2017 December Sarasota
Events Calendar

Our December Sarasota Events Calendar includes the best list of Sarasota happenings and fun things to do around the sun coast.



December 1, 2017: Check out the annual seasonal festival Holly Days and Mangrove Lights at Historic Spanish Point with their decorated homestead buildings and lighted gardens in a beautiful 30 acre setting. Miniature white lights on the trees and in the mangroves lends a magical holiday ambiance. Enjoy lighted pathways and festive music. The museum will be open until 8 p.m. tonight and on Thursdays and Fridays through December, 2017. Regular admission applies. Free for Members. Adults and Teens $12.00 | Senior discount $2.00 Children ages 5-12 $5.00. Guests accompanying Members $5.00. 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey. 941-966-5214.

December 1, 2017: It's the 39th Annual Holiday Night of Lights on St. Armand's Circle. The evening will start off with a special holiday performance from 5:30 pm to 6:00 p.m. followed by the annual Christmas Carol Sing-a-long beginning at 6:00 p.m. Following the Sing-a-long will be the arrival of Santa in his sleigh and then the tree lighting ceremony in St. Armand's Circle Park. 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Enjoy holiday entertainment for the young and young at heart. St. Armand's Circle, across the John Ringling Bridge from downtown Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

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December 1, 2017: Lakewood Ranch presents Music on Main the first Friday of each month from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m.! Live music, beer, wine and food available. Bring your chairs, but leave coolers at home. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on a short leash. Overflow parking is available at the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. Lakewood Ranch is off University Parkway east of I-75. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 1, 2017: The 6th Annual Bradenton Blues Festival Weekend kicks off with what they're calling their free "Blues Appetizer" Concert. Featuring Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones and TC Carr & Bolts of Blue, you're invited to bring a blanket or chair along to enjoy the music. Food and  drinks will be available for purchase from various vendors. Free admission. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Riverwalk Pavilion, 452 3rd Ave W, Bradenton. Click here for more info. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December Sarasota Events

December 1, 2017: Celebrate the start of the holiday season with Holiday Joy and the Choirs, Guitar Ensemble, and SCF's Bradenton Symphony Orchestra in a festive concert highlighting the music of Hanukkah and Christmas. A special feature of this concert includes composer Randol Bass' "Gloria" and his ever-popular "Feast of Carols" as a joyful concert closer. 8 p.m. General Admission is $15; students and SCF employees $5. Neel Performance Arts Center on the campus of the State College of Florida, 5840 26th St., W., Bradenton, FL.

December 1 - 2, 2017: Village of the Arts Presents "A Village Wonderland!"  At this December tradition you can enjoy the Christmas lights and all the galleries decorated for the holidays and celebrate the best of the season. Enjoy live music and unique galleries as well as unique holiday shopping in specialty shops along with food and special guests throughout the village. Free admission. Fri: 6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., Sat: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Village of the Arts, 1113 12th ST. W., Bradenton. Here's more info.

December 1 - 3, 2017: There's a Gem, Jewelry & Bead Show with lots on display to see from dealers from around the country selling gems, jewelry, beads, crystals and more. Adults $5. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

December 1 - 3, 2017: The Sarasota American Fine Craft Show takes place with over 100 of the nation's crafters and fine artists featuring works in ceramics, painting, basketry, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, wood and much more. Admission at the door: Adults: $11, Seniors: $10, Students: $6, under 10 are free. Friday and Sat: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Robarts Arena off Fruitville Road at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds. 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.

December Sarasota Events

December 1 - 6, 2017: Sarasota Christmas presents "Humbug - Merry Christmas... Indeed!" The original Broadway Style production is about a local businessman whose ambition and greed have blinded him to the true meaning of Christmas. Performances at 7 p.m., plus Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets: $9 - $12. 941-922-1449. Sarasota Baptist Church, 7091 Proctor Rd, Sarasota, FL. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 941-922-1449 or click here.

December 2, 2017: Over 650 runners with Jingle Bells on their shoes will run in the 20th Annual Jingle & Jog  5K Run or 1 Mile Walk in support of The Haven to benefit people of all ages with disabilities. Special features and Prizes! Register by November 1, 2017 for Early Registration Pricing. Entry fees subject to increase after November 1. 7:00 a.m. Check-in & Event Day Registration, 8:00 a.m. 5k Race  |  8:30 a.m. 1-Mile Walk Start, 9:00 a.m. Awards. Starting at The Haven’s beautiful campus nestled on 32-acres of lush Florida scenery; participants will experience a smooth course under the canopy of established oak trees. Haven Campus, 4405 Desoto Rd, Sarasota. For more information click here.

December 2, 2017: The 6th Annual Bradenton Blues Fest again takes place at the new Riverwalk, overlooking the Manatee River in Bradenton, featuring top Blues artists: Joe Louis Walker, Curtis Salgato, Sugar Blue, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Nick Moss, Vanessa Collier and Sean Chambers. . There will also be food and drinks available as well as a wide variety of vendors. Gates open at 10 a.m. Music begins at 11 a.m. and goes to 8 p.m.Tickets: $35 advance, $50 at the gate, $20 for students with student ID. There will also be a "Bradenton Blues Brunch" ($50) at Mattison's City Grille Bradenton Riverwalk at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday December 3, 2017. Bradenton Riverwalk Pavilion, 452 Third Avenue, West, Bradenton. Get tickets and more details here!

December 2, 2017: It's the 7th Annual Longboat Key Kiwanis Lawn Party with signature dishes from over 30 of the area's finest restaurants along with wine and beer. Presented by the Longboat Key Kiwanis Club to benefit local children's charities and youth scholarships. Live entertainment, free parking, food, and drinks are all included with your $50 admission Ticket! Tables of 10 for $450.00. Raffle tickets also available. Noon - 2 p.m. The Resort at Longboat Key Club, Island Driving Range, 301 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, FL. Get more info here.

