Are you ready for the weekend? Us too.
If you don’t have plans yet, we’re here to help.
Here’s a hand-picked guide to fun times around Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa Bay and beyond.
Are we missing a big event? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fun for everyone
Main Street Live: This music-centric community block party returns to Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton on Halloween.
Come for the local vendors and food trucks; stay for the live music.
TL Jentgens, a one-man drum band, will bring a flurry of sights and sounds to the stage.
Costumes are definitely encouraged.
Details: 5 p.m.-midnight on Halloween. Old Main Street, Bradenton. Free.
Trick-or-treat in the Village: If you’re looking for a safe and fun neighborhood to take the kids trick-or-treating this Halloween, Village of the Arts is a wickedly wonderful choice.
Residents and businesses will hand out candy, and there will be lots of creative decor and vibrant costumes on display.
Grab a bite at a VOTA restaurant for a perfect end to the night.
Details: 6-8 p.m. on Halloween. Village of the Arts, Bradenton. Free.
Festival of the Skeletons: Village of the Arts’ 15th annual Festival of the Skeletons will celebrate the lives and legacies of departed loved ones and iconic art-makers in the tradition of Dia de los Muertos.
The event includes live music, vendors, a scavenger hunt, art displays and art for sale.
A community shrine will commemorate VOTA founder Herbie Rose and others who once called the Village home, and other shrines throughout the Village will honor loved ones and influential artists like Frida Kahlo, Dali, Georgia O’Keefe, Jean Michel Basquiat and Sailor Jerry.
“An interactive memory wall also will be available for festival-goers to leave written memories of their own loved ones,” organizers say.
Other sights at the festival include sidewalk art, murals and a giant sugar skull installation created with the help of hundreds of local students.
Live music offerings include the State College of Florida Jazz Band and local acts in many genres.
Details: 6-9:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Village of the Arts, Bradenton. Free.
Halloween Social: Rescheduled because of inclement weather on the original date, the Manatee County Agricultural Museum and Palmetto Historical Park will host a family-friendly Halloween Social on Saturday.
Events in the park include trick-or-treating, carnival games, fortune-telling, a costume contest (beginning at 5 p.m.) and food from local vendors.
A note to young goblins: Don’t forget a trick-or-treat bag.
Details: 4-8 p.m. Saturday. Palmetto Historical Park, 515 10th Ave. W., Palmetto. Free.
Bounce house fun: The Big Bounce America, a traveling inflatable attraction that feature’s the world’s biggest bounce house, will visit Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota this weekend.
The attraction also includes an obstacle course named “the Giant” and an outer space-themed wonderland.
Details: Friday-Sunday. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota. $16 and up.
Music on Main: Music on Main brings family-friendly fun to the heart of Lakewood Ranch on the first Friday of every month.
For November’s shindig, local country act the Eric Von Band will play, and a live DJ will follow.
Food vendors, beer trucks and kids activities will line the street.
The event raises funds for a different local non-profit each month; this time, Lakewood Ranch Community Fund will benefit.
Details: 6-9 p.m. Friday. 8100 Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch. Free. 941-907-9243.
At the theater
“Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story”: A song-filled telling of Buddy Holly’s rise to fame is sure to make for a fun evening at the theater. All of the late rock ‘n’ roller’s big hits are included in this award-winning musical.
Details: Through Nov. 10. Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton.
Theme park fun
Food and wine fest: There’s less than a month left for a dining adventure at the 2019 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World.
The festival includes an international sampling of cuisines around the park, plus culinary demonstrations, classes and beer and wine tastings.
If you go, plan on bringing plenty of extra dough for tasting your way around the world at food and drink stands.
Details: Through Nov. 23. Epcot, 200 Epcot Center Dr., Orlando. $109.
Hike Emerson Point: Emerson Point Preserve is the perfect place for a day of hiking or kayaking along the mouth of the Manatee River.
Enjoy scenic views from the observation tower and visit the Portavant Temple Mound, a Native American archaeological site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Details: Open sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year. 5801 17th St. W., Palmetto. Free.
NEW IN TOWN — Can’t get enough pizza: The pizza shops just keep popping up in Manatee County, and we’re not complaining.
