Gotta Get Away? 17 Ideas To Inspire A Day Trip
Tons Of Toys Our 5th Annual Great Toy Giveaway Is Here
Crazy For Cookies!
A Season of Gratitude Joan Pletcher gives thanks to her clients and the community
Thank You! As 2015 comes to a close, I want to
say thank you to everyone who helped make this a successful year. From the new friends we met in our recent buyers and sellers, to the old friends who have grown with us through the years, each of you adds light to my life. My husband JJ is a constant source of support, friendship and love, and, for that, I am truly grateful. To Bonnie, Francis and Terri, the best team of professionals in the business, I thank you for always putting our clients’ needs first. Each of you hold a special place in my heart. A home is the biggest investment many of us make, and it’s certainly more than just a house. It’s a place to put down roots, a place to raise your children and start new traditions. Thank you for trusting us to find your family’s perfect home. Ocala is a city of beauty and charm. While we relish the small-town atmosphere, our city is bustling with culture, fine dining options, and an abundance of natural resources. You can’t help but fall in love with the rolling pastures, Spanish moss and canopies of grand oaks. The area boasts some of the most beautiful trails for horseback riding, hiking and biking. Our Cross Florida Greenway, The Florida Horse Park, the multitude of lakes and forest land, and close proximity to either coast makes Ocala a nature lover’s dream. Whether you and your family are looking to upgrade from your current home or are considering relocating to the Ocala area, our team of experienced professionals will help you find your perfect piece of the American dream.
My sincerest wishes are that 2016 is a year filled with peace, happiness, health and prosperity for you and your family.
Sold in 2015
Joan oan Pletcher REALTOR 速
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Sold in 2015 contâ€™d
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Joan oan Pletcher REALTOR 速
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Vol17 17 No No12 12
How About A Day Trip? p25
A N N U A L
H 5 T
Winter break is here again, and it’s time to seek out some entertainment for the kids that doesn’t include an iPhone or video game. What better way to spend some quality family time together than on a day trip? BY JIM GIBSON
Sweet Treats p30
Gardenias. Just-cut grass. Wood smoke on a crisp morning. Jasmine. Freshly baked bread. And cookies hot out of the oven. Those are just a few of my favorite scents. BY CYNTHIA MCFARLAND
y a w a Give
5th Annual Great Toy Giveaway
From dolls and games to scooters and game systems, this year’s Great Toy Giveaway, sponsored by Campus USA Credit Union, is ﬁlled with the season’s hottest toys. WRITTEN & COMPILED BY CEALIA ATHANASON, KARIN FABRY-CUSHENBERY, KATIE MCPHERSON & MELISSA PETERSON
Departments The Buzz p15
The Dish p65
The Scene p77
The real people, places and events that shape our community.
Our best recipes, restaurant news and culinary quick bites.
Your guide to what’s happening in and around Ocala.
BY THE CITY OF OCALA, KEVIN CHRISTIAN, LAUREL GILLUM & JOANN GUIDRY
BY GRACE CALI, CYNTHIA MCFARLAND & KATIE MCPHERSON
BY BONNIE KRETCHIK AND KATIE MCPHERSON
FROMCITYHALL p16 HORSIN’AROUND p18 CLASSACTS p20 THEHOMEFRONT p22
Gotta Get Away?
17 Ideas To Inspire A Day Trip
Tons Of Toys Our 5th Annual Great Toy Giveaway Is Here
Crazy For Cookies!
A Season of Gratitude Joan Pletcher gives thanks to her clients and the community
AQUICKQ&A p80 THESOCIALSCENE p90
Cover photo by John Jernigan
THE LPGA SEASON STARTS HERE Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, Ocala
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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS KEVIN CHRISTIAN
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OCALA / MARION COUNTY
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MOVING FORWARD MOVING FORWARD MOVING FORWARD
MOVING FORWARD Ocala Style Magazine, December 2015. Published monthly by Ocala Publications Inc., 1007 E. Fort King Street, Ocala, FL 34471. (352) 732-0073. All contents copyright 2015 by Ocala Publications Inc. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written TRADEmust GOTHICaccompany BOLD permission from the publisher. For back issues or advertising information, call (352) 732-0073. Return postage all unsolicited manuscripts and artwork if they are to be returned. Manuscripts are welcomed, but no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited materials. “Promotional” and “Promotional Feature” denote a paid advertising feature. Publisher is not responsible for claims and content of advertisements.
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A Recycled Residence
Container homes are popping up all over the state. p22
Let’s Skate p16
Horses That Help p18
Class Acts p20
ITH GLOBAL WARMING, POLLUTION AND DEFORESTATION CONSISTENTLY MAKING HEADLINES, ONE STUDY FINALLY BROUGHT US SOME GOOD NEWS. YALE SCHOLARS FROM 15 COUNTRIES HAVE RECENTLY FOUND THAT EARTH IS HOME TO APPROXIMATELY 3.04 TRILLION TREES—THAT’S ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE TO CLAIM 422 TREES ALL TO THEMSELVES! However, as promising
as it sounds, evidence also shows that we have lost about 46 percent of our trees since the beginning of civilization, meaning nearly half of Earth’s once 6 trillion trees have been destroyed. With 163 Tree City USA Communities—a tree planting and care program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation—in Florida alone and Ocala a proud member for 25 years, we all can take part in keeping Mother Earth beautiful!
REBATES, REBATES This holiday season, OCALA Photo by Ralph Demilio
HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS LET’S SKATE OCALA will take place Saturday, November 21 to Sunday, January 10 in historic downtown Ocala at 201 E Ft. King Street. General admission is $5 and also includes skates. For rental availability, pricing and additional information, please call (352) 401-3918.
Hours of operation:
Other holiday happenings:
Tuesday & Thursday: 5-9pm Friday: 5-10pm Saturday: Noon-10pm Sunday: Noon-5pm
Santa on the Square: Dec. 1, 3, 8, 10, 15 & 17 Santa’s Calling: Dec. 1, 2 & 3 Movie in the Park, Jack Frost: Dec. 18
Let’s Skate Ocala Theme Nights are back! Events will take place on select Fridays in December and January from 5-10pm.
For a full list of events, visit
Dec. 4: Superheroes Night Dec. 11: Minions Night Dec. 18: Princess Party Night Jan. 8: Adults’ Night (This is a family-friendly event; beer will be available for those over 21.)
HOLIDAY RECYCLING After the presents are opened on Christmas morning and Hanukkah has come to an end, what happens to all those gift boxes and wrapping paper? This holiday season, the CITY OF OCALA encourages you to do your part and recycle all that leftover gift wrap. Whether it’s cardboard, newspaper, plastic, glass bottles or soda cans, every little bit helps! For more information, visit ocalafl.org/recycle.
encourages you to take charge of your energy with Energy Star products. The use of Energy Star products in your home can mean up to 30 percent savings! With Energy Star rebates, OUS helps with the purchase of the more efficient unit so you can sit back and enjoy a product that uses less energy and saves you money. Other benefits of these rebates include lower energy bills, improved indoor air quality and a more comfortable, safe and healthy home. To view the full list of current rebates available, visit ocalafl.org/us.
HOLIDAY FIRE SAFETY Trees, lights and candles, oh my! The holiday season, though beautiful, often combines items that can be major fire hazards. Between decorations that include candles and flammable materials and leaving the stove unattended to share precious time with loved ones, there are fire risks aplenty. OCALA FIRE RESCUE wants to make sure you enjoy a joyous and safe December. Here are some tips to keep your holiday from turning from splendid to tragic.
Holiday decorations: • Use flame-resistant or flame-retardant decorations. • Use lights instead of candles. If using candles, consider buying flameless candles.
Holiday entertaining: • Make sure your smoke alarms are in working order, and inform your guests about an emergency exit plan. Be sure to have two ways out of every room. • Stay in the kitchen when cooking. Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the stove.
Christmas tree: • If using a natural Christmas tree, pick one that is fresh with green needles that stay attached after they’ve been touched. • Keep the tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source and away from exits.
For more tips, visit ocalafire.org or call Ocala Fire Rescue at (352) 629-8306.
THANKS for GIVING! FEEL DOWNTOWN LIVE and the CITY OF OCALA would like to thank everyone who attended this year’s Harvest Fest music and food truck festival.
Because of your gracious contributions, we were able to donate over 4.5 tons of food to Project Hope for families in need this holiday season. Thank you to our wonderful sponsors: Insight Credit Union, Angie Lewis State Farm, Legacy Team Sports, Tri Eagle Sales and My Country 102.3 FM. Because of you, and of course all eight of our talented bands, Harvest Fest 2015 was a huge success!
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MODERN DAY POSSE BY JOANN GUIDRY
HE MARION COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE MOUNTED UNIT PLAYS AN IMPORTANT LAW ENFORCEMENT ROLE IN THE COMMUNITY.
Captain Eddie Leedy and Kandy
Watch any classic Western and there’s that scene where the sheriff gathers a posse of townspeople to chase after the bad guys on horseback. Of course, today’s law enforcement has gone the high-tech route with specially equipped patrol cars, helicopters, planes and boats to chase the bad guys. But mounted units, a modern-day version of a posse, remain a valuable low-tech law enforcement tool. “There are many advantages to being horseback as opposed to being on foot or even in a vehicle,” says retired MCSO Captain Eddie Leedy, who is a sworn reserve officer and has served as the MCSO Mounted Unit commander for the past eight years. “Suddenly, that officer is 10 feet tall sitting on an animal that weighs more than a thousand pounds. Being on a horse increases your visibility and mobility.” The MCSO Mounted Unit was created in 1967 by then sergeant and later Sheriff Don Moreland. Although many cities have mounted units comprised solely of sworn officers, the MCSO entity, except for Leedy, is an all-volunteer group presently of 28. The volunteers use their own horses, trailers and equipment. MCSO provides the training, uniforms and insurance. The Mounted Unit is used primarily for crowd control at special community events as well as for search and rescue, especially in wooded areas. They are also a crowd favorite at parades. “We accept riders of all ages, women and men,” says Leedy, whose primary police horse is Lucinda, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred mare. “As for horses, we have everything from quarter horses to warmbloods to paso finos in the unit.” Once a rider passes a background check and medical screening, they then have to earn a required basic
horsemanship certification. According to Leedy, the rider has to show that “he or she has complete control of the horse and they can work as a team.” The rider has to be able to walk, trot and canter the horse as well as do a 360-degree turn in a 10-foot box. The horse has to be able to stand tied unattended for at least 15 minutes. From basic horsemanship, rider and horse can then continue on to more advanced certification. “Both horse and rider have to have a certain temperament to handle this kind of work,” says Leedy, who is a certified mounted unit instructor. “We do a lot of riding boots-to-boots in crowd situations. Some horses are just not comfortable with that. The bread and butter of our training is sensory training. The horses are exposed to balloons popping, flapping objects like tarps, baby strollers, sirens and anything we think we might possibly encounter in public places.” The Mounted Unit trains twice a month, usually at the Southeast Livestock Pavilion or at the MCSO training facility. They also meet on the first Tuesday of every month sans horses at the MCSO. “In addition to being a great law enforcement tool, horses are also great for community public relations,” says Leedy. “Not everybody wants to talk to a policeman, but just about everyone, especially kids, want to pet a police horse. This builds good will between law enforcement and the community.”
Want To Know More? CAPTAIN EDDIE LEEDY, MOUNTED UNIT COMMANDER firstname.lastname@example.org
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STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS AND DISTRICT NEWS THAT SHAPE MARION COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
BY KEVIN CHRISTIAN, APR, CPRC
LEGACY LIONS RALLY The entire student body at Legacy Elementary roared against bullying at a recent pep rally. Former NFL players, Belleview High’s band and cheerleaders, and even Leo the Lion encouraged students (in their Halloween costumes) to make positive choices and report any bullying they encounter. Their PRIDE activities included pajama day, roaring spirit day, incredible hat day, dine and dance, and excited about giving.
HONORING VETERANS IN STYLE UNITING FOR UNITED WAY MCPS is among the largest donors each year to the UNITED WAY campaign. Employees, like these ladies from the Finance Office, don costumes and cook up wonderful delights. Meantime, others set up makeshift sales—all to raise money for our community needs. The district’s $230,000 goal this year is lofty but one we’re determined to reach thanks to schools, students and our staff.
POUT POUT THE PUMPKIN The blue Pout Pout fish (disguised as a blue pumpkin) showed up recently in MISS ASHLEY PEACE’s class at Belleview-Santos Elementary.
Students and staff decorated pumpkins as literary characters, and then brought them and their stories to life in a school-wide celebration! If you think this one’s good, you should see Yoda!
To honor local veterans, MARION COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS coordinates and orchestrates a stirring Veterans Day ceremony— this year to more than 3,000 people attending the event in Ocala. Nearly 2,000 students alone participated as color guards, JROTC units, musical performers, and audience members—all showing appreciation and gratitude for those with military service experience.
THEY’VE GOT SPIRIT
SUNSHINE SCHOLAR STANDS OUT
RED RIBBON WEEK celebrates positive
JACOB MOSLEY is no stranger to
choices in life—and teaching students to make those positive choices. This year, representatives from East Marion Elementary, Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks and Forest High School all captured Red Ribbon “Spirit” top honors and received bragging rights, a traveling trophy and $500 from the Community Council Against Substance Abuse.
the camera or even public attention for that matter. As Marion County’s 2016 Sunshine State Scholar, he is the top math and science student! Leading up to this honor, Jacob also captured dozens of awards over the years, including more than a handful at local, state and national science fairs. A junior at Vanguard High, Jacob no doubt has more to achieve next year as a senior! He will be recognized with other district scholars by Florida’s Department of Education early next year.
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THINKING INSIDE THE BOX BY JOANN GUIDRY
Roberta and Nick Mahoney always dreamed of owning a home near the ocean. As fate would have it, they now have a home that traveled the ocean. More specifically, their 4,000-square-foot Rainbow Lakes Estates house is constructed of sea-faring steel shipping containers. “When my father came to us with the idea of a house made of shipping containers, we loved it right away,” says Roberta. “We’ve always been into recycling. And I really liked the idea of using material that had been around the world by sea. I tell people that we have a well-traveled home.” For Guil Bombonato, Roberta’s father who’s a licensed contractor, the shipping container home came by way of serendipity. “I was actually getting ready to sign the contract on a metal building. I was going to turn that into a house for Roberta and Nick,” recalls Bombonato, who owns and operates Ocala-based Archifence Inc. “At a party, I told a friend, Heath Scott, about it. He suggested I look into shipping container houses instead. I started researching them, really liked what I found, and we decided to go that route.” What Bombonato discovered was that container architecture was beginning to go
mainstream. In 2006, architect Peter DeMaria built the first two-story container home in the United States. Located in Southern California and known as the Redondo Beach House, the 3,500-square-foot luxury home is made of eight steel shipping containers. Today, it’s valued at
about $2 million. London’s Travelodge Uxbridge Central Hotel is made of 86 containers, which features 120 rooms on eight floors. Shipping container homes and commercial structures are now popping up across the world. “The thing about a steel shipping container home is that they are indestructible,” says Bombonato. “It’s welded together and is not going to blow away in a hurricane.”
While he began designing the house, Bombonato researched decommissioned shipping container sellers. He found one in Jacksonville, ordered seven high-cube 9’6”x8’x40-foot containers at $2,000 each. The majority of containers used for building are 8’x8’ and 20 or 40 feet long. “I went with the high-cube containers because it was going to be a two-story house,” explains Bombonato. “And I wanted the extra height to accommodate the air conditioning ducts.” After arriving in early December 2014, a crane was used to position each 8,000-pound container on the concrete foundation slab. Five were bolted down to the slab while the remaining two became the second story of the house. A crew of five welders soldered the containers together, cutting windows and doors. Later, carpenters came in to build an inside wood frame; dry wall was added after the plumbing, electrical wiring and insulation were installed. The interior was painted in keeping with a beach house theme: sand in the kitchen and living area, tangerine and melon in the master bedroom. A steel gable roof accented by three fulllength windows gives the house a little extra
Photos Courtesy of Cindy Mikell, Cindy Mikell Photography
OCAL BUILDER GUIL BOMBONATO DELVES INTO THE GROWING FIELD OF CONTAINER ARCHITECTURE TO CONSTRUCT A UNIQUE HOME FOR HIS DAUGHTER AND SON-IN-LAW.
pizazz. The house features three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a two-car garage. In keeping with the Mahoneys’ love of the water, the bottom floor features an ocean blue acetone-based paint. The upstairs area has wood laminate flooring. With its own entrance and bathroom is also a separate massage room/art room for Roberta, who is a licensed massage therapist. The house, which was coated outside with gray ceramic paint to dissipate the heat, was finished on April 15, 2015. “Since it wasn’t something I had ever built before, it was a learning process,” says Bombonato. “There was a lot of extra paper work for the local and state building codes. We had to go through building inspection every step of the way because it wasn’t a usual house. It ended up costing $240,000, and a conventional house would’ve cost $400,000.” The Mahoneys, who were previously living in a small two-bedroom, two-bath house, are delighted with their new home, both for its size and functionality. “It’s an amazing house,” says Nick. “It’s totally unique and our dream house.” Roberta singles out the particularly large kitchen, saying, “I love the kitchen because I cook a lot for our big, extended family.” The upstairs area is Nick’s man cave, where he says “friends come to hang out and play video
games. I also work on my military vehicle models up there.” He notes that the staircase to the second floor “came from our church reading nook behind the staircase. This house is when it was remodeled. We only had to add two everything we could want in a house.” extra stairs and made the railing out of rebar.” And Bombonato agrees with his daughter. The couple re-purposed materials In fact, he’s currently designing a shipping throughout the house, including the upstairs container home for three full-length windows. himself and three They had originally been others for clients. French patio doors. “THIS HOUSE IS EVERYTHING WE COULD Included in the latter is The master bedroom WANT IN A HOUSE.” a hunting club near the is made of two containers. — ROBERTA MAHONEY Everglades. Roberta is particularly “Going through fond of “the big walk-in the process of building closet customized to my Roberta and Nick’s house, I came to see that specifications.” Nick jokingly notes that “I only shipping container houses are a great option have a shelf in that closet. But I helped design to a conventional house,” says Bombonato. our master bathroom, and I love my shower.” “Depending on what kind you build, they’re Even the second-floor balcony is both generally more economical, stronger and you’re aesthetic and functional. recycling material readily available. I don’t see “Our giant flat-screen TV hangs down from the balcony into our living room,” explains any downsides and think we’re going to be seeing more shipping container homes.” Roberta. “Watching TV from our couch is like being at the movies. And we have a lovely little
YOUR LOCAL GUIDE TO HOMES, FARMS AND LAND FOR SALE IN MARION COUNTY
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF
Considering Ocala? Westbury
Grand 7-bedroom/5.5 bath estate on 1.86 acres. Master features fireplace and private library. Summer kitchen & pool. $879,000
Oak Run Eagleâ€™s Point
Golf course community home features intricate crown molding. Attention to detail. $219,000
Oak Creek Cavern
4-Bedroom home in gated community minutes to schools, medical and shopping. $249,000
For this and other properties, visit JoanPletcher.com for information, videos and more choices. Due to the privacy and at the discretion of my clients, there are additional training centers, estates, and land available which are not advertised.
Joan Pletcher L I CE N SE D R E A L E S TATE BROK ER
352.347.1777 | Cell: 352.266.9100 | 352.804.8989 | www.joanpletcher.com email@example.com
A WORTHY CAUSE
MCAR has several committees that work hard year-round to give back to the community. One of those committees is our Young Professionals Network (YPN). YPN—“The Future of the Real Estate Industry”—was started in 2006 by the National Association of Realtors® as a way to help the younger generation of REALTORS® build a stronger link with the NAR magazine and the real estate industry. OMCAR’s YPN committee started in 2012 and has since held several events to raise money for local charities and causes. This past month Florida Realtors® held the annual YPN Summit, and our local YPN chapter came in first place across the state and was awarded $1,000. The YPN Committee chose to donate their
winnings to the Arnette House, a local charity that provides emergency youth shelter, family counseling services and foster care group homes. The Arnette House provides programs and services by caring and dedicated professionals who focus on the strengths of the family while providing skills and knowledge to help improve life at home. Their programs are available to those in the 5th judicial circuit, which includes Marion, Lake, Sumter, Citrus and Hernando Counties. Their master’s-level counselors utilize various forms of therapy with the family to end conflict, improve communication and reunite children with their families. If you are interested in helping the Arnette house in any way, please visit www.arnettehouse.org/how-you-can-help/. —DONNA DUNAWAY, PRESIDENT
Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors
2 LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU
115 NE 8th Ave 16910 S. Hwy 441, Ste. 204 Ocala, FL 352-351-0011 Summerfield, FL 352-245-3388
firstname.lastname@example.org www.robertsflorida.com | email@example.com
ELEGANCE AND SOPHISTICATION • 4 bedrooms • 3.5 bathrooms • Open & split plan with soaring ceilings • Chef’s kitchen with breakfast bar
• Refreshing pool & outdoor living space • Master with walk-in closets, fireplace, and sitting area
EXQUISITE TRADITIONAL HOME • • • •
4 bedrooms 4 full bathrooms 5.99+/- acres Gracious, open living areas • 2 master bedrooms 1 upstairs & 1 downstairs
• Stunning swimming pool • Detached guest suite • True hardwood floors • Shoenbeck crystal chandelier • Reverse Osmosysis all water system
GOLDEN OCALA GOLF & EQUESTRIAN CLUB • 4 bedroom • 3.5 baths • Located in prestigious/desirable gated community • Well designed with custom interior • Cooks kitchen with SS appliances
$749,900 ML# 431925
$499,900 ML# 431554
• Heated salt pool, spa and summer kitchen • Covered patio and screened porch • Whole house generator • Additional amenities available
$999,000 ML# 430380
COUNTRY CLUB OF OCALA
· · · ·
Park-Like Setting on Golf Course 4 Bedroom 4.5 Bath Pool Home on 1.03 Acres 3854 Sq Ft w/Add’l 825 Sq Ft 2.5 Car Garage w/Separate Guest Quarters $1,050,000 ML# 425192
· · · ·
· · · ·
ng sti i L
Private and Peaceful Treed Lot 4 Bedroom 3 Bath on 1.00 Acres 3411 Sq Ft w/750 Sq Ft Screened Lanai 2 Car Attached and 2 Car Detached Garage $560,000 ML# 434360
New Construction With Nice View of #13 Tee 4 Bedroom 3 Bath w/Study on 1 Acre 2770 Sq Ft w/Beautiful Wood Flooring 3 Car Garage $599,000 ML# 432561
· · · ·
ng sti i L
Nestled Among Beautiful Trees 4 Bedroom 3.5 Bath on 1.56 Acres 4598 Sq Ft Built Around Koi Pond & Waterfall 3 Car Garage $779,000 ML# 433521
· · · ·
Beautiful Golf Course Views 4 Bedroom 3 Bath on .90 Acres 2730 Sq Ft Freshly Painted w/Some Updates 2 Car Garage $425,000 ML# 425814
ld o S e m o H r You
D E E T N A R * A U G ! t I y u
B l l ’ e Or W To discuss the sale of your home, call Luis & Elisha Lopez
se ou 0% h r 0 ou or 1 s!” d f l y so ace da l 8 m ea h P in z T 156t rice e op W g p e L 5 S skin h “T 843 ur a at of o
@ 352-427-0026... and start packing!*
“We listed our house with another broker for three weeks and only had one showing. We were very concerned with the lack of activity, so we decided to cancel the listing. The Lopez Team comes highly recommended so I decided to contact them. Within a week of putting the home on the market, I received multiple offers and ended up selling for 100% of the asking price thanks to their city wide buyer network and buyers in waiting that they have in their database. If you are looking to sell look no further. The Lopez Team is the team with the buyers. I ﬁnally SOLD my house for 100% of the asking price in 8 days.” —Elaine C., VIP Home Seller Client
Move up to one of our homes and we’ll buy yours for cash!* *Conditions apply.
