The best summer camps for your kids

15 May 2015 · Bellator Blogger

summer camps for kids

Are you looking for something fun for your kids to do this summer? If so, the Gulf Coast region has you covered. Here’s a look at just a few of the great summer camp options the region has to offer this summer.

Peninsula’s Junior Camps

The Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club is offering its Peninsula’s Summer Camps this year. Each camp session offers a week of golf and tennis instruction as well as daily swimming and water games. All participants also receive lunch at Peninsula Grill each day.

Camp dates are June 1-5, June 15-19 and July 6-10. All sessions run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday and are open to boys and girls ages 6 through 12. The cost to participate for one week is $225, while two weeks is $400 and three weeks is $550. While loaner clubs and racquets are available on a limited basis, participants are asked to bring clubs, racquets, swim wear and a towel each day.

Youth Summer SCUBA Camp

The Down Under Dive Shop will be offering several SCUBA camps this summer. Sessions will take place June 2-4, June 7-9, July 14-16, July 28-30 and August 10-11. Two sessions will be offered on each of these days, with one being from 8:30 am to 11:30 am and the other being from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Each session will also have a snorkel trip take place on the Wednesday that falls during or immediately after the session, with the trip taking place at 8:00 am. Parents are welcome to attend the snorkel trip at a cost of $35 per parent.

The Youth Summer SCUBA camp costs $275 per participant and takes place at the Orange Beach Aquatic Center. All materials and equipment are provided for participants, including a completion certificate, activity book, log book, Seal Team decal and badge, mask, snorkel, fins, tank, BC and regulator. Participants also have the option to purchase a mask, snorkel and fin package at reduced cost from the Down Under Dive Shop.

Kidcam Summer Camp

Kidcam Summer Camp will be offered from June 1 through July 31 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm each day at Gulf State Park campground. Activities during the camp include beach excursions, hiking, bird watching, water sports, swimming, fishing, golf, tennis, basketball, beach volleyball, bike riding, geocaching, indoor games and arts & crafts.

The cost of participating in the Kidcam Summer Camp is $50 per day or $135 per week. All participants receive a free t-shirt. The camp is open to boys and girls ages 6 through 13. Before and after care is also available, as are sibling discounts.

Youth Summer Sail Camp

The Wind and Water Learning Session is offering several Youth Summer Sail Camp sessions. These include a Level 1 Beginner Sail Camp for participants aged 7 through 13, a Level 2 Intermediate Sail Camp for participants aged 7 through 14 and a Level 3 Advanced Sail Camp for participants aged 8 through 14. At Level 1, participants learn water safety, steering, knot tying, capsize recovery, tracking & jibing and proper sail trim. At Level 2, they learn upwind sailing as well as boat handling, while Level 3 participants learn to solo a boat.

Camp sizes are kept small, so spaces are filling up quickly. Each camp costs $120 for Orange Beach property owners or $140 for non-owners.

National Flight Academy

The National Flight Academy is offering several camps throughout the summer for various age groups. The 6-day, 5-night sessions focus on science, technology, engineering and math as participants put their problem-solving, critical thinking and teamwork skills to task. The cost for the adventure is $1,250 with scholarships available to help defer the cost.

Legendary Flora-Bama Lounge plans Alabama Gulf Coast Events

1 May 2015 · Bellator Blogger

Alabama Gulf Coast Events

Established in 1962, the Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar straddles the line between Florida and Alabama, and situates itself partly on our Alabama Gulf Coast. Though it primarily serves two southern states, it has received national recognition. Not only has it been featured in numerous magazines such as Delta Sky Magazine, Outside Magazine, USA Today and many others, it has also received top honors in quite a few “Best of” lists.

Despite being known for its fun, bar atmosphere, Flora-Bama is also a popular spot for families to grab some of the freshest, tastiest local seafood during the day. While it stays open from 11:00 am to 3:00 am, the Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar is kid-friendly until 6:00 pm. The Flora-Bama Yacht Club, which features live music, is kid-friendly all the time and offers casual flip-flop dining – perfect for a meal after a long day at the beach. Flora-Bama is also known for offering tons of popular activities on the Gulf Coast beaches throughout the year. Here are a few of the upcoming events taking place at the popular hangout:

June 5th-7th: Shindig on the Sand

The third annual Shindig on the Sand is a three-day beach concert featuring more than 200 musicians and 70 musical acts. While a complete list of this year’s acts is yet to be announced, past acts have included Billy Currington, the Mulligan Brothers, Taylor Hicks, Banana Republic, Cornbread and too many others to name. While ticket prices have not yet been announced, they were only $40 a person last year – granting you access to all Flora-Bama stages and acts for the full three-day weekend.

June 11th-14th: Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo

The Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo will follow right after the much-anticipated Shindig on the Sand. Billed as “The ‘Funnest’ Fishing Tournament on the Gulf Coast,” the inaugural Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo will boast a number of different categories and divisions, making it possible for people of any age and skill level to participate.

Within the kid’s division, which costs $20 per participant, there will be 10 categories with 1st through 3rd place prizes, as well as a Top Junior Angler award. The adult’s division, which costs $40 per participant, will include 26 categories with 1st through 3rd place prizes and a Lady Angler and Master Angler award. The Competitive Angler Divisions will cost $100 per speckled trout angler and $500 for each boat fishing for king mackerel. Both divisions will have a $1,000 3rd place prize, a $2,000 2nd place prize and a $7,000 1st place prize. The event will also feature an Offshore Slam of tuna, dolphin and wahoo at a cost of $1,000 per boat. In all, the event guarantees more than $160,000 in prizes and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Foundation. For more information about rules and prizes, visit the Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo website.

