Weird fun with kids after Xmas in St. Augustine, FL?
December 24, 2012 6:08 AM   Subscribe

What are some fun off-the-beaten-path activities to do with kids (boys 12 & 9) in the Saint Augustine, FL region during the week after X-mas? The more nature or weirdness involved, the better.
posted by chr1sb0y to Travel & Transportation around St. Augustine, FL (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The Castillo de San Marcos and the Alligator Farm for sure. That's not really off-the-beaten-path though.

I have no idea what people do at Marineland when it's cold, but apparently they're open--maybe the kayak tours? I would inquire about what they expect you to be wearing.

Nearby Fort Mose State Park is not really anything to look at, but the story behind it might count as weird. One of the archaeologists in charge of the dig there in the late 80s told me that, although they were describing it to the public as a safe-haven ("Black Fortress of Freedom!") for escaped slaves seeking Spanish protection, the likelier supposition was that the Spanish expected the escaped slaves billeted there to serve as a sort of under-provisioned early warning system alerting them to English attacks.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 6:27 AM on December 24, 2012

Well, I'm not saying it's fun, but it's interesting and educational. The Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville. It's an hour away from St. Augustine, and it is a part of our history.

It's in the Timucuan Preserve.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:29 AM on December 24, 2012

Oh, something that would combine both nature and weirdness is taking them anywhere along the St. John's River to hunt for Pinky the River Monster (see also the Astor Monster in Lake George). Look out for skunk apes too.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 6:57 AM on December 24, 2012

Spanish Military Hospital Museum. I was here a month ago. Our guide (this guy) was very knowledgeable. Not only does he know his medical and surgical history, he will offer to saw your kids' arm off or drill a hole in their skull. I was here for a field trip and we were in a different location near a cemetery. The Colonial Spanish Quarter is under construction. Perhaps that was why. Either way, I found it pretty fascinating.

The Pirate Museum is pretty cool. It's showy with a lot of interactive and electronic exhibits. I was captivated with a lot of the pieces -- a 19th century Jolly Roger flag, Captain Kid's journal, among others.

Saltwater Cowboys Restaurant. I haven't been here but evidently there are live cats everywhere and plenty of taxidermy on the walls.

Climb the lighthouse

The Castillo de San Marcos, "the fort", for sure. To meet your weird criteria: The guides will show you where they slaughtered animals, used the toilet, didn't shower, etc.
posted by Fairchild at 7:00 AM on December 24, 2012

Seconding the Alligator Farm.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:48 AM on December 24, 2012

Not sure how far you're wiling to go, but around an hour south is Blue Springs State Park, where you can see literally hundreds of manatees at this time of year, and an hour west is Gainesvile, with UF, the butterfly garden and Museum of Natural History, and Paynes Prairie with La Chua trail, where you can see gators and other wildlife. Love it there!
posted by wannabecounselor at 11:22 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Don't miss the Fountain of Youth. And when you're there, make sure you go watch the fabulous 1950's, state of the art audio visual presentation.
posted by bricksNmortar at 10:14 PM on December 24, 2012

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