APPLY ONLINE: lisamariebrannon.com
A SWEET ESCAPE
ROOM DEDICATED TO YOU AND ALL OF YOUR HOBBIES OR PERSONAL INTERESTS CAN SERVE AS A WELCOME ESCAPE FROM THE REAL WORLD IF ONLY FOR A LITTLE WHILE. THESE TIPS MAKE IT SIMPLE TO GET STARTED PLANNING YOUR BIG ESCAPE WITH IDEAS CENTERED ON SOME OF THE MOST COMMON SPECIALTY ROOMS, AS WELL AS A SOLUTION FOR FITTING THE IDEAS INTO A SMALLER HOME.
CREATE A SPACE FOR CRAFTS. A room designed to let you
explore your crafty side can help prevent the kitchen or dining room table from becoming a creative center or gift wrapping station. It doesn’t have to be just for crafts, though. It can also be a place to settle down with a good book and just relax. Keep your space clutter-free and ready to enjoy with a craft room such as those designed by Wellborn Cabinet, Inc., which can feature spacious storage and expansive countertops, providing ample space to create projects.
DON’T DISMISS CARS, BARS AND SPORTS. If a room free of
frou-frou decor where you can just unwind is more your ticket, a man cave may be the answer. Man caves come in all shapes and sizes, from rowdy dens for sports fanatics to workshops decked out with the tools of your trade. Display trophies from your hunting excursions or décor emblazoned with the logos of your favorite sports teams. If there isn’t a spare room or basement available, the garage can serve as a good alternative.
WHEN TWO ROOMS BECOME ONE. Whether space limitations prohibit separate quarters, or you simply prefer to share your hobby time with a partner, you can create a specialty room that accommodates both your interests with a little creativity and planning. Working as a team, you can find the right accessories and storage to design a getaway for two. For example, a creative room from Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. offers more than 600 door styles, wood types and combinations. The result is a chance to combine two rooms, such as the man cave and craft room, for a sanctuary you can build and enjoy together.
ACCESSORIZE YOUR PERSONAL SPACE If creating a space all your own feels like a daunting project, these clever tips from the experts at Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. will help get you closer to a room you can enjoy:
CHARGING SOLUTIONS: Install a
charging station in a drawer for phones or other handheld devices. Power and docking stations can easily hide devices and ports yet keep them readily accessible.
ACCESSORY RACKS AND HOLDERS: Hooks for tools or coats keep them off of other furniture, including countertops where they can pile up and detract from your workspace. Cubby inserts and baskets help keep your things organized on shelves.
SLIDING SHELVES: Sliding shelves, drawers and baskets let you organize tools or crafting accessories while providing easy access to the items you’ve tucked away.
Find more inspiration for personal spaces and tools to maximize your space and storage at wellborn.com.
EASY, INEXPENSIVE WAYS TO BLOCK
LTHOUGH AMPLE NATURAL LIGHT IS A FEATURE MANY HOMEOWNERS DESIRE, THERE ARE PLENTY OF REASONS TO MANAGE THE LIGHT STREAMING INTO YOUR HOME. WHETHER YOU SIMPLY CRAVE A DIFFERENT AESTHETIC OR YOU’RE WORKING TO CORRECT A MATTER SUCH AS LIMITED PRIVACY OR DAMAGING RAYS, THERE ARE VARIOUS APPROACHES YOU CAN TAKE TO BLOCK LIGHT AROUND YOUR HOME.
TRAP LIGHT WITH TEXTILES. If you’ve always
considered curtains an attractive but non-functional addition to your rooms, think again. Choosing the proper weight and texture for your window treatments can significantly alter the lighting when curtains are drawn. For example, combining heavier drapes and sheer panels is a stylish approach that lets you filter without fully eliminating light. When placed on a double rod, the drapes can pull closed for more complete blockage.
Add-On Blinds for Doors, is an energy-efficient solution, helping reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, that lets you easily adjust and change the height and tilt of the slats as needed to control the amount of light and privacy you want. The blinds, an easy do-it-yourself project, snap on to the door glass frame in about 15 minutes and come in several sizes to fit various door glass sizes. They are also cord-free, making them an attractive option for households with pets and children.
SEEK SOLUTIONS FOR UNIQUE SITUATIONS. For glass
FILTER HARSH RAYS WITH WINDOW FILM.
inserts on doors, traditional coverings such as curtains or blinds are impractical; the sway of fabric or banging of blinds grows tiresome quickly. An alternative, such as
Although it lacks the day-to-day flexibility of other options, tinting windows or applying a window film is an effective way to significantly reduce bright light through a
window. There are a wide range of options to fit your specific needs, from glare reduction and heat control to privacy and decoration. You can choose versions that allow varying degrees of opacity in gray or dark colors, or even frosted or stained glass looks. In most cases, the film is applied from inside; the street appearance varies depending on your selection.
PLANT WITH PURPOSE. If your preference is to leave your view unobstructed, enhance the view with strategically positioned shrubs or trees that lend a more subtle sense of privacy while blocking direct sunlight. This approach is ideal for windows and glass doors overlooking a scenic backyard with limited privacy concerns.
Explore more ideas for controlling the lighting and privacy of your home at ODL.com/LightControl
CONSIDERING A NEW DECK? Simple steps for achieving a sensational outdoor space by spring
LTHOUGH HOMEOWNERS THINK OF SPRING AND SUMMER AS THE PREMIERE SEASONS FOR OUTDOOR PROJECTS, THAT’S NO REASON TO LET DREAMS OF A NEW OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE HIBERNATE THROUGH ANOTHER WINTER. A BIG PART OF BUILDING YOUR DREAM DECK IS THE PREP WORK—MUCH OF WHICH CAN BE DONE DURING THE OFF-SEASON.
The experts at Trex—the world’s No. 1 decking and railing brand and leader in high-performance, low-maintenance outdoor living products—offer tips for getting started.
PLAN AHEAD. A typical deck project can take six months (or more) from planning to completion, making now an ideal time to get started. To get things going, put together a timeline and checklist. PARTNER WITH A PROFESSIONAL. Unless you plan to build the deck yourself, the first item on your “to-do” list should be hiring a contractor. Quality deck builders book projects well in advance and often have a waiting list by spring. By doing your research early, you can pre-book for the following season.
DECIDE ON DECKING. It’s important to choose quality materials that withstand wear and tear. A high-performing, wood-alternative is easy to maintain and defends against severe weather and mishaps. Composite decking is resistant to fading, staining, scratching and mold, leaving homeowners with less work and more time for relaxation. When considering materials, you can experiment by ordering sample composite deck boards on trex.com to see firsthand how different colors and textures work with your home’s architecture and style.
DESIGN YOUR DREAM. Designing your
THINK BEYOND THE BOARDS. Often
deck is fun but time consuming. Starting early allows you to complete the process with maximum creativity and minimal stress. Ultimately, a deck should be designed around how you plan to use it—e.g. relaxing, entertaining, etc. Beyond function, consider views, sun/shade and entrances and exits from the home and into the yard.
overlooked, substructure and railing can have a tremendous impact on the performance, appearance and cost of a deck. For the substructure, talk with your contractor about the differences between materials. Steel deck framing offers stability and durability benefits over wood, plus greater design flexibility, sustainability, safety and fire
For more deck planning tips and tools, visit trex.com.
resistance. Railing adds both safety and style to decks.
UNDERSTAND COSTS AND VALUE. Several
factors will affect material and labor costs, including the size and shape, along with any extras you may want to incorporate. To help homeowners with budgeting, Trex offers an online cost calculator that estimates material costs based on input regarding size, substructure and products being considered.
ACCOUNT FOR ADD-ONS. When planning your deck, have fun exploring the many options that are available for customizing your design. You’ll need to decide if you want to incorporate integrated features like built-in benches, planter boxes and storage and budget accordingly for extras such as a pergola, fire pit or lighting.
CREATE WOW-WORTHY WALL ART
OU’VE SELECTED THE PERFECT FURNITURE AND COORDINATED ALL THE ACCESSORIES, BUT IF YOU LEAVE THE WALLS BARE, THE ROOM YOU’VE WORKED SO HARD TO COMPLETE MAY STILL FEEL UNFINISHED.
A burst of contemporary color or classic multi-dimensional art is easy to achieve at home with some basic supplies and a bit of creative flair. These wall hangings, created by the crafting experts at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, make it simple to enhance any room’s look in just a few hours. The bold jewel tones and classic lattice pattern of the Buttercream Wall Art are signature looks of the new Buttercream collection available exclusively at Jo-Ann for those who love to personalize their home decor. For a more modern approach, the Contemporary Canvas Artwork grouping makes a bold statement with a fully customizable palate to reflect your personal style.
BUTTERCREAM WALL ART Crafting time: 1-2 hours Skill level: Some experience necessary
CONTEMPORARY CANVAS ARTWORK Crafting time: 3-5 hours Skill level: No experience necessary
Supplies and tools: Buttercream Basic Brush Set
Supplies and tools:
each Buttercream Decor Paint in Darling Teal, Pleasant Blue, Petunia, Gold Metallic
Acrylic paints: yellow, orange, deep red, burnt sienna, white
canvases or pieces of wood measuring approximately 6 inches by 15 inches
Set of nine miniature canvases
Buttercream Furniture Applique 5-by-14-inch Latticework
Buttercream Glue Using basic brush set, apply decor paints to canvases or wood in vertical application roughly blending colors. Loosely follow this color order from bottom to top: Gold, Petunia, Pleasant Blue, Darling Teal. Allow to dry. Apply light amount of glue to backs of appliqués. and center each onto canvas or wood.
Gloss medium Following manufacturer’s directions, mix five colors of paint, creating five total paint shades graduating from deep red to yellow. Paint each canvas with two coats of paint to assure proper coverage. Refer to photo when painting the canvases. Let dry. In squeeze bottle, mix white paint with some yellow and orange paint, plus gloss medium. Lay canvases together, forming a square, without spaces between each canvas. Using paint mixture in squeeze bottle, decorate canvases with swirl pattern. Separate canvases to dry. Hang canvases in same orientation as painted, spaced about 1 inch apart or as desired.
Find more creative ideas to dress up drab walls at joann.com.
TO UPDATE ANY SPACE
CCENT PIECES ARE AN EASY WAY TO UPDATE ANY ROOM. INTRODUCING FRESH COLORS AND STYLES WITH DECORATIVE ITEMS AND TEXTILES CAN INSTANTLY TRANSFORM THE ENTIRE AMBIANCE AT A FRACTION OF THE COST YOU MIGHT SPEND COMPLETELY REFURBISHING THE SAME SPACE. Throw pillows offer a clever way to add new color, texture and patterns. Introduce a more luxurious look with this pillow trio featuring the new Buttercream collection of continental craft components, finished home decor items, baking supplies and unique print fabrics created by and available only at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores.
BUTTERCREAM STENCILED ART PILLOWS Crafting time: More than 5 hours Skill level: Some experience necessary Supplies and Tools:
Buttercream 12-by-12-inch Stencil Paisley Blossom (71852)
16-by-16-inch natural pillow covers
each of Buttercream Fabric Paints in Dainty Pink, Lipstick Red, Ginger, Ivy Lane, Fortnight Blue
Buttercream Brushes Stencil Set
16-by-16-inch pillow forms
1½ yards natural linen fabric
Buttercream Basecoating Brush
12-by-18-inch pillow form
Begin by creating the red repeat patterned pillow. Place stencil onto pillow cover, and tape off all areas on stencil that are not shown in photo. Repeat large paisley flower as shown using Lipstick Red paint and small stencil brush. Let dry.
Complete the floral design pillow by placing stencil onto pillow cover and stenciling design as shown with multiple colors. Stencil first color by taping over all areas that are not that color in photo. Then stencil next color, taping off areas that are not that color. Repeat so entire front of pillow is covered. Let dry before inserting pillow forms.
For long daisy blossom pillow, cut two 13-by-19-inch pieces of fabric. Iron fabric. Tape off 10-by-16-inch large rectangle in center of one fabric piece. Paint base coat inside rectangle with Dainty Pink and large brush. Let dry. Stencil daisy floral element from stencil onto pillow as shown with Ginger. Repeat,
covering rectangle area. Let dry. Add leaf element to pillow as shown. Stencil with Ivy Lane. Repeat around flowers as shown and let dry. Place fabric with “right sides” touching, and sew three sides closed. Turn inside out, and insert pillow form. Handsew closed.
Find more inspiration for home updates with accent pieces you can make yourself at joann.com.
Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club is the pinnacle of luxury living. Our exquisite community is home to the Coates Golf Championship, staged on our magnificent 18-hole golf course showcasing eight tribute holes. Golden Ocala also features one of the area’s top competitive tennis programs; the Equestrian Center includes six miles of picturesque private riding trails and brand new private Equestrian Suites.
8171 NW 26TH LANE RD
3272 NW 77TH AVENUE
• This 2,006 square foot single family home has three bedrooms, two baths and one-half bath. • Enjoy the resort lifestyle and carefree condominium ownership that make this Villa a true value. Championship golf adult and children tennis programs, spa and fitness center, six miles of riding trails and a grand 77,000-square-foot clubhouse.
• Features a split and open floor plan with a huge screened lanai and a spectacular summer kitchen. • Massive gas fireplace in the great room will make chilly weather disappear and add both warmth and ambiance. • This home is superb for entertaining! From tray ceilings to exquisite crown molding, there’s plenty to love.
Floorplan: Regal Eagle Neighborhood: Eagles Landing Price: $479,900
Contact our Sales Center for details! 352.369.6969 | GoldenOcala.com/Living
Floorplan: The Langdon Neighborhood: Brittany Estates Price: $999,698
LEADING WITH THE BEST IN THE SOUTHWEST
CANDLER HILLS: 55 + Golf Course Community. Walk into the Great Room from the front door. Formal Dining room, Eat-in kitchen. Split Paul Valois floor plan with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. Florida Room with view of Pro(352) 895-1020 fessional Landscaped yard. Two car garage with pavers on driveway and walkway. Enjoy the Florida Lifestyle! $209,500 MLS#434207
The Brooks/ Kampf Team (352) 989-3162 (352) 812-0557
ON TOP OF THE WORLD: WOW!! Looking for a Move-in Ready Home? This model offers it ALL. Neutral Colors throughout this Beautiful Home. Crown Molding, Two Bedroom and Baths, Plus a Study/Den. Combined Great Rm, and Dining Area, PLUS and Eat-in Kitchen with Pantry. Two Car Garage, and don’t worry about your landscaping, it’s included in your HOA Fee. Last, but not least, THIS HOME IS ON AN OVERSIZED LOT, WITH NO HOME IN BACK!! Relax and Enjoy all the Amenities of the Desirable 55 Plus Community. $129,400 MLS#430817
ON TOP OF THE WORLD: Updated Home built with NO HOMES BEHIND! New paint, flooring, countertops and more. All rooms have Mike Bleau ceiling fans. Nice living and Dining Room combination. Large Master (352) 857-4421 Bedroom with walk-in closet. A MUST SEE!!! $67,900 MLS#432715
WESTGATE: Custom 4/3/2 nested on heavily wooded 6.14 acres. Japanese Zen mediation garden 41x25 labyrinth with river stone enhancement, generator for house. Laminate floors, sunny eat-in- kitchen with solid surface counters, double oven full size, freezer, center island. Step ceiling in formal dining room, 9’ ceiling, 14’ ceiling in family room, double sided fireplace, oversized 2 car garage (25x33). $450,000 MLS#429565
ROLLING HILLS: Exceptional is an understatement for this home! Upgrades everywhere with this enclosed salt water pool and waterfall. New stainless steel; appliances, granite counters, split floor plan in this 3/2/2 plus office and bonus rm. On beautifully landscaped I acre. Air conditioned workshop and boat/RV parking. Don’t miss this outstanding value! Call Today! $278,500 MLS#430462
PALM CAY: THIS IS A CREAM PUFF!!! Perfect in every way! Crown Moldings, New Appliances. New Roof and A/C in 2012. New Water Heater 2015. OUTSTANDING LANDSCAPING!!! $72,500. MLS#433712
SPRUCE CREEK PRESERVE BEAUTY- 2/2/2 with 2080 sq. ft. of air conditioned space. Professionally decorated. Don’t miss this one Call Lindsay today! $160,500 MLS#434474
SUMMERGLEN: ELEGANT ENTERTAINING. This eye catching 3/2/2 on golf course. Concrete block home with extended lanai, with tinted windows. Remote garage screen. A great model FOR Mother-in-law living. Martha Large master bedroom with spa tub. No CDD’s. Low HOA fee of $130, inMaclincludes lawn maintenance. BUY THIS HOME WITH 50% DOWN----NEVER Reynolds (352) 362-1399 HAVE A HOUSE PAYMENT!!! CALL FOR DETAILS. $189,900. MLS#421896
SW HWY 200 OFFICE | 8721 SW HWY 200, OCALA FL | (352) 479-0123 OFFICE
On Top Of The World - With more than $80k in upgrades, this Waterford model offers features which the most discerning owner will appreciate. Crown molding, beautiful tile flooring, wonderful granite countertops, upgraded appliances & cabinetry & much, much more!. Large lanai under roof & spectacular views of the golf course. Asking $234,995 MLS#434603
BEAUTIFUL CUSTOM 4/3 HOME in Lemonwood II. 10-12 ft. ceilings, tile floors thru-out. Kitchen w/42” cabinets, center island, huge pantry & Audrey Johns breakfast nook. Big, beautiful windows, French doors, spa bath, screen lanai w/summer kitchen & patio overlooking landscaped yard, full of (352) 812-6767 fruit trees & Florida foliage. Side entry garage & circular drive. On culde-sac in prestigious neighborhood. Asking $249,900 MLS#433428
Spacious home offers large rooms everywhere! M/Suite w/deep walk-in closet. Private bath includes a two sink vanity, shower & linen closet. Open concept offers formal D/R, L/R, foyer & kitchen w/breakfast nook w/wall of Julia McPherson windows overlooking the backyard. Bonus room features french doors to (352) 895-0722 a screened birdcage. Also features Double pane windows throughout, two guest Bedrooms, bath and laundry room. Asking $124,900 MLS#433946
Ocala Palms FiJi 2/2/2 + Den. Located on the 8th Tee Fairway. L/R w/ Built-in Bookcases, Formal D/R, & Kitchen all have beautiful hardwood & tile flooring. Enclosed 24x10 Florida room w/double pane glass Julia McPherson windows. M/S w/private bath, double marble vanity, step-in shower, (352) 895-0722 linen and walk-in closets. Kitchen features upgraded cabinetry, corian counter tops with a center island work space. Laundry room w/utility sink & add. storage. Asking $169,900 MLS#423512
PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP! One owner home. Large open living rm w/ cathedral ceilings, French doors to screen rm w/vinyl windows. Nice kitchen w/breakfast area, bar, pantry & bay window. Bonus rm. Master Sandy bdrm w/tray ceilings, walk-in closet, oversized bath w/double sink vanity. Dingler (352) 427-6044 All appliances stay. Garage w/laundry tub. Asking $119,900 MLS#427260
GORGEOUS ESTATE HOME On 2.17 acres. Circle drive. Grand entry w/12 ft. ceilings. Custom craftmanship thru-out, w/crown molding, Donna Knox newly remodeled baths & kitchen w/granite & large center island. 3 (352) 216-5495 bdrms, plus office w/built-ins. Property is abundant in Beautiful oaks & is in horse community. Bring your horses! Asking $450,000 MLS#433483
Conrad & Dania Melancon
FANTASTIC 3/2 HOME IN EXCELLENT CONDITION. Located close to amenities. This home has been lovingly cared for. Newer heat/air & windows, new Donna tile and wood floors. Wonderful open split plan with large rooms and great flow. Liv Rm w/custom wood fireplace wall, Din Rm, Eat-in Kitchen, Fam Rm, Eastman (352) 843-1542 spacious Master suite w/updated bath, enclosed lanai, fenced backyard, shed w/electric. All this and a gazebo. Offered at $164,900. MLS#434182
Summerfield/ The Villages (352) 307-0304 Office Sheila McKathan
STONE CREEK - Want a home with that “WOW” factor? This popular 3/2 Kingston model has been tastefully upgraded & meticulously maintained. Crown molding thru-out, granite counter tops, upgraded custom cabinets & a 2.5 car garage are just some of the many features this luxurious home has to offer. Asking $338,600 MLS#432591
The Boulevard Office
Lady Lake/ The Villages
SW Hwy. 200 Office
(352) 732-3344 Office
(352) 750-5110 Office
(352) 479-0123 Office
615 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala Gene Boone
126 N Hwy. 27, Lady Lake Paul Ressler
8721 SW Hwy. 200, Ocala Naomi Furbush
Email or Call Broker/Owner Gene Boone directly at Boone@FoxfireRealty.com • 352-732-3344
INTER BREAK IS HERE AGAIN, AND IT’S TIME TO SEEK OUT SOME ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE KIDS THAT DOESN’T INCLUDE AN iPHONE OR VIDEO GAME. What better way to spend some quality family time together than on a day trip? And Marion County residents have the distinct advantage of living smack dab in the middle of… well, everything! So, no matter which direction you choose to drive—you’re headed toward fun.
Ravine Gardens State Park Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka is an ideal family destination. The park is centered around an incredibly beautiful ravine system cut by crystal-clear Whitewater Branch. Visitors can either drive, walk or bike the Ravine Loop trail that snakes through the lush vegetation surrounding the ravine. The park is friendly to people of all ages, allowing for short trail excursions or more extended walks. There are bathrooms and water fountains dotting the trails along with picnic tables and grills. There is a $5 per car entrance fee. floridastateparks.org/park/ ravine-gardens
You haven’t experienced the winter season until you’ve been to Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee. Starting on November 24 and lasting through January 3, this exclusive resort is transformed into a wintery showcase. More than two million lights, live stage shows and more than 20 awesome seasonal displays are spread over several enchanted acres. It’s such a magnificent extravaganza that even the big man himself shows up to visit with your kids and carefully note exactly what each child expects to find under the tree. The highlight of your visit will be the ICE! display that takes place at the Alpine Village. Here, more than 2 million pounds of ice sculptures bring ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to life
DAYTRIPPING AT THE THEME PARKS Want to take
in the season at one of our state’s theme parks? Here’s what they have to offer.
before your very eyes. Beautiful ice sculptures depict characters in scenes from this classic poem, and you can even see the sculptures being handcarved by sculpting artisans. There is also an inspiring Nativity scene carved in crystal clear ice. The display is indoors, and the temperature is kept well-below freezing, so dress appropriately, including closed-toe shoes. Heavy-duty parkas are provided in a variety of sizes for children and adults. The kids will have fun snow tubing down two-story tall ice slides and participating in The Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt. Special promotional pricing is available online on the Gaylord Palms Resort website, and visitors are not required to be resort guests to join in on the fun. A quick Internet search for “Christmas at Gaylord Palms” will result in all the event details.
