2021 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.

*Every effort is made to provide as accurate of information as possible, however dates, times, places and event schedules are subject to change without notice due to weather conditions, last minute changes or cancellations made by event organizers, mistakes, misinformation from sources and/or events beyond anyone's control, etc. Before making any major plans check with event organizers to confirm date of event and that event has not been canceled at the last minute. This Calendar is updated as information is made available.



December 1, 2021: It's NBP Rec Days! A great way to get on the water, family-style! Participants will have the opportunity to try stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, canoes, fishing and more. Fee is $10 per person. $5 per adult with accompanying child. Free for children ages 6 and younger  Family maximum: $35 (for households of five or more). All must complete the waiver forms.  Fishing licenses are required for all participants 14 and older who choose to fish. NBP Rec Days! are held at the base of the finish tower on Regatta Island. Depending on events, however, they may move to the west shore, near the playground. Signs will be in place to direct you, either way. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota FL.

December 1 - 4, 2021: Entre Nous Club of Manatee presents its Holiday Festival of Trees online auction. They are feeling festive and think you'll enjoy this year's fundraiser! As the uncertainty of holding a function that can draw a crowd of over one thousand people in a weekend continues, the active members of Entre Nous Club have decided to keep with the holiday spirit and traditions, but move their annual fundraiser online. They invite you to visit their online auction to bid on a variety of beautifully decorated trees, wreaths and lots of fabulous gifts to put under the tree.

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December 1, 2020 - February 28, 2021: TBA for 2021-2022. The Photoville FENCE makes its third consecutive appearance at Nathan Benderson Park.The public photography project is exhibited year-round in major parks and downtowns across North America. Featuring more than 90 photographers annually, the exhibition brings compelling visual stories into the public realm, and to a wide and diverse audience. As an outdoor exhibition, social distancing is a distinct built-in feature of the show.“The local show also includes a showcase of seven Florida photographers, judged separately from the international show. The Photoville Fence will appear on the upper finish tower parking lot, on both sides of a chain-link fence between the two bridges onto the park’s Regatta Island. Free. 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota FL. 941-358-7275

December 2, 2021: It's the annual downtown Sarasota Christmas Tree lighting! Holiday Performance by Ring Sarasota. Enjoy refreshments, music, and photos with Santa! The Christmas Tree will be lit at 7 p.m. where photos can be taken. 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Selby Five Points Park, N Pineapple Ave, 100 Central Ave., Sarasota, FL.

December Sarasota Events

December 2, 2021: 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! Enjoy extended hours at local shops, treats, live music and the twinkle of lights on decorated trees along Miami, Tampa and West Venice avenues. Take a stroll and delight in the warm glow of decorated holiday storefront windows. 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Downtown Venice, FL.  December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 3, 2021: The Friday Jazz at Two Concert Series returns with Synia Carroll Jazz Quartet. 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 including the Helios Jazz Band, Jeremy Carter, La  Lucha, James Suggs, Scotty Wright, Whitney James and others.Concert from 2 p.m. - 4 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota 3975 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota. Tickets available at the door, Jazz Club members $10; non members $20. For information call: (941)260-9951. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 3, 2020: TBD for 2021. It's an evening of Holiday Splendor at The Ringling. Celebrate the holiday season and help support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, serving Sarasota and Manatee counties. Visit The Ringling for a Holiday Splendor drive-through experience. Come drive through their holiday decorations and donate unwrapped toys! This year instead of having live performances by local school groups, we will be showcasing giant Christmas cards that children have created for the event. Participants will receive a $5 off coupon for their next visit to the Museum! Free cocoa and cookies will be served. 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 3, 2020: TBA for 2021. 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 3, 2021: 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. - 9 p.m. North Jetty Park, 1000 S. Casey Key Road, Nokomis, FL. 941-861-5000.

December 3, 2021: It's the 42nd 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. The event begins with a special performance at 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Join in with their annual Christmas Carol Sing-a-long beginning at 6:00 p.m., followed by “Santa’s Arrival” in his spectacular sleigh and the tree lighting ceremony. Photos with Santa are available throughout the evening from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  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 3, 2021: Lakewood Ranch presents Music on Main the first Friday of each month from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m, a free concert and block party. Live music by Midnight Mama, a SW Florida based special event band, will fill the air with disco, R&B, and soul; the deejay will keep you dancing with today’s Top 100 hits; and the event will benefit the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund. The street is lined with food vendors, beer trucks, and sponsor booths, as well as rides and activities for the kids. Proceeds from the event will benefit a local non-profit organization each event. Guests are welcome to bring chairs, but please leave coolers at home. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a short leash. Free admission. Overflow parking is available at the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Lakewood Ranch is off University Parkway east of I-75. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 3, 2021:  It's the Big Cat Best of Bash with fun for the whole family with live music, prizes, animal show, food drive, pony rides for kids, food trucks, concessions and adult beverages available. Tickets: Adults: $25, kids 3  - 12: $15, 2 years and under are free. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary, 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota, FL. 941-371-6377

