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The Sarasota Mom’s Guide to Indoor Activities 2018

Indoor Activities Guide Sarasota

Looking to beat the heat? Escape the rain? Or just try a fun new activity?

Well, you’ve come to the right place! Our Indoor Activities Guide has everything from crafts and movies to museums and sports, each happening within a cool, air conditioned oasis.

Click on the name of each event to learn more!

Indoor Activities Guide Sarasota

Arts A Blaze

Arts A Blaze is a walk-in pottery painting studio. Kids pick their piece and their paint colors, then paint until their heart is content. The most difficult part about painting pottery is explaining to your kids that their masterpiece must stay at the studio to be baked instead of coming home that day. But when you retrieve their creation and it is shiny and beautiful, they start to understand the process! Solid paint colors, glazing, firing, and studio time is included in the price marked on the bottom of the piece of pottery that you choose! No appointments necessary.

The following youth specific classes are offered at Arts A Blaze:

Preschool Craft and Story Time – Year Round 
When: Tuesdays at 10:00am (9:15am from June 5 – August 7, 2018)
Cost: $14 unless otherwise stated

This is a time for budding artists, age 5 and under, to create either a pottery piece or canvas piece of their very own. This is a great way to build fine motor skills. A story, related to the craft, is also read during this time.

Kids Night Out – Year Round
When: First Fridays from 6:00 – 8:00pm
Cost: $30

Parents can take this opportunity to enjoy a quiet dinner on Main Street while the kids create in a fun, safe environment. Ages 5 and up. This is a drop off event.

Homeschool Thursdays – During School Year
When: First and Third Thursdays from 10:00am – 1:00pm
Cost: 15% off the pottery piece of your choice, pre-school siblings can paint “critters” for $10.00

Homeschool families can come in on the first and third Thursday of each month to enjoy some creative, artistic fun. School age children (5 – 17 years) can choose their own project to work on, while staffers assist with color selection and general instruction. Younger pre-school aged siblings can join in the fun too with their own special “critters” project.

Want to drop off your child instead? Kids 5 and up may be dropped off on these Thursdays and will paint in their party room under the supervision of a staff artist. Children must be picked up an hour after drop off. First drop off is at 10:00am, last drop off is at 12:00pm with pickup at 1:00pm. Discount does not apply to drop off. If dropping off, please register using the link above.

Indoor Activities Guide Sarasota

Home Depot

Kids Workshops – Year Round
When: First Saturday of each month, drop-in anytime from 9:00am – 12:00pm
Cost: Free

Each of the four Home Depot locations in the Sarasota/Bradenton area offer a free kids workshop on the first Saturday of each month. Pre-register your child online (not required), then drop in anytime from 9:00am – 12:00pm and they’ll receive a DIY kit, workshop apron, commemorative pin and certificate of achievement. Click here to find the Home Depot nearest you, as well as the workshops available.

Learning Express Toys

Crafty Thursdays – Year Round
When: Thursdays from 11:00am – 12:00pm
Cost: Free

Kids will have an afternoon of fun as they make crafts like bangle bracelets, sand art, patriotic Flag Day crafts and more! Check their Facebook Events Page for full listing of weekly crafts and recommended ages.

Indoor Activities Guide Art Sarasota

Let’s Create Art

Let’s Create Art on Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street is an open art studio designed for all skill levels and mediums. Young and adult artists are welcome 7 days a week, to learn and create with a certified instructor. Each painter has the option to choose their own image and choice of medium. An instructor is always there to teach each individual throughout their choice of project. You must reserve your easel work space in advance through their website. Cost is $16.00 per hour.

The following youth specific classes are offered at Let’s Create Art:

Lil Picasso Class – Year Round
When: Thursdays from 4:00 – 5:00pm
Cost: $10 per child, includes supplies

Each week the instructor teaches a specialized project customized for the 3-6 year old artist. Parents are welcome to participate or drop off! 

Creative Minds Intermediate Youth Class – Year Round
When: Tuesdays from 5:30 – 6:45pm
Cost: $15 per child, includes supplies

Bridging the gap between crafting and fine art, this class encourages young students to express their imagination and voices while learning fundamental techniques of the art-making process. The sessions focus on concepts, techniques, and finished artwork. Each class will contain in depth discussion, demonstration, and application of a variety of media. Students are able to discuss the intention of their art, their creative influences, and their goals as an artist. Each class will consist of small works projects, to ensure each student refines technical skills in preparation for open studio hours. 

Home School Art/Art History – Year Round 
When: Fridays from 1:30 – 3:30pm
Cost: $15 per child, includes supplies

Students ages 6-16 study the history and practical application of artistic movements while focusing on the artists that were inspired by the movement and the techniques they utilized. This class will explore various mediums throughout.