December Sarasota Events

December 2, 2017: Traditionally held on the first Saturday of December, The Venice Christmas Boat Parade starts at 6 p.m. (rain date is the next day) along the Intracoastal Waterway in Venice starting at the Albee Road Bridge in Nokomis and moving south along the waterway to the Circus Bridge in Venice. Spectators line the north (at South Nokomis Beach) and south (at North Venice Beach) jetties and throughout the downtown and Venice waterfront areas to the judging area near the south Circus Bridge for a view of the brightly lit and colorfully decorated “Christmas Boats.” 6 p.m. Admission is free. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

Sarasota Holiday Parade

December 2, 2017: The 22nd Annual Sarasota Holiday Parade takes place in downtown Sarasota on the first Saturday evening of December. With thousands participating and even more thousands viewing, the parade kicks off at 7 p.m. with decorated floats, live marching bands and the guest of honor "rounding" out the parade, Santa Claus. The Parade route runs along Main Street. It's a definite "must see" on my December Sarasota Events Calendar! Click here to read more about and see pictures of the Sarasota Holiday Parade. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 2 - 3, 2017: Enjoy warm gulf breezes, fresh seafood and live musical performances at America’s #1 beach at the 2nd annual Siesta Beach Seafood & Music Festival. Enjoy the best and freshest cooked foods by local restaurants and food purveyors. Foods are cooked on-site using such ingredients as grouper, mahi mahi, stone crabs, oysters, shrimp and soft-shell crabs. Meat entrees are also available, including Italian and Polish sausage, steak sandwiches and chicken-on-a-stick. A variety of vegetarian and rice dishes are available. Live music, too! Bands to be announced. Free admission. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. The event will be held along the Esplanade at Siesta Beach. Siesta Key, FL December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 3, 2017: If you're into road trips and cigars check out the Ybor City Cigar FestivalThe yearly smoker features handmade premium and boutique cigars, cigar rolling demos, a cigar lounge, live music, wine, beer, gourmet food trucks, a VIP tent area and more. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free Admission. Centennial Park, 1800 E 8th Ave, TampaIn The Historic District of Ybor City, about an hour's drive, give or take, from the Sarasota area. 

Sarasota area waterside dining spots

December Sarasota Events

December 3, 2017: It's the 6th Annual Jingle Paws Jubilee in a new location along with adoptions, gifts for people and pets from vendors, pictures with Santa, Animal Readings and Pet Blessings, Live Music, Raffle, Prizes, a Doggie Diva Holiday Costume Contest, Parade and more. A Merry time for you and your pet. 12 p.m.. - 5 p.m. Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. Click here for more info.

December 3, 2017: Check out the Myakka River Jam "Stomp in the Swamp" at Myakka River State Park. Featuring the madness and mayhem of bestselling Florida author, Tim Dorsey. Books and Serge swag available for sale and signing. Food, wine, domestic and craft beers for sale by Myakka’s own Pink Gator Café. No coolers please. Live music all afternoon from some of Florida's finest folk music stars including Florida Boys, J.D. and Zetha Lewis, Fiddlin' J. Robert. Admission: Vehicles $6, Motorcycles $4, Bikes and pedestrians $2. Noon - dark. Myakka River State Park, 13208 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL.

December 3, 2017: Enjoy a concert by the Sarasota Suncoast Concert Band. Showtime is 3 p.m. Admission is $5. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Call 941-907-4123 for Availability. Northminster Presbyterian Church, on Lockwood Ridge, a block south of University Parkway. 3131 61st Street, Sarasota. 

December 3 - 10, 2017: You're invited to the 44th Annual Singing Christmas Tree to enjoy the wonder of Christmas. Presented by the First Sarasota Downtown Baptist Church, The Singing Christmas Tree, some 30 feet tall, sporting over 10,000 lights with 12 levels that hold 115 choir members, is an annual music and drama production written & directed by church members and accompanied by an orchestra featuring songs of the Christmas Season and stunning pageantry. There are 7 performances taking place. Tickets: Adults: $15, children under 12: $10. Tickets available at the church or click here to buy online. 1670 Main Street, Suite 200, Sarasota, FL More info: 888-684-5272. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

There are numerous recurring, fun things to do in Sarasota throughout the year. Click here for my list of recurring Events in Sarasota! 

December Sarasota Events

December 4, 2017: There will be a Christmas Concert performance, "Sounds of the Season" by the Venice Concert Band. Enjoy traditional and seasonal favorites. 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Tickets $7 at the door or at the Venice Performing Arts Center on the campus of  Venice High School from 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. day of concert. 1 Indian Ave, Venice. Click here for more info. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 6 - 7, 2017: It's time to Celebrate the Christmas season with the sights and sounds of the season including carriage rides, carolers, lighting displays and Santa himself strolling the streets and bringing Christmas Cheer to all. Free. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Main Street at Lakewood Ranch.

December 7, 2017: The Annual Christmas Walk takes place in Historic Downtown Venice. Get into the spirit of the season by enjoying live entertainment, food and drinks, holiday décor and more. Oh, what fun! Shopping, music and holiday treats. 5:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. Along Venice Avenue in downtown Venice.  December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 7, 2017: It's the annual Holly Holiday Party at Historic Spanish Point. There will be light refreshments, holiday music and plenty of good cheer to go around. Cash Bar available. Free for members, just present your membership card. Guests of members are $5 each. All others are welcome to attend for general admission prices. 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Historic Spanish Point, 337 N Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL

December Sarasota Events

December 7, 2017: It's an evening of Holiday Splendor at The Ringling where you can celebrate the holiday season and help support the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program for Sarasota and Manatee counties. Extended evening hours will feature holiday music and performances by local elementary, middle and high schools. Food and beverages will be available for purchase until 8 p.m. It takes place at The Museum of Art, Circus Museum and Ca'd'Zan (first floor only) which will be open for viewing. Admission: Free with one unwrapped toy per guest or without a toy, $15 Adults/ $5 Children 6-17 free for 5 and under. Toys are also available for purchase in the Museum Store. 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 7 - 8, 2017: Check out the annual seasonal festival Holly Days and Mangrove Lights at Historic Spanish Point with their decorated homestead buildings and lighted gardens in a beautiful 30 acre setting. Miniature white lights on the trees and in the mangroves lends a magical holiday ambiance. Enjoy lighted pathways and festive music. The museum will be open until 8 p.m. tonight and on Thursdays and Fridays through December, 2017. Regular admission applies. Free for Members. Adults and Teens $12.00 | Senior discount $2.00 Children ages 5-12 $5.00. Guests accompanying Members $5.00. 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey. 941-966-5214.