December Sarasota Events

December 3 - 4, 2021: The 10th Annual Bradenton Blues Fest will take place at LECOM Park with an outstanding line up of talent. In addition to amazing music, you can purchase local craft beer and wine, delicious food, and cool festival merchandise. The weekend wraps up with a tasty and soulful Bradenton Blues Brunch prepared by award-winning Chef Paul Mattison on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.  Various ticket prices: Friday = $20 - $30 Saturday = $55 - $150 Sunday, Blues Brunch at Mattison's Riverwalk Grille = $68. Friday music begins at 4 p.m.. Saturday music begins at 11 a.m. and goes to 8 p.m. LECOM Park, 1611 9th St W, Bradenton, FL.

December 3 - 5, 2020: TBD for 2021. 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, visit with Santa (by reservation only). Have your camera ready to take a picture with him. Choice #1: Celebrate the holiday season with a visit to meet Santa while practicing social distancing. Choice #2: You can also have a tour of the park along with a Santa visit! Reindeer games, food vendors, and many activities will be on site to entertain people of all ages. Free admission. Thurs: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., Fri: 4 p.m. - 7 p.m., Sat: 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.  Repeats 12/10 - 12/11. Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agriculture Museum, 515 10th Ave. West, Palmetto, Fl. More info: 941-721-2034

December 3 - 5, 2021: Canceled for 2021. 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.

December 3 - 5, 2021: Enjoy warm gulf breezes, fresh seafood and live musical performances at America’s #1 beach at the 4th 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: While savoring your meal, relax to some of Florida’s top musical groups from genres such as R&B, blues, jazz, rock and Caribbean sounds. 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: 12 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.

Sarasota area waterside dining spots

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 3 - 5, 2021: This year Sarasota Christmas presents "Hugh Too, the Play!”  This Broadway style production is a funny, entertaining and meaningful stage production to help kick off your Christmas season. In this production, the family patriarch of the Everett family, Hugh, has retired and moved to Florida. Knowing that the family has grown apart, he invites all his children and their families to come spend Christmas in Florida as his gift to them for Christmas. What happens next will surprise you. Tickets required. 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. Sarasota Baptist Church, 7091 Proctor Rd, Sarasota, FL.

December 4, 2021: It's the 24th Annual Jingle & Jog 5K Run/Walk in support of The Haven to benefit people of all ages with disabilities. Registration includes: T-shirt, Runnr Bag and Refreshments. 17 & under $15, Adults $35. 7 a.m. check in. Race starts at 8 a.m. Haven Campus, 4405 DeSoto Rd, Sarasota, FL.

December 4, 2021: The 2021 Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run is on. This is the time to strut your stuff in your favorite holiday costume. Bring a team of friends, family and co-workers to run or walk. Get your jingle on and spread the Spirit of Yes: Yes to having fun and celebrating what you love. Yes to living life to the fullest. Yes to conquering arthritis for good. 100% of your registration fee and fundraising goes to a great cause. The 2021 event will be live and in person this year! Their Jingle Bell Run may have a different look due to COVID safety and health protocols, so check the event information page for the most updated details. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota FL.

December 4, 2021: Enjoy Christmas in Cortez. Check out this free family festival and enjoy carnival-style games, holiday-themed crafts and more, plus a special visit with Santa! Have a merry time at the maritime! 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th Street West, Cortez, FL. (941) 708-6120

December Sarasota Events

December 4, 2021: It's the North Port Poinsettia Parade.  The Poinsettia Parade will march south down Sumter Boulevard starting from Sylvania Avenue through the City Center Campus, ending at the Festival (a prime location to catch the parade). The theme this year is "Retro Rockin' Holidays." Floats adorned with poinsettias, decorated vehicles, and escorted by North Port Fire Rescue, Jolly Ole St. Nick will make a special appearance in the parade. The parade will end at the annual Poinsettia Festival. The Festival will include a tree lighting ceremony and will take place throughout the grounds of the City Center Campus, including on the Front Green and inside City Hall. This fun-filled holiday festival will also feature food vendors, entertainment, performances by local school choruses, attractions and much more. 4 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. City Center Campus 4970 City Hall Blvd, North Port, FL.

December 4, 2021: It's the Desoto Square Mall Annual Christmas Parade put on by the Sarasota Jeep Club. Be sure to deck out your Jeep with your favorite lights and decorations- the more the merrier! We'll meet on the northwest side of the old JC Penney store at Desoto Square Mall in Bradenton starting at 5:30 pm. Our convoy will pull out at 6:30 pm. Our route includes Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, St. Armands Circle and Siesta Key. Event Timeline: 5:30 pm: Meet at DeSoto Square Mall in Bradenton, 6:15 pm: Begin lining up in parking lot, 6:30 pm: Begin parade, 8:30 pm: meet at Daquiri Deck in Siesta Key Village afterwards. 

