Feel Good Fall Fun Amelia Island & Nassau County

FAMILY FUN AT CORN MAZE: CONNER’S A-MAIZE-ING ACRES, FARM IN NASSAU COUNTY, FLORIDA

Fun at Cornfield Maze, Conner’s A-Maize-ing Acres, Nassau County Farm

Cornfield Maze, Conner’s A-Maize-ing Acres, Nassau County

Hear the rustling of corn stalks out in the field when the breeze blows lightly this fall at a family farm not too far from Amelia Island, Florida.

If you’ve clung to the eastern coastal area around Amelia Island, you’re in for a surprise further out west in Nassau County, in Hilliard. Visit Conner’s A-Maize-ing Acres opening in October for fall seasonal visits. You can get the experience of being outside of Florida without venturing out of the state.

Conner’s A-Maize-Ing Acres is a “5th & 6th generation working family farm” located in northeast Florida and makes one feel very removed from the beach. The family farm is opened up to the public every year in the fall with special events including the cornfield maze.

Admission includes “the corn maze, a ride on the Hayride Express to visit and feed the cows and calves, cow train, barn yard, kiddie korral, slides, pedal carts, duck races, and corn box.”  Fall general public hours are on Saturdays (only) starting October 9, 2010 from 10 am to 6 pm (ticket booth closes 5 pm).  Ticket prices for an outdoor adventure at the farm is as follows: 23 months or under are free; 2 to 4 $10; 5 to 64 $12; 65+ $10.   Call 904-879-5453 for further information about group reservations for Tuesday – Friday. If you’re more of a night owl, bring a flashlight and head over for the “Flashlight Nights and Moonlight Hay Rides,” evening activities being held on Oct. 23rd, 29th, and 30th, 2010 (admission for each activity is $5 per person). The evening fun is from 7 pm to 10 pm (but gates close for incoming at 9 pm). Also see Conner’s A-Maize-ing Acres website for further details and special events this 2010 season.

Bosque Bello Cemetery Ghost Tour Fernandina Beach Florida

Bosque Bello Cemetery, A Stop on Ghost Tour, Fernandina Beach

GHOST TOURS FERNANDINA BEACH

Well, it wouldn’t be October in America without some good ole’ ghost stories on the tips on tongues leading up to Halloween.

Hop aboard Amelia Island Trolleys for a Ghost Tour that leaves from the Fernandina Beach city Marina parking lot at 7:00 pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings (please call 904 753-4486 to confirm schedule during fall and winter). This is a 1-hour Ghost Tour of Fernandina’s downtown historic district as well as the Old Town Fernandina historic district, plus Bosque Bello Cemetery. “The Ghost Lady” on Amelia Island is tour guide who will introduce paranormal ‘hot spots’ and share local ghost stories. Ghost Tour ticket price is $16.00 adults and $11.00 for children under 12. Also see Amelia Island Trolleys website. There is also a special trolley ghost tour October 22 that ends at the haunted jail house (Amelia Island Museum) for tricks and treats.

AMELIA ISLAND MUSEUM GHOST TOUR

Listen to Amelia Island ghost stories walking through dark streets of historic district in Fernandina Beach. Ghost tour at 6 PM every Friday and lasts about an hour. Meet museum guide in the cemetery behind St. Peters Episcopal church located at 801 Atlantic Avenue. Tickets can be purchased at the museum for $10 adults and $5.00 students. Call Amelia Island Museum for more information. 904-261-7378. Visit Amelia Island Museum website to purchase ghost tour tickets online.

Also read Amelia Island Living’s article about the Amelia Island Jazz Festival and Amelia Island Autumn Fine Arts Festivals taking place in October 2010.

FALL COTTON HARVEST: PICK SOME SEA ISLAND COTTON AT AMELIA ISLAND MUSEUM OF HISTORY

Want to treat your kids to a very unique cotton pickin’ adventure? The folks at Amelia Island’s museum say “the cotton has grown sky-high!” Attend a FREE fall harvest of cotton with fun activities on Saturday, October 9, 2010, 12:00 to 2:00 pm. Children can help pick and clean the cotton while they learn what it was like to work in the cotton fields of the south.

The kids will also have fun being able to actually dye the Sea Island cotton they pick and then take it home. According to the museum, “there will also be a live demonstration of how Indigo, another important Amelia Island crop, was made into dye.” Sounds like an unusual family-oriented history lesson that’s sure to be a hit with the kids.

Amelia Cruizers 8 Flags Auto Show, Fernandina Beach Historic District

Amelia Cruizers 8 Flags Auto Show, Fernandina Beach

THE AMELIA CRUIZERS PRESENTS THE 14th ANNUAL 8 FLAGS CAR SHOW

A great day to browse Fernandina’s historic district is Saturday, October 16, 2010.  Special collector vehicles will be showcased along the main historic corridor of Centre Street from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the Amelia Island Cruizers 8 Flags Car Show.  The Amelia Cruizers event will surely delight car enthusiasts.  But the kids may be amazed to see what cool cars people used to drive throughout various periods of history.  The show is a fundraiser benefiting  the Justin Hess Scholarship Foundation, Camden County Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA), and the Nassau County, Florida Council on Aging.

