The days may be getting hotter, but there are going to be some really cool things happening at the Shell Factory in the next few weeks.
It starts on Easter Sunday with one of the biggest celebrations in the area. Last year, more than 1,100 children came to hunt for eggs and celebrate with their parents. This year isn't expected to be any different.
"We've done a lot of promotion for this event," said Rick Tupper, CFO and marketing director at the Shell Factory. "This is another event that has grown quite a bit. It's become a nice tradition."
The day starts with a free Easter Egg Trail for kids 12 and under from 10 a.m. to noon. Children will visit 10 Easter egg stations on their hike around the Nature Park, where they will get eggs with candy and freebies for activities at the Shell Factory. Kids can even get a picture with the Easter Bunny outside the park either before or after their journey.
During that time, the Shell Factory will promote its upcoming "Snores & Roars" sleepover events coming in May.
"Parents will be able to see the camp setup and talk to our people about the event," Tupper said.
People will also get to see the Nature Park's newest resident, a Brahma chicken known as Tyson Purdue. Tyson will be the latest attraction at the Petting Farm.
Like Brahma bulls, Brahma chickens are very large. They were developed in the United States from a breed of large birds imported from the Chinese port of Shanghai. Brahmas were first exported to England in 1852 as a gift to Queen Victoria. They came to America shortly thereafter.
Brahmas are quiet birds with great dispositions. Tyson will also soon have the company of four hens, all living together in an air-conditioned enclosure in the Petting Farm.
There will also be a kid friendly Easter buffet from 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Dolphin Room with live music and the Easter Bunny.
There will be scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, and hot dogs, chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese for the kids, while the adults can have glazed ham, turkey, broiled fish, lasagna, salads, fruit and other items. The cost is $15.95 for adults and $7.50 for kids 12 and under.
The entire property will be open with a special Family Fun Park package, 10 percent off all toys in the retail store, and a special petting farm at the Fun Park.
There will also be live music at the Swamp Patio with Michael Banks and Nette from 4 to 7 p.m. to keep dad happy while mom and the kids ride the zip line.
The Shell Factory is at 2787 Tamiami Trail N. For more information, call 995-2141 or go to www.shellfactory.com.