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It’s your weekend. Here are some fun things to do around Bradenton



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“Lights in Bloom” at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens runs December 20 through January 6. Photo courtesy of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Holiday lights at Selby Botanical Gardens

“Lights in Bloom” transforms Marie Selby Botanical Gardens into an illuminated winter wonderland.

Santa and his elves will make nightly appearances up until Christmas.

Local bands soulRcoaster and The Hydramatic will perform, and food and drink will be available for purchase.

Details: 6-9 p.m. Dec. 20-Jan. 6, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Adults: $25. Children 5-12: $7. Children under 5: Free.

Info: selby.org.

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Hunsader Farms

Country Christmas at Hunsader Farms

Hunsader Farms in Bradenton is getting in the holiday spirit this weekend with displays of more than 300,000 lights, hayrides, train rides, live music, Christmas movies, pictures with Santa, a petting zoo and more.

Check out country crafts and plenty of food and drink options, too.

Details: 6-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Hunsader Farms, 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton. Cost: $10. Children 5 and under: Free. Cash only.

Info: hunsaderfarms.com.

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Photo courtesy of ArtCenter Manatee

Contemporary art at ArtCenter Manatee

ArtCenter Manatee’s annual exhibit of works from Women Contemporary Artists is currently on display.

The regional group’s mission is to “provide visibility, encouragement and inspiration to women artists,” and “educate the general public about past and present contributions of women artists and to insure the inclusion of women in the history of art.”

While you’re there, check out the Artists’ Market gift shop for unique last-minute gifts.

Details: Through Jan. 11. ArtCenter Manatee, 209 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. Free.

Info: artcentermanatee.org.

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South Florida Museum is home to the Bishop Planetarium, an astronomy education center and multimedia theater. Photo courtesy of The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

What was the Star of Bethlehem?

Travel on a journey through time and space at Bishop Planetarium to learn about the possible phenomena behind the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem. This holiday presentation is back by popular demand.

Details: 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Members: $8. Non-members: $10.

Info: southfloridamuseum.org.

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical will take the stage at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center on Saturday, December 22 at 6:30 p.m. Van Wezel Performing Arts Center

Rudolph, the musical

Tickets are available for a one-show performance of “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer: The Musical” at Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota on Saturday.

Mattison’s will cater a pre-show dinner featuring a slider bar, pasta station, holiday food, desserts and an appearance from Santa.

Also playing at Van Wezel this weekend: two Friday performances of Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker.”

Details: Dinner reservations starting at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. $18.95-$38.95. Show at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. $52-$67. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Info: vanwezel.org.

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