2018 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, 2018: Over 650 runners with Jingle Bells on their shoes will run in the 21st 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, 2018 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. Click here for registration and more info.

December 1, 2018: The 7th Annual Bradenton Blues Fest again takes place at the Riverwalk, overlooking the Manatee River in Bradenton, featuring top Blues artists: Kelley Hunt 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., Christone “Kingfish” Ingram 12:15 p.m – 1:15 p.m., Harper & Midwest Kind 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Chris Cain 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m., Shakura S'Aida 4 p.m. – 5 p.m., Mr. Sipp 5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Welch-Ledbetter Connection 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: $10 - $40. $20 for students with student ID. Reserved front seating $100. There will also be a "Bradenton Blues Brunch" ($50) at Mattison's City Grille Bradenton Riverwalk from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Sunday December 2, 2018. Bradenton Riverwalk Pavilion, 452 Third Avenue, West, Bradenton, FL. Get tickets and more details here!

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December 1, 2018: State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) big band and jazz combos will feature the classic music of Frank Sinatra in a holiday concert from his Christmas songbook. You are invited to take part in “Christmas with Blue Eyes: A Sinatra Big Band Party,” as SCF’s jazz students perform the music that filled venues from New York to Las Vegas. 2 p.m. General admission tickets are $10; student and staff tickets are $5. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit SCF.edu/Neel or call 941-752-5252. SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W. , Bradenton, FL.

December 1, 2018: 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 Sarasota Events

Sarasota Holiday Parade

December 1, 2018: The 23rd 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 1 - 2, 2018: 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. Adults: $12, Seniors: $11, 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. Robarts Arena off Fruitville Road at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds. 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

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 - 2, 2018: 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 Sarasota Events

December 1 - 2, 2018: 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, with two days of tunes from genres such as R&B, blues, jazz, rock and Caribbean sounds. 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 1 - 2, 2018: Entre Nous Club of Manatee will hold its 41st Annual Holiday Tour of Homes which offers an interior view of four amazing homes each uniquely styled by current owners. A bungalow cottage beauty in historic Ware's Creek, a mid-century ranch home in the River District, an elegant home in Palma Sola, and an impressive castle on Riverview Blvd. with expansive views of the Manatee River. After visiting one of the homes, patrons will walk next door to enjoy the tasty treats prepared and served by the Club's Life Members. Elf Alley, where guests can stroll through and a variety of vendors, will offer a fabulous opportunity to purchase handmade cards, jewelry, and other items, will be featured at the Palma Sola home. Their wine raffle will be offered again; with a new twist: several chances to win one of two wine collections or wine basket. House Tour tickets are $20 if bought in advance $25 the day of the tour. 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For further information, please visit the Club's Facebook page, Entre Nous of Manatee County.

December 1 - 5, 2018: Sarasota Christmas presents "Catering Christmas!" This Broadway Style Musical Production is about when the caterer for an office Christmas party cancels at the last minute, a well-known celebrity chef steps in to do a favor for his old friend by providing the food! 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 by calling the box office at 941-922-1449 or click here.

December 1 - 9, 2018: Feast your eyes on more than 150 Gingerbread houses on display at the 10th 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. The Mall at UTC, 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, FL. Click here for more info.

December Sarasota Events

December 2, 2018: All Faiths Food Bank’s popular Bowls of Hope benefit, which will be held at Ed Smith Stadium from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Each year more than 1,500 guests attend the family-friendly event where 40 of the community’s finest restaurants and caterers serve delicious soups, breads, desserts, and more. Guests select beautiful, handcrafted bowls to keep -- all donated by local potters, artists, and students -- while enjoying a modest meal as a reminder of the empty bowls they help to fill. Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St., Sarasota, FL. Here's more info.

