A Month of Celebration: Sarasota's Top Holiday Parties in December

Posted by Julian Yates on Sunday, December 6th, 2015 at 2:38pm.

No matter your holiday traditions, there's something celebratory about this season. Even if you're just celebrating the nip in the air that comes with the onset of winter, there are plenty of ways to do it in Sarasota. One of the beautiful things about this season is the décor. Especially at some of our favorite destinations, twinkling lights are ablaze, and we all feel feel a bit like awestruck kids amid the spectacle.

Running throughout the month, Holly Days and Mangrove Lights at Historic Spanish Point features decorated homestead buildings and lighted gardens throughout the beautiful 30-acre park. Miniature white lights on the trees and in the mangroves lends a magical holiday ambiance, and musical performances by guitarist Pete Simms on December 10, Charlie & the Copper Coils on December 17, and Kenny Moolenaar and his Steel Drums on December 18 assure to make your visit memorable.

On December 6, enjoy A Taste of Chanukah at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds with delicious Kosher food and goods, live entertainment, and activities including a petting zoo, snow slide, carnival games, inflatables, pony rides, a stilt walker and juggling show, an eight-foot dreidel, and giant balloon menorah.

If you're up for a "Wilde-ly Dickensian" holiday experience, be sure to visit the Crosley Estate for performances of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, "The Gentle Giant" by Oscar Wilde and "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement Moore as you move from room to room. Performance dates are December 8-10, 11-13, 15-17, 18 & 20.

On December 11, head out to Lakewood Ranch to celebrate Holidays Around The Ranch on Main Street to watch the lighting of the tree over the fountain, work on crafts in Santa's workshop, and skate on an acrylic ice rink (skates provided)!

Get in step with the holiday spirit on December 12 with the North Port Poinsettia Parade on North Port Boulevard with its "Candy Canes and Carols" theme; there's also two boat parades, the 28th Annual Sarasota Christmas Boat Parade of Lights and the 18th Annual Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade. I have to say, we do like our lights around here.

Need to shop? For truly one-of-a-kind gifts, attend the Atomic Holiday Bazaar, Sarasota's original indie arts and crafts show on December 12–13 at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. Now in its 10th season, Atomic features unique and colorful creations handmade with love, as well as performances by the SRQ Rolling Renegades roller derby gals.

The season just isn't complete without one more dazzling show of lights. From December 18-23, the Selby Gardens "Lights in Bloom" celebration features more than a half million lights that transform the gardens into a tropical wonderland. One more local fixture dressing it up for the holidays is the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary. Head out on December 23-24 for a live Nativity scene you won't soon forget, including camels, donkeys, goats and other animals, and a great excuse to visit the rest of the menagerie as well.

Since I've barely scratched the surface on the wonderful things going on throughout the season, for New Year's Eve I'll just suggest the annual Pineapple Drop in downtown Sarasota. With multiple stages of live entertainment and an immense gathering of people, it always makes for a memorable way to ring in the New Year. Sarasota Property Finders wishes you and yours a month of full hearts and happy times, both at home and while you're out celebrating in our wonderful community.

Julian is a happy Sarasota resident and your go-to guy for information about the perks of living in paradise. For more, get in touch with Julian directly via the Sarasota Property Finders Contact Page.


Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist

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