Webster Westside Market
Orlando Science Center
This 35-acre flea market, located in the southern Sumter County town of Webster, offers some amazing prices on antiques, jewelry, produce, tools, electronics, plants… just about any item you can imagine. The market is open every Monday from 5am– 3pm October through April and 6am–2pm May through September. Two restaurants and numerous food vendors provide food and drink as you browse table after table loaded with unique and unusual items… searching for that find of a lifetime. Much of this open-air market is uncovered, so make sure to dress accordingly and catch the weather forecast a day in advance. websterwestsidefleamarket.com
Four floors of exhibits, IMAX movies, a planetarium, videos in the Cinedome, educational games for the kids… The Orlando Science Center has it all! And even though most of the entertainment is aimed toward the younger group (and kids of all ages will love it), there are activities for all age groups. Science Night Live is for adults only. Enjoy special guest presentations and participate in various activities. Food and adult beverages are available, and it’s a night trip you won’t soon forget. Admission prices are: $27 for adults, $18 for children ages 3 through 11 and $24 for seniors 55 and older. Students with an ID and children under 3 are admitted free. There is a parking garage, and food is available. Event and exhibition dates vary and are subject to change. osc.org
Walt Disney World Disney definitely knows how to do Christmas. Each December, the Magic Kingdom transforms Main Street USA into a Christmas spectacle and Cinderella’s Castle into a crystal ice palace. If Epcot is more your Disney style, don’t miss a Candlelight Processional, a retelling of the story of Christmas brought to life by a 50-piece live orchestra, choir and celebrity narrator.
And if you love The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios, you won’t want to miss this event’s final year—it’s a tradition you’ll want the family to experience one last time. If you’d like to experience all of these events in one night, check out Disney’s Holiday D-Lights, a five-hour tour for $259 per adult. disneyworld.disney.go.com
Universal Orlando Manheim Steamroller will perform their
Ravine photo courtesy of Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Disney photo courtesy of Walt Disney World; Universal photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort; Butterﬂy Rainforest photo by Eric Zamora; MOSI photo courtesy of MOSI; Busch Gardens photo courtesy of Busch Gardens; Legoland photo courtesy o by Chip Litherland Photography
December At Gaylord Palms
The Florida Mall Touted as Central Florida’s largest and most remarkable shopping center, this fantastic Orlando mall is also a firstclass entertainment center. Here, you’ll find the Crayola Experience, a full day of hands-on fun for kids of all ages. This unique and exciting color extravaganza includes 25 different attractions your children will love. Kids can learn how crayons are made, create their own crayon, be a star on their own personalized coloring page and create digital artwork for everyone to see—the fun just doesn’t end. The Build a Bear Workshop is every child’s dream. Here, they get to create their own lovable stuffed animal, complete with its very own heart, customized outfit, name and birth certificate. The love and care that goes into your child’s toy will make it special
for a lifetime. The American Girl store is nearby as well! What has more colors than the rainbow? M&M’s World—and this place isn’t just fun, it tastes great! From a full-size NASCAR racecar and more M&M memorabilia than you can imagine to toys and apparel and every color and flavor of M&M you could possibly dream of, this tasty store has it all. Grab a bag, mix and match, and go home happy. simon.com/mall/ the-florida-mall
Butterfly Rainforest Located at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, this huge, screened enclosure houses hundreds of freeflying butterflies, moths and birds. A cascading
holiday music extravaganza on select Saturday and Sunday nights in December at Universal Studios, while Islands of Adventure becomes a Grinchmas special, as Dr. Seuss’ “lovable” character comes to life along with a retelling of this heartwarming Christmas story. Meet the Grinch and take in a Grinch and Friends Character Breakfast. universalorlando.com
waterfall empties into a pond that houses fish and turtles. Witness up-closeand-personal releases of new moths and butterflies daily. Children and adults alike will marvel at the beauty of some of nature’s most beautiful creatures. Inside the museum is the Wall of Wings, which displays thousands of preserved butterflies and moths from around the world. You can also purchase native plants for your home that will attract butterflies, creating your very own butterfly rainforest. flmnh.ufl.edu
Museum of Science and Industry The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), located in Tampa, is enough to make any budding scientist giddy with excitement. For the mechanically minded, experience the driverless Meridian Shuttle, fly drones in the Drone Zone, control robots in the exciting Idea Zone and witness the aweinspiring 3D Printing the Future exhibit. If you’re a little bit spacier, check out the night sky any time of day in the Saunders Planetarium or see how future astronauts
SeaWorld Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens becomes Christmas Town, a holiday spectacle of more than one million lights, endless shopping adventures, Christmas treats and a visit with Santa himself at Santa’s House on November 2728, December 4-5, 11-12 and 18-31. buschgardenstampa.com
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration includes Shamu Christmas Miracles, O Wondrous Night, the Polar Express Experience, Elmo’s Christmas Wish, Winter Wonderland on Ice and Sea of Trees happening November 21-22, 27-29, December 4-6, 11-13 and 18-31. seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-orlando
might experience life on the moon at Mission: Moonbase. There are exhibit galleries on three floors inside, and outside fun includes zip lines, a rope course and a backwoods forest preserve. Rain or shine, MOSI is a full day of nonstop entertainment. mosi.org
a Santa Scavenger Hunt and loads of entertainment on December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 and 26 though 30. florida.legoland.com
Christmas Bricktacular includes a 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas tree, a LEGO Santa, reindeer and sleigh,
Skyzone Trampoline Park Historic St. Augustine A visit to St. Augustine is not complete without taking in the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the United States. The 20-acre fort, which was built in the late 1600s, overlooks breathtaking Matanzas Bay and is a monument to the struggles that led to the formation of our nation. The National Historic Landmark District covers 144 blocks and contains some of the oldest buildings in the country. Museums, churches, cafes, bed and breakfasts, pubs and an Old Town trolley tour that allows you to take it all in at your own pace makes this a great family adventure. See St. Augustine from a different perspective: the water! Raging Water Sports, located at the Conch House Marina, offers guided WaveRunner tours on the Intercostal waterway, which
includes the Matanzas and Tolomato Rivers, or you can rent your own kayak, paddleboard, skiff, deckboat, WaveRunner or pontoon boat and take in the city from afloat at your own pace. floridashistoriccoast.com, ragingwatersports.com
Lowry Park Zoo Exotic animals from around the world make this an awe-inspiring experience. The zoo offers a huge selection of animals from almost every continent, and what makes this such a wonderful experience is that many of these animals’ numbers are dwindling in the wild. You and your children can see and interact with several
Want to let the kids bounce off the walls… and care less? Then it’s time for Skyzone Trampoline Park in Clermont. Here, you and/ or your children can enjoy the feeling of weightlessness as you bounce around on wall-to-wall trampolines. Activities include free jumping on the Main Court, jumping into 10,000 foam blocks in the Foam Zone, playing Ultimate Dodgeball while bouncing high, dunking basketballs like the pros on SkySlam, and there’s even Toddler Time to introduce small children to the pleasures of jumping. Once a month, there is a Midnight Madness Lock-In for kids 9 through 17. This features unlimited jumping, food and drinks, laser tag, video games and more. skyzone.com/clermont
Florida Aquarium If you love the water, then you’re going to love the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. This is one attraction that is more than just entertainment—it also provides much-needed research for ecological propagation and wildlife protection worldwide. The aquarium highlights Florida’s native coastline but also showcases coral reefs and wildlife from other areas. Exhibits include a wetlands trail, Journey to Madagascar, Bays and Beaches, Ocean Commotion and Coral Reef. Coral Reef allows visitors to slowly navigate their way down more than 60 feet beneath the ocean’s surface to view life through a glass partition at all levels of a natural coral reef. The aquarium even hosts birthday parties and sleepovers. flaquarium.org
Bushnell Motorsports Park This brand-new track has go-kart rentals from 1pm to 10pm Saturdays and Sundays. Drivers must be 14 years old or older. The 2/3-mile track has 22 turns, one banked turn and a bridge and underpass. The track includes two road courses and a 660-foot oval track. Karts can reach speeds up to 50mph and offer thrilling family fun. The track is located in southern Sumter County less than one mile from Interstate 75. bushnellmotorsportspark.com
St. Augustine photo courtesy of FloridasHistoricCoast.com; Lowry Park Zoo photo courtesy of Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo; Florida Aquarium photo courtesy of Florida Aquarium
animal species that could very soon face extinction. Experience a petting zoo, Safari Africa, the Ituri Forest, Penguin Beach, the Florida Boardwalk, Harrell Discovery Center, the Manatee and Aquatic Center, Stingray Bay, the Zooventures open-air amphitheater and many more exciting exhibits that you and your children will talk about for years to come. lowryparkzoo.org
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t e e w Sreats T Gardenias. Just-cut grass. Wood smoke on a crisp morning. Jasmine. Freshly baked bread. And cookies hot out of the oven. Those are just a few of my favorite scents. Fortunately, the “cookies hot out of the oven” part is doable whenever you get a craving, and there’s no better time than the present. If the winter season itself doesn’t inspire you to get in the kitchen and whip up a few batches of homemade cookies, these tips and recipes should do the trick. And if time or inspiration are lacking, we’ve rounded up some great local and online resources where you can order delicious cookies already made. (It’s up to you whether or not you tell your guests where they came from. | BY CYNTHIA MCFARLAND |
Cookies courtesy of The Jeweled Cookie
Cookies courtesy of Betty Cakes
Bake Like The Pros For expert tips, we turned to
Source: (c) 2015 Wilton Industries, Inc. wilton.com, used with permission
Miriam Pascal of overtimecook.com. The popular food blogger and author of the recently released Something Sweet: Desserts, Baked Goods, and Treats for Every Occasion, Miriam is known as the “Queen of Kosher Desserts.” (Look for more on Miriam and her cookbook in our February 2016 issue!)
Ready, set, let’s get bakin g! “One of the most important kitchen tools you can use is a cookie scoop,” says Miriam. “Not only does it ensure that your cookies all look uniform, but it also ensures that they are all the same size, which leads to even baking. If you buy only one, medium is the size to get.” Use that cookie scoop to make it easy to prepare fresh-from-theoven cookies any time. Miriam recommends scooping cookie dough into balls and freezing them on a tray. Once frozen, just put them in a Ziploc bag and keep in the freezer until you’re ready to bake. Then take the balls of dough straight from the freezer, place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake according to directions. “They will need to bake a couple of minutes longer than non-frozen dough,” adds Miriam. Speaking of baking time, a common mistake is overbaking cookies. “Many cookies, such as drop cookies, firm up as they cool,” she says. “They may look too soft at the end of the stated baking time, but don’t be tempted to bake your cookies longer, as that will ruin their texture.” Savvy bakers use cooling racks. Why? “They allow air to circulate around the bottoms of the cookies, preventing condensation that can lead to slightly soggy cookies,” Miriam explains.
Cookies courtesy of Smallcakes A Cupcakery
The Perfect Pans
If your cookie sheets are questionable, you won’t get reliable baking results. Whether you prefer non-stick, aluminum or insulated aluminum, start with a durable, well-made cookie pan/sheet. Before using and after each use, wash pan(s) in warm, soapy water and towel dry. Dark cookie sheets will bake darker than aluminum, so turn your oven down 25 degrees from what the recipe says.
Prepare the pan according to each specific cookie recipe. If the directions call for “greasing” the pan, you’ll get the best results using solid vegetable shortening applied with a pastry brush or paper towel or a nonstick spray. Don’t use butter, margarine or liquid vegetable oil. Another option is to use parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Imitate the chefs you see on television: Measure and prepare your ingredients beforehand. If the recipe calls for “room temperature” butter, eggs, etc., take these ingredients out of the refrigerator earlier so they aren’t too cold.
To prevent cookies from spreading, only grease the pan when the recipe recommends. Cool pans between baking. On warm/humid days, place cookies on the sheet and chill a few minutes before baking.
Q: Does re-rolling cookie
resealable bag. Dough can be kept for about two months. Meringue cookies and cookies that are iced tend not to freeze well.
Q: What is the difference between light and dark brown sugar? Does one make chewy cookies?
A: Light brown sugar has less molasses content than dark brown sugar. Light brown sugar will make a lighter brown cookie as opposed to a darker color. They will both make chewy cookies.
Q: I have trouble using cookie cutters because the dough usually stays in the cutter. What am I doing wrong?
A: Be sure to dip the cutter each time in flour before use. Jiggling or slightly shaking the cutter before you lift it will help the dough release from the cutter.
Q: Why do my cookies stick? A: Let cookies stand one to two minutes after removing from oven or
as directed in recipe. As cookies continue to cool, they will become firm enough to remove from pan. Transfer to cooling rack.
A: It’s OK to re-roll one time. Don’t re-roll more than once.
Q: When I make cookies
with a cookie cutter, I roll the dough out on my floured counter. Sometimes the cookies get distorted when I transfer them to a cookie sheet. Is there a way to avoid this?
Try rolling the dough itself out on the cookie sheet, then cutting the cookies and removing the excess dough.
Q: Is it really that bad for you to eat the raw cookie dough when baking?
A: We never recommend eating
raw cookie dough because of the potential for salmonella ingestion.
Source: (c) 2015 Wilton Industries, Inc. wilton.com, used with permission
Q: Can all types of cookie dough be frozen? A: Yes. The dough should be wrapped in plastic and placed in a
dough scraps make cookies less tender?
Cookie Dough: 3⁄4
ounces cream cheese (or soy cream cheese)
cup brown sugar
(Makes about 3½ dozen)
cup espresso or strong coﬀee*
teaspoon baking soda
cup coarse ladyﬁnger crumbs
tablespoons brown sugar
teaspoon vanilla extract
tablespoon brewed coﬀee (or 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water)
* You can use 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water instead of espresso.
Photo courtesy of Wilton
ROLL-OUT BUTTER COOKIES
Makes about 3 dozen 3-inch cookies
tablespoons meringue powder
cups (about 1 lb) confectioners’ sugar
tablespoons warm water
cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
11⁄2 cups granulated sugar 1
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine ladyﬁnger crumbs, brown sugar and coﬀee in small bowl. Stir until combined. Mixture should have the texture of damp sand. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium speed, beat together oil, cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add espresso, egg, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. Reduce mixer speed to low; add flour 1 cup at a time, beating after each addition until combined. Use a medium cookie scoop (or heaping tablespoon) to portion out dough. Roll into balls; then roll in prepared ladyfinger crumbs until fully coated. Place onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes, until cookies are set.
11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1⁄2
teaspoon no-color almond extract
23⁄4 cups all-purpose ﬂour 1
teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Mix flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Do not chill dough. Divide dough into two balls. On ﬂoured surface, roll each ball into a circle approximately 12 inches in diameter by 1/8-inch thick. Dip cookie cutter in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 8-11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.
Source: Something Sweet by Miriam Pascal, ©2015 Mesorah Publications, Ltd., used with permission.
(Makes about 3 cups of icing for decorating roll-out cookies)
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer). NOTE: Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency. *For stiffer icing, or when using large countertop mixer, use 1 tablespoon less water. Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency. TO WATCH A HELPFUL VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE ROYAL ICING, DO A QUICK SEARCH ON YOUTUBE AT YOUTUBE.COM.
t I ag
B t s Ju Photo courtesy of Something Sweet: Desserts, Baked Goods and Treats for Every Occasion by Miriam Pascal
When decorating cookies with royal icing, you can use a reusable featherweight decorating bag or, for less cleanup, a disposable decorating bag. Using a decorating bag and a two-part device known as a “coupler” is easy. It provides much more control when decorating and allows you to change decorating tips without changing bags.
AMARETTO FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE BARS (Makes about 2 dozen) 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, 1⁄4 coarsely chopped and divided 12 tablespoons (11⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks 3⁄4
cup granulated sugar
cup cocoa powder
cup + 2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur, divided
cup heavy whipping cream
cup whole almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
Photo courtesy of Wilton
Non-stick vegetable pan spray
SPICED CHOCOLATE ROLL-OUT COOKIES
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8-inch square pan with foil, letting sides hang over edges of pan. Prepare with vegetable pan spray. In large metal or heat-resistant glass bowl, combine 8 ounces chopped chocolate, butter, sugar and cocoa powder. Place over pot of boiling water on low heat. Stir constantly until mixture is smooth and evenly melted. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup amaretto. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 27-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of brownie comes out nearly clean (a crumb or two is OK). Cool in pan on cooling grid 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. For ganache topping, combine remaining 4 ounces chopped chocolate and cream in medium microwave-safe container. Microwave at half (50%) power 1 minute; stir. Microwave on 50% power in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is almost melted. Stir thoroughly until mixture is smooth. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons amaretto. Lift brownie from pan using foil; remove foil and place brownie on serving plate. Pour ganache over brownie top. Sprinkle with chopped almonds. Refrigerate until set or ready to serve. Cut.
Makes about 2 - 2½ dozen cup (1 1⁄2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon ground cinnamon
cup granulated sugar
teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon ground allspice
teaspoon Wilton pure vanilla extract
cups all-purpose ﬂour
teaspoon ground nutmeg 3 squares (3 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. In large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and ﬂuﬀy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Blend in chocolate. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture, beating until smooth. Form dough into a disc, cover and chill until ﬁrm, about one hour. Roll dough approximately 1/8-inch thick. Dip cutters in ﬂour; cut and transfer cookies to cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool cookies completely on pan. If desired, decorate with icing following design in photo.
CHEWY ALMOND COOKIES Makes about 1½ dozen 8
ounces almond paste
cup granulated sugar
teaspoon Wilton pure vanilla extract
10 Maraschino cherries, halved (optional) 1⁄4
cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In large bowl, break almond paste into pieces. Add sugar and beat with electric mixer on low speed until the mixture is a sandy texture. Add egg white; beat until mixture is very smooth. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto lined baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. With index ﬁnger, make a slight indentation in the center of each dough round. If desired, press a cherry half into each indentation. Press sliced almonds into the dough around the edges. Bake 22-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on baking sheets or wire racks. Peel cookies off parchment paper when completely cool. Store in airtight containers. Photo courtesy of Wilton
Photo courtesy of Wilton
All recipes except Tiramisu Cookies courtesy (c) 2015 Wilton Industries, Inc., wilton.com, used with permission
CINNAMON ROLL COOKIES Makes about 5 dozen Filling:
? e k a B o T e im T No
Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered! Check out the following local and national online sources for tasty, freshly baked cookies.
21⁄4 cups all-purpose ﬂour 1
teaspoon baking powder
cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
cup granulated sugar
tablespoon ground cinnamon
cup granulated sugar
teaspoon Wilton pure vanilla extract
Stella’s: The Modern Pantry (352) 622-FOOD(3663) stellasmodernpantry.com
Betty Cakes Bakery (352) 622-3727 bettycakesbakery.com facebook.com/ bettycakescafe
In medium bowl, combine ﬂour, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in ﬂour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Dough will be soft and slightly elastic. Form dough into 2 squares, about 1-inch thick. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours. For ﬁlling, stir together butter, sugar and cinnamon in small bowl until well combined. On floured surface, roll one square into a 12x9-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick (leave remaining square in refrigerator until ready to use). Using half of ﬁlling mixture, spread thin layer, completely covering dough. Starting at long end, roll dough tightly into a spiral. Wrap with plastic wrap, and freeze 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cookie pans with parchment paper. Cut dough logs into 1/4-inch slices. Place on prepared cookie pans. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges of cookies are pale golden brown. Cool cookies on pan on cooling grid 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on grid.
(352) 512-0224 facebook.com/ hellocupcakesierra
A Taste of Everywhere (352) 622-3121 atasteofeverywhere. vpweb.com facebook.com/ tasteofeverywhere
Paradise Bakery & Cafe (352) 694-2688
Sprinkles by Terri facebook.com/ sprinklessugarcookies
Sidewalk Cookie & Cake Company facebook.com/ woodlea-gardens
Smallcakes A Cupcakery (352) 484-1127 smallcakescupcakery.com facebook.com/ smallcakesocala
The Jeweled Cookie facebook.com/ thejeweledcookie
Great American Cookies (352) 237-2557 greatamericancookies.com
Famous Cookies (888) 625-9870 famouscookies.com
Carolina Cookie Company (800) 447-5797 carolinacookie.com Photo courtesy of Wilton
Shari’s Berries (877) 237-7437 berries.com
Sugar & Flour etsy.com/shop/ sugarandflour
Cheryl’s Cookies (800) 443-8124 cheryls.com
EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF
By Paula Vogel
January 14-24 Uncle Peck seems like a charming Southern gentleman – until he molests his young niece, Li’l Bit, during a driving lesson. Stunning and intense, this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama contains strong adult themes and language which may not be suitable for everyone.
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Willy Russell
Sponsored By: Ocala Style Magazine
February 11 – March 6 When a desperate mother gives up one of her newborn twins, one grows up poor, while the other is privileged. Yet they become childhood friends whose fates are eerily intertwined in this gritty rock musical.
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H 5 T
A N N U A L
y a w iG vea
From dolls and games to scooters and game systems, this year’s Great Toy Giveaway, sponsored by Campus USA Credit Union, is filled with the season’s hottest toys. WRITTEN & COMPILED BY CEALIA ATHANASON K A R I N FA B R Y- C U S H E N B E R Y KATIE MCPHERSON AND MELISSA PETERSON
ting eginning December 1 and lasr the for 20 days, simply watch fo book giveaway prompts on our Facele to lasty page at facebook.com/oca st. Also, in enter to win. We’ll do the re big plans the spirit of giving, we have x of toys to donate a very special bo to one of our deserving local charities just as we have in year’s past.
$14.99, thinkfun.com Arrange the cards, enter the codes online and hear a full symphony orchestra bring your original composition to life. Why we love it » There are more than 1 billion melodies to create with this ThinkFun favorite.
Rush Hour Shift
$24.99, thinkfun.com The goal of this ThinkFun strategy game is to be the first to maneuver your car through the traffic. Why we love it » The shifting game board can change the game in an instant.
My Very Own Study ‘n Play Desk & Chair
$25, americanplastictoys.com This sturdy desk and chair by American Plastic Toys is just the right size for your little one. Why we love it » There’s storage for books and supplies!
Sand and Water Play Set Amazing Knitter
$29.99, americanplastictoys.com This set by American Plastic Toys is the perfect size for the kitchen table or outdoor play. Why we love it » The snap-on wave maker propels the boats throughout the play set.
$25, alexbrands.com Be a fashionista with your very own line of handmade accessories, including bracelets, belts and headbands. Alex Toys has everything you need to get started. Why we love it » We love a little individuality!
Fold ‘n Go Busy Elephant
Maker Studio Winches Building Kit
$19.99, thinkfun.com Turn everyday, ordinary objects into real working inventions, like a tow truck or crane. All you need is your imagination. Why we love it » There’s 10 ThinkFun engineering challenges to build.
Ideal Amaze N’ Marbles 105pc set
Laser Maze, Jr.
$29.99, thinkfun.com Use logic and mirrors to reflect the laser beams to the rocket so it can return to Earth in this game by ThinkFun. Why we love it » It has lasers! What’s not to love?
$100, alexbrands.com This Alex Brands marble drop allows kids to create a host of different marble runs. Why we love it » The kit comes with 10 marbles for tons of marble fun.
My Very Own Cozy Comforts Kitchen
$35, americanplastictoys.com This kitchen has it all—fridge, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, even recycling bins! Why we love it » American Plastic Toys included plenty of fun accessories.