December 2, 2018: 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 2, 2018: It's the 7th 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 2 - 9, 2018: You're invited to the 45th 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 7 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

Sarasota area waterside dining spots

December Sarasota Events

December 2, 2018: 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, 2018: There will be a 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. Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Avenue, Venice, FL Click here for more ticket info. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 4, 2018: Enjoy the festive, elegant splendor of The Field Club as La Musica International Chamber Music Festival kicks off its 33rd season with Sonata a Due, Truthful and Timeless, 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 a duo of our musicians performs a recital. Cap the evening with an exquisite dinner in the Club's flagship dining room – a space designed by architectural icon Tim Seibert. 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 6, 2018: 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

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, 2018: 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. 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December  6, 2018: 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 6, 2018: 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.  Experience the ever-changing moods of Christmas at SCF in celebration of this festive time of year. A variety of Holiday music will be presented. 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. General Admission is $15. Neel Performance Arts Center on the campus of the State College of Florida, 5840 26th St., W., Bradenton, FL. (941) 752-5252.

December 7, 2018: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two" with Greg Nielsen and Friends. Nielsen has been musical instructor at Booker Middle School, where he has inspired and cultivated young musicians for over 27 years. Proficient on many brass instruments, Greg has performed with various area big bands, small groups and also with his own big band. Performs with orchestras in concert halls and theaters throughout the area. $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

December 7, 2018: It's the 40th 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

December 7, 2018: 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 7, 2018: Enjoy Holidays at the Point with an evening of Holiday Romance! 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." Snuggle up together by the bonfire for s'mores while enjoying a romantic holiday movie along with holiday treats and a cash bar. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. For ages 21 and older, only. Historic Spanish Point, 337 N. Tamiami Tr., Osprey, FL. Tickets and more info here.

December 7, 2018: Check out Friday Night Free Music with Larry Yunker and Michael Dempsey 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

December 8, 2018: Run, Forrest, Run! Siesta Key Beach, the #1 Beach in the USA, plays host to the 42nd Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run starting at 8 a.m. The run kicks off on the beach. Click here for sign up and more details. 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. Holiday-themed costume contest winner announced: 9:15 a.m. Registration fees, $20 - $30, vary by event and sign up date.  Siesta Beach Park, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL. Call for more info: 941-861-5000. 

December 8, 2018: 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. 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 8, 2018: Celebrate the Holiday Season as The Manatee Community Concert Band performs: "A Little Bit of Christmas." The concert will be filled with your favorite holiday music. Donations accepts. Free general seating. 2 p.m. The Mall at University Town Center, 140 University Town Center Dr., Sarasota, FL.

December 8, 2018: 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. Tickets and more info here.

December Sarasota Events

December 8, 2018: The Bradenton Marauders will host the Marauders’ Holiday Dash & Drive at Pirate City and River Run Golf Links. The 5K race will take place at 4:00 p.m. on a course that starts and ends at Pirate City. Race day registration will open at 2:00 p.m. A one-mile family fun run will kick off at 4:10 p.m. River Run Golf Links will conduct an Amateur Longest Drive Competition during the afternoon before the run. Race registration is available online and will remain open until December 1 at 11:59 p.m. Various registration fees. In order to participate in the Longest Drive competition, please contact River Run Golf Links at 941-708-8459 or visit their clubhouse at 1801 27th Street E., Bradenton, FL 34208, directly behind Pirate City. Registration includes access to the hospitality tent, a race t-shirt, registration bag with promotional items, and prizes for the top finishers in each age group. Registration also grants participants access to the race after party, located on the practice fields at Pirate City.  Live music, food trucks, pictures and visits with Marty Claus, games and more will be available throughout the event for participants and attendees. More info and registration here.

December 8, 2018: It's the 12th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at Blalock Park. There will be live music beginning at 4:45 p.m., crafts for the kids, an appearance by Santa and for the first time this year there will be a Children’s Tree. Children are urged to make an ornament and bring it with them that evening to help decorate their tree. At dark, they'll flip the switch to turn on the lights on the tree. Bring a folding chair. Free. 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. West Blalock Park, across from the Venice Museum & Archives/Triangle Inn and behind the Venice Community Center, 200 Turin St., Venice, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.

