Usually, Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary closes its doors at 5:30 p.m., after the very last guest is off the legendary boardwalk. But on Friday, October 18, 2019, Corkscrew will remain open for 3 ½ more hours as it holds a special After Hours event as part of its 65th Anniversary season.
The 2019 Family Fun Fest, now in its fourth year, features a special lineup of activities, crafts and educational exhibits for children and adults alike. Kids 18 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Regular adult admission to the non-profit Sanctuary is just $14. Guests will have access to all Family Fun Fest events and the boardwalk.
“This is a very special year at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary – our 65th Birthday – so we wanted to have a very special Family Fun Fest as our first After Hours of the season,” said Debbie Lotter, Corkscrew’s Youth Education Coordinator and the person who put together the evening’s lineup.
Children and adults are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. Bags of candy will be given to children as they depart.
Among the activities and exhibits:
Super Science & Amazing Art featuring two performances by Mr. Glen, at 6 and 7 p.m.
Krafty Kate’s Face Painting Kreations
Meet the Sanctuary’s ambassador snake, baby alligator and tarantula
View the night sky through the Everglades Astronomical Society telescopes
Shy Wolf Sanctuary
Golisano Children's Museum of Naples
North Collier Fire Rescue fire truck
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Living with Panthers display
Taste of Immokalee students will offer samples of delicious sauce
Big Cypress National Preserve exhibit
Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area display
Weather permitting, guests should be able to view the Andromeda Galaxy and the Ring Nebula in Lyra through one of two 10-inch Everglades Astronomical Society telescopes.
Snacks will be available for purchase in the Gallery Café in the Blair Audubon Visitor Center, where artist Jo-Ann Sanborn’s paintings of the Everglades are on display. Sanborn is the first of four artists and photographers whose works will be displayed in separate shows from now through May 30.
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary partners with Taste of Immokalee, the program that gives Immokalee students a taste of real-world business and is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty in their community. Taste of Immokalee items are available for purchase at Corkscrew, and its students are often at Corkscrew events offering samples to guests.
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is located at 375 Sanctuary Road, Naples, FL 34120. It is 15 miles east of I-75 off Immokalee Road (Exit 111). After Hours runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary was founded in 1954 to protect the largest remaining stand of old-growth bald cypress trees in the world. Although the Sanctuary comprises 13,400 acres, public access is limited to the Blair Audubon Visitor Center and the 2.25-mile boardwalk that meanders through the cypress swamp.
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is open every day of the year, including all holidays, from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. with the last admission to the boardwalk at 4:30 p.m. (except for After Hours evenings). Regular adult admission is $14. The cost for children ages 6 to 18 is regularly $4. Children under 6 are always admitted free.