As the end of April approaches, the weather turns warmer, and the summer season begins to trickle through Southwest Florida. Around this time each year, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida hosts its annual Earth Day Festival. Featuring a variety of Eco-friendly activities, food, presentations and games, the Conservancy’s 2017 Earth Day Festival, taking place on April 22nd (10 a.m. — 4 p.m.), is a great way to grab the kids, get outside, and celebrate the Earth. Here are the top 5 things to do at this year’s Earth Day Festival:
1. Attend a Live Show
Throughout the day, the Conservancy will be putting on a variety of live shows that are fun, education and kid-friendly. Highlights include a Sing-a-long with Captain Ecology (10:30 a.m.), the Shark Show with Barnacle Ben (11 a.m.), “Everglades Interactive,” a kids’ science show (12:00 p.m.), and the Caring for Critters Puppet Show (1:15 p.m.).
2. Visit the food and vendor booths
In addition to live shows and events, Earth Day features several exhibitors and vendors with delicious food, fun activities, and even a little opportunity to shop. While eating your delicious food and drinks, be sure to check out the live music, the photo booth and the bounce house for the little ones.
3. Join a Book Reading
At 12:30 p.m., “E” is for Everglades author Lisa Trebilcock, and Henry the Manatee author Claire Lawrence & Illustrator Randi Zwicker will be hosting book readings. This is a great opportunity to chat with these amazing authors and illustrator about their gorgeous work, as well as educate your kids about the animals and ecosystems that populate southwest Florida.
4. Spot the Live animals
The Conservancy is always a great place to spot live animals, however on Earth Day there will be several special presentations with the keepers, scientists and Wildlife Hospital staff that will bring you even closer to the animals. Highlights include a Live Reptile Show (11:30 a.m.), a Critter Encounter with our Animal Ambassadors (12:15 p.m.), a “Through their Eyes” Wildlife Talk with Joanna Fitzgerald, the Conservancy Wildlife Hospital Director (12:30 p.m.), and a Reptile Encounter with Animal Care Coordinator Katie Ferron (3:15 p.m.). In addition to these presentations, the Dalton Discovery Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital exhibits will be open all day.
5. Enjoy Nature
Though the whole festival will be a great opportunity to spend some time in the sun, the Conservancy offers a few ways to get a bit closer to nature. There will be several Guided Nature Walks as well as Electric Boat Rides where you can learn more about the mangroves and local ecosystems. These activities will be a great way to get outside and celebrate the beautiful environment of Southwest Florida.
All of this fun, food and family education is less than the cost of a movie ticket. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 3–11, Conservancy members get in free.
For a full list of events, visit https://www.conservancy.org/events/earthday.