On Friday, July 31, a blue moon will shine on South Florida. Which begs the question, where should Palm Beachers go to check out the second full moon of July? But first off, why blue moon? Elvis Presley’s “Blue Moon” aside, the name blue moon derives from the rarity of the event: when a month happens to have two full moons. The lunar event happens once every few years, the last being on September 30, 2012 (there were actually two that year—August 31—making 2012 the year of double blues), and the next scheduled for January 31, 2018.
With July 31 marking 2015’s only blue moon, taking in earth’s natural satellite is a must. Here, we offer a few places to take in the blue moon sight in true South Florida style.
The blue moon makes for the perfect opportunity for a turtle walk. Walking the beach with a full moon lighting the way is not only a great way to experience the shore, but also makes for a safer turtle watching experience for nesting sea turtles. The natural light from the moon helps light the way for onlookers without the need of a flashlight—flashlights with red gels are the only acceptable artificial light on the beach when turtle walking.
For those wanting to experience this awesome, ancient sight under the shine of the blue moon, Loggerhead Marinelife Center will be running its final Turtle Walk of the nesting season on Friday, July 31 from 9 p.m.-12 a.m. The Turtle Walk is currently sold-out, but walk-ins might be able to snag a spot if ticker holders don’t show. If you want to chance a walk-in spot, be at LMC at 9 p.m. sharp—$20 per person, cash only—for a chance to take a walk. For more information, visit marinelife.org.
For the adventurous, the best way to experience July’s blue moon is by paddle. Jupiter Outdoor Center’s popular Full Moon Paddle Tour will be embarking on Friday, July 31 at 7 p.m. for a two-hour cruise along the Loxahatchee Aquatic Preserve. One of the most scenic paddles in all of Palm Beach County, as the sunsets, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse’s light begins to spin and shine, while the bridges spanning the inlet region are awash in light. Ideal for paddlers of all experience levels, JOC’s full moon paddles tour will makes for an illuminating evening.
- Tickets cost $40 per person, which includes rental. For more information, call 561-747-0063, or visit jupiteroutdoorcenter.com.
Go beyond the reach of our solar system this Friday at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium’s Night at the Museum. This month’s theme, Alien Invasion, takes its cues from the extraterrestrial—fitting for a blue moon—with activities centered around space. Kids can make there own galaxy goo, create their own alien masks, check out the science center’s collection of interstellar artifacts, including a 232 pound meteorite and a rock from Mars, as well as enjoy a space-themed exhibit on Science on a Sphere, all while learning about our solar system, galaxies, and the nature of the universe.
Weather permitting; join the science center look into the depths of space at Palm Beach County’s only public observatory. Once darkness descend, the observatory dome will open, giving guests a chance to explore the surface of the moon and its many craters, spy on comets, and peer at faraway galaxies through the telescope. The observatory will remain open until 10 p.m.
- Admission to Nights at the Museum: Alien Invasion costs $14.50 for adults, $11 for children. For more information, visit sfsciencecenter.org.
With Friday marking 2015’s only blue moon, one would think that the gravitational pull would undoubtedly attract beer drinkers to imbibe on a few Blue Moons, right? Forget the macro brew disguised as craft beer (Blue Moon is brewed by Coors), sip on a Belgian-style ale from one of Palm Beach County’s many breweries:
For north county beer aficionados, Tequesta Brewing Company has the perfect blue moon quaff for you. One of TBC’s evergreen beers on the tap tree, Julio’s Hefeweizen (4.2% ABV) is a Belgian wheat beer that is perfect for session drinking. Each batch has its own subtle variation—sometimes hints of banana play on the nose, others it might be blueberry—making each trek to the brewery a surprise.
For true Belgian beer fans, Boca Raton’s Barrel of Monks is truly the brewery for you. The brewery specializes in Belgian-inspired ales, making some of the most drinkable brews in Palm Beach County. For witbier diehards (white wheat beer), Barrel of Monks’ White Wizard (5.5% ABV) heeds the call with a Florida twist—Florida orange peel adds a citrusy flavor punch to the sip. For those looking for an extra kick of Belgian-inspired brews, the Abbey Series takes its cues from the Trappist Monks, whose renown for beer is worldwide. Made up of four different brews (Single in Brugge, Abbey Terno, Three Fates, and Quadraphonic), the series utilizes some of the same techniques and ingredients that make Trappist brews so venerated. On the lighter end, Single in Brugge (4.5% ABV) is highly drinkable, with a light hop finish—perfect for those that enjoy hops, but not heavy-handed IPAs, while the Quadraphonic (10.5% ABV) is a full-flavored dark brown ale that can sneak up on you. The tasting room opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 31.
Situated in an old feed and tack store on Atlantic Avenue, Saltwater Brewery has become a Delray Beach destination, and for good reason: the brews coming from the expansive brewery are on point. For this blue moon celebration, look no further than Saltwater’s Coastal Series quaff, Bone-a-Fied Blonde (6.5% ABV). The unfiltered Belgian blonde is full on flavor—fruity with subtle spice and clove flourishes—and an excellent departure from the macro-brewed Belgians. What’s more, Friday, July 31 marks a return of PS561 food truck, serving gourmet hotdogs out on the patio from 6-10 p.m.
Take in the blue moon with the only nightcap apropos for the evening: the blue moon. More violet then blue, this classic cocktail calls for the little-used liqeuer Crème Yvette, or crème de violette, the same cordial used for the classic aviation cocktail. Reportedly created by “Oscar of the Waldorf” (Oscar Tschirky, maître d’hôtel of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries), who created the Waldorf salad and popularized eggs benedict, among other dining gems. Oscar’s original cocktail calls for Crème Yvette, which is rather difficult to come by. However, crème de violette is much easier, and largely tastes the same.
- 2 oz. dry gin
- ½ oz. crème de violette
- ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a coupe.