December 8, 2018: 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 on the bay front. 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Historic Spanish Point, 337 N. Tamiami Tr., Osprey, FL.

December 8, 2018: It's the North Port Tree Lighting, Poinsettia Festival and Parade. The annual Poinsettia Parade, "Holiday Around the World," 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. More info here.

December Sarasota Events

Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

December 8, 2018: 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 8, 2018: Enjoy the sights of the 21st 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 8 - 9, 2018: Start the holiday season by checking out the 2nd annual 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 8 - 9, 2018: Sarasota's original indie arts & craft show, the Atomic Holiday Bazaar, enters its 13th 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. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December Sarasota Events

December 9, 2018: 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 9, 2018: Chabad of Sarasota Invites you to enjoy the 8th 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, face painting, full color laser light show, carnival games, human chess, 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 Get more information here.

December 9, 2018: The 35 singers of the Choral Artists of Sarasota lift their voices to “Rejoice!” in a concert of jubilant choral music celebrating the holiday season. “Rejoice!” also marks the 10th anniversary of Dr. Joseph Holt, the innovative leader of the professional choral ensemble. Festive favorites and timeless carols will be preformed. 4 p.m. Tickets: $35 in advance, $40 at the door, $5 student tickets are available with ID at the door. First Church, 104 South Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, FL. More info: 941-387-4900.

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 Sarasota Events

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 13, 2018: 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 12/20, 12/27 & 01/03/19.

December 13, 2018: 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 Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 13 - 15, 2018: It's their 2nd Annual outside guided tour "Walk through the Christmas Story" featuring 12 sets with 65 fully costumed actors. There's also live Christmas music, hot chocolate/cookies, gift for every child, live manger scene with animals and Shepherds scene with more animals. 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

December 13 - 16, 2018: 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 14, 2018: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two"with the Sarasota Jazz Project Big Band. One of the finest big bands in the Bay area, the Sarasota Jazz Project is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and performance of big band jazz music. The band is comprised of the best available local musicians, many with resumes and careers in performing with name bands and other well known jazz musicians. Directed by George McLain, co-founder. $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 14, 2018: 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. Main Street, Lakewood Ranch, FL. (East of I-75 off University Parkway.) December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 14, 2018: Enjoy a community gathering for the 3rd Annual Holiday Movie on the Riverwalk. Popcorn and refreshments will be available. Free. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. The Pavillion on the Riverwalk, downtown Bradenton, FL

December Sarasota Events

December 14, 2018: 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, 2018:  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. Repeats 12/20 - 12/24 & 12/26 - 12/27. Sarasota Jungle Gardens, 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL.

December 14 - 15, 2018: Get into the spirit of the season as The Venice Symphony performs a concert of holiday favorites. Steven Jarvi, guest conductor from our February “Beethoven to Broadway” concert, will lead the orchestra in this Venice tradition featuring Feliz Navidad, The Festive Sounds of Hanukkah, music from The Nutcracker and much more. Guest vocalist Johanna Fincher will make sure you “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Bring your family to this treasured seasonal celebration that concludes with a traditional sing-a-long? 3 performances only 7:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Venice Performing Arts Center, One Indian Ave., Venice, FL. More info and tickets here.

December 14 - 16, 2018: 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 250,000 twinkling Christmas lights. There will also be food vendors and more. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Repeats 12/21 - 12/23. Admission: $10, Kids 5 and under are free. Free parking. Hunsader Farms, 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, FL.

December Sarasota Events

December 15, 2018: 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: 6:30 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. Click here for the latest details and sign up.

December 15, 2018: 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 15, 2018: 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 15, 2018: 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. We will have a Memorial Service, then Family Members will be allowed to place their loved one's wreath first. The General Public 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 to our country. 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 Sarasota Events

December 15, 2018: Find creative gifts and decorations for your home and more at The Venice Winter Arts & Crafts Show. Free admission. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Ave S, Venice, FL.

