Night of Lights | Firefly Event at Blue Springs State Park

Night of Lights | Blue Springs State Park | Florida Springs Passport

Blue Springs is known for its tubing in the summer and manatee sightings in the winter. But for a brief moment, fireflies light up this spring like twinkling Christmas lights. From about mid-March to the first week of April, the organization, Friends of Blue Springs State Park, put together an evening event so people can experience this magical and fleeting moment.


Tickets and Parking

Tickets are sold at the park entrance starting at 6 pm and ending at 7:45 pm. When entering, you will first pay the park entrance fee, which ranges from $4.00 to $6.00, depending on the occupancy of your vehicle. Then you will pay an additional $14.00 per vehicle for the special after-hours firefly event. You will then head over to the parking lot, be sure to put your parking permit in a visible place on the inside of your windshield.


Night of Lights Firefly Event

Before the sun goes down and the spring comes alive with lights, there a plenty of things to do beforehand. There is a playground down at the far end of the spring where it meets the St. John River. Lots of people brought blankets to either sit and have a picnic or read. There was a snow cone stand. You can also walk the boardwalk that wraps around the spring, enjoying the sunset views while familiarizing yourself with the space for when your visibility is limited. There are restrooms available by the playground and over by the store/tube rental building. In front of the Thursby House, you can purchase glow sticks, T-shirts, and water.

You will start to see them more and more as the sun sets and the moon rises. Once the sun has set, you will begin to notice little blinking lights fluttering around the foliage. The darker it is, the easier it is to see them. You can walk the dirt path behind the Thursby House or walk along the boardwalk. You will see them flickering like twinkling lights deep in the bushes. Some will even float by you blinking like Tinkerbell. It is truly a magical moment!

The event begins wrapping up around 9 pm. The volunteers will let you know when it is time to head back to the parking lot. Fun fact, the warmer the weather, the more fireflies you will see. So keep that in mind when you are picking your day to visit. Also, note this event is subject to change. The Friends of Blue Springs will update the event’s Facebook page letting you know if the fireflies have ended their season early.


 For more information about the Night of Lights - Firefly Event, head over to the Friends of Blue Springs State Park.



 Blue Springs is home to the Common Eastern Firefly. They are able to produce a bioluminescence glow because of the enzyme luciferase and its substrate luciferin. The flashing lights they create help them attract a mate. Adult fireflies only live between 5-30 days and can lay up to 500 eggs. Glowworms will hatch from these eggs and live under the damp ground for 1 to 2 years before hatching.


Please Remember

To avoid harming the firefly, it is suggested to limit the use of bug spray and do not use flashlights or brightly lit devices. NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY! If you have a headlamp, it can only be in the infrared setting. There will be volunteers throughout the park monitoring this.


Animals to See

Fireflies (of course!)
Before the sunsets… Cormorants | Woodpeckers | Osprey | Eagles | Florida gar | Crappies | Bass | Catfish | Blue gill | Snooks


What to Bring

Water | Snacks | Picnic Blanket | Book | Comfortable walking shoes | Have some cash on hand | Essential oil/natural bug spray | Longer clothing if not using natural bug spray | Headlamp (only use infrared setting) | Glow sticks or bracelets 

This limited-time magical event is the perfect way to greet the season of spring.

Florida Springs Passport Blog


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