Sea Turtle Day Festival 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

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General Information

Join us at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center for our annual Sea Turtle Day as we celebrate sea turtles!  This fun-filled family day of environmental education will be packed with exciting things to see and do, including  presentations, face painting, aquarium feedings, children’s theater, guided tours, crafts, exhibitorss, and more!

  • All ages. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Entrance to the festival is free; donations are appreciated.
  • Children's crafts, games, and face painting are a single fee of $3 per child.
  • We do not have an ATM onsite.
  • The Festival will take place rain or shine!



Free parking and shuttle in Spanish River Park.  There will be five shuttle stops in Spanish River Park; please remember which stop you are parked near.  Shuttles will run from 8:45 AM - 4:30 PM.  A map of the parking lot and bus stops can be viewed here.

Drop offs/pick ups are not permitted in front of Gumbo Limbo during the festival.  If you must drop someone off, please do so in the Red Reef West parking lot and they can walk the boardwalk to the festival.  There is no parking at Gumbo Limbo. 

Program & Activities

Animal Feedings

  • Coral Reef and Shipwreck Aquariums:  Educational feeding program about our deep water aquariums. Come and learn about our fish and the habitats they live in.  Times: Coral Reef at 12:15 pm and Shipwreck at 2:15 pm
  • Mangrove and Nearshore Reef Aquariums:  Educational feeding program about our shallow water aquariums. Come and learn about our fish and the habitats they live in.  Times: Mangrove at 11:15 am Nearshore Reef at 1:15 pm
  • Gopher Tortoise Feeding:  Stop by the feeding of our Gopher Tortoises! Learn about what makes these tortoises such an important keystone species.  Time: 10:15 am
  • Sea Turtle Enrichment:  Visit our Mangrove Aquarium to see our permanent sea turtles enjoying salad bars!  Learn about these cool creatures, their habitat, and favorite foods.  Time: 2:45 pm

Ashley Trail Guided Walks
Join us for a peaceful stroll through the hardwood hammock and mangrove forest.  A Gumbo Limbo naturalist will help you identify and learn about these amazing ecosystems and the plants and animals that live there.  Meet at the entrance to the Butterfly Garden (look for the white arbor in the north west corner of the food court).  Times: 10:00 am, 10:30 am, 11:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 1:30 pm 2:00 pm, and 2:30 pm

Animal Talks
Join our educator for a quick informative talk about different ecosystems and their inhabitants.  Meet in the Classroom.  Space is limited.

  • Estuary:  Estuaries are one of our planet’s most productive ecosystems. Learn about adaptations and why our local estuary is such an amazing part of our ecosystem.  Times: 10:00 am and 1:00 pm
  • Coastal Dunes and Scrub:  Sea turtles dig our coastal dunes! Find out why these two habitats harbor incredible creatures that withstand harsh conditions during this quick eco-chat.  Times: 10:30 am and 1:30 pm
  • Hammock:  Gumbo Limbo Nature Center has one of South Florida’s only hammock forests. Come learn about the plants and animals that call this special ecosystem their home.  Times: 11:30 am and 2:30 pm

Guest Speaker: Dr. Chelonia M., Medical Examiner      
Our Sea Turtle Rehabilitation center treats about 100 sea turtles every year, each with their own specific ailment. Come hear about some of the most interesting cases with our veterinarian, Dr. Maria Chadam.  Meet in the Classroom.   Space is limited.  Times: 11:00 am and 2:00 pm

Face Painting
Face painting is included with your activities stamp purchase.  Purchase your stamp ($3 per child. cash/credit cards accepted) at Activity Sales Tent located near the main entrance.  Face painting is located behind the Shipwreck Aquarium.  The line for face painting closes at 3:00 pm.  Times: 9:00 am- 3:00 pm

Intracoastal Adventures
Try out our new kayaks or paddle boards with our instructors on a fun short course (40 minutes) in the Intracoastal.  Beginners welcome.  You will get wet!  Sign up in advance at the Activity Sales Tent located near the main entrance.  There is a fee of $5 per person for this program, and space is limited (cash/credit cards accepted).  Ages 12 and up; children 12-17 must sign-up and participate with an adult.  Meet at the Chiki (walk through Butterfly Garden toward Intracoastal).

