Sea Turtle Day, Celebrating 35 years of Gumbo Limbo

Saturday, March 7, 2020

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

General Information

Join us for a very special Sea Turtle Day Festival celebrating the 35th anniversary of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center!  Attend Discovery Sessions in the classroom throughout the day with nature talks and hands on activities, enjoy live music, meet environmentally focused exhibitors, take a guided tour of the Butterfly Garden, watch a play by Sol Children Theater, meet Sea Turtle Ambassador Luna, paint using recycled materials, eat delicious food from the fabulous food trucks, and more!

  • All ages.  Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Entry and activities are free, food and drink available for purchase.
  • There is not an ATM machine onsite.
  • The Festival will take place rain or shine.
  • Proper attire is required; no bathing suits or bare feet.
  • No smoking, including e-cigarettes and vaping.
  • No pets
  • Restrooms are located near the festival entrance, in the Nature Center, and outside the Classroom.
  • Lost and Found is located at the Information Tent.
  • There is no parking at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center the day of the event.  Drop-offs/pick-ups are not permitted in front of Gumbo Limbo during the festival.
  • What to Know Before You Go.


Parking is in Spanish River Park with free shuttle service to and from event.  Spanish River Park is located approximately one mile north of Gumbo Limbo Nature Center at 3001 North Ocean Boulevard.  Parking fees apply.  There is no parking at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center.

  • Class 1 (cars, motor scooters, motorbikes, motorcycles, 10 passenger or less vans): $20
  • Class 2 (other motor vehicles): $65

Are you a City of Boca Raton resident?  Get your beach parking pass at one of the community centers, and you won't pay extra to park!  Are you attending the event with friends?  Carpool to save on parking fees and reduce your carbon footprint.

Drop-offs and pick-ups are not permitted in front of Gumbo Limbo.  If you must drop-off, or are using ride share, do so in Red Reef West (the Intracoastal side of Red Reef Park, ¼ mile south of Gumbo Limbo) and walk the boardwalk or the sidewalk along A1A to the event.


Shuttle Schedule

You can find a shuttle stop in each parking loop (see parking lot map here).   Look for the flags that mark the stops.  Take a picture of your shuttle stop sign – each has a unique name (e.g. Green Turtle) to help you remember your stop.  Shuttles should be running approximately every 15 minutes.  All shuttles will be accessible trolleys.

  • Shuttle service will start in Spanish River Park at 8:45 am.  The last shuttles from the park to Gumbo Limbo will be at 3:00 pm.
  • The last shuttles leaving Gumbo Limbo will be at 4:30 pm.


Don’t Miss!

  • Stop by the Friends of Gumbo Limbo tent to be entered into a prize drawing for a rain barrel donated by RainLife Rain Barrels and painted by Kelsey Lauren Art KL / Art.  Become a member!
  • Visit the REFUSE Booth in the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility.
  • Listen to live music by Ultimate Steel Band under the tent between the aquariums.
  • Talk to Florida Atlantic University students and researchers about their sea turtle work in the FAU Gallery.
  • Meet our Sea Turtle Conservation staff and the FAU shark research team near the Shipwreck Aquarium.

Program & Activities

We have a variety of activities planned throughout the day. 

Animal Feedings

Marine Fish Feeding

Come meet our aquarists and learn about our fish and what we feed them.

  • Mangrove Aquarium - 11:15 am
  • Coral Reef Aquarium - 12:15 pm
  • Nearshore Reef Aquarium - 1:15 pm
  • Shipwreck Aquarium - 2:15 pm

Gopher Tortoise Feeding

Stop by the feeding of our gopher tortoises!  Learn about what makes these tortoises such an important keystone species.

  • Gopher Tortoise Enclosure - 10:15 am

Sea Turtle Enrichment

See our permanent resident sea turtles enjoying salad bars and ice blocks!  Learn about these cool creatures, their habitat, and favorite foods.

  • Mangrove Aquarium - 2:45 pm

Children’s Passport

Pick up a copy the Festival passport at the Welcome Center or the Information Tent.  Visit the self-serve passport stations in the Exhibitor Loops.  After you collect all of the stamps, return to the Information Tent for a prize!

Code Blue: Endangered Oceans

Join us for a short interactive program that teaches adults and children about the ocean’s history as we re-create some of the events that have changed our ocean throughout time, followed by a discussion about ways we can help our endangered oceans!

  • Amphitheater (in the Butterfly Garden) – 12:00, 2:00

Discovery Sessions

In the classroom throughout the day with nature talks and hands-on activities.  The classroom is located on the upper level behind the Nature center.

