The fifteenth season of Biscayne National Park’s multi-award winning Family Fun Fest wraps up this Sunday, and appropriately, the theme of the event is Quinceañera, highlighting the program’s growth and maturity through analogies with the popular coming-of-age rituals for Hispanic girls. The free event takes place from 1-4 pm on Sunday, April 12, 2015 at the park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center, 9 miles east of Homestead. Visitors are encouraged to ride the free Homestead National Parks Trolley to and from the event. Visit www.CityofHomestead.com/Gateway for trolley details.
For the past 15 years, Biscayne National Park’s Family Fun Fest has brought South Floridians and visitors together to learn about the watery world of Biscayne National Park. Kids, parents, grandparents, homeschoolers, scouts and more have discovered connections between the park and topics as far-flung as disco music, wrestling, reality television and Hollywood. Growing from the first event in 2001 that attracted 50 participants and run by 2 staff-members and three volunteers, the event now boasts a cadre of 30+ volunteers that welcome over 400 people every month from December to April. The Quinceañera Family Fun Fest will feature five hands-on and engaging activity stations located around the visitor center, each of which helps send the message that anybody, girl or boy, can connect with national parks through science and the arts. An additional Family Fun Fest Junior station offers an opportunity for creative play for toddlers. The 5 stations are:
- ¡Escucha! – Learn how animals sing to one another underwater, and how human-made sound in the sea impacts wildlife.
- Oh Grow Up! – A giant board game emphasizes the difficulties some fish have in reaching maturity.
- Desacuerdo con Abuela – A fun skit highlights differing views between generations.
- Change Your Shoes! – A popular quinceañera ritual becomes an art project using marine debris!
- ¡Bailando! – Learn dances inspired by Biscayne National Park’s wildlife.
Participants receive a passport to get stamped at each activity station, and those who complete all five activities (or twoFamily Fun Fest Junior activities) will earn a specially-designed button to remember the day. Those who have earned all five buttons this season will earn a Family Fun Fest Fanatic award: a boat trip for two to see real science at work in Biscayne National Park.
Family Fun Fest is made possible through the donations of generous visitors and the Bobby Duryea Fund at the South Florida National Parks Trust, with additional support from the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves, Trash-2-Treasure Creative Reuse Center, Biscayne National Park’s Fabulous Female Scientists, Dr. Erica Staaterman and a host of dedicated volunteers.
The Dante Fascell Visitor Center is located at 9700 SW 328 Street, nine miles east of Homestead, Florida. Call 305-230-7275, extension 0 or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/bisc for more information. For regular updates from the park, “like” us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/BiscayneNPS and “follow” us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BiscayneNPS.