Leonardo Da Vinci "Machines" exhibit: The Da Vinci "Machines" exhibit, featuring more than 60 hand-crafted inventions built from Da Vinci's 500-year old designs and the life work of three generations of Florentine artisans has been extended through July 7 at the Bradenton Municipal Auditorium, 1005 First Ave. W., Bradenton. The exhibition models are presented in four themes: Military machines, Flying machines, Nautical and Hydraulic machines as well as devices and inventions illustrating the Principles of Mechanics. The uniquely interactive machines are a popular aspect of each exhibition as visitors can touch and handle these models to gain a first-hand appreciation of how they work. Explanatory notes and illustrative panels with Leonardo's drawings from his codices accompany each model. The exhibit is a ticketed exhibition and will pair with the South Florida Museum with one ticket allowing entrance to both with a discount. For details on exhibit hours, tickets and detailed information, call 941-932-9484 or visit www.discoverdavinci.com.
Bank of America "Museums on Us": Bank of America's "Museums on Us" is offering cardholders free admission to some of the most exciting cultural venues in the United States April 5-6. Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders can get free access to more than 150 participating museums in 94 cities and include the Florida Holocaust Museum and Tampa Museum of Art in Tampa and the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. Present your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card along with a photo ID to gain free general admission. The offer is valid for cardholders only, guests are not eligible. The program excludes fundraising events, special exhibitions and ticketed shows the first full weekend of each month. Information: http://museums.bankofamerica.com.
Universal Studios Mardi Gras 2014 Concerts: Universal Studios announces its concert line-up for Mardi Gras which will run through June 7. All concerts are preceded by a New Orleans-style parade featuring decorated floats based on the Jules Verne novel, "Around the World in Eighty Days." Scheduled performances include: Skillet, April 5; Lynyrd Skynyrd, April 12; Kool and The Gang, April 19; Nelly, May 3; The Wanted, May 10; The Roots, May 17; Cher Lloyd, May 24; Huey Lewis and The News, May 31, Robin Thicke, June 7. The concerts are included in regular admission. For ticket prices and park hours call 407-363-8000 or www.universalorlando.com. The park is at 6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando.
Herrmanns' Royal Lipizzan Stallions Homepractice performances: Herrmanns' Royal Lipizzan Stallions will perform 3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. Saturdays through April at 32755 Singletary Road, Myakka City. See these magnificent white stallions at their homepractice performances. Donation: $5 at gate. Information: 941-322-1501 or www.hlipizzans.com.
Museum of Science and Industry: "MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition," the Discovery Channel's Emmy-nominated series will be at MOSI for an exclusive Florida engagement through May 8. MOSI's guests will learn about myths, the MythBusters and what experimenting is all about by participating in a series of fun, hands-on experiences and live demonstrations. Experiments cover topics such as flight, friction, gravity, speed and combustion. The exhibition showcases the "Blueprint Room," "Workshop," and the "Live MythBusters Demonstration Stage." Tickets: $24.95 adults, $21.95 seniors ages 60 and older, $19.95 for children ages 2-12, $9.95-$11.95 MOSI members. Tickets include admission to either MOSI's permanent exhibits or a documentary IMAX film. Museum hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Information: www.mosi.org.
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and Flower Power Concert Series: Disney gardeners will paint the landscape with rainbows of blooms while Epcot chefs tempt guests with outdoor kitchens during the 21st Epcot International Flower Garden Festival now through May 18 at Walt Disney World Resort. Along with the brilliant horticulture displays, the festival includes HGTV celebrity designers, gardening demonstrations, hands-on workshops, a Disney-Pixar "Cars" playground and the Flower Power concert series with a performance by the Loving Spoonful at America Gardens Theatre 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. March 28-30. The festival is included in regular Epcot admission. For tickets prices and park hours call 407-934-7639 or www.epcotinspring.com.
Sea Lion Splash at Tampa Lowry Park Zoo: Dive in for a limited-time exhibition "Sea Lion Splash" coming to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo now through May 31. This fun-filled family attraction will feature a colony of coastal sea lions, daily presentations, educational shows, and outdoor activity area. Sea Lion Splash will showcase a rotating group of three to five aquatic ambassadors representing both California and Patagonia sea lions. Presentations are at 10:45 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. Beyond the splash zone, there's fun in the sun with inflatables for kids, a giant sandbox, specialty gift shop, interactive sea lion photo opportunities and pool party-inspired food and beverages. Admission to Sea Lion Splash is $2 in addition to the general admission. Extra fees apply for interactive sea lion photo opportunities, which are available on a limited basis. The Zoo is at 1101 Sligh Ave., Tampa. Information: 813-935-8552 or www.LowryParkZoo.com.
Big Cat Habitat: Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, a nonprofit safe haven for big cats, bears and other animals in need. Visitors can have an up-close view of the exotic and other animals in the sanctuary on self-guided tours. Regular admission: $15 adults, $7 children ages 12 and younger. Reservations are not required. Parking is free. Refreshments are available for purchase. Winter hours: 12:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays. The sanctuary is at 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota. Information: 941-371-6377 or www.bigcathabitat.org.
Wet 'N Wild Orlando Aqua Drag Racer: A high-speed race awaits guests this summer when Wet 'N Wild Orlando opens Florida's tallest and fastest water-based racing attraction of its kind, the Aqua Drag Racer, as it will be six stories tall and propel guests through four lanes of head-to-head competition at 15 feet per second before splashing them across the finish line. Park hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday-Saturday. For tickets details, call 407-351-1800. The park is at 6200 International Drive, Orlando.
Adventure Island Fun Card: Splash into spring when Adventure Island begins the 2014 season of fun offering the Adventure Island Fun Card featuring unlimited access to Adventure Island all season long with no blackout dates, valid through Oct. 12. Pay for a day for the Adventure Island Fun Card is $47 for adults and $43 for children. For park hours and admission visit www.Adventureisland.com. The park is at 10001 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa.
South Florida Museum new Planetarium show: The tantalizing question "How did life on Earth begin?" forms the basis of "Life: A Cosmic Story," a new all-digital Planetarium show, narrated by Jodie Foster, is showing 1:30 p.m. daily, utilizing the Museum's state-of-the art technology and brand new projection system. The program is included in regular daily admission: $18 adults, $`16 seniors ages 65 and older, $14 children ages 4-12. Children ages 3 and younger are admitted free. The museum is at 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. For a full schedule of programs and events, hours and more, call 941-746-4131 or www.southfloridamuseum.org.
Bearadise Ranch: Bearadise Ranch, 6908 245th St. E., Myakka City, is home to the famous Welde family bears, and established in 1926 to educate and generate public awareness for habitat preservation and conservation for all bear species. The public can learn about bears and gain an appreciation for them on tours 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. with educational presentations as part of the tour offering plenty of photographic opportunities for the nature lover or bear enthusiast. Donations: $8 adults, $6 children ages 5-12, children ages 4 and younger are admitted free. Reservations are required. Information: 941-322-2462 or www.bearadiseranch.com.