December 15, 2018: Check out the 14th 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 15, 2018: You're invited to Celebrate An Old Fashioned Christmas. This family-friendly festival celebrates heritage and old-fashioned holiday traditions with musical entertainment, food vendors, a special Christmas exhibit in the Stephens House, vintage silent films in the Courthouse, and free “make-and-take” seasonal crafts for adults and youth—something to delight every age! Every corner of Manatee Village will be decorated in colorful and exquisite Victorian-inspired holiday décor. Shop local and buy your Christmas gifts from local artists selling their wares throughout the Village. 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, 2018: 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 and holiday treats in the Sunken Garden and White Cottage Lawn. 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Historic Spanish Point, 337 N. Tamiami Tr., Osprey, FL. Tickets and more info here.

December Sarasota Events

December 15, 2018: Enjoy a Moonlight Movie on Siesta Beach. Check out the sunset and movie to be announced on Siesta Beach. Free. 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Sarasota.

December 15, 2018: Celebrate the Holiday Season as The Manatee Community Concert Band performs: "Celebration! A Holiday Concert." The concerts will be filled with your favorite holiday music. Donations accepts. Free general seating. 7 p.m. Neel Performing Arts Center, 5820 26th St. W., Bradenton, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 15, 2018: 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 15, 2018: Old Main Street will be the site of a “Main Street Live” street party. 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. - 12 a.m. Main Street, downtown Bradenton.

December Sarasota Events

December 16, 2017: Get into the holiday spirit during Christmas on Bridge Street with Santa, live musical entertainment and face painting, the privateers Christmas Sleigh and more as well as food, beer and wine available. Free admission. 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. 117 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island, FL.

December 16, 2018: 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 16, 2018: Enjoy the Music of the Season and The 27th Annual First Church Christmas Gala and Carol Sing. "The First Church Singers join in a stirring collaboration with the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra (AMICCO)  to perform the popular Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah and The Many Moods of Christmas by Robert Russell Bennett. The combined forces of these two choirs and full orchestra will surround you with the sounds of Christmas at its finest. 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 17, 2018: 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. 




December Sarasota Events

December 20, 2018: 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 12/27 & 01/03/19.

December 20, 2018: 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 20 - 21, 2018: 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, and 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $8 Museum Members, $10 Non-Members. Reservations required. South Florida Museum, 201 10th Street West, Bradenton FL.

December 20 - 23, 2018: More than a million lights shine and twinkle brightly during the Selby Gardens 15th 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 and The Hydramatic. 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, 2018 and Janaury 1, 2019. 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL. 

December Sarasota Events

December 20 - 24, 2018: 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. Repeats 12/26 - 12/27. Sarasota Jungle Gardens, 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 21, 2018: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two" with the Lorri Hafer Quartet. Lorri & Mike Hafer present the “Music of their Life”. Music of composers, such as, Gershwin, Ellington,  Jobim, Harry Warren, and the swinging sounds of the Big Band Era and jazz standards. Quartet features former Ellington bassist, John Lamb. $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 21, 2018: With bells on your toes? It's the 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 21, 2018: 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 Sarasota Events

December 21 - 23, 2018: 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 250,000 twinkling Christmas lights. There will also be food vendors and more. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Admission: $10, Kids 5 and under are free. Free parking. Hunsader Farms, 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, FL.

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 23, 2017: 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 Christmas Eve Eve service hosted by Christmas for Sarasota and Church of the Palms. 5 p.m. Siesta Key Beach, 946 Beach Rd, Siesta Key, FL.

December Sarasota Events

December 25, 2018: 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, 2018: 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.). They will offer $4 16oz Bud Light, Bud, and Ultra.  Souvenir Shirts, Souvenir Koozies (while supplies last) and other prizes and Giveaways throughout the night. Kettle of Fish will be playing at SKOB from 8 p.m. - 12 a.m. Siesta Key Village, Siesta Key, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.