December 4, 2021: Bradenton Beach Marina will present the 3rd Annual Bradenton Beach Holiday Boat Parade. Boat owners are invited to show off their holiday spirit and their beautifully lit vessels in a Parade along the Intracoastal Waterway. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and will last between 60 to 90 minutes.  Route: Vessels in the Parade will gather near the south end of Jewfish Key. The parade will head northwest along the Longboat Pass Bridge and then north up the Intracoastal Waterway. The parade will pass alongside the Bradenton Beach City Pier and end at the Bradenton Beach Marina.The parade can be viewed from: The Longboat Pass Bridge at the beginning of the Parade (6:00 PM to 6:30 PM).  The Bradenton Beach City Pier as the Parade ends (6:30 PM to 7:00 PM). The Bradenton Beach City Pier will be the best viewing location. Free. Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island. 941-778-2288.

Sarasota Holiday Parade

December 4, 2021: The 25th 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 Sarasota Events

December 4, 2021: Celebrate the Holiday Season as The Manatee Community Concert Band performs their Annual Holiday Concert, "A winter Wonderland." The concert will be filled with your favorite holiday music. Donations accepted. All concerts are free and open to the public. 7 p.m. SCF Neel Performing Arts Center, 11 East 60th Ave W, Bradenton, FL

December 4, 2021: 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 with turnaround before 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. Rain date is next day. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 4 - 5, 2020. TBA for 2021. Village of the Arts Presents its December First Friday Artwalk. Explore the Village during our December Artwalk! Enjoy the lights and galleries decorated for the holidays. live music, strolling entertainment, unique holiday shopping, and tasty treats during one of Bradenton's favorite holiday events. 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 4 - 11, 2019: TBA for 2021. 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: 941-365-2846. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December Sarasota Events

December 5, 2021: 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 lounges, 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 5, 2021: Canceled for 2021.The Starry Night Gala is an evening under the stars to help benefit Crowley Museum & Nature Center. Pre-registered guests can arrive at 5 p.m. and will have access to an open bar and hors d'oeuvres while listening to live music. At the event there will be silent and live auctions with many different items and experiences. Dinner will be served Florida Cracker style surprise. Soon after a delicious dessert guests will be offered a view of the night sky along with the Local Group Of Deep Sky Observers. Individual tickets $125. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Crowley Museum & Nature Center, 16405 Myakka Road, Sarasota, FL. Pre-registration for the event is required as space is limited. ​For more information and to purchase your tickets please call 941-322-1000 or email info@crowleyfl.org.  December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 5 - 6, 2020: TBA for 2021. The 2nd annual Jingle Jam event takes place at CoolToday Park and you can enjoy A non-profit Christmas Tree decorating contest, Caddy Carts Golf Cart Parade of Lights (REGISTER YOUR CART TO PARTICIPATE), Virtual Tomahawk 5K, Santa & Mrs. Claus  - including photo op's for kids, Holiday market, Festive Food & Drink Specials, Holiday activities. CoolToday Park, 18800 South West Villages Parkway Venice, FL.

December 6, 2021: Join the Venice Concert Band for Christmas! Hanukkah! The concert theme is Holiday Joy! Both holidays are celebrated as the Venice Concert Band performs many of the traditional sounds of the season.  You will also be treated to a few selections with happy and surprising twists! Tickets will be available for this performance November 22, 2021. If you do not have season tickets, you can purchase $14 tickets online two weeks before each performance or $14 (cash only) tickets at the door on concert dates.  All concerts are at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. at the Venice Performing Arts Center (VPAC), 1 Indian Avenue, Venice, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com




December Sarasota Events


December 6, 2021: It's Monday Night Jazz at the Florida Studio Theatre Court Cabaret with Liston Gregory Trio at Court Cabaret at the Florida Studio Theatre. Liston Gregory III, vocals and piano, is a former Jazz Club scholarship winner. Liston is also one of the founding members of the Old Souls Jazz Quintet and has performed at NYC’s Apollo Theatre, the John F. Kennedy Center and in Japan.  Single tickets, $35 Jazz Club members, $39 for non members. Full series discounts available. 7:30 p.m. Court Cabaret at the Florida Studio Theatre, First St and Cocoanut Ave, Sarasota, FL. For information call the Jazz Club at (941)260-9951

December 6 - April 25, 2021: This concert season, Sarasota Orchestra expands its community engagement tour known as “SO on the Road” to bring live music into local parks and cultural destinations. While admission is free, attendees will be required to register to hold a seat at performances. Registration will open on Eventbrite one month prior to concerts. Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. December through April. Various outdoor locations around Sarasota and Bradenton parks.

