There’s so much to do in Manatee! Here’s 12 fun things
Cirque Ma’Ceo at Big Cat Habitat
Horses and humans perform amazing feats in Cirque Ma’Ceo, an equestrian circus that will stable at Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary in Sarasota for a month.
The show blends acrobatics, aerial acts, dance and equestrian arts, and features more than 10 breeds of horses and multiple riding styles. There’s even a ballet dance atop galloping steeds.
The show will raise funds to support the work of the sanctuary in housing large exotic cats and other wildlife in need.
Ticket options include single-show admission, a combo ticket that includes entry to the sanctuary and VIP dinner packages.
Details: Fridays at 6 p.m., Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through Feb. 3. Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota. $10-$55.
Manatee PAL Carnival and Music Festival
The Manatee Police Athletic League is celebrating 30 years of building community with a kid’s carnival and music festival this weekend.
Activities include train rides, a petting zoo, swings, pony and camel ride and bounce houses.
There are different live music offerings each day of the festival, including hip hop, country, rock, Motown and Latin performers.
Details: 5-10 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Manatee PAL, 202 13th Ave. E., Bradenton. $1-$20.
Once a month, a squad of astrology aficionados known as the Local Group of Deep Sky Observers bring their high-power telescopes to a public place for all to enjoy.
This month, the sidewalk astrology event will be held at the scenic Robinson Preserve extension.
Guests will be able to observe the Great Nebula in Orion, planets Mars, Uranus and Neptune and more.
Details: Sunset-10:30 p.m. Saturday. Robinson Preserve (extension entrance), 10299 Ninth Ave. N.W., Bradenton. Free.
Classic film showcase
Sarasota Film Festival is bringing a trio of classic and acclaimed films back to the big screen this month as part of its new program called “CINEMATHEQUE.”
First up is “The Maltese Falcon,” the classic crime noir starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor that premiered in 1941 and helped ignite a new genre of film.
The series will also feature “Citizen Kane,” which will play at 6 p.m. on Jan. 19, and “Andrei Rublev,” which will play at 6 p.m. on Jan. 26.
Local film experts will introduce each film, and snacks, beverages and T-shirts will be available for purchase at the theater.
Details: 6 p.m. Saturday. Sarasota Film Festival’s Cinematheque, 500 Tallevast Road #105, Sarasota. $10. Tickets available online and at the door.
‘Pirates of Penzance’ at Manatee Performing Arts Center
There’s a reason “Pirates of Penzance” is still popular more than a century after it first took the stage.
The Manatee Players will give this comic musical about a band of rambunctious swashbucklers a good walk down the plank.
They’ve also thrown in a local twist with some references to the hometown spring trainers, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Details: Jan. 10-27. Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton. $27-$37.
The Island Players presents ‘I Hate Hamlet’
The Island Players, Anna Maria Island’s community theater group, will stage Paul Rudnick’s “I Hate Hamlet” for the third offering of its 2018-2019 season.
This comic tale of a struggling actor who is forced to take a role in a Shakespeare play that he loathes is full of quirks and laughs.
Details: Jan. 10-27. The Island Players Theatre, 10009 Gulf Dr., Anna Maria. $20.
Info: 941-778-5755. theislandplayers.org.