Traveling to the Sarasota area in December can be a nice change of pace from the winter weather up north. The temperatures are usually mild with plenty of sunshine. While the holidays might feel a little different down here, there is plenty of yuletide magic to go around – and you won’t need snow tires to get where you’re going either.
Here is a list of 8 holiday events that you won’t want to miss this year in the Greater Sarasota area.
- The 46th annual Singing Christmas Tree: Presented by the First Sarasota Downtown Baptist Church, is an awe-inspiring musical production that raise your Christmas spirit. The singing Christmas tree is 25 feet tall and has twelve levels that hold 115 choir members and over 10,000 lights. For many, this has become an annual tradition.
There are six performances on December 4, 7, 8, 10& 11. Please click here to purchase tickets and see times. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12. All shows held at First Baptist Church of Sarasota, 1661 Main street, Sarasota, FL 34236
- 41st Annual Holiday Night of Lights on St. Armand’s Circle: St. Armand’s Circle kicks off the holiday season with holiday entertainment, lights and special store promotions on December 6th, from 6pm to 9pm. Photos with Santa Claus are available from 6:30pm to 8pm.
- 11th Annual Gingerbread House Festival: This year’s festival features more than 150 gingerbread houses created by local schools, youth groups, businesses and nonprofit organizations. You can also reserve your favorite house for purchase! The festival runs from December 6th until the 15th and is located inside the Mall at UTC, 140 university Town Center Drive, Sarasota, FL 34243
Presented by the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida. For more information, please visit http://srqgingerbreadfestival.com.
- Country Christmas at Hunsader Farms: This event includes hayrides, train rides for children, photos with Santa, campfires, live music, a Christmas village display, a petting zoo and Christmas movies on a big screen. Parking is free and admission is $10 (cash only). Kids under 5 get in free. Food and gift items are also available.
Open on December 13, 14, 15 & 20, 21, 22 from 6pm to 10pm. 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton, FL 34211. For more info, please visit https://www.hunsaderfarms.com/country-christmas.
- 34th Annual Sarasota Christmas Boat Parade of Lights: This is an event that many look forward to all year long. Watch all types of boats decked out with lights and holiday cheer make their way past spectactors. This year the parade is held on December 14th and starts around 6pm. For more info and suggestions on where to watch, please visit https://www.sarasotachristmasboatparade.com.
- Deck the Halls: The Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents its traditional Christmas family show – Florida Style – with new songs and sketches. Get ready to deck the palms and get into the holiday spirit. Please visit https://tickets.floridastudiotheatre.org/events for tickets and show times. Located at FST, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
- Lights in Bloom: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens lights up the holiday season with over two million lights that will illuminate the spectacular gardens and walkways. Expect nightly visits from Santa (before Christmas Eve), children’s arts and crafts, games and special entertainment. $20 for members, $25 for non-members. $7 for children 5 to 12. Kids under 5 are free. The event runs from December 14th, 2019 until January 4th, 2020. 811 South Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236. For more info, please visit
- New Year’s Eve – Sarasota’s Pineapple Drop: If you are in town on New Year’s Eve, head to downtown Sarasota for their annual block party. The festivities start at 1 pm on December 31st and continue to 1am. The pineapple drops at midnight. There will be live musical acts and the event will be sure to attract more than 20,000 people. General admission is free. For more information, please visit https://www.visitsarasota.com/events/sarasota-new-years-eve-pineapple-drop-2020