Events

November Activities and Events at the Villages of Citrus Hills

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We are winding our way towards the end of 2019 and preparing to head into another holiday season filled with family, friends, and fun. But the holidays aren’t the only thing happening around the Villages of Citrus Hills this month.

In addition to whatever you have planned with your loved ones, our friends over at the Activity Center also have plenty of excitement on deck for the month of November. So, whether you are looking for social events, educational opportunities, a little friendly competition, or just a great meal, we have plenty to keep you busy all month long.

The Big Show Series

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The Big Show Series will make its triumphant return to the Activity Center Auditorium when Summer Breezin’ takes the stage on Friday, November 1. This tribute to Seals & Crofts and America will be performing two different shows starting at 6 pm and 8:15 pm.

The Big Show Series will also be bringing Orleans to the Activity Center Auditorium stage on Thursday, November 14 at 6 pm and 8:15 pm. This is the original band that you know for hits like “Still the One” and “Dance With Me.”

Social Events

The first big social event of the month will be the Activity Club Showcase & Member Social on Sunday, November 3 in the Activity Center Auditorium from 1 pm to 3 pm. This showcase is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about all of the fantastic clubs that exist in our community.

If dinner and a show is what you are looking for, then you’ll want to be in the Hampton Room on Thursday, November 7 for Yesterday Once More, which will be a tribute to the music of The Carpenters. The dinner menu for this event will include Chicken Piccata and Sliced London Broil in Mushroom Sauce.

Monday, November 11 is Veterans Day, and we will be celebrating in the Hampton Room with the 16th Annual Veterans Day Dinner Dance. This year’s buffet menu will include Bourbon Salmon and Thin-Sliced Prime Rib, then there will be live music courtesy of Lisa Beck from Rock Solid.

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The 4th Annual Car & Truck Show will be taking place on Sunday, November 17 from 9 am to 3 pm in the Activity Center Parking Lot. Everyone is welcome to stop by to check out the coolest vehicles in our community, and you can register to have your vehicle participate at the Activity Center.

Tasty Trivia Tuesday will be back in the Hampton Room on Tuesday, November 19. This month’s theme is going to be “Television,” and the menu will feature Caprese-Stuffed Chicken and Sliced London Broil in Mushroom Sauce.

Art & Education

The Activity Center will be hosting an AARP Smart Driver Course on Saturday, November 9 starting at 9 am. This course offers a great refresher on important topics like defensive driving techniques and it can provide helpful updates on new driving laws.

Doc Talk will be back in the Activity Center Auditorium on Wednesday, November 13 at 6:30 pm. This month’s speakers will be discussing everything you need to know about Colon Cancer Prevention.

Representatives from Countryside Animal Clinic will be speaking in the Activity Center Auditorium on Thursday, November 21 at 6 pm. Topics for this Speaker Series event will include “Hot Topics in Veterinary Medicine” and “Acupuncture 101.”

Golf & Tennis

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Competitive golf events will be happening throughout the month with the Giving Thanks Open on The Oaks Course on November 2, the Veterans Day Scramble at Skyview on Monday, November 11, and the Skyview Men’s Better Ball Tournament closing out the month on November 25 and 26.

If you are looking to improve your game, you might want to check out one of the Free Golf Clinics with PGA/LPGA teaching professional Mary Slinkard. She will be working with beginners on November 4, 5, and 6. Then there will be clinics for intermediate golfers on November 11, 12, and 13.

Another option for improving your golf game this winter is participating in the “Newbie” Nine-Hole Golf League that plays every Thursday on The Meadows Course.

This month’s Free Beginner Tennis Clinic will be held on Tuesday, November 12 at the Skyview Tennis Center. This is a perfect introduction to tennis that requires absolutely no prior experience or equipment.

Dinner Specials

Skyview Restaurant is taking us around the world with their November dinner specials. Some of the highlights this month include Taste of Spain Wine Dinner on November 5, French Cuisine Night on November 14, and Bay Scallop Night on November 16.

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The Grille is planning a fabulous Thanksgiving Day Buffet that will feature all of the turkey day classics, as well as Carved Prime Rib, Carved Honey-Baked Ham, and Peel & Eat Shrimp. The buffet will be up from 12 pm to 5 pm on Thanksgiving Day, and reservations will be required.

BellaVita Spa

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Our friends at BellaVita Spa are also getting into the holiday season with specials like a Pumpkin Spice Pedicure and a Pumpkin Spice Massage. So if you happen to find any free time to pamper yourself this month, that is where you want to be heading.

Between everything happening and whatever else you might have planned with your family and friends, there is no doubt that November is going to be a very busy month here at the Villages of Citrus Hills. Make sure you get the most out of it by marking some of these activities and events on your calendar and enjoying them!

Weekend Getaway: 48 Hours in Gainesville

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Are you ready for another weekend getaway?

Looking for a destination that is packed full of fun outdoor activities and unbelievably delicious dining options?

Located just a little over an hour north of the Villages of Citrus Hills, Gainesville is a thriving college town that offers one of the best destinations for a weekend getaway packed full of great food and fun activities.

