Stay hopeful: Handling coronavirus-related stress in Palm Beach County

Stay hopeful: Handling coronavirus-related stress in Palm Beach County

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read March 2020 — With constant updates on the coronavirus and its impact on the United States, social media posts displaying frenzied buying, and closure of schools and other municipal buildings, it is easy to stress and feel coronavirus-related anxiety. As you monitor the news for the latest coronavirus developments in Palm Beach County, here are a few ways to make daily life under this changing landscape more bearable.

Try that new restaurant you were craving, via takeout or delivery of course

Many states and municipalities are enforcing early curfews or closing dine-in options altogether in the midst of the coronavirus. However, that does not mean you have to forego that delicious entree or amazing dessert you were craving. Go ahead and treat yourself to succulent food by perusing the different delivery options UberEats, Grubhub, and Delray’s own Delivery Dudes have to offer. Delivery Dudes and the like offer favorite, local restaurant options to enjoy if you are shacked up with the little ones and their homework duties, or neck deep with remote work.     

Go out for a beach walk

As government leaders encourage social distancing, this may be the best time to get in touch with nature and disconnect from the stress brought on by the coronavirus talks. MacArthur Beach State Park in North Palm Beach is the perfect place to stay six feet away from people and then some. Though events have been canceled, the park remains open until further notice and is encouraging beach walks. Dip your feet in the sand, stretch, and breathe in the Palm Beach air as you take a mental break from the news and other worries. 

Connect with others

In this particularly stressful period, it is easy to sulk and retreat from others, especially with talks of self-isolation and quarantine. However, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends to use this time to reach out to others who may also feel stressed and anxious due to the coronavirus pandemic. The administration recommends that reaching out to those you trust is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety, depression, loneliness and boredom during the possibility of social distancing, quarantine and isolation. SAMHSA recommends to use telephone, email, text or email messaging, as well as Skype and other video conferencing services to stay in touch with loved ones and friends. The administration recommends to maintain a hopeful and positive attitude during this time and to consider keeping a journal to write down grateful and positive thoughts. 

Family staycations:

Staycations have been part of the social conscience for some years, and now is the time to perfect the coveted family staycation. Use this time to have some fun with the entire family as schools and workplaces transition into online classes and remote work. Come up with an after-dinner family movie list or interactive project. Maybe it’s time to dust off those boardgames or old books littering the garage, and why not do some spring cleaning while you’re at it. Perhaps a family dance-off or storytelling competition could help break the monotony of being indoors and bring the family closer together. Try it out. With so much time indoors, it is the perfect time to enjoy family time in a totally new fashion. 

To learn more, visit: 

https://deliverydudes.com/

https://www.macarthurbeach.org/

https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4894.pdf

For up-to-date advice on the Coronavirus response, you can check the CDC website here.  For Florida-specific information, click here

Our Picks: 5 fun things to do in Orlando on Thanksgiving

Our Picks: 5 fun things to do in Orlando on Thanksgiving

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read November 2019— There are a few debates around Florida being home to the first Thanksgiving dinner. Some believe it was hosted in St. Augustine in September 1565, when Spanish and Timucuan tribesmen shared a meal that is considered the first community act of religion and thanksgiving. Others believe that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1564 near Jacksonville, when Frenchmen established a colony and were welcomed by Timucuans. Truth or not, what is sure is that Orlandoans celebrate Thanksgiving in many diverse and fun ways. These are our Top 5 picks of fun activities to do in Orlando this Thanksgiving weekend. 

 

 Turkey trots

There are a few turkey trots in Orlando this week. What a fun, family-friendly and different way to enjoy Thanksgiving activities! This is also a nice way to give back to the community and support fellow citizens. Seniors First Turkey Trot 5k at Lake Eola and Avalon Park Foundation 5k Turkey Trot are some of the most anticipated turkey trots in the area. Seniors First’s trot has become one of the oldest and largest 5k fun runs in Orlando, attracting over 5,000 runners. It benefits Seniors First Programs like Meals on Wheels, In-Home Care and others. The proceeds from the Avalon Park trot will benefit neighborhoods, community organizations and the underserved in surrounding neighborhoods. 

