Attraction briefs: Feb. 21-27

February 21, 2013 

ATTRACTION BRIEFS

Big Cat Habitat Animal Extravaganza Fundraiser: Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary will hold its annual Animal Extravaganza fundraiser through Feb. 24. Two entertaining and educational animal demonstrations featuring talented animal performers from around the state will be held 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays throughout the Extravaganza. Gates will be open 12:30-3:30 p.m. Admission: $18 adults, $7 children ages 12 and younger. Proceeds will benefit Big Cat Habitat's exotic and other animals. The habitat will be open Wednesday-Friday 12:30-4 p.m. with animal demonstrations at 1:30 p.m. daily. Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is at 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota. Information: 941-371-6377 or visit www.BigCatHabitat.org.

Mote Marine: "Sea Lions, On the Water's Edge," is a limited-time exhibit featuring Patagonian and California sea lions through April 28 in the Aquarium. The exhibit will star Patagonian sea lions Stella, 8, Rose, 7, and Kitty, 7, and over time will feature other individual sea lions, each with a distinct personality. The exhibit will include special narrated demonstrations at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. each day. Visiting the exhibit will be included with regular Mote admission. Admission: $17 adults, $16 seniors ages 65 and older, $12 children ages 4-12, free for members and for children ages 3 and younger. Mote Marine is at 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota. Information: 941-388-4441 or visit www.mote.org.

Hermanns Royal Lipizzan Stallions: 32755 Singletary Road, Myakka City

Hermanns' Royal Lipizzan Stallions, unquestionably the rarest, most aristocratic breed of horses in the world will perform in their 2012-2013 Winter Training and Practice Rehearsal Shows 3 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays and 10 a.m. Saturdays through May 4. Donation: $5. Bring lawn chairs. Reservations and information: 941-322-1501 or visit www.hlipizzans.com

Busch Gardens Real Music Concert Series: Busch Gardens' Real Music Series are 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays through March 2 featuring live music spanning the 1930s-1970s to include swing, blues, pop, jazz, disco, and rock 'n roll, a genre for everyone. This year's featured artists are Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. Feb. 21-23 and Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone Feb. 27-March 2. Reservation tickets are required to guarantee a seat, and are available at the front gate until 11 a.m. each show date. The complimentary reservation tickets are also available near the theater prior to each show. The park is at 10165 N. McKinley Dr., Tampa. For park hours, performance times and tickets, call 888-800-5447 or visit http://seaworldparks.com.

Universal Orlando Resort's 2013 Mardi Gras: Residents can experience all the spirit and excitement of The Big Easy at Universal Orlando Resort's Mardi Gras 2013, a family friendly version of the famous New Orleans street party that features an authentic celebration throughout Universal Studios Florida. On Saturdays and select nights the event will offer unparalleled theme park entertainment coupled with an elaborate Mardi Gras parade, a sea of colorfully costumed performers, authentic New Orleans musicians, delicious Cajun cuisine and live concerts on the Music Plaza Stage by the following chart-topping artists: Trey Songz Feb. 23, Demi Lovato March 2, Montgomery March 9, Sean Kingston March 15, Matchbox Twenty March 16, Austin Mahone March 22, Phillip Phillips March 23, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo March 30, Kool and The Gang April 6, Pitbull April 13, and The All American Rejects April 20. Mardi Gras is included in the annual pass or Universal Studios admission. The park is at 6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando. Information: 407-363-8000 or visit www.universalorlando.com.

Busch Gardens "Bands, Brew and BBQ": Sample nearly 100 craft beers, savor barbecue and enjoy live music by some of the biggest names in rock and classic rock at Busch Gardens' "Bands, Brew and BBQ" 5 p.m. Sundays at Gwazi Park, through March 3. Gwazi Park will open to guests at 3 p.m. with the following bands performing: The Doobie Brothers Feb. 24, and The Goo Goo Dolls March 3. The park is at 10165 N. McKinley Dr., Tampa. Performances are included with any daily admission or annual pass. VIP tickets are $34.99. For park hours and tickets, call 888-800-5447 or visit http://seaworldparks.com.

20th Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival: Whimsical Disney topiary spectacles and sweeping garden landscapes set the colorful scene this year for the new festival additions of the 20th Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, March 6-May 19. Throughout the 75-day garden party, guests will discover festival surprises around every corner including new topiary triumphs, a butterfly bounty, whimsical children's play areas, HGTV celebrity designers, daily hands-on gardening seminars and a Festival Center packed with events that offer innovative ideas, gardening know-how and design tips. On weekends, top Flower Power rockers of the 1960-70s will perform, including Chubby Checker and The Wildcats, March 15-17, The Guess Who, March 22-23, Nelson, March 20-31, The Turtles, featuring Flo and Eddie, April 5-7, Paul Revere and The Raiders, April 12-14, The Village People, April 19-21, The Orchestra, featuring former members of ELO and ELO II, Tommy Roe, May 3-5, Herman's Hermits, starring Peter Noone, May 10-12, and Starship, starring Mickey Thomas, May 17-19. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission. The park is at 1200 Epcot Resort Blvd., Lake Buena Vista. Information: 407-934-7639 or visit www.EpcotinSpring.com.

Museum of Science and Industry "Sea Monsters Revealed": "Sea Monsters Revealed," an exhibition of 18 of the world's largest plastinated sea creatures, makes its world premiere debut March 9 at the Museum of Science and Industry, for an up-close and personal look at the most mysterious creatures the deep sea has to offer. Visitors will not only see the outside, but also the inside of the most elusive aquatic life ever discovered, including a 6-foot-wide manta ray, a 15-foot long mako shark, a giant squid, and an 18-foot-long, 3,000 pound whale shark. All specimens in the exhibitions are authentic and have been carefully recovered in accordance with the highest animal protection standards. The exhibit also includes more than 150 individual organs and smaller specimens that define the life of the sea. The exhibition's theatrical and scenic elements take visitors back in time to an 18th century oceanographer's study and will descend in a specially-built submersible to the depths to explore the sea floor and meet renowned ocean explorers such as Fabian Cousteau and Sylvia Earle and walk on the ocean floor among the giants of the deep. The exhibit will be on display through Sept. 2 Museum hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Reservations are highly recommended. The museum is at 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa. For ticket prices and detailed information, call 813-987-6000 or visit www.mosi.org.

Busch Gardens "Viva La Música": Viva la Música will begin at noon Sundays April 14-May 5 and brings together live Latin music, salsa and merengue performances from award-winning Latin artists, authentic arts and crafts and regional Latin cuisine. Concerts are at 3 p.m. on Gwazi Field and include Ednita Nazario April 14, Oscar D'Leon April 21, Milly Quesada April 28, and El Gran Combo May 5. Viva la Música is included with any daily admission, Fun Card or Annual Pass to Busch Gardens. The park is at 10165 N. McKinley Dr., Tampa. For park hours and tickets, call 888-800-5447 or visit http://seaworldparks.com.

Dakin Dairy Farms season: Dakin Dairy Farms "Farm Fun" season features guided farm tours, hayrides and "old-fashioned country picnics" under the 5-acre oak hammock. Bring your own blanket or use their picnic tables. Picnic includes slow-roasted pulled pork, an "It's All About The Cheese" menu, chili, Angus hot dogs, marshmallows roasted over a campfire, ice cream and more. Enjoy free the 5-acre Farm Fun Play Area with purchase of picnic. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, through April. Farm tours cost $10 are are at noon Wednesday-Friday and 10 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. Saturdays. The farm is at 30771 Betts Road, Myakka City. Information: www.DakinDairyFarms.com or Call (941) 322-2802.

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