Do you remember the last time you had an evening out without the kids? Taking time for yourself is important for a parent’s sanity and gives your kids a sense of self and independence. This is true no matter the ages of your children, as everyone can benefit from a little “me” time now and then!

Lucky for us, there is no need to go through the stress of finding, vetting and hiring a babysitter.

 

Instead, your kids can go to a “Parents Night Out” event at one of the several businesses that offer them around World Golf Village. These are great because the kids stay occupied with activities (instead of sitting in front of a screen at home) and get social time with their peers.

Parents Night Out at Little Lambs Playhouse 

When: 3rd Friday of each month (next session: October 18), 5-10 p.m.

Where: Little Lambs Playhouse, 112 Nonami Court in Samara Lakes

Ages: 12 months and older

How much: $40 per child for 4 hours and $15 for each additional sibling

Reservations: (904) 687-0006 or katie@littlelambsplayhouse.com(message Katie to reserve)

More info: This is a great option for parents with toddlers. Pizza and ice cream sundaes will be served in addition to arts and crafts, playtime and a movie. **At this week’s session, kids are welcome to dress up in their (non-scary) Halloween costumes and will be able to decorate mini pumpkins to take home.

 

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St. Augustine is well known for its cultural celebrations, and none are as highly anticipated as the annual St. Augustine Greek Festival!

Running this weekend (October 11-13) at Francis Field, the event will feature all things Greek from authentic food and product vendors to live music and performances by dance troupes. A kid’s zone will also be set up with games and bounce houses.

Interested in learning popular Greek dances like Sirtaki, Hasapiko, Kalamatiano and Tsamiko—or just learning what they mean? Dance lessons will be hosted by dancers from Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in St. Augustine. Lessons are open to everyone and will be held between performances at the following times:

Friday – 6:15 p.m., 8:30 p.m.

Saturday – 12:15 p.m., 3:45 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 8:00 p.m.

Sunday – 1:45 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

Best of all, local traditional Greek food will be available. Come and enjoy Spanakopita, Gyros, Tiropites (Greek cheese pies), Baklava and much more! The Taverna will be serving imported Greek beers and wines.

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If you are looking for ideas to make your home more beautiful, comfortable and efficient (and who isn’t?), plan to be wowed at the annual fall time Jacksonville Home + Patio Show this weekend!

 

Just some of the features include:

- Several speakers including Eric & Lindsay Bennett from HGTV’s Desert Flippers

- An Inspiration Stage (schedule) and Cooking Stage (schedule), each with ideas galore

- 332 Northeast Florida exhibitors offering products and services, all aimed at making your house and yard into your dream home (list of exhibitors)

- A “Make It, Take It” workshop with lots of crafty project opportunities

- Home On The Road feature with the latest homes on wheels from Creative RV and Gander RV/Camping World

- A Skilled Trades Resource Center with info about local apprenticeship programs, including Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA)

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Lots of businesses are opening throughout the World Golf Village area and hosting events to celebrate, inviting customers to see the new digs, meet staff, learn about the business and even receive exclusive discounts on services. Here are a few of the celebrations around World Golf Village this fall.

Grand Opening!WGV Gymnastics (135 Center Place Way)

WGV Gymnastics will host a grand opening event for its new facility on Saturday, September 28 from 12 to 3 p.m.The event includes raffles and giveaways, games, bounce house, food truck and facility tours. Come enjoy a meet-and-greet with Olympic Silver Medalist Terin Humphrey. Also, sign up for two sessions at the event and receive half off your registration!

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An exciting new Caribbean themed festival will launch in St. Augustine this weekend! The 1st annual Jerk & Curry Music Fest will take place on Saturday, September 14 from 12 noon to 10 p.m. at Francis Field in the historic district.

Part of the festival’s proceeds will go to purchase hurricane relief supplies for Bahamians devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

This family-friendly festival will offer plenty of games, delectable Caribbean-inspired cuisine, live reggae and soca music, dancing, a kids’ fun zone and much more.

Watch contestants sweat it out in the pepper eating contest and jerk wing eating contest! The event will also include a jerk and curry chicken cook-off and classic limbo contest.

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St. Augustine’s 4th annual Sing Out Loud Festival is kicking off this weekend at venues throughout the historic district and organizers are expecting the biggest crowds ever! Concerts are planned for each weekend from Friday, September 6 through Sunday, September 29.

The event will feature an impressively orchestrated 334 bands including headliner Kacey Musgraves as well as local poets and comedians. In total, fans will be treated to more than 500 artists.

No matter your musical tastes, the festival has shows for you including indie rock, Americana, blues, hip-hop and R&B, bluegrass, punk rock, jazz and comedy.

