2019 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, 2019: For some old time fun check out the annual Sarasota Medieval Fair. There's jousting, human combat chess tournaments, rides and games along with food and drinks from turkey legs to hearty ales. There's also Celtic music and the new artisan marketplace with over 100 shops, food, and snack booths plus 11 stages holding over 75 shows daily! Single day tickets: Adults $18.95 Student/Senior/Military $16.95 Children 5-12 $9.95 and 4 and under free. Other ticket options and prices available. 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Sarasota County Fairgrounds 3000 Ringling Blvd. Sarasota, FL.

December 1, 2019: 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. 

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December 1, 2019: Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents Deck the Halls! A Holly Jolly Holiday, an all-new musical celebration of everything that makes the holidays in Sarasota special. Families join five magical elves on a musical adventure as they celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah in true Floridian fashion. Five elves, who normally celebrate the holidays at the North Pole, venture down to Sarasota to see how they are celebrated on the Gulf Coast. They learn about Floridian traditions, like swimming in the sea, making sand snowmen, Sarasota’s annual holiday parade, and more. A tradition for Sarasota families, FST’s latest edition of Deck the Halls has brand new songs and sketches. Also December 7 - 8, 14 - 15, 21 - 22, 28. Tickets are available on line or through FST’s Box Office at 941-366-9000. Bowne’s Lab Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 1, 2019 - February 8, 2020: The largest public photo exhibition in North America will return to Sarasota this fall and winter, this time including a showcase of the best from Gulf Coast photographers. “The Fence” will appear on Nathan Benderson Park’s Regatta Island. The exhibit will appear on both sides of a fence between the island’s twin bridges. Participating artists’ work spans the categories of creatures, home, people, streets, nature, food and play. Each photo series is comprised of as many as five images that share a thematic connection or tell a story. Free. 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota FL. 941-358-7275

December Sarasota Events

December 2, 2019: There will be a Concert performance, "Holiday Treasures," by the Venice Concert Band. Enjoy traditional and seasonal favorites. 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Avenue, Venice, FL December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 4 - 11, 2019: You're invited to the 46th Annual Singing Christmas Tree to enjoy the wonder of Christmas. Presented by the First Sarasota Downtown Baptist Church, The Singing Christmas Tree, some 25 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 6 performances taking place, various times. Tickets: Adults: $15, children under 12: $10. Tickets available here to buy online. First Baptist Church of Sarasota, 1661 Main St, Sarasota, FL. More info: 888-684-5272. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 5, 2019: 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 8:00 p.m. Along Venice Avenue in downtown Venice, FL.  December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December  5, 2019: 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, Lakewood Ranch, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December Sarasota Events

December 5, 2019: It's The Most Wonderful Night of the Year. Twinkling lights, yummy treats and magical wonder in the air – one of the most anticipated celebrations of the year. Experience the joyful holiday sounds of the SCF Choirs, Guitar Ensemble and Bradenton Symphony Orchestra in a concert which promises to have a treat for everyone! Student and staff tickets are available for purchase in the lobby one hour before the performance. Tickets: $15. 7:30 p.m. Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton, FL. (941) 752-5252. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 5, 2019: It's an evening of Holiday Splendor at The Ringling where you can celebrate the sights and sounds of 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 Courtyard, 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. 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 5, 2019: It's the annual downtown Sarasota Christmas Tree lighting ceremony! Watch the 40 foot tall tree light up! Lights, music, carolers. 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Tree lighting at 7 p.m. Five Points Park, N Pineapple Ave, downtown Sarasota, FL.

December 6, 2019: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two" with Synia Carroll Jazz. Synia Carroll draws inspiration from the jazz legends of the 40s, 50s, 60s. Hints of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson can be heard. Whether singing a ballad or up tempo swing number, she brings the same clear, smooth tones and excitement to the classic jazz standards. Synia has become a favorite throughout the Bay area performing with many of the top jazz artists. Admission is available only at the door. $10 for Sarasota Jazz Club members, $20 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

December 6, 2019: Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources is hosting another food truck rally at North Jetty Park! Come out for this free family friendly event. They'll have fun yard games, music and of course plenty of food trucks. 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. North Jetty Park, 1000 S. Casey Key Road, Nokomis, FL. 941-861-5000. November Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarsota.com

December 6, 2019: It's the Christmas Gazebo Starlight Cinema feature film. This is a free event for the whole family to enjoy. The movie is Home Alone, and just in time for the Holidays. You are welcomed and encouraged to bring your chairs and blankets to sit under the stars and enjoy the movie in Historic Downtown Venice. Free. 5:20 p.m. - 8:20 p.m. Centennial Park Gazebo, downtown Venice, FL.

