All area codes are 850 unless specified.
Choctawhatchee Audubon Society: A follow-up to relocate and observe interesting birds (e.g., Northern Gannets, a Western Kingbird and two Ash-throated Flycatchers) spotted during December’s Christmas Bird Count will be held Jan. 4. Meet at 7:30 a.m. in the Pepito’s Restaurant parking lot, 1313 Lewis Turner Blvd. in Wright, Fla., north side of Fort Walton Beach. Bring binoculars and/or camera, water, and sunscreen, and wear closed-toed shoes, long pants, and a hat. Call leader Alan Knothe at 850-208-1780 for information.
Jan. 9: The Wading Birds of Eastern North America will be the Thursday evening program at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9 in room 302 of the Student Services Center at the Northwest Florida State College Niceville campus.
This program by retired professional naturalist Greg Greer will discuss these species and present some of his excellent photographs. Admission is free and open to the public. Call 907-321-3701 for more information.
MUG: The Mac Users Group will meet at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 6 in the NWF State College Student Services Center — Rooms 308/9. A question and answer session will be hosted by Eddie Branch. Bring your questions on the Mac, iPad and iPhone and they will be, hopefully, answered. Call 240-3146.
Master Gardeners Lecture Series: Join the Walton County Master Gardeners for a look into the area’s complex systems of fresh and saltwater during a lecture series event featuring Dr. Laura Tiu’s program about the area’s watershed.Tiu, Marine Science agent for Okaloosa and Walton County UF/IFAS – Extension, presents the program at 10 a.m. Jan. 8 at the extension office, 732 N 9th Street in DeFuniak Springs next to the Fairgrounds. This program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Seating is limited and reservations are required at 892-8172 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Master Gardeners will be on hand to take gardening questions and help with soil samples.
Coastal Branch Library: Winter Community Programs every Wednesday begin at 10 a.m. Jan. 8 with Film Screening Documentary – Southwest FL Mangrove Coast - Nic Stoltzfus and Elam Stolzfus. Program brochures will be available at the Library and the schedule will be posted at www.youseemore.com/walton/coastal. For more information, call 267-2809.
• Jan. 15: Songwriter Musician – Tanya Gallagher
• Jan. 22: Historian - The Old East Pass and the Lighthouse Keepers- Hank C. Klein
• Jan. 29: Principal Harpist – Katie Ott
• Feb. 5: Walton County History with Story and Song - Historian Ronnie McBrayer
• Feb. 12: Dr. Prudence Farrow Bruns on Transcendental Meditation
• Feb. 19: Bruce Collier as Winston Churchill
• Feb. 26: Chick Huettel – History of Walton County Sheriff’s Posse
• March 4: Ted Talk FSU Speakers – Erica Averion and Libby Fisher
Garden Club: The Green Thumb Garden Club will meet at 9:45 a.m. Jan. 15 at the The Hyatt Place at Grand Boulevard. Ms. Leigh Moore of Scenic Walton will share the goals and programs of their organization including the preservation and protection of the scenic nature and beauty along the roadways of Walton County. Email Peggy Sue Mullen for reservations at email@example.com. The cost is $25 for both the lunch and program.
Symphony and President’s Series: Belinda Davids brings the iconic music of Whitney Houston in The Greatest Love of All: A Tribute to Whitney Houston on Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $45. Purchase at https://mattiekellyartscenter.org/.
Dance the music of Beethoven and Bernstein: March 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $25/adult, $16/youth. Guest conductor Steven Byess leads the NFSO in an evening of rhythmic music celebrating the elements of dance.
Stars of Tomorrow/An Evening at the Opera: April 18 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $25/adult, $16/youth. The NFSO season finale will open with performances from the winners of the 33rd Annual Concerto Competition. The Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale will then join the orchestra performing opera choruses from popular operas. Maestro David Hoose will be the guest conductor for this show.
This season, the President’s Speaker Series features three diverse speakers, each sharing their stories of overcoming adversity to reach their personal goals. The speaker’s series are free, but seating is limited.
John Quinones: Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. Known for truly connecting with audiences and leaving them uplifted and inspired, Quinones delivers a powerful message of believing in one’s self, never giving up, and always doing the right thing. As host and creator of What Would You Do?, Quinones has become "the face of doing the right thing."
Dale Berra: March 13 at 7:30 p.m. Dale Berra, the son of Yogi Berra, is a former Major League Baseball infielder who played from 1977 to 1987. However, cocaine slowly took Dale’s promising career away, and it could have taken his life if it wasn’t for his father’s love.
Family presentation: Walton County Coastal Branch Library welcomes young people and their families for a presentation on how to set life goals, attain desired visions and add wealth to their lives from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Jan. 15. Guest author John Segal will explain how choosing to act on six goals gives young people the opportunity to achieve the vision they desire for their lives. For more information, call 267-2809.