Harry P. Leu Gardens

If you are looking for a more calm experience, Leu Gardens will be open on Thanksgiving Day. It will feature The Nature of the Game exhibit, which is a fun interactive exhibit of life-size games with a twist, as described on their website. The location is comprised by a 50-acre botanical garden, including a butterfly garden, a tropical rainforest, and what is considered Florida’s largest formal rose garden. The garden and the historic Leu House Museum were donated to the City of Orlando in 1961 by Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane. 

Theme park celebrations

As Thanksgiving marks the start of the Christmas season in Orlando, theme parks have numerous events to enjoy the magic of the holidays. From live entertainment to unique international cuisine options to shows featuring animation characters, theme parks kick off the start of the Christmas season in a big way. You wouldn’t want to miss the spectacular decorations and Christmas lights that attract thousands of visitors every year. 

Light up UCF

Running through Sunday, Jan. 5, Light Up UCF offers activities for all ages. This year’s festival features an ice rink, a world-class choreographed light show, free holiday movies, live entertainment, rides like the Ferris wheel, Light Up Express kids train, and a carousel. The festival takes place at Addition Financial Arena in a family-oriented atmosphere. 

Thanksgiving dining

As the No. 1 Thanksgiving traveling destination in the country, you have plenty of options to taste a wide variety of local and international plates. Whether you’re staying in the International Drive tourism district, near the theme parks or looking for a destination experience, there are great restaurants with Thanksgiving dining options to pick from. Universal CityWalk, Disney Springs, ICON Park and nearby towns Winter Park and Mount Dora are spots with a number of restaurants in one place. 

To learn more, visit:

Seniors First Turkey Trot 5k: https://www.trackshack.com/event/240 

Avalon Park Foundation 5k Turkey Trot: https://downtownavalonpark.com/event/2019-turkey-trot/ 

Harry P. Leu Gardens: https://www.leugardens.org/leu-gardens-is-open-thanksgiving-day-2/ 

Light Up UCF: http://www.lightupucf.com/ 

 

Philadelphia celebrates 100th Thanksgiving Day parade

Philadelphia celebrates 100th Thanksgiving Day parade

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read November 2019 — It is well-known that Philadelphia is a city of firsts in terms of the nation’s history and the development of key industries. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that the City of Brotherly Love also hosts the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the nation. 

This year marks the 100th celebration of the Philadelphia 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade. What is now one of Philadelphia’s treasured traditions began as a marketing strategy by former department store Gimbels to promote the beginning of the holiday shopping season. The first parade took place in 1920, shortly after the Benjamin Franklin Parkway was completed. Gimbels hosted the parade until 1986, when the company went out of business, and WPVI-TV took over the parade production. 

“The first parade was started with 15 cars, and 50 store employees,” said Todd Marcocci, a co-producer of the 6abc/Dunkin Thanksgiving Day Parade, in a written statement on the parade’s official website. “It was specifically described that those 15 cars were lavishly decorated in crepe paper.”

Decade after decade, the parade has been a special celebration for families around the region. One of the most exciting moments of the parade was the tradition of Santa climbing a fire department ladder several stories up the Gimbels building to Uncle Wip’s Toyland.

“The route was down the parkway around City Hall, down Market Street to the original Gimbels building. And then Santa would get off and go up the ladder and into the building,” said Robert DiBenedetto of Blue Bell, Pa, in a statement on the parade’s website. 

After five years, the parade started to gain more recognition. Today, the Philadelphia parade features 15 balloons, 16 floats, over 20 marching bands, 66 youth tap, dancing and choir groups and more than 20 celebrities and special guests.

“It’s a family tradition. The streets are filled with happy people,” said 6abc meteorologist and parade co-host Cecily Tynan in a written statement on the parade’s website. “It’s just a perfect way to start your holiday season.” 

To celebrate the 100th Thanksgiving Day parade, the public will have the chance to win several prizes, including a Florida trip for six, tickets to an Eagles vs. Cowboys game, and more. 