Deluxe Shopping Cart
$12, americanplastictoys.com With plenty of storage space, this American Plastic Toys cart will have your little ones shopping all day long. Why we love it » There’s a molded seat, perfect for your child’s favorite doll.
$24.99, hasbro.com This cozy elephant by Hasbro has plenty of activities for your curious little one. From squeakers and rattles to mirrors and textures, it’s perfect for on-the-go fun. Why we love it » It’s machine washable.
Zillionz Real Money ATM Bank
$34.99, alexbrands.com The bill feeder accepts real money, and the coin slot recognizes coin values. Alex Brands has come up with a cool way to save money. Why we love it » It keeps a running tally of how much money is in your “account”.
Guy Gear Bro Bands
$17.50, alexbrands.com Alex Toys’ Bro Bands makes it cool for guys to create and share cool bracelet bands. Why we love it » They come in neon and glow-inthe-dark varieties, too!
Slinky Dog Barking Flashlight
$29.99, alexbrands.com The perfect companion for a fun campout or a late night trip to the bathroom! This Alex Brands’ flashlight is a must for your little Toy Story lover. Why we love it » It barks when it lights up.
the finer points of programming using the included Play Tray and programming tiles. Why we love it » There’s a host of downloadable games kids can play on their personal devices.
Props in a Box
$74.99, propsinabox.com Props in a Box uses fanciful props, costumes and backdrops to bring the family together to make sweet memories. Why we love it » Download the Props Movie Maker app to bring scenes to life.
Zoob Inventors’ Kit
$34.99, alexbrands.com This Alex Brands’ set includes gears, joints and axles to make your inventions come to life with motion and movement. Why we love it » The kit includes designs from past Zoob contest winners.
Ideal Center Court Table Tennis
$34.99, alexbrands.com Who doesn’t love a fierce game of ping pong? This set features a wooden table, net, two paddles and ball. Game on. Why we love it » You can take this Alex Brands game with you to grandma’s house!
$100, alexbrands.com This Alex Brands telescope is perfect for your budding scientist and features 225X magnification. Why we love it » It also includes a tripod, two eyepieces and a 3X Barlow Lens.
$129.99, microkickboard.com This heavy-duty scooter by Micro Kickboard features PU wheels, making for a smooth, quick ride. Why we love it » The lean-to-steer system makes it safe and easy to use!
Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo
$39.99, fisher-price.com The fun music is easy to love, and Fisher-Price’s BeatBo is sure to get your baby moving and learning. Why we love it » You can record a phrase and BeatBo will mix it into his music.
Ideal Gassy Gus Game
$34.99, alexbrands.com Be the first to feed Gus all your food before he can’t hold it in any longer! Why we love it » What kid wouldn’t get a kick out of this Alex Brands’ game?
Disney Jr. Miles From Tomorrowland Rockin’ Rocket Game
Barbie in Rock ‘N Royals: Courtney Doll
Mini Micro 2 Go
Scientific Explorer Super Nova Telescope
Micro Maxi Kick Scooter with T Bar
$129.99, microkickboard.com It starts as a toddler ride-on and grows into a three-wheeled kid’s scooter. Why we love it » Your little tike can store their favorite stuff under the seat of this Micro Kickboard favorite.
$24.99, fisher-price.com Girls can relive the music of the Barbie Rock ‘N Royals movie with this great new Mattel Barbie. Why we love it » She goes from princess to pop star in just seconds.
Turbo Flip Thomas
$99.99, digitaldreamlabs.com This Digital Dream Labs’ app-enabled toy teaches kids
$54.99, fisher-price.com Everyone’s favorite No. 1 engine spins, pops wheelies and back flips! He even has a light-up track projector. Why we love it » Turbo Flip Thomas by Fisher-Price has plenty of cheeky phrases to keep you laughing.
Pictopia: Star Wars The Ultimate Picture Trivia Family Game
$19.99, wonderforge.com The ultimate family picture trivia game has gone to a galaxy far, far away! How much do you remember from the Star Wars movies? Why we love it » This Wonder Forge favorite makes a whole new generation love the classics.
$16.99, wonderforge.com Will you be the first to get your cargo loaded on the stellosphere without tipping the ship? Why we love it » This great Wonder Forge game encourages strategic thinking and teamwork.
Journey Through Time Eye Found It! Game
$19.99, wonderforge.com Have fun searching for hidden objects throughout time, from the Prehistoric Era to the present day. Why we love it » The 6-foot Wonder Forge board game is filled with beautiful images.
Giveaway corresponding cup off the table. First to collect three cups wins this R&R game. Why we love it » It’s just plain fun.
Mighty Makers: Home Designer Building Set
$39.99, knex.com A colonial? A brownstone? A cottage? Your budding architect can build and decorate them all. Why we love it » K’Nex allows kids to build their very own doll dream house from the ground up.
K-Force: Dual Cross Building Set
$44.99, knex.com With just this one set your builder can create five different dart blaster models plus a target. Why we love it » The K’Nex Dual Cross blaster shoots darts up to 75 feet.
Lincoln Logs 100th Anniversary Tin
$39.99, knex.com Just think what your little one could build with this wooden construction set from K’Nex. Why we love it » The logs are real wood, and it’s made in the USA.
Tinkertoy: 150 Piece Essentials Building Set
$44.99, knex.com Another great nostalgic toy from K’Nex! Spools, washers, rods, caps, flags—this complete set has it all, including a booklet featuring building ideas. Why we love it » Thumbs up for creativity.
Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack
$74.99, skylanders.com With all of Skylands on the verge of collapse, a special team has been assembled to pilot an unstoppable fleet of vehicles that move over land, sea and air. Can you stop Kaos before it’s too late? Why we love it » New Activision Skylanders characters to collect!
$11.99, randrgames.com Grab ingredients and get the coffee orders out before your coffee is gone. Why we love it » With simultaneous play by all participants, this R&R Games board game is guaranteed for a good laugh.
$19.99, randrgames.com This game by R&R Games has players yelling both correct and incorrect answers, which is much harder than you’d think! Why we love it » It’s an ultimate get-together game.
$15.99, randrgames.com It’s tic-tac-toe times four in this game by R&R Games. Be the first person to get four tiles of your color in a row. But watch out, bars are constantly moving and flipping. Why we love it » It’s a great travel game.
$15.99, randrgames.com Roll the dice, identify the missing shape and grab the
Atomic Sword Popper
$19.99, hogwildtoys.com This great sword by Hog Wild goes from an up-closeand-personal sword-fighting weapon to a ball launcher. Why we love it » It doesn’t hurt to get hit by the soft, foam sword.
Spit It Out
Cup A Cup
Firetek Zeon Bow
$14.99, firetek.com This awesome Zing bow sends foam arrows streaking through the air, outdoors or in. With a flip of a switch, the arrows light up, making for an impressive show. Why we love it » The arrows whistle as they fly, too.
Dino Hunterz Crossbow
$29.99, hogwildtoys.com He’s a soft, cuddly friend and a convenient night light in one. With a five-minute auto shutoff and cool-to-the-touch LED light, Hog Wild’s Brobo is a winner. Why we love it » The whole collection is ridiculously cute. We love the Mumu.
$19.99, target.com Shoot suction cup arrows more than 45 feet with this Zing crossbow. The dinoscope makes for accurate shooting, and the wall target allows for extra practice. Why we love it » Prehistoric predators don’t stand a chance!
Stikbot Studio Studio Pack, $9.99/Single Packs, $4.99; zingtoys.com Make your own stop-motion movies starring Stikbots by Zing. Pose the figures, snap the pics and use the Stikbot Studios app to bring your movie to life. Why we love it » You can share your movie on social media with #Stikbot.
$39.99, littletikes.com This kid-friendly R/C toy by Little Tikes is one wild tire! The tire moves forward and back, spins and even changes direction with a quick flip. Why we love it » The car comes out of the tire, too, for additional ways to play.
C O N T I N U E D O N P. 4 2
S, M, L, XL,
WE ALL FIT IN AT THE OPEN HOUSE DECEMBER 14—16 Find where YOU
FIT IN at the new FRANK DELUCA YMCA during
our three-day open house.
We’re inviting you to be among the first to experience our new family center and try some of our favorite programs on for size before you join our Y family. MONDAY, DECEMBER 14:
9 to 11 a.m.: Organic Chef Café Tasting 5 to 7 p.m. Organic Chef Café Tasting 5:30 p.m. Basic Cardio Step 6:30 p.m. Latin Cardio Dance
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15:
5:15 a.m. Insanity® 10:30 a.m. Basic Omnia Workout 4:30 p.m. Cardio Cycling 5 to 7 p.m. Racquetball Open Courts 6:15 p.m. BODYPUMP®
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16: 10:30 a.m. Barre Sculpt 5 p.m. Kids Bootcamp 5:30 p.m. Yogalates 6:15 p.m. BODYCOMBAT®
Join us at 12 p.m. on January 12 as we celebrate the Grand Opening of our new Family Center! Please RSVP to Nicole Bloom (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve your seat.
TWO-DAY GUEST PASS This TWO-DAY pass gives you the chance to try the NEW YMCA, including programs that are designed to help you and your family grow stronger together. One guest pass per year. Offer expires 12/31/2015 3200 SE 17th Street Ocala, FL 34471 352 368 9622
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Lalaloopsy Tinies Jewelry Maker
$24.99, littletikes.com As the train moves, the track moves right along with it, twisting and turning in all directions. The train, by Little Tikes, also comes off the track for a more quiet play time. Why we love it » Your toddler will get worn out chasing this train around.
Sizzle ‘n Serve Grill
$24.99, littletikes.com The built-in wheels on this Little Tikes grill make it easy to move for your little one. This classic, round grill provides hours of imaginative play. Why we love it » It includes more than a dozen grilling accessories.
Fish ‘N Splash Water Table
$44.99, littletikes.com This isn’t your average water table! This Little Tikes water table comes complete with a fishing and counting game that lets kids fling fish and send them sliding. Why we love it » They turned a plain old water table into a great game!
$59.99, playmatestoys.com This 13-inch Playmates Toys R/C figure moves a full 360 degrees. Kids can have him slashing and slicing with his katana while he shouts out his signature phrases. It’s turtle time! Why we love it » His ninja moves are top notch.
Lalaloopsy Dance With Me Doll
Little Ocean Explorers 3 in 1 Adventure Course
$79.99, littletikes.com This Little Tikes favorite takes baby from sitting, to crawling, to standing. Why we love it » Each piece is removable and interchangeable for individualized play.
$29.99, mgae.com Create cute necklaces, bracelets and hair clips you can really wear with this MGA Entertainment toy. Why we love it » The beads string together automatically with a touch of a button. Easy peasy.
TMNT Ninja Control Leonardo
Cook ‘n Store Kitchen
$69.99, littletikes.com This great Little Tikes kitchen includes tons of colorful accessories and features, and folds up for easy storage. Why we love it » It comes fully assembled. Score!
$59.99, mgae.com Peanut Big Top loves to be silly and dance. If you dance fast, so does this MGA Entertainment doll. She even loves to play Freeze Dance. Why we love it » When you wear the magical bow, Peanut recognizes your dance moves and joins in.
Lalaloopsy Baby Surprise Potty Doll
$29.99, mgae.com Feed this MGA Entertainment doll her favorite foods, press her magic belly button and wait for it… her poop has a special surprise for you. Why we love it » This doll poops special shapes! Yes, really!
$29.99, target.com Four great ways to play are guaranteed to get your little one up and moving: melody mix, super dance, wacky sounds and memory mix. Why we love it » This Battat favorite is portable and positively fun.
Baby B. Wonders Above Activity Quilt
adventure. The Battat Happy Camper includes everything you need for camping success. Why we love it » The gingham curtains are adorable.
$39.99, target.com This cozy Battat quilt makes playtime comfy and fun. Lots of soft hanging toys to squeeze, pull, shake and touch will keep your little one entertained. Why we love it » It’s machine washable.
Our Generation Jewelry Doll “Aura”
Lil’l Woodzeez Happy Camper
$30.99, target.com Now you can take your favorite furry friends on a camping
$29.99, target.com Aura is dressed up to the nines, and she loves to accessorize. This Battat doll has her own earrings, bracelets, necklaces and even a jewelry holder. Why we love it » She has pierced ears!
Our Generation Suite Teepee
$49.99, target.com There’s an indoor camping trip or sleepover in your little lady’s future courtesy of Battat. Why we love it » There are lights inside for late-night reading.
into learning how to read and helps youngsters who may be struggling with reading. Why we love it » It was created by “Mr. Wordly Wise,” a vocab guru whose textbook series is taught in more than 10,000 school systems.
Prices vary by kit, colorforms.com These reusable vinyl stickers feature tons of different characters and play sets. Why we love it » Named one of Time magazine’s Top 100 toys of all time.
Nerf Zombie Strike Biosquad Eraser ZR-100 Blaster
Riddle Cube—The Game
$19.99, hasbro.com Zombies won’t stand a chance when faced with this Hasbro Nerf blaster, complete with zombie repellant fluid and zombie strike darts. Why we love it » Load the blaster with both the darts and repellant for two-in-one shooting.
GeoSafari Jr. Jungle Crew Lab Set
$29.99, educationalinsights.com Be a safari scientist with this jungle-themed lab set from Educational Insights, and gather ingredients to perform simple experiments. Why we love it » The lab tools are toddler-friendly.
Nerf N-Strike Mega Series Rotofury Blaster
$34.99, hasbro.com This Nerf blaster by Hasbro comes with 10 super whistler darts that are capable of flying an impressive 90 feet. Why we love it » The extra large darts are easy to find in the yard.
$19.99, educationalinsights.com Change the shape of your cube to match the picture on each challenge card. Complete the challenge first, and take the card. Get five cards to win. Why we love it » This Educational Insights’ game works solo or with up to four people.
$149.99, toypiano.com What kid wouldn’t love to bang on a drumset? It’s solid and sturdy, so let your future rock star go to town on this Schoenhut set. Why we love it » It’s a great way to get your frustrations out!
Jurassic World Raptor Claws
$19.99, hasbro.com Hasbro’s Jurassic World Raptor Claws will make anyone look like a fearsome velociraptor. Why we love it » It’s one thing to like dinosaurs, but these let you be one.
$19.99, hasbro.com Little ones learn how to button, zip, buckle and tie with this Hasbro Playskool pal. Why we love it » It has a travel clip for on-the-go play.
$69.99, toypiano.com If you have a budding musician in your household, this Schoenhut acoustic guitar is a must. Why we love it » You’re never too young for a love of music.
The Reading Game
$34.95, thereadinggame.com This game and storybook combination puts lots of fun
Play-Doh Disney Princess Royal Palace
$19.99, hasbrotoyshop.com Make gorgeous gowns for the princesses to wear to the ball using molds, a roller and rolling stamper with this Hasbro set. Why we love it » There’s a rotating platform for each princess to show off her fashions.
Hasbro Star Wars Catch Phrase
$24.99, hasbro.com Start at the Apprentice level and move up to the Master Jedi level when you advance in your training. Why we love it » It’s a twist on the usual Hasbro Catch Phrase game designed to test your knowledge of the Force.
ocalastyle.com ocalastyle ocala style.com DEC’15
Magic Moves RainbowJam New Sprouts Stir Fry
$21.99, educationalinsights.com Each color on this Educational Insight favorite plays a different note. Compose songs, or play one of the nine jams to get your dance on. Why we love it » Switch to Song Mode and touch a real object to hear a musical surprise.
$24.99, learningresources.com Stir up some veggies, and pack them to go. A fortune cookie adds a sweet touch to this set by Learning Resources. Why we love it » The 7-inch wok is perfect for young chefs.
New Sprouts Cookout
Pete The Cat Puppet-On-A-Stick
$10.99, educationalinsights.com Bring Pete The Cat to life during story time, puppet shows or independent play with this Educational Insights toy. Why we love it » Keep story time fun with Pete’s New York Times best-selling book series.
$24.99, learningresources.com With all the fixin’s, including corn on the cob, chips and an ice cream sandwich, there’s enough food for two. Why we love it » This Learning Resources set includes cups, plates and forks.
Gears! Gears! Gears! Pet Land Building Set Design & Drill Bright Works Play $39.99, learningresources.com
$39.99, educationalinsights.com Use the kid-friendly Educational Insights power drill and bolts to create glow-in-the-dark patterns and designs. Why we love it » There’s 12 patterns to get things started.
For a whirling good time, turn the gear handle and watch the four pets go round and round. Why we love it » This Learning Resources set is compatible with other Gears! Gears! Gears! sets.
High Seas ADDventure—A The Magic School Bus Game of Addition Science Explosion
$19.99, learningresources.com Let your favorite ocean creature lead the way to an island paradise. Just don’t let the sharks get in your way. Why we love it » Learning Resources always makes learning fun.
Premier Wagons F310 Blue Wagon
$135, premierwagon.com Little ones can enjoy this classic wagon by Premier Wagons with its no-tip safety steering and pinch-free handles. Why we love it » It’s made of hardwood and steel, painted with non-toxic paint and set on solid rubber tires.
$29.99, theyoungscientistsclub.com Match science-based topic cards to master cards in one game, and use memory and strategy skills in the other. Why we love it » This Young Scientists Club game shows kids that science is fun!
Barbie Pop Up Camper
$99.99, mattel.com Pack Barbie and her friends in a camper full of cute décor and glamorous touches by Mattel. Why we love it » The camper transforms into a three-story campsite.
FurReal Friends J.J. My Jumpin’ Pug
$39.99, hasbro.com Motion-activated and super soft, Hasbro’s J.J. jumps and barks when you’re close by. Why we love it » Stroke his back and J.J. will sit calmly, too.
Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven Baking Star Edition
$54.99, hasbro.com It’s got everything you need to start baking mini Sparkle Cakes. Why we love it » Use any Hasbro Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven refill to make more delicious treats.
Baby Alive Super Snacks Snackin’ Sara
$54.99, hasbro.com When Hasbro’s Snackin’ Sara is hungry, make snacks of all kinds with reusable doll food and shaping tools. Why we love it » She tells you when she’s hungry, sleepy or full in Spanish and English.
$199.99, mattel.com Three floors and seven rooms filled with every last detail are sure to make all of Barbie’s dreams come true. Why we love it » This Mattel favorite has smart features that activate with motion or sound. C O N T I N U E D O N P. 4 6
GOURMET CUPCAKES COFFEE & ESPRESSO MILKSHAKES • COOKIES • COOKIE SANDWICHES • CUSTOM CAKES & CAKE POPS
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Start Your Holiday Traditions With Something
4701 SW College Rd, Suite 106 Ocala, FL Mon-Sat 10-8 and Sun 12-6
Giveaway Games battle arena, two battle boggans and two skaters. Why we love it » Let your skater battle it out by spinning it off the shooter on the side of the arena.
Playskool Friends My Little Pony Musical Celebration Castle
$29.99, hasbro.com Music, sound effects and chunky My Little Pony figures make this Hasbro castle exciting. Why we love it » Press the castle tower and watch it spin and play music.
Monster High Astranova
$49.99, mattel.com Jam out with Mattel’s Astranova, and watch her float above Boo York City. Why we love it » A light show sets the stage for a truly frightful performance.
Matchbox Treasure Truck
Nerf N Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster
$49.99, hasbro.com Load 10 darts into the blaster’s banana clip, and use the targeting scope for practice. Why we love it » Move the parts around to customize this Hasbro Nerf blaster.
$29.99, mattel.com Go on a hunt for buried treasure with this Mattel truck’s real metal detector. Why we love it » The scoop sifts the sand for you!
$24.99, jaxgames.com For both the cat and dog sequence games by Jax Games, match the dogs or cats on your cards to the corresponding pictures on the board. Five in a row, and you’ll win! Why we love it » Each card includes an interesting fact about its pictured cat or dog.
Calico Critters seaside Merry Go Round
Early Years Inflatable Froggy Roly Poly
$14.95, intplay.com Toddlers can poke and push at this International Playthings froggy, and it will pop back up every time. Why we love it » Water in the base and air in the body keeps this froggy safe for toddlers.
$11, jaxgames.com Can you match the doodles on your dice to the doodles on the cards in the deck? Why we love it » You don’t have to be an artist to play this game by Jax Games.
Aquabeads Complete Set Artist’s Carrying Case
$39.99, intplay.com Carry beads, templates and more in this case for on-the-go bead creations. Why we love it » This International Playthings set comes with everything needed to get started.
SkaZooms Action Pack Battle ‘Boggan Arena
$52, skazooms.com Take your skateboarding to the next level with a Jax
Calico Critters Seaside Cruiser House Boat $99.99, calicocritters.com With more than 50 pieces, these cute critters set sail in style. Why we love it » The International Playthings houseboat expands with an upper and lower deck.
$19.95, calicocritters.com Entertain critter babies with this International Playthings merry-goround. Why we love it » There’s a water spray and slide attached to mix things up.
$4.95-8.95, intplay.com These colorful magnets by International Playthings are great for learning, creating and sharing with friends. Why we love it » Imaginetics Magnets come in all kinds of small and large sets.
Aquabeads Frozen Playset
Dash Hounds Game
$14.95, intplay.com Race your hound to the finish line and get its tail across before the others in this International Playthings game. Why we love it » The closer you get to the finish line, the longer your hound becomes.
$24.95, intplay.com Design your favorite Frozen characters with the included International Playthings templates and beads. Why we love it » It’s a new and creative way to have fun with Elsa and Anna!
$369, razor.com Leave sparks in your wake with this super drifty Razor go-kart. Why we love it » Speed up to 12 miles per hour for 40 continuous minutes before recharging.
Early Years Farm Friends Pop-It Beads
$9.95, intplay.com Snap together, pull apart and sort these colorful animal beads by International Playthings. Why we love it » They’re just the right size for infants and toddlers.
Kidoozie Princess Play House
$29.95, intplay.com Big enough for two little princesses, this royal pink playhouse by International Playthings welcomes hours of fun. Why we love it » It has a carrying case.
Hess 2015 Fire Truck And Ladder Rescue
$30.99, hesstoytruck.com Sound effects, a searchlight, removable fire hoses and a pullout ramp set this Hess truck apart from previous years’ models. Why we love it » It features more than 50 LED lights.
North Pole Railway Set
$67.50, maplelandmark.com This Maple Landmark train transports reindeer, elves and Mrs. Claus’ baked goods from the North Pole. Why we love it » Make the track bigger with additional pieces available online.
The Original Spirograph Deluxe Set
$24.99, originalspirograph.com A complete makeover from the original, it includes everything from design paper to precision wheels. Why we love it » This Kahootz favorite comes with its own built-in work surface.
$29.99, kahootztoys.com It’s a Play-Doh paradise with the Fun Factory pump and multiple shape plates. Why we love it » There’s a nifty storage tray to keep everything organized. Thanks, Kahootz!
$6.99 each, bandai.com All it takes is a few twists to reveal a figurine that’s ready to play with. Why we love it » Bandai has lots of cool characters to choose from.
Play-Doh Classic Style Fun Tools
$29.99, kahootztoys.com A whole set of unique styling tools makes time with PlayDoh that much more fun. Why we love it » These Kahootz tools are durable and washable.
Plates Fashion Plates Deluxe Kit Action $19.99, actionplates.com
$24.99, fashionplatestoy.com A drawing tablet and other design tools bring fashion designs to life. Why we love it » This Kahootz set makes it easy to transfer your designs onto sketch paper.