Kid’s Night Out Paint Parties – Year Round
When: One Saturday per month from 7:00 – 9:00pm, check website for specific dates
Cost: $28 per child, includes supplies, snack and drink

Do your kids need a fun night out? Do you need a couple hours without kids? Each month they host a kids only evening paint party designed specifically for kids age 6 and up. Doors lock at 7pm and will reopen for pick up. 

Indoor Activities Guide Sarasota

The Maker’s Market and Workshops

At The Makers Market and Workshops, their goal is to provide a beautiful, inviting atmosphere for you to gather with your friends and family while creating an on trend piece of home decor you’ll be proud to display. They make it easy…their secret is stencils! With dozens of projects and hundreds of stencil designs, you’re sure to create something beautiful. 

The following youth specific classes are offered at The Makers Market:

Open Paint – Year Round
When: Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00am and 1:00pm
Cost: Prices Vary

Saturdays and Sundays are family fun times at The Makers Market. These laid back workshops, are perfect for kids ages 6 and up or adults. Register and pay, and pick your stencil design when you arrive at the workshop. One size project – 12″ x 16″ wood sign. Visit their website for more details on designs and project availability.

Indoor Activity Craft Sarasota

Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Kid’s Club – Year Round
When: Saturdays from 10:00am – 12:00pm
Cost: $2 for ages 3+, $5 for ages 6+, supplies included.

Children ages 3 and up can discover the educational and developmental benefits of crafting, while you shop the store. Sign up in-store, online or just drop in.

Painting with a Twist

Painting with a Twist painting sessions are fun art, not fine art. Their family classes feature art that is specially designed for all ages and skill levels. Get the whole gang together and spend some “non-screen” time creating family memories in a relaxed, creative atmosphere.

With two locations in Bradenton and Sarasota and classes offered every day, it won’t be hard to find the right project to make your masterpiece. Costs are typically $25 – $35 per seat.

The Craft Bar

The Craft Bar is a DIY craft studio that offers you the opportunity to get your craft on! The classes are designed so that even un-crafty people can make beautiful crafts. All sessions are led by instructors Wendy and Yvonne, a light-hearted, fun and entertaining duo. Walk in any day and make a craft for just $15.

The following youth specific classes are offered at The Craft Bar:

Preschool Pop-Ins – Year Round
When: Tuesdays from 1:00 – 2:00pm
Cost: $10 per child, includes supplies.

Every Tuesday, preschool aged children can enjoy a mommy and me craft session. Get messy and make memories!

Crafty Kids – Year Round
When: Saturdays from 11:30am – 12:30pm
Cost: $10 per child, includes supplies

Every Saturday, kids ages 5 and up can get in on all the crafty fun!

The Ringling

Art Making – Year Round
When: First Saturday of each month, drop-in anytime between 10:00am – 3:00pm
Cost: Free

Art Making is part of the Family First Saturdays program at The Ringling. It takes place in the Visitor’s Pavilion, where the Children’s Welcome Center is transformed into an art studio. They provide the materials, you provide the vision. All ages are encouraged to participate!

Museum of Art Mondays – Year Round
When: Mondays, drop-in anytime between 10:00am – 3:00pm
Cost: Free. Families must pick up a ticket in the Visitor’s Pavilion the day of the program. Each ticket will admit one child and up to two adults. Reservations are not necessary. Ticket numbers will not be capped. 

Every Monday families can enjoy a special art-making program tied to objects you can find in the galleries as well as free admission to the Museum of Art. You can also pick up one of their Museum of Art Family Guides for fun ways to enjoy the art museum as a family! This program will be held in the Education Building Classrooms. Education staff will collect your ticket upon entrance.

Indoor Activity Cooking Sarasota


Aprons Cooking School – Kids 8-12 years old can learn the fundamentals of cooking for a lifetime by attending cooking classes at your local Publix. Parent/child classes also available for kids ages 5-12.

The Cookie Cottage

Drop-In Decorating Classes – Decorate an apron and complete a cookie project! Drop-in decorating classes are available from 9:00am – 4:00pm Monday – Saturday, only $10.00 per child (all ages welcome).


Junior Chef Classes – Perfect for kids ages 8-13, they’ll learn to make delicious recipes, from main courses to desserts and snacks, with plenty of tasting along the way. Contact the UTC location for class times and availability.

Sur la Table

Kids and Teens Cooking Classes – If you don’t mind a short drive up to Tampa, your child could be learning to cook everything from American classics to global inspirations at Sur la Table. See website for class times and availability.