December 6, 2019: Go Sledding with Santa at Lakewood Ranch. Bring the whole family to the Lakewood Ranch Family  YMCA and enjoy treats, hot chocolate, arts and crafts with Santa and Sledding on REAL SNOW! Don’t forget your cameras! 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. Lakewood Ranch Branch YMCA - Manatee YMCA, 5100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Bradenton, FL

December 6, 2019: The 8th Annual Bradenton Blues Festival Weekend kicks off with what they're calling their free "Blues Appetizer" Concert.  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., FL

Sarasota area waterside dining spots

December Sarasota Events

December 6, 2019: Lakewood Ranch presents Music on Main the first Friday of each month from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m.! Sugar & Spice Revue band will fill the air with Blues, R&B, Soul & Southern Soul music and the deejay will keep you dancing with today’s Top 100 hits; the event will benefit Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee. Santa will stroll and take photos at the Christmas Tree. 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 6, 2019: Enjoy Holidays at the Point with Family Movie Night! Holidays at The Point is bringing fresh new life to their past event, Holly Days and Mangrove Lights with a new tradition, "Holidays at the Point." Bring the whole family for an evening of fun and festivities. Enjoy crafts, holiday treats and a special family-friendly holiday movie, "The Santa Claus," on the bay front. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Historic Spanish Point, 337 N. Tamiami Tr., Osprey, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 6, 2019: It's the 41st Annual Holiday Night of Lights on St. Armand's Circle. Holiday Night of Lights” is St. Armand's official “kick off” to the holiday season. Photos with Santa are available throughout the evening from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. Enjoy holiday entertainment, special store promotions and gracious hospitality. Enjoy holiday entertainment for the young and young at heart. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. St. Armand's Circle, across the John Ringling Bridge from downtown Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 6 - 8, 2019: 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, FL.

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 6 - 8, 2019: It's the Sarasota Art & Handmade Home Show, formerly the Sarasota Craft Show. Exceptional works by more than 125 of the nation’s top artists. Furniture, Ceramics, Art Glass, Sculpture, Painting, Photography, Wearable Art, Jewelry, Decorative Fiber and more. Free admission this year. Fri & 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. Robarts Arena off Fruitville Road at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds. 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 6 - 8, 2019: Enjoy warm gulf breezes, fresh seafood and live musical performances at America’s #1 beach at the 3rd 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. A variety of vegetarian and rice dishes are available as well as non-seafood items. Live music, too: Friday afternoon: West Coast Steel Pan Band (jazz,Caribbean) 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m., Verge (classic rock 70’s to present) 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. and Billy Rice Band(country rock) 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday performances are by: Big Night Out (dance,rock,alternative) 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., RJ Howson (R&B,blues,rock) 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m., JP Soars & The Red Hots (soul,blues) 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m., Melody Trucks Band (rock,blues,jazz, funk, country) 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.,  and Fleetwood Max (Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band) 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. On Sunday enjoy: The Whole Band featuring Callie Chappel (Americana,rock,variety) 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m., The Black Honkeys (rock,soul) 2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m., and Kettle of Fish (rock,blues,reggae) 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. On the breaks between performances, enjoy shopping in a marketplace of fine arts, crafts, and select fine products and food items. $5 general admission. Fri: 4 p.m. - 9 p.m., Sat 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. & Sun: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. The event will be held along the Siesta Beach Pavilion. Siesta Key, FL.

December 6 - 10, 2019: Sarasota Christmas presents "Finding Christmas!" This Broadway Style Musical Production is an engaging story bringing people from all different paths of life together in an airport terminal on Christmas Eve. They discover the crossing of their paths is anything but random as unexpected events turn their hearts to discover the real meaning of Christmas. Performances at 7 p.m., plus Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets: $9 - $10. Sarasota Baptist Church, 7091 Proctor Rd, Sarasota, FL. Tickets can be purchased on line or by calling the box office at 941-922-1449.

December 6 - 15, 2019: Feast your eyes on more than 150 Gingerbread houses on display at the 11th 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. The Mall at UTC, 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, FL.

December Sarasota Events

December 7, 2019: Over 650 runners with Jingle Bells on their shoes will run in the 22nd 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, T-shirt, Swag bag, Refreshments and Awards! Register by November 1, 2019 for Early Registration Pricing. 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. 7 a.m. - 12 p.m. Haven Campus, 4405 DeSoto Rd, Sarasota, FL.

December 7, 2019: The 8th Annual Bradenton Blues Fest again takes place at the Riverwalk, overlooking the Manatee River in Bradenton, featuring top Blues artists: Zac Harmon 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., John Primer 12:15 p.m – 1:15 p.m., Annika Chambers 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., The Duke Robillard Band 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m., Biscuit Miller 4 p.m. – 5 p.m., Toronzo Cannon 5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.,Kenny Neal 6:45 p.m. – 8 p.m. There will also be local craft beer, delicious specialty food vendors, and more. Gates open at 10 a.m. Music begins at 11 a.m. and goes to 8 p.m. General admission tickets: Adults: $45. $20 for students with student ID. Reserved front seating $115. There will also be a "Bradenton Blues Brunch" ($55) at Mattison's City Grille Bradenton Riverwalk from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Sunday December 8, 2019. Bradenton Riverwalk Pavilion, 452 Third Avenue, West, Bradenton, FL.

