What’s Happening in Sarasota, the Beaches and Beyond - August 17 - August 19
It is our pleasure to bring you just a "slice" of what's available to do this coming weekend in the Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Venice area of Florida.
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Friday Fest at Van Wezel
Join us for The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s FREE outdoor summertime concert series! The events run from 5-9pm and are located on the Bayside Lawn of the Van Wezel. Each of the four events will feature food trucks, beverage vendors and more – it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a summer sunset over Sarasota Bay. While blankets and lawn chairs are welcome at all Friday Fest events.
Paws in the Park
Celebrate your furry friend by bringing them out to experience a day of fun, socializing and exploration at Ed Smith Stadium on August 18th. Paws in the Park provides an opportunity to bring your 4-legged friends to the ballpark while enjoying a Gulf Coast League Orioles minor league baseball game. Paws in the Park offers fun pet contests, photo booths, activity areas and meet pet-related organizations and businesses showcasing their causes, products and services in a fun, animal-friendly environment. Paws in the Park is partnered with the Humane Society of Sarasota County who will be offering adoptions and collecting items for a pet food drive at Ed Smith Stadium from 9 AM to 1 PM.
Englewood Pioneer Festival
The parade starts at 9am – rain or shine. Same parade route this year as last – please visit www.englewoodpioneerdays.com for a map.
The All Corvette Show takes place after the parade. And don’t forget to visit Pioneer Park for day 2 of the festival!
The ROCKIN’ KIDZ ZONE is a FREE fun-filled area designed especially for children 12 and under. Your kiddos will enjoy various lively games, scavenger hunt and activities geared for each child’s age group.
Visit the ART TENT where your kids can get creative and make a special craft to take home with them. The ROCKIN’ KIDZ ZONE IS TOTALLY FREE.
Manatee Performing Arts Center - Newsies
Based on the 1899 New York City newsboys strike, newsboy Jack Kelly rallies the homeless and orphaned boys who sell newspapers to strike when publishers Pulitzer and Hearst raise distribution prices. Feeling they couldn’t survive with the new costs, the boys join Kelly in their cry for safer working conditions, better pay and quality of life. Rousing songs and dance numbers bring hope to their difficult life situation! Area debut.
Sarasota Honey Bee Tour
2:00 PM | Friday Aug 17, 2018
Free Tour of Sarasota Honey Company that will discuss beekeeping in FL, benefits of the hive, agriculture, and what makes Sarasota Honey Co. unique. You will see some or our honey bees in their garden and taste some varieties of our local raw honey!!!
On Golden Pond
7:30 PM | Friday Aug 17, 2018
This 1979 play focuses on aging couple Ethel and Norman Thayer, who spend each summer at their home on a lake called Golden Pond. The play explores the often turbulent relationship between a daughter and her father growing up, and the difficulties faced by a couple in the twilight years of a long marriage. Winner of numerous Tony and Drama Desk Awards.
Umbrella House Tour
11:00 AM | Saturday Aug 18, 2018
Tour the renowned Umbrella House, described by Architectural Digest as “One of the five most remarkable houses of the mid-twentieth century”.
In 1953, Lido Shores developer Philip Hiss hired architect Paul Rudolph to create one of the 20th century's most iconic houses. The dominant feature of the house, the aptly named "umbrella," was originally built of wood and used to shade the house from the intense Florida sun was lost in a storm in the 1960's.
Other People's Money
3:00 PM | Saturday Aug 18, 2018
Fast-talking Wall Street shark Lawrence Garfinkle —also known as “Larry the Liquidator”—has his sights set on taking over the undervalued stock of New England Wire and Cable. It’s up to Kate Sullivan, a determined big-city lawyer, to stop Larry from gutting the company. Can Kate save her hometown’s esteemed business from being conquered by Larry? Loaded with conflict, comedy, and a touch of romance, Other People’s Money delves into the seedy and deceptive world of business.
Although the gallery setting may seem like an intimidating place to bring the younger tykes, Ringling encourages parents to introduce youngsters of all ages into the galleries, where age-appropriate looking games such as "find the animals in the paintings" can engage the whole family with the arts. Adjacent to the galleries, the Ringling Circus Museum delights kids and adults alike with the glitz and glam of a century's worth of circus memorabilia and history. The museum also includes an interactive learning center, where visitors can "walk the tightrope" and clown around while learning about circus culture in an educational three-ring setting.
Rainforest at Selby Gardens
Did you know that Sarasota has a tropical rainforest right in its own backyard? The Ann Goldstein Children's Rainforest Garden at Sarasota's Selby Gardens.
