With Christmas in Sarasota approaching quickly, there are quite a few holiday events taking place in Sarasota throughout this week and weekend. There are also a few events this week for those of you who are not in the holiday spirit just yet. Check out one of these events to keep your weekend festive, fun, healthy, or educational. There’s something for everyone!
Thursday, November 29 marks the opening of the special extended holiday hours at the Ca’ d’Zan. This gorgeous location is part of The Ringling and will be completely decorated for Christmas. Beginning at 5 p.m., it will be open for self-guided tours so that you can explore the first floor and see all the gorgeous Christmas decor and art; admission is $15.
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Everyone is welcome to come together at Five Points Park to celebrate the start of the Christmas season. On Thursday, November 29 at 6 p.m., the Sarasota Downtown Merchants Association will host the tree lighting ceremony. Come enjoy Christmas music and refreshments, and Santa will join the celebration as well!
You won’t leave this event hungry! This festival starts on Friday, November 30 at 4 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. and continues through Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Admission is $5 for visitors over 12 years old and free for all children 12 and younger. You can also purchase the VIP tent admission for $75 including access to an open bar and service in a designated seating area with the best views of the live music. Though the menu here focuses on local, fresh seafood, there will also be a diverse array of other options as well including vegetarian choices.
The Mall at University Town Center is partnering with Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida to host the 10th Annual Gingerbread Festival. This event opens on Friday, November 30 and will wrap up on December 9. Come see the unique and creative designs of Sarasota locals. For just $1, you can cast a vote for your favorite creation to win the People’s Choice Award. The awards ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. on December 1, but the the People’s Choice Award will be announced in the afternoon on December 9. Come out this weekend to see these masterpieces on display!
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You still have time to register for this Christmas-themed race! On Saturday, December 1, enjoy the Sarasota Christmas season outdoors at Haven Campus on Desoto Road. The proceeds for this event benefit The Haven, which provides services to people of all ages with disabilities. The course is smooth and abounding with nature so beautiful that you’ll forget it’s a race!
Nothing quite creates a Christmas experience like the Christmas in Candy Land event. Come out to Michael's On East on Saturday, December 1 and bring the whole family! From 11 a.m. to 1pm, you and the kids can meet Santa, decorate cookies, and participate in holiday fun all while supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
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Downtown Main Street in Sarasota will be full of Christmas magic at this year’s holiday parade. Join other members of the Sarasota community to watch businesses, schools, and nonprofits come together to celebrate the holiday season. The route is from 301/Washington Blvd to Gulfstream Avenue, and you’re welcome to put a chair or blanket down anywhere along the way.
Though this event takes place outside Sarasota, it’s hosted by one Sarasota's Treasures: Mote Marine. On Saturday, December 1, pack up the family and head down to Islamorada for a fun, education event that supports the protection and preservation of the ocean and marine life. With all the family fun, live music, and shared love for the ocean, this will be a weekend event your family never forgets. Admission is free!
Though December can be a busy time, it’s still important to make time for your loved ones. These Sarasota events are a perfect addition to your weekend by bringing the whole family together.
Cover photo courtesy of Pxhere