This year’s parade will kick off at 8:15 a.m. from 20th & JFK in Philadelphia, and will be broadcast on 6abc from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

To learn more, visit:

6abc Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade:

https://dig.abclocal.go.com/wpvi/html/tdp100/index.html

Thanksgiving in the Queen City

Thanksgiving in the Queen City

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read November 2019— Gratitude, family, fellowship, outdoor activities, turkey, gravy, and shopping are some of the characteristics closely associated with Thanksgiving Day, and the Queen City offers no shortage of any of these during the fourth Thursday of November through the long weekend. The signature North Carolina cold weather allows for some outdoor, family fun while the feast cooks slowly in the kitchen. From famous parades, Black Friday shopping preparations, and ice skating, Thanksgiving Day in Charlotte offers plenty of activities for the entire family. 

While New York City has the Macy’s Parade, Novant Health, one of the region’s largest employers, has wowed Charlotteans with fancy parade floats, marching bands, live music, and recognizable cartoon characters for the past 72 years. Known as the “Mile of Smiles,” The Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade is a beloved tradition drawing families from across the southeast to Uptown to kick off the start of the holiday season. The parade starts at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and draws more than 110,000 attendees. The parade begins on 9th Street heading South on Tryon Street to Stonewall Street, where different ethnic organizations display their pride and colors, while marching bands from a variety of educational institutions keep the energy upbeat as they make their way through the Mile of Smiles. The party continues at the end of the route with performances from a bevy of local talent. For those who would rather snooze a bit longer on Thanksgiving morning, the parade will be broadcast online and on local TV stations. 

 

While Thanksgiving Day is a time for reflection, it also marks the start of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday has become a national tradition, and the area’s local shopping malls are gearing up for the influx of shoppers expected to get a leg up on the holiday shopping season. In the spirit of enjoying time with the family, many recognizable stores have chosen to close on Thanksgiving Day and open early during Black Friday. According to bestblackfriday.com, a website that tracks Black Friday deals and news, stores such as Burlington Coat Factory, Costco, Lowe’s, Marshalls, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Petsmart and Sam’s Club, among others, will be closed on Thursday nationwide. Locals looking for deals can head to Concord Mills, SouthPark and Northlake shopping malls early Friday morning, as they have adjusted their schedules to accommodate shoppers. 

 

Families looking to avoid a turkey stupor can also head to the NASCAR Hall of Fame to stretch their legs and ice skate under the night sky. During this time of the year, the mecca for all things NASCAR turns into a magical winter wonderland, known as Holiday on Ice and featuring one of Charlotte’s best ice skating rinks. Families can enjoy selfies with a giant polar bear, or a large Christmas tree, or a walk through the Ceremonial Garden that features thousands of holiday lights. A trip to Holiday on Ice is the perfect way to finish Thanksgiving and embrace the upcoming holiday season. 

 

For more information, visit:

https://www.nascarhall.com/plan-a-visit/holidays-at-the-hall

http://novanthealththanksgivingparade.com/

Top 5 Family-Friendly Destinations in the Tampa Bay Region

Top 5 Family-Friendly Destinations in the Tampa Bay Region

Writer: Max Crampton-Thomas

4 min read October 2019 With almost 1,000 people moving into Florida every day, the appeal of the state is quite apparent. From our favorable tax climate to ideal weather and everything in between, Florida is the hotspot in the southeast. The Tampa Bay region has been a beneficiary of this population boom, as represented in the more than 51,000 people that moved into the region last year. One of the major appeals for Florida, and more specifically the Tampa Bay MSA, is the welcoming, family-friendly environment that has been cultivated throughout the state. Supporting this are the multitude of family-friendly activities and destinations available throughout the region. With so much choice, Invest: thought it would be fun to narrow it down. Here are five of the best family-friendly destinations in the Tampa Bay region.

Florida State Fairgrounds

Known for their title event, the Florida State Fair, the Fairgrounds are also a destination for festivals, trade shows, conventions and outdoor shows. The 12-day Florida State Fair is the premier family-oriented event in the Tampa Bay region. The emphasis on family fun is cultivated in the Fair’s various offerings like rides, animal interactions, fair food, and activities and shows for children. Cheryl Flood, executive director for the Florida State Fair, spoke to Invest: about just how significant this family-friendly event is to the region. “We are known for our 12 days of family fun during the annual state fair festivities, when families from across the state gather to celebrate agriculture, education and community. Annually, we boast 500,000 visitors who generate over $152 million dollars in sales throughout the state of Florida. The Florida State Fair is the first state fair of the year throughout the entire country. As a result, we set the trends of what the fair industry and fairgoers can expect nationally. We think of ourselves as a catalyst for innovation within this niche industry.”

