Looking to avoid the clogged roads and theme park lines to stay home this Spring Break? Here are some ideas to turn your Spring Break into a fun-filled Sarasota staycation. There’s so much to see and do in the area, get out there and enjoy this time of year!
Top 10 Ideas for a Sarasota Staycation
1. A Day at the Beach
Spring Break season is one of the busiest times of year for the Gulf Coast so you may want to head to the beach early to secure your spot. Don’t forget your sunscreen, umbrella, and snacks! There are so many beautiful beaches that it can be hard to choose. Here are a few different options to explore:
Anna Maria Island: The north end has many beach access points. Just make sure to park with your tires off of the road in the city of Anna Maria, and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. In Holmes Beach, the Manatee Public Beach offers showers, facilities, restaurant, and plenty of parking. Coquina Beach on the south end also offers facilities, a restaurant, and parking as well.
Longboat Key: This island is just south of Anna Maria, and it offers beach access along the Gulf of Mexico. For a kid-friendly adventure park along N. Shore Rd and walk to the north end of the island through the driftwood. Check out the rope swings and wildlife while catching glimpses of the sea life in the channel.
Lido Beach: Just beyond St. Armands Circle is Lido Beach. It offers concessions, restrooms, and it has nearby parking also.
Siesta Key: Siesta offers fantastic beaches that are accessible from either the north or south bridge. Siesta Beach is centrally located, and Turtle Beach is on the south end. Both offer the opportunity for play and exploration. Siesta Beach offers concession, restrooms, and showers as well.
2. Take a Hike
If saltwater and sand are not your thing, Manatee and Sarasota counties offer trails and preserves to explore. A few to check out are Emerson Point Preserve, Desoto National Memorial, Legacy Trail, and the Celery Fields. Turn it into an adventure with the kids by incorporating a nature scavenger hunt! If biking is your thing, park at the Venice Train Depot and bike along the water to Caspersen Beach. Don’t forget a small container if you stop to search for sharks teeth!
3. Explore a State Park
Pack up the backpacks, water, and sunscreen and let the kids explore! Myakka River State Park, Oscar Scherer State Park, Little Manatee River State Park, and Lake Manatee State Park are all easily accessible to Sarasota and Manatee counties. Myakka River offers a canopy walk above the trees, as well as boat tour to view the alligators in the lake. The other parks offer hiking trails, picnic areas, and lots of opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Grab the life jackets, sunscreen, and kayaks and make your own eco-tour. Drop in your kayaks to Palma Sola Bay, South Lido Park, Neville Preserve, or Little Sarasota Bay. Make sure to bring your camera as you can often see local wildlife along your journey.
No kayak? No Problem! Check out these local rental companies who can help you plan your day.
5. Watch a Game
Spring offers quite a few opportunities for local sporting events. Spring training games are going on throughout the month of March. Check out the schedule at LECOM Park or Ed Smith Stadium for game times.
6. Farmer for a Day
Manatee and Sarasota counties have some great local farms. Take a day and plan to visit one and pick your own fruit, or learn how a farm works. Hunsaders Farm, Dakin Dairy, Mixon Fruit Farm, and O’Brien Family Farms all offer family fun. Check out which one you want to explore and then get ready for a great experience.
7. Take in a Show
Spring is a great time to let yourself and your children be entertained. Check the show schedules for the children’s theater at Florida Studio Theater, and then prepare to be amazed at the quality of the entertainment. Looking for more adventure? Check out Circus Sarasota for performances sure to engage even the youngest family members.
8. Get Creative
Looking to create something together but not wanting to make a mess at home? Check out the Cookie Cottage. With drop-in decorating times, you can have sweet treats and a clean kitchen at the same time!
Arts a Blaze offers kid-friendly events as well as walk-in times to create memorable art pieces together.
9. Visit a Museum
Need a day out of the sun? The Sarasota area offers many family-friendly museums. Pack up the kids and head to one of these local museums.
The Ringling. The circus museum at the Ringling provides a hands-on experience, and the playground is nearby as well.
Mote Marine provides opportunities for families to view and interact with animals. The hands-on fossil dig is always a favorite.
The South Florida Museum offers an opportunity to view manatees as well as explore the Florida ecosystem. The Planetarium offers daily family-friendly shows that explore the wonder of space.
10. Get Wild
Looking for more wildlife? You’re in luck! Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Big Cat Habitat, and Mixon Fruit Farm are all local attractions that allow you to interact with rescued wildlife. All three offer daily shows, so be sure to check their websites for show times, then enjoy your day!
Enjoy your spring break and be sure to let us know what activities your family enjoyed!