December 7, 2019: Pending for 2021 depending on COVID-19 conditions. 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 8, 2019: TBA for 2021. 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 Sarasota Events

December 9 - 12, 2021: It's Crosley Christmas-Holiday Songs & Fables! The Crosley Theater Company is delighted to share sing-a-long songs & fun-tastic fables with you this holiday season. T’will be an evening filled with laughter & joyous celebration, and quite possibly…a bit of a mystery. After intermission, Gwendolyn Crosley will present her favorite Christmas classic ever. It was written by Master Storyteller, Charles Dickens, and is one of his famous, if not most famous story, “A Christmas Carol!” Various show times. Tickets: $31.50. Bradenton Kiwanis Theater, 502 Third Avenue West, Bradenton FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 10, 2021: The Friday Jazz at Two Concert Series returns with The Bruno Connection. The Bruno Connection features three generations led by Joe Bruno, Sr. with Joe, Jr, bass and Nick Bruno, drums. The group plays favorites from the American Songbook and jazz standards. Concert from 2 p.m. - 4 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota 3975 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL. Tickets  available at the door, Jazz Club members $10; non members $20. For information call: (941)260-9951.

December 10, 2021: It's the Southside Village Holiday Stroll, the most family friendly fun time in Southside Village. There will be pictures with Santa, The Music Comound's Annnual Holiday Concert, treats and activities for kids of all ages plus hot cocoa, a snow slide, trampoline and clibing wall. 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Parking available in the South Parking Garage of Sarasota Memorial Hospital at Rt 41 and Hillview St. Southside VIllage, south of downtown Sarasota, is a neighborhood where you can shop, dine and stroll on Hillview Street between Rt 41 and South Osprey Avenue, Sarasota, FL.

December 10, 2021: 2021 season is canceled. 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 Sarasota Events

December 10 2021: It's the Free Music Friday Night Concert. Enjoy the music of Joe Mullen in downtown's Centennial Park. Free and open to the public. 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Family and friend groups are asked to limit to 6 people sitting together, to remain socially distanced from other seated groups, and to follow current CDC guidelines. Attendees are asked to bring their own chairs and blankets. No alcohol is permitted in Centennial Park. Centennial Park, downtown Venice, FL December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 10, 2021: It's Manatee County's annual A Night Before Christmas which features Santa Claus visiting G.T. Bray Par. Get ready for family fun at the annual Night Before Christmas event! Santa will be visiting the 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. In the past they've also has concessions available. 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. G.T. Bray Park, 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West, Bradenton, FL.

December 10 - 11, 2020: 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, visit with Santa (by reservation only). Have your camera ready to take a picture with him. Choice #1: Celebrate the holiday season with a visit to meet Santa while practicing social distancing. Choice #2: You can also have a tour of the park along with a Santa visit! Reindeer games, food vendors, and many activities will be on site to entertain people of all ages. Free admission. Thurs: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., Fri: 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agriculture Museum, 515 10th Ave. West, Palmetto, Fl. More info: 941-721-2034

December 10 - 12, 2021: It's fresh seafood and live musical performances at the Coquina Beach Seafood & Music Festival. Enjoy foods cooked fresh onsite (seafood, meat, vegetarian) with a variety of side dishes and of course - desserts!  For drinks, choose from alcoholic, non-alcoholic and fruit drinks.  Note that seafood dishes are prepared using sustainable ocean resources from the Florida Gulf Coast.A variety of vegetarian and rice dishes are available as well as non-seafood items.   While eating, listen to the captivating sounds of live musical performances on stage by some of Florida’s and the region’s top musical talents from such genres as R&B, jazz, rock, reggae and Caribbean sounds. On the breaks between performances, enjoy shopping in a marketplace of fine arts, crafts, and select fine products. Free admission. Fri: 4 p.m. - 10 p.m., Sat 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. & Sun: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Coquina Beach, Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island, FL.




December Sarasota Events

December 10 - 12, 2021: The Annual Show Folks Circus. Don’t miss the All-New Showfolks Holiday Circus Festival.Shows, Animals, Food, Exhibits, Markets. Family friendly activities, food vendors. Various show times and ticket prices. $8 - $30. Under 3 free. Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL. 941-870-7444. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 10 -12, 2021: Sarasota Christmas presents "The Light of Christmas Outdoor Event!” Their production team of adults, students, and children, will join together to bring you an ALL-NEW enjoyable and meaningful start to the Christmas season outside around their giant Christmas tree.! This production is free and will last approximately 50 minutes. No tickets or reservations are required. Stay after and have you picture taken in front of the tree or the manger scene. 7 p.m. Sarasota Baptist Church, 7091 Proctor Rd, Sarasota, FL.

December 11, 2021: Run, Forrest, Run! Siesta Key Beach, the #1 Beach in the USA, plays host to the 45th Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run. The 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run is presented by Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources. Pre-registered participants receive a long-sleeve custom event shirt. This event is sanctioned by the Manasota Track Club. Register at scgov.net/parks. $20/$30. Call 941-861-5000 for more information. 7 a.m. - 11 a.m. Siesta Beach Park, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 11, 2021: It's NBP Rec Days! A great way to get on the water, family-style! Participants will have the opportunity to try stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, canoes, fishing and more. Fee is $10 per person. $5 per adult with accompanying child. Free for children ages 6 and younger  Family maximum: $35 (for households of five or more). All must complete the waiver forms.  Fishing licenses are required for all participants 14 and older who choose to fish. NBP Rec Days! are held at the base of the finish tower on Regatta Island. Depending on events, however, they may move to the west shore, near the playground. Signs will be in place to direct you, either way. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota FL.