Indoor Activities Library Sarasota


Both Sarasota County  and Manatee County have multiple libraries that your family can visit. Most include an area in the children’s section with toys, puzzles and interactive computer games. Your kids can play and explore, while you pick out some books and DVDs to enjoy later at home.

Plus, the libraries put on plenty of programs throughout the week and on Saturdays for kids, tweens and teens including Tinker Tuesdays, Lego Club, Girls Who Code, Anime Club, Drop-In Crafts, Youth Gaming Club, Reading with the Dogs, and so much more!

Many are free, although some require tickets or registration due to limited seating. 

Visit the Sarasota County Interactive Events Website or visit the Manatee County Library Events Page for full program schedules and details.

Indoor Activity Guide Sarasota

Forty Carrots

Welcome to Our World – September 10 – December 10, 2018
When: Mondays from 11:15am – 12:15pm
Cost: Free

Bringing a baby into the world can fill our hearts with joy and love and our minds with questions and wonder. Join other families navigating the newborn phase in a supportive, fun, informative group with Forty Carrots Parenting Educators. Explore topics that are relevant to you and your family as you begin the journey of raising a healthy and happy child.

Breastfeeding Support and Latch Clinic – August 30 – December 13, 2018
When: Thursdays from 2:00 – 3:30pm
Cost: Free

This weekly clinic provides a hands-on approach with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). You may weigh your baby, see how much milk baby transfers while breastfeeding, get assistance with latch, ask questions about breastfeeding or simply visit with other breastfeeding mothers.

Partners in Play (PIP) at Your Neighborhood Library – August 27 – December 14, 2018
When: Various Days and Times, Check Schedule for Specifics
Cost: Free, but ask your youth librarian for a PIP ticket, only the first 12 families will receive tickets.

Enjoy special uninterrupted play time with your child in their FREE Partners In Play (PIP) groups. Meet their friendly Parenting Educators and discover how Forty Carrots can help you enhance your parenting skills even more. 

Partners in Play Mini Monet – September 10 – October 18, 2018
When: PIP Squeaks (7-14 months) Mondays, 9:30am – 10:30am
PIP Toddlers (14-24 months) Thursdays, 9:30am – 10:45am
PIP Twos (24-36 months) Thursdays, 11:15am – 12:30pm
Cost: PIP Squeaks $108; PIP Toddlers $120; PIP Twos $120

Join Forty Carrots for a PIP session with an artistic flair! You will discover the world of artist Claude Monet through the book, “Linnea in Monet’s Garden.” You will explore a variety of paintings styles while creating impressions on your own canvas. 

Partners in Play PIP Cooks – October 29 – December 13, 2018
When: PIP Squeaks (7-14 months) Mondays, 9:30am – 10:30am
PIP Toddlers (14-24 months)  Thursdays, 9:30am – 10:45am
PIP Twos (24-36 months)  Thursdays, 11:15am – 12:30pm
Cost: PIP Squeaks $108; PIP Toddlers $120; PIP Twos $120

Your child will be the master chef and you the sous chef! Enjoy the process of measuring, combining, smashing and stirring before sampling culinary delights. Cooking engages all the senses while introducing language, math and science skills. 

Indoor Activity Guide Sarasota

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center

Little Nippers – Year Round
When: Wednesdays from 11:30 – 1:00pm
Cost: Free

Join this weekly informal gathering of moms/parents and their newborns. A facilitator and other moms are available to offer support and suggestions for each other. An optional light lunch is provided courtesy of Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. No need for a reservation, just come by!

Postpartum Adjustment and Support Group – Year Round
When: Thursdays from 9:30 – 11:00am
Cost: Free

This group is for women who find the adjustment to becoming a new mother is a little more difficult than anticipated. Share, listen, cry and laugh with other new moms and a facilitator who is a Postpartum Adjustment Support Specialist. Babies and children up to age three are welcome.

Manatee Memorial Hospital

MOMM’s Place: Infant and Mom Group – Year Round
When: Tuesdays from 11:00am – 1:00pm
Cost: Free

Want to meet other new mothers? Need a shoulder to cry on? Interested in activities that involve you and your children? Then this group is for you. Most mothers join us weekly to share lunch, stories, and life’s little experiences. It’s a great time to get out of the house with the little ones. Please bring a bag lunch.

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)

MOPS Sarasota – Year Round
When: Various Days and Times, Check Schedule for Specifics
Cost: Free

A MOPS meeting includes practical teaching through speakers, crafts and videos. Plus, there’s usually food… and coffee! But more importantly, you’ll get to have honest conversations with other moms who understand the joys and frustrations of motherhood.