December 7, 2019: The Manatee County Agricultural Museum and Palmetto Historical Park invite you to kick off the Christmas season with Palmetto’s Christmas in the Park. Visit the decorated buildings; stop by the Sweet Shop to support the Museum and Park’s family events through your purchase of delicious baked goods. Santa Claus will be arriving at 4 PM to the delight of all. Have your camera ready to take a picture with him. Reindeer games, food vendors, and many activities will be on site to entertain people of all ages. Free admission. 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. Historical Park and Manatee County Agriculture Museum, 515 10th Ave. West, Palmetto, Fl. More info: 941-721-2034

December 7, 2019: It's the North Port Tree Lighting, Poinsettia Festival and Parade. The annual Poinsettia Parade 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. The parade will end at the annual Poinsettia Festival on the grounds of City Center. The Festival will also include a tree lighting ceremony, a variety of food vendors, local organizations, entertainment and attractions. 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. North Port City Hall Campus, 4970 City Hall Blvd, North Port.

December Sarasota Events

December 7, 2019: It's called the Sarasota Christmas Glow Run 5K! ​This fun family friendly festive event features dozens of Christmas decorations at the start and finish line and music that creates an atmosphere that will get your Christmas season started off right! Athletes run or walk the lakeside Christmas themed course at night.  Athletes add to the atmosphere with their complimentary glow products that are included with registration....and YES, there is 100% chance of pretty snowfall at the finish! 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Park Circle, Sarasota, FL. Sign up and more info here!

December 7, 2019: Enjoy Maritime by Candlelight. During this free, family fun evening, experience "Old Florida" through the lens of Florida's maritime history! Bring your family for a festive photo op and a visit with Fisherman Santa. There will also be a candlelit tour of the museum, a shell ornament activity, and a special 12th anniversary maritime themed light Ceremony. 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. The Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th Street West, Cortez, FL. (941) 708-6120

December 7, 2019: 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

December 7, 2019: 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). Celery Fields / Sarasota Audubon. The Celery Fields, 6893 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL. Telescopes are set up in the parking lot at the southeast corner of the Celery Fields. (The intersection of Palmer Blvd. and Center Road.). Visitor parking is available in the parking lot on the west side of the Audubon Society building. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota



December Sarasota Events

Sarasota Holiday Parade

December 7, 2019: The 24th 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!" December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 7, 2019: Celebrate the Holiday Season as The Manatee Community Concert Band performs their Annual Holiday Concert. The concert will be filled with your favorite holiday music. Donations accepts. Free general seating. 7 p.m. SCF Neel Performing Arts Center, 11 East 60th Ave W, Bradenton, FL

December 7 - 8, 2018: Village of the Arts Presents its December First Friday Artwalk, "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, FL.

December 7 - 8, 2019: Entre Nous Club of Manatee will hold its 42nd Annual Holiday Tour of Homes which will showcase four beautifully decorated homes in Northwest Bradenton and Palmetto for the community to enjoy. This year, the self-driven tour offers an interior view of four amazing homes each uniquely styled by current owners. A historic waterfront Victorian home in Palmetto, a mid-century ranch home on Riverview Blvd., a stunning 4 bedroom with a wrap-around porch and guest house on McLewis Bayou, and a contemporary home with a European flair and impressive orchid garden located between Warner's Bayou and Manatee River in Northwest Bradenton. After visiting one of the homes, you can step outside to enjoy the tasty treats prepared and served by the Club's Life Members. Additionally, please stroll through a variety of vendors at Elf Alley, as well as, try your luck at the wine raffle and quilt raffle.House Tour tickets are $20 and may be used both days.11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

December Sarasota Events

December 7 - 8, 2019: Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents Deck the Halls! A Holly Jolly Holiday, an all-new musical celebration of everything that makes the holidays in Sarasota special. Families join five magical elves on a musical adventure as they celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah in true Floridian fashion. Five elves, who normally celebrate the holidays at the North Pole, venture down to Sarasota to see how they are celebrated on the Gulf Coast. They learn about Floridian traditions, like swimming in the sea, making sand snowmen, Sarasota’s annual holiday parade, and more. A tradition for Sarasota families, FST’s latest edition of Deck the Halls has brand new songs and sketches. Also December 14 - 15, 21 - 22, 28. Tickets are available on line or through FST’s Box Office at 941-366-9000. Bowne’s Lab Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL

December 8, 2019: 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. 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 8, 2019: 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. 

December 8, 2019: It's the 8th 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.




December Sarasota Events

December 8, 2019: It's time to Jazz up your Christmas with the Suncoast Jazz Ambassadors when they present their versions of holiday classics as well as  Christmas favorites. 3:00 p.m. $5. Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3131 61st St., Sarasota. 941-907-4123

December 8, 2019: it's the Venice Chorale's Holiday Pops with Brass! Come celebrate the holiday season with The Venice Chorale! They will be performing holiday favorites with a lively brass band. Fun for the whole family! The Venice Chorale Youth Chorus and High School Apprentices will also be performing. 7 p.m. Individual tickets are $20-$25, $5 for students.(Tickets will be available online and through the Venice Performing Arts Center box office soon, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. -2 p.m. The lobby and box office at the Venice Performing Arts Center open 1 hour before performances and seating begins 1/2 hour before performances. Performances will begin on time and any late patrons will be asked to wait until there is a pause in the performance to be seated.) Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice, FL. 941-218-3779

December 9, 2018: 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 a tribute to Pittsburgh, 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 9, 2019: Check out the Jazz Club of Sarasota Monday Night Jazz at the Florida Studio Theatre Cabaret Series with Diego Figueriedo. Brazilian born guitarist, Diego Figueiredo, has played in more than 60 countries around the world. He is the winner of several important competitions including The Montreux Jazz Competition, and the VISA Prize. Diego has a unique interpretation, with tremendous techniques, enormous emotion and his shows have been a great success to all audiences. Members $35; non members $39. Full bar and dinner available, doors open 6:30 for dinner. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Florida Studio Theatre's John C. Court Cabaret, First St and Cocoanut Ave, Sarasota. Tickets are available from the Florida Studio Theatre box office (941) 366-9000.

