• 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 2014

A mother and father assist their daughter in completing a Family Fun Fest project.
Kids and parents learn together at Family Fun Fest
Thomas M. Strom

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News Release Date: October 29, 2013
Contact: Gary Bremen, 305-230-1144, x007

Biscayne National Park has announced the dates and themes for the 14th season of its popular Family Fun Fest series, along with some brand new features. The new season kicks off on Sunday, December 8, 2013 at the park's Dante Fascell Visitor Center. New this year will be Family Fun Fest Junior, a selection of simpler activities for parents with toddlers. Also new, the City of Homestead will be sponsoring free public transportation to the park on weekends aboard the new National Parks Trolley. The events are free and take place from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the second Sunday of every month from December through April.

Each Family Fun Fest event focuses on a particular theme highlighting some aspect of the park's diverse resources. Every month, participants receive a passport which they get punched as they complete each of five activities located on the grounds around the Dante Fascell Visitor Center near Homestead. Activities include games, science experiments, presentations and craft projects. After collecting all five punches, kids earn a specially designed button to remember the lessons learned.

The 2013-2014 schedule is:

  • The Hungry Games – December 8, 2013 – 1 - 4 p.m.
    Survival is never easy, especially if you're hungry. Biscayne's animals have some pretty ingenious ways of getting the food they need: poking, spearing, konking, turning their stomachs inside out, and even stealing dinner. All's fair in the Hungry Games!
  • Wrestling With Trash – January 12, 2014 – 1 - 4 p.m.
    Whatcha gonna do, brother? Marine debris is everywhere, and we need to get a grip on it. Join the Wrestling with Trash Federation's (WTF's) biggest stars as we send garbage to rest….in…peace.
  • Biscayne Wintergames – February 9, 2014 – 1 - 4 p.m.
    Who needs frostbitten fingers and toes? Let the Russians have the winter Olympics, while we enjoy the sunshine at the Biscayne Wintergames! Take a torch run, learn about skates, curling, and biathlon, and wrap it all up with a trip to the "metal" stand!
  • Down on the Farm – March 9, 2014 – 1 - 4 p.m.
    Round up the "sea cows" and "sea horses," plant some pineapples, check out the porkfish and visit the BARN-acles as Family Fun Fest heads down to the farm!
  • A Sesame Street Salute – April 13, 2014 – 1 - 4 p.m.
    Chances are that the parents of our Family Fun Fest kids grew up on a steady diet of the fuzzy monsters, giant birds and mathematical vampires that lived on Sesame Street. They're all back as the National Park Service salutes a kids TV classic.

Participants who earn all five buttons in a season are declared "Family Fun Fest Fanatics" and earn a special award in April.

In addition to 5 activity stations at each event, there will also be one activity station focusing on theme-related creative play for parents with toddlers. "The little guys will earn a button just like their older brothers and sisters, but with activities geared to their skill level," said the program's creator Yelitza Sepulveda. "Family Fun Fest Junior fills an important niche for parents looking for innovative educational opportunities for their children."

Family Fun Fest is made possible through visitor donations and the Bobby Duryea Fund at the South Florida National Parks Trust, with additional support from the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves, a variety of other local agencies and businesses, 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.

Did You Know?

Dante Fascell Visitor Center

Biscayne National Park's Dante Fascell Visitor Center's architecture is based on the old "House of Refuge" on Miami Beach, a place for shipwreck survivors to take shelter.