Hatch ‘N Heroes
Play-Doh Classic Style Fun Factory
Rub, color and design super hero characters with action-packed poses, gear and patterns with this Kahootz spin on a classic. Why we love it » Use the Idea Guide to get you started.
$49.99, razor.com Flashing blue lights give this Razor scooter a futuristic edge. Why we love it » It has a rear fender brake and a sturdy steel frame.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Deluxe Electronic Trolley
$24.99, jakks.com Take a tour of the neighborhood with Daniel Tiger and his friends. Why we love it » The Jakks Pacific trolley lights up and moves all by itself.
Colors of the Sea Ariel
$34.99, jakks.com Light up bath time with Ariel’s sparkling tail and 14 magical phrases by Jakks Pacific. Why we love it » Ariel sings “Part of Your World” and comes with her friend Flounder.
Animal Babies Jumpin’ Little Monkey
$34.99, jakks.com Jump and sing along to “5 Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed” when you press the top of its head. Why we love it » Kids can play with more Jakks Pacific Animal Babies on the free Jumping On The Bed app.
3D-It Character Creator 3D Molding Machine
$39.99, jakks.com Using wax and a mold, watch this Jakks Pacific toy make 3-D characters in a matter of minutes. Why we love it » Purchase refill packs to make your favorite characters.
Giveaway you imagine. Why we love it » This pack of three Modarri cars is perfect for racing with friends.
Dancing Cabbage Patch Kid
$37.99, toysrus.com Wicked Cool Toys’ newest lil’ dancer sings to “I Feel Good” and busts out some serious moves. Why we love it » Unlike many dancing dolls, this one doesn’t just move up and down but all around.
Puppy In My Pocket
Paw Patrol Pop-Up Game
$7, cardinalgames.com Pop the dice, and make your move! Let the others catch up and you might get sent back to the starting line. Why we love it » You get to race with your favorite Paw Patrol character.
Scandal The Game
$49.99, Jakks.com It’s everything you want in a dog but with four wheels and the functionality of a truck. Why we love it » With 11 tricks under its belt, this pet on wheels by Jakks Pacific will quickly become a favorite.
Star Wars Trivia Game
$20, cardinalgames.com Put your Star Wars knowledge to the test with this Cardinal Games game. Why we love it » For those who don’t know as much about Star Wars, increase your winning chance by placing timeline cards in order.
$20, cardinalgames.com Navigate through lies, heartache and the streets of Washington, D.C. to complete your mission with this Cardinal Games game. Why we love it » Eavesdrop on conversations, and collect burn phones for a competitive edge.
$5.99, justplayproducts.com Collect all the different puppies, and play with them together. Why we love it » Each puppy in this Just Play line has a unique name and personality.
$69, oribel.com This adorable tiger from Oribel can be a blanket, a play mat, a cushion and more. Why we love it » Tiggy’s head can fold over the stroller bar—finally a blanket that won’t fall out on the go!
Paper Punk Jewelry Fold Square
$8, cardinalgames.com Feed your minion obsession with a 48-piece puzzle by Cardinal Games. Why we love it » It comes in a minion-shaped capsule.
Frozen Save Olaf Word Guessing Game
$15, cardinalgames.com Guess the secret word before Olaf loses all of his parts in this fun Cardinal Games favorite. Why we love it » It’s a clever spin on Hangman.
$39.99 table/$14.99 activity mats, tubbytabletoys.com Suction the Tubby Table to the tub floor and let the kiddos build, pour and splash. Why we love it » Attach an activity mat for additional fun with little racers or safari animals.
Build & Imagine Day at the Beach
$59.99, buildandimagine.com This magnetic set from Build & Imagine lets your child create their own beach cabana scene and bring it to life with dress-up dolls and props. Why we love it » You can play on the beach, rain or shine, while practicing STEM skills.
$19.95, paperpunk.com Paper Punk’s jewelry making kit comes with over 550 pieces like punch-n-fold shapes, glitter and metallic stickers. Why we love it » With no scissors or glue necessary, this kit is safe and clean.
Despicable Me Puzzle
Tubby Table and Activity Mats
$24.99, justplayproducts.com Discover how many kittens are in the Just Play Kitty Surprise set by reaching into the mom’s pouch. Why we love it » Every set is different!
The Toy Car Reinvented 3-Pack
$49.99, modarri.com Take these cars apart and put them back together any way
$24.99, crayola.com This awesome gadget from Crayola Creations lets kids wrap thread around any item, from headphones to pencils. Why we love it » It comes with six colors of thread and a fabric marker to add color and patterns. C O N T I N U E D O N P. 5 0
With a long list of your favorite retailers to satisfy your long shopping list, Paddock Mall is your GIFT GIVING SHOPPING DESTINATION.
Visit paddockmall.com for holiday hours and a complete list of retailers.
Chocolate Pen by Candy Craft
Motorized Crayon Carver
$29.99, crayola.com Choose from 40 tiles to clip into the carver and engrave Crayola crayons with any message. Why we love it » It’s the winner of 10 different awards, including Parents’ Choice.
Color Alive Easy Animation Studio
$24.99, crayola.com Choose a character, color it and import it into the app, also from Crayola. Then pose the animation mannequin into any pose, and watch the character respond on the screen. Why we love it » The app is free and lets young animators share their work with friends.
Color Wonder Mess Free Light-Up Stamper
$24.99, crayola.com These Crayola stamps light up with ink color and create under-the-sea-themed art. Why we love it » The ink shows up on Color Wonder paper but not walls, carpet or anything else.
Ant Man Ant Farm
$14.99, unclemilton.com This Ant Man-themed ant farm from Uncle Milton is bringing back a classic toy with a twist. Watch the harvester ants tunnel through, and learn more from the included guide. Why we love it » It features four ant ports to connect with other farms.
Frozen Dream Scenes
$24.99, crayola.com Crayola’s Cling Creator is perfect for decorating lockers, windows and cars with clings in all kinds of colors. Why we love it » Kids can create their own shapes for future clings.
$29.99, unclemilton.com Frozen lovers can build their own scenes straight from Arendelle with this toy from Uncle Milton. Slide the different plates in to create a dream scene for Anna, Elsa and Olaf, decorate with stickers and light it up! Why we love it » Use it as a nightlight!
$29.99, skyrockettoys.com The Chocolate Pen from Skyrocket Toys makes it deliciously easy to whip up chocolate shapes and messages! Why we love it » Make cupcake toppers for a special touch when baking.
Fisher-Price Classics Cash Register
$34.99, thebridgedirect.com This cash register from The Bridge Direct is great for little ones in their button-pushing sensory stages. Why we love it » It’s the cutest little throwback you’ll see this season.
Jenga Giant Genuine Hardwood Game
SkyViper Nano Drone M200
$29.99, skyrockettoys.com Skyrocket Toys gives us all the power and stunts of larger drones in this miniature version. Why we love it » The flight controls have adjustable sensitivity, so the drone can be flown by a pilot of any experience level.
Strand Bands Designer Set
$19.99, thebridgedirect.com Strand Bands from The Bridge Direct features 180 feet of pull-apart Strand Band material and comes with a Strand Styler to make weaving easier. Why we love it » Making friendship bracelets was never this easy.
$99.95, jengagiant.com Jenga’s giant tower stacks 4 feet tall and higher and takes the game to a whole new level. Why we love it » Great for playing outdoors!
Mystro Musical Brain Game
$29.99, thebridgedirect.com Test your memory with Mystro from The Bridge Direct. Follow the lights and sounds to create a song, and choose from multiple genres of music. Why we love it » This game is perfect for road trips.
Strawberry Shortcake Strawberry’s House & Café
$39.99, thebridgedirect.com Help Strawberry Shortcake make something tasty in the kitchen and have her fruity friends over to try it later. Why we love it » It has that signature strawberry scent! Thanks, Bridge Direct!
Yummy Nummies Best Ever Burger Maker
$9.99, bliptoys.com The Best Ever Burger Maker from Blip Toys makes one adorable miniature burger complete with cheese, fries and a cola. Why we love it » With no need for heat, it’s totally safe to make these mini munchies.
(check out his awesome moonwalk) but really comes to life with the app. Why we love it » When connected to Bluetooth, Blu-Bot can stream music.
Disney Palace Pets Bright Eyes Dreamy
$39.99, bliptoys.com This royal pet from Blip Toys speaks, wakes up and falls asleep with the touch of your hand. Why we love it » Dreamy says 19 different phrases, so she’s always got something to say.
$30, tegu.com Tegu blocks are made to last from real hardwood, and now you can use them to build a robot and transform him any way you choose. Why we love it » Magbot is leadfree, plastic-free and nontoxic.
Pocket Pouch Thomas & Friends Track PlayTape
$14.99, bachmanntrains.com Trains aren’t confined to tracks anymore thanks to PlayTape by Bachmann Trains. Now your miniature engineer can create the track of their dreams anywhere they please. Why we love it » The tape is easy to tear and leaves behind no residue.
$25, tegu.com These magnetic blocks from Tegu are perfect for purses, backpacks or diaper bags. Why we love it » It’s easy to keep on hand during long waits at the doctor’s office or at a restaurant.
$17.99 (tall pail), fathom-company.com Connects from Fathom Company are the easiest, most colorful way to make bracelets, necklaces, keychains and more. Why we love it » Connects come in different sizes and color selections.
$49.95, thamesandkosmos.com Little engineers can learn what makes their toys tick with these R/C animals from Thames & Kosmos. Start building to create a scuttling crab, a climbing orangutan and more. Why we love it » Kids can mix and match the animal skins to create their own zoo of hybrids.
$14.99, ohioart.com The Etch-a-Sketch from Ohio Art needs no introduction— this classic toy has been causing smiles for over 55 years! Why we love it » Once the kiddos are in bed, snatch it up to see if your etching skills have improved.
$149.99, mobocruiser.com Mobo’s Rockabilly is the perfect size for toddlers to cruise safely. It looks cool and helps build gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Why we love it » The adjustable frame means the Rockabilly can grow with its rider.
Fool the Frog
$24.99, goliathgames.us One player dons the goofy frog eye goggles, which open and close on their own, while other players must toss a fly back and forth and try to conceal who has it from the frog. Why we love it » This Goliath Pressman game is guaranteed to have everyone laughing in no time.
$29.99, patchproducts.com Chrono Bomb from Patch Products will send kids on a super spy mission right at home. Why we love it » With unlimited configurations for the lasers, Chrono Bomb promises endless fun.
$115, americangirl.com Get lost in the 1950s with American Girl’s newest doll in the BeForever line, Maryellen Larkin! Why we love it » American Girl offers an array of accessories to coordinate with Maryellen, including a 1950’s diner and jukebox (sold separately).
Remote Control Machines: Animals
Maryellen Doll & Book
Tic Stac Toe
Blu-Bot Intelligent Robot $59.99, silverlit.com Blu-Bot from Silverlit Machines has plenty of pre-programmed moves
$24.99, pressmantoy.com Be the first to get four Xs or Os in a row vertically, horizontally or diagonally to win this Goliath Pressman game. Why we love it » The game is designed so tie games are impossible.
$39.95, thamesandkosmos.com Thames and Kosmos’ Ubongo lets players go head to head or add up to four players as they vie to make it through nine rounds of puzzles with the most gems. Why we love it » All the puzzle solving is crazy fun— and a great brain workout, too!
$14.99-$29.99, ohioart.com TrenDIYart Kits from Ohio Art are the perfect sets for making one-of-a-kind accessories. Why we love it » The Mexican bracelet kit and beaded chain necklaces will make any outfit even cooler.
Giveaway in this set from SmartLab to create pampering products. Why we love it » Read through the manual to learn about how much science influences beauty.
$129.95, arckit.com Construct a modern, cutting-edge home using this set from Arckit. The model pieces look like a real architect’s computer rendering brought to life and are perfect for honing kids’ STEM skills. Why we love it » There’s no glue needed.
Drop Zone Cargo Release Glider
$39.99, smartlabtoys.com Practice dropping the payload within the target with this easy-to-assemble glider from SmartLab. Why we love it » The cargo is a stunt pig named Stanley.
$39.99, smartlabtoys.com Attention kids: Complete with three key cards, this defender from SmartLab sounds an alarm when intruders enter your room unannounced! Why we love it » It’ll even indicate if someone entered your bedroom while you were gone.
Raggedy Ann & Andy
$15, eng.auroraworld.com Aurora World makes high-quality plushes that stand the test of time, just like the beloved Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. Why we love it » There’s nothing better than passing on classic characters to new generations.
Get Growing Greenhouse
$32, eng.auroraworld.com Aurora World’s plush Princess Celestia brings the beloved pony to life with shimmering crown and hooves and regal wings. Why we love it » Her beautiful hair is brushable and features glittering strands.
$29.95, brackitz.com Construct incredible 3-D structures with Brackitz, a set that encourages open-ended play and imagination. It’ll put math and science concepts into practice, too. Why we love it » The colorful connectors make the final product even cooler.
$69.95, koobagame.com Kooba uses two sticks through an Aero (a magnetic triangle shape), and the player
Razor DXT Drift Trike
$149.99, razor.com Complete with slick surface rear wheels, the DXT Drift Trike from Razor is built moto-style to drift around the tightest curves. Why we love it » An adjustable seat means all riders will fit.
$14.99, smartlabtoys.com This self-watering greenhouse from SmartLab is the best way to teach kids about plant science. Why we love it » Transplant grown plants outdoors, and reuse the greenhouse with new seeds.
My Little Pony Princess Celestia Plush
Play All Day Elmo
$59.99, hasbro.com This cuddly Hasbro Elmo features eight games and more than 150 responses. Tickle his tummy to hear him laugh, or squeeze his nose to hear his response. Why we love it » He’s huge!
All-Natural Spa Lab
$19.99, smartlabtoys.com Mix household ingredients with the special ingredients
$5.99, brickstix.com Brickstix stickers are removable, reusable decals designed to fit LEGOs and Mega Bloks to customize each new creation. Why we love it » Invented by a kid for kids, these are a surefire successful gift. C O N T I N U E D O N P. 5 4
Girl Scout Cookie Oven $59.99/refills $6.99-$14.99; wickedcooltoys.com Wicked Cool Toys presents the Girl Scout Cookie Oven with recipes and ingredients to make your favorite cookies any time. Why we love it » You mean we don’t have to wait for the seasonal sales?
Kooba Magnetic Target Game
All-Natural Spa Soaps
$19.99, smartlabtoys.com SmartLab’s Spa Soaps includes 14 molds to create colorful soaps in fun shapes. Why we love it » It comes with five gift boxes to share soaps with friends and family.
flings the Aero at the target. Use Kooba to switch up old games like HORSE and baseball. Why we love it » Makes players look and feel like ninjas.
$12.99, rubbaducks.net Rubba Ducks come in so many shapes and sizes there is definitely one for everyone. Why we love it » Each duck has its own story and poem on the Rubba Ducks website.
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Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage
$109.99, mattel.com It’s the largest Mattel Hot Wheels garage with space for 36 cars. Why we love it » A city scene, gas station and helipad turn it into a play set, too.
Electronic Scrabble Twist
My Little Pony Equestria Girls Shadowbolts Sporty Style Deluxe Doll: Twilight Sparkle
$19.99, hasbro.com Hasbro’s Twilight Sparkle is one of the coolest Equestria Girls at Canterlot High. Play with her long hair and unique accessories. Why we love it » We’re having serious outfit envy.
$19.99, hasbro.com This updated Scrabble from Hasbro displays five letters and it’s up to you to find as many three-letter words in it as possible. Touch and twist to bank the word. Why we love it » You can play with up to seven opponents.
Nerf Rebelle Codebreaker Crossbow
$24.99, hasbro.com With this crossbow from Hasbro, load the eight-dart rotating drum and fire away. The bow locks with a secret code so only its owner can use it. Why we love it » It fires darts up to 75 feet!
Monopoly Star Wars
Twister Moves Hip-Hop Spots
Cabbage Patch Kid Doll
$39.99, toysrus.com Wicked Cool Toys’ Cabbage Patch is a fashionista with a special twist: The key on her bracelet unlocks the heartbeat to her Adoptimals pet! Why we love it » Once unlocked, the Adoptimals Pet and the Cabbage Patch Kid become interactive friends.
$14.99, hasbro.com Listen closely to Hasbro’s new R2D2 Bop-It as C3PO gives you instructions! Get it right and you get another chance, but if you don’t, you’ll have to start over. Why we love it » This toy is shaped just like our favorite little robot.
$24.99, hasbro.com Get moving with Twister’s Hip-Hop Spots from Hasbro. Keep up with the beat by stepping on the spots when they light up. Why we love it » It’s just like dancing games at the arcade but right there at home.
Monopoly Here & Now
$19.99, toysrus.com Snuggle up to this little pet from Wicked Cool Toys. Unlock its heartbeat with the key from its best Cabbage Patch Kid friend and watch them interact. Why we love it » Each toy is fun on its own, but put them together and they’re the cutest pair ever.
My Little Pony Sweet Apple Acres Barn Playset
$19.99, hasbro.com Join Granny Smith and Crimson Gala on a picnic at their picturesque stable, from Hasbro. Why we love it » All the accessories are too cute, especially the tiny caramel apple!
$19.99, hasbro.com Hasbro gives you the chance to own the nation with Here & Now Monopoly. Take a trip through America’s favorite cities and fill your passport to win. Why we love it » Monopoly is a classic, but it’s fun to add extra twists.
$24.99, hasbro.com Decide whether you’re with the Force or on the Dark Side with this Monopoly edition from Hasbro. Why we love it » Play special Force cards to change your destiny.
Nerf Rebelle Secret Shot
$14.99, hasbro.com Rebelle Secret Shot from Hasbro is a purse that turns into a blaster. It’s perfect for any aspiring super spy. Why we love it » Each dart is emblazoned with a fun phrase to read as they whizz by.
Operation: Frozen Fever Edition
$19.99, hasbro.com In Hasbro’s newest Operation, remove the mini snowmen from the party so they’ll stop causing mischief at Anna’s birthday! Why we love it » Play solo or with multiple players.
Doh Vinci Spotlight Spin Studio
$29.99, hasbro.com Hasbro’s Spotlight Spin Studio lets young artists make vases or flat pieces full of lines and swirls. Why we love it » Once it’s finished, put your piece on the platform to make it part of a light show!
Entertainment containing a real working microscope, glass slides, test tubes and more. Why we love it » Kids can conduct more than 15 experiments.
Jurassic World Tyrannosaurus Rex
$29.99, hasbro.com This dino from Hasbro is perfect for kids captivated by the latest Jurassic Park movie. Why we love it » He’s got the roar of a big T. rex in a more conveniently sized body.
Disney Descendants Mal Isle of the Lost
$24.99, hasbro.com Hasbro would like to introduce you to Mal, daughter of Maleficent but lover of good. Check out her shoes and accessories—they’re wickedly cute. Why we love it » Mal comes with a locket for her new friend.
Hungry Hungry Hippos
$19.99, hasbro.com From Hasbro, this game is one that will have everyone giggling. Pick your hippo and pop his mouth open to eat as many little marbles as possible. Why we love it » It never gets old!
Littlest Pet Shop Backstage Style Playset
$24.99, hasbro.com Help the excited pets get ready for their big show with the Backstage Style Playset from Hasbro. Why we love it » Download the LPS Your World app to bring the littlest pets to life!
Ask Amy Doll
$120, askamydoll.com Ask Amy, a 22-inch doll by World Of Magic Toys, Inc., responds to 12 verbal prompts to answer questions, provide words of inspiration and motivate children. Why we love it » She’s weirdly lifelike.
Sky Rover Voice Command
3D Creation Maker
$39.99, buy3dmagic.com Kids can create awesome 3-D creations with this product from Tech 4 Kids by using one of the provided stencils and molds and popping it into the 3-D maker. Why we love it » The process involves no heat and no glue!
Star Wars Loopin’ Chewie Project MC2 Doll With $24.99, hasbro.com Experiment—McKeyla’s Loopin’ Chewie from Lava Light Hasbro stars Chewbacca,
and he’s trying to knock out every player’s storm trooper. Why we love it » Even if you lost, you lost to Chewbacca, which is still awesome.
$24.99, projectmc2.com, mgae.com Not only will your child love the McKeyla McAlister doll by MGA Entertainment, they will also learn about density and molecules with the included lava light experiment. Why we love it » Project MC2 is also an original Netflix series.
Play-Doh Max the Cement Mixer
$19.99, hasbro.com Pave some Play-Doh roads with Hasbro’s Max the Cement Mixer. Steamroll them flat, and punch out some bricks with Max’s help. Why we love it » Try all the stamper shapes and cones, too.
$49.99, auldeytoys.com This R/C helicopter by Auldey Toys is controlled hands free with the new voice command technology. Simply speak one of 12 commands into the headset to watch your copter perform. Why we love it » The Sky Rover line offers a variety of copters and drones for all levels of flyers.
Pattern Play 3D
Storytime Theater “Frozen”
$79.99, story-time-theater.com With Storytime Theater by Tech 4 Kids your child’s favorite Disney characters come to life. Download the app, connect the projector and stories, such as Frozen, are projected on your wall or ceiling. Why we love it » There are plenty of stories and characters to choose from (each sold separately).
$34.95, mindware.com Manipulate the blocks to duplicate the balance, composition and geometry featured on each 2-D puzzle card by MindWare. You can also get creative and design your own! Why we love it » The cards are numbered in order of difficulty.
Project MC2 Ultimate Lab Kit
$54.99, projectmc2.com, mgae.com Conduct your own experiments just like the girls from Project MC2 with this lab kit by MGA
Playmation Marvel Avengers Starter Pack
$119.99, playmation.com Playmation puts players at the center of the action with motion-sensing game gear and tons of light and sound effects. Why we love it » The pack comes with four locations and 25 missions out of the box to get you going.
LEGO Friends Heartlake Private Jet
$29.99, lego.com This LEGO Friends set features a lounge area with TV screen, cockpit with control panel, an airport security scanner and lots of accessories. Why we love it » The jet opens up for easy play inside.
Rotisserie & Grill Barbecue Set $49.99, melissaanddoug.com This 24-piece Melissa & Doug set includes a whole rotisserie chicken that spins on a skewer! Why we love it » Plenty of knobs and switches that resemble the real thing.
$14.95, mindware.com Test your knowledge on a variety of subjects—from math to U.S. presidents to geography—with this educational product from MindWare. Why we love it » BrainBox is available for younger kids, too.
LEGO DUPLO Mickey & Minnie Birthday Parade
Let’s Play House! Spray, Squirt & Squeegee Play Set
$19.99, melissaanddoug.com Encourage imaginative play while also teaching little ones the importance of a clean home, complete with a usable spray bottle. Why we love it » All the Melissa & Doug supplies fit neatly in the included caddy.
$24.99, lego.com The train includes a buildable cake, balloons and decorated gift bricks. Why we love it » LEGO DUPLO bricks are designed especially for little hands.
Sandblox—7-Piece Sand Shaping Set
$19.99, melissaanddoug.com Want to build the perfect sandcastle? Then you need Sandblox by Melissa & Doug. Create tons of geometric patterns that come out perfectly every time. Why we love it » Perfect for a sandbox or even moldable sand.
Round The City Rescue Rug & Vehicle Set
$19.99, melissaanddoug.com This Melissa & Doug rug measures 39 inches long by 36 inches wide and includes a hospital, fire station, helipad and more. Why we love it » It comes with three cars!