While just about everyone in Florida knows that Gainesville is the place to be during home football games every fall, we have actually found the town is just as enjoyable during the rest of the year as well.

If you are in the market for an easy weekend getaway where all the details are planned out in advance, here is the 48-hour itinerary that we recommend for a first trip to “The Swamp.”

Day One: Casual Dining and School History

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Assuming that you are going to plan on arriving in Gainesville hungry, our first stop is going to be Public & General. This is a hip lunch spot where patrons serve themselves from a menu of specialty sandwiches or by customizing a cheese and charcuterie plate.

Following lunch, we are going to introduce you to the thing that Gainesville is most famous for: The University of Florida. We’ll spend the afternoon exploring the exciting student union building and walking past the massive Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

For dinner on your first night in town, it has to be The Top. This casual downtown restaurant specializes in big-time burgers, but make sure that you also order some of their famous Corn Nuggets.

You’re welcome to hang out at The Top as late as you like, but when you’re ready for a change of scenery we recommend a quick stroll over to Madrina’s for a fantastic selection of craft cocktails to close out your night.

Day Two: Butterflies, Cubans, and Fine Dining

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The first stop for our second day in Gainesville is going to be the 6,400-square-foot Butterfly Rainforest. On any given day, you will find up to 50 different species of butterflies occupying this amazing space, making it the most popular non-football-related attraction in all of Gainesville.  

After enjoying the Butterfly Rainforest, our next stop is La Cocina De Abuela for some authentic Cuban cuisine. This is a great lunch spot because everything is fast and easy. Just pick the type of rice, beans, and meat you want and you’re on your way. We recommend going with the Mojo Pork.  

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Following lunch we’re heading back outdoors to explore the swamps that this town is known for at Paynes Prairie. This is a beautiful outdoor space that might give you the chance to catch a glimpse of an authentic Florida gator, wild horses or even bison.

For your second dinner in Gainesville, it’s time to class things up a bit, so we’re making reservations at Ember’s Wood Grill. This is a first-class steakhouse so you can feel confident ordering your favorite cut, and make sure you get the Lobster Mashed Potatoes.  

After having an outstanding meal at Ember’s Wood Grill, there is nothing wrong with heading straight to bed. But if you would rather enjoy your last night in town, we suggest heading down to Sidecar Gainesville to cap off your visit in true college fashion.

Day Three: History, Brunch, and Shopping

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The last popular attraction that you have to see on your first trip to Gainesville is the Florida Museum of Natural History. This is a small museum, but it is packed full of interesting local history, and you can’t argue with the price because it’s FREE! 

We can’t recommend coming back from any 48-hour adventure without having a decent brunch, and the place to find a great one in Gainesville is Daybreak Pleasant Street. Whether you are looking for basic pancakes, huevos rancheros, or something a little more specific like the Daybreak Hash, this is a brunch that will not let you down.  

If you are looking to do a bit of shopping before heading back home, downtown Gainesville is the perfect place to explore all kinds of unique shops that all feature plenty of University of Florida gear.  

In addition to all of the things to see and do in Gainesville, there are also plenty of lodging options in and around this popular college town.  

So the next time you are looking for a good destination for a little weekend getaway, think about heading north to Gainesville….just remember to check the football schedule before you book your trip!

August Activities and Events at the Villages of Citrus Hills

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The dog days of summer have officially arrived here at the Villages of Citrus Hills, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have plenty of indoor fun and games to keep us busy as we make our way through the month of August.

Whether you are looking for fun social events, an opportunity to educate yourself, a fun golf experience that doesn’t require skill or sunblock, or just a delicious dinner special, we have thatyou covered on all counts with this month’s activities and events.

Let’s take a quick look at the calendar and highlight some of the exciting things happening around our community this month.

Social Events

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The first big social event of the month will be a Comedy Night featuring Rahn Hortman in the Hampton Room on Tuesday, August 6. Rahn is a hysterical local guy from Tampa that you might have seen performing at The Improv, Sidesplitters, or the Seminole Hard Rock Casino.

Tasty Tuesday Trivia will be back in the Hampton Room for another installment on Tuesday, August 20 starting at 5:45 pm. This month’s trivia theme is “Music,” and the menu will include Boursin-Stuffed Chicken Breast and Sliced Sirloin Topped with Mushroom Sauce.

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The biggest party of the summer will be Copacabana Night in the Hampton Room on Friday, August 23. Everything for this event will have a Latin feel to it, including the 8-piece Latin band on the stage and the Roasted Mojo Pork on the menu.

Friday, August 30 will be the first Farm Fresh Friday event in the Activity Center Parking Lot. Beasley Farms will be setting up a fresh produce stand right in our community, so don’t miss out on the chance to pick up some amazing produce straight from the farm.

Education

There will be a Crime Prevention Workshop in the Activity Center Auditorium on Wednesday, August 14 at 3 pm. As a part of this workshop, The Crime Prevention Task Force will be leading an open discussion addressing popular topics like identity theft and other scams.

