A guide to our favorite monthly happenings and can’t-miss events.
January 5-March 26
Bring your little ones to the Discovery Center and become “Eco Detectives” as they learn about native species and join the hunt for fugitive plants and animals. Guests will go fishing for reef-destroying lionfish, hunt for cane toads in the blacklight room and search for bugs and snails in the invasive plant crop maze. Check out an Argentine Tegu and Rainbow Boa Constrictor and get up close and personal with several creepy crawlies. Are you brave enough? mydiscoverycenter.org
Ocala Civic Theatre
This funny musical is all about finding love. When Aaron and Casey meet for dinner, their blind date takes a hilarious turn when imaginary appearances by exes, friends and family come into play. We dare you not to laugh. Keep in mind, though, this performance is intended for an adult audience. ocalacivictheatre.com
Post Time Farm
January 15-March 24
The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit features USEF National and Premier-Rated Hungers, 5* and 6* Jumpers, two USHJA International Hunter Derbies and qualifiers for the HITS Championship. The Winter Circuit concludes in March with the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. More than $4 million in prize money will be handed out over the 10-week event. hitsshows.com
The Sharon, The Villages
Adapted from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they begin their hunt for the Holy Grail. In spite of killer rabbits, flying cows and mean Frenchmen, the men are determined. You’ll love the popular musical numbers that will have you dancing in your seat. thesharon.com
Circle Square Cultural Center
You likely remember some of the Manhattan’s top hits, including “I Wanna Be (Your Everything), “Searching For My Baby,” “Follow Your Heart” and “Shining Star.” It was Edward “Sonny” Bivins, the late founding member of the group, who put together the current rendition of the group in order to maintain the integrity of the original sound. You won’t be disappointed with his choices. csculturalcenter.com
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Events
595 SW Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
January 19 | 11am-12pm
34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. March
January 21 | 8am-10am
The march begins on the downtown square, heads west along SR 40 and ends at Webb Field at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex. For details, call (352) 208-0819.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Day in the Park, Webb Field
January 21 | 10am-3pm
This celebration will include dance, music, poetry readings, speeches, plus plenty of food and other vendors. For additional information, please call (352) 857-4118 or (352) 208-0819.
Florida Manatee Festival
Downtown Crystal River
This annual event is all about honoring Florida’s gentle giants. The festival will feature tasty food, fine art, arts and crafts booths, a fun kids’ zone, beer and wine gardens, live entertainment on three separate stages, a car show and more. Whew! This event has a lot going on! Don’t forget to check out the boat tours of the bay, too. You just may see a manatee. gomanateefest.com
National Geographic Live: Birds of Paradise
Phillips Center, Gainesville
Explore the world of birds of paradise through world-class photography, film and discussion with acclaimed National Geographic photographers. This is your chance to experience nature through the lenses, eyes and words of the researchers, storytellers and scientists who know it best—the very people who have made National Geographic into a global media icon.
Running with the Herd 5K– Big Hammock Race Series
Each of the races connected with the Big Hammock Race supports a local organization or fundraiser. The Running with the Herd 5K supports The Villages Charter School Buffalo Scholarship Foundation. The race will weave through the campus where on-site entertainment will be provided. As always, participants will receive an awesome finisher’s medal and T-shirt. The Big Hammock Race Series is an all-age, all skill-level race series. Learn more about the Big Hammock Race Series and the Season of Hope Run at bighammockraceseries.com.
Circle Square Cultural Center
Dads, grab your favorite little ladies and get ready to make cherished memories. This semi-formal to church attire event, sponsored by Ambleside School of Ocala, includes refreshments, a take-home craft, photo opportunities and, of course, plenty of dancing. Three dances are offered this year, so order your tickets ahead of time before they sell out. father-daughterdance.com
All You Need Is Love… and Art!
Brick City Center for the Arts
February 9, 7pm
Channel your favorite ’60s star and dress to impress for
this swinging 1960s-inspired costume party. The event will feature music of The Beatles and will also have a live DJ, plenty of dancing, food and drinks popular from the ’60s, auction items and more.
The Edge Effect Presents ICONS: The Show
Reilly Arts Center
February 20, 7pm
This highly interactive, Las Vegas-style show is a tribute
to some of the greatest artists, songs and styles of the last century. The gentelman of The Edge Effect perform songs from legendary artists such as Frank Sinatra, Chicago, The Beatles, Micheal Jackson, Billy Joel, Elton John and more.
Over the Edge Ocala
Raise $1,000 and experience the thrill of rappelling down 105 feet from the top of SpringHill Suites, the newest (and one of the tallest) hotels in Ocala. Over the Edge, an urban rappelling company, will be there to help rappellers every step of the way. Money raised will support MCA and Ocala’s arts community.