For more information on the next Florida State Fair & the Fairgrounds visit: https://www.floridastatefair.com/

Museum of Science and Industry

Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is not the typical museum destination that some may be accustomed to. Instead of taking a more traditional approach to teaching principles of STEM and STEAM, this museum prides itself on being a scientific playground that offers more than 100 different hands-on activities for parents and children alike. The museum was not always known for its innovative approach, but after a restructuring and renovation in November 2017, they have been working to change that narrative. Julian Mackenzie, president and CEO of MOSI, elaborated on this deliberate effort, “In our second year of ‘new MOSI,’ after the completion of our restructuring and renovation in November of 2017, our reputation in the community was re-established. Prior to our reopening, the venue had a reputation for outdated exhibits that in some cases just simply didn’t work as they should. Our main focus for MOSI since then has been to re-engage the community with expanded participation in popular public events. In this fashion, it put our No. 1 asset in full view, that being our staff and the passion they have for making science real for all ages and demographics. Also, it has been about the exhibit path experience. Guests can now count on a dynamic experience at MOSI with hands-on activities and exhibits that not only function as they should, they also entertain, educate and inspire.”

To see all of MOSI’s offerings visit: https://www.mosi.org/

Glazer Children’s Museum 

The Glazer Children’s Museum is a prime example of a family-friendly destination that is using innovation and inclusivity to rise above the variety of options in the region. The museum, which saw its third-busiest year on record in 2018, understands the importance of being a viable option for all different types of families and children. Sarah Cole, the president and CEO of Glazer Children’s Museum, expounded upon this to Invest:. “At the Glazer Children’s Museum, we believe that all children deserve the opportunity to play with purpose. We strive to provide accessible and inclusive programs, events, and exhibits to serve the diverse needs of our guests. For families with special needs, we offer programs like our monthly Sensory-Friendly Sunshine Sundays and Autism-Friendly Camps. When families visit the museum, they have access tools, from an experience book to plan their visit to sound-blocking headphones, sensory kits, accessibility chairs, and more. We are proud to be designated an Autism-Friendly business for eight years running through the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and we were recently named Employer of the Year by the Mayor’s Alliance for People With Disabilities.”

For more on Glazer Children’s Museum visit: https://glazermuseum.org/

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

In the case of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, being a family-fun destination is only part of who they are. The Aquarium, which was the backdrop for the films Dolphin Tale 1 & 2, serves as both a family-friendly destination to observe marine life in an interactive and educational manner as well as a marine research and rehabilitation sanctuary. They are currently under major construction as they work to not only improve their facilities for guests but also for their marine rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Frank Dame, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Clearwater Marine Aquarium, spoke to Invest: about what could be expected from the new facilities, “When we open the doors to our new facility, sometime next year, we are going to have almost four times the guest space we have now. We are also building five new dolphin pools. Currently, between all our facilities we have about 985,000 gallons of water, and these five new dolphin pools will add another million and a half gallons. We are really ramping up our ability to rescue more animals and provide a better living environment for our dolphins, as well as drastically improve the guest experience.”

To read more about Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s aquatic initiatives visit: https://www.seewinter.com/

Clearwater Beach

To be named the No. 1 beach in the country is no small accomplishment, so the significance of Clearwater Beach being dubbed this title two years in a row by TripAdvisor cannot be understated. From in-water activities to fun festivals to simply sunbathing on the white sands, this family-friendly destination has something for everyone to enjoy. Sights are now set on retaining this title for the foreseeable future, and Frank Dame of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium weighed in on how to best accomplish this. “We need to focus on maintaining our recognition as the No. 1 beach in the nation, and we can’t accomplish this by just promoting ourselves as No. 1. The mission now is to make us the No. 1 beach because we are ocean-friendly. We can do this by eliminating trash and doing things like stopping the use of single-use plastics,” he told Invest:. 

For more on the #1 Beach in the nation visit: https://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/communities/clearwater-beach