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Race In for Fun: Captiva Crab Races

Honestly, my kids are not enthusiastic about many things, but there is ONE thing in particular that gets them excited every time—the Captiva Crab Races.

Every Monday and Thursday at 6 pm at the onsite Crow’s Nest restaurant, you can join the silliness and help raise money for the United Way. (There is also a show at 9pm but it is for adults only.)

No reservations are required but you will need cash to choose a rental crab and you’ll have to give it a name. (Since ‘SpongeBob’ was already taken, my son named his, um, “Stinky Britches.”)

Choosing the right crab from the bowl is tricky! You want one that will leave the other hermits in the dust, so don’t let the sleepers fool you. After all, there are awesome prizes at stake. You can win goodies like a Captiva Crab Races t-shirt, the ever-popular kazoo, and cash.

Once everyone is signed up, the qualifying races begin. Your host, Commissioner Tim, sounds the kazoo, lifts the custom crab starting gate (a wire basket), fires his trusty squirt gun, and they’re off!! You will be on the edge of your seat cheering!

During the crab races, the full menu is not available, but you will find items like pizza, pasta and chicken fingers. There will be something to please most everyone.

The Crab Races at ‘Tween Waters Inn have been a tradition for 25 years and have raised over $180,000 for charity. Commissioner Tim will tell you, “It’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever seen,” but I bet you laugh. And Stinky Britches came in 3rd place –we donated the winnings and kept the t-shirt!

Innsider Tip: Arrive early! During season, get there at 5pm to secure a table and start the crab registration process.

A quick thank you to my friend, Lauren Tjaden and her husband Paul, for the video.

My kids LOVE the Captiva Crab Races. Come early for a seat.
My kids LOVE the Captiva Crab Races. Come early for a seat.
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Dinner, Dancing and Date Night on Captiva Island

Crow's Nest Captiva Island Dinner Dancing Live Music

Friday night is date night. This means Mathew and I pick a great place to eat — casual or formal, it makes no difference — and something to keep us entertained for a few hours.

We’ve had some stressful weeks at work and with summer in full bloom, it seems there’s not a whole lot of time to prep and plan, make reservations or reseach. So when I found out that the Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille had us covered for this week’s “date night,” dining and entertainment included, I was thrilled to let go of the decision making and just let it happen!

Fun Fact: In 1982, the Crow’s Nest started the island’s first “happy hour,” called the 5.05 club.

‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa has two on-property restaurants open in the evening, Captiva House and Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille. The Crow’s Nest is a great casual dining option and also home to nightly specials and entertainment, which made our decisions easy for this date night.

The new menu boasts funny and quirky food descriptions that made me giggle and Mathew’s stomach growl, and settled on a Lobster Quesadilla to start, followed by two “Captiva Favorites” — the beach burger and drunken shrimp tacos (because really, who could resist a description like, “We never let drunken shrimp drive, so you’ll have to eat ‘em up!”?).

While we ate, the band started warming up for a fun night of live music. With a name like Bad Banditos and a quiet island like Captiva, I wasn’t certain what to expect — but was blown away by the talent brought to this location! The band covered everything from The Police to Sublime and had us out of our chairs and dancing all night.

After all that dancing, we needed refreshments to keep us going — so I sidled up to the bar and asked for bartender to “surprise me.” To say the least, I was pleasantly surprised by the drink, but not the least bit surprised the quality. Rumor has it that the Crow’s Nest has some of the best mixologists in the area.

Overall, date night at the Crow’s Nest was such a success, we’ll probably be back next week for another live band.

 

 

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