December 26 - 30, 2018: More than a million lights shine and twinkle brightly during the Selby Gardens 15th 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 and The Hydramatic. 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. Continues January 1, 2019. 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL.  December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 26 - 27, 2018: 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, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December Sarasota Events

December 27, 2018: 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 01/03/19. Click here for tickets.

December 27 - 30, 2018: It's the Sailor Circus Annual Holiday Spectacular, "Big Top Holidays" with amazing performances. Watch as more than 100 kids flip, fly and soar in this dazzling holiday production! Tickets at the box office at Nathan Benderson Park or on line: Under the Big Top at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota, FL. Click here for more info December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 28, 2018: Get your toes tapping at "Jazz at Two"with The 2018 Jazz Club Scholarship recipients performing.  Many of the fourteen 2018 scholarship recipients will perform with a house trio - TBA - and in jazz jam format. The talent of
these young musicians will amaze you. $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 28  - 30, 2018: The Sarasota Arts & Antiques & Design Show will feature 40 select dealers from across the country with fine antique furniture, silver, bronzes, antique & estate jewelry, crystal, porcelain, pottery, paintings, prints, vintage clothing and accessories, and much more!  Fri: & Sat: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sun: Noon - 5 p.m. Weekend admission $8 at the door. Free parking. Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Click here for more info.

December 29, 2018: Honk horns and explore all sized trucks at Touch a Truck live and in person for kids ages 10 and under! A fun, free family event, enabling kids to touch, sit in and explore a wide range of trucks. Free. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Manatee County Public Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd, Bradenton, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December Sarasota Events
Sarasota New Years Eve Events

December 31, 2018: Celebrate New Year's Eve in downtown Sarasota with the annual Pineapple Drop! The ‘party under the stars’ kicks off on Gulf Stream and Main at 1:00 p.m. The Pineapple drops at midnight followed by a fantastic firework display on Sarasota's bay front with a great view - without leaving the party! There will also be live musical performances by some of Florida and the region's top musicians. General admission is free. VIP Tent admission is $130 that includes an open bar serving premium drinks and a tented seating area with a dedicated service staff. 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. Downtown Sarasota, FL.

December 31, 2018: Ring in the New Year at "Main Street Live," the New Year's Eve 2018 Celebration on Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton. Live music along with 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, 2018: It's the Starlight and Fire Family New Year's Eve Party at White Cottage features family fun. Bring the whole family for an evening of bonfires, s’mores roasting, music, games, crafts for kids and more! Enjoy lite bites and a cash bar. (No outside food or drinks permitted.). 6 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, 2018: It's the 4th 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. 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, 2018: 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 and champagne toast. 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 with Sarasota dance band Chameleon 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 Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 31, 2018: Say farewell to 2018 at the Van Wezel at "The Sweet Caroline Tour: A Neil Diamond Concert Celebration" to fund raise for Parkinson Place. The event will include a VIP cocktail reception, upscale dining, Neil Diamond tribute concert featuring Jay White backed by a 14-piece band, including some of the original Neil Diamond band members, the feature film "Beautiful Noise" and an after party featuring dance band Chameleon. Proceeds benefit Parkinson Place and the Parkinson Research Foundation. Reserved concert seats, after party tickets and exclusive VIP packages are priced from $28 - $450. Tickets on sale April 14, 2018. Event time: 9 p.m. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. More info and tickets here.

December 31, 2018: It's THE Sarasota New Years Eve Red Carpet ILLUMINATION Party, the 3rd year at such a great remodeled Historic venue. This years theme is ILLUMINATION! The Aud will be transformed in to a GLOWrious spectacle. 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: $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 Sarasota Events
Sarasota New Years Eve Events

December 31, 2018: It's the 8th 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

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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