Rosemary Court Yoga

Mom and Baby Yoga – Year Round
When: Various Days and Times, Check Schedule for Specifics
Cost: $14.00 for drop-ins, or you can purchase a 5, 10 or 15 class pass for $10 per class

This class offers benefits for moms and their babies. In this playful practice, moms rebuild core strength and relieve neck and shoulder tension while bonding with their little ones and creating lasting relationships with other moms. The class is designed for babies 6 weeks to 3 years, but all are welcome.

Indoor Activity Guide Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

Breastfeeding Support and Latch Clinics – Year Round
When: Tuesdays from 2:00 – 3:30pm, First Tuesday of Each Month from 6:00 – 7:30pm
Cost: Free

Need help with breastfeeding, or just affirmation that you’re on the right track? Join an international board-certified lactation consultant and other new moms at a free, weekly drop-in breastfeeding support and latch clinic. New moms will get one-on-one help and guidance. You can weigh your baby, see how much milk he/she is eating, ensure proper latch, get your nursing questions answered, or simply visit with other breastfeeding moms. No registration required.

Mother-Baby Support Group – Year Round
When: Wednesdays from 11:00am – 12:00pm for ages 3 weeks to crawling, 12:30 – 1:30pm for crawling to 1 year.
Cost: Free

Whether you’re a new mom or a veteran, the first year after baby’s arrival can be a rollercoaster. Bring baby along, and come share the celebrations and challenges of mommyhood during one of these free, weekly support groups. Listen to others’ stories, learn new tips and connect with others on the mom journey. Groups are split based on baby’s age/mobility. Meetings last an hour; come any time, and leave when you need to. No registration required.

The Brats Club SRQ

Developmental Play Classes – Fall #1 Session (September 4 – October 20, 2018)
When: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Class times vary based on your child’s age (1 month – 3 years old)
Cost: $115 for 6 weeks

Learn in a playful atmosphere how to support your child’s development, guided by their energetic, well-trained staff of teachers. Topics include gross and fine motor skills, early language learning and social-emotional growth. Classes take place in Nathan Benderson Park Finish Tower. Reservations are required. Space is limited.

Movies Free Cheap Guide Summer

Regular Movie Pricing

AMC Sarasota 12 AMC Bradenton 20
Matinee Showings (before 4:00pm): $9.49 for adults, $7.99 for seniors 60+ and children
Evening Showings: $10.99 for adults, $9.49 for seniors 60+ and $7.99 for children
IMAX and 3D formats also available at a higher price.

Cobb Cinebistro Siesta Key
Matinee Showings (before 4:00pm): $15.52 per person
Evening Showings: $17.66 for adults, $15.52 for children
21 and over only for shows beginning after 6:00pm

Insider Tip: You must arrive 30 minutes prior to showtime to enjoy in-theater food and beverage service.

Lakewood Ranch and Burns Court Cinema
Standard Showings: 9.00 for adults, $7.00 for children, all day, every day. Ticket prices drop to $6.00 with a membership, which starts at $30 per year.

Insider Tip: These theaters are very small, so arrive early to ensure you get tickets and decent seats otherwise you’ll be craning your neck in the front row!

Parkway 8 Cinemas 
Matinee Showings (before 6:00pm): $2.00 per person
Evening Showings: $2.50 per person.  

Insider Tip: If you hear people talking about the “dollar theater” in Sarasota, this is it.

Regal Hollywood Stadium 11, Sarasota
Standard Showings: $6.00 per person
3D Showings: $8.00 per person

Regal Oakmont 8, Bradenton
Standard Showings: $12.19 for adults, $9.41 for seniors 60+, $9.62 for children
3D Showings: $15.71 for adults, $12.93 for seniors 60+, $13.14 for children

Indoor Activities Guide Sarasota

Movie Deals and Special Events


$5 Ticket Tuesdays
When: Tuesdays
Cost: $5.00 per person

At AMC Sarasota 12  and AMC Bradenton 20 tickets are just $5.00 every Tuesday with an AMC Stubs Membership, which is free to sign up for. Also on Tuesdays, AMC offers Stubs members a $5 popcorn and soda combo.

Harvest Sarasota 

Movie Night: Won’t You Be My Neighbor – September 8, 2018 
When: 7:00 – 8:30pm
Cost: Free

Harvest Sarasota is hosting an indoor movie night in the sanctuary! Join them for free popcorn, a drink and a great time!! Please RSVP for the event at the link above so they can plan for the size of the crowd.

