The nonprofit Lowry Park Zoo has more than 1,500 animals living on nearly 60 acres of land. One way the Zoo maintains its animal habitats and conservation programs is to hold the annual ZooBoo fundraiser each fall, welcoming families for a slew of Halloween-themed attractions. The event’s spooky theme is evident upon arrival, as the Zoo’s walkways are filled with costumed youngsters. Haunted houses await to elicit giggles, gasps, or shrieks, and parents can easily determine which haunts are appropriate for their brood by consulting the Zoo's skull rating, which designates the scary level of each event, ranging from "all ages" to "scary to the extreme". Admission also includes free unlimited spins on rides such as the Batty Bumper Boats or Scary-Go-Round Carousel. After visiting with some of the Zoo's creepiest residents at the Flying Fox Bat House and Creepy Crawlers Lane, kids and adults can take in the dazzling light displays at the Little Beasties Bungalow or take a break and fill up on seasonal snacks at one of several concessions areas.
The Homes for the Holidays program eases the financial strain of furnishing a new home by supplying basic necessities, including furniture, appliances, and pantry items. Fully stocked pantries come complete with dry and frozen foods, meats, bakery items, produce, dairy items, paper products, and classic holiday dishes. By helping to allay the costs of basic necessities, the program helps increase parents' discretionary income for other expenses such as afterschool care and doctor's visits, and gives families a foundation of nutritious foods to help them establish healthful eating habits.
Fitness studios often work hard to cultivate a relaxing setting. They might install floor-to-ceiling windows, play soothing music, or enforce a strict policy against flash mobs. But Urban Kai ramps up the relaxation to the next level. Their fitness classes take place on the Hillsborough River, where yoga groups stretch and bend atop stand-up paddleboards. The aquatic setting surrounds exercisers in waterfront architecture and open skies, which take on brilliant hues at sunrise and sunset. Dolphins, turtles, cats, and other marine life make occasional appearances as well.
Urban Kai was founded by Michael Conlee and his wife, Aimee. Mr. Conlee originally started paddle boarding as a hobby, but he quickly realized that his new pastime had toned his physique. Mr. Conlee started Urban Kai, and—along with his fellow instructors—he now teaches several on-water fitness classes. Urban Kai's yoga-on-water class, for example, helps participants build strength and flexibility, while warrior-zen workouts combine paddleboard exercises with on-land workouts. Mr. Conlee and his team also take groups on long-distance paddleboard tours.
Produced by the Davis Islands Chamber of Commerce, the second annual Bluz & BBQ event sates senses with live music and barbecue from local vendors, contributing to the fundraising effort for the revitalization of the historic Roy Jenkins Pool, a Davis Islands landmark. Like any good roast-beef market, the currency at Bluz & BBQ comes in the form of Little Piggie Bucks, which are valid for a number of menu items including Yuengling drafts ($3), Cigar City Brewery drafts ($4), and barbecue plates ($6–$12). Event attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and a picnic blanket that doubles as a giant handkerchief to the event, ensuring comfort and cleanliness during six live blues performances from musicians such as Damon Fowler, a roots-rock virtuoso and Florida native.
The stitching that unites the iconic "N" and "Y" on each Yankees cap also threads together a legacy that stretches back more than a century. Cemented by 27 World Series titles, 40 American League pennants, and a total of 43 alumni in the Baseball Hall of Fame, that legacy has been built on winning, resulting in, among other legends, a batting lineup forever nicknamed "Murderer's Row" and a regular Joe transformed into a joltin' hero.
From 1923 to 2008, the team called the original Yankee Stadium—the "House That Ruth Built"—home, making it a daunting task indeed to move 85 years of tradition into a new park without erasing the tracks of history or disturbing the scoreboard's mysterious hieroglyphics. Yet today, the Bronx breezes waft the scent of polyester pinstripes up to the 50,287 blue seats peppering a new facility—christened, appropriately enough, with a world championship in 2009. Even with its up-to-date amenities, including a mammoth 101-foot-wide LED screen towering above center field, the current Yankee Stadium stands as a reminder of the past—especially in Monument Park, where fans can soak up the club's storied saga up until 45 minutes prior to each game.