CITY OF FERNANDINA BEACH HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL AT ATLANTIC REC CENTER, OCTOBER 23, 2010

Fernandina’s annual Halloween Carnival is 5:30 to 7:30 pm at 2500 Atlantic Avenue (904-277-7350), Saturday, October 23rd. Games, prizes, candy, concessions. Wear a costume (Halloween bags will be provided). This event is for families and kids, and concession tickets cost 25 cents each.

GEORGIA/FLORIDA FRAT BASH OMNI AMELIA ISLAND PLANTATION, OCTOBER 29, 2010

Georgia football fans, in particular, may enjoy eating some sautéed gator tail as they envision the Gators getting cooked on the field (wishful thinking?) An annual tradition the night before the big game here on Amelia Island, the Plantation’s Frat Bash includes food, open bar and a partying bunch of folks congregating at Amelia Island’s largest oceanfront resort. Naturally, a local favorite, “The party Band of the South,” The Swingin’ Medallions will play their hearts out and keep the crowd happy and dancing into the night at the beach. If you don’t want to eat gator, there’ll also be grilled chicken breast sandwiches, hot dogs, and pasta salad. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $55 per person (or get them at the door for $60). Get tickets by calling 904-491-4646. Don’t miss a good time at the Georgia/Florida Frat Bash on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 8:00 pm at the Grand Pavilion, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort.

HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL AT OMNI AMELIA ISLAND PLANTATION, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2010

Attend the Plantation’s Halloween Carnival on Friday, October 29th from 4 to 8 pm at Amelia Wheels’s parking lot (scare crow contest, costume contest, hay ride, fire pit with S’mores and various games. Wristbands are $15 per person. (If you don’t wish to purchase a wristband, all activities, crafts, food and beverages cost between $2-$15.)

WILDLIFE & NATURE OBSERVATION, HIKING, BIKING IN EGANS GREENWAY, FERNANDINA BEACH

Orange Butterflies Egans Greenway, Amelia Island, Florida

Gulf Fritillary Butterflies on Spanish Needle, Egans Greenway, Amelia Island, Florida

Migrating butterflies, Gulf Fritillary, are bountiful in Egans Greenway right now. It’s about as beautiful as it gets in the Greenway, with tall seagrasses, abundant blooming native wildflowers flanking the grassy walking trails, plus the bonus of cooler temps in the the mid-70s and low 80s (and no mosquitos lately).  A perfect time  to be outside enjoying coastal nature on Amelia Island, if you’re lucky enough to be here and have some time to spend.  October’s Amelia Island weather is usually delightful for outdoor nature activities as well as biking, kayaking, golf, and tennis.

Besides being a peaceful place to take the family for a walk (you can even bring the dog, leashed), Egans Greenway is one of the best places for birdwatching and butterflies on the island, ideal for nature photography.  Read lots more about Egans Greenway, watch Greenway video and view Egans Greenway photo slide show.

INTERNATIONAL PETANQUE TOURNAMENT IN USA ON AMELIA ISLAND, FLORIDA

The second International Petanque Tournament to be held in Fernandina Beach on the Amelia riverfront will take place November 13 -14, 2010 in northeast Florida with training and clinics November 12th.  (Last year, 84 teams reportedly competed at the Amelia Island tournament, coming  from 20 states, Canada and Europe.)

Advanced players and champions along with amateurs are invited to this barrier island to play in one big tournament for lots of laughs and chance to will some of the $6,000 prize money. Folks may wish to head downtown to the historic district of Fernandina Beach to observe the play and perhaps try it out. Extra courts will be set up at the tournament so spectators can give it a try for free.  (Amelia Island also has a new boules club that has organized.  Members get together at the marina, the city of Fernandina Recreation Center, and Cafe Karibo to socialize and play.)

The tournament consists of teams of two players (doubles) and include beginners, amateurs, advanced players and champions. There will be men’s, ladies or mixed teams, the minimum age of participants is 14.  Entry fees are $85 per player. (NOTE:  As of October, registration is closed, but get on list in the event a few spots open due to cancellations, send an email. )

Read detailed coverage of last year’s International Petanque Tournament from the Florida Times-Union, “French Game Petanque Welcomed in Fernandina Beach.”

THE “TASTE OF AMELIA” CULINARY FAIR

Another annual event happening in November 2010 on Amelia Island features fabulous food.  “Ring in the Holiday Season” with fine cuisine, wine, music, dancing, and a silent auction at the 19th annual “The Taste of Amelia” on November 19, 2010 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation ballroom. The culinary fair is an annual fund raising event to benefit the Nassau County, Florida Volunteer Center. Cocktails start at 6:30 pm, followed by the tasting at 7 to 9 pm. Tickets are $40 per person (semi-formal attire is required). For tickets call 904-261-2771 or visit website www.VolunteerNassau.org .

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