By Samantha Joseph
MARTIN COUNTY - When it returns for the seventh year, Treasure Fest will be better than ever, attracting thousands of children from across the region.
The event, hosted by the Children's Museum of the Treasure Coast, is set for Oct. 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
With obstacle courses, a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt, bounce houses, face painting, arts, crafts, live performances, costume contests and several other activities, organizers said the event has become a major draw for area children.
It began as a fundraiser that preceded the museum's opening, and was created to invite families to visit the attraction.
But over the years, the festival has gained in popularity, attracting about 3,000 people for the one-day celebration.
Attendees are mostly children, ages 6 months to 12 years, with their families from Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Indian River counties.
"We have our visitors repeatedly asking for it," said Tammy Calabria, executive director of the Children's Museum of the Treasure Coast. "It's one of the only festivals geared strictly for kids."
With no alcohol or adult activities available, organizers said the goal is to encourage parents and families to interact.
One opportunity for such interaction will be during a garden session with the Junior League, which sponsors a "pizza" garden on the site. The garden includes herbs and vegetables used in pizza making, and is a teaching tool to educate students about science and the environment.
Attendees can also visit the museum's children theater, plus several exhibits including a Spanish galleon, miniature grocery store and car care center.
"It's all just hands-on fun and learning," Ms. Calabria said. "I think the community anticipates this."
Admission is free of charge to the first 1,000 attendees, thanks to sponsorship from Bank of America. Otherwise, the cost is $5 per person. Coupons offering buy-one-get-one-free deals are available in Hometown News and other publications.
For more information, call (772) 225-7575. The Children's Museum is located at 1707 N.E. Indian River Drive, Jensen Beach.