The latest to arrive on the pie-slinging scene is Rocco’s Pizza & Pasta Grill in downtown Bradenton.
The family behind the business is no newcomer to pizza-making, though. The Italian-born Scarpino brothers (the same behind Scarpino’s Family Restaurant) specialize in thin-crust pizza baked in a stone oven.
The menu includes all of the Italian classics.
Rocco’s Pizza & Pasta Grill is at 827 14th St. W. in Bradenton.
EAT THIS — Dining adventure at Dockside’s: An eclectic fusion approach to menu-building at Riviera Dunes Dockside makes for dining fun.
Offerings include seafood dishes (coconut shrimp, mussels, chowder, sandwiches and plates), burgers and sandwiches, salads, soups and flatbread pizzas.
If you can’t find something to get excited about at Dockside, you don’t like food.
Riviera Dunes Dockside is at 102 Riviera Dunes Way, Palmetto.
DRINK THIS —Pumpkin spice done right: Forget Starbucks; the coffee connoisseurs at Tellers in downtown Bradenton are taking the art of caffeination to another level.
The walk-up window coffee shop and vegan grab-n-go is a great stop for a morning or afternoon pick-me-up.
Among the impressive creations is Teller’s take on pumpkin spice latte made with quality espresso and topped with plenty of whipped cream; it’s also available in a dairy-free format.
Tellers is located in the rear parking lot of Connect Bradenton at 1201 Sixth Ave. W. in Bradenton.
DON’T FORGET DESSERT — Oh, sweet waffles: The Waffle Press serves up decadent dessert waffles on Anna Maria Island.
Options include a simple take topped with powered sugar or cinnamon sugar; “The Italian” with cannoli cream, chocolate sauce and chocolate chips; and “The Camper,” with toasted marshmallow, chocolate sauce and Graham Cracker crumble.
The food counter is to-go only, so take your sweet waffle and head out to the beach.
The Waffle Press is at 425 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.
Live music highlights
LaTraia Savage at Cortez Clam Factory: Powerful vocalist LaTraia Savage and band create high-caliber covers of songs across genres. LaTraia’s musical career includes opening for acts such as Alicia Keys and Brian Culbertson and starring in Busch Gardens’ long-running musical “KaTonga.”
Details: 8 p.m.-midnight Friday. Cortez Clam Factory, 10104 Cortez Road W., Bradenton. No cover.
Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones at Blue Rooster: Doug Deming and his band are lifelong blues musicians. Experience and energy meet when they take the stage.
Details: 8-11 p.m. Friday. Blue Rooster, 1525 Fourth St., Sarasota. $5.
Drift In Rock and Blues Festival: A rock and blues music festival will feature talented local acts Concrete Edgar, Tommy Balbo & The Collective and Dos Macs with Steve Arvey. Donations will benefit Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center Inc.
Details: 12:45 p.m. Saturday. Drift In, 120 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach.
Justin Lee Partin at Joyland Country Music Night Club: Joyland is a great place to catch local and national country acts in Bradenton — and get in some line dancing.
This week, Gainesville-based country artist Justin Lee Partin will perform on Friday and Saturday night.
Details: 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Joyland Country Music Night Club, 5520 14th St. W., Bradenton. $5-$7.
Rye Road at Motorworks Brewing: These country rockers bring an energetic and danceable sound that’s made them a local and regional favorite.
Details: 7-11 p.m. Saturday. Motorworks Brewing, 1014 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. No cover.
Very Merry Jerry Day at Fogartyville: A day of totally far-out tunes and festivities will honor late great architect of the psychedelic sound Jerry Garcia.
Music will be provided by local acts Experimental Farm Road (an all-female psychedelic folk band), The Stillhouse Shakers (an old-time string band) and Ship of Fools (a Grateful Dead tribute band that delivers the goods).
The event also includes vendors, food, tie-dying and kid’s activities.
Details: 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota. $15.
Johnson’s Country Crossroads at Linger Lodge: Johnson’s Country Crossroads is a one-man show that showcases country music across the decades, including requests.
Details: 4-7 p.m. Sunday. Linger Lodge Restaurant and RV Campground, 7205 85th St. Ct. E., Bradenton.