December Sarasota Events

December 10, 2019: Enjoy the festive, elegant splendor of The Field Club as La Musica International Chamber Music Festival kicks off its 34th season with Sonata a Due, with its own spin on a gala event. Take in the beauty of the bay and the historic mansion during the cocktail reception. Sit back and relax while Jennifer Frautschi, violin and Derek Han, piano, perform a recital.  Cap the evening with an exquisite dinner in the Club's flagship dining room. 6 p.m. Tickets: $250/guest, $300/patron. To purchase call  (941) 366-8450 ext. 7. The Field Club, 1400 Field Rd., Sarasota, FL.

December 10, 2019: 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 11 - 14, 2019: Step back in time and experience the story of the first Christmas as The Tabernacle Church presents The Living Nativity. Experience "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 and parking are 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 12, 2019: 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. Ringling Museum,  5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 941-358-3180. Also on 12/19, 12/26 & 01/02/20.

December Sarasota Events

December 12, 2019: 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, Lakewood Ranch, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 12 - 14, 2019: It's their 3rd Annual outside guided tour "Walk through the Christmas Story" featuring 12 sets with 60 costumed actors giving a Dramatic Biblical Presentation of the Christmas Story. Look out for the Roman Soldiers as you travel toward Bethlehem. Enjoy seeing and petting live animals in the shepherd's field and at the stable where Jesus was born. Children may also visit hands-on craft tables and receive a wrapped Christmas present from under the Christmas Tree. Have some fresh popcorn while you listen to Live Christmas Music and hot chocolate and cookies await you at the end of the walk. Experience the true meaning of Christmas! You may register online. Free. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Liberty Baptist Church, 4249 Bahia Vista St, Sarasota, FL. (The corner of Bahia Vista & McIntosh.)  December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 12 - 22, 2019: Enjoy A Classic Crosley Christmas: A Timeless Holiday. The magic of the season brings kindness and light to Bradenton. For one enchanting evening, three generations of believers find their way to the Crosley Mansion. Join Gwendolyn and Powel Crosley for a riotous retelling of the Charles Dicken’s Classic, A Christmas Carol, take a trip down memory lane for Music Most Merry with the Mistletones as they weave together traditions from around the world and Classic Christmas songs from the 1950s, and hop aboard the Polar Express as Christopher and Agnes share this heartfelt story for the young and the young at heart. Do you still believe? Join us this season for A Classic Crosley Christmas: A Timeless Holiday. Weather permitting, the opening and closing of each show will occur outside on the back patio and last for about 15 minutes each. Nights can be cool on the Bay, so please dress accordingly. 12/12, 12/17-12/18: 7:30 p.m. Additional dates December 13 - 15, 19 - 22: 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Crosley Estate, 8374 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. Tickets are available for purchase at the Manatee Performing Arts Center Box Office, on line and at 941-748-5875. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 13, 2019: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two" with Dick Hamilton's West Coast Sextet. Dick Hamilton is music director for the 18 piece Savory Swing Band. Dick is a composer, arranger and a multi instrumentalist. Dick was a studio musician in L.A. for 45 years. The West Coast Sextet plays his arrangements of jazz standards and some original compositions. Admission is available only at the door. $10 for Sarasota Jazz Club members, $20 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

December 13, 2019: Enjoy Holidays at the Point with Rockin' Around the Point! Holidays at The Point is bringing fresh new life to their past event, Holly Days and Mangrove Lights with a new tradition, "Holidays at the Point." Bring the whole family for an evening of fun and festivities. Enjoy live music with Randy Stephens and The Groove Makers and holiday treats in the Sunken Garden and White Cottage Lawn. Cash bar and food truck will be available. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Historic Spanish Point, 337 N. Tamiami Tr., Osprey, FL.

December 13, 2019: Check out Friday Night Free Music with Mindy Simmons  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, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 13, 2019: Celebrate the Holidays Around The Ranch on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch.  Children and adults alike will stand in awe at the sight of Santa Claus as he makes his grand entry in his beautiful horse drawn carriage, decorated in lights and garland. Join Carolers as they sing around the fountain leading up to the lighting of the spectacular tree. Florida children can experience an outdoor snow slide! There will be plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained along with the annual line up of stage performances. Please consider donating a non-perishable food or an unused toy. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Free admission to the public. Food & Drink available. Main Street, Lakewood Ranch, FL. (East of I-75 off University Parkway.) December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 13 - 15, 2019: Enjoy A Classic Crosley Christmas: A Timeless Holiday. The magic of the season brings kindness and light to Bradenton. For one enchanting evening, three generations of believers find their way to the Crosley Mansion. Join Gwendolyn and Powel Crosley for a riotous retelling of the Charles Dicken’s Classic, A Christmas Carol, take a trip down memory lane for Music Most Merry with the Mistletones as they weave together traditions from around the world and Classic Christmas songs from the 1950s, and hop aboard the Polar Express as Christopher and Agnes share this heartfelt story for the young and the young at heart. Do you still believe? Join us this season for A Classic Crosley Christmas: A Timeless Holiday. Weather permitting, the opening and closing of each show will occur outside on the back patio and last for about 15 minutes each. Nights can be cool on the Bay, so please dress accordingly. 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Addtional dates through December 22. Crosley Estate, 8374 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. Tickets are available for purchase at the Manatee Performing Arts Center Box Office, on line and at 941-748-5875.

