There’s something about the holidays in Florida that makes them feel even more special. Maybe it’s the cute quirkiness of seeing a palm tree in holiday lights. Maybe it’s hearing holiday music everywhere that you go, with a little steel drum mixed in. Maybe it’s that an average day is 75 degrees, with not a cloud or a snowdrift- in sight. Those are plenty of reasons to take advantage of all of the events happening this time of year. You’re sure to find something that you can enjoy.


Holiday Splendor at the Ringling

The holidays are a special time of year, and the Ringling has its own aesthetically eclectic way of celebrating. This year, it’s inviting everyone for a special holiday celebration. Come December 6th, you can enjoy extended hours at The Circus Museum, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, and Ca’ d’Zan for their Holiday Splendor event. Enjoy live music and entertainment from the local elementary, middle, and high schools, food and beverages, and craft your own museum experience as you partake in a self-guided tour through the collections and galleries. To support the U.S. Marines Corps Reserve Toys for Tots collection, admission is free with one unwrapped toy.


Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade

The Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade was established in 1984 when a holiday event was unable to happen. Thanks to the ingenuity of a few members of local youth support nonprofit, the Anna Maria Island Privateers. They whipped up their own holiday parade to the delight of hundreds of kids. They managed to not only save the day, but also established a tradition that would be followed 48 years later. The event starts at 10 A.M. on December 8th in Bayfront Park, and follows a trail all the way to Coquina Beach. Along the way, spectators will get to see boats and floats decorated for the season and supported by local businesses and organizations. Once the privateers land at Coquina Beach, it’s time to hand out toys to all the kids there, as well as free sodas and hot dogs!

New Year’s Eve Pineapple Drop

Sarasota is well known for doing things differently, from building design to food and drink-the city even celebrates the holidays with their own kind of flair. Join in on the fun in the Downtown area on December 31st for amusement rides, food from the area’s best local vendors, and your New Year’s Resolutions in mind as you enjoy the waterfront and the live music. To top it off, a countdown to the New Year starts shortly before midnight, as the city lowers not a time ball, but a pineapple! Historically a symbol of warmth and welcome, there’s no better-or funkier-way to welcome in your new year.

Whether you’re looking for Santa at a boat parade or ringing in the New Year with a pineapple, expect something amazing to happen here in Sarasota. It’s easy to see why people want to stay close for the winter season, too! There’s an easier way to stay in the midst of it all.

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