December 7 - 10, 2017: Step back in time and experience the story of the first Christmas as The Tabernacle Church presents The Living Nativity. Walk through "Bethlehem" and enjoy this favorite holiday tradition. Featuring nearly 100 cast members, live animals, and flying angels. Attendees will be able to interact with costumed cast members and kids will be able to pet manger animals. A hospitality area will serve hot chocolate, coffee, and holiday cookies. All performances are held outside, weather permitting. Admission is free. One performance nightly at 7:30 p.m. Church grounds.The Tabernacle Church, 4141 Desoto Rd, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 8, 2017: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two" featuring Greg Abate on sax and flute with Michael Royal. $10 for Sarasota Jazz Club members, $15 for non-members. 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota. More info at: 941 366-1552



December Sarasota Events

December 8, 2017: Celebrate the Holidays Around The Ranch on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. Watch the lighting of the tree over the fountain, work on crafts in Santa's workshop, ice skate on an acrylic ice rink with skates provided, there will also be children's dance and music groups, the Choo Choo Express and welcome Santa's arrival in a beautiful white, horse drawn carriage, too, along with more festive activities. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Free admission to the public. Food & Drink available. Lakewood Ranch is east of I-75 off University Parkway. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 8, 2017: Check out Friday Night Free Music with The Velvet Hammer Band in the Gazebo in Centennial Park in downtown Venice. Bring your lawn chair or blanket. 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Free admission. Downtown Venice.

December 9, 2017: Run, Forrest, Run! Siesta Key Beach, the #1 Beach in the USA, plays host to the 41st Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run starting at 8 a.m. The run kicks off on the beach. Registration starts at 7 a.m. and a 1 mile fun run begins at 8 a.m. and a 5K run starts at 8:20 a.m. Registration fees vary by event and sign up date. Siesta Beach Park, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL. Call for more info: 941-861-5000 or Click here for more details.

December 9, 2017: It's the Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade that starts at 10 a.m. It's free to all participants. The parade will go the entire length of the island, starting at the north end  (Bay Front Park) ending at Coquina Beach, where Santa will board the Privateers' Flagship “Skullywag” for all the kids to sit on Santa’s Lap. Hotdogs, chips and soda will also be provided for all the kids. 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Join the Privateers for the Christmas Parade as a participant or a spectator. For more information contact: John “Capt’n Red Beard” Swager (941) 900-4141.

December Sarasota Events

December 9, 2017: Manatee County's annual A Night Before Christmas features Santa Claus visiting G.T. Bray Park to meet with all the children. The event will include face painting, bounce house, snow, hayrides, and much more. This awesome event is great for kids of all ages. Concessions will also be available. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. G.T. Bray Park, 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West, Bradenton.

December 9, 2017: Check out the 13th Annual Porsche's in the Park car show in Circle Park on St. Armand's Circle. Spectacular Porsche autos from owners all over Florida will be on display from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free.

December 9, 2017: Celebrate the Holiday Season with a free “Holiday Pops Cabaret Concert" by The Manatee Community Concert Band along with the St. Joseph’s Parish Choir. The concerts will be filled with your favorite holiday music including “The Nutcracker Suite”, “Sleigh Ride”, a special transcription for the
band and choir of Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and much more.  Also, back by popular
demand, the Dewey, Singum and Howe Barbershop Quartet will perform pre-concert entertainment starting 30 minutes prior to each concert as well as featured
during each concert. 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Free admission, donations welcome. St. Joseph’s Parish Auditorium, 3100 26th St. W., Bradenton. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 9, 2017: It's the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. There will be live music, crafts for the kids, an appearance by Santa and more. A free celebration of music, lights and community spirit, the Christmas Tree lighting is at the Arboretum at Blalock Park across the street from the Venice Museum and Archives which is also hosting their Holiday open house as part of the festivities. 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Tree lighting at 6 p.m. Bring a folding chair. Free. West Blalock Park is located between Nassau, Turin & Pensacola Streets in Venice, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.

December Sarasota Events

December 9, 2017: It's the North Port Tree Lighting, Poinsettia Festival and Parade. The annual Poinsettia Parade, "Holiday in Paradise," kicks off at 5 p.m. with floats adorned with poinsettias, decorated vehicles, and walking groups starting at Sylvania Avenue and following the one-mile route south on Sumter Boulevard. The route will turn east onto City Hall Boulevard, before making its way along the Front Green. This family event that attracts over 5,000 begins also includes The Poinsettia festival which will feature live entertainment by Stone Krow and local school choirs performing throughout the evening. The event will feature a free kids area with a giant slide, bounce houses, wrecking ball, carnival swing, rock climbing/bungee, obstacle course, spin art, and face painting. A variety of food vendors, local organizations, and holiday craft and merchandise vendors will be onsite at 4 p.m. Santa will be available on the first floor of City Hall this year. On the second floor of City Hall, the City will showcase the Gingerbread Land Contest entries. 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. North Port City Hall Campus, 4970 City Hall Blvd, North Port.

December 9, 2017: Enjoy the sights of the 20th Annual Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade. At dusk the lighted vessels will assemble near Snead Island and proceed past the Bradenton Yacht Club to Riverhouse Reef and Grill / Regatta Pointe Marina and then turn south at the Green Bridge and proceed onward to Pier 22 / Twin Dolphin Marina. Boaters will compete for cash prizes in several categories. Judging will be at several points along the route and the awards ceremony and after party for entrants is at the Bradenton Yacht Club. Public viewing sites are available from the Green Bridge Pier, Riverhouse Reef & Grill, along the Riverwalk in Bradenton and at Pier 22. The Bradenton Yacht Club will not be available for public viewing. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.

Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

December 9, 2017: The Annual Sarasota Christmas Boat Parade of Lights is another popular "must do" on my Escape to Sarasota December Sarasota Events page. The crowd-pleasing parade was started in 1986 and usually takes place the second Saturday evening of December, starting around 6 p.m. The boat parade starts from City Island and will be just enough to help put you in the spirit of the season. Click here for pictures and the best place from which to view the boat parade.  December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 9 - 10, 2017: The 30th Annual Holmes Beach Annual Winterfest Fine Arts and Crafts Festival at the City Hall Field on Anna Maria Island. Art, live music, food, t-shirts, face painting and more. Find amazing items, hand crafted and offered for sale by talented artists. Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Free admission and parking. Holmes Beach, FL.

