Although adults look forward to Christmas for a day off from work and to spend time with family, children want presents and, of course, a visit with jolly, ol' Santa Claus! If you have little ones, mark your calendars for Christmas events in Sarasota including these where you can see Santa Claus.

40th Annual Holiday Night of Lights on St. Armand's Circle

Come out to St. Armands Circle on Thursday, December 1 for a holiday celebration. The evening will kick off with a special holiday performance at 5:30 pm followed by the annual Christmas carol sing-a-long beginning at 6 pm, then Santa will arrive on his sleigh! 

23rd Annual Sarasota Holiday Parade

This annual celebration takes place on the first Saturday evening of December in Downtown Sarasota. Join thousands of participants and viewers at 7 pm to see the decorated floats, live marching bands, and the guest of honor himself, Santa. 

Photos with Santa at The Mall at University Town Center

Santa will be visiting The Mall at University Town Center from November 9 until December 21 to meet and take pictures with your loved ones. You can skip the line by reserving your spot to meet and greet with Santa in advance online. There are many different photo packages to choose from. 

Santa's Grand Arrival will take place on Sunday, November 9 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at parking lot 9 and will have food vendors, live music and entertainment, ice skating and snow tubing at UTC Holidays on the Green, special appearances by Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Buccaneers players, a dance party and meet-and-greet with holiday characters, the lighting of the mall, and the arrival of Santa on the roof of the mall followed by a fireworks show.

Christmas in Candy Land

Hosted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation's Southern Florida Chapter, this event will be held from 11 am to 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 1 and will feature cookie decorating, elf face painting, plenty of food, and interactive activities as meeting Santa Claus. Children's tickets are $50, and adult tickets are $75.

Holidays Around The Ranch

Celebrate the holidays with this free, family-friendly event featuring a tree lighting, crafts in Santa's workshop, ice skating, and children's dance and music groups on Friday, December 14 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This all takes place before the arrival of Santa on a mesmerizing, white horse-drawn carriage! 

Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade

This free holiday parade on Saturday, December 8 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will stretch for the entire length of the island. At Coquina Beach, Santa will board "Skullywag", the Privateer's Flagship, for the kids to sit on his lap. 

A Night Before Christmas

Manatee Island's annual event taking place on Saturday, December 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. features Santa visiting GT Bray Park to meet with children. The event is free to attend but in order to take part in activities, children need a $5 wristband. Activities include face painting, bounce houses, snow, hayrides, and much more! Kids of all ages are welcome.

Venice Holiday Tree Lighting

This annual ceremony has live music, crafts for the kids, and an appearance from Santa to celebrate music, lights, and community spirit. The festivities will run from 5 p.m. to 7:00 pm on Saturday, December 8 with the tree lighting beginning at 6 p.m. Children should bring a homemade ornament to decorate the tree.

Have fun with this list of where to see Santa in Sarasota and find more information on Christmas in Sarasota by registering on 941area, your free guide to everything going on in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.


Cover photo from Wellswood Neighbors Breakfast with Santa Facebook page