OUTDOORS: Fun things to do
The Old Braden River Historical Society will host: "Christmas on the Braden River" 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at Jiggs Landing, 6106 63rd St. E., Bradenton.
The parade will conclude at Linger Lodge, 7205 85th St. Ct. E., Bradenton at approximately 6:30 p.m. Prizes and an auction will begin at 7:30 p.m. Auction tickets may be purchased the night of the parade at Linger Lodge.
This is a free community event. Must register prior and no later than 4 p.m. at Jiggs Landing. Prizes will be awarded to the winners of 5 categories. Registration form, voting and more details are available at www.oldbradenriver.org or by calling 941-320-8811.
Camping at Crowley: 16405 Myakka Road, Sarasota
Tent and hammock camping is now available at Crowley's new Indian Field Primitive Camping Area and Camping. Campsites are available per night and amenities include a solar shower, bathrooms, fire pit, and a large screen room with electricity and a kitchen area. Reservations are required. Cost per night: $8 adults, $4 children ages 5 and older. Camping classes are available through Not a Clue Adventures. Information: 941-322-1000 or visit www.crowleyfl.org.
Frog Creek RV Resort: 8515 Bayshore Road, Palmetto
Frog Creek RV Resort, on historic Frog Creek just north of Palmetto, offers a special summer rate of $25 a day, plus electricity, for a family of four at their resort. The resort features a swimming pool and kayaking and canoeing. Call for package pricing: 800-771-3764 or visit www.frogcreek.us.com.
Napier's Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary: 20010 State Road 64 E., Bradenton
Horseback riding is being offered by Napier's Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary. No experience is necessary. Hours are by appointment. Donation: $25 a person, per hour. The rides are fun and educational and are geared toward first time riders. All proceeds go to house and feed the animals at the sanctuary. Information: 941-750-8185 or www.NapierFamilyFarm.com.
Emerson Point Preserve Nature Tours: Emerson Point Preserve, Snead Island
Master Gardeners conduct free tours at 9 a.m. on at least one Saturday and one Sunday each month. Tours are limited to 12 people, and reservations must be made through the Master Gardener office. A portion of the tour is handicap accessible. The office is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Information: 941-722-4524.
Sarasota Bay Explorers: Mote Aquarium on City Island, Sarasota
Now offering a new eco-tour, Nature Safari, with in-depth looks into the ecosystems of southwest Florida. View bird nests and watch for creatures of the bay. Observe bottlenose dolphins, manatees and sea turtles up close. Cruises run daily at 11 a.m., and 1:30 and 4 p.m. Regular tour rate is $26 adults, $22 children ages 4-12. Aquarium admission not included. Information: 941-388-4200.
Walk on the Wild Side Eco-Tours: 629 41st St., Sarasota
Guided canoeing, kayaking, hiking and wildlife viewing tours throughout west central Florida. Half-day, full-day, moonlight and overnight trips. All equipment and transportation is provided and instruction is available. Tours start at $30 a person and are available 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Sunday. Information: 941-351-6500.
Boat rides and charters: Captain Kim's, Anna Maria Island Historic Bridge Street Pier, Anna Maria Island.
Captain Kim's Boat Rides and Charters offers dolphin tours, historical tours, bird watching tours, sea shelling tours, hands-on eco tours, sightseeing rides, sand bar hopping, boat rides and charters. Hourly rates: $15 per person. Reservations and information: 941-920-3307 or www.kimscharters.com.
Anna Maria Island Segway Tours: Anna Maria Island
AMI Segway Tours takes visitors along the Gulf of Mexico and Intracoastal Waterway, exploring Leffis Key Boardwalk, Coquina Beach, Historic Bridge Street, Anna Maria City Pier and more. Tours, which are offered seven days a week, are limited to six guests and start at $30 a person. Ticket includes training, helmet, water and photo opportunities. Reservations required. Call 941-565-2082, visit zegwaybythebay.com or stop in at the Paradise Bagel Cafe, 3220 East Bay Drive, Holmes Beach.
Manatee Segway Tours: Downtown Bradenton
Manatee Segway Tours takes visitors on tours on the riverfront and beyond in Bradenton. Snack and drink provided along with plenty of photo opportunities. Tour tickets start at $45 and includes training and helmets. For more information or to get on the waiting list, 941-224-8079 or www.manateesegwaytours.com.
Segs by the Sea: 119 C Bridge St., Bradenton Beach
Segs by the Sea offers scenic Segway tours of Anna Maria Island and the surrounding beaches including Longboat Key and their newest addition, the Heritage History Tour. Tour options include one hour, 90 minutes, and two hours and cost between $40-$60. Segway rentals are also available, including rentals of bikes, electric bikes, and stand-up paddle boards. Training and helmets are included in all tours and rentals. Reservations are 8 a.m.-sunset. Information: 941-209-5970 or www.segsbythesea.com.
Florida Ever-Glides: The Ritz Carlton, Sarasota
Segway Tours of downtown Sarasota and through St. Armands Circle are offered by Florida Ever-Glides Inc. The three-hour guided tours are $85 a person and are limited to six riders. Tours are offered daily 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Ages 12-70-plus are welcome. Reservations are required. Information: 941-363-9556 or www.floridaever-glides.com.
Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures: Bradenton/Sarasota area
Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures offers trips to Anna Maria, Braden River, Cabbage Key, Cayo Costa, Don Pedro Island, Egmont Key, Fisheating Creek, Hillsborough River, Little Manatee River, Longboat Key, Myakka River, Peace River, Rainbow Springs, Siesta Key/Turtle Beach and South Lido Beach. Rentals and lessons also available. Information: 941-504-6296 or kayakfl.com.
AMI Parasail: Anna Maria Island
Parasail over the Gulf of Mexico with the area's oldest parasail operator. Dry takes-offs and landings for 2-3 people at a time. Information and reservations: 941-778-5000.
Beach Bum Billy's: 427 Pine Ave., Anna Maria
Charter or rent a boat at Beach Bum Billy's, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday. Information: 941-778-3316.
Capt. Mark's Watertaxi at the Cortez Kitchen: 4528 119th St. W., Cortez
Boat rides and dolphin cruises daily. Take the whole family, up to 16 passengers, on a cruise visiting sandbars or see the dolphins at sunset. Take the water taxi and stop at Bridge Street or the Mar Vista Restaurant or stay aboard and watch the sunset, or join us on the beach for some great shelling. Half-day charters for picnics are available on select days for office parties or family outings; the boat is equipped with a bathroom and gas grill. Cost: $20 a person; no charge for kids younger than 3. Call for times and reservations: 941-228-3504 or www.scatteratsea.com.