December Sarasota Events

December 11, 2021: Check out the 16th 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

Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

December 11, 2021: 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 11, 2021: Canceled for 2021 due to COVID and City of Venice not issuing permit. It's the 14th 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.

December 11, 2021: Enjoy the sights of the Annual Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade Estimated Viewing Timeline: 6:00 p.m. Staging begins at Shaw Point, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Bradenton Yacht Club, 7:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. Riverhouse/Safe Harbor, 7:30 p.m. -  8:30 p.m. Caddy’s, 7:45 p.m. -  8:45 p.m. Pier 22/Twin Dolphin. VIP Viewing Parties will be held at the Riverhouse, Caddy’s, Pier 22 and the Bradenton Yacht Club (members only event). Public viewing areas include the Green Bridge and the Bradenton Riverwalk. Boaters will compete for cash prizes in several categories. Judging will be at several points along the route. Public viewing sites are available from the Green Bridge Pier, Riverhouse Reef & Grill, along the Riverwalk in Bradenton, FL and at Pier 22. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.

December Sarasota Events

December 11 - 12, 2021: Shop for beautiful arts and crafts at the Premiere of the Sarasota Holiday Arts & Crafts Festival. This fest showcases original works by artisans from throughout Florida and across the United States. These artisans create an outdoor gallery of original, handmade art in painting, photography, sculpture, candles, metalwork, digital art, jewelry, glass, ceramics, woodworking, mixed-media, fiber art, metalwork and much more. Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Free admission. JD Hamel Park, 199 Bayfront Drive, Sarasota, FL.

December 11 - 12, 2021: Canceled for 2021. To return in 2022. 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 11 - 13, 2020: TBA for 2021. 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 12/18 - 12/20. Admission: $10, Kids 5 and under are free. Cash only. Free parking. Hunsader Farms, 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, FL.

December 11 - 20, 2020: TBA for 2021. Feast your eyes on more than 150 Gingerbread houses on display at the 12th 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. Free admission. The Mall at UTC, 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December Sarasota Events

December 11 - 23, 2021: More than two million lights shine and twinkle brightly during the Selby Gardens 18th 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. Don’t miss a holiday photo opportunity, children’s arts and crafts, activities, and entertainment. Food 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. Early entry begins at 5 p.m. Admission: $30 Member Adults; $35 Non-Member Adults; $15 children 5 - 17; Free for those 4 and under. **Closed on Christmas Day.** Continues Dec. 26 - 30, 2021 and January 1, 2, 2022. 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL. 

December 12, 2019: TBA for 2021. 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 on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 12, 2021: 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, on Lockwood Ridge, a block south of University Parkway. 3131 61st Street, Sarasota, FL. 941-907-4123

December 12, 2021: It's Joy, Joy, Joy - Christmas with the Venice Chorale! Come celebrate the holiday season with The Venice Chorale! They will be performing holiday favorites. From expertly-arranged versions of Mary, Did you Know?, The First Noel, and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, to solemnly-beautiful explorations of Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind and Elliot Levine’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Special Guest, Johanna Fincher. 7 p.m. Individual tickets are $20 - $25.   Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice, FL. 941-218-3779




December Sarasota Events

December 12, 2020: TBA for 2021. It's the 1st Annual Killin It Christmas Boat Parade. They will head down New Pass channel towards 10th street ramp. Once to the main North/South ICW we will head south to the Ringling Bridge. Once to the bridge, we will then U-Turn to head north up the ICW hugging the east side. The final few turns will be into Sara Bay and the Tarpon Bay Tiki Bar/Restaurant. The lead boat will be our white hull 32’ Contender with Santa on the T-top. Starts at 6 p.m. from New Pass Cove. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

December 12, 2021: TBA for 2021. 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, 2020: TBA for 2021. Light the Menorah together during Chanukah Light Live, a short, interactive community Menorah lighting ceremony from the comfort of your own home with songs and music. The ceremony will feature The Schmerling Family Havdalah & Menorah Lighting, Music Artist Nissim Black, Lecturer Rabbi YY Jackobson, Israel's ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer. 7 p.m. on line via ZOOM. All free of charge. Sign up at the above link.

December 12 - 13, 2020: Canceled for 2021. 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 Sarasota Events

December 12 - 14, 2020: Canceled for 2021. 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 13, 2020: TBA for 2021. 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, 2020: TBA for 2021. 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 14, 2019: TBA for 2021. 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, 2021: TBD for 2021. 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, 2021: TBD for 2021. 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 15, 2019:  TBA for 2021. 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, 2021: It's NBP Rec Days! A great way to get on the water, family-style! Participants will have the opportunity to try stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, canoes, fishing and more. Fee is $10 per person. $5 per adult with accompanying child. Free for children ages 6 and younger  Family maximum: $35 (for households of five or more). All must complete the waiver forms.  Fishing licenses are required for all participants 14 and older who choose to fish. NBP Rec Days! are held at the base of the finish tower on Regatta Island. Depending on events, however, they may move to the west shore, near the playground. Signs will be in place to direct you, either way. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota FL.