Sort & Swipe Wooden Cash Register
$24.99, melissaanddoug.com This toy by Melissa & Doug provides a unique learning twist: Press the number buttons to see different counting pictures and then pay for a purchase with numbered coins to match the quantities. Why we love it » The register comes with a toy credit card, too.
Secret Decoder Deluxe Activity Set—On The Go
$12.99, melissaanddoug.com Crack codes, uncover hidden clues and reveal secret messages with this Melissa & Doug set. Why we love it » It comes with awesome detective must-haves like invisible-ink markers.
Let’s Play House! Condiment Set
Unbored Treasure Hunt
$29.95, mindware.com Decorate a wooden treasure box and use it to conceal a secret treasure. Then hide the box and design a treasure hunt that leads to the loot. Why we love it » The kit by MindWare comes with a code key for writing secret clues.
LEGO City Training Jet Transporter
$49.99, lego.com Help unload the jet from the trailer, fold down the wings and make sure your pilot is ready for takeoff. Why we love it » This LEGO City set includes three figures.
$16.99, melissaanddoug.com This set by Melissa & Doug is a must-have in any play kitchen. Packaged in a tidy metal caddy, the set comes with ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Why we love it » They feel and look so real!
Don’t Be Greedy Game
$19.99, melissaanddoug.com In this strategy game of risk, riches and rewards by Melissa & Doug, players must decide when to keep taking jewels and when to stop being greedy. Why we love it » We think this game teaches kids a great life lesson (and it’s fun, too).
Service Station Parking Garage
$29.99, melissaanddoug.com The two included wooden cars can park in the garage, or pull through the car wash and even fill up their gas tanks. Why we love it » This Melissa & Doug set has a built-in handle, which means imaginative play can happen wherever you want. C O N T I N U E D O N P. 5 8
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Giveaway lights that can flash quickly, slowly transition or stay lit solidly for a nightlight effect. Why we love it » The 45-minute timer ensures battery life isn’t wasted.
Jewelry Made Easy Kits
$9.99, melissaanddoug.com If you have a budding jewelry designer on your hands, these kits by Melissa & Doug make tons of jewelry sets, from bead and charmed ribbon bracelets to mixed metal and pendant necklaces. Why we love it » Make one for you and one for a friend!
Bratz Create It Yourself Fashion Playset With Doll
$44.99, bratz.com, mgae.com Be the stylist and design the perfect outfit for your Bratz doll with this set by MGA Entertainment. Why we love it » Playing with dolls has never been so creative!
aboard his home base space station, the Stellosphere by TOMY. Why we love it » The Stellosphere comes apart into three separate ships to make space exploration fun.
Miles From Tomorrowland Blastboard
$34.99, tomy.com Rocket through the galaxy with Miles on this Blastboard by TOMY. Kids can practice their balance skills in one of three game modes. Why we love it » It brings the Miles From Tomorrowland cartoon to life!
$55.95, cloudb.com This little spacecraft by CloudB is a fun toy with three light sequences, perfect for both playtime and bedtime. Why we love it » It also projects multicolored, Northern Light-like effects.
Miles From Tomorrowland Stellosphere Pokemon Ash’s $49.99, tomy.com Arena Challenge Explore the galaxy with Miles
Bratz Study Abroad Doll—Yasmin To Brazil
$24.99, bratz.com, mgae.com Yasmin’s accessories include an additional outfit, pineapple purse, luggage bag, sunglasses and more. Why we love it » This doll by MGA Entertainment will have your kids asking, “Where’s Brazil?”
Charley the Chameleon $35.95, cloudb.com Charley by CloudB plays soothing music and illuminates with rainbow
Ferris Wheel With Lights
Inside Out Talking Plush—Bing Bong
$29.99, tomy.com Go to the moon and back with this Bing Bong toy by TOMY. Squeeze his body and he sings the “Bing Bong Song” and cries candy tears. Why we love it » He smells like cotton candy!
$79.99, playmobil.com Equipped with colorful flashing lights, this functioning Playmobil Ferris wheel has seven gondolas and holds 14 riders. Why we love it » You can purchase an electric ride motor separately.
$39.99, tomy.com Step into the competition with Ash’s Arena Challenge by TOMY. Turn Ash’s hat backward to get him battle ready and send Pikachu into action. Why we love it » Pikachu has three battle moves, which activate music, voice and attack sounds.
John Deere Monster Treads Lightning Wheels
$24.99, tomy.com Take these trucks by TOMY off-roading for a lot of messy fun! Why we love it » Spin the tires for some awesome light action.
Chuggington 1-2-3 Track— Wilson Rides The Rails
$29.99, tomy.com The TOMY set includes Wilson from the well-known cartoon, and the track pieces flip, flex and rotate to create lots of fun layouts. Why we love it » You can add more complex sets later on.
Sonic Boom Tails’ Plane with Tails
$29.99, tomy.com Tails’ plane by TOMY has a spinning propeller and sounds that change depending on the angle the plane is flying. Why we love it » A Sonic figurine (sold separately) fits in the backseat and can be launched into action with the backseat ejector.
a crank of the handle. Why we love it » The disco ball in the center of this Playmobil ride flashes in alternating colors.
to the top. Why we love it » With more than 300 pieces, your kids will come up with endless designs.
Remote Control Shape Sorter—Go Green Recycle Truck
$29.99, operationrescute.com Purchasing a ResCUTE pup can help one of the 2.7 million healthy pets that remain in shelters each year. Why we love it » The story of Jingles is based on a true story about a homeless puppy from NYC.
$34.99, tlji.com This R/C truck by The Learning Journey International makes learning about recycling, shapes and colors so much fun! Why we love it » This toy was voted one of the 10 best socially responsible toys by Dr. Toy.
Play And Learn Shopping Basket
$109.99, vtechkids.com Your kids will love the fastest 7-inch kids’ tablet by VTech. Compatible with most of the titles in the InnoTab library, this is a tablet your kids will enjoy for years. Why we love it » Download hundreds of age-appropriate apps from the Android marketplace.
Pocket Galaxy Blaster
$14.99, kmart.com This dual-player, laser tag game by NKOK lets kids stage battles in their own backyard. Why we love it » The LCD display shows life and ammo.
Adventure Play Tent
$19.99, toysrus.com Set this tent up in the playroom or have fun in the backyard. Why we love it » The tent by MerchSource and tube can be used together or separately.
Animal Planet Interactive T-Rex
$29.99, toysrus.com Activated by motion and touch, this T. Rex by Toys ‘R’ Us makes a variety of sounds your children will love. Why we love it » The dino also has an on-off switch, which parents will love.
i-Mat: Under the Sea
$17.99, tlji.com This kid-sized basket from The Learning Journey International comes with a variety of plastic and cardboard food items. Why we love it » The large handles on the shopping basket make for easy carrying.
Playmat $29.99/Voice Pen $49.99; creativebabyinc.com This playmat by Creative Baby Inc. serves as a fun visual play area with dozens of undersea animals that youngsters will love. Add the Voice Pen (sold separately) and the i-Mat comes to life. Why we love it » The i-Mat comes in other fun themes that all fit together.
Adventure Series—Techno Ozobot Bit Gears Marble $59.99, ozobot.com Starting with color markers, Mania Voyager Spinning Spaceship Ride With Lights
$54.99, playmobil.com Two figures fit into each of the three rotating cars, and the action begins with
$59.99, tlji.com This set by The Learning Journey International features dual hand cranks that turn two bucket and chain pulley systems, lifting the marbles
Ozobot takes kids on a fun experience through creative drawing, problem solving and group challenges. Why we love it » With five step-up modes, Ozobot will appeal to young kids and even seasoned programmers.
Room Lookz Prices vary from $3.99-$24.99, lockerlookz.com/roomlookz Room Lookz offers fun room accessories, such as a gumball machine, dry erase board, tape dispenser and lamp. Why we love it » The accessories come in a variety of fun patterns.
Spin & Learn Ball Tower
$29.99, vtechkids.com Drop the balls in the ball tower by VTech, twist the knob and watch as they spin around. Why we love it » When you drop the balls into the tower, it identifies the animal or color on it.
Flipsies Sandy’s House & Ocean Cruiser
$39.99, vtechkids.com Sandy’s 2-in-1 play set by VTech transforms from a house to an ocean cruiser. Eight MagicPoint locations allow her to respond with fun phrases. Why we love it » Collect Sandy’s friends and they will chat with each other.
Go! Go! Smart Friends Busy Kidizoom Smartwatch DX Quick Cups $14.99, spinmaster.com Sounds Discovery Home $64.99, vtechkids.com Turn over a picture card and
$44.99, vtechkids.com VTech’s Miss Norah responds to the seven MagicPoint locations located throughout the house. Why we love it » Add additional Go! Go! Smart Friends characters (sold separately) and they will chat and sing together.
Take photos, play games and, yes, even learn how to tell time with this smart watch by VTech. Why we love it » This watch has a touch screen. It’s even splash proof!
stack or line up the cups to match the picture. Win the most cards and you win the game! Why we love it » We can only imagine the amount of laughter that goes along with this intense game by Spin Master.
$11.99, spinmaster.com DigiOwls by Spin Master can sing up to 58 beautiful melodies. Just blow into the included Whistle Ring and watch your DigiOwl come to life. Why we love it » You can download the DigiBirds app to unlock even more songs.
Cool Baker Chocolate Treats Maker
$19.99, spinmaster.com Make yummy chocolate treats at home with this toy by Spin Master. Just melt your favorite chocolate, spin it to make beautiful designs, decorate it and freeze it to set. Why we love it » No oven or microwave is required!
Meccano Space Quest 15 Model Set
$24.99, spinmaster.com Build a rocket with a moving gantry using new anodized metal parts with this set by Spin Master. There are 14 other models you can make, too. Why we love it » The set comes with 260 pieces and two real tools.
Chubby Puppies Ultimate Dog Park
$29.99, spinmaster.com Use the puppy-powered elevator to take the Chubby Puppies by Spin Master to the top of the slide, or put your puppy on the swing or merrygo-round for even more fun. Why we love it » This set comes with an exclusive Pomeranian Chubby Puppy and doghouse.
$99.99, spinmaster.com Zoomer Kitty by Spin Master has touch sensors on her head, ears and cheeks and loves when you pet her. Why we love it » Your kitty will wander off if you don’t give her enough attention.
Spy Gear Ultimate Night Vision
$39.99, spinmaster.com See up to 50 feet away with hands-free night vision using infrared technology in this set by Spin Master. Why we love it » The night vision scope can be detached from the head mount and held in your hand for increased visibility.
$15.99, spinmaster.com Players all start out with the same four shapes and then doodle over them to create four unique pictures in this game of fast thinking by Spin Master. Why we love it » In this game, it pays to think outside the box.
$29.99, spinmaster.com Think you know all there is to know about movies? Test your smarts with this movie trivia game by Spin Master. Why we love it » You can take a selfie and attach it to your in-game character to see a fun, animated version.
Text Cool Bracelet Studio
$24.99, spinmaster.com Create and stamp your own messages, hashtags or coded text just for you and your friends with this Spin Master set. Why we love it » You can accent your bracelets with over 30 emoticons.
Kinetic Sand Float—Paradise Island
$19.99, spinmaster.com Using the four plastic molds, make rafts that sail and aquatic friends that swim with this Spin Master favorite. Why we love it » Kinetic Sand never dries out and is wheat, gluten and casein free.
Knits Cool Knitting Studio
$19.99, spinmaster.com The kit by Spin Master has everything you need to get started, including fashion yarn, patterns and accessories. Why we love it » Once you learn the knitting method, you can make your own designs with different yarn and stitches.
$59.99, spinmaster.com Featuring a working elevator and a fully functional command center, this set by Spin Master sits four Paw Patrol pups in the driver’s seat and can load up to three vehicles for transport. Why we love it » Push the button and listen to fun Paw Patrol sounds.
Campus USA Credit Union, along with Ocala Style Magazine, is giving you the chance to win a $500 gift certificate to Toys ‘R Us. To enter to win the grand prize in our 5th annual Great Toy Giveaway, just visit facebook.com/ CampusUSACreditUnion and “Like” the page. Then, stay tuned for further instructions on how to enter. SPONSORED BY
O R F S E A M L O E H Only $139,995
• • • • • • • • • •
1,771 sq. ft. 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths. Baths recently remodeled Sunroom Detached garage with 6 parking spaces 6-ft-high wooden privacy fence ¾ acre in town Original wood-burning fireplace Nice landscaping New roof Real wood floors
detached garage original wood-burning fireplace
1008 NE 4th St. Ocala Call Dean @ 352-817-3636
Results are typical and do vary.
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Harryâ€™s Holiday Trio Tender grilled Filet Medallions topped with delicately fried Lobster and Shrimp accented with our New Orleans sherry cream sauce and accompanied by our classic Smashed potatoes and French green beans.
Mahi Charleston Grilled Mahi Mahi served on top of our Sweet Corn Grits with a savory tomato Tasso Ham sauce. Finished with a Goat cheese drizzle.
Gift Cards not valid day of purchase Promotion runs November 1-December 24
Visiting The Chef’s Table
A customized culinary experience at Arthur’s — An American Bistro p66
December Delights p68
Party-Perfect Food p70
Treats For Giving p72
SNIFF TO BE SURE
Sources: World Health Organization, Minnesota Department of Health
ON’T TRUST YOUR NOSE? NO PROBLEM! THE FOODSNIFFER IS THE DEVICE FOR YOU. THE WORLD’S FIRST ELECTRONIC NOSE, THE FOODSNIFFER CONNECTS TO YOUR SMARTPHONE THROUGH BLUETOOTH TECHNOLOGY TO SAMPLE THE AIR NEAR YOUR MEAT, POULTRY OR FISH TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE FOOD IS FRESH OR SPOILED. There are over 200,000 cases of foodborne illnesses in the United States every day, and bacteria that causes those illnesses can make you sick before food looks, smells or tastes bad. Simply point the FOODsniffer device toward the meat and open the companion app to read the results of the bio-organic test performed by the device. If the food is determined to be fresh, then eat up—your meat is still safe to consume. You can find out more about the FOODsniffer by visiting myfoodsniffer.com or calling (800) 813-3712.
AN EVENING AT THE
By Cynthia McFarland
LIP THROUGH PROGRAMS ON THE FOOD NETWORK, FOOD CHANNEL AND COOKING CHANNEL AND YOU’LL FIND A HOST OF SHOWS DEDICATED TO ALL THINGS CULINARY CULINARY. On a variety of these shows, you’ll find special guests eating at a Chef ’s Table. Typically situated in the kitchen and close to the action, the Chef ’s Table is usually reserved for VIP guests who enjoy extra attention from the staff and a special menu prepared by the chef. In addition to communicating with the chef, guests also
benefit from the expertise of the wine steward. What I didn’t know until recently was that there’s a way to have just such an experience right here in Ocala. Since launching a true bistro concept, Arthur’s—“An American Bistro” in the Ocala Hilton began offering a Chef ’s Table experience for patrons who want to enjoy a truly memorable evening featuring the best food and beverage pairings. I was fortunate enough to participate in the Chef ’s Table this past month. It’s a uniquely satisfying way to dine with friends or business partners. And the best part? It’s customized around your preferences. Portion sizes for our tasting experience were “petite” enabling us to enjoy all six courses and truly sample all the flavors Arthur’s has to offer.
“You’ll experience food, you’ll experience wine, but one of my favorite things about this is that we educate people about culinary trends,” explains Chef Josue Torres, as he visits the table before the first course. “I’m going to take your palate and help you explore many different flavors.” And for the next three hours, that’s precisely what he did. Our gastronomic adventure began with the arrival of an “amuse– bouche.” (Merriam-Webster defines it as “a small, complimentary appetizer.” I defined it as delicious.) This bite-size starter of sashimi
wanted to finish the entire bowl but knew I had to pace myself for the remaining courses, so I forced myself to stop. Lewis poured a Cakebread Cellars chardonnay for course two and enlightened us with a bit of wine trivia. I hadn’t known that the year on the bottle represents the year the grapes were grown and harvested, not necessarily the year the wine was bottled. Course three was a seafood lover’s dream: a portion of buttertender grouper, blackened and served over haricot verts and a blood orange butter sauce. Chef Torres noted that this grouper is caught locally, which didn’t come as a surprise. You could literally taste the freshness. I ate every morsel. Carmel Road pinot noir was a great pairing with this grouper. “The food and wine pairings are amazing,” says guest Melissa Jones, “The man knows what he’s doing!” Before we moved on to red meat, it was time for course four, an intermezzo sorbet course to cleanse our palates. Chef Torres had prepared a lovely mango sorbet with blueberries that tasted almost like biting into a perfectly ripe mouthful of summer-sweet mango. Palates cleansed, we were ready for course five, an impressive Wagyu beef tenderloin, which the chef carved tableside. As we watched, he fired up the tableside burner and deftly put together a sauce of sautéed shallots, garlic, butter, brandy and a handful of freshly minced parsley. After plating the slices of beef, he topped them with this incredibly aromatic sauce. The Wagyu, as expected, was
melt-in-your-mouth tender and cooked to perfection. Lewis saw to it that we had a glass of De Toren Fusion, a rich red wine made from a blend of grapes, to pair with the beef. With this course, the heartiest of the night, we also had truffle mashed potatoes, asparagus, caramelized onions and mushrooms, all served family-style. It was worth not finishing my pasta to have enough room to eat every bite of this fabulous course. The final course was strawberry shortcake, featuring crumbly, made-from-scratch biscuits, halved and spread with strawberries and apple compote made from locally sourced jam. A dollop of whipped cream and chocolate sauce completed this sweet finale, which was artfully paired with Dr. Loosen, a Riesling beerenauslese (pronounced “behren-owss-leh-zeh,” which means “berry selection” in German). Our evening of “wining and dining” took just over three hours. “You can’t be in a hurry; it’s a leisurely experience,” Jaye McCarthy, director of catering, notes with a smile.
“There’s no other upscale restaurant in Ocala doing this,” says guest Liza Fritz. “You can bring a group in, relax and just have fun.” When you book a Chef ’s Table evening, a consultation is included to review every course of the meal, allowing Chef Torres to design an experience tailored around your specific requests and preferences. He can easily accommodate dietary concerns, such as gluten free and vegetarian dishes. The result is an evening in “foodie heaven,” customized to your preference. Although the beverage pairings typically feature wine, Lewis notes that he’s also done several Chef ’s Table events using beer/ale, vodka and even scotch. The Chef ’s Table experience is offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. There is a minimum of six guests and a maximum of eight; advance reservations are required. The experience starts at $100 per person and depends on the courses and beverages selected. You’ll want to allow two to three hours for the experience.
Find Out More hiltonocala.com facebook.com/ hiltonocala (352) 854-1400
Sources: brewersassociation.org, craftbeer.com, mix108.com
grade tuna was topped with a dab of wasabi aioli and a tiny leaf of micro cilantro. The wasabi added a pleasant warmth but not a strong kick; it was a flawless combination. We were off to a grand start. David Lewis, food and beverage manager, poured the wine that accompanied each course, taking time to explain why he had chosen that particular pairing. With every bottle, his instincts proved spot on. The first course was a crab cake formed of all lump blue crab meat crowned with a bouquet of “rainbow” greens (a mix of early greens) presented atop a delicate fan of radish slivers. Olive oil infused with lemon and a touch of Dijon mustard balanced out the plate. These same crab cakes— albeit in larger portions—are on the restaurant’s regular menu, which is good to know. They were absolutely fresh and free of the thick breading that many restaurants use to camouflage lessthan-stellar crab. One of the guests hails from the Mid-Atlantic and gave this dish a thumbs-up for its genuine Maryland flavor. The wine for this course was a delightfully crisp and fruity white called New Age. On to course two, a bowl of al dente fettuccine dressed in an authentic Italian-style Alfredo sauce and topped with the restaurant’s popular herb-roasted organic chicken, which is part of the regular menu. Because the sauce has a chicken stock base and contains no cream, it’s not thick or heavy, so it didn’t mask the flavors of the meat or pasta. I
…AND THEIR HOUSES
HE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR IS UPON US, AND, LIKE MANY YEARS BEFORE, WE’RE BUSY BAKING AND SPIKING THE EGGNOG FOR A SEASONAL COCKTAIL. BUT WHY DON’T YOU SEE PEOPLE DUNKING GINGERBREAD MEN HEADFIRST INTO THEIR EGGNOG ANY OTHER TIME OF YEAR? AS IT TURNS OUT, THERE’S A LOT OF HISTORY BEHIND THE SNACKS WE CHOOSE THIS SEASON.
OK, so most of us don’t eat fruitcakes, we just re-gift them. But in the Middle Ages, making someone a fruitcake took serious time and money. According to The Oxford Companion to Food, dried fruit and nuts were expensive imports, and the process of making the fruitcake involved dealing with finicky yeast and unpredictable wood burning ovens. Because of all the trouble, they were likely reserved for special occasions only.
Gingerbread men have been run, run, running as fast as they can through our ovens every winter since the rule of Elizabeth I in the late 1500s. Apparently, this hostess with the most-est made a habit of presenting important guests with gingerbread cookies that looked like them. They became popular as gifts, especially at fairs and festivals where young women gave them to their favorite knights as tokens of admiration. In 1875, a story published in St. Nicholas Magazine told the tale of a little gingerbread man coming to life and running from hungry villains, and many historians think that publishing the story in December may have led to their popularity in the United States around the end of each year.
Remember the Brothers Grimm? Their collection of famous fairy tales was published in the early 1800s, which included the story of Hansel and Gretel. Not long after, German bakers started baking houses of lebkuchen, which is similar to gingerbread, for customers to enjoy. This tradition came to the United States with German immigrants and remains especially popular in Pennsylvania today, where many German colonists settled upon their arrival.
Eggnog originated with the British aristocracy. Poorer families couldn’t afford milk and eggs, but wealthier families could drink them as a beverage mixed with expensive spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. They would stir in brandy to prevent spoiling (and promote more entertaining evenings), which American colonists would later replace with rum because, unlike brandy and sherry, it was untaxed. During the American Revolution, rum supplies from the Caribbean dwindled, making it a drink for only special occasions.
Candy Canes Like most things fun, candy canes started with some giggling kids. There are no documented accounts of how the candy cane came to be, but the generally accepted legend begins in a cathedral in Cologne, Germany in the 1600s. A choirmaster was searching for a way to keep children from fidgeting during the annual living Nativity. He decided to give them white sticks of sugar to occupy them. His trick stuck around and traveled to North America in 1847 when, in Wooster, Ohio, a German-Swedish immigrant named August Imgard used candy canes as decorations. Over time they’ve been flavored with peppermint and earned their red stripes.
Tony’s Sushi & Steakhouse 3405 SW College Road, Ocala / (352) 237-3151 / tonysushi.com Mon-Thu 11a-10p / Fri & Sat 11a-11p / Sun Noon-10p With abundant menu choices and over 100 off-menu rolls, you certainly won’t run out of options at Tony’s Sushi. If you can’t decide, the waitstaff is excellent at suggesting items you’re sure to enjoy. Every roll and sushi dish is made to order from the freshest ingredients. In the steakhouse area, highly trained chefs prepare a memorable meal as they cook on the tableside grills, preparing chicken, steak or seafood just the way you like it. Entrées include soup or salad and rice. Family-friendly, casual atmosphere, along with a full bar, including imported Japanese sake and beer selections. Like us
Book your party at Tony’s today. Gift cards available.
