. every Wed. (except First Wednesday Art Walk) at Chamblin Bookmine, 215 N. Laura St., Downtown, free, chamblinbookmine.com.
Klein appears 8:04 p.m. Dec. 26, 7 and 8:34 p.m. Dec. 27 and 8:04 and 10:10 p.m. Dec. 28. A-Train, Johnny Mac and PJ Walsh appear 8 p.m. Dec. 31. Dinner and a Champagne toast are included in the $40 admission at The Comedy Club of Jacksonville, 11000 Beach Blvd., Ste. 8, Southside, 646-4277, jacksonvillecomedy.com.
Statum appears 8 p.m. Dec. 26-27 and 8 and 10 p.m. Dec. 28 at The Comedy Zone, 3130 Hartley Road, Mandarin, $8, $10 and $12, 292-4242, comedyzone.com.
THE COMEDY ZONE NEW YEAR'S EVE
The Mandarin Dinner & Show Celebration is 6:30 p.m. in Gigi’s Restaurant next door. Tickets are $65 and include AYCE prime rib and crab leg buffet, Tim Statum and Karen Mills' comedy show at 8 p.m., dancing with DJs, party favors and a midnight champagne toast. The Continental Dinner & Show is held 8 p.m. at Gigi’s; tickets are $65 and include AYCE prime rib and crab leg buffet, Statum and Mills' show at 9:30 p.m., dancing, party favors and the champagne toast. The Blast Off Party is held at 9 p.m.; tickets are $35 and include the show, dancing, party favors and the champagne toast. The Comedy Zone, 3130 Hartley Road, Mandarin, 292-4242, comedyzone.com.
NATURE, SPORTS & OUTDOORS
FAMILY SEINING ACTIVITY
Pull a seine net through Guana Lake, collecting fish, crabs and more, and learn about the animals’ roles in the habitat, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Dec. 28 and every fourth Sat. at GTM Research Reserve Environmental Education Center, 505 Guana River Rd., Ponte Vedra, free with paid entrance, 823-4500, gtmnerr.org.
FAMILY & FRIENDS KAYAK DAY
Ripple Effect Ecotours offers guided kayak tours, noon-2:30 p.m. Dec. 28 at Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Reserve. For fees and other details, call 347-1565 or go to rippleeffectecotours.com.
ADVENTURES IN THE ESTUARY MINI CAMP
The camp, featuring beach exploration, marine debris clean-up, shell ornament craft, trail hike and palm frond door hanger, for kids ages 7-10, is held 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 30 at GTM Research Reserve, 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra, 823-4500, gtmnerr.org.
TALBOT FIRE: FREIND OR FOE?
A park ranger discusses how fire impacts the local environment, 2 p.m. Dec. 28 at Ribault Club, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, 11241 Fort George Road; free; 251-2320, floridastateparks.org/littletalbotislands.
FIRST DAY HIKES
The Florida Park Service offers a free, guided hike along the Dune Ridge Trail 10 a.m.-noon Jan. 1 at Little Talbot Island State Park, 12157 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville. Meet at Pavilion One. Water, snacks, insect repellant, layered clothing and a camera are recommended. 251-2320, floridastateparks.org/littletalbotislands.
CLASSES & GROUPS
MARINE VETERANS GROUP
The Oldest City Detachment 383 gathers 7 p.m. on first Tue. of the month at Elks Lodge 829, 1420 A1A S., St. Augustine, 461-0139, mclfl383.org.
DEPRESSION, BIPOLAR SUPPORT ALLIANCE
This group meets 6 p.m. every Tue. at Baptist Medical Center, 800 Prudential Drive, Pavilion Building, Southbank; free; 322-4040 or 294-5720.
PRACTICE WORLD PEACE
Brenda Star Walker leads a group from 11 a.m.-noon every first Sun. at Memorial Park, 1620 Riverside Ave., Riverside. Bring a ground cover. Practice suitable for all ages and abilities.
Volunteers are needed in the new Memory Enhancement class to assist with class activities, make coffee and serve lunch 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tue. and Thur. at Fruit Cove Baptist Church, 501 S.R. 13, St. Johns, 209-3686, stjohnscoa.com.
Young Survivors Group (those diagnosed with cancer at a young age) meets 7-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Mon. each month at the Women’s Center of Jacksonville, 5644 Colcord Ave., Jacksonville, 722-3000 ext. 224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FREE YOGA ON THE RIVER
Karen Roumillat, RYT, teaches free gentle yoga 9 a.m. on the fourth Sun. of the month on the boardwalk, weather permitting, at Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Road, Mandarin. Bring a mat. 287-0452.
Debtors Anonymous 12-Step meetings 7 p.m. every Thur. at Christian Family Chapel, Bldg. D, 10365 Old St. Augustine Rd., Jacksonville, 269-8010.
NAMI SUPPORT GROUP
National Alliance on Mental Illness meets 7-8:30 p.m. every first and third Thur. each month at Ortega United Methodist Church, 4807 Roosevelt Blvd., Westside. Admission is free. 389-5556, ortegaumc.org.
Want to quit smoking or using other forms of nicotine? Nic-A is free, and you don’t have to quit to attend the meetings, held 6:30 p.m. every Wed. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1415 S. McDuff Ave., Westside, 404-6044, nicotineanonymous.org.
NAMI SUPPORT GROUP
National Alliance on Mental Illness meets 7-8:30 p.m. every first and third Thur. each month at Ortega United Methodist Church, 4807 Roosevelt Blvd., Westside. Admission is free. 389-5556. ortegaumc.org
Jan. 24, Veterans Memorial Arena
Feb. 6, The Florida Theatre
Feb. 22, The Florida Theatre
Feb. 28, Veterans Memorial Arena