It’s almost that time of year when The Junior Service League takes over the entire North parking lot of the St. Augustine Outlets–and when my girls ask me,”Where are our pink hard hats and when can we climb the big trucks again?” Feel the Wheels is a unique event that allows children to climb, touch, explore and honk the horns of fire trucks, military vehicles, tractors, boats, and more.
I enjoy going to Feel the Wheels just as much as the girls because it’s a charitable event for kids but it’s not a 5K. This mom doesn’t run and the one time I did enter the girls in a “Fun Run,” I carried my youngest daughter for most of the “Not so Fun Run.”
The proceeds from this event go to the new TAG! Children’s Museum which makes it even more worthwhile! What child, boy or girl, doesn’t love climbing up fire trucks, speed boats and a mini hydraulic excavator?!?
Here’s what I’ve learned from the last couple of years I’ve gone and some exciting new events for the kids this year.
Parents are FREE! Something that doesn’t happen very often. You only have to purchase child tickets that cost $5.
There will be no pre-sale tickets this year. This year hours for the event are 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Be prepared that no matter what time of the day you go you will have to wait in line, there are only so many kids that can climb a helicopter at one time.
Being prepared for an event like this will make your day more enjoyable. Always wear comfy clothes and walking shoes, it’s a large area and the kids do a lot of walking and climbing. You will definitely need to bring sunscreen, a hat, and water. Bring Cash! Even though at the front entrance they do take debit cards, it’s easier to give exact change. At the event they will have food trucks and an ice cream truck, so also plan to have enough cash for when the kids say they’re hungry.
There are activities for kids of all ages! A Big Wheels course, a remote-controlled race car track, and a visit from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office helicopter are just a few kids can experience while at the event. The St. Augustine Fire Department will also be back, as will the St. Johns County Public Library bookmobile.
Parking for this event will probably be the easiest event parking you will do in St. Augustine. If you’ve been to any of the festivals downtown, you know what I’m talking about. So don’t do what I did the first year and park at the front of the outlet, it’s such a long walk with two kids. When you get to the Outlets, if you can go all the way down to where you can’t go anymore in front of the event, that’s where you start looking for parking. I would recommend planning to spend about 2 hours at the event.
Get ready to bring the entire family and friends to enjoy this annual event, your kids are going to thank you!