For those who aren’t interested in fishing but still want to join in on the fun, the tournament will be paired with a three-day beach party ending in the awards ceremony. The event will include daily weigh-ins, a fish viewing area, live music and, of course, seafood!

Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar is located at 17401 Perdido Key Drive in Pensacola, Florida. For more information about the bar and its events, call (850) 492-0611.

Daphne, AL Golf Tournament to benefit two charitable causes

24 Apr 2015 · Anna Phillips

Last year, the Annual Fallen Heroes Memorial and Children’s & Women’s Hospital Golf Classic raised over $46,000 for two worthy charitable causes. These generous AL Gulf Coast Golf Tournament donations pushed Bellator’s CEO’s Fallen Heroes Memorial project fund above $200,000 in contributions raised thus far – through car shows, donors, a concert and the annual Golf Classic. Furthermore, the money raised allows the Children’s & Women’s Hospital to continue growing, improving and positively impacting families for years to come.

This year, the golf tournament event is scheduled for April 30th from 11:00 am – 5:30 pm at the TimberCreek Golf Course in Daphne, AL and will feature everything from a live band to golf tournament contests to an outdoor bar and more. All participant and sponsorship costs go towards the Fallen Heroes Memorial fund and the Children’s & Women’s Hospital, with all proceeds being divided equally between the two. In addition to supporting a great cause, there will be tons of entertainment throughout the day, and a prize drawing at the end of the day to win a 3-night stay Turquoise Palace in Orange Beach, valued at $1,800, donated by Spectrum Resorts. The prize winner will be drawn from a jar containing all the winners of the contest games throughout the day.

Additionally, FOUR more lucky winners will each receive a stay at a Gulf Coast condo courtesy of Pointe South Vacation Rentals! Two of the recipients will each receive a 3-night stay, and the other two will each receive a two-night stay.

This event began five years ago and was coined by Nathan Cox, CEO of Bellator Real Estate & Development and the mind behind the Fallen Heroes Memorial, and his wife, Kimberly Cox, a member of the Children’s & Women’s Hospital Development council. The purpose of the event was to combine two great charitable causes into one event, bring the community together and raise money for the causes. The Fallen Heroes Memorial was designed to honor those who have passed in the War on Terror since 9/11, with a special feature on the memorial honoring those with Alabama ties. The Children’s & Women’s Hospital provides a wide range of services to both children and women, and the board members are passionate about making a difference in families and children’s futures.

For those wishing to make a donation or learn more about the Golf Tournament contact Cox at

Snowbird Season Brings a Number of Events to Lower Alabama

5 Jan 2015 · Bellator Blogger


January is the month when many snowbirds begin to make their way to the Gul Landscape6 f Coast – and Lower Alabama is a popular destination. Not only does the area providea much-needed retreat from the cold that much of the country experiences during this time of the year, but Lower Alabama also offers many activities that are specifically geared toward those who wish to get away to a warmer climate.

For some, the unofficial start of “snowbird season” begins on the day of the Snowbird Fest. This year, the event takes place on January 10th from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Orange Beach Event Center at the Wharf. As usual, the event will feature an extensive lineup of entertainment, but this year will include tribute shows honoring Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball. The festival will also include vendors, giveaways and exclusive deals on dining, golf, rentals and other forms of entertainment. To learn more about the free event, visit the Snowbird Fest website or call 1-800-270-2457.

A number of fun classes, events and activities will also be offered throughout the month to kick-off a new year and the snowbird season. Some of these include:

  • January 10th: Better Photos with Your Point and Shoot Camera at the Gulf Coast Arts Alliance Art Gallery. Classes are from 10:00 am to Noon and from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Cost is $25. Call 251-948-2627 for details.
  • January 12th and 19th: Beach Flight Aviation at the Orange Beach Welcome Center. The activity gives you the opportunity to fly over the beaches with a unique trike aircraft. In addition, an informational talk will take place from 10:00 am to noon. For more information, call 251-974-1510.
  • January 14th: Meet ceramic artist Steven Dark at the Gulf Shores Welcome Center. The meet and greet will take place from 10:00 am to Noon. Visit or call 251-968-7511 for more details.
  • January 14th: Learn more about Wild Hearts cruises at the Orange Beach Welcome Center from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Call 251-974-1510 for further information.
  • January 15th: Lecture from Gulf State Park Naturalist at Orange Beach Welcome Center at 10:00 am. Learn about sea turtles and shorebirds that are native to the region. Visit the Gulf State Park website or call 251-974-1510 for more information.
  • January 17th: “Post-Camera Production – After You Take the Picture, What’s Next?” talk at the Gulf Coast Arts Alliance Art Gallery. Learn how to produce professional-looking results from your photos. Classes from 10:00 am to Noon. Cost is $25. Call 251-948-2627 for details.
  • January 17th: Editing Digital Photographs with Adobe Photoshop session at the Gulf Coast Arts Alliance Art Gallery. Classes are from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Cost is $25. Call 251-948-2627 for details.
  • January 19th: Local Author Book Signing at the Orange Beach Welcome Center from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Call 251-974-1510 for further details.
  • January 20th: Baldwin County Heritage Museum lecture at the Gulf Shores Welcome Center, from 10:00 am to Noon, to learn more about the culture of the farm communities of early Baldwin County.
  • January 22nd and 29th (also on February 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th): Mini Scrapbooking Sessions at The Hangout from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. $20 per person, which covers the cost of craft AND lunch. Visit the Gigi Scrapbookin’ website or call 251-971-2005 for more information.

This list of events is just a small sampling of what Lower Alabama has to offer throughout the beginning of the year. Visit the Snowbird Events page of the Gulf Shores website to learn more about what is taking place throughout the area.