December Sarasota Events

December 9 - 10, 2017: Start the holiday season by checking out the Premiere of the Lido Beach Holiday of the Arts as Lido Beach becomes an outdoor gallery of original and handmade art created by the exquisite artwork brought to Sarasota by artisans from across Florida and throughout the United States. You'll find works in painting, sculpture, jewelry, glass, ceramics, fiber and wearable art, photography, digital art, mixed-media, metalwork, woodworking and more. Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.  Admission and parking are free. 400 Benjamin Franklin Dr., Sarasota, FL.

December 9 - 10, 2017: Sarasota's original indie arts & craft show, the Atomic Holiday Bazaar, enters its 12th season with three venues to holiday shop. Atomic features unique and amusing hand made indie crafts and arts. Free totes filled with swag and coupons are passed to the first 100 adults who enter the main room at each show by the Bradentucky Bombers. Admission to Main room: Adults $5, 12 and under free. The Bay Front Room & Street Fair are free for all. Hours: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.,Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 9 - 10, 2017: Enjoy Diversity: The Voices of Sarasota as they present their holiday concert, "Music for the Season." Dec 9 at 7 p.m., Dec 10 at 3 p.m. Tickets: $20. Both performances will be held at Glenridge Performing Arts Center  7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota, FL. More info and tickets here or call 941-915-9128.

December 9 - 10, 2016: (Cancelled for 2017 due to damages sustained during Hurricane Irma) See the twinkle of thousands of  lights decorating the pathways and surroundings of Sarasota Jungle Gardens for their annual "Holiday Lights Spectacular" Celebration. Stroll down "Candy Cane Lane," see Santa, live entertainment takes place in the bird pavilion twice each evening at 7 and 8 p.m. and more. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Adult admission $11, $6 for children 3 to 12, Children two years and younger are free. 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.




December Sarasota Events

December 10, 2017: You're invited to Celebrate a 1917 Florida Cracker Christmas. Experience a traditional, old-fashioned, Florida holiday celebration with family-friendly entertainment, heritage artisans, "make and take" seasonal crafts for adults and youth, visiting vendors and vintage silent holiday films; something to delight every age! Every corner of the Park will be dressed with color and splendid Victorian décor. While in the Village explore landmarks, "Old Cabbage Head" (a steam locomotive), the Junior Junction playground, museum exhibits and the Whistle Stop Gift Shop. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission: Adults $5, 12 & under are free as is parking. Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Avenue East (State Road 64), Bradenton, FL.

December 10, 2017: It's time to Jazz up your Christmas with the Suncoast Jazz Ambassadors when they present their versions of holiday classics as well as a Dixieland set of Christmas favorites. 3:00 p.m. $5. Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3131 61st St., Sarasota. 941-907-4123

December 10, 2017: Take in Christmas of long ago at The Gamble Plantation Christmas Open House and travel back to the Old South during the day through the many lifestyle demonstrations of that time period. Gamble Mansion will be lavishly decorated in the Christmas spirit, allowing you a special look at a 19th century Christmas. The Ladies of the United Daughters of the Confederacy will be wearing costumes reminiscent of the era of the 1840’s through 1870’s to add that special touch of authenticity to the day. The 4th Florida Volunteer Infantry will be dressed in military uniforms re-enacting a Confederate encampment. There will be music, crafts and fun for everyone. Admission is free. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, U.S. 301 in Ellenton, FL one mile west of I-75 off exit #224.   941-723-4536.

December 14, 2017: It's your chance to enjoy "Deck the Halls at Ca' d'Zan" on the grounds of the Ringling Museum. The mansion is all decked out for the holiday season including a 10' tall tree during extended hours. 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Tickets: $15 Free for members and included with "Art After Five" admission. 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 941-358-3180. Also on 12/21, 12/28 & 01/04/18. Click here for tickets.

December Sarasota Events

December 14, 2017: It's time to Celebrate the Christmas season with the sights and sounds of the season including carriage rides, carolers, lighting displays and Santa himself strolling the streets and bringing Christmas Cheer to all. Free. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Main Street at Lakewood Ranch.

December 14, 2017: Enjoy the Winter Showcase concert of the Riverview High School Kiltie Band in a 90 minute performance of seasonal favorites. Donation: $5. 7 p.m. Riverview Performing Arts Center, One Ram Way, Sarasota. On the grounds of Riverview High School, off of Proctor, just east of Rt. 41.

December 14 - 15, 2017: Check out the annual seasonal festival Holly Days and Mangrove Lights at Historic Spanish Point with their decorated homestead buildings and lighted gardens in a beautiful 30 acre setting. Miniature white lights on the trees and in the mangroves lends a magical holiday ambiance. Enjoy lighted pathways and festive music. The museum will be open until 8 p.m. tonight and on Thursdays and Fridays through December, 2017. Regular admission applies. Free for Members. Adults and Teens $12.00 | Senior discount $2.00 Children ages 5-12 $5.00. Guests accompanying Members $5.00. 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey. 941-966-5214.

December 15, 2017: You are invited to a Victorian Christmas Tea at Manatee Village Historical Park. Bonnie Calliotte, of De’Tours Traveling Tea Room, will serve Afternoon Tea in the outdoor picnic pavilion. A Manatee Village staff member will give a brief talk on Victorian Christmas traditions. Manatee Village will be decorated for the winter holidays and the 1912 Settlers House will display an exhibit on Christmas traditions in pioneer Florida. Dress-up is encouraged. There will be a best hat contest with prizes. 1:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 and tentatively will include the following menu: Savory finger sandwiches: Chicken Salad, Rita Carlton Egg Salad, and Southern Pimento Cheese. Desserts: Mini Cherry Tarts, Mint Chocolate Brownies, Mixed Berry Scones with Devonshire Cream, and Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. Teas: Ginger Peach (a fine black tea), Hibiscus (a heart healthy, super flower tea), and Spiced Apple Cider (a caffeine free herbal tea). Tickets are on sale from November 15 - December 8, and must be purchased in advance by cash or check at Manatee Village, or by mail to Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Avenue East, Bradenton, FL 34208. Event repeats December 18, 2017.