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3790 E Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala / (352) 694-1401 / 7 Days 11a-10p SR 200, Ocala / (352) 291-2121 / 7 Days 11a-11p New lunch specials include Taco Salad on Monday, $4.45; Speedy Gonzalez on Tuesdays, $4.95; Quesadillas on Wednesday, $6.45; Chimichangas on Thursdays, $5.95; and Burrito Supreme on Fridays, $4.95. New dinner options include Fajita Mondays, $8.95; Chimichanga Tuesdays, $7.95; Alambre Wednesdays, $7.95 and Tacos de Bistec Thursdays, $7.95. Plus $1.95 margaritas on Mondays. On Sunday, kids 12 and under can enjoy 99¢ children’s meals (takeout not included). Wednesday is Special Margarita Day, 99¢ all day. Saturday is 2-for-1 margaritas all day. Happy Hour daily, 3-7pm. Everything is 2-4-1 (exceptions may apply).
Trivia Night every Thursday 7-9pm (Silver Springs Blvd. location) Mariachi Band every Thursday at the 200 location 6-9pm FELIZ NAVIDAD!
THE BEST MEXICAN FOOD
Brooklyn’s Backyard 2019 E Silver Springs Boulevard, Suite #102, Ocala / (352) 304-6292 brooklynsbackyard.com / Sun 11a-8p / Mon-Wed 11a-9p / Thu-Sat 11a-whenever Head down to the “Yard” for fresh food and fun in a relaxed, backyard atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for finger foods like the fried cheese bites or something more exotic like pierogies or poutine, they’ve got it and it’s delicious! Try one of their fresh fish entrées. In the mood for wings? Get the best from the 2015 King of Wings. Want pizza? They got it, NY style, plus a full range of fresh salads, burgers, sandwiches and entrées sure to suit everyone! There’s beer and wine in the ‘Yard,” too—over 40 craft beers and a great selection of wines, all sure to perfectly complement your meal!
We cater! Let us create an unforgettable menu for your holiday catering needs. Check out new items on our menu. In December, enjoy one of our specialty drinks at our new backyard tiki bar. Check out live music on Fridays. Brooklyn’s Backyard—Good Beer, Better Food!
QUICK & EASY MAKE-AND-TAKE DISHES
HERE ARE PLENTY OF REASONS TO GATHER FRIENDS AND FAMILY AROUND TO CELEBRATE THIS TIME OF YEAR. NO MATTER THE OCCASION, ONE FACT REMAINS TRUE: MORE TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND LESS TIME IN THE KITCHEN IS IMPORTANT. DON’T LET YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE OR A COMPLICATED RECIPE KEEP YOU FROM BRINGING A DELICIOUS DISH TO YOUR NEXT EVENT. Be everyone’s favorite guest with these perfect party recipes that are quick and easy to make and transport easily. One secret to rich flavor is Musselman’s Apple Butter, a classic Pennsylvania Dutch spread made with apples and cinnamon that can add a special touch to your favorite sweet or savory recipes.
Recipe courtesy of Sommer of ASpicyPerspective.com Cook time: 22 minutes | Servings: 40-55 meatballs 1 1⁄2 1 1 2 1 1⁄4
tablespoon butter cup red onion, grated pound pork sausage pound ground beef cups panko bread crumbs cup Musselman’s Apple Butter cup sour cream
2 2 1 1 1⁄2 2 1-2
eggs teaspoons salt teaspoon black pepper teaspoon allspice cup beef broth tablespoons honey dashes of cayenne pepper
Cinnamon Oatmeal Bars Cook time: 40 minutes | Servings: 16
1 1 3⁄4
cup ﬂour cup old-fashioned oatmeal cup light brown sugar
1⁄4 8 1
teaspoon salt tablespoons butter, melted cup Musselman’s Apple Butter
Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 8-by-8-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray and line with heavy-duty foil, leaving overhang on two sides to facilitate removal of bars from pan. Coat foil with cooking spray. In medium mixing bowl, mix flour, oatmeal, sugar and salt. With fork, stir in butter until well mixed and clumps form, and then spread half the oatmeal mixture over the foiled pan bottom, pressing to form a thin crust. Spread apple butter over crust, and then sprinkle remaining oatmeal mixture on top. Bake until crisp and golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Use foil “handles” to remove bars from pan. Cut into squares, and serve.
*Find more recipes to make, take and share for any occasion or download a free e-Recipe Book at musselmans.com. 70
Sources: goodhousekeeping.com, yummly.com, tastebook.com
Heat oven to 400°F, and line large-rimmed baking sheet with foil. In skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add grated onions, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until soft. In large bowl, mix sausage, ground beef, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup apple butter, sour cream, eggs, salt, pepper and allspice. Add onion, once it cools. Use hands to mix well until evenly combined. Measure ounce portions. Roll tight balls, and place them close together on baking sheet but not touching. Bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix remaining apple butter with beef broth, honey and 1-2 dashes of cayenne pepper. Whisk well. Remove meatballs from oven. Pour sauce over top, making sure to cover each meatball, and place back in oven for 5-7 minutes. Once cooked through, shake baking sheet a little to loosen meatballs, and serve warm.
The Blue Gator 12189 S Williams Street, Dunnellon / (352) 465-1635 Sun-Thurs 11a-10p / Fri & Sat 11a-12a With a menu full of delicious seafood and nights packed with events and live music, The Blue Gator is the place to go for a good time. Take your family and friends to enjoy football games, airboat tours and dinner on the water. Start the night off with the Blue Gator bites appetizer or one of their seafood baskets like the grouper platter. Get your fill of 59¢ wings on Tuesdays, and make sure to try the award-winning clam chowder from Cedar Key. Don’t forget to check out their Facebook page to stay up-to-date on events and specials!
Grab lunch or dinner on the water, enjoy a full liquor bar or get takeout from this family-friendly restaurant.
Eaton’s Beach Sandbar & Grill 15790 SE 134th Avenue, Weirsdale, FL / (352) 259-2444 / eatonsbeach.com Sun-Thurs 11a-9p / Fri & Sat 11a-10:30p People from all over converge on Eaton’s Beach for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s the Sandbar’s scintillating musical lineup on the weekends. For others, it’s the ease of a day at the beach— complete with resort-style cocktails. We like to think it’s for the award-winning food. With back-to-back wins at Taste of Ocala, Chef Del Rio’s Pastrami and Shrimp & Grits are two things that make Eaton’s Beach a destination where the only thing better than the view… is the food.
Check out EatonsBeach.com for weekly beach events and music guests. Try Eaton’s Beach catering for your next event—we’ll bring the beach to you. From corporate events and birthdays to weddings and wedding rehearsals, Eaton’s Beach will help you plan the perfect event with the perfect food.
Cuvée Wine & Bistro 2237 SW 19th Ave. Rd., Ste 102, Ocala / (352) 351-1816 Mon-Thu 5-10p / Fri & Sat 5-11p / Happy Hour Daily 5-7p cuveewineocala.com Very affordable casual and fine dining—whether you are stopping in for a glass of wine, enjoying an exquisite dinner, celebrating a special occasion, gathering in one of our private rooms or indulging in a premier Chef ’s table, at Cuvée Wine and Bistro you’ll experience all this in an elegant, refined atmosphere. Upon entering the grand double doors, you’ll find yourself transported to an intimate world of fine dining, wine and relaxation, matched only by impeccable service.
Private party dining and oﬀpremise catering available.
FLAVORFUL GIFTS Food is a gift from the heart. It’s one-size-fitsall, and you don’t need to fight the crowds at the mall or worry about blowing your budget. Whether for presents or hostess gifts, receiving something homemade is truly what the season is about. Find more recipes worth sharing at redrazz.org.
Come As You Are CUVÉE WINE & BISTRO OFFERS A FRIENDLY, WELCOMING ATMOSPHERE
alk in and you’ll see a trickling fountain, elaborate chandeliers and elegant table settings. What you may not expect is the ﬁne food and unique experience you’ll enjoy without an intimidating dress code or over-the-top bill. “We’re trying to rework the perspective of the restaurant,” says Cuvée Managing Partner Joe Spillers. “We want to get rid of the stuﬃness.” Whether you’re coming from work or the high school football game, you’re welcome at Cuvée. The menu now features seven entrées instead of 20 and a series of tapas, or small plates. “The tapas menu has been so popular,” Joe says. “We’ve had huge success with it.” Not only are tapas a lighter food selection; they are also lower in cost and encourage a more social experience. Try favorites like the sesame crusted tuna or the bison meatballs. Then, take a look at the cheese ﬂights, including the saganaki that gets ﬂambéed tableside. To keep up with the more laid-back bistro atmosphere, the servers will undergo a uniform change from tuxedos to bistro wear. Though the atmosphere is more casual than stuﬀy, Cuvée continues to serve the delicious fare that makes it a ﬁne dining restaurant.
“Everything on the menu is made from scratch, in-house,” Joe says. “The ﬂavor combinations are just amazing.” The wine-tasting setup goes along perfectly with the new menu style. With 104 wines available, you can try as many wines as you want. Select as little as 1 ounce to taste without having to pre-load a card to pay for the wine. “To make it easier, we give you an empty card, and you accrue a balance,” Joe says. Enjoy a night at the bar and you’ll get to know Dave Erickson, the man behind Cuvée’s exotically mixed cocktails and who’s also recently partnered as a co-owner. Each week, Cuvée announces specials and featured wines on their Facebook page, and they host live jazz music on the weekends. This month, you can look forward to a wine dinner featuring ﬁve courses paired with wine by a Certiﬁed Wine Expert. Then, on New Year’s Eve, a preset menu will include your choice of champagne or wine. “It’s all aﬀordable,” Joe says. “Come as you are.”
Cuvée Wine & Bistro 2237 SW 19th Avenue Rd., Ocala (352) 351-1816 cuveewineocala.com Mon-Thurs 5p-10p Fri & Sat 5p-11p
Raspberry Greek Yogurt Bark Recipe courtesy of NourishRDs.com 2 1 2 1 ½ ¼
cups plain, reduced-fat (2%) Greek yogurt lemon, zest only tablespoons honey cup frozen raspberries cup shelled pistachios cup slivered almonds
Line small baking pan with aluminum foil. In medium bowl, combine first three ingredients. Stir until well incorporated. Add berries, pistachios and almonds to mixture. Fold in until well incorporated. Spread mixture in baking pan, and place in freezer for about 2-3 hours, or until hardened. Once hardened, remove bark from pan and either cut or break up into pieces. Allow to thaw about 5 minutes before eating. Notes: Store remaining bark in freezer. You can experiment with any ingredients you have on hand, such as frozen cherries with dark chocolate chunks, frozen blueberries with unsweetened flaked coconut or dried cranberries with pecans.
Blanca’s Café 5174 NW 26th Street - in Ocala Palms, Ocala / (352) 867-0001 Mon-Sat Lunch & Dinner 10:30a-9p / Sun 11a-4p Limited Menu Come join us on the 19th hole at Blanca’s Café, tucked in among the rolling greens of the Ocala Palms Golf & Country Club. Blanca’s Café is a gem of a find for diners looking for excellent food served in a warm, friendly environment. Italian dishes and delicious homemade desserts are the café’s specialty. Patrons enjoy a full-service bar and live entertainment weekly, as well as spacious seating for up to 150. Try one of the weekly dinner specials Blanca’s offers, or schedule catering for your next event through the café. Whether you’re a newcomer to town or a local looking for somewhere new to dine, Blanca’s Café offers something to please every palate.
Each Friday, we are oﬀering 1 ½-pound Maine lobster. Reserve by Wednesday. Homemade pizza served daily. Weekly entertainment. Call for details. Entertainment will be provided at 6:30 seating. By reservations only. Christmas Eve open until 4pm. Open Christmas Day Noon-7pm. Taking Reservations. New Year’s Eve Party, call for details.
The Ivy House Restaurant 917 E. Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala / (352) 622-5550 Sun 11a-2p / Tue 11a-2p / Wed & Thu 11a-8p / Fri & Sat 11a-8:30p / Closed Mon 106 NW Main St, Williston / (352) 528-5410 Sun-Wed 11a-2p / Thurs-Sat 11a-8p / ivyhouseﬂ.com “Come on home, it’s supper time!” is our motto. We want you to feel you have come to our house to eat. The family-owned Ivy House Restaurant now has two locations, Williston and Ocala. The downtown Ocala location has added several specialty items, and the restaurant has been named by Florida Trend as one of the “Top 500 Best Places to Eat in the State” for several years. Specials include Southern Fried Lobster, delicious Hand-Cut Steaks and our famous Baked Krispy Chicken. Trying our delicious homemade desserts like the Key Lime Pie or Chocolate Midnight Cake is a must when dining here.
Stop by our “New Bar” and enjoy our speciality drinks! Catering holiday parties & special events. We make the Holidays easy so you can enjoy what’s most important, your family and friends! Gift Certiﬁcates available. Many Christmas Blessings!
Crossroads Country Kitchen 7947 W Highway 40, Ocala / (352) 237-1250 Mon-Sat 6a-9p / Sun 7a-9p Located west on Highway 40 in Ocala, the Crossroads Country Kitchen is a must for anyone craving down-home, country cooking. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, menu items range from a wide variety of homemade soups and chili to prime rib, fresh salads, seafood, prime steaks and burgers. If you’re in the mood for a real treat, try the Prime Rib Dinner For Two for $26.95. Make sure to leave room for one of the tasty home-baked desserts! In the mood for a fresh fish fry? Tuesdays and Fridays are all-you-care-to-eat catfish or whitefish. Enjoy an Italian special on Wednesdays. Big-screen televisions will allow you to enjoy your meal without missing one second of the big game or race.
Located at the Crossroads of NW 80th Ave. and Hwy 40 West. No matter what you have a taste for, Crossroads Country Kitchen is sure to become a new favorite. Former owners of “The Spiced Apple” restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. We accept all major credit cards.
Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille 24 SE 1st Ave., Ocala / (352) 840-0900 / HookedonHarrys.com Mon-Thu 11a-10p / Fri & Sat 11a-11p / Sun 11a-9p FREE $30 Gift Card For Every $100 in Gift Cards Purchased. Available through Dec. 24. Free shipping on HookedonHarrys.com. Cards not valid day of purchase.
Located in the heart of downtown Ocala, Harry’s offers traditional Louisiana favorites like Shrimp and Scallop Orleans, Crawfish Etouffée, Jambalaya, Shrimp Creole and Blackened Red Fish. Other favorites, like Harry’s Signature Crab Cakes and Bourbon Street Salmon, are complemented with grilled steaks, chicken, burgers, po’ boy sandwiches and salads. Our full bar features Harry’s Signature Cocktails, such as the Harry’s Hurricane, Bayou Bloody Mary or the new Southern Mule. We also feature wines by the glass and a wide selection of imported, domestic and craft beer. Harry’s menu is sure to have something for everyone!
Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant 2463 SW 27th Avenue, Ocala / (352) 237-3900 / kotobukiocala.com Lunch: Tue-Fri 11:30a-2p Dinner: Tue-Thu 4:30-9:30p / Fri & Sat 4:30-10:30p / Mon & Sun 4:30-9:30p Early Bird daily 4:30-7pm Check out our sushi bar. Serving Ocala since 1986! Ask about our lunch specials!
For an authentic Japanese meal in an award-winning restaurant that has been serving Ocala since 1986, try Kotobuki. Enjoy traditional Japanese favorites like tempura, teriyaki and broiled seafood and vegetables. For a memorable experience, gather around the hot grill and watch as your chef prepares steak, chicken and seafood favorites right before your eyes. Get the VIP treatment and join today! Text MYSUSHI to 40518 and get exclusive offers, promos & coupons. Check out the specials!
Tilted Kilt 3155 E Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala / (352) 351-5458 /ocala.tiltedkilt.com Mon-Thu 11a-11p/ Fri-Sat 11a-Midnight / Sun 11a-10p HAPPY HOUR Daily from 3-7pm & 9pm-close. BIKE NIGHT August 1st. Happy hour 4-11pm. ASK ABOUT OUR CARRY-OUT catering.
Next time you’re in the mood for a taste of Ireland, look no further than Ocala’s very own Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery. Their classics will have you convinced that you’ve just taken a one-way flight to Dublin. Favorites such as fish & chips, shepherd’s pie and Gaelic chicken in an Irish whiskey cream sauce all served by beautiful lasses in kilts will leave you wanting more! Menu items as low as $6 from 11am-3pm makes The Tilted Kilt the perfect place for a quick bite to eat during lunch. Stop by with the whole family to enjoy TV on the big screens, games, good service and great food! Scan this QR code and see our calendar of events.
Pavarotti’s Pizza & Restaurant 8075 SW HWY 200, Canopy Oaks Center, Ocala / (352) 291-9424 Mon-Thu 11a-9p / Fri-Sat 11a-10p / Sun 11a-8p
Pavarotti’s Pizza and Restaurant in Ocala is known for their famous, old-fashioned pizzas, hand-tossed and baked on a stone deck oven as well as their array of classic Italian entrées, fresh salads and subs and hearty pasta dinners. Veal or chicken is served Parmigiana, Marsala or Picatta style, and the seafood dishes are served fresh over linguini. Pizza lovers can’t get enough of the homemade pies, and don’t forget about the subs, stromboli and calzones!
Be sure to visit us at the Canopy Oaks Center. Pavarotti’s also caters. Mon- All You Can Eat Spaghetti and Meatballs $6.99 Tues- 16” Cheese Pizza $7.99 Wed- 10 Chicken Wings $5.
PAVAROTTI’S Pizza & Restaurant
Mesa de Notte 2436 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala / (352) 732-4737 / mesaocala.com Mon-Thu 11a-9p / Fri & Sat 11a-10p / Closed Sunday Mesa de Notte specializes in unique, gourmet, Italian dishes, using only the freshest ingredients. Mesa de Notte is now featuring new lunch and dinner menus, along with an expanded private dining room capable of accommodating up to 50 people. Join Mesa de Notte for their first annual Parade Party and watch the parade in style. Hosting your own gathering this holiday season? Allow the professionals at Mesa de Notte to handle all of your catering needs. Make your reservations now for Christmas and New Year’s Eve and experience Mesa’s holiday menu. (Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.)
2015 Best of Taste Winner and Best Taste People’s Choice Mesa de Notte features a fullservice bar serving beer, wine and liquor. Stop by the bar and enjoy an appetizer on your way home from work. Buon Natale e felice anno nuovo!
Ipanema Brazilian Steak House 2023 South Pine Avenue, Ocala / (352) 622-1741 / ipanemaocala.com Lunch Wed-Fri 11a-2:30p / Dinner Tues-Thu 5-9p, Fri & Sat 5-10p, Sun 4-9p Brunch Sun 12-3p / Happy Hour Tue-Fri 5-7p / Closed Mon A Churrascaria (Portuguese for barbecue) is a dining experience where roaming Gauchos slice and serve fire-roasted meats from skewers in a continual fashion. Ipanema Brazilian Steak House boasts 12 of the finest cuts of meat complemented by an opulent salad and vegetable bar, delectable desserts and delicious wines, beers and cocktails. Brazilian native and Executive Chef Ortencia DeAlmeida invites you to embrace the flavors of her homeland and experience the magnetism of Ipanema for yourself. Become a fan of Ipanema on Facebook at facebook.com/ipanemasteakhouse.
Book your holiday luncheon now!
Braised Onion 754 NE 25th Ave, Ocala / (352) 620-9255 Tue-Thu 11a-9p / Fri-Sat 11a-10p / Sun 11a-8p Open Christmas Eve for lunch and dinner 11a-6p. Closed Christmas Day. Open New Year’s Eve for lunch, 11a-4p and dinner, 4p-10p. Closed New Year’s Day. Happy Holidays from our family to yours.
Come celebrate the season with Braised Onion. The restaurant will be decked out for the holidays, so grab the family or some friends and make it a date! Having an office or family get together? Braised Onion has a room for that. Or, they can bring their catering to you. Let the professionals take care of all the details. Our team of experts will be dishing out perfectly seasoned prime rib with creamy horseradish sauce on Friday and Saturday evenings. And don’t forget the dessert menu which includes the prize-winning bread pudding and coconut cream pie. Yum! Winner Taste of Ocala!
Hello Cupcake 2601 SW 19th Ave Rd., Ocala (Easy Street, round building in front of the movie theater) (352) 512-0224 / Mon-Thurs 10a-8p / Fri-Sat 10a-10p Hello Cupcake is the perfect spot to chill with friends, catch a sweet break or order treats for friends and family! For updates and featured items, stay tuned to their Facebook page.
Stop in for all your holiday treats! Hello Cupcake offers everything from cupcakes and pastries to macarons and cakes, with lattes and cappuccinos crafted in between. Daily flavors include vanilla bean, strawberry, lemon, cookies and cream, peanut butter, chocolate and mocha espresso. Come in for coffee and free Wi-Fi, grab a macaron to-go or bring your friends along to hang out. Let Hello Cupcake cater your next party, too.
HoneyBaked Ham 2709 SW 27th Ave., Ocala / Behind Best Buy, next to Regal Cinema / (352) 861-0011 myhoneybakedstore.com/ocala/1905 / Open Mon-Sat 10a-6p, Sun 11a-4p HoneyBaked Hams are slow smoked for 20 hours, spiral sliced and hand glazed. Our turkey breasts, smoked or roasted, are fully cooked, sliced, hand glazed and available all year. Ask us about our extended Holiday hours.
Almost everyone has enjoyed our famous HoneyBaked Ham or Whole Smoked, Roasted or Cajun Turkeys for their family events and holidays, but did you know you can enjoy that same wonderful flavor all year long? Our café is open seven days a week serving incredible sandwiches, salads, soups and freshly made deli sides. Come try our famous Ham Classic sandwich on a freshly baked croissant. Or, we can cater your office or special occasion with meat, cheese and fruit platters, breakfast sandwiches, hot catering or Boxed Lunches. Call us and we’ll help plan your menu and have everything ready without you having to step one foot into the kitchen. Fax your orders to (352) 861-7111.
A Gainesville Girl Ocala’s Beth Desimone talks about her time as a reality star p80
BHRS Is Back p78
Concerts Coming Soon p82
An Ocala Tradition p84
The Social Scene p90
THE FORCE AWAKENS… DOWNTOWN! D
ON’T BE ALARMED IF YOU HAPPEN TO NOTICE A FEW JEDI KNIGHTS WANDERING THE STREETS OF THE DOWNTOWN DISTRICT OR IF YOU CATCH A GLIMPSE OF LUKE SKYWALKER HIMSELF. In conjunction
with the premiere of the much-anticipated release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a downtown block party is slated to bring fans of all generations together in downtown Ocala. From 4-7pm, the streets will be shut down prior to the film’s premiere at the historic Marion Theatre. Along with Star Wars-themed entertainment and activities, there will also be a costume contest, so come dressed to impress in your finest droid-inspired garb.
FIND OUT MORE>
To ﬁnd out additional details about this event, visit ocalaﬂ.org or call (352) 789-2486.
RUN RUN RUDOLPH!
