All area codes are 850 unless noted.
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.
Jan. 11: Learn the history of Floridas most famous reptile, the alligator, at 2 p.m.
Jan. 12: Breakfast with a Ranger at 9 a.m. Guest speaker Susan Paladini of Coffeen Nature Preserve will discuss the History of the Preserve, the JB2 Ford Rocket Program, and the Preserves military history. There is no entry fee for the park; breakfast is a $5 donation to the Friends of Topsail Hill State Park.
Jan. 18: A night hike begins at 4:45 p.m. by watching the sunset, then a 1 mile hike to the day use parking lot.
Jan. 19: Learn which spiders in Florida are poisonous, where they live, what they eat, and the benefits they bring to us at 2 p.m.
Jan. 26: Learn what type of creatures, on land and sea, can be found in this area at 2 p.m.
Choctawhatchee Audubon Society
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.
Mainstay Financial Group will present a special seminar, Fiscal Cliff: Facts or Fiction? at 10 a.m. Jan. 14 in the Suite 3 Resource Center conference room at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. Attendees will learn about the upcoming financial changes and challenges and the impact they may have. To register for this free seminar, call 278-3600.
Seminar on back pain and golf
Sacred Heart Physical Therapist, Amy Arnold, PT, will present a free seminar, Back to Golf, a 10 a.m. Jan. 16 in the Suite 3 Conference Room at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast. Attendees will learn about a new program being offered by Sacred Heart Rehabilitation that teaches participants about proper body mechanics to reduce back pain and improve the golf swing. To register, call 278-3600.
Hormones and weight loss seminar
Dr. Nitin Bawa, president and founder of Dr. Bawa and Associates, will present Common Misconceptions About Hormones and Weight Loss at 5 p.m. Jan. 16 at 155 Crystal Beach Drive in Destin. Call 424-7320 to reserve your spot. The first ten seats can be reserved at no charge but after that it will cost $10 per person. The $10 can be applied toward any service purchased at the clinic other than co pays.
Grand Opening/Open House
Northwest Florida State College will hold a Grand Opening and Open House for the colleges new Activities Center from 1-3 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Niceville Campus. The event will include a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. at the west entrance to the building, facing the new courtyard between the Activities Center and the Student Services Center. Call 729-5362 or 729-5357.
Carrabbas cooking class
Carrabbas 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.
Florida Trail Association
The Florida Trail Association will hold the following events. Visit www.choctaw.floridatrail.org or call the listed number.
Jan. 18-21: A 4-day 3-ight backpacking adventure on Eglin in Walton County. Call 585-5150 or 816-916-5736.
Jan. 22: Monthly meeting at 6 p.m. at Eds Hometown Seafood & Steaks in Niceville. Visitors welcome. Call 654-1172.
Jan. 26: A 3, 5, or 8 mile hike at 9 a.m. in Point Washington State Forrest near Santa Rosa Beach. Call 302-528-8284 or 816-916-5736.
Jan. 26: A 4-mile night hike around Karick Lake at 5 p.m. with dinner following at the Gator Café in Baker. Call 651-0902 or 682-6098.
Arbor Wealth Management, LLC will host 2013 Market Outlook: Retirement and Income Generation at 10 a.m. and also at 5 p.m. Jan. 30 in the Arbor Wealth Conference Room. Firm founder and principal Margaret R. McDowell, ChFC®, AIF, will lead a Power Point presentation that provides an overview of anticipated market trends in 2013. Income generation and investment strategies outlined are most appropriate for investors with $250,000 or more of investable assets. Refreshments will be served. Call 608-6121 to reserve seating.
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 Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals 30th anniversary.
AARP Income Tax help
Volunteers from AARP will provide free individual federal tax assistance on an appointment only basis at the Destin Library from 9 am. to 5 p.m. beginning Feb. 7 through April 11. Call 837â8572 and make an appointment.
According to AARP officials, individual income tax preparation assistance is limited to 2012 federal income taxes only.
The First Presbyterian Church of Fort Walton Beach, 134 Beal Avenue, SW, will be the site of a SERRV Craft Market, an international craft market of fairly traded handmade items from around the world, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 10, 17 and 24 and from 10 a.m., to 1 p.m. Feb. 13, 16, 20 and 23.
See a large assortment of authentic and unique items and shop for handmade items from around the world. Purchasers will have the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped make a difference in the lives of artisans who are striving to support their families and are being paid fairly for their efforts. Call 243-3732 or 243-4777.
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 email@example.com.
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.