December Sarasota Events

December 15, 2017: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two" featuring Sarasota Jazz Project Band. Big band jazz at its best with one of the finest big bands in the Bay area. $10 for Sarasota Jazz Club members, $15 for non-members. 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota. More info at: 941 366-1552

December 15, 2017: The Ringling Museum presents a Cinematic Celebration featuring "Elf" in the Museum of Art Courtyard for an interactive holiday movie night! Enjoy live music by Josh Walther and the Phase5 Band, family friendly arts activities, holiday lights, and photo ops with Buddy and Jovie provided by Manatee Performing Arts Center. The evening culminates with a screening of the holiday favorite, Elf. Hot chocolate, “the world’s best cup of coffee,” and candy canes are included with your ticket! A variety of concessions, including popcorn, candy, and beverages will be available for purchase, including a cash bar featuring a yuletide cocktail. Holiday attire is encouraged but not required! 5:30 p.m - 9 p.m. Adults: $15, Kids 6 - 17, $10. Ringling Museum Courtyard, 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL. Get tickets here.

December 15, 2017: Enjoy a community gathering for the 2nd Annual Holiday Movie on the Riverwalk, "Elf." Free. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. The Pavillion on the Riverwalk, downtown Bradenton, FL

December 15 - 16, 2017: Get into the spirit of the season as The Venice Symphony performs a concert of holiday favorites. Music selections include "The Nutcracker Suite, White Christmas," their popular sing-a-long and more. Individual tickets are $25 to $42. Student tickets are half-price. Tickets: Call (941) 207-8822 or Visit Our Box Office at 230 S Tamiami Trail, Suite 3-A on Venice Island, Monday thru Friday 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. Performance times: Dec 15: 7:30 pm, Dec. 16:  3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at The Venice Performing Arts Center, One Indian Ave., Venice. More info here.

December Sarasota Events

December 15 - 17, 2017: Feast your eyes on more than 150 Gingerbread houses on display at the 9th Annual Gingerbread House Festival. Created by school kids, youth groups, local businesses and organizations, presented by the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida. You can also pick up a great centerpiece to use for your own holiday decorations or enter your own gingerbread house.The gingerbread village will be open during mall hours until Sunday at 4 p.m. Admission: $1. Mall Hours. Westfield Sarasota Square Mall, 8201 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Click here for more info.

December 16, 2017: It's the Frosty 5K Race featuring a single-loop course followed by a festive post-race party. Participants receive: Custom Frosty finisher's medal for all finishers, Drawings for Door Prizes, Custom Frosty 5K Awards and more. Plus a Costume Contest with prizes for the most creative interpretations. Race morning packet pick-up for pre-registered participants: 6:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Race begins at 8 a.m. Post-Race Celebration begins with the first Frosty 5K finisher until 10:00 a.m. Costume Contest at 9:15 a.m. Awards: 9:30 a.m. Race starts from Twin Lakes Park, through the adjacent neighborhoods, and finishing on the path around the lake. Twin Lakes Park, 1/2 mile east, off I-75 exit 205. Click here for the latest details and sign up.

December 16, 2017: It's National Wreaths Across America Day when the Sarasota Military Academy and the community aim to cover each and every grave site at Sarasota National Cemetery with an evergreen wreath.You are not only welcome to sponsor a wreath but to attend the wreath-laying ceremony as well. By sponsoring a remembrance wreath you are demonstrating your patriotism and thankfulness for our nation's armed services and the veterans who have served. Ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. Families with loved one's resting at SNC may lay wreaths first. Guests arrive after 7:15 a.m. Parking is first come, first parked. There is no handicapped parking available. Sarasota National Cemetery, 9810 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL.  Click here for more info.

December 16, 2017: It's breakfast with Santa! It's for kids up to age 12 to enjoy breakfast with Mr. Claus and receive a free gift, too. 10 a.m. - Noon. Free. (Gift donations accepted). Newtown Estates Park, 2800 Newtown Blvd, Sarasota. More info at 941-316-1161. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com




December Sarasota Events

December 16, 2017: Check out the Winter Crafts Show and pick up some holiday gifts or ideas for gifts. Plenty of vendors and holiday gifts. Food and refreshments for sale. Come hungry and ready to shop! 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Free admission and parking. Venice Community Center, 326 S. Nokomis Ave, Venice.

December 16, 2017: Celebrate Christmas on Historic Bridge Street with free live holiday entertainment. Experience the joys of the season with this festive celebration. Enjoy the holiday decorations, music, games, food and drinks. 4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island, FL.

December 16, 2017: Old Main Street will be the site of a “Main Street Live”-style street party event and Santa Fund Raiser Enjoy live music with food and beverage vendors and about 10 tents along Old Main Street between Manatee-3rd avenues west. Old Main Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 3:30 p.m. until midnight. Free admission. 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Main Street, downtown Bradenton.

December 16 - 17, 2016: (Cancelled for 2017 due to damages sustained during Hurricane Irma) See the twinkle of thousands of lights decorating the pathways and surroundings of Sarasota Jungle Gardens for their annual "Holiday Lights Spectacular" Celebration. Stroll down "Candy Cane Lane," see Santa, live entertainment takes place in the bird pavilion twice each evening at 7 and 8 p.m. and more. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Adult admission $11, $6 for children 3 to 12, Children two years and younger are free. 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December Sarasota Events

December 16 - 18, 2016: (This event has been cancelled for 2017 due to after effects of Hurricane Irma) It's the 6th Annual "Snow Fest Sarasota" with over 250 tons of snow brought in! There will also be live shows and entertainment. Step inside a Giant 16’ Human Snow Globe, listen to the music and caroling of the season, visit with Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, along with other winter characters and don't forget to stop by Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen with food vendors and Santa’s Workshop with craft vendors. Be sure not to miss the kids amusements area, tickets sold a la carte. Anna, Elsa and Olaf will make their appearance on stage live for FROZEN at The Ranch. General admission: $7, Children 4 - 12: Free with Kids Tickets available at local stores. Without free kids ticket: $3. Free for age 3 & under. Parking $3. Friday 3 p.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. Premier Sports Campus,  5895 Post Blvd, Lakewood Ranch, FL  Click here for more info.