December Sarasota Events

December 16 - 19, 2021: 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. 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 16 - 19, 2021: It's Crosley Christmas-Holiday Songs & Fables!The Crosley Theater Company is delighted to share sing-a-long songs & fun-tastic fables with you this holiday season. T’will be an evening filled with laughter & joyous celebration, and quite possibly…a bit of a mystery. After intermission, Gwendolyn Crosley will present her favorite Christmas classic ever. It was written by Master Storyteller, Charles Dickens, and is one of his famous, if not most famous story, “A Christmas Carol!” Various show times. Tickets: $31.50. Bradenton Kiwanis Theater, 502 Third Avenue West, Bradenton FL.

December 17, 2021: The Friday Jazz at Two Concert Series returns with the Isaac Mingus Quartet. Jazz and classical bassist, Isaac Mingus performs as leader for the first time at Jazz at Two. He recently performed to great acclaim at the Florida Studio Theatre with NYC vocalist Carole J. Bufford. The quartet features Simon Lasky, piano; Trace Zacur, sax and Jean Bolduc, drums. Concert from 2 - 4 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota 3975 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL. Tickets  available at the door, Jazz Club members $10; non members $20. For information call: (941)260-9951.

December 17, 2021: With bells on your toes? It's the Annual Lakewood Ranch Jingle 5k Run/Walk. Runners will receive a custom commemorative 2021 medal and bib number. One of the largest and most cheerful 5K races in the area, The Jingle 5K is a race that runners and walkers participate in year after year. In 2019 they had over 1,900 registrations! Keep the tradition going in 2021 with the 10th Annual Jingle Run, a 5K run/walk to help support the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center Foundation Nursing Scholarship Program. There is festive, holiday music along the course and live music at the finish. When you're done racing, enjoy the huge post-race party including food and adult beverages (with proper ID). Age group awards three deep for categories 9 and under, then 10-14; 15-19 and five-year age categories to 80+. The Jingle 5K benefits the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center Foundation and Health Careers' Scholarship Program. The Lakewood Ranch Medical Center Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-for-profit public charity. Entry fee: $15 - $40. Onsite registration begins at 4 p.m. Main Street, Lakewood Ranch, FL.
December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December Sarasota Events

December 17 - 18, 2021: The Venice Symphony Returns to the Venice Performing Arts Center with "A Holly Jolly Holiday." Your holiday season won’t be complete without attending this time-honored tradition with a twist. Classic carols O Come All Ye Faithful and O Holy Night, beloved standards Sleigh Ride and White Christmas, and music from The Nutcracker are just a few of the highlights. Sarasota’s Key Chorale, the Suncoast’s premier symphonic chorus, returns to the stage for Handel’s majestic Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah and a sing-a-long with surprises. Chanukah music and holiday film favorites round out this festive program. Various show times.Tickets on line or save on fees and call 941-207-8822 or visit The Venice Symphony Box Office at 1515 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 7, Venice from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Venice Performing Arts Center | 1 Indian Ave, Venice, FL.

December 17 - January 3, 2021: Enjoy Asolo Rep's Holiday Concert, "We Need a Little Christmas." The stage will be set up outside and seating will be limited to 200 per show. All tickets are advance sale until 2 hours before each show. No walk-up sales. Actors will perform in 12-foot bubbles and audience seating will be widely spaced out. Masks and temperature checks will be required for audience members. Portable restrooms will be available as audience members will not have access to the building. There will be no concession sales. Tickets $25 - $50. FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. 941-351-8000.

December 18, 2021: It's the Frosty 5K Race! The Frosty 5K is ON for the 12th year! The Frosty 5K course will be the wide open road course of the past two years starting and finishing at Twin Lakes Park, Sarasota, and through the adjacent neighborhood. Runners and walkers of all levels are welcome. Race starts 8 a.m. from Twin Lakes Park, through the adjacent neighborhoods, and finishing on the path around the lake. Costume contest about 9:15 a.m. Post-Race Celebration: First Finisher until 10:00 a.m.Your registration includes the great looking short-sleeve, tech race shirt in gender specific sizes. Custom finisher medal for all participants! The traditional Frosty 5K porcelain ornament awards are back! Twin Lakes Park, 1/2 mile east, off I-75 exit 205, Sarasota, FL.  December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 18, 2021: 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 Sarasota Events

December 18, 2021: 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. Please help our location lay wreaths at as many graves as possible by clicking the red "Sponsor" button. Or, if you would like to volunteer to participate in the wreath laying ceremony, please click the “Volunteer” button next to the cemetery name below, and don't forget to click the "Invite" button to invite your friends and family to join you. Parking is first come, first parked. There is no handicapped parking available. 12 p.m. Sarasota National Cemetery, 9810 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL.

