• Purple, yellow, gold and orange sponges and soft corals wave against a turquioise sea.

    Biscayne

    National Park Florida

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  • Boat Tours, Paddle-craft Rentals and Select Conveniences Temporarily Unavailable

    Glass-bottom, snorkel, diving and island boat tours, and rentals for canoes and other paddle-craft, are temporarily unavailable. The park is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and regrets the inconvenience. Limited snack items are available.

Family Fun Fest: 500 Years in the Sunshine State

A ranger dressed as a Spanish ship captain speaks to children.
Meet both Spanish and English ship captains at March 10's Family Fun Fest.

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News Release Date: March 5, 2013
Contact: Gary Bremen, 305-230-1144, x007

It has been 500 years since Ponce de Leon discovered himself in Florida, and this month's iteration of Biscayne National Park's Family Fun Fest will focus on highlights of each of the past five centuries reflected in the park's 10,000 year history. The free event, dubbed 500 Years in the Sunshine State, takes place on Sunday, March 10 from 1-4 p.m. (DON'T FORGET TO SET YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD ONE HOUR ON SUNDAY MORNING!) at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center, located at 9700 SW 328 Street, 9 miles east of Homestead. Visitors are encouraged to dress the part as their favorite aspect of Florida's history.

500 Years in the Sunshine State will feature five hands-on and engaging activity stations located around the visitor center. Stations include:

  • 16th Century - Some say Poncede Leon was looking for a Fountain of Youth, but instead he discovered a different kind of flowing water!
  • 17th Century - People have been living in today's Biscayne National Park for 10,000 years. What did they leave behind?
  • 18th Century - Meet a Spaniard and an Englishman as they tell tales of shipwrecks during the Age of Exploration.
  • 19th Century - It's dark. It's stormy. Where are you? The Florida Keys reef lights have a message for you!
  • 20th Century - In 1937, Boca Chita Key was a hangout for wealthy industrialists having fun. Join Mark Honeywell for some games on the lawn!

Participants receive a passport to get stamped at each activity station, and those who complete all five activities will earn a specially-designed button to remember the day. Earning all five buttons in a season (including the final event of the season on April 14) earns a Family Fun Fest Fanatic award in April.

Family Fun Fest's Season 13: Starpower! is made possible through generous donations from park visitors and the Bobby Duryea Fund at the South Florida National Parks Trust, with additional support from the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves, Starbot, Inc., the Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation, 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. 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.

Did You Know?

A fishing rod and reel await use at sunset.

Biscayne National Park offers a FREE educational fishing clinic! Learn more about angling on Biscayne's aquamarine waters, refresh your fish ID skills, get updates on regulations and why they're important, and learn about choosing and maintaining tackle and gear from long-time local fishing guides. More...