December 17, 2017: Join Santa and his Christmas Fairy at the bay front Crosley Palace in Sarasota. Start at the hot cocoa bar with all the Christmas trimmings while the children decorate Christmas cookies and play Reindeer games with the elves. Santa makes a special visit to read Christmas fables to kids and adults alike. Then join the Christmas Fairy for a delicious holiday lunch set inside the Santa’s palace. Each child will receive a special gift from the Fairies.  Doors open at 11:00 p.m., Lunch starts at 12:30 p.m.  Santa arrives at 11:45 for sharing traditional Christmas stories. All-inclusive events and lunch included in ticket price. Children under 2:  complimentary. Ages from 3 to 12 $17 (must have one adult). Adults $32. Pre-paid reservations required. Seating is limited. Tickets: 941-312-0000. Again on December 23. Powel Crosley Estate, 8374 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 17, 2017: Enjoy a concert by the Sarasota Suncoast Concert Band. Showtime is 3 p.m. Admission is $5. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Call 941-907-4123 for availability. Northminster Presbyterian Church, on Lockwood Ridge, a block south of University Parkway. 3131 61st Street, Sarasota.  December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 17, 2017: Chabad of Sarasota Invites you to enjoy the Community Chanukah Festival Israel Style with food, fun, live music and a performance by Bello Nock. Live entertainment and performance by BMX Trick stars, a large balloon menorah and more. Enjoy catered kosher food prepared by area finest caterers, including Michael’s On East and Muchies 420.  Entertainment and activities for the whole family including Enjoy Bungee Jumping and Orbitron game, magicians, arts & crafts, face painting and more. 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. $5 admission and free parking. Sponsoed by The Jewish Federation Campus. Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL Get more information here.

December Sarasota Events

December 17, 2017: You're invited to the Chanukah Klezmer Festival featuring the lighting of a 12 foot giant Menorah along with a huge interactive Dreidel House, a Moon Bounce and Hebrew School Performance. In addition there will be live music with the Freylekh Klezmer Band, a Western Wall replica, along with traditional food and refreshments available for purchase. Sponsored by Chabad of Venice and North Port. Free admission. 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Centennial Park, 200 West Venice Ave.,downtown Venice, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 17, 2017: Get into the spirit at the 6th Annual Spectacular Community Christmas Concert which will feature four professional vocalists and more than a dozen professional musicians performing seasonal and religious music. This year’s Spectacular promises to be exceptional, not only because of the return of renowned Helden tenor Dale Kitchell, who will be performing his hallmark rendition of Ave Maria, together with noted Italian tenor Robert Lischetti, who will once again open the program with Handel’s Comfort Ye My People, but because this year’s Spectacular will culminate with a children’s re-enactment of the Nativity, followed by a group performance of the Hallelujah Chorus. Free. 6:00 p.m. Congregational United Church of Christ, 3700 26th Street West, Bradenton, FL.

December 17, 2017: Enjoy the Music of the Season and The 26th Annual Christmas Concert and Community Carol Sing, "A Christmas to Remember - A Ceremony of Carols." The First Church Singers present a wonderful evening of music and song. Festive music, orchestra and organ. It's a tradition! First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave, downtown Sarasota. 7 p.m. Parking available in Zenith garage). Free will offering accepted. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 18, 2017: You are invited to a Victorian Christmas Tea at Manatee Village Historical Park. Bonnie Calliotte, of De’Tours Traveling Tea Room, will serve Afternoon Tea in the outdoor picnic pavilion. A Manatee Village staff member will give a brief talk on Victorian Christmas traditions. Manatee Village will be decorated for the winter holidays and the 1912 Settlers House will display an exhibit on Christmas traditions in pioneer Florida. Dress-up is encouraged. There will be a best hat contest with prizes. 1:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 and tentatively will include the following menu: Savory finger sandwiches: Chicken Salad, Rita Carlton Egg Salad, and Southern Pimento Cheese. Desserts: Mini Cherry Tarts, Mint Chocolate Brownies, Mixed Berry Scones with Devonshire Cream, and Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. Teas: Ginger Peach (a fine black tea), Hibiscus (a heart healthy, super flower tea), and Spiced Apple Cider (a caffeine free herbal tea). Tickets are on sale from November 15 - December 8, and must be purchased in advance by cash or check at Manatee Village, or by mail to Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Avenue East, Bradenton, FL 34208. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December Sarasota Events

December 18, 2017: Come out for Ringling by the Bay featuring live music and dancing with Big Night Out. Food and drinks available for purchase. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Admission: $5 - $15. Tickets may be purchased in the Visitors Pavilion on the day of the event. Limited seating is available. Ringling Museum grounds, Bayshore Gardens. 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 941-358-3180. Click here for tickets and more info. 

December 21, 2017: It's your chance to enjoy "Deck the Halls at Ca' d'Zan" on the grounds of the Ringling Museum. The mansion is all decked out for the holiday season including a 10' tall tree during extended hours. 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Tickets: $15 Free for members and included with "Art After Five" admission. 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 941-358-3180. Also on 12/28 & 01/04/18. Click here for tickets.

December 21, 2017: It's time to Celebrate the Christmas season with the sights and sounds of the season including carriage rides, carolers, lighting displays and Santa himself strolling the streets and bringing Christmas Cheer to all. Free. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Main Street at Lakewood Ranch.

December 21, 2016: What was the Star of Bethlehem? A comet, a supernova or something else? Explore that question with Howard Hochhalter, one of South Florida Museum's staff astronomers who will  take you on a journey to Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago using the Planetarium's ability to travel through time and space. See the skies the magi saw. 5:30 p.m. Tickets: $8 Museum Members, $10 Non-Members. South Florida Museum, 201 10th Street West, Bradenton FL.

December Sarasota Events

December 21 - 22, 2017: Check out the annual seasonal festival Holly Days and Mangrove Lights at Historic Spanish Point with their decorated homestead buildings and lighted gardens in a beautiful 30 acre setting. Miniature white lights on the trees and in the mangroves lends a magical holiday ambiance. Enjoy lighted pathways and festive music. The museum will be open until 8 p.m. tonight and on Thursdays and Fridays through December, 2017. Regular admission applies. Free for Members. Adults and Teens $12.00 | Senior discount $2.00 Children ages 5-12 $5.00. Guests accompanying Members $5.00. 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey. 941-966-5214.