December 18, 2021: 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. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 18, 2021: The next big "party on the Plaza" will feature a heavy-metal tribute to rock icons AC/DC as AC/DC Tribute Band "Highway To Hell" Comes To CoolToday Park. For over 20 years Highway to Hell has traveled internationally and all over the USA to bring their high energy, fan friendly, AC/DC show to all types of audiences.bring a blanket or chair to sit on. Gates are at 6 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m. Concessions and Tiki Bar available. No re-entry. Tickets are $12 for general admission, and $85 for a VIP box of 4 tickets with chairs & drinks. 8 p.m. Cool Today Park, 18800 S West Villages Pkwy, Venice, FL.

December 18 - 19, 2019: TBA for 2021. 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 Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December Sarasota Events

December 18 - 20, 2020:  TBA for 2021. 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 only. Free parking. Hunsader Farms, 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, FL.

December 19, 2021: Ring in the holiday season with What Sweeter Music from the Choral Artists of Sarasota. The holidays will resound with spectacular brass, organ, and choral arrangements of Christmas classics including Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, O Come All Ye Faithful, Joy to the World, Hallelujah Chorus, and a snazzy arrangement by the Canadian Brass of Twelve Days of Christmas.Adults $35/Students $5. 5 p.m. Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 19, 2019: TBD for 2021. 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 Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 19, 2019: TBD for 2021. 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 20, 2021: Come out for Ringling by the Bay featuring live music and dancing with Big Night Out on the Bolger Campiello. Food and drinks available for purchase. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Tickets will be available approx. one month prior to each event, and will include a 24 hour pre-sale period for members. Members please note: $10 tickets are limited to one for Individual Memberships and two for all other Membership levels. Additionally, members may purchase up to four additional tickets at full price ($20) during the pre-sale period. Tickets are limited and will be available on a first come-first serve basis. General public tickets on sale November 20, 2021.  Ringling Museum Grounds, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL. 941-358-3180. 

December 20, 2021: It's Monday Night Jazz at the Florida Studio Theatre Court Cabaret with Daniela Soledade and Nate Najar “Love and Bossa Nova” at Court Cabaret at the Florida Studio Theatre. Daniela Soledade is a rising star among legends in the Brazilian music scene. An heir to the throne of bossa nova, Soledade is highly acclaimed for her poignantly expressive vocal style and hyper-intimate aesthetic. Drawing from an amalgamation of authentic bossa nova, samba, MPB, and American Popular Song, Soledade is the new sound of Bossa Nova. Nate Najar, is an American guitarist, music producer, and composer who plays classical guitar within the jazz ​tradition. A native of St. Petersburg, Najar studied classical guitar in his teens with Frank Mullen. He has worked with Ken Peplowski, John Lamb, Bucky Pizzarelli, Eric Darius, Chuck Redd, Buster Cooper and Jonathan Fritzén. Single tickets, $35 Jazz Club members, $39 for non members. Full series discounts available. 7:30 p.m. Court Cabaret at the Florida Studio Theatre, First St and Cocoanut Ave, Sarasota, FL. For information call the Jazz Club at (941)260-9951

December 21, 2019: TBA for 2021. Sure to be unique, enjoy the 2019 Tuba Christmas at Centennial Park Gazebo. 5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. Centennial Park, 200 W Venice Ave, Venice, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 21 - 23, 2019: TBA for 2021. 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. -  2 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 Sarasota Events

December 21 - 23, 2020: TBA for 2021. Come and see the Story Come to Life at the Living Nativity. Free. 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. First Baptist Church of Venice, 3100 Executive Dr Venice, FL  Located behind WaWa. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 23, 2020: TBA for 2021. Come sing Christmas carols and hear the Christmas story on the beach as the sun sets over the water. Bring your chairs, your blankets for a casual and contemporary early Christmas service hosted by Church of the Palms. 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Near the volleyball courts, Siesta Key Beach, 946 Beach Rd, Siesta Key, FL. *Christmas Eve Services – 5, 7, & 9 pm – Church of the Palms.* December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 24, 2020: TBA for 2021. There will be a Christmas Candlelight Celebration presented by the Venice Bible Church. Bring your family and a chair and join them for a special night. 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Gazebo at Centennial Park, 200 W Venice Ave, Venice, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 25, 2021: 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 after that about 3 p.m.  Bring a lawn chair for a sidewalk seat. Anyone is welcome to ride in parade. Pinecraft is near the intersection of Bahia Vista Avenue and Beneva Road in Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December Sarasota Events

