"Ding" Days Calendar


All events are subject to change.
(EC= “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center)
Tarpon Bay Explorers


Friday, Oct. 12 GET OUTSIDE DAY  

7-10am FREE Bunche Beach Birding Tram, meet at EC flagpole

7:30am-6:30pm Wildlife Drive is open FREE to hikers/bikers only; closed to vehicular traffic except special TBE trams throughout the day

8:30-10am 25% OFF Breakfast Nature & Sea Life Cruise, TBE*

9-10am FREE Beach Walk at Perry Tract, meet at Gulfside CIty Park pay station, city parking fees apply

10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm, 4pm 25% off special Friday Narrated TBE Wildlife Drive Tram Tours

Ongoing 10am-3pm FREE Animal Olympics Games at Bailey Tract, self-guided, Tarpon Bay Rd. 

Ongoing 10am- 3pm Scavenger Hunt Bingo at Bailey Tract, on your own, claim prize in EC

10am-11:30am FREE Refuge Bike Tour with Ranger Toni, meet at EC flagpole

11am-12:30pm 25% OFF Sea Life & Nature Cruise, TBE* 

1-2pm FREE Showing of Million Dollar Duck Film, EC Auditorium

1pm-2pm FREE Ranger Hike & Storytime at Wildlife Education Boardwalk, meet at EC flagpole

1-3pm 25% OFF Commodore Creek Paddle, TBE*

1:30-3pm 25% OFF Sea Life & Nature Cruise, TBE*

5-7pm 25% OFF Sunset Rookery Kayak Tour, TBE*
(Experience necessary)

 5-7pm 25% OFF Evening Sea Life & Nature Cruise, TBE*

Saturday, Oct. 13 CONSERVATION ART DAY  

FREE art kits for first 200 kids
FREE Duck Stamp Artist John Brennan Painting Demo
FREE Santiva Chronicle Dress-Up Photo Booth

ALL DAY: 10% off select art items in the Refuge Nature Store

7:30am-6:30pm FREE admission to Wildlife Drive; look for Plein-Air Artists.

FREE Florida WaterVentures Traveling Lab, parking lot

10am, 11:30am, and 1pm 25% OFF Narrated TBE Wildlife Drive Tram Tours*

10am-12noon 25% OFF Commodore Creek Paddle, TBE*

10-11:30am FREE Face-Painting, EC

10-12noon 25% OFF Commodore Creek Paddle, TBE*

Ongoing 11am-1pm FREE Meet the Blue Goose for chances at prizes, EC

11am-12:30pm 25% OFF Sea Life & Nature Cruise, TBE*

11:30am-12:30pm Conservation Cartoon Awards, EC Auditorium

12:30-1pm “Ding” Darling Days Nature Photography Contest Awards, EC Classroom

1-3pm Meet the Champs: Winning Duck Stamp Artists; Junior Duck Stamp (JDS) Awards, EC Auditorium 
Meet and greet with current Federal Duck Stamp winner Bob Hautman plus Federal JDS winner and State JDS winner 

1-3pm 25% OFF Commodore Creek Paddle, TBE*

1:30-3pm 25% OFF Sea Life & Nature Cruise, TBE*

Choice of FREE Activities:
3-4pm "Painting with a Twist" presents Make & Take Nature Portrait (limited to first 25 children who sign up that day), EC Auditorium
3-5pm Nature Photography Tram Tour (first 30 reservations, call 239-472-8900), meet in EC parking lot

5-7pm 25% OFF Evening Sea Life & Nature Cruise, TBE*

 Sunday, Oct. 15 FREE FAMILY FUN DAY

A FREE day valued at $75 per family of four

ALL DAY: 10% off all select gifts in the Refuge Nature Store

9:45am Flag-raising ceremony, EC entrance

10am Gveaway of free reusable goody bags giveaway to the first 500 kids, EC Auditorium

10am-12noon 97.7 Latino Hits Van

11am FREE Live Wildlife Presentation: Birds of Prey by CROW, EC parking lot

12noon FREE This Is the Sea that Feeds Us story and fish craft, with Ranger Toni, EC Auditorium

12noon FREE Live Wildlife Presentation (TBD), EC parking lot

1pm FREE Kids Animal Yoga program by Ambu Yoga and Ranger Toni, EC Auditorium

1pm FREE Live Wildlife Presentation (TBD), EC parking lot

1:30-3pm Live Music

 2pm FREE Snakes Alive! program with Calusa Herpetological Society, EC parking lot

2pm FREE Reddish Egrets & Mangrove Cuckoos Research Show-&-Tell by Dr. Ken Meyer, EC Auditorium

FREE & continuous throughout the day

  • FREE naturalist-narrated 60-minute tram tours (check in at tram booth upon arrival)
  • FREE Florida WaterVentures Traveling Lab, parking lot
  • FREE Refuge System Law Enforcement, Fire, and Biology vehicles and hands-on demos, upper parking lot
  • FREE archery demos and clinics, adjacent to upperparking lot
  • FREE Shell Love Bug photo op, Lee County VCB
  • FREE fly-fishing demos, Sanibel Flyfishing
  • FREE Get the Lead Out fishing tackle exchange, Refuge Monofilament Busters
  • FREE face painting, EC
  • FREE hot dogs
  • FREE Dress-Up Photo Station, EC
  • FREE parking at Special Events Parking site (look for signs)
  • FREE shuttle service
  • FREE hands-on nature crafts 
  • FREE environmental displays and informational booths with giveaways
  • FREE Special 2017 Federal & Junior Duck Stamp Art Exhibit, EC Auditorium 

* Reservations recommended: Call 239-472-8900 


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