This weekend's best bets: Dec. 13-15

December 13, 2013 



Holidays Around the Ranch: Lakewood Ranch Main Street

Celebrate the Holidays Around The Ranch on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch 6-9 p.m. Dec. 13. Watch the lighting of the tree over the fountain, work on crafts in Santa's workshop, ice skate on an acrylic ice rink with skates provided, there will also be children's dance and music groups and welcome Santa's arrival too along with more festive activities.

Annual Anna Maria Holiday Walk: along Gulf Drive, Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard

Shopkeepers all along Gulf Drive, Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard will stay open late for the annual Anna Maria Holiday Walk 5-9 p.m. Dec. 13. The shops in the Anna Maria Island Historic Green Village will be among those offering special treats and sales for holiday shoppers. Holiday music will play throughout the day. Information: 941-600-9745.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens annual Holiday Lights Celebration: 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota

Sarasota Jungle Gardens will show off its annual Holiday Lights Celebration 6-9 p.m. Dec. 13-15, 20-24, 26-29. The gardens' trails and exhibits will be adorned with holiday lights. Holiday-themed activities include roasting marshmallows, visiting with Santa and more. Special dinner menus are offered for purchase. Admission: $11 adults, $6 children ages 6-12, children ages 2 and younger are admitted free. For a complete schedule of events call 941-355-111, ext. 306.


Winter Wonderland: Old Main Street, Bradenton

A family-friendly street festival featuring kid's crafts, entertainment, food and craft vendors, and a snow mountain with sledding is 5-9 p.m. Dec. 14. Don't miss Santa and Mrs. Claus. Information: Email,

Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade: Bradenton Yacht Club, 4307 Snead Island Road, Palmetto

The Bradenton Yacht Club will host a Holiday Boat Parade viewing party beginning at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14. The parade, featuring boats decorated with holiday lights, will start at DeSoto Point and will end at the Bradenton Yacht Club. A fireworks display will be at the end of the parade. The event is open and free to the public. Information: 941-722-5936 or visit

Lighted Boat Parade: Anna Maria Sound

Cortez Yacht Club's eighth annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade begins Dec. 14 near Mar Vista & Moore's Stone Crab restaurants on north end of Longboat Key at dusk (6-6:30 p.m.) and will travel north to the Seafood Shack Marina & Restaurant, 127th Street West, Cortez. Awards ceremony will follow the parade at the Seafood Shack. Grand prize is $500. Boaters interested in participating and competing for prizes are required to pre-register by calling 941-780-3547.

Christmas on Bridge Street: along Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach

Bridge Street will change from its tropical hue into a Winter Wonderland 3-10 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Bridge Street's Christmas on Bridge Street, featuring snow, Santa, live holiday music, special performances and kids' activities. Special sales, gift baskets and wreath giveaways, gift ideas, a lighted boat parade, and a Children's Craft and Cookie Bazaar area where area school children can make and sell handmade holiday items, Christmas crafts and baked goods. Information: 941-713-3105 or

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

Visit Santa's workshop with his working elves, tour four unique rooms of Santa magic and fun, and walk the enchanted lighted garden at Gulf Shore Animal League's "Santa's Magical Workshop" 6-9 p.m. Dec. 14-15 and 21-22. Photo opportunities with Santa are $5. Entry donation: $5, children ages 5 and younger are admitted free. All proceeds will benefit Gulf Shore Animal League. Information: 941-747-2284.

Hot Rod and Muscle Cars Show: Texas Roadhouse, 5710 Ranch Lake Blvd., Bradenton

The Texas Roadhouse will be hosting a Hot Rod and Muscle Car Show 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 14 featuring an open class show with special trophies for muscle cars and hot rods. There will be music, food specials, door prizes and more. Car registration: $10. Information: Larry Hazel at 317-809-3971.

Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights: Centennial Park to Bayfront Park, Sarasota

The annual Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 14 and will bring thousands of spectators to the bayfront. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic and watch the boats as they parade along the Bayfront Park covered in bright and colorful lights with live bands on decks playing Christmas tunes. The event is free and open to the public. Information: 941-955-0991 or


"A 1913 Florida Cracker Christmas," annual holiday festival: Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton

The Manatee Village Historical Park will host "A 1913 Florida Cracker Christmas," a family-friendly street festival 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 15, featuring kids' crafts, entertainment, model railroads, food and craft vendors, sledding on a snow mountain and live music by The First Brass, Gary Reinstrom, The EZ Keys, The Eighth Notes and more. Admission: $5 adults, children ages 12 and younger admitted free. Information: Christine Brown at 941-741-4075.

Coquina Beach Market, 2650 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach

Come and stroll the Beach Market at Coquina Beach 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays through April 24. The market features fresh produce, arts and crafts, jewelry, local artists, apparel, pottery, purses, collectibles, health and beauty items and more. Food and beverages are available for purchase. Information: Nancy Ambrose at 941-518-4431.

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