While the holidays bring us cooler weather, presents, days off work and school, and Starbucks holiday beverages, the true joy of the season is spending time with family. Whether we stay home for a family movie night or travel across the country to see relatives, the most important thing during the holidays is being with loved ones. If you live in or near Sarasota, you don't have to go where its snows to experience the Christmas magic together. Make memories that will last a lifetime with these six splendid things to do with your family around Sarasota during the holidays.

Christmas Walk

Tell your family to put on their walking shoes and head to Historic Downtown Venice on Thursday, December 7th for an evening of holiday merriment. Stroll beautifully decorated streets, visit local stores, and enjoy a family meal out at one of their great restaurants before meeting Santa at the Burgundy Square Breezeway!

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Southside Village Holiday Stroll

This holiday festival on Friday, December 9th is for all ages with an exciting snow slide, snow machines, a climbing wall, a trampoline, a holiday concert by Music Compound, a visit with Santa, and more! Bring your family to Southside Village Life between 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for a fun-filled December evening.

Cinematic Celebrations at The Ringling: Elf

Have an interactive holiday movie night at The Ringling Museum with a screening of Elf followed by fun activities for the whole family. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for kids and include hot chocolate and candy canes!

A Night Before Christmas

Not too far from Sarasota, the annual Night Before Christmas returns to Bradenton's GT Bray Park on Saturday, December 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. With face painting, bounce houses, shows, hayrides, and more, this festival is guaranteed fun for everyone!

Santa's Candy Land

You don't have to travel all the way to the North Pole to see Santa's Candy Land! Bring the family to Port Charlotte Beach Park on Saturday, December 9th for a night of holiday cheer with kids' games, great music, treats, prizes, outdoor movies on the deck, and photo ops with Santa. This free event takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Tree Lighting & Poinsettia Festival

Both children and parents will enjoy the Poinsettia Parade as well as the annual Tree Lighting and Poinsettia Festival at North Port City Hall. These signature holiday events will feature a free kids area with a giant slide, bounce houses, face painting, and more!

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This year, make the holidays unforgettable and do one of these six things with your family around Sarasota this holiday season. For more holiday outings, check out our Christmas and New Year's Eve pages.

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