The much-anticipated Big Hammock Race Series is well under way! The second race of the series and an Ocala tradition, the Reindeer Run, will depart from Gateway Bank and take runners on a back tour of Silver Springs Boulevard. The littlest of reindeer can take part in a fun run of their own in the Rudolph Dash free of charge. And for the over 21 crowd, a complimentary beer tent will be set up at the finish, so have your IDs handy! Come ready to run donning your red noses, reindeer antlers or ugly sweaters. And don’t forget: The annual Christmas parade will kick off after the race ends at 5:30pm. This year’s theme is “Winter Express.” The Big Hammock Race Series is a series of seven races throughout Marion County, starting with the Turkey Trot and ending with the 4 On The Fourth race on July 4, 2016. The $15 series entry fee includes a commemorative shirt, commemorative medal if you complete all four Super Races (Reindeer Run 5K, Ocala Marathon weekend races, Live Oak International 5K and St. Paddy’s Day 5K) and access to the final award recognition event following the last series race. Each race also has a separate entry fee. Runners will earn points in both age divisions and overall categories in each race. Double points will be awarded in the four Super Races; additional points come with running in the half or full marathon during the Ocala Marathon weekend. For more information and registration information, visit bighammockraceseries.com or ocalareindeerrun.com.
DOWNTOWN TO DO’S The square is lit up and ready to host a number of festive events this month. Good girls and boys who have been hard at work finalizing their special lists are in for a treat. The man in the red suit will be making special appearances on the downtown square on Tuesday and Thursday evenings this month. His sleigh lands promptly at 6pm complete with Mrs. Claus and a few elves in tow. Numerous other holiday happenings are scheduled throughout the month, including an open prayer ceremony on December 7, THE WINGS OF FAITH CAROLERS
performing live downtown on December 9 and 16, a MENORAH LIGHTING CEREMONY
TOYS IN TOW
Move over Donner and Blitzen, the HARLEY OWNERS’ GROUP OF OCALA will be making their way downtown with a sleigh full of toys for good girls and boys for the 17th year in a row. The annual Toy Run will kick off from Harley-Davidson in Ocala and escort riders to the downtown square. A minimum donation of one new, unwrapped toy is required upon registration. ocalahogchapter.net or (352) 732-2488.
One of the longest running and top-rated 28-31 basketball tournaments in the country is slated to get underway later this month at Vanguard High School. The KINGDOM OF THE SUN BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT is in its 42nd year and has hosted several up-and-coming NBA superstars before they hit it big. This year’s action brings teams from Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Wisconsin and Toronto, Canada. Players will hit the courts on the 28th, with eight games taking place each day through the 30th. The final four games will be played on the 31st, with the championship game starting at 7pm. Ticket prices range from $6 to $8. Miss your favorite team? No worries! Each game will be broadcast and available on-demand. For a complete list of teams and game schedules, visit kingdomofthesun.net or call (352) 671-4900.
on December 6 and numerous caroling concert performances by different groups on select nights throughout the month. Gather at Citizens’ Circle on December 18 for a special holiday movie under the lights beginning at 6pm, and the annual SYMPHONY UNDER THE LIGHTS presented by our own Ocala Symphony Orchestra will take place on December 4 at Citizens’ Circle beginning at 7pm. The Ocala ice skating rink will also be up and running! Each Friday evening features a new theme to skate to, including a princess party, Minion night and superhero spectacular. And don’t forget to support our local vendors at the FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK on December 4 or at the Ocala Farm Market every Saturday morning from 9am-2pm. For a complete list of events and schedule of carolers, visit ocalaﬂ.org or call (352) 401-3916.
Let your family enjoy the holiday season with us–book now! COME HOME TO YOUR LAKEFRONT APARTMENT COMMUNITY
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GETTING Q&A TO KNOW BETH DESIMONE
GAINESVILLE Photos Courtesy of CMT
IN T ER VIEW B Y BONNIE KRETCHIK
ETH DESIMONE APPEARS TO BE YOUR TYPICAL “GIRL NEXT DOOR.” ALTHOUGH SHE DESCRIBES HERSELF AS A “GOOD OLD FLORIDA GIRL,” BETH’S RECENT EXPERIENCES ON A NATIONALLY BROADCAST TELEVISION SHOW AND HER SOMEWHAT PROLONGED “10-YEAR ROUTE TO A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE,” ILLUSTRATE SHE’S FAR MORE THAN THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. At 27, Beth jokes about her 10year track to her college degree. “It’s not always easy to be in a classroom with 18 year olds,” she says. But that degree, which she will earn this month from the University of Florida, will be the culmination of years of hard work and has played an integral role in who she is today. Beth grew up in Ocala and cherishes the small town atmosphere and equine background. “You’ve got an amazing horse country and our adorable downtown square—what more can you ask for,” she says with enthusiasm. Beth calls Ocala home but has always had her heart set on attending the University of Florida. After receiving scholarships to play softball at Florida Southern College, Beth decided to focus solely on her education. She sometimes worked as many as three jobs to pay for classes at the
SEE MORE 80
College of Central Florida until she could attend UF. “The transition from a small classroom to a lecture hall with 350 people was a little intimidating,” she recalls, but that environment would be nothing compared to a simple twist of fate that would plaster Beth’s image on billboards all over the country. While working at a bar in Gainesville, she landed a spot on a reality show produced by CMT. Gainesville would follow the trials and tribulations of
young 20-somethings as they found their way. Beth soon found herself followed by a team of cameramen practically 24/7. “They followed us Tuesday through Sunday for six months,” she explains, joking that the bathroom became her only sanctuary. “I wanted to be 100 percent me on camera,” Beth says. She explains that there were pros and cons to having her life broadcast for the world to see. “I wanted for other young people to relate to me, but seeing
Gainesville reruns can be seen on the CMT website at cmt.com.
yourself crying on national TV can be a bit embarrassing,” she says. Gainesville aired this past fall on CMT, and there are talks of perhaps a second season being picked up. “If it happens, it happens, but I just take one day at a time,” says Beth, who notes that the experience was a once-in-alifetime experience. So what’s next for the Florida girl turned TV star? “I’m just trying to make a life. I’ve had an amazing opportunity and hope it will further me in my career,” she says. Beth graduates this month with a degree in sports management and marketing and community relations. Although not completely sure where she will end up, one thing is for certain: Her future looks bright.
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12888 SE US HWY 441, Belleview, FL 34420 ocalastyle.com DEC’15
FREE ESL CLASSES (ONGOING) Free ESL classes will be held every Wednesday at the First Baptist Church of Ocala at 6pm. Three levels of classes are offered, and childcare is available. (352) 237-9858.
CONCERTS TICKETMASTER | (800) 745-3000 | TICKETMASTER.COM
ALL DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. PLEASE CALL AHEAD TO CONFIRM VENUE LISTINGS.
MAC MILLER DUSTIN LYNCH KANSAS JOJO COLT FORD THE WEEKND: THE MADNESS FALL TOUR DECEMBER SUPER JAM KIDZ BOP KIDS: MAKE SOME NOISE TOUR SOJA REBELUTION VOCALOSITY: THE ACA-PERFECT CONCERT EXPERIENCE BILLY JOEL DEF LEPPARD YOUNG ARTIST HONORS RECITAL BRANTLEY GILBERT OCALA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: STAR-CROSSED LOVERS LORETTA LYNN JACK & JACK
Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
House of Blues, Orlando
Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
State Theatre, St. Petersburg
Firestone Live, Orlando
Amalie Arena, Tampa
Orange Blossom Opry, Weirsdale
House of Blues, Orlando
Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
Germain Arena, Estero
Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Gainesville
Amalie Arena, Tampa
Amway Center, Orlando
Reilly Arts Center, Ocala
CFE Arena, Orlando
Reilly Arts Center, Ocala
The Sharon, The Villages
House of Blues, Orlando
THELOCALSCENE UPCOMING EXHIBITS AT THE APPLETON (ONGOING) Backstage Pass: Baron Wolman and the Early Years of Rolling Stone features a variety of Rolling Stone magazine photographs and covers. The exhibit will be on display through January 10. Dickens Christmas: Urban Family Holiday Collection will return to the Appleton through January 3. This Christmas display is the private collection of Dr. Paul and Joyce Urban and their daughters and often raises funds for various charities. The exhibit will include a special family day planned for
December 5. A Fine Timber: Wood and Transformation in our Time will feature the work of three artists specializing in woodwork. The exhibition runs through January 3. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455. FREE YOGA FOR VETERANS (ONGOING) Bliss Yoga and Wellness Center will host a free yoga class for active-duty and military veterans every Wednesday at 12:15pm. Classes are taught by a military veteran and are suitable for all fitness and experience levels. (352) 694-YOGA.
Ticketed events are $12 for adults and $5 for children. southerncowboyclassicrodeo.com or (352) 446-4480.
CHAIR YOGA (ONGOING) A chair yoga class for those with limited mobility will be held at Bliss Yoga in Ocala at 10:30am on Wednesdays. Registration is free, but donations are accepted. blissyogacﬂ.com or (352) 964-YOGA.
HOLIDAY FAMILY DAY AT THE APPLETON (DECEMBER 5) The Appleton will host a holiday family day. A Dickens Christmas Exhibit will be on display free of charge. Other activities include carriage rides, art-making activities and light refreshments. The museum will be open 10am4pm. appletonmuseum.org or (352) 291-4455.
HORSE & CARRIAGE TOURS (THROUGH DECEMBER 31) Horse-drawn carriage rides through the downtown district will be available most evenings throughout the month. Ride times average 15 minutes around the square and 30 minutes around historic downtown. horsecoun-
A MERRY NIGHT (DECEMBER 5) City Light Church in Ocala will host an event featuring holiday-themed characters from Medieval Europe and a Christmas cookie timeline. Tickets are $25 for up to 2 adults and $5 each for any additional children. Doors open at 7:30pm. (352) 401-5683.
trycarriagecompanyandtours. com or (352) 727-0900
FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK (DECEMBER 4) Local artists will present their crafts from 6-9pm. The evening will include live entertainment and performances on the downtown square. ocalaﬂ.org or (352) 629-8447. CLASSIC AT ADENA (DECEMBER 4) The First Annual Classic at Adena will consist of a scramble-format tournament with a shotgun start at 12pm. The event features several prizes, complimentary beverages and valet parking. Registration begins at 10:30am. (352) 812-3618 or (352) 362-3905. RODEO (DECEMBER 4-6) The Southern Cowboy Classic Rodeo and Stock Show will be held at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion and feature numerous equine, cattle and canine events. Admission is free on December 4 and 6 and free until 3pm on December 5.
LIGHT UP LAKE WEIR (DECEMBER 5) The fourth annual Light Up Lake Weir boat parade will begin at Carney Island at 5:30pm and end at Eaton’s Beach Sandbar and Grill around 7:30pm for an award presentation and party. (352) 821-4321 CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT TOUR (DECEMBER 5) Historic Ocala Preservation Society will host their annual Christmas Candlelight Tour showcasing the historic homes of Southeast 8th Street and the HOPS Bryant House. The tour runs 5-8pm and includes seasonal music, refreshments and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the night of the event. historicocala.org or (352) 351-1861. THE NUTCRACKER BALLET (DECEMBER 5) Step ‘N Time School of Dance Arts presents this timeless classic at the Curtis Peterson Auditorium in Lecanto Continued on page 84
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Treatment of Common Ailments such as Bunions, Hammertoes, Heel Pain, Fractures, Sprains, Athlete’s Foot, Neuromas, Tendonitis Ankle Arthroscopy • Laser Foot Surgery • Sports Related Injuries Children’s Foot Care • Custom Orthotics WE NOW HAVE DIGITAL X-RAY ON PREMISES Family Foot and Ankle is now located in South Pine Medical Park. We have on-site digital X-ray as well as 3-D scanning for custom orthotics and perform diabetic shoe ﬁttings. In addition to our comprehensive conservative therapies, both doctors are on staff at all the hospitals and perform surgery on the foot and ankle as well.
Dr. Noroozi Diplomate, American Board of Podiatric Surgery Board Certified in Foot & Ankle Surgery
Left to Right: Bohdan Warycha MD and YiLi Zhou MD PhD
Prevent the flu—it’s in your hands!
You may have the flu if:
• Get a flu vaccine every year.
• In addition to coughing or sneezing, you’re suffering from a fever, headache, chills or body aches.
• Wash hands often with soap and water. If you don’t have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. • Don’t touch or shake hands with people who are sick. • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
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• It came on suddenly.
The flu is most contagious early in the illness. If you believe you’re coming down with the flu, go home or stay home. Keep your hands clean, and coughs and sneezes covered. Consider seeing your doctor.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. • Stay home when you’re sick, and keep your children home when they’re sick.
www.ImmunizeFlorida.org Florida Department of Health • FloridaHealth.gov
1910 SW 18th Court, Ocala
918 Rolling Acres Rd, #102, Lady Lake
PERFORMING ARTS WHO
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: LA NOUBA BLUE MAN GROUP CRAIG FERGUSON
Downtown Disney, Orlando
Universal CityWalk, Orlando
Hard Rock Live, Orlando
DIVAS BY D.A.W.N.
Hernando Performing Arts Guild, Brooksville
MARION BALLET THEATRE: THE NUTCRACKER
Ocala Civic Theatre
Marion Ballet Theatre
A TIMELESS TUTU TRADITION Tis’ the season for sugar plum fairies, tutus and tiaras. For the 35th year, the MARION BALLET THEATRE presents The Nutcracker. This classic ballet sends young Clara on a whirlwind adventure with her beloved nutcracker prince. The Marion Ballet Theatre’s young dancers have been practicing en pointe for months and are set to take the stage with a new set and costumes. Performances are scheduled for December 11-13 and 17-20 at the Marion Civic Theatre. Dancers also will be meeting and greeting up-and-coming superstars at the Sugar Plum Princess Tea Party on December 12 and 19 at 10am. For a complete schedule of performance times, visit ocalacivictheatre.com or call (352) 236-2274. TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA: THE GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS EVE
Amalie Arena, Tampa
Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, Orlando
Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Gainesville
Circle Square Cultural Center, Ocala
Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center, Punta Gorda
Ocala Civic Theatre, Ocala
Hernando Performing Arts Guild, Brooksville Sonnetag Theatre at the Icehouse, Mount Dora Charles R. Dassance Fine Arts Center, Ocala
Hard Rock Live, Orlando
The Hippodrome, Gainesville
The Peaboby, Daytona Beach
DANCE ALIVE NATIONAL BALLET PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER WALT MATZKE’S FOUR PIANOS HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE RALPHIE MAY NETFLIX UNRULY TOUR HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE JULIAN BOND FUNNY MONEY THE DIAMONDS PENN & TELLER WOMEN IN JEOPARDY! JERUSALEM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
THELOCALSCENE / Continued from page 82 on Dec. 5 at 3pm. $15 for children 12 and under, $20 for those 13 and older. Purchase tickets at schofdancearts.com or by calling (352) 637-4663. POPS GOES THE HOLIDAYS (DECEMBER 5-6) The annual holiday concert presented by the Ocala Symphony Orchestra will feature a collection of seasonal favorites. The concert will be held at the Reilly Arts Center and performances are at 7:30pm on December 5 and 3pm on December 6. ocalasymphony.com or (352) 351-1606. CRACKER CHRISTMAS (DECEMBER 5-6) The Pioneer Garden Club presents a Cracker Christmas at the Silver River Museum Cracker Village. The village will be dressed with period decorations and feature an open-air market, festive music, food and more. The event runs 10am-7pm on December 5 and 11am-4pm on December 6. Price is $8 per carload, up to 8 people. Enjoy the village, the museum and both sides of the park for one low price. pioneergardenclub.org or (352) 216-7479. FIRST SATURDAY VILLAGE MARKET (DECEMBER 6) An outdoor marketplace will be held in the historic village of Dunnellon. Local vendors will be on-site selling a variety of goods from 8am-3pm. dunnellonhistoricvillage.com or (352) 274-0637.
CENTRAL FLORIDA MASTER CHOIR CONCERT (DECEMBER 11, 13, 20) The Central Florida Master Choir will perform their 2015 Holiday Concert Shepherd’s Awake! at 7pm on December 11 and 7pm on December 13 and 20. All concerts are free and open to the public; donations
are appreciated. On December 11, the concert will be held at the Reilly Arts Center. The December 13 show will take place at Countryside Presbyterian Church. The final concert will take place at Dunnellon Presbyterian Church. cfmasterchoir.com or (352) 615-7677. GIRLS INSPIRED TO TRY SCIENCE (DECEMBER 12) A program designed to introduce girls to the field of science will be held by the Discovery Center. The program features hands-on activities and is open to girls ages 8-12. Registration is $15. The program runs 10am-1pm. mydiscoverycenter.org or (352) 401-3900. BALLET PERFORMANCE (DECEMBER 12, 13) Light of Joy Ballet presents Emmanuel, God with Us! Both performances will be held at the Charles R. Dassance Fine Arts Center at 7pm. Admission is free, and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. dancedivineocala.com or (352) 629-6038. TRAINS AT THE HOLIDAYS (DECEMBER 12-30) The 20th annual presentation of the Ocala Model Railroaders’ Trains at the Holidays will take place at CF’s Webber Center daily from 11am4pm. The exhibit will be closed on December 24 and 25, and admission is free. (352) 861-8486. CANDLELIGHT VIGIL (DECEMBER 13) The IDEAVES Candlelight Vigil will reflect on those who have lost their lives to impaired drivers. The service will take place on the downtown square from 6:30-8pm. ocalaﬂ.org or (352) 438-2352. GARDEN WORKSHOP (DECEMBER 13) Silver Springs State Park will host a gardening Continued on page 88
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THELOCALSCENE / Continued from page 84 workshop on the second Sunday of each month at 1pm. Exact locations of each workshop will vary. (352) 236-7156. NATURE WALK (DECEMBER 16) The Marion Audubon Society will host a guided walk around Lake Tuscawilla to see seasonal migratory and resident birds. The walk will depart from the Discovery Center at 9am and is free and open to the public. mydiscoverycenter.org or (352) 401-3900. MAKING STRIDES AGAINST BREAST CANCER CRAFT NIGHT (DECEMBER 18) A craft night will
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take place the third Friday of each month at 6pm featuring a different theme each night. The event will take place at the Marion County Sheriff ’s administration building. (352) 732-5982. CRAFT FESTIVAL (JANUARY 2-3) The 15th Annual Spanish Springs Craft Festival will take place at the Spanish Springs Town Square in The Villages from 10am-5pm both days. The festival features over 175 crafters from 30 different states, a juried outdoor craft show and prices to meet all budgets. Admission is free. artfestival.com or (561) 746-6615.
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BRILLIANCE ON DISPLAY: GRAND OPENING OF THE REILLY ARTS CENTER REILLY ARTS CENTER
BY RONALD W. WETHERINGTON, SOCIAL SCENE EDITOR OCALA STYLE MAGAZINE
VERYONE WHO WAS ANYONE WAS IN BLACK-TIE REGALIA WALKING ONE OF THE TWO RED CARPETS AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE REILLY ARTS CENTER ONE SPLENDID FRIDAY NIGHT THIS FALL. THE RAC IS PICTURESQUELY SITUATED NEAR DOWNTOWN OCALA IN TUSCAWILLA PARK. THE OCCASION WAS THE GRAND OPENING OF THE RAC, CELEBRATED WITH THE OCALA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON OPENER. NEAR THE RED CARPETS, THE SYMPHONY GUILD MEMBERS WERE SERVING COMPLIMENTARY CHAMPAGNE TO ARRIVING GUESTS. THIS NIGHT WAS A LANDMARK EVENT IN OUR CITY’S ILLUSTRIOUS HISTORY.
The RAC is the magnificently refurbished old city auditorium. Of special note is its Live Oak Foundation Founders’ Club, which is a private, members’-only room for patrons who have given $5,000 or more to the OSO. It was here, where guests such as DON AND KELLEY JENKINS of the Jenkins Auto Group and generous benefactor ROBERT REILLY were reclining in big leather chairs at the pre-event party. Don and Kelley Jenkins are sponsoring the outdoor stage, which is currently under construction near the Founders’ Club. BARBARA FITOS was greeting guests as they entered the Founders’ Club where they relaxed with a fully stocked bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres catered by Mark’s Prime Steakhouse and Seafood located on Ocala’s historic downtown square. At the pre-event party, looking like she just stepped out of the pages of Vogue, SUSAN GILLILAND, secretary of the OSO board, was seen wearing St. John with a Chanel-inspired top trimmed in feathers accentuated by glittering chandelier earrings. After the pre-event party, the main event of the evening was the concert itself in the acoustically perfect hall where the 709 seats were sold out. The man
of the hour was music director and conductor MATTHEW WARDELL, who recently won election to Ocala’s city council. Attendees sat in fascination while listening to the 85 musicians who first performed Italian composer Ottorino Respighi’s Pines of Rome and then a wellknown composition to many in the audience, Disney’s Fantasia. After intermission, composer Gustav Holst’s The Planets was performed with lavish HD video projections above the stage. The concert was sponsored by U.S. Trust and Angie Lewis State Farm Insurance. This memorable evening drew to a close with an after party sponsored by Adena Golf and County Club for friends of the symphony who gave $1,000 or more and other VIPs. Seen mixing and mingling with the large crowd was STACEY ROLLINS, membership director for Adena, and LISA LOMBARDO, public relations director for Coates Golf. OSO board treasurer WILLIAM NASSAL noted that the RAC is a private and public partnership between OSO, its donors and the City of Ocala. Three years in the making, this night’s concert and parties was a success story. Many different artistic groups and organizations will be using the RAC for future events and meetings.
Ronald W. Wetherington Social Scene Editor
Lisa & Adam Lombardo
Ana Soler, Joan Tamburo, Wendy Turner, Barbara Fitos, Linda Harrison and Cory Taylor
Robert Reilly and Matthew Wardell
Cindy and Bill Nassal
Debbie Muir and John Daley
James & Gail Swingle and Tom & Judy Green
John & Karin Reger and Stacey & Scott Rollins
Bill Nassal and Kent Guinn
John & Jill Paglia, Gerald Ergle
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Chester Weber and Beth & Wayne McCall
John Setzer, Susan Gilliland, Andrea Wilson and Dean Lampe
View more Social Scene photos and purchase prints of your favorites at ocalastyle.com
Paula Adams, Rebecca Fierle, Tom Dobbins, Jessi Miller Castro and Leslie Hammond Carol & Frank Hennessey Linda Harrison and Justin Grabelle
Briana Chancey, Abbie Slagel, Lillie Slagel
American Heart Association Bowl A Thon Pins were flying as community teams joined forces to help Brown & Brown Insurance of Ocala do its part to support the American Heart Association. The Bowl A Thon was a unique and fun way to raise funds for a worthwhile and generous organization. PHOTOS BY LAUREL GILLUM
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Meet & Greet With An Astronaut ISLAND GROVE WINE COMPANY TASTING HOUSE
In September, visitors of Island Grove Wine Company’s Tasting House were able to meet and have their photo taken with Commander Bruce Melnick. Melnick flew with NASA aboard the Shuttle Discovery STS-41 and the Shuttle Endeavor STS-49. Kids were able to talk to and have their picture taken with an American hero.
Sarah Aschliman and Bruce Melnick
PHOTOS BY CRYS WILLIAMS
Chris Aschliman, Jen and Lincoln Remick Raymond Hufault, Bruce Melnick and Brody Hufault Paige, Mitchell, Cohen, and Blair Robinson
John and Barbara Scohier Kaci Polk, Miranda Polk, Kevin Polk, Nette Whitney and Amanda Thomas
View more Social Scene photos and purchase prints of your favorites at ocalastyle.com
Lucy and Wayne Smith Kim Melnick and Pat Erson
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