Almost all of the festival’s shows are free to attend—a rarity when it comes to great concerts—and require no tickets. The only show to charge admission is the (sold out) finale with Grammy Award-winning country music star Kacey Musgraves on September 21.

Here are just some of the featured performances each weekend. Except for the first show below, all featured shows will be at The Backyard at The St. Augustine Amphitheatre. See a full schedule at https://www.singoutloudfestival.com/schedule/.

  • Friday, Sept. 6 (starting at 6 p.m.)Headliner: Dave Hause & The Mermaid, Guests: Christina Wagner, Raye Zaragoza, The Attack (Venue: Colonial Oak Music Park)
  • Saturday, Sept. 7 (starting at 7:45 p.m.) – Headliner: Kurt Vile and the Violators, Guest: Reels
  • Sunday, Sept. 8 (starting at 6 p.m.) – Headliner: Jenny Lewis, Guests: The Watson Twins, Lucie Silvas
  • Friday, Sept. 13 (starting at 5:30 p.m.) – Headliner: Propagandhi, Guests:The Coathangers, Debt Neglector, GILT
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Being the No. 1 school district in the state means more and more families are moving to the area to take advantage of the outstanding schools. Compared to last year’s first day of school, this year’s first day saw a 6% increase in students county-wide, or 2,240 additional kids.

With this big increase, officials are working hard to maintain our outstanding reputation for academic excellence—and safety.

More associate teachers have been needed to meet the demand and stay compliant with maximum classroom capacities (18 kids for K-3, 22 kids for 4-8, and 25 for high schoolers). In fact, even after the start of the school year on August 12, the county still has job openings for teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians and food service workers.

Beyond the increased needs for staff and faculty, new measures are being taken to ensure schools remain safe from potential threats. Terrible tragedies, like the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, have had a major impact on how all schools approach their own security.

Here are a few changes the district is making to keep your kids safe:

– New surveillance system:A new security surveillance system called Omnicast is being rolled out, which allows the Sheriff’s office to view school camera feeds from a single location. According to the school district’s CIO Bruce Patrou, “A number of schools are now online. We expect to have all of the remaining cameras online over the next two to three months.”

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The Greater World Golf Village Area, from International Golf Parkway (IGP), across S.R. #16 to C.R. #208 and from U.S. #1 to the St. Johns River, is on the cusp of another infrastructure boost.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is underway with design and engineering plans to build north and south Managed Lanes (aka, High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes) on Interstate 95 between IGP and I-295. The approximate 15 mile improvement will be toll-regulated, and like the recently completed segment of I-295 from I-95 to the St. Johns River, will be accessed through the Florida SunPass transponder system.

Since IGP will be the southern portal to the improvement, the I-95 / IGP Interchange (Exit 323) will also be improved by the FDOT, regards ingress, egress, stacking, signalization and vehicle flow. FDOT has nearly completed their ramp and signalization improvement designs. They have also taken care to save, in place, as many of the existing Southern Live Oaks as possible – coupled with a re-planting and treescape supplemental effort.

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As the state’s healthiest county, St. Johns County provides residents with plenty of opportunities for recreation, access to healthful foods and medical care, and poverty-fighting initiatives.

And now, residents in World Golf Village have one more healthy option with a brand new YMCA! Located at the Flagler Health+ Village in MuraBella, the facility opened on July 2 to meet the growing demand in our community for more athletic and fitness facilities for all ages and ability levels.

The new YMCA includes a large area with cardio machines (treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers, cycles and rowing machines) and weight training equipment and machines. Two spacious rooms host all kinds of group classes including Zumba, yoga and wide-ranging cardio classes. A large cycling studio is also available with ongoing classes.

The family-focused facility boasts a KidZone and Teen Center, in addition to hosting summer camps and youth sports leagues.

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It’s officially wedding season and nuptial planning is in full swing. To help make planning easier, the World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort will host the annual Bride to Be & Wedding Expo on Sunday, June 9.

The event will last from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature more than 40 exhibitors displaying products and services including bridal attire and fashion, custom gifts, jewelry, photography, catering, gift registries, DJs & entertainment, fitness and wedding planning.

Just some of the vendors include Arbonne Beauty, Mary Kay, 2 Sweet 4 Words, LuLaRoe, Olivia Ellen’s Boutique, Pampered Chef, Saries Fabulous Scents, Club Pilates St. Augustine, Cruise Planners, Sabika Jewelry, Crystal Clear Sounds, Crystal Ballroom St. Augustine, Postscript Weddings and Events, and many more.

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