Ringling Cheap Summer Guide Sarasota

The Ringling

Hours: 10:00am – 5:00pm Daily, Thursdays till 8:00pm
Admission: $25.00/adults
$23.00/seniors 65+
$15.00/US Active Military with ID
$10.00/Florida teacher with ID
$5.00/children 6-17 and college students with ID
Free/children 5 and under, members and current students at FSU, USF, SCF, NCF, RCAD and Eckerd College with ID
Tours and entrance to the Ca’ d’Zan are extra.

The Ringling is a state-of-the art museum established in 1927 as the legacy of circus impresario John and Mable Ringling for the people of Florida. The 150,000 square foot property includes the art museum, circus museum and Tibbals Learning Center complete with a miniature circus, the Ca’ d’Zan, the Ringling’s mansion, Mable Ringling’s rose garden, the secret garden, the historic Asolo Theater, the FSU Center for Performing Arts and more.

Free Mondays – Year Round
When: Mondays
Cost: Free

Every Monday the Museum of Art, including special exhibition galleries are free to the public. Regular admission pricing applies if you wish to visit the Circus Museum or Ca’ d’Zan.

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live – Saturday, September 22, 2018
When: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Cost: Free

This is an annual event in which participating museums from across the country open their doors for free to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket. Get your ticket here

Family Saturdays – October 6, 2018 – May 4, 2019
When: First and third Saturday of most months at 10:30am
Cost: $5 gives one child and up to two adults access to the featured venue for the day. Free for members.

Each month, the Ringling will set up interactive stations throughout one of the museum’s venues. Families are free to move through these stations at their own pace to enjoy, play, and learn together as a family. 

Each ticket will admit one child and up to two adults. All participants must check-in at the Children’s Welcome center, where tickets will be redeemed for wristbands and a map explaining the day’s activities. The wristbands will allow all participants access the featured venue for the remainder of the day.

Stroller Tours – Year Round
When: The last Tuesday of each month at 10:00am
Cost: $2 gives one child and up to two adults access to the featured venue for the day. Free for members.

Join a Museum educator for a one-hour tour designed for parents or caregivers visiting the museum with an infant. This tour allows for adult discussion within a group that does not mind if a chatty or crying baby joins the conversation. Strollers or front baby carriers only, please.

Homeschool Third Thursday – During School Year
When: Third Thursdays at 10:30am
Cost: Free. Pre-Registration required.

This is a special day designed just for homeschool families. Facilitated stations designed to engage different age levels will be set up throughout the Museum of Art. Families are free to move through these stations at their own pace to enjoy and learn together as a family.

Please note: Each theme is offered for 2 months, so pick the date that works best for your family. Registration for each program will open on the 1st of each month and close when capacity is met. There is a limit of 2 adults per family, additional adults will be asked to purchase Museum Admission.

September 20 – Art Elements
October 18 – Art Elements
November 15 – Grounds and Gardens *weather permitting*
January 17 – Grounds and Gardens *weather permitting*
February 21 – Knights in Shining Armor
March 21 – Knights in Shining Armor
April 18 – Circus
May 16 – Circus

Indoor Activities Guide Sarasota

South Florida Museum

Hours: 10:00am – 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday, 12:00 – 5:00pm Sundays
Admission: $19.00/adults
$17.00/seniors 65+
$14.00/children 4-12
Free/children 0-3, members, Florida teachers and Active US Military with ID

The South Florida Museum is the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Featuring fossil evidence of Florida’s earliest marine and mammal inhabitants and archaeological materials representing Paleo-Indian, archaic, and pre-contact cultures, as well as local history and creative exhibitions, visitors of all ages find something to love at the South Florida Museum. The Museum also features an all-digital Planetarium and a Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium. At the South Florida Museum, you can learn about the world around you – land, sky, and sea – through the lens of Florida’s natural sciences.

Insider Tip: Click here to receive $1.00 off admission for up to 6 guests.

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live – Saturday, September 22, 2018
When: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Cost: Free

This is an annual event in which participating museums from across the country open their doors for free to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket. Get your ticket here

Family Night at the Museum – Year Round
When: First Saturday of most months from 3:00 – 8:00pm
Cost: $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+), $7 for children age 4-7, free for members and children 3 and under.

On the first Saturday of most months the Museum stays open late for an evening of family fun! Every month there is a different theme with hands-on activities and special films or performances beginning at 3pm. You can also enjoy an additional manatee presentation, specially scheduled Planetarium shows, and the Rock Hall of Fame show at 7:15 pm (unless otherwise noted).