December 21 - 23, 2017: More than a million lights shine and twinkle brightly during the Selby Gardens 14th annual "Lights in Bloom" celebration where you can explore and view life-size garden-themed holiday lights that transform the gardens into a tropical wonderland. The tropical holiday paradise includes nightly visits from Santa and his elves (before Christmas Eve), children’s arts and crafts activities and games, plus live entertainment with SoulRCoaster each evening. Grilled foods will be available for purchase from the Michael’s on East grill including a cash bar. 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. nightly. Admission: Adults $20, Members free, Members Guests: $10, children 4 - 17: $10, under 4: free. **Closed on Christmas Day.** Continues Dec. 26 - 30, 2017. 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL. 

December 21 - 24, 2016: (Cancelled for 2017 due to damages sustained during Hurricane Irma) See the twinkle of thousands of lights decorating the pathways and surroundings of Sarasota Jungle Gardens for their annual "Holiday Lights Spectacular" Celebration. Stroll down "Candy Cane Lane," see Santa, live entertainment takes place in the bird pavilion twice each evening at 7 and 8 p.m. and more. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Adult admission $11, $6 for children 3 to 12, Children two years and younger are free. 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 22, 2017: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two" featuring Synia Carroll with Billy Marcus Trio. Hints of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Nancy Wilson in her voice. $10 for Sarasota Jazz Club members, $15 for non-members. 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota. More info at: 941 366-1552

December Sarasota Events

December 22, 2017: With bells on your toes? It's the 6th Annual Jingle 5k Run/Walk. It's a festive way to enjoy the season and tie jingle bells to your shoelaces, which they will supply, along with lighted flashers.There is Holiday music along the course and live music at the finish plus there is a huge post race party with lots of fun. Registration fees vary from $11 - $35. Day of registration commences at 4:00 p.m. Kids races begin at 6 p.m, 5K Run/Walk begins in waves at 7 p.m. Main Street, Lakewood Ranch. Click here for registration.

December 22, 2017: Check out Friday Night Free Music with Mindy Simmons (Christmas music) in the Gazebo in Centennial Park in downtown Venice. Bring your lawn chair or blanket. 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Free admission. Downtown Venice.

December 22 - 24, 2017: Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary have a live Nativity scene including live animals: camels, donkeys, goats and other animals. Come enjoy this very special time of year with the all the animals. 12 p.m. -  4 p.m. Adults $18, 12 and under $8. Active Military are always Free. 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.

December 23, 2017: Join Santa and his Christmas Fairy at the bay front Crosley Palace in Sarasota. Start at the hot cocoa bar with all the Christmas trimmings while the children decorate Christmas cookies and play Reindeer games with the elves. Santa makes a special visit to read Christmas fables to kids and adults alike. Then join the Christmas Fairy for a delicious holiday lunch set inside the Santa’s palace. Each child will receive a special gift from the Fairies.  Doors open at 11:00 p.m., Lunch starts at 12:30 p.m.  Santa arrives at 11:45 for sharing traditional Christmas stories. All-inclusive events and lunch included in ticket price. Children under 2:  complimentary. Ages from 3 to 12 $17 (must have one adult). Adults $32. Pre-paid reservations required.  Seating is limited. Tickets: 941-312-0000. Powel Crosley Estate, 8374 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL.




December Sarasota Events

December 23, 2016: What was the Star of Bethlehem? A comet, a supernova or something else? Explore that question with Howard Hochhalter, one of South Florida Museum's staff astronomers who will  take you on a journey to Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago using the Planetarium's ability to travel through time and space. See the skies the magi saw. 5:30 p.m. Tickets: $8 Museum Members, $10 Non-Members. South Florida Museum, 201 10th Street West, Bradenton FL.

December 23, 2017: Check out some heavenly bodies during Sidewalk Astronomy courtesy of the local group of Deep Sky Observers. Telescopes will be up and available for public viewing from sunset. - 10 p.m./10:30 p.m. (weather permitting). At GT Bray Park in Bradenton on the large field just east of the US Coast Guard Aux building that's near the 59th Street entrance to the park.
 December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 23, 2017: You're invited to enjoy a special Christmas on Main Street Celebration with food, games, rides, music, and Santa! The sponsor, Grace Community Church, will also host a Christmas Candlelight Service from 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Main Street, Lakewood Ranch. Phone: 941-907-9243. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.

December 25, 2017: The annual Pinecraft Christmas Parade usually draws over 1,000 spectators to this Sarasota Amish and Mennonite Community for the parade, traditionally held on Christmas afternoon, winding through the neighborhood streets. Started by local resident Mike Miller in 1999, it's the biggest event of the year in the neighborhood. Assemble in parking lot at Der Dutchman restaurant, 3713 Bahia Vista Street, beginning at 1:00 p.m. or right soon after lunch. Parade starts soon after that.  Anyone is welcome to ride in parade. Pinecraft is near the intersection of Bahia Vista Avenue and Beneva Road in Sarasota. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December Sarasota Events

December 26, 2017: It's the 8th annual Siesta Key Santa Stumble pub crawl in Siesta Key Village among several of the bars. There's a "Santa Sack Race." It is important that racers dress in a Santa costume. 21 or older. Free. 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.  Siesta Key Oyster Bar, 5238 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota. More info: 941-346-5443.December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.

December 26 - 30, 2017: More than a million lights shine and twinkle brightly during the Selby Gardens 14th annual "Lights in Bloom" celebration where you can explore and view life-size garden-themed holiday lights that transform the gardens into a tropical wonderland. The tropical holiday paradise includes children’s arts and crafts, activities and games, plus live entertainment with SoulRCoaster each evening. Grilled foods will be available for purchase from the Michael’s on East grill including a cash bar. 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. nightly. Admission: adults $20, Members free, Members Guests: $10, children 4 - 17: $10, under 4: free. 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 27 - 30, 2017: It's the Sailor Circus Annual Holiday Spectacular, "The High Flying Holidays" with performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Watch as more than 100 kids flip, fly and soar! Tickets at the box office or on line: 2075 Bahia Vista Street Sarasota. Click here for more info or call 941-366-0156. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 26 - 30, 2016: (Cancelled for 2017 due to damages sustained during Hurricane Irma) See the twinkle of thousands of lights decorating the pathways and surroundings of Sarasota Jungle Gardens for their annual "Holiday Lights Spectacular" Celebration. Stroll down "Candy Cane Lane," see Santa, live entertainment takes place in the bird pavilion twice each evening at 7 and 8 p.m. and more. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Adult admission $11, $6 for children 3 to 12, Children two years and younger are free. 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December Sarasota Events

December 28, 2017: It's your chance to enjoy "Deck the Halls at Ca' d'Zan" on the grounds of the Ringling Museum. The mansion is all decked out for the holiday season including a 10' tall tree during extended hours. 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Tickets: $15 Free for members and included with "Art After Five" admission. 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 941-358-3180. Also on 01/04/18. Click here for tickets.

