Today's best bets: Dec. 22

December 22, 2012 

Dakin Dairy Farms season: Dakin Dairy Farms, 30771 Betts Road, Myakka City

"The Maze" seven acres of winding fun 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 22; $7. Bring a flashlight; participants receive free ice cream if all posts/questions are answered. "It's A Country Christmas" with Christmas Carol hayrides; $5, live Manger family photo opportunities; $5 through Dec. 22. Farm tours are noon Wednesdays-Fridays and 10 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and a special Sunset tour at 5 p.m. through Dec. 22; $10. Information: or 941-322-2802.

"Snow Fest Sarasota": Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota

Celebrate the season with "Snow Fest Sarasota" noon-10 p.m. Dec. 22-23 with forecasted snow for 10 scheduled days and experience tubing, giant snow slides, bounce houses, caroling, ice skating, Christmas trees, Christmas shows with "Santa's Extravaganza" on stage daily, 20 ft. snow globe and DJ Grinch, meet Rudolph and Frosty, and enjoy the Jellybean Jugglers, face painting, hands on arts and crafts, Santa's Circus, pony rides and more. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Proceeds of the event will benefit the Lazarus Foundation Kids Force. Admission is free. Parking $5. Information: 941-365-0818 or visit

Sidewalk Astronomy: Soccer field between Marina Drive and Flotilla Drive, north of the Holmes Beach City Hall, Holmes Beach

The local group of Deep Sky Observers, a Manatee/Sarasota group of astronomy enthusiasts, will offer the public a chance to view spectacular celestial sights through their high-powered telescopes sunset-10 p.m. Dec. 22, weather permitting. Participants will be treated to up-close views of the moon and other celestial objects as they become visible throughout the evening. The event is free and open to the public. Information: 342-9632.

Santa's Magical Workshop Grand Opening: 1703 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton

Gulf Shore Animal League announces Santa Magical Workshop Grand Opening 6-9:30 Dec. 22-23. Stop in for some vintage Christmas spirit and visit with Santa and his working toy shop elves. Enjoy four rooms of unique Christmas fun and walk in the lighted garden. There will be photo opportunities with Santa for children and pets alike. Entry donation: $7 adults, $5 children ages 10 and younger. Proceeds will benefit Gulf Shore Animal League. Information: 941-747-2284 or visit

Holiday Classics Movie Series: Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin St., Tampa

The Tampa Theatre will deck its historic halls with a month long celebration of holiday films that highlight the season and include "It's A Wonderful Life," 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 and 3 p.m. Dec. 23. Guest can experience beloved holiday favorites on the big screen and sing along to Christmas carols with the Mighty Wurlitzer before each show. Tickets: $9 adults, $7 children, seniors, military and Tampa Theatre members. Information: 813-274-8981 or visit

Selby Gardens' Annual "Lights in Bloom": Mary Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota

Get in the holiday spirit at Selby Gardens' annual Lights in Bloom celebration 6-9 p.m. through Dec. 23. Stroll through the Gardens and view life-size garden-themed holiday lights and enjoy live holiday music and dance performances under the banyans. Visit Kids' Corner for holiday crafts for children of all ages to enjoy. Dinner and beverages are available for purchase. Admission: $13 members, $15 nonmembers, children ages 11 and younger are admitted free. Information: 941-366-5731 or visit

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