  • Kayak Sampler  Times: 10:00 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm
  • Stand Up Paddle Board Sampler  Times: 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm

Kids' Crafts & Games
Be sure to stop by the Kids' Activities Tent to create unique, take-home crafts. While you’re there, play games and win prizes!  The activities and games are included with your activities hand stamp purchase.  Purchase your stamp ($3 per child. cash/credit cards accepted) at Activity Sales Tent located near the main entrance.  The Kids' Activities Tent is located on the front lawn.  Times: 9:00 am- 4:00 pm

Meet Luna
Don’t miss a chance to meet Luna, our green sea turtle ambassador! Luna will be available for photos, hugs, and high-flippers for the first half of every hour.  Please bring your own camera!  Located on the understory level adjacent across from the Shipwreck Aquarium.  Times: 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, and 2:00 pm

Sol Children Theater Presents: Dig the Dunes
Join us for an original performance in the amphitheater by the talented kids from Sol Children Theater Troupe. Learn why our dunes are so important to protect as you laugh and sing along. Get a chance to meet some of the cast members after the show.  Meet in the outdoor amphitheater (in the Butterfly Garden).  Times: 10:00 am, 10:45 am, 11:30 am, 12:45 pm, 1:45 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:15 pm.



Audubon Society of the Everglades
Batfish Books
Ben J Hicks Fine Art
Boca Raton Sea Turtle Conservation
Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program
City of Boca Raton Children's Science Explorium
Daggerwing Nature Center
Darlin Beach Company
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Florida Hawksbill Project
Force-E Scuba Center
International Game Fish Association
Manatee Lagoon - FPL Eco-Discovery Center
Miami-Dade Sea Turtle Conservation
National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation
North American Butterfly Association Atala Chapter
Save the Manatee Club
Sea Turtle Oversight Protection
Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group
Sol Children Theatre Troupe
South Florida Underwater Photography Society
Turtle Habitation Club
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 36

Food & Drink

Hydration Station
Please Go Green and bring your own refillable bottle to the Festival!  Visit one of the Hydration Stations to refill your water bottle for FREE!  Water coolers are located on the north side of the Nature Center near the Information Tent, and along the Ashley Trail on the way to the Chiki.  Water fountains with bottle fillers are located in the Nature Center, near the Classroom, and on the lower level near the Luna Meet and Greet station.

Food & Drink
Food and drink concessionaires are located in the north parking lot along with tables and seating.   No food is permitted in the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility or around the Aquariums.  Times:  9:00 am – 4:00 pm

  • 32 Bubbles:  32 Bubbles brings a unique experience serving up Hong Kong Egg Waffles with a modern twist by pairing them with homemade ice creams and sauces. They also have unique handcrafted drinks such as Vietnamese ice coffee and Thai ice tea.
  • BC Tacos Fresh:  Great food and great service are BC Tacos' specialty. With 12 types of tacos from standard to unique. The truck is caveman themed, but they bring some of the best, modern flavors that South Florida has to offer.
  • Chik-fil-A:  Chik-fil-A's classic chicken sandwich barely needs an introduction. This sandwich is made with 3 simple ingredients and will surely hit the spot.
  • Conch Shack:  Conch Shack brings the flavor of the Caribbean to Sea Turtle Day by offering a variety of delicious dishes from classic to modern fusions. Their famous cracked conch and snapper bites are sure to please all the seafood fans, but there's much more on the menu to satisfy other cravings!
  • E&J Texas BBQ:  The goal at E&J Texas BBQ is to provide patrons with a taste of True Texas: low and slow BBQ.  We use a blend of hickory and mesquite wood along with custom spice blends we are sure you will enjoy.
  • Good Humor Man:  Everyone has childhood memories of the neighborhood Good Humor Ice Cream Truck serving timeless classics as well as more modern versions that are sure to entertain and satisfy people of all ages! 
  • Potions in Motion:  Potions in Motion, LLC is Florida’s Premiere Beverage Service, Mobile Bar and Gourmet Caterer. Potions in Motion will be serving a variety of delicious non-alcoholic drinks, including a signature Sea Turtle Day beverage.
  • Sidecar Kitchen:  A 20-foot custom trailer bringing gourmet menus any place you can dream of! For Sea Turtle Day, Sidecar brings a South American-inspired menu to Gumbo Limbo.
  • Red's Kitchen

Sea Turtle Day is Underwritten by:

Sponsored in part by our generous partners: