Membership has its privileges — and its rewards — here on Anastasia Island. There’s a lot of money to be saved, and it doesn’t matter if you are a full-time resident or a seasonal visitor.
Three attractions in close proximity to each other offer annual memberships that cut the cost of enjoying island life considerably and at your convenience.
The first is the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, 81 Lighthouse Ave. (829-0745; staugustinelighthouse.com). General admission is $12.95 for adults and $10.95 for seniors and children under 12.
Become an annual member and enjoy a variety of benefits. Several types of memberships are available. A “Keepers” membership is $25 per person and includes unlimited admission, reduction of the costs of participating in tours and other events, discounts at the museum store, invitations to members-only events and a subscription to the Spyglass museum magazine.
Grandparents membership is $40 and includes unlimited admission for members and grandchildren under 18, all of the Keepers membership discounts, plus a discount for summer camp.
Keepers’ Family membership is $50. It includes unlimited admission for members and immediate family under age 18, plus all the benefits of the Keepers membership.
Keepers’ Family Plus is $50 and offers unlimited admission for members, immediate family under 18 and two additional guests, plus all the benefits of the Keepers membership.
Here’s a new membership perk: the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum’s Little Keeper children’s program for ages 3 to 5 that began this week (Tuesday) offers monthly programs running through May. The programs include interactive activities that will focus on science, nature and history. This five-part series is based on the science of light and inspired by the 2015 International Year of Light as declared by the United Nations. The program is free for members. Nonmembers pay $15. Call Michelle Adams at 829-0745, ext. 212, to register.
Another is the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, 999 Anastasia Blvd. (824-3337; alligatorfarm.com).
The current one-day admission price for adults is $24.99 and $13.99 for ages 3 to 11. A one-year individual membership is $59.95 and can be used 365 days a year during regular hours. The membership also offers discounts on gift shop purchases, birthday parties, zoo camps and special events.
A Photo membership is $69.95 for one adult and offers the added perk of an 8 a.m. entry to the park from mid-March to mid-July, an hour earlier than the 9 a.m. regular opening time.
The Grandparent membership at $79.95 per year allows admission for two specified adults living in the same household and grandchildren 16 and younger. In addition to the discounts offered in the individual membership, this membership includes two St. Augustine Alligator Farm kids T-shirts.
Family membership at $89.95 allows year-round admission for two specified adults living in the same household and dependent children 16 and younger — plus all the discounts and two T-shirts.
Regardless of which membership you purchase, for an additional $100 you can buy 10 admission tickets for use by out-of-town guests and relatives.
The last is Anastasia State Park, 300 Anastasia Park Road (461-2033; anastasiastatepark.net). If you want to explore some of the 1,600 acres of wildlife, the rich ecosystems and four miles of beaches, you first have to get in the gate of this oceanfront treasure.
Vehicle admission is $8 for two to eight people and $4 for one. Become a member of Friends of Anastasia State Park for $25 per year and you are entitled to 12 vehicle admissions per year. What’s more, it’s tax deductible.
While the Friends organization would love to have you participate as a working member of its initiatives, it isn’t required. You can even purchase additional memberships for family members and friends. For membership information, visit http://test.friendsofanastasia.org/become-a-member.
Reading: Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” is the book of choice for the 2016 St. Johns Reads Program sponsored by the St. Johns County Public Library System.
Libraries throughout the county in February will feature a variety of programs highlighting the lasting literary and cultural impact of the book. Events will include book discussions, films and presentations that will touch upon the many themes covered in Lee’s tale of Jim Crow justice set against the mysteries and wonderment of a 1930s Southern childhood.
The focus will culminate with a screening of the 1962 film version of the book and an appearance by Mary Badham, the actress who played Scout in the movie, at 6 p.m. Feb. 27 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340C State Road A1A South. Badham will discuss her on-set experiences, lifelong friendship with Gregory Peck and the impact of the novel and film.
To read “To Kill a Mockingbird” and to learn more about St. Johns Reads 2016, contact your local library, call 827-6928 or visit www.sjcpls.org or www.staugamphitheatre.com.
Writing: Anastasia Island Branch Library will host four local authors who will give a general overview of writing long and short fiction and nonfiction from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The free workshop, “Write it Now: Books and Short Stories,” will feature authors Amy Atwell, Katelin Maloney, Nancy Quatrano and Lauren Tomlinson, with Nancy Haddock moderating. This free workshop is open to all writers and aspiring writers. Bring your lunch or enjoy refreshments provided by the Friends of the Anastasia Island Branch Library. The library is at 124 Sea Grove Main St. Call 209-3730 for information.
In the Jan. 8 edition of this column, which focused on the Marineland area, a mention was made of the former Marineland of Florida oceanarium programs that once included dolphin and sea lion shows and displays of penguins and other sea life.
Marineland Dolphin Adventure is the current name of what was formerly known as Marineland of Florida. It does not have dolphin and sea lion shows or penguins on display. At today’s facility, the focus is on dolphin interactions, swimming with dolphins and a variety of other dolphin encounters. Marineland Dolphin Adventure is an affiliate of Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.
Have news to share about Anastasia Island or the adjoining areas? Send your information about people and events to [email protected] or call 471-4851.