Golf & Tennis

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If you are looking to participate in a golf outing this month, The Meadows Course will be hosting the Awesome August Open on Saturday, August 4. There will be an 8:30 am shotgun start for this event, which is a great way to keep your competitive game fresh for the fall season.

Another way to keep your game crisp during the summer months is to participate in one of the Free Golf Clinics hosted by Golf Pro Mary Slinkard. This month, she will be working with beginners on August 5, 6, and 7. Then she will be back to work with intermediate golfers on August 13, 20, and 27.

Our golf community is also planning a fun event at TopGolf Tampa this month on Monday, August 19. Not only is a visit to TopGolf an exciting experience, but it is also one that comes with air conditioning, which makes it a perfect adventure for a Monday in August.

There will also be a Free Beginner Tennis Clinic at the Skyview Tennis Center on Tuesday, August 13 at 11:30 am. These clinics are always a fantastic opportunity to learn about all things tennis here at the Villages of Citrus Hills.

Dinner Specials

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Not only is it going to be hot outside this month, but there is also going to be plenty of heat in the kitchen at Skyview Restaurant. They are planning an Italian Night on August 1, a Turkey Buffet on August 15, and a Hawaiian Night on August 29.

In addition to those specific dinner specials, don’t forget about the new Summer Faire menu that Skyview Restaurant is serving every Friday, or the Saturday night Prime Rib special.

Over on the other side, The Grille is planning a celebration for National Red Wine Day on August 28, and the Tiki Bar will be hosting a Karaoke Night on Tuesday, August 6.

BellaVita Spa

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In addition to all of the events and activities happening around the community this month, BellaVita Spa is also offering a Swedish Massage Special and a Bioelements Herbology Facial all month long for anyone looking to beat the heat and relax for a bit.

It’s going to be a great, warm month here at the Villages of Citrus Hills, but we also have plenty of cool experiences on our Activities Calendar. Make sure that you make a point to get out of the house and enjoy some of these fun events.

5 Fun Things to Do in Homosassa

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Being located near small towns like Inverness and Crystal River while also being close to bigger cities like Orlando and Tampa is one of the best things about life here at the Villages of Citrus Hills. But our community is also located near some of the most amazing natural attractions in all of Florida.

When you are ready to get out and embrace Florida’s Nature Coast, one of the best places to do just that is Homosassa. Located just 10 miles south of Crystal River and about half an hour from the Villages of Citrus Hills, Homosassa offers up a world of possibilities for anyone looking to get outside.

Let’s take a quick look at five fun things to do in Homosassa.

Ellie Shiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

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Known as the place in Florida for getting up close and personal with manatees, Ellie Shiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is an amazing experience with nature that never disappoints.

One of the main attractions here is the underwater observatory that lets you see the manatees from a different perspective without having to jump into the water. The park also offers plenty of education on manatees for anyone looking to learn more about our beloved sea cows.

And there is so much more for you than just manatees here. The park is also home to a stunning collection of wildlife, amazing birding opportunities, and excellent hiking trails.

Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park

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If you like your outdoor adventures to come with a bit of history, then Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park should be the top Homosassa destination on your list.

This area was once the home of a 5,100-acre sugar plantation. Today, you can explore the ruins of that plantation, which includes a towering masonry chimney, iron gears, and a cane press.


The park also has a picnic site, which makes it a perfect destination for outdoor meals in Citrus County.

Alpaca Magic USA

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Just when you thought you had seen everything that Florida’s Nature Coast had to offer, a little place called Alpaca Magic USA showed up on your to-do list.

This working farm in Homosassa started out with two alpacas back in 1996, and they have slowly grown that number to 20 alpacas calling the farm home today.

Visiting Alpaca Magic USA is completely free, and all guests get to visit with the alpacas while learning a bit about them. Plus, there is a gift shop with all kinds of alpaca-related products.

Airboat Tours

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While visiting state parks and alpaca farms represent calm ways to spend an afternoon in Homosassa, you can also kick up the excitement level by heading out on one of the many local airboat tours.

Companies like Top Gun Airboat Tours and Native Sun Tours are always taking visitors out through the Gulf Coast marshes, and those amphibious airboats can make for quite the wild experience.

Festivals of Homosassa

One of the great festivals in Homosassa is Shrimpapalooza that normally happens in the month of March. The annual festival is hosted by the Rotary Club of Homosassa Charitable Foundations. Thousands of party goers from all over the state attend every year emphasizing the fun in fundraising. With an awesome Parade, Live Music, Tons of Great Food, there is guaranteed fun for all ages.

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The Homosassa Arts, Crafts and Seafood Festival is one of West Central Florida’s most beloved fall festivals.  The festival includes a juried art show, true crafts, live entertainment, and delicious seafood along with other tasty delicacies.

Homosassa is packed full of relaxing ways to enjoy nature without having to venture too far from home. So whether you are looking for fun with manatees, an exciting airboat tour, or a weekend on the water, you can have it all in Homosassa.