GWIZ update: In a strategic move to secure its future, the Gulfcoast Wonder and Imagination Zone, GWIZ, is eager to take a hiatus and renovate. This project will completely transform GWIZ and renovations are expected to be at least a two-month project beginning after Labor Day. GWIZ is taking the lead in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education with this renovation. The GWIZ galleries will be filled with new, modernized exhibits that GWIZ now refers to as Education AIDEs (Adventure, Imagine, Discover, Explore). GWIZ has launched a fundraising campaign which includes naming opportunities for the gallery zones and each individual AIDE. An online giving campaign is ongoing at www.Indiegogo.com/gwiz. GWIZ guests with current memberships, including all Faulhaber Fab Lab members, will be granted a membership extension equivalent to the amount of renovation time. GWIZ is located at The Blivas Science & Technology Center, 1001 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 941-309-4949 or visit www.gwiz.org.
Food truck rally: MOSI will host a food truck rally, featuring Mummies After Dark 7-11 p.m. Aug. 31. Attendees will have the opportunity to try food from the area's coolest food trucks, enjoy great games and music and experience the "Mummies of the World" exhibit. Guests can also conquer MOSI's Sky Trail Ropes Course and Zip Line in the dark and check out the "Dark Knight Rises" on Florida's largest IMAX Dome Theatre. MOSI's standard exhibit galleries also will be open at a discounted rate. Food trucks confirmed for the event include Renny's Oki Doki Okinawon, The Dude and His Food, Keep'n it Reel, American Wiener, Burger Culture, Mobile Munchiez, 3 Suns Organic Bistro, Wicked Wiches, DoChos, Graffeatis and Not Your Ordinary Food Truck. Admission to the food truck rally is free. Additional fees apply for the Mummies of the World exhibit, Sky Trail attractions, IMAX movies and MOSI general exhibits. Advanced reservations are recommended. MOSI is at 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa. Call for admission prices. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Parking is free. Information: 800-995-MOSI or www.mosi.org.
Adventure Island Student Discount: Students of all ages can save up to $15 on an Adventure Island single-day admission ticket now through Oct. 14. Student tickets, for students from elementary to high school, are $29.99. College students can receive the same rate with a valid college ID presented at time of purchase. Adventure Island is open daily through Sept. 3, then weekends only Sept. 8-Oct. 14 and offers 30 acres of water-drenched fun in the sun within a soothing Key West atmosphere featuring slides, corkscrews, waterfalls, a wave pool, a children's water playground and other family attractions. Regular single day admission tickets are $44.99 for adults and $40.99 for children ages 3-9. Children ages 2 and younger are admitted free. All children must be accompanies by an adult. For hours, tickets, schedules and information, visit www.adventureisland.com.
"Great Irish Hooley" Festival: The Great Irish Hooley Festival will 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Aug. 31, noon-1 a.m. Sept. 1-3 at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant in downtown Disney Pleasure Island and will feature six top Irish bands, including The Raglan Rogues, Danny Burns, Johnny "Snaggs" Norton, houseband Creel and the popular U2 Tribute band playing traditional and rock tunes, Irish Dance workshops for the whole family, structured set dancing called the Ceili, Celtic face painting and authentic food and beverages. Musicians will perform inside the pub and outside on the patio. Downtown Disney is located at 1780 E. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, For admission prices and full schedule of events visit www.disneyworld.com.
Bank of America and Merrill Lynch Extended "Museums on Us" Program: Bank of America and Merrill Lynch continue the celebration of our nation's birthday by offering free museum access as part of its Museums on Us program Sept. 1-2 and every first full weekend of each month. Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders in Tampa and St. Petersburg will receive free access to the Florida Holocaust Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg and Tampa Museum of Art. Photo ID and a valid Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card must be presented at the time of visit. One free general admission is limited to each cardholder. For location and hours of participating museums, visit http://museums.bankofamerica.com.
Disney's "Night of Joy": The sound of music from contemporary Christian megastars Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, Third Day, MercyMe and Kutless will headline Disney's 30-year history of Disney's Night of Joy 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Sept.7-8 at the Magic Kingdom. Night of Joy is an after-hours event requiring special tickets that can be purchased in advance. Tickets are $52.95-$62.95. The park is located at 1494 E. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista. Information: www.disneyworld.com.