The 4th Annual Siesta Beach Seafood & Music Festival
December 3 – 5, 2021: Enjoy warm gulf breezes, fresh seafood, and live musical performances at America’s #1 beach. 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. December 2021 Sarasota Events & Things to Do
The 24th Annual Jingle & Jog 5K Run/Walk
December 4, 2021: It’s the Jingle & Jog 5K Run/Walk in support of The Haven to benefit people of all ages with disabilities. Registration includes T-shirts, Runner Bag, and Refreshments. 17 & under $15, Adults $35. 7 a.m. check-in. The race starts at 8 a.m. Haven Campus, 4405 DeSoto Rd, Sarasota, FL.
The 25th Annual Sarasota Holiday Parade
December 4, 2021: It’s a definite “must-see!” The 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.
Ellenton Holiday Village
December 9, 2021 – January 2, 2022: The Ellenton Holiday Village offers fun for the whole family with midway rides and games, favorite fair food, circus thrill shows, holiday lights and displays, and visits with Santa Claus. Free parking, admission, circus, and Santa visits. Unlimited ride wristbands are $35 on-site or online before 5 pm Dec. 2 for $29 each, 2/$55, or 4/$99. Rides are $1 each on New Year’s Day. See the website for ride ticket prices and specials. Also, 12/9/21 – 1/2/22 Hours are 5-10 pm Monday – Thursday, 5-11 pm Friday, and 1-11 pm Saturday – Sunday, Dec. 2-5 & Dec. 9-23 (closed Dec. 6-8) and 4-11 pm Dec. 24 – Jan. 2 at Ellenton Premium Outlets, 5461 Factory Shops Blvd., Ellenton, FL. No unaccompanied minors. More information: 866-666-3247
Friday Night Concert (Free Music)
December 10 2021: Enjoy the music of Joe Mullen in downtown 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
Jolly Old St. Nick at Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade
Coquina Beach Seafood & Music Festival
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.
Show Folks Circus
December 10 – 12, 2021: Don’t miss the All-New Showfolks Holiday Circus Festival.Shows, Animals, Food, Exhibits, Markets. Family-friendly activities, food vendors. Various showtimes and ticket prices. $8 – $30. Under 3 free. Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL. 941-870-7444. December 2021 Sarasota Events & Things to Do
A Country Christmas at Hunsader Farms
December 10 – 12 & December 17 – 19,2021. : Experience hayrides, kiddie train rides, a petting zoo, snow tubing, Christmas music, 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: $12, Kids 5 and under are free. Cash only. Free parking. Hunsader Farms, 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, FL. December 2021 Sarasota Events & Things to Do
NBP Rec Days
December 11, 2021: A great way to get on the water, family-style! Participants will have the opportunity to try stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, canoes, fishing, and more. The fee is $10 per person. $5 per adult with an 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.
The Manatee County Falls Prevention Coalition’s “Fall Into Healthy Holidays” Health & Wellness Event!
December 11, 2021: At this event, you’ll find valuable information and resources on Fall Prevention, Home Safety, and Holiday Safety as well as Free Flu Shots, Free COVID19 Vaccines, Blood Pressure Checks, Medication Safety, and much, much more! Come and get a free Holiday Turkey or Gift Card while supplies last! There will also be free food and drinks. Come celebrate a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season with us! Free and open to the public. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. In the Blake Park business complex parking lot at 1800 59th St W, Bradenton, FL (next door to Blake Medical Center). For more information about the Manatee County Falls Prevention Coalition, please visit their website at themanateecountyfallspreventioncoalition.org.
16th Annual Porsche’s in the Park
December 11, 2021: Check out the 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.
Winter Wonderland Celebration
December 11, 2021: Get excited about all things winter: lights, carols, Santa, AND snow! 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Old Main Street, downtown, Bradenton, FL.
Annual Sarasota Christmas Boat Parade of Lights
December 11, 2021: 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 on 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.
The Sarasota Holiday Arts & Crafts Festival
December 11 – 12, 2021: Shop for beautiful arts and crafts. 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
The 18th annual Selby Gardens “Lights in Bloom” celebration
December 11 – 23, 2021 & December 26 – 30, 2021: More than two million lights shine and twinkle brightly during the 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 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.
Celebrate the Christmas season @LWR
December 16, 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 & Things to Do
December 16, 2021: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to announce the return of one of Sarasota’s beloved holiday traditions! Holiday Splendor will be held with free admission to the museum and Ca’d’Zan mansion for all who bring a new, unwrapped toy. The evening helps support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots annual toy collection drive. The toys will benefit children in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Local schools will provide musical entertainment on the Bolger Campiello. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. All venues will be open for self-touring, including the Museum of Art, Ca’ d’Zan, and the Circus Museum. Admission to this event is free with one unwrapped toy per person. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Regular admission, $15 Adult / $5 Children will apply without a toy donation. Guests are encouraged to shop in the Museum Store, which has a large selection of toys under $20. Guests should enter through the McKay Visitors Pavilion. Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL.
LWR Jingle 5k Run/Walk
December 17, 2021: With bells on your toes? 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) not-for-profit public charity. Entry fee: $15 – $40. Onsite registration begins at 4 p.m. Main Street, Lakewood Ranch, FL.
National Wreaths Across America Day
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.
Christmas on Main
December 22, 2021: The holiday season is in full swing on Lakewood Ranch, and Christmas on Main is back. Lakewood Ranch is throwing a winter bash on Main Street for all of the neighbors in the Lakewood Ranch community! The evening will begin with games, rides, and attractions for the whole family from 4 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. and conclude the evening with a candlelight service right on Main Street at 6:45 p.m. -7:30 p.m.. Main Street, Lakewood Ranch, FL. December Sarasota Events & Things to Do
“Star of Kings.”
December 22, 2021: Join The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in person in The Planetarium for the “Star of Kings.” The star of Bethlehem has been a popular topic at planetarium shows since the 1940s, as people explore astronomical explanations for the star described in the nativity story. Was it a comet, a supernova, or something else entirely? Join Planetarium Manager Howard Hochhalter at The Bishop, where he’ll take you on a journey back in time to what was really happening in the skies some 2,000 years ago. 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Cost is $8 for members of the Discovery Society; $10 for all others. Masks are required for staff and guests. Advance registration is required. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th Street West, Bradenton FL.
Pinecraft Christmas Parade
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 the parking lot at Der Dutchman restaurant, 3713 Bahia Vista Street, beginning at 1:00 p.m. or right soon after lunch. The parade starts after that at about 3 p.m. Bring a lawn chair for a sidewalk seat. Anyone is welcome to ride in the parade. Pinecraft is near the intersection of Bahia Vista Avenue and Beneva Road in Sarasota, FL. December Sarasota Events & Things to Do
The Siesta Key “Santa Stumble” Pub Crawl
December 26, 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 from the sponsors. Siesta Key Village, Siesta Key, FL. December 2021 Sarasota Events & Things to Do