December 26, 2019:  TBA for 2021. 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, 2020: TBA for 2021. 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 26 - 30, 2021:  More than two million lights shine and twinkle brightly during the Selby Gardens 18th 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. Don’t miss a holiday photo opportunity, children’s arts and crafts, activities, and entertainment. Food 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. Early entry begins at 5 p.m. Admission: $30 Member Adults; $35 Non-Member Adults; $15 children 5 - 17; Free for those 4 and under. **Closed on Christmas Day.** Continues January 1, 2, 2022. 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL.   December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 26 - 31, 2020: It's the Sailor Circus Annual Holiday Spectacular, "Let it Snow" with amazing performances. Watch as more than 100 kids flip, fly and soar in this dazzling holiday production! The entire family will enjoy acts showcasing beautiful aerial artistry, heart-stopping acrobatics, incredible acrobatic roller skating, lightning fast juggling and more! Tickets $15 - $30. Show times 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. various days. Tickets: 941-355-9805, on line and at the box office.  (Please note that masks will be required and seating capacity in the Sailor Circus Arena and the Circus Sarasota Big Top has been reduced to offer social distancing.) Sailor Circus, 2075 Bahia Vista Street, Sarasota, FL December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December Sarasota Events

December 29, 2021: The Friday Jazz at Two Concert Series returns with The Scholarship Winners Concert. A number of the 2021 Jazz Club scholarship winners perform with a trio of area musicians. Join us to show support for these talented student musicians. Your donations to the Scholarship Foundation make the awards possible. Concert from 2 p.m. - 4 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota 3975 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota. FL. Tickets  available at the door, Jazz Club members $10; non members $20. For information call: (941)260-9951. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 29, 2019: TBA for 2021. You're invited to the Chanukah Klezmer Festival featuring the lighting of a 12 foot giant Menorah along with a huge interactive Dreidel House, a Moon Bounce and Hebrew School Performance. In addition there will be live music with the Freylekh Klezmer Band along with Traditional Chanukkah & Israeli foods such as Falafel, latkes, donuts, and Matzah ball soup will be served. Free and open to all. 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 Sarasota Events
Sarasota New Years Eve Events

December 31, 2020: The Snook Haven "Not So Late" 2021 Celebration will feature live music from the Dive Bombers along with a free champagne toast for those with a reservation between 5 p.m - 8 p.m. Party favors and outdoor seating. Social distancing and face masks. 5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Snook Haven, 5000 E Venice Avenue, Venice, FL 941-485-7221. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 31, 2021: Celebrate New Year's Eve downtown Sarasota with the annual Pineapple Drop! The ‘party under the stars’ kicks off at 1 p.m. and continues until 1 a.m. Full Carnival with Rides & Games (at 5 Points Park). Food, Drinks & Full Bar Concessions.There will also be live musical performances at Main Street and Lemon Avenue by some of Florida's and the region's top musicians including. The Pineapple drops at midnight and there's a fantastic firework display on Sarasota Bay. General admission is free. The annual downtown celebration is estimated to attract more than 20,000 - 25,000. 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 a.m. Five Points Park, Main Street, Lemon Avenue. Downtown Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 31, 2019: Not scheduled for 2020. 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 with the Daisy Dukes Band and Southbound 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, 2020: TBA for 2021. 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

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, 2020: No fireworks or beach bash event in 2020 at Sharky's but they will have live music by Chameleon playing from 8 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. and they have expanded their outdoor reservations. Sharky's on the Pier, 1600 Harbor Drive, S., Venice, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota

December 31, 2019: Nothing scheduled for 2020.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. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December 31, 2021: TBA for 2021. 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 and a seated four course dinner. You'll enjoy dinner in the luxuriously decorated surroundings and a great view of the fireworks over the bay and champagne toast. Begins at 7 p.m. 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, 2020: Fireworks canceled for 2020. 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, FL. December Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

December Sarasota Events

December 31, 2020: Canceled for 2020.It's THE Sarasota New Years Eve Red Carpet Party, the 4th year at such a great remodeled Historic venue. The Sarasota Municipal Auditorium will be transformed into "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! $125 Per Ticket. ALL Inclusive Open Bar, Bottomless Champagne, Catered Apps & Desserts, Valet and more! $200 Day of event  (As Available) 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, 2020: Traditional Bayfront Fireworks canceled for 2020. Marina Jacks will be open. 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. Fireworks at Midnight. All areas of Marina Jacks will be open for lunch at 11 a.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, 2020: Rock out with the Twinkle and Rock Soul Radio rock band. Performance at 9 p.m., DJ at 5 p.m. Food and drink specials. Stottlemyer's SMokehouse, 19 East Road, Sarsota, FL.

December 31, 2020 - Jan. 3, 2021: The Ellenton Holiday Village features midway rides and games for all ages, favorite fair food, community stage entertainment and socially distanced Santa visits (6-9 pm Dec. 3-23 and 1-4 pm Dec. 24). Free parking and admission. Visit the website for discounts on pre-sale ride wristbands (before 5 pm Dec. 3) and coupon savings on rides and food. Dec. 19 - Jan. 3 hours: noon-11 pm daily except Christmas Day, Dec. 25 (4-11 pm). Ellenton Premium Outlets, 5461 Factory Shops Blvd. in Ellenton (east of I-75 off Exit 224). More info: 866-666-3247.

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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