The Sarasota Selby Public Library was the location for the 3rd Annual Crystal Ball Fundraiser. The Friends of the Selby Library put on this casual fundraiser featuring local restaurants, a variety of entertainers and artists to support the library. This event had something for everyone – with music from pop to jazz, ballroom dancers, fire dancing, belly dancing and magic. Foodies enjoyed tasty bites from numerous local chefs.
Video by studiof.com
Live Downtown, It’s Friday Night! The 1st Friday night each month, you should be downtown Sarasota for live music, dancing, gallery shows and shopping. This is a free event that attracts locals and visitors to browse our wonderful art galleries to the accompaniment of a wide range of entertainment. On this Friday, you could hear an incredible local string duo Bard and Mustache – Erin Murphy (the Equines) and Greg Bortnichak (Sparta Philharmonic). Just down the street, you could see the Sarasota Ballet’s students at Studio 20. In the mood for something Latin? The exciting Duente duo of Joe Matsagos and Dean Johanesen offered flamenco while Wilsons DanceSport dancers entertained the crowd. And, just for fun, Ollie and the Garbage Men, local teenagers who play instruments made from garbage and recycled materials. I’d say there was something for everyone!
Sarasota young VIPs partied at the Vinyl Music Festival opening event at the Ivory Lounge last night. This was the kick off for the 4 day Vinyl Music Festival. According to Rich Swier, VMF cofounder, “we created and will continue to build Vinyl in order to bring more current world-class musical entertainment to a world class city.” In our view, this first night was a success and generated great buzz about the festival leading up to the main event on Saturday night.
A new annual event took Sarasota by storm in it’s inaugural year. The amazingly successful event was inspired and directed by 2 master sand sculptors – Bill Knight and Brian Wigglesworth. As experienced sand master sculptors,- unlike any other event directors could – they hit a home run first time up!
The Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition brought 11 teams of master sand sculptors together to compete for cash prizes. The proceeds from the first annual event benefited Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program. In addition to the competition, the event included sand sculpting lessons, an amateur competition, live music, a vendor village and other fun family activities. We were so happy to be there to videotape the entire event.
If you weren’t there for the first year…make sure you don’t miss this year’s event. And if you don’t live here, plan a trip!
Drive through Sarasota, and you can’t miss our beautiful Bayfront Island Park. Right on Sarasota Bay, this lively park is surrounded with water. The winding sidewalks run all along the perimeter of the park and invite you to walk, jog, roller blade, or walk your dog. In fact, this park is a favorite with local dog owners who often congregate on weekends for some doggy socialization.
With huge grass play areas, picnic tables in the shade, trees made for climbing and plenty of benches and swings, Island Park appeals to all ages. Children love splashing in the water fountains and birthday parties are frequent in playground area. It’s located right across 41 from downtown, so this park is convenient. There’s plenty of parking, so whether you walk, drive, bike or boat to the park, you’re sure to enjoy you time here.
And stop in at the tiki bar at O’Leary’s for a drink or a meal. It’s a great place where you can listen to music, enjoy the tropical breeze and watch the boats go by. Your four legged friends are welcome, too.
Make sure you add Bayfront Island Park to your list of great things to do when you vacation in Sarasota.
Sarasota is a splendid destination for your family vacation. Yes, Sarasota does have some of the most amazing beaches in the US, but it’s not just a beach destination. When you’re looking for other diversions, you’ll find a variety of family friendly things to do.
Check out Mote Marine Aquarium for a close up look at marine life and current research and conservation programs. The entire family will enjoy seeing over 100 species of marine life, including sharks, dolphins, manatees, seahorses and sea turtles.
Mote is open every day of the year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mote is located at 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy. on City Island, 1 mile north of St. Armand’s Circle.
For the animal lovers, the Big Cat Habitat is a sanctuary for animals right here in Sarasota. Not just tigers and lions and bears…you can also see coatimundis, a camel, birds, lemurs, tortoises and more. And don’t miss the Mia the Liger. Yes, a liger – her mother is a Bengal tiger and father is a lion!
The sanctuary is located at 7101 Palmer Blvd. The habitat opens at 12:30 five days per week, but the schedule may be changed based on the weather. So check their event calendar for current activities and prices or call them at (941) 371-6377 for all the details.
Your children will also appreciate some non-structured, imaginative play time. Make sure you plan to visit the unique Sarasota Children’s Garden and let the kids be kids. You can’t beat this whimsical spot for family fun.
These are just a few of the family friendly amusements you’ll find when you vacation in Sarasota.