December Sarasota Events

December 13 - 15, 2019: Experience a Country Christmas at Hunsader Farms complete with hayrides, kiddie train rides, a petting zoo, Christmas village, pictures with Santa, outdoor Christmas movies on a big screen and more than 300,000 twinkling Christmas lights. There will also be kids games, food vendors and more. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Repeats 12/20 - 12/22. Admission: $10, Kids 5 and under are free. Cash only. Free parking. Hunsader Farms, 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, FL.

December 14, 2019: Run, Forrest, Run! Siesta Key Beach, the #1 Beach in the USA, plays host to the 43rd Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run. The run kicks off on the beach.7 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. Fun run start, 8:20 a.m. 5K run start.Participate in this 5K or one-mile fun run. Pre-registered participants receive a long-sleeve custom event shirt. This event is sanctioned by the Manasota Track Club.The run sold out last year so register early! Register at active.com or scgov.net/parks. Call 941-861-5000 for more information. Siesta Beach Park, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL. Call for more info: 941-861-5000. 

December 14, 2019: It's National Wreaths Across America Day at Sarasota National Cemetery to Remember and Honor our veterans through the laying of Remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country's fallen heroes.The Memorial Service begins at 10am. At approximately 10:45, Family Members will be the first to lay their loved one's wreath, with all volunteers present honoring those families their moment of privacy. At 11:00am, the Volunteers will then place the remaining wreaths and when doing so, say the name of each and every veteran aloud and Thank them for their service and sacrifice.  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 10:00 a.m. Parking is first come, first parked. There is no handicapped parking available. Sarasota National Cemetery, 9810 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL.

December 14, 2019: 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 in Bradenton beach. Santa will be there seeing the children and giving out presents. Refreshments will be served. 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 14, 2019: 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 14, 2019: Check out the 15th 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.St. Armand's Key, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 14, 2019: Enjoy Holidays at the Point with a Dog Day Holiday! Holidays at The Point is bringing fresh new life to their past event, Holly Days and Mangrove Lights with a new tradition, "Holidays at the Point." Bring your pup to The Point! Get festive with their ugly sweater contest (for humans and dogs alike), food vendors, and entertainment. Let your pup strut their stuff in their “Pups on Parade.” Fun for all ages. 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Historic Spanish Point, 337 N. Tamiami Tr., Osprey, FL.

December 14, 2019: The 52n Annual Show Folks Circus takes the center stage with 2 shows featuring animals, acrobats, jugglers, clowns and more plus a play zone for the kids which will feature rides, face painting and more an hour before each show. Saturday 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Tickets $5 - $20. Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL. 941-870-7444. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December Sarasota Events

December 14, 2019: Get into the holiday spirit during Christmas on Bridge Street with live musical entertainment, holiday crafts activities for kids, Christmas Carolers and more as well as food, beer and wine available and specials at participating bars and restaurants. The 2nd Annual Bradenton Beach Holiday Boat Parade will begin at 7 PM. Come for Christmas on Bridge Street and stay for the Boat Parade.  Free admission. 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island, FL.

December 14, 2019: It's the 13th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Arboretum at West Blalock Park. Enjoy the holiday celebration of music, lights and community spirit. Santa will be making an appearance, there will be crafts for the kids, entertainment, refreshments. At dark, they'll flip the switch to turn on the lights on the tree at 6 p.m. Bring a folding chair. Free. 4:45 p.m. - 7 p.m. West Blalock Park, between Nassau, Turin & Pensacola, Venice, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.

Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

December 14, 2019: 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 14, 2019: Bradenton Beach Marina will present the 2nd Annual Bradenton Beach Holiday Boat Parade. It will take place after the festivities at Christmas on Bridge Street, which starts at 5 p.m. The Boat parade begins at Jewfish Key at 7 p.m., heads north, ends at Bradenton Beach Marina.Parade is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and last for about an hour. Various viewing points along the way. Free. Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island. 941-778-2288.




December Sarasota Events

December 14, 2019: Enjoy the sights of the 22nd Annual Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade. At dusk the lighted vessels will assemble near Snead Island and the parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. 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.

