All area codes are 850 unless noted.
Capt. Ben Marler will sign copies of his books, “Old Destin Through the Eyes of a Child” and “4 o’clock in the morning” at 11 a.m. Dec. 22 at Bass Pro Shops in Destin Commons. Get the two books for $20.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach will hold the following tours. All programs except Breakfast with a Ranger require a $6 entry admission into the park. Outside tours are canceled during severe weather. For information, call 267-8330.
• Dec. 28: Why do you burn the woods? Come join us at this A Ranger led program to learn why/how/when we burn our forests at 1:30 p.m.
• Jan 1: Turpentine Trail Hike at 1:30 p.m. for America’s State Parks
WinterWild children’s camp, a winter break camp for grades 1-6, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 31 through Jan. 4 at HarborWalk Village in Destin. Enjoy wildlife encounters, marine education and beach activities. Cost is $30/day; sibling discount, $20/day. Call 650-1880.
Choctawhatchee Audubon Society
• Jan. 3: Meeting at 6:309 p.m. in Room 132 of the Student Services Center on the Niceville Campus of Northwest Florida State College. The program is “Hombres, Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves: Bottlenose dolphin site fidelity, habitat use, and causes of mortality along the Western Florida Panhandle” presented by Steve Shippee of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. Call 582-7064.
• Jan. 12: A bird walk at Big Sabine Point on Santa Rosa Island led by local ornithologist Alan Knothe. Meet at uptown station at 7:30 a.m. or at the Navarre Butterfly House on U.S. 98 at 8 a.m. Call 850-208-1780.
• Jan. 26: Join Bruce Purdy for a bird walk at the Okaloosa Landfill and Sprayfields to see a wide variety of interesting birds. Meet at the Coach and Four Restaurant on N. Lewis Turner Blvd. at 7:30 a.m. Call 305-359-5334 or 582-7064.
Healthy Living Expo
The 2013 Emerald Coast Healthy Living Expo will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 5 the Saint Mary Parish Life Center, 110 Saint Mary Ave. in Fort Walton Beach. The Expo is FREE, and the public is invited for health-focused activities and information for children, adults and seniors.
All vendors with health-related items and services are encouraged to register for a booth at the Expo. Space is limited, and prime locations are going quickly. This is a cost-effective way to showcase your healthcare services to the community.
For more information, visit www.fwbchamber.com, email RachelleGraves@fwbchamber.org or call 850-244-8191.
Ride along with a deputy, tour the courthouse, go to the firing range and more during the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Citizens Academy from 6-9 p.m. Monday nights, Jan. 7 through April 1, at the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Administrative Building. Contact Ashley Bailey, crime prevention specialist, at 651-7153 or email email@example.com.
A workshop to assist students in Okaloosa County High Schools who will take the Feb. 9 ACT and the Jan. 26 SAT will be held from 2-5 p.m. Jan. 22, 23, 28 and 29 at Niceville High School and from 2-5 p.m. Jan. 24, 25, 30 and 31 at Fort Walton Beach High School. All materials, snacks and drinks are furnished. Students need to bring calculators.
Registration deadline is Jan. 8. For information, contact Alice Hart at 615-585-2401, email Amhart1966@aol.com or contact your high school Guidance Department.
Carrabba’s cooking class
Carrabba’s Italian Grill at Silver Sands Premium Outlets will share secrets from its kitchen in a cooking class to benefit Shelter House from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 18 at 10562 U.S. Hwy. 98. The afternoon will also feature food samples, a complimentary glass of wine, a raffle and recipes to take home.
Tickets are $40 per person. Seating is limited and registration is required. For more information or to register, call 243-1201 or visit www.ShelterHouseNWFL.org.
Free pancakes at IHOP
IHOP will give away free pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 5 to celebrate National Pancake Day. The fundraiser aims to raise $3 million to kick off Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ 30th anniversary.
The following events are held regularly at the Destin Library. Call 837-8572
• Tai Chi for Arthritis: At 7 a.m. Wednesdays. Cost is $5/class.
• Cuddlers & Toddlers Storytime: From 3-3:45 p.m. Tuesdays and 9:30-10:15 a.m. Thursdays for ages 4 months to 4 years.
• Independent Film Series: Independent and foreign films shown at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month.
• Friends of the Destin Library: Monthly meeting held at 10 a.m. the second Friday of each month.
Destin Community Center
All activities are at the Destin Community Center, unless noted. Call 654-5184 for information and to register. Persons with disabilities who require assistance are asked to notify the center 48 hours in advance.
• Baton lessons: Begins in the spring. Call 699-8309.
• Chair yoga: Thursday at 10 a.m. Cost is $3/class.
• Duplicate bridge: At 9:30 a.m. Mondays and 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 9:30 a.m. Thursdays at Buck Destin Park. Entry fee: $6. No partner needed.
• Game room: Open to children 10 and older and under 10 accompanied by adult from 1-9 p.m. Monday-Friday.
• Intermediate party bridge: Mondays and Tuesdays at 12:45 p.m. at Buck Destin Park. Call 837-1967.
• Jazzercise class: 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Call 621-3055.
• Kidz Klub: After-school program from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
• Modern line dance: Classes from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Wednesdays beginning Jan. 11. Fee is $5/class.
• Open gym: Check ahead for times and dates open.
• Pickle ball: Pickle Ball courts will be set up at noon Mondays and Thursdays for beginning players and 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays for advanced players. Fee is $2.
• Table tennis: 9 a.m. to noon Thursdays and 3-5 p.m. Tuesdays.
• Tennis Academy: A tennis program with USPTA Professional Brian Wilson at Buck Destin Park on Legion Drive. This program will be open to all ages and abilities with days and times to be determined. Group classes will be one hour long and cost $15 a session. Private lessons will be $50 an hour. To sign up or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Walking Club: Walk with music from 8-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.
• Woodcarving: Fridays at 9 a.m. Fee is $3.
• Yoga: Thursdays at noon. Cost is $5/class.
• Zumba gold: Thursday at 11 a.m. Cost is $6/class.