KidSpace – Year Round
When: Second and Fourth Saturday of each month from 10:15 – 11:00am
Cost: $3 for members, $5 for non-members

KidSpace is a program for kids who want to explore everything there is to know about space and become Masters of the Universe. Unleash the awesome power of the Bishop Planetarium, taking off from Earth’s surface and flying to places no human has gone before: the Sun, the planets, other moons of our solar system, newly discovered solar systems in our galaxy and beyond. KidSpace is designed for kids in elementary school (grades 1-5), and their grown-ups.

iQuest – Year Round
When: Second Saturday of most months from 4:00 – 8:00pm
Cost: $5 per child, kids only! Admission includes slice of pizza and a drink.

IQuest is a monthly program for middle school students in grades 6-8. While each iQuest is different, you can always expect challenging projects and games that inspire out-of-the-box solutions to real world problems.

Indoor Activities Guide Sarasota

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Hours: 10:00am – 5:00pm Daily
Admission: $22.00/adults 13+
$16.00/children 3-12
Free/children 0-2

Mote Aquarium is a working aquarium that gives you an up-close experience with a variety of marine animals and fish, including two touch tanks and a 135,000 gallon shark habitat. You can also witness their scientific research as it happens in viewable working laboratories. Be sure to say hi to some of their star residents like manatees Hugh and Buffet and the sea turtles, Hang Tough, Harry, Shelley, Montego and Squirt 2. Your kids will be able to see sting rays, sea otters, jellyfish, octopus and more than 100 species of marine life.

$7 Saturdays in September for Florida Residents
When: Septebmer 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2018
Cost: $7.00. Valid for up to 4 people in a party.

Florida residents can discover the wonders of Mote Aquarium for $7 every Saturday this September! This promotion helps Mote thank our community for supporting their organization throughout the years with this reduced admission price. Part of their mission is not only to conduct groundbreaking research, but also to give back to our community that has given so much to them. Proof of Florida residency is required for at least one person, but is not necessary for all party members.

*Please note: This promotion is not available through online ticketing. Offer must be redeemed at time of visit.*

Indoor Activities Guide Sarasota

Sarasota Classic Car Museum

Hours: 9:00am – 6:00pm, Monday through Sunday
Admission: $12.95/adults
$10.85/seniors 62+
$7.25/children 6-12
Free/children 5 and under 

The Sarasota Classic Car Museum is recognized as the second oldest continuously operating antique car museum in the Nation. As you stroll through the museum, travel back in time and into the future of man’s greatest invention, the automobile! Antique, exotic, European and one-of-a-kind classics are featured in our rotating exhibits throughout the museum, seven days a week.

Insider Tip: Click here for a $1.00 off coupon for up to 6 people

Playground Free Cheap Guide Sarasota

Indoor Playgrounds

The Mall at University Town Center

On the lower level of the mall, near Dillard’s, there’s an indoor play area sponsored by Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. Soft and squishy play pieces such as an Ambulance, Nurse Shark and Doctor Ray provide plenty of sliding, climbing and jumping opportunities for kids. There’s even an enormous stethoscope that makes heartbeat noises when kids step on it.

Insider Tip: This play area is closed every day at 2:00pm for cleaning, so avoid that hour.

Westfield Sarasota Square

A bright, colorful Play Space near Sears is filled with large puzzles and animal characters so kids can exercise their minds and bodies. And a Family Lounge near the food court features toys, TV programs, private nursing areas and baby changing stations.


STEMania is a science, technology, math, art and engineering wonderland that aims to create a 5C community – foster curiosity, inspire creativity, stimulate challenges, encourage collaboration and generate connections.

The following youth options are available at STEMania:

STEM Academy Classes – Year Round
When: Various days and times, check website for specifics
Cost: Drop-In Class Fee – $20.00, Multi-class memberships also available
Ages: 3-12 years old

Children age 3-12 can join classes that offer hands on STEM learning. They’ll start with a class activity, followed by a class demonstration and then a team activity. Classes feature themes like Dino Safari, Robots and A.I., Construction Junction, Funny Money and more! Topics and lessons change every week, so be sure to check their website for more details.

Spotlight Innovation Labs
When: Select nights at 6:00pm
Cost: $20.00
Ages: 5- 14 years old

Have your child experiment with Lego robotics to create amazing machines in the FIRST Lego League. Or, test out scientific hypotheses through projects during the STEM Fair. Finally, give your a child a chance to pitch their brilliant ideas in front of STEM professionals at a Shark Tank-style Kid-Preneur shop!

Open Play Area – Year Round
When: Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 7:00pm
Cost: $10.00
Ages: 3-5 years old

Drop in with your child and play all day with their stimulating STEM toys and activities at their Idea Zone Stations and Play Area. Plus, have a cup of coffee and a pastry from the Clever Cup Cafe!