December 14 - 15, 2019: Sarasota's original indie arts & craft show, the Atomic Holiday Bazaar, enters its 14th season with three venues to holiday shop. Atomic features unique and amusing hand made indie crafts and arts. 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, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 14 - 15, 2019: Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents Deck the Halls! A Holly Jolly Holiday, an all-new musical celebration of everything that makes the holidays in Sarasota special. Families join five magical elves on a musical adventure as they celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah in true Floridian fashion. Five elves, who normally celebrate the holidays at the North Pole, venture down to Sarasota to see how they are celebrated on the Gulf Coast. They learn about Floridian traditions, like swimming in the sea, making sand snowmen, Sarasota’s annual holiday parade, and more. A tradition for Sarasota families, FST’s latest edition of Deck the Halls has brand new songs and sketches. Also December 21 - 22, 28. Tickets are available on line or through FST’s Box Office at 941-366-9000. Bowne’s Lab Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL

December 14 - 23, 2019: More than a million lights shine and twinkle brightly during the Selby Gardens 16th 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. 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: $20 Member Adults; $25 Non-Member Adults; $7 children 5 - 12; Free for those under 5. **Closed on Christmas Day.** Continues Dec. 26 - 30, 2019 and January 1, 2 & 4, 2020. 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL. 

December Sarasota Events

December 15, 2019:  You're invited to Celebrate An Old Florida Christmas. Experience an old-fashioned Florida holiday celebration with family-friendly entertainment including musical performances, make-and-take seasonal crafts, heritage artisans, food vendors, and vintage silent holiday films - something to delight every age! Every corner of Manatee Village Historical Park will be dressed with splendid Victorian and Florida pioneer inspired décor. While on the museum grounds, explore landmarks like "Old Cabbage Head", 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 15, 2019: 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 15, 2019: Enjoy the Music of the Season and The 28th Annual First Church Christmas Gala and Carol Sing." The 2019 edition of the much-anticipated Christmas concert features The Michael Treni Big Band, the First Church Singers, and organist Michael Stuart playing First Church’s impressive Moller-Buzzard pipe organ. Refresh your spirit with Christmas music, old and new, performed in traditional and big band styles. This concert is always a highlight of the Sarasota Christmas season! First United Methodist Church, 104 S. Pineapple Ave, downtown Sarasota, FL. 7 p.m. Parking available in Zenith garage). Free will offering accepted. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 16, 2019: Come out for Ringling by the Bay featuring live music and dancing with Paisley Craze on the Bolger Campiello. 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. Tickets to the general public go on sale September 27, 2019. Limited seating is available. Ringling Museum Grounds, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 941-358-3180. 

December Sarasota Events

December 17 - 18, 2019: Enjoy A Classic Crosley Christmas: A Timeless Holiday. The magic of the season brings kindness and light to Bradenton. For one enchanting evening, three generations of believers find their way to the Crosley Mansion. Join Gwendolyn and Powel Crosley for a riotous retelling of the Charles Dicken’s Classic, A Christmas Carol, take a trip down memory lane for Music Most Merry with the Mistletones as they weave together traditions from around the world and Classic Christmas songs from the 1950s, and hop aboard the Polar Express as Christopher and Agnes share this heartfelt story for the young and the young at heart. Do you still believe? Join us this season for A Classic Crosley Christmas: A Timeless Holiday. Weather permitting, the opening and closing of each show will occur outside on the back patio and last for about 15 minutes each. Nights can be cool on the Bay, so please dress accordingly. 7:30 p.m. Additional dates through December 22. Crosley Estate, 8374 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. Tickets are available for purchase at the Manatee Performing Arts Center Box Office, on line and at 941-748-5875.

December 18 - 19, 2019: 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. 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Tickets: $8 Museum Members, $10 Non-Members. Reservations required. South Florida Museum, 201 10th Street West, Bradenton FL.

December 19, 2019: 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. Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 941-358-3180. Also on 12/26 & 01/02/20.

December 19, 2019: 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, Lakewood Ranch, FL.

December Sarasota Events

December 19 - 22, 2019: Enjoy A Classic Crosley Christmas: A Timeless Holiday. The magic of the season brings kindness and light to Bradenton. For one enchanting evening, three generations of believers find their way to the Crosley Mansion. Join Gwendolyn and Powel Crosley for a riotous retelling of the Charles Dicken’s Classic, A Christmas Carol, take a trip down memory lane for Music Most Merry with the Mistletones as they weave together traditions from around the world and Classic Christmas songs from the 1950s, and hop aboard the Polar Express as Christopher and Agnes share this heartfelt story for the young and the young at heart. Do you still believe? Join us this season for A Classic Crosley Christmas: A Timeless Holiday. Weather permitting, the opening and closing of each show will occur outside on the back patio and last for about 15 minutes each. Nights can be cool on the Bay, so please dress accordingly. 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Crosley Estate, 8374 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. Tickets are available for purchase at the Manatee Performing Arts Center Box Office, on line and at 941-748-5875.

December 20, 2019: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two" with the Mark Moultrup Music Quintet. Mark Moultrup, piano and vocals. Originally from Detroit, he now resides in St. Petersburg. He was a regular in top Detroit and Chicago jazz clubs and venues and in the Chicago and Detroit Jazz Festivals. Mark and his group perform music from the American songbook and jazz favorites and some holiday classics. Admission is available only at the door. $10 for Sarasota Jazz Club members, $20 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

December 20, 2019: With bells on your toes? It's the Annual Lakewood Ranch 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, FL.