  • 9:00-10:00 am   Activity Walk-thru: get an up-close and in-depth understanding of nature with the help of our microscopes  
  • 10:00-10:15 am  Plankton and the health of our ocean
  • 10:30-10:45 am  Life under the sand
  • 11:00-11:15 am  Creatures of the Hammock
  • 11:30-11:45 am  Show and Shell
  • 1:00-1:15 pm     Plankton and the health of our ocean
  • 1:30-1:45 pm     Life under the sand
  • 2:00-2:15 pm     Creatures of the Hammock
  • 2:30-2:45 pm     Show and Shell
  • 3:00-4:00 pm     Activity Walk-thru: get an up-close and in-depth understanding of nature with the help of our microscopes  

Face Painting

Face Painting by Purple People Painter Parlor.  The line for face painting closes at 3:30 pm.

  • Lawn between the Aquariums – 9:00am-3:30 pm


Play a few games behind the Shipwreck Aquarium.

Guided Walks

Ashley Trail

Join us for a short stroll through the butterfly garden, hardwood hammock and mangrove forest.  A Gumbo Limbo naturalist will guide you through along the mulched trail through these amazing ecosystems and teach you about 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 north exhibitor loop).  

  • Butterfly Garden Entrance - 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm


Join us for a guided nature walk along the new third-mile boardwalk trail that winds through the hammock and along the mangroves by the Intracoastal.  Enjoy the beauty of this woodland habitat, home to birds, squirrels, foxes, raccoons, and skunks, along with breathtaking views of the water from the elevated boardwalk.

  • Boardwalk Entrance – 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm

History in the Hammock

Discover the origins and accomplishments of Gumbo Limbo, all while exploring our boardwalk on this self-guided photo tour.

Mangrove Life Demonstration

Join us at the Seminole Chiki to view a variety of fish and marine creatures found in the Intracoastal by our educators as they use different types of nets to collect live specimens.  From the smallest plankton viewed under a microscope, to crabs, pufferfish, and pink shrimp, you can observe mangrove life up close and learn about this unique underwater habitat.

  • Chiki (Ashley Trail next to Intracoastal) - 10:00 am-12:00 pm and 1:00-3:00 pm

Meet & Greet Luna

Don’t miss a chance to meet Luna, our green sea turtle ambassador!  Luna will be available for photos, hugs, and high flippers!  Please bring your own camera.  Located on the understory level across from the Shipwreck Aquarium.

  • Understory level - 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm

Moving Toward the Light; Recognizing 35 Years of Greatness

Join us for an original performance by the talented kids from Sol Children Theater Troupe.

  • Amphitheater (in the Butterfly Garden) - 10:00 am, 10:45 am, 11:30 am, 12:45 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:45 pm, 3:30 pm

Sea Turtle Craft with local artist Kelsey, owner of KL / Art

Make a sea turtle craft to take home with you.  Located on the understory level across from the Shipwreck Aquarium. 

  • Understory level - ongoing


Food & Drink

Food Trucks

Food Trucks are in the south exhibitor loop along with tables and seating on the front lawn.  No food is permitted in the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility, Nature Center, Classroom, or around the Aquariums.

Tropical Oasis Express

Tropical Sips

Nabati Super Foods

Outside the Box Food Truck


Hydration Stations

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! 

  • The City of Boca Raton’s Mobile Aqua Refreshment Station is in front of the Nature Center, south of the Gift Shop tent.
  • Water coolers are located along the Ashley Trail on the way to the Chiki and in the dining area.
  • Water fountains with bottle fillers are in the Nature Center, outside the Classroom, and on the lower level near the Luna Meet and Greet station.



Visit our Exhibitors throughout our property, including the Exhibitor Loops, Butterfly Garden, Amphitheater, and Aquariums. 


ANGARI Foundation

At Wits End

Audubon Society of the Everglades

Ben J Hicks

Boca Raton Children’s Science Explorium

Boca Raton Ocean Rescue

Boca Raton Office of Sustainability

Boca Raton Public Library

Boca Raton Sea Turtle Conservation & Research

Boca Raton Utility Services

Clearwater Marine Aquarium Bus

Daggerwing Nature Center

FL Dept of Environmental Protection - Southeast District

FL Dept of Environmental Protection - Coral Reef Conservation Program

Florida Atlantic University Sea Turtle Lab

Florida Atlantic University Elasmo Lab

Florida Native Plant Society- Palm Beach Chapter

Force-E SCUBA Center

Friends of Gumbo Limbo

FWC- Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network

Gumbo Limbo Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility

Island Water Sports

Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Manatee Lagoon

Marine Education Initiative

Miami-Dade Sea Turtle Conservation

Museum of Discovery & Science

National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation

North American Butterfly Association - Atala Chapter

NSU- Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation

River Center

Sandoway Discovery Center

Sea Turtle Oversight Protection

Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group

Surfrider Foundation Palm Beach County Chapter


The Reef Institute

US Coast Guard Auxiliary

Underwriten By

Friends of Gumbo LImbo


Recycling Sponsor

4 Ocean