December 28 - 29, 2017: Check out the annual seasonal festival Holly Days and Mangrove Lights at Historic Spanish Point with their decorated homestead buildings and lighted gardens in a beautiful 30 acre setting. Miniature white lights on the trees and in the mangroves lends a magical holiday ambiance. Enjoy lighted pathways and festive music. The museum will be open until 8 p.m. tonight and on Thursdays and Fridays through December, 2017. Regular admission applies. Free for Members. Adults and Teens $12.00 | Senior discount $2.00 Children ages 5-12 $5.00. Guests accompanying Members $5.00. 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey. 941-966-5214. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 29, 2017: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two" featuring JC Scholarship Recipients. Performance by the 2017 Jazz Club Scholarship winners, including members of the Old Souls. $10 for Sarasota Jazz Club members, $15 for non-members. 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota. More info at: 941 366-1552. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December Sarasota Events
Sarasota New Years Eve Events

December 31, 2016: It's the annual Pineapple Drop! Celebrate New Year's Eve in downtown Sarasota with all of the traditional offerings including a family carnival and midway in the afternoon starting at 2:00 p.m., Main Street opens at 6 p.m. live music beginning at 9:00 p.m. and beer stations on downtown’s streets and avenues, special deals at local restaurants and, of course, the Pineapple Drop that welcomes in the New Year at midnight at Main Street and Lemon Avenue. The annual downtown celebration is estimated to attract more than 20,000 - 25,000. 2:00 p.m. - 1:30 a.m. Free admission. Downtown Sarasota. More info here.

December 31, 2017: Ring in the New Year at "Main Street Live," the New Year's Eve 2017 Celebration on Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton. Live music and dozens of vendors selling food, beverages and arts and crafts. Street closes to normal traffic at 3:30 p.m. Party goes till midnight. Free admission but you must be at least 21 to enter the bars. Starts at 5 p.m. Old Main Street between Manatee and 3rd avenue. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 31, 2017: It's the Starlight and Fire Family New Year's Eve Party at White Cottage features family fun with snow falling on the white cottage, bonfires, marshmallows over the fire, hot chocolate, crafts for kids, snow and more. Celebrate and dance to live music by Sean Phillips. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. General Admission: $10 per adult/teen or $5 per child (ages 5-12). Member Admission: $8 per adult or $4 per child (ages 5-12). Historic Spanish Point, 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL. More info at 941-966-5214. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 31, 2017: Celebrate New Years Eve at the Speakeasy at the Crosley Estate with a sumptuous Dinner and an After Party. Start your evening in one of three grand Parlours for a delicious, five course menu and live music. Guys and Dolls get a choice of every entrée, served family style. At 9:30 p.m, the dinner hall changes to a jazzing Speakeasy Soiree.  Join the card games (the house will comp you some clams); sneak down to the pavilion for the bayside lounge; or in true prohibition style, bottoms up with a Sidecar, Bees Nee or Gin and Tonic while dancing under the stars with our swinging DJ. Complimentary champagne toast for the midnight countdown and New York balloon drop.  Get all dolled up in your finest. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., Dinner starts at 7:30 p.m.; Speakeasy Soiree starts at 9:30 p.m. Joint closes at 1 a.m. or until the spirits run out. Dinner and After Party:  $135 per person. After Party (starts at 9:30) p.m. $38 per person. Pre-paid reservations required.  As with any secret joint, your password is your confirmation.  21+.  Cash bar.  Crosley Supper Club, 8374 N Tamiami Trail Sarasota. 941-312-0000. More info and reservations here.

Don't Drink & Drive. The AAA Motor Club and local towing services are offering free ride service & tow service: (855) 286-9246

December Sarasota Events
Sarasota New Years Eve Events

December 31, 2016: A New Year's Eve "Snow Ball" is being hosted by the Italian American Club of Venice. Social hour, cash bar and appetizers: 7:30 p.m Appetizers/Buffet: 8 p.m. -  9:30 p.m, Desert buffet: 10 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Live music by "The Cruzer" and dancing until 2017. Champagne toast and pastries at midnight. Starts at 7:30 p.m. Donations: Members: $70, guests: $80. Jacket required, black tie optional. Dress beautiful. Tickets: 941-468-5013. Italian American Club of Venice, 1375 Ringling Dr., Venice. Click here for more info.

December 31, 2017: Enjoy what's being billed as "Sarasota’s most sophisticated and diverse New Year’s Eve experience: a black-tie event featuring a private journey through tropical holiday light displays, passed hors d’oeuvres, a seated four course dinner, live entertainment and dancing at Michael’s on the Bay. You'll enjoy a sumptuous dinner in the luxuriously decorated surroundings followed by dancing and entertainment and a great view of the fireworks over the bay. Begins at 8 p.m. Party on until 1 a.m. $250.00 per person. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 31, 2017: Ring in 2018 at the New Year's Eve Beach Bash. There will be live entertainment along with a fireworks show at midnight, party favors and more. 8 p.m. $10 cover, Sharky's on the Pier, 1600 Harbor Drive, S., Venice, FL.

December 31, 2017: It's the 7th Annual Fireworks on the Bay hosted by Marina Jack. Dramatic Fireworks Show traditionally at midnight and live music along with special dinner and entertainment packages available for purchase throughout the day and evening. Viewing is free from anywhere downtown including Bayfront Park and Island Park. This event benefits the Suncoast Charities for Children. Midnight. All areas of Marina Jacks will be open for lunch at 11a.m. In the evening special menus and entertainment will be featured. Marina Jack, 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

Publisher's note: Happy New Year to you and thank you for visiting us here this year! May the New Year keep you safe, happy, healthy and prospering. You're always welcome here. Again, Happy New Year to you and thanks for coming by, JD.






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