December 20 - 21, 2019: Get into the spirit of the season as The Venice Symphony performs a concert of holiday favorites.  Join The Venice Symphony for their traditional concert with a holiday twist as they present yuletide classics like Deck the Hall and Carol of the Bells with music from holiday film favorites “Home Alone” and “Polar Express.” Special guest will be Sarasota’s Key Chorale. 3 performances only 7:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Venice Performing Arts Center, One Indian Ave., Venice, FL.

December Sarasota Events

December 20 - 22, 2019: Experience a Country Christmas at Hunsader Farms complete with hayrides, kiddie train rides, a petting zoo, Christmas village, pictures with Santa, outdoor Christmas movies on a big screen and more than 300,000 twinkling Christmas lights. There will also be kids games, food vendors and more. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Admission: $10, Kids 5 and under are free. Cash onlyFree parking. Hunsader Farms, 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, FL.

December 21, 2019: 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 Open Categories: Male, Female, Duo & Group (3 or more); and expanded Kids categories. Race morning packet pick-up for pre-registered participants: 6:30 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. 

December 21, 2019: 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. - 12:30 p.m.. Free. (Gift donations accepted). Newtown Estates Park, 2800 Newtown Blvd, Sarasota. More info at 941-861-5000. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 21 - 22, 2019: Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents Deck the Halls! A Holly Jolly Holiday, an all-new musical celebration of everything that makes the holidays in Sarasota special. Families join five magical elves on a musical adventure as they celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah in true Floridian fashion. Five elves, who normally celebrate the holidays at the North Pole, venture down to Sarasota to see how they are celebrated on the Gulf Coast. They learn about Floridian traditions, like swimming in the sea, making sand snowmen, Sarasota’s annual holiday parade, and more. A tradition for Sarasota families, FST’s latest edition of Deck the Halls has brand new songs and sketches. Also December 28. Tickets are available on line or through FST’s Box Office at 941-366-9000. Bowne’s Lab Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.

December Sarasota Events

December 21 - 23, 2019: 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 and Veterans receive free admission. 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.

December 22, 2019: Chabad of Sarasota Invites you to enjoy the 9th Annual Taste of Chanukah Food & Music Festival with food, fun, live music and more. . Enjoy catered kosher food prepared by the area's finest caterers. Entertainment and activities for the whole family plus arts & crafts, The Skyriders Trampoline Show, Graffiti wall, helicopter in the sky to rain down gelt from above, face painting, full color laser light show, trackless train ride, live music, magicians and more. 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. $5 admission and free parking. Kids under 13 are free.  Sponsoed by The Jewish Federation Campus. Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL.

December 22, 2019: Ring in the holiday season with Sounds of the Season from the Choral Artists of Sarasota. This cheerful concert highlights choral music with brass and organ. Guest conductor Todd Craven, the Associate Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and former Principal Trumpet with the Sarasota Orchestra, will lead a program featuring Christmas Cantata by Daniel Pinkham, works arranged by Daniel Moe and the Sarasota premiere of Eja! Eja! by James Grant. 5 p.m. Tickets $5 - $38. Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 22, 2018: Come sing Christmas carols and hear the Christ child’s birth story on the beach as the sun goes down over the water. Bring your chairs, your blankets for a casual and contemporary early Christmas service hosted by Christmas for Sarasota and Church of the Palms. 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Siesta Key Beach, 946 Beach Rd, Siesta Key, FL.

December Sarasota Events

December 23, 2019: Check out the Jazz Club of Sarasota Monday Night Jazz at the Florida Studio Theatre Cabaret Series with Valerie Gillespie Jazz Ensemble. Valerie Gillespie is a multi talented musician, who plays all the saxes, as well as clarinet, piccolo and flute. She is also an accomplished vocalist, influenced by Diana Krall, Nancy Wilson, Shirley Horn, Carmen McRae, and Diane Shuur. She performs throughout Florida with her own ensemble and other top musicians and also with the Florida Orchestra and big bands at Ruth Eckert Hall and the Van Wezel PAC. Members $35; non members $39. Full bar and dinner available, doors open 6:30 for dinner. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Florida Studio Theatre's John C. Court Cabaret, First St and Cocoanut Ave, Sarasota. Tickets are available from the Florida Studio Theatre box office (941) 366-9000.

December 25, 2019: 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 26, 2019: 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. Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. 941-358-3180. Also on 01/02/20.December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 26, 2019: It's the Siesta Key "Santa Stumble" Pub Crawl hosted by the Block that Roxx in Siesta Key Village from 9 p.m. - close (SKOB, Gilligan's Island Bar, Daiquiri Deck and 3.14 Pi.). Additional details pending. Siesta Key Village, Siesta Key, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.

