Posts in: Family

Flowers? Chocolate? Opt for adventure instead!

Posted in: Family, Healthy Eating // 10 Comments

couple in love

By Kelsie Sandage

You should express your love for those you care about every day, but Valentine’s day is a day marked expressly to celebrate that love. Commercial industries take advantage of consumers by marketing the products they sell year around specifically for Valentine’s Day. Instead of just buying a heart shaped box of chocolate or a bouquet of flowers, take your sweetie on an adventure around the First Coast.

Don’t know what to do? Use our list below of fun activities around the area to help inspire an adventure with your love.

Amelia Island/Fernandina


  • Shake things up and take a dance class together. Jacksonville has a large variety of dance studios depending on what type you would like to learn. Some examples from around the area, Happy Feet Dance Studios on the Westside of Roosevelt Blvd., Fred Astaire Dance Studios in the north Arlington area, or A Social Affair Dance Studios off of Beach Blvd. near Hodges Blvd.
  • Make waves with your Valentine when you spend a day kite-boarding through the shore of Jacksonville Beach when you visit North Florida Kiteboarding.
  • Paintballing is a fun way to work as a team with the one you adore, or get competitive and play against each other. Whoever loses, buys dessert. Visit a Paintball Adventures park around the Jacksonville area.

St. Augustine

  • Get wild with your sweetie! Be daring and zip line across a pit of reptilian beasts during your visit to St. Augustine’s Alligator Farm Zoological Park.
  • Explore the deep blue sea with your Valentine when you take scuba lessons in St. Augustine with iDive Florida or Sea Hunt Scuba. After you receive certification, perhaps you two can then explore the depths, have a hobby together and maybe see old sunken ships off the St. Augustine coast.
  • Be pirates for a day and night with a stay at St. Augustine’s Pirate Haus Inn. Enjoy you flashback in history and don’t forget to share some run with your love.

Photo provided by

Wolfson Children’s Challenge Telethon Happening Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014

Posted in: Family // 26 Comments

Caption:John Randall, one of Wolfson Children’s 55.

Wolfson Children’s Challenge Telethon airs live Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, from 6 am-11:30 pm, on WJXT TV 4.

The Wolfson Children’s Challenge Telethon (formerly part of the “One to Grow On” event) and media sponsor WJXT TV 4 will host an all-day Telethon. Airing on TV 4, the Telethon phones will be manned by teams from the community, including former patients, local celebrities, the Wolfson Ultra Marathon runners, church groups, teen volunteers, Baptist Health and Wolfson Children’s Hospital employees and volunteers, and many others. Gifts of all sizes will be accepted. To make a donation, please call: 904.348.6022 or 800.366.9598 (WJXT)

The Telethon is an event of the Wolfson Children’s Challenge (formerly “One to Grow On”). The Wolfson Children’s Challenge takes place on Saturday, February 1 at Bragan Field. The Challenge features the 55-mile Ultra Marathon, a 55-mile Ultra Relay and a 1-mile Fun Run (registration at http:/ Other events include: bounce houses; education and animal visits by the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens; a visit with the Wolfson Children’s Hospital Auxiliary Pet Therapy dogs; children’s yoga and Healing Touch provided by Wolfson Children’s Hospital’s Integrative Care Program; tumbling with My Gym; and free Yobe Yogurt samples. Entertainment will include a performances by The X Factor’s Rion Paige, singer Dalton Cyr and other local talent, as well as several dance troupes and Karate America.

Saving Numbers

Posted in: Family // 406 Comments

By Shannon Pulusan
About $18 billion make up the coffee expenses of all Americans in a year. $96 billon pays the bar tab. $117 billon fulfils fast food cravings. And $10.7 trillion is splurged at the mall.

As the numbers add up with the end of 2013, the New Year opens an opportunity for a change in spending habits. Instead of buying into our guilty pleasures of caffeine (average $164.71 spent a year by coffee-drinker), soda (a household spends about $850 on soft drinks) and joyrides (roughly about $3,000 per household is used to pay for gas), consider more affordable alternatives that can save you some extra money for the New Year.

Here are some ways you can counter the growing consumerist trends:
Bike Riding. Riding a bike keeps you mobile without concern for wavering gas prices. Pedaling your way around also keeps you active and environmentally friendly.
Homebrewed Coffee. Forget the morning rush at the pricey cafés and invest in a thermos to bring your morning brew on the go. Make your coffee just the way you like it without fumbling for change and waiting on line.
Homemade sodas. Soda makers make it possible for soda fanatics to create their personalized drinks. Make a one of a kind flavor that you cannot find in stores and is a creative alternative to buying cans and liters.
Tea. A simpler and more convenient caffeine fix can be a cup of tea. Though the caffeine levels are generally a lot lower than coffee, tea bags are not as costly and can be prepared instantaneously.
Coupons. There are a number of apps that archive sweet deals for retail, groceries, entertainment and apparel. Some stores have their own apps that provide weekly coupons just in case you misplaced the flyers. Here is a list of mobile apps to help you save.

Photo by patpitchaya courtesy

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