Retired Officers’ Wives’ Club: NWFL Retired Officers' Wives' Club luncheon will be held at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 16 at Two Trees Restaurant at FWB Golf Course, 1955 Lewis Turner Blvd., with local artist and photographer Sue Carol Knight. Cost is $15. New members, wives of retired officers from all services, always welcome. RSVP for lunch at NWFloridaROWC@gmail.com.
Topsail Talks: Topsail Hill Preserve State Park presents "Mosquitoes" by South Walton Mosquito Control Jan. 17.
Choctawhatchee Audubon Society: Leader Walt Spence, 850-582-7064, brings together birding and local history during Birding Niceville and Valparaiso Shorelines Jan. 18. Meet at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot in front of Mattress Depot in Bayou Plaza, 597 N John Sims Parkway in Niceville. Boggy Bayou and bird photography are among Spence’s specialties. And 30 or 40 kinds of birds would not be surprising. Bring binoculars and/or camera, water, and sunscreen, and wear closed-toed shoes, long pants, and a hat.
Broadway shows at MKAC: Guest artists and Broadway shows are the highlights of the season for many of the patrons at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center. Purchase tickets at https://mattiekellyartscenter.org/.
Wild World of Animals: Jan 24 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $20/adults, $10/youth. Direct from Jack Hanna’s Adventures, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and more, Wild World of Animals is an entertaining and educational show in an intimate setting, presenting animals born in captivity displaying natural behaviors, facilitated by an extremely knowledgeable moderator and guide.
Bandstand the Musical: Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $49. It’s 1945, and six soldiers return from war to a changed nation. When NBC announces a national competition to find the nation’s next great musical superstars, they form a band unlike any the nation has ever seen. Along the way, they discover the power of music to face the impossible, find their voice and finally feel like they have a place to call home.
Jersey Boys: Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $49. They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard … and the radio just couldn’t get enough of it. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story, a story that has made them an international sensation all over again.
The Choir of Man: March 26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $37. It’s a party. It’s a concert. It’s a pint-filled good time set in a real working pub that combines hair-raising harmonies, high-energy dance and live percussion with foot-stomping choreography.
The SpongeBob Musical: May 8 at 7 p.m. Tickets $49. Broadway’s best creative minds re-imagine and bring to life the beloved Nickelodeon series with humor, heart and pure theatricality in "a party for the eyes and ears." (Daily Beast).
Coastal Seniors Movie: Walton County Coastal Library will be hosting a South Walton Coastal Seniors Movie at the Library, "Nebraska," on Tuesday, Jan. 28 from 9:45-11:45 a.m. The movie stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte and June Squibb. If you like, bring a dish to share during the show. No registration needed. Please call Jim at Coastal Library, 850-267-2809, or visit 437 Greenway Trail in Santa Rosa Beach for more information.
Sinfonia Gulf Coast: The second installment of the Silver Sands Premium Outlets’ Classical Connections Series will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Village Baptist Church and features 2017 Bronze Medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and two icons of Russian orchestral music, Dmitri Shostakovich and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
May 16: The main season will come to a cinematic finale at the Emerald Coast Convention Center with "Jurassic Park in Concert." Experience it projected in HD with Sinfonia Gulf Coast performing John Williams’ iconic score live to picture.
May 24: The season comes to an official close with Sinfonia Goes Pops!, presented al fresco on the amphitheater lawn at Alys Beach at 7:30 p.m. This patriotic, family-friendly concert is free and open to the public and concludes with a festive firework display.
Christ the King Concert Series: Enjoy an afternoon of chamber music featuring some of the best musicians in Northwest Florida during David Ott and Friends at 3 p.m. Feb. 2 at Christ the King, 480 North County Highway 393 in Santa Rosa Beach. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.
• Feb. 16, Beethoven's 4th Symphony: This is a work of boundless energy and excitement with surges and restless underpinnings that mark the demanding piece.
One Woman Performance: Nancy Hasty has written and will perform as Jackie Cochran at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Chautauqua Theatre in DeFuniak Springs. The performance is a benefit for the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood’s interior furnishings. Reserve tickets, which are limited, by sending $25/ticket to "Play" at 504 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs, FL. 32435. Make your check payable to Forward DeFuniak, Inc. and write "Play" on the memo line. With identification, your tickets will await you at the box office. If not sold out, tickets will be available at the door. Call 850-830-7663.
Third Thursday Wine Walk: Join the Gulf Place Merchants for a South Walton tradition at 5 p.m. every third Thursday of the month. Tickets are $20 and include samplings of hand-selected wines, light appetizers, live music and giveaways. Check in at 5 p.m. at the stage to receive a complimentary glass and walkabout map.
