During the Superhero Scramble, racers of all fitness levels tear across arduous terrain littered with body- and mind-challenging obstacles. Participants must wade through mud and, to reach the finish line, persevere through a barrage of Super Slime generously donated by retired Ghostbusters.
Upon completing the race, athletes ride their endorphin high into a party stocked with ice-cold beer. There, they can mingle with other contestants, sway to live music, and see awards doled out to the fastest runners in each age bracket. Male and female Scramble Gamble contestants compete for prizes that can cover the cost of replacing the engines in their sneakers. The benefits of the race extend beyond the Gamble winners, too?the organizers donate a portion of the proceeds to charity.
Years ago, Rebecca Barborak went to a BYOB painting class and found that it combined her love for art and red wine. She decided to start her own paint-it-yourself studio, where students of all skill levels bring forth flowers, animals, and landscapes in painting classes in both BYOB and child-friendly varieties. The studio also hosts casual open sessions where visitors can work at their pace on canvas and pottery pieces. Beneath the paintings that festoon the walls and cover the dozens of mysterious safes, private parties and camps can reveal the secrets of painting.
Standing still in a cloud of free-flying butterflies, exploring the depths of a limestone cave, and gazing at the 14-foot bones of a 16,000-year-old Columbian mammoth skeleton—visitors can do all of this in just one afternoon at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Since starting in 1891 as a professor’s teaching collection of fossils, minerals, and human anatomy models, the museum has transformed into the home of more than 40 million specimens, creating a library of life that features one of the world’s largest collections of butterflies and moths.
Reflecting the museum’s impressive collection of winged beauties, some of its exhibits focus on the butterflies and moths that, unlike humans, can survive long flights without eating a single package of peanuts. At the Butterfly Rainforest, more than 1,000 butterflies from 60 to 80 species take to the air among tropical trees, orchids, bromeliads, and waterfalls cascading into a pond that bustles with fish and turtles. Feeding stations with freshly cut fruit dot the 6,400-square-foot screened enclosure, letting guests get up close as the butterflies feast. Live butterfly releases daily at 2 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. let onlookers watch them fly into an outdoor butterfly rainforest, and among the indoor butterfly exhibits, curious audiences can peer into a rearing lab where staff unpack and sort newly arrived pupae.
Rounding out the museum’s focus on Floridian biosystems, the Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife exhibit invites visitors to wander through a full-scale recreation of a hammock forest, and the South Florida exhibit takes guests down the peninsula with a mangrove boardwalk and a palm-thatched Calusa leader’s house. The museum's internationally acclaimed fossil collection includes highlights such as "shark jaw row," extinction dioramas, and full skeletal mounts and sculptures. Meanwhile, outside, petals unfurl in the wildflower and butterfly garden.
When golfers walk the fairways at Mark Bostick Golf Course, they’re not just following the path of their ball—they’re also tracing the footsteps of champions. The home of the Florida Gators’ men’s and women’s golf teams since 1962, the Donald Ross–designed course has served as the stomping ground for five NCAA Championship teams and 21 teams that have captured SEC titles. It has also honed the game of several alumni who have gone on to win on the PGA Tour.
Though the par 70 course measures a modest 6,701 yards, its shrewd combination of contoured terrain and water hazards make it a challenging layout for golfers of all abilities. Its tree lines add to the difficulty and cast shadows over the fairways, thwarting those trying to bleach their golf balls even whiter in the sun.
After rounds, golfers can refuel with a snack from the clubhouse’s snack bar. The clubhouse also features a pro shop and display cases filled with the Gators’ championship trophies and the dinosaur teeth early humans used as divot tools.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Length of 6,701 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 72.4 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 128 from the farthest tees * Four tee options * Scorecard
Coon Hollo cultivates seasonally themed, hands-on agricultural experiences for visitors young and old. The family-owned property has passed through the fingers of four generations, each of which has grown up herding cattle, planting corn, and hunting down needles in haystacks as sport. In 2009, after poor weather destroyed the farm’s rye crop, the family decided to repurpose that land, turning it into the Coon Hollo corn maze. The corn maze takes center stage during autumn months, supplemented by a cornucopia of other fall activities, including hayrides, a farmyard obstacle course, and a mini-golf course assembled from antique farming equipment. When fall gives way to winter, the farm hosts Christmas-themed events, complete with pictures with Santa and movies under the stars.
When Island Grove Ag Products found that they had blueberries that weren't able to be used for fresh produce, winemaker Chase Marden stepped in and, to the delight of all, started turning the berries into "Kind of Dry", "Sorta Sweet" and a Blueberry Moscato wine. Now, he runs the Island Grove Wine Company at its 10,000-square-foot winery, pressing the fruit of his labor into a lineup of vinos made from blueberries, strawberries, apples, raspberries, blackberries, and peach. While visiting the winery, guests can participate in free tastings held throughout the week, tour the facility, and stock up on bottles filled with wine from tanks just steps from the fields from which they were harvested.