This interactive space gives children of all ages a unique opportunity to learn through exploration and play, as they make natural discoveries in the nooks and crannies of the 100 year-old banyan tree around which the Rainforest Garden is based. The Children's Rainforest Garden also includes a 12' waterfall, a forest pool filled with aquatic rainforest plants, a 27' foot-high canopy walk and rope bridge, an epiphyte canyon, and a variety of research and education stations, where kids can examine plants using field botany instruments and explore interactive tropical rainforest exhibits.
Sarasota's marine research institute, Mote Marine, gives visitors an opportunity to see what lies beneath the sea in an entirely new light. In addition to being a scientific research laboratory and rehabilitation center for marine wildlife such as sharks, sea turtles, manatees and dolphins, Mote Marine Aquarium is a family-friendly educational center that welcomes all ages.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Make your way back to dry land and pay a visit to Sarasota Jungle Gardens or Big Cat Habitat to hang out with exotic wildlife from around the world.
Sarasota Gardens is home to more than 150 exotic and native animals, including flamingos, macaw parrots, crocodiles and alligators, snakes, prairie dogs and primates. Daily shows such as Wildlife Wonder, Reptile Encounters and the Jungle Bird show provide educational family entertainment that delights in the form of bicycling parrots and the chance to hold creepy-crawly reptiles.
Tree Top Adventure Course
A ten minute hop on the interstate leads to one of the most unique amusement attractions in the state, Southwest Florida's only elevated "treetop adventure course," TreeUmph!, located in neighboring east Bradenton.
Get your adrenaline pumping as you climb, swing, wobble-bridge, and zipline through the tree tops of the 14-acre nature adventure course. The course provides enough variety to challenge even the most athletic adventurers, but is also suited to children ages 7 and older. The course takes anywhere between two to four hours to complete, culiminating in an exhilarating 60 foot-high, 600 foot-long, zipline ride across the park.
For the little ones and for those who are young at heart, The Children's Garden in the downtown Gillespie Park neighborhood may just be the most magical place in Sarasota. The whimsical, two-acre garden playground includes a fairy garden, a pirate ship, a climbable dragon, a giant chessboard, a maze, a butterfly garden, a dress-up station and theatre stage, and an art studio.
Daily activities at the Chlidren's Garden include gardening classes, "magic nature" classes that teach about "everything from bugs to rainbows", art project classes, and "step into a story" nature stories that unfold on the Children's Garden ampitheatre stage.
YMCA Water Park
There's no better way to cool off on a hot summer day than with a trip to the water park. The aquatic center at the Evalyn Sadlier Jones Branch YMCA in Sarasota, located next to the Westfield Mall in south Sarasota, is a haven for families seeking to beat the summer heat.
In addition to the traditional community center amenities, the Evalyn Sadlier Jones YMCA includes a 50-meter Olympic size pool and diving pool for serious swimmers, as well as the Josephine Lofino water park, where anyone can slip and splash down the twisting water slides or cool off in the water jets.
It's impossible to be bored when surrounded by new and unique wilderness. Myakka Wildlife Tours and The Sarasota Bay Explorers take advantage of Sarasota's natural landscape to provide a variety of tours that explore different parts of the area's diverse ecological environments.
Hop on board the Sarasota Bay Explorers' "Miss Explorer," where your family will have the opportunity to sculpt their own itinerary from a variety of options that include bird watching, snorkeling, shark teeth collecting, manatee and dolphin observation and more, or take a trip with a marine biologist to view sea birds in their nesting habitats and get up close with wacky marine life such as puffer fish and sea horses. Sarasota Bay Explorers also offers guided kayak tours in South Lido Park, suitable for all ages six and over.
Ca d'Zan Mansion
Ca d’Zan Mansion was the winter home of the American circus owner, John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Built between 1924 and 1926, the waterfront mansion is five stories high and contains 36,000 square feet. The Ringlings were lovers of Venice and the waterfront site reminded them of the lagoon in Venice.
The style of the house is called Mediterranean Revival and shows the influence of the Doge’s Palace in Venice. The name of the mansion is Venetian for “House of John.” In addition to serving as a residence, the mansion also housed their large collection of art and artifacts. Docent led tours of the mansion are offered. Address: 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, Florida, Phone: 941-359-5700
Siesta Key Village
Not far from downtown Sarasota, the small island of Siesta Key sits on the gleaming Gulf of Mexico and boasts one of the best beaches in the country. In the heart of this quirky, fun island is Siesta Key Village, a colorful, lively village near the beach that is full of restaurants, shops, bars, spas, ice cream parlors, and much more.