Animation action

Catch the animation action, go crazy with the watermelon

Our kids begged for a pet, but we’re not really “animals”. Luckily my husband is very allergic to pet hair so this weekend we finally gave in and got a Betta fish. A hundred dollars later (the fish, an aquarium with filter, gravel, plants, water conditioner, food, and a little stone hut for the fish to hide from our children), Abby Chula Acevedo was at home. A day later we are back at the pet store wondering why the water is so murky and why the fish don’t seem to be thriving in their new home. Stay tuned for the verdict! I wonder if we should have bought a twin to hide in a tank in my closet in case Abby died untimely.

An animation party

The Florida Animation Festival at All Saints Cinema is a multi-day event presented by the Florida Film Society, in partnership with The Pod Advertising. With over 75 animated shorts submitted from around the world, there will also be keynote speakers and a free feature film for families. Each block of shorts is rated (conservatively) so you can know in advance which ones would be suitable for your kids’ ages. Check out their guide to virtual programs for descriptions, ratings, durations, and a schedule. The festival is also partnering with Red Eye, Black Dog and the Crum Box to bring deals to patrons performing their festival programs this weekend, all within walking distance of the cinema.

Details: Thursday to Sunday, 918 Railroad Avenue. Festival events and screenings are free up to $10. Visit floridaanimationfestival.com for tickets and program guide.

“You do them, I amuse them!”

Brought to you by the Monticello Acting Dance Company, Seussical Jr. is a musical extravaganza that brings all of your family’s favorite Dr. Seuss characters to life. A story of friendship, loyalty, family and community, the show lasts approximately one hour and 10 minutes and will also have a Q&A session with the audience after each performance at the Monticello Opera House.

Details: Sessions are Fridays at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. Tickets available by phone at 850-997-4242, online at monticellooperahouse.org, or at the door if not available. is not out of stock.

Wear flip flops, get a smoothie

Tropical Smoothie will celebrate “National Flip Flop Day” on Friday by giving away free 16 oz. Sunshine Smoothies when you walk in with flip flops. With mango, banana, orange, pineapple and orange juices, the Sunshine Smoothie looks like a delicious free treat to beat the heat.

Details: Friday, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. only. Visit tropicalsmoothie.com for participating locations.

Do the watermelon crawl (have fun!)

The 69th Annual Watermelon Festival in Monticello wraps up this weekend with lots of fun things to check out. A BBQ dinner, vintage car show, street dance, parade, two Ultimate Air Dogs shows, wacky watermelon games and more round out this annual event full of fruity family fun. Arts, crafts and food vendors will also be on site on both days.

Details: Friday and Saturday in downtown Monticello. Almost all events are free. A calendar of events is available online at the Monticello-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce page.

Alicea Acevedo and her husband, John, own Restaurant Riccardo and constantly struggle to find enough family time to spend with their two daughters, Viv, 4, and Apollonia, 6.