December Sarasota Events

December 26 - 30, 2019: More than a million lights shine and twinkle brightly during the Selby Gardens 16th 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. 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: $20 Member Adults; $25 Non-Member Adults; $7 children 5 - 12; Free for those under 5. **Closed on Christmas Day.** Continues January 1, 2 & 4, 2020. 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 27, 2019: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two" with The 2019 Jazz Club Scholarship Performance. A number of the 2019 Scholarship recipients will perform with local area musicians - TBA - in concert and in jazz jam format. The talent of  these young musicians will amaze you. Come and show your support to these young student/musicians. Admission is available only at the door. $10 for Sarasota Jazz Club members, $20 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 27, 2019: Check out Friday Night Free Music with TBA 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 Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 27 - 30, 2019: It's the Sailor Circus Annual Holiday Spectacular, "High Flying Holidays" with amazing performances. Watch as more than 100 kids flip, fly and soar in this dazzling holiday production! Tickets on sale November 4, 2019 at 941-355-9805, on line and at the box office at 2075 Bahia Vista Street, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 28, 2019: Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents Deck the Halls! A Holly Jolly Holiday, an all-new musical celebration of everything that makes the holidays in Sarasota special. Families join five magical elves on a musical adventure as they celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah in true Floridian fashion. Five elves, who normally celebrate the holidays at the North Pole, venture down to Sarasota to see how they are celebrated on the Gulf Coast. They learn about Floridian traditions, like swimming in the sea, making sand snowmen, Sarasota’s annual holiday parade, and more. A tradition for Sarasota families, FST’s latest edition of Deck the Halls has brand new songs and sketches. Tickets are available on line or through FST’s Box Office at 941-366-9000. Bowne’s Lab Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December Sarasota Events
Sarasota New Years Eve Events

December 31, 2019: Celebrate New Year's Eve in downtown Sarasota with the annual Pineapple Drop! The ‘party under the stars’ kicks off at 1 p.m. and continues until 1 a.m..! The Pineapple drops at midnight. There will also be live musical performances by some of Florida and the region's top musicians. General admission is free. More information including musical acts will be posted as the event nears. The annual downtown celebration is estimated to attract more than 20,000 - 25,000. 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 a.m. Free admission. Five Points Park, Main Street, Lemon Avenue. Downtown Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 31, 2019: Ring in the New Year at "Main Street Live," the New Year's Eve 2019 Celebration on Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton. Live music along with dozens of food truck vendors, 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 6 p.m.- 12 a.m. Old Main Street between Manatee and 3rd avenue, downtown Bradenton, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 31, 2019: It's the Starlight and Fire New Year's Eve Party. Ring in the new year at Historic Spanish Point! Fun for the whole family – enjoy lawn games, hula hoop and dance competitions for the kids, s’mores roasting, holiday treats, cash bar and live music. (No outside food or drinks permitted.). 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. General Admission: $15 per adult/teen or $7 per child (12 and under). Historic Spanish Point, 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL. More info at 941-966-5214. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 31, 2019: It's the 5th New Years Eve Gala at the Powel Crosley Estate. 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.  At 9:30 p.m,  the dinner hall changes to a jazzing Speakeasy Soiree. Join the card games (the house will comp a little poker dough); sneak down to the pavilion for a the bayside lounge; or in true prohibition style, bottoms up with a Sidecar, Bees Nee or Gin and Tonic, and dance under the stars with our swinging DJ.  Complimentary champagne toast for the midnight countdown. Get all dolled up in your finest. Dinner starts at 8:00 p.m.; Speakeasy Soiree starts at 9:30 p.m. Joint closes at 1 a.m. or until the spirits run out. Dinner and Speakeasy Soiree: $145 per person. Speakeasy Soiree only: $45 per person. Pre-paid reservations required.  21+.  Cash bar. Powel Crosley Estate, 8374 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 941-312-0000.

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, 2019: It's New Year's Eve at Selby Gardens. 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,special performances by The Sarasota Ballet Studio Company and Trainees from the Margaret Barbieri Conservatory and dancing at Michael’s on the Bay. You'll enjoy dinner in the luxuriously decorated surroundings and a great view of the fireworks over the bay and champagne toast. Begins at 8 p.m. Party on until 1 a.m. $300.00 per person. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 31, 2018: Ring in 2019 at the New Year's Eve Beach Bash. The band will be Triggerfish. $10 general admission cover charge. $25 VIP on the beach gets you a server, and seat at a table. $60 plus tax and gratuity gets you VIP upper deck with table, chair, server and dinner buffet. Fireworks at midnight. $10 and $25 cover tickets sold day of. $60 VIP sold in advance.  8 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.  $10 cover includes live entertainment, fireworks.  Sharky's on the Pier, 1600 Harbor Drive, S., Venice, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 31, 2019: It's THE Sarasota New Years Eve Red Carpet ILLUMINATION Party, the 4th year at such a great remodeled Historic venue. This years theme is ILLUMINATION! The Sarasota Municipal Aud will be transformed in to ring in 2020. Valet, Open Bar, Huge Dance Floor & Light Show, Entertainment - LIVE & DJ, Catered Appetizers by Premiere Catering of Bradenton and Sarasota and Jpan sushi & grill, Dessert Station by Seasons 52 & Der Dutchman Sarasota. Tickets: ALL Inclusive Open Bar, Bottomless Champagne, Catered Apps & Desserts, Valet and more! $150 in advance, $200 at door if not sold out. 9 p.m. - 1 a.m. Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. More info & Tickets.

December 31, 2019: It's the 9th 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, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 31, 2019: The Beach House puts on their own Fireworks Show over Bradenton Beach. Also a DJ and dining. No reservations. No cover charge. First come-first served. 8 p.m. Beach House, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island

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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