Bowling Free Cheap Guide Sarasota


There are two bowling alleys in Sarasota that offer varying rates on games, depending on the day and time. The cheapest options for each are listed below:

AMF Bowling – Sunday Funday is your best bet for cheap bowling. After 6pm on Sundays, bowling is just $2.50 per game and $2.50 for shoes. The next most affordable option is bowling anytime Monday – Thursday or before 4:00pm on Fridays for just $4.09 per game (shoes not included).

Sarasota Lanes – Sunday is cheapest here too. From 9:30am – 1:00pm, you pay just $1.75 per game. Shoe rental is just $2.50 for kids 10 and under, or $4.25 for ages 11 and up. After that, games on Monday, Tuesday and Friday are just $4.25 per game, but check the schedule at the link above as public bowling hours vary by day.

Bouncing & Jumping

If your kids love to bounce, and you don’t want them bouncing off your walls at home, there are plenty of local indoor options!

Bounce Down Under – This Aussie-themed indoor inflatable party and play center offers multiple bounce houses, slides and even an inflated dodgeball/basketball court where little ones can burn off energy. There’s also a separate area set aside for toddlers that includes soft blocks and play houses. Monday through Friday, you’ll pay $10.00 for children 5-13, $8.00 for children 2-4, $5.00 for bouncing children 1 and under, while adults and non-bouncing children are free. They offer Toddler Time during the summer between 9:00 – 10:00am for children 0-5 years only, with normal hours for all children starting at 10:00am. They also offer parents night out on Saturdays from 6 – 10pm for $20 per child, so parents can get a night out too!

Jumpin Fun Sports – Open 7 days a week, they offer bouncing fun for all ages. Rates vary, starting at $13.00 for 1 hour and 15 minutes of jump time. Admission includes open jump court, dodge ball court, foam pit, kids corner (for the littles), basketball, rock climbing, and more!

Skyzone Trampoline Park – This indoor trampoline park provides fun for ALL ages, starting at 60 minutes for $12.00 for kids 3-4 years old or $16 for ages 5+ (2 and under are free with adult admission). And they have more than just trampolines. Your family can enjoy Sky Joust, Foam Zone, Dodgeball, Tug of War, Sky Slam and more! Check out their full list of attractions here

Indoor Activity Go Kart Sarasota


Livingston’s – With over 50,000 square feet of state of the art fun, Livingston’s is the ultimate place to be entertained. Ride the Go Karts for just $9.00 each race (passengers riding with parents are free!), Bumper Cars for $7.50 per ride, play Bazooka Ball (glow-in-the-dark dodgeball) for $9.00 per person, load up your rechargeable power card with $10 and hit the Arcade, or play a round of Pool for just $3.95 per person per hour.

Saturn 5 Family Entertainment Center – Suit up for laser tag starting at $7.00 per person for 5 minutes, play 18 holes of blacklight mini golf for just $5.00 per person, run the inflatable obstacle course for $3.00 per person, or load up an Arcade Game Card and play unlimited games for just $12.00 an hour!


Many gymnastics clubs set aside open gym or drop-in time during the week when kids of various ages can enjoy non-structured free time in the gym, exploring the equipment. Here are a few you might want to check out:

Acro Fit: Family Play – August 13 – November 2, 2018 
When: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 10:30am – 11:15am
Cost: $5.00 per child
Ages: Walking to 4 years

Acro Fit: General Gymnastics – August 13 – November 2, 2018 
When: Saturdays from 10:45am – 11:45am
Cost: $15.00 for one child, $10.00 each sibling
Ages: Boys age 4-5, Girls age 4-11 years old

Acro Fit: Tumble Class – August 13 – November 2, 2018 
When: Fridays from 5:30pm -6:30pm
Cost: $15.00 for one child, $10.00 each sibling
Ages: Girls age 8-14 years only

Evo Athletics: Toddler Open Gym – Year Round
When: Wednesdays from 11:00am – 12:00pm and Fridays from 5:45 – 6:45pm
Cost: $10 per child
Ages: Walking to 4 years old

Evo Athletics: Youth Open Gym (Now Includes Ninja!) – Year Round
When: Fridays from 7:30 – 9:30pm
Cost: $15 per child
Ages: 5 to 18 years old

Kids Super Gym: Summer Morning Drop-In Classes – June 6 – August 9, 2018
When: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 – 11:50am
Cost: $10.00 per class, or purchase a punch card of 5 classes for $50 and the 6th class is free.
Ages: 18 months to 4 years old

Lakewood Ranch Gymnastics: Daytime Open Gym – Year Round
When: Wednesdays from 11:00am – 12:00pm
Cost: $7.00
Ages: 18 months to 18 years. Parents must be present in the gym with children 5 and under.