Family Fun Fest: Join in the free fun Friday nights for Family Fun Fest from 6-10 p.m. at Seascape Towne Centre, located near Seascape Resort in Miramar Beach. Event features live music performances, food and drink specials and kid-friendly activities, including face painting and a live magic show.
Library Skills Class for Kids: The Walton County Coastal Library will host Library Skills Class for Kids from 11 a.m. to noon the second Thursday of each month. Parents are welcome to participate. The intention is to provide students the opportunity to develop skills in reading, oral communication, thinking and reasoning, ability to search out information using reference material and to develop basic library skills. No registration needed.
Peer to Peer Support Group: Mental Health Association of Okaloosa and Walton Counties is sponsoring a Peer to Peer Support Group every Thursday at Santa Rosa Beach Community Church, Room 206, 3524 US Hwy 98, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Whether you want to learn new life skills or better understand Mental Health Recovery, you will find support here. The group is open to adults (18+), free to participate, confidential, and guided by trained peer facilitators. For more information, call the Mental Health Association in Fort Walton Beach at 244-1040.
Dungeons and Dragons Club: Walton County Coastal Branch Library will host the club Fridays from 3:30-5 p.m. for ages ninth grade to 25. Pre-register at the Coastal Library or post on the Friends of Coastal Library Facebook D&D Club. Each meeting will be set in a rich fantasy world that will be developed and expanded upon by the choices you make while playing. This is a pen and paper role playing game where players will have to investigate mysteries, solve puzzles and defeat a goblin or two. All materials will be provided. For more information, call 267-2809.
Tai Chi Tuesday: Topsail Hill Preserve State Park will host Tai Chi Tuesday the third Tuesday of each month. Seated Tai Chi is 8:30-9:15 a.m. and Standing Tai Chi is 9:30-10:15 a.m. Class fee is $13 and does not include park admission. Call the park store at 267-8333 for more information.
Good Grief luncheons: An Emerald Coast Hospice lunch is open to anyone who has experienced a loss and is looking for some support and company through the grieving process. We encourage attendees to also bring a friend or family member. Everyone orders off the menu and pays for his or her own lunch. To RSVP, call 837-2589. Third Monday lunch is at Olive Garden Destin and third Tuesday lunch is at Applebee’s Miramar Beach, 8670 Hwy. 98 West.
Healing Walking Group: The Emerald Coast Hospice walking group is open to bereaved individuals who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life. Walk and talk, at a relaxed pace, with others who are grieving and share ideas, comfort and companionship from 9-10:30 a.m. Tuesdays in Miramar Beach and Thursdays in Destin. RSVP at 837-2589Turtle Talk Tuesdays: While enjoying coffee, tea, and sweet treats, a South Walton Turtle Watch volunteer will talk about sea turtles from 9-10 a.m. Tuesdays at Amavida Coffee, 104 North Barrett Square in Rosemary Beach. Ask questions and get information, stickers, and sometimes see preserved specimens.
Family Challenge: Check in at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park camp store between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays for the challenge package. When completed, return to camp store for a treat.
Sunday Pickin’ at The Bay: The Bay Restaurant, on the Choctawhatchee Bay at the southern foot of the 331 bridge, will host Sunday Pickin’ at The Bay every Sunday. Local musician Mike Whitty and Friends will get together in the garden for a jam session. All local musicians are invited to come and join in. Happy Hour is from 7-9 p.m.
Geocache Around Topsail: Explore Topsail Hill Preserve State Park with a special 10 station geocache program from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Check in at the camp store for your coordinates. Upon completion, return to the camp store for a prize.
Beach Service: Worship at the beach with Hope Lutheran Church from 8-9 a.m. at Ed Walline Regional Beach Access across on Scenic Hwy. 30A in Santa Rosa Beach. Bring a towel, chair, or stand on the boardwalk. Call 267-0322.
45 Central Wine Bar: Enjoy live music with Tropic Breeze from 7-9 p.m. Thursdays in Santa Rosa Beach.
30A Farmers’ Market: Walk through the park like setting with shade trees, a fountain, cobblestone walkways and visit friendly farmers and bakers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at Seascape Resort Towne Centre in Miramar Beach.
Grand Boulevard Farmers’ Market: The market will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday in Grand Park in Miramar Beach between Cantina Laredo and Tommy Bahama’s. Vendors will offer locally sourced food-based items including produce, eggs, milk, butter, grass-fed beef, chicken, lamb, and pork, honey, pickled vegetables and gourmet jams. Market is held on Wednesdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Seaside Farmers Market: Get your pick of fresh produce, baked goods, dairy products, native plants and other unique offerings Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon in the Amphitheatre behind Raw & Juicy. Enjoy special cooking demos and activities.
Vintage Market: New in Santa Rosa Beach is the Vintage Market at Elmore’s Landing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday. Check out various artists and unique vintage finds along with food and produce.