Lakewood Ranch Gymnastics: Evening Open Gym – Year Round
When: Saturdays from 6:30 – 8:30pm
Cost: $10.00 for members/$12.00 for non-members
Ages: 18 months to 18 years. Parents must be present in the gym with children 5 and under.

Insider Tip: Fill out the form on their home page to get a free pass to open gym (one coupon good per family).

Indoor Activities Guide Gymnastics Sarasota

South Florida Gymnastics: Open Gym – Year Round
When: Fridays from 7:00 – 9:00pm
Cost: $10.00 per person
Ages: 5-18 years

South Florida Gymnastics: Homeschool Open Gym – Year Round
When: Fridays from 1:00 – 3:00pm
Cost: $10.00 per person
Ages: 5-18 years

South Florida Gymnastics: Back Handspring Clinic – Year Round
When: Fridays from 5:00 – 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00 per person
Ages: 5-18 years

South Florida Gymnastics: Cartwheel and Handstand Clinic – Year Round
When: Fridays from 4:00 – 5:00pm
Cost: $10.00 per person
Ages: 5-18 years

YMCA Frank G. Berlin, Sr Branch: Open Gym – Year Round
When: Fridays from 5:00 – 7:00pm
Cost: $10.00 per person
Ages: 6+

Insider Tip: You don’t need to be a member of the YMCA to participate!


Astro Skate Family Fun Center – The cheapest option here is Dollar Skate on Sundays from 3:00 – 5:00pm. Skate rental fees are $2.00 for regular skates, $3.00 for rollerblades and $5.00 for skate trainers. After that, prices range from $5.00 – $9.99 per person plus skate rental depending on the day and time. Check their schedule for Tiny Tots, Hip Hop Skate, Tween Night, Free Pizza Night and more!

Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex – Ellenton Ice offers a public skating price of $10.00 per person, $8.00 for seniors 55+ and free for children 2 and under, with a $5.00 ice skating rental fee. Click the link to check their schedule for public session days and times.


Kerri Berri Kids Yoga – Year Round
When: Various Dates and Times, Check Schedule for Specifics
Cost: $5.00 for members, $10 for non-members

Come practice yoga! Breathing exercises, games, yoga poses and meditation!

Indoor Activities Guide Story Time Sarasota


Whole Foods – 10:00am
Cost: Free

Did you know your favorite grocery store also offers a story time for your kiddos? Every Tuesday, kids aged 2 to 5 are invited to hear a story read by a team member on the store’s front patio, while you sip your coffee. Parental supervision is requested.

Learning Express Toys – 11:00am
Cost: Free

Each week a different theme is explored through the stories and some weeks include an accompanying craft. The books are recommended for children aged 1.5 to 5. Check out their calendar to see if there’s a theme your kiddo would be interested in.

Wednesdays & Saturdays

Barnes & Noble – 11:00am
Cost: Free

Join for story time followed by an activity and/or craft. To find out if your child’s favorite story is going to be featured, check out their events calendar. Or just show up and discover a new favorite story! 

Thursdays & Fridays

ROAR! Ringling Order of Art Readers – 10:30am
Cost: Free, but tickets must be picked up in the Visitor’s Pavilion the morning of the program.

Come to The Ringling this summer for ROAR! They offer two choices of books – one geared for children ages 0 to 3, the other for ages 4 to 6 – for your family to choose between. After the stories, both groups will meet up to complete an art project together in the classroom.


Goodwill Manasota Bookstores – 11:00am
Cost: Free

Goodwill is now offering a Good Reader Program! One Saturday a month at various Bookstore locations, a book ambassador will read the children a story. Afterward, each child will have the opportunity to take a book home with them. Stories are geared to kids aged 5 to 8.  Check their website to see which store is offering the program this month.

ROAR For Big Kids! – 10:30am
Cost: $2 gives one child and up to two adults access to the featured venue for the day.

This special ROAR series designed for older children, aged 5 to 7, takes place during Family Fun Saturdays at The Ringling, the first Saturday of each month. In this special series, children and their caregivers will visit a museum venue and read a story in the museum followed by an art activity. 

Various Days

Sarasota County Libraries and Manatee County Libraries
Cost: Free

We are fortunate in Sarasota and Manatee counties to have multiple libraries that are family friendly. Most of the libraries include a children’s area with bookshelves at just the right height for kids, and puzzles and toys for your family to interact with. The libraries in our area also put on a ton of events for kids during the week and on Saturdays, including story time. During family story time at the library, your children will read books, sing songs, watch puppet shows, hear from special guests and even do yoga! Check out their events calendars using the links above for specific dates and times at your local library.

Know of other fun indoor activities?

Submit them to Vivian at [email protected]

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