School may well be under way, but that doesn’t mean that the summer fun has to end! While you can continue to enjoy pools and beaches and playgrounds, September is a happening month for Sarasota events. Sarasota and Manatee counties offer wonderful festivals, special events and weekly/daily activities for kids, adults or both.
Here is a list of some of the many Sarasota events going on. This is just a sample of some of the most interesting, including weekly activities that help your kids exercise their minds and bodies, as well as special events that range from international regattas to hands-on workshops, deals at museums, a memorial to the beloved late Snooty and more. Please let us know if you know of something that should be added!
Admission to the art museum is free every Monday. The outdoor grounds, though, are free every day from 10am-5pm. There you can have fun in the playground, which has a water/sand area; search for hidden outdoor sculptures; explore the many scenic nooks and gardens; have a picnic along the bayfront; and take photos of your children in the beautiful grounds.
Tuesdays: Woodland Community Church Playgroup
Visit the church’s kid space for a free weekly playgroup from 9am to noon. A large gymnasium is filled with toys and activities, a separate room has a new treehouse-style play area, and there is story time as well. The playgroup follows the Manatee County Schools calendar, and is closed when school is not in session.
Each week, kids (ages 5 and under) will create a pottery piece (to be picked up later) or canvas project as well as a pre-k appropriate craft that they may take home the same day. After the arts and crafts are complete, a story will be read. Cost is $12 unless otherwise stated. Space is limited and reservations receive priority. Begins at 10am at Arts A Blaze Studio in Lakewood Ranch.
Saturdays in September: $6 Saturdays at Mote Marine
All month, both kids and adults who are Florida residents can visit Mote Marine for a discounted ticket price of $6. Kids under 3 are free.
Saturdays in September: South Florida Museum KidSpace
This program is for kids who want to explore everything there is to know about space and become Masters of the Universe. From 10:15 – 11 am each Saturday morning, kids will explore 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. Museum members $3, Non-members $5. Tickets can be purchased at the front desk upon arrival or purchase tickets online. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Saturdays and Wednesdays: Children’s Yoga at Pineapple Yoga Studio.
Every Saturday at 1:45-2:30 and every Wednesday at 4-4:45, $10 per child. Also, each month, on the first Sunday of the month (Sept. 3 from 3-5pm, in this case) there will be a 2-hour workshop at Pineapple Yoga Studio for $30 per child or $50 for 2. This is based on Chakras, crystals and yoga. Additionally, a monthly yoga and essential oils workshop will take place at Colonial Oaks Park, with this month’s being Sept. 10, from 4-5pm. And beginning Sept. 11, kids yoga will be held at Circusoul yoga studio from 1:30-2:30 every Monday.
A free family-friendly concert series and block party for the public hosted from 6-9pm on the first Friday of each month. The street is lined with food vendors, beer trucks, and sponsor booths, as well as rides and activities for the kids presented by Grace Community Church. The Ocean Eleven Big Band will get you dancing. Proceeds from the event will benefit a local non-profit organization each event; the recipient this month will be the Chargers Soccer Club.
Bring blankets and chairs and enjoy a free showing of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. Come early to enjoy free popcorn and sodas. The movie starts at dusk at dusk in Sutton Park in Palmetto.
Aug. 26-Sept. 4: Englewood Pioneer Days Festival and Parade
This festival, which is held over Labor Day weekend and beyond, includes a variety of events such as a parade (Sept. 4), Covette car show, a kids dance, live music, cardboard boat race, chalkfest, historical tours and much more.
Sept. 2: Home Depot Kids Workshop
Every month, Home Depot offers a free hands-on workshop for kids and their parents. This month, kids will build a pencil case, perfect for the new school year. Kids will build the case and then decorate it with paint and stickers. Each child gets a project, plus a workshop apron and a certificate of achievement, while supplies last. Bradenton and Sarasota Home Depots participate, as well as others, so please check the website for your local store and to pre-register (not required).
The event is taking place from 5-9 pm, is free to attend, and will feature $10 BYO (Build Your Own) 6-inch kid’s pizza with any toppings they want. For the parents, the beer wall will be stocked with 56 different craft options (additional cost). Oak & Stone wants to give both parents and kids in the surrounding area somewhere to escape the potential craziness that “back-to-school time” can bring.
The South Florida Museum will open its doors to the public for free from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10, for a special day of remembrance for Snooty the manatee. This daylong celebration of Snooty’s life will include a visual tribute to Snooty that will be shown in the Museum’s Bishop Planetarium, opportunities for visitors to help create memorial projects honoring Snooty as well as visit the Parker Manatee Aquarium to learn more about Snooty’s true legacy: the Museum’s Manatee Rehabilitation Program.
The 8-piece funk & soul band return to the Friday Fest stage playing the most popular dance hits from the likes of Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Kool & the Gang, James Brown & more. This family-friendly party also has food and drink vendors. This is held outdoors where families can gather together and kids can play while enjoying the view of the bay, or is moved indoors if it rains. 5-9pm.
Museum Day Live! is an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket. Local participating museums include: Historic Spanish Point, The Ringling, South Florida Museum, and Venice Museum and Archives. Free tickets must be downloaded and printed or presented on a smartphone at the museums. Each ticket admits two people.
Sept. 23: Gorgeous Gatsby Mom Prom
Need a drink, dollface? Sarasota Moms Blog is hosting it’s first annual Mom Night Out in celebration of the blog’s 1st anniversary! Get dolled up in 1920s inspired fashion, indulge in some drinks and appetizers, mingle with other moms, take home a fun goodie bag, and party like it’s the Roaring Twenties! Limited tickets available.
Sept. 23-Oct. 1: 2017 World Rowing Championship at Nathan Benderson Park
For the first time in over 20 years, the World Rowing Championships will return to the United States, this time at Nathan Benderson Park. The championship will host an opening ceremony (Sept. 23) that is free and open to the public, which will include music, live entertainment, food vendors and more. The championship will include daily races through Oct. 1 (tickets required).
Sept. 24: Toddler Time Glow Zone at Sky Zone
Two-hour event for ages 5 and under. White lights are off and the black lights are on for a glowing experience on the trampolines. Toddler music will be playing and face painting will be available for purchase for an extra glowing touch. Toddler must wear neon colored or white shirts, or you can purchase a glow shirt at the event. Reserve tickets in advance; this event typically sells out. $12. Sky Zone also offers toddler time for kids ages 5 and under on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Sept. 30: Free admission to National Parks
National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone on 10 days of the year. The next free admission date is Sept. 30, in honor of National Public Lands Day. The National Parks in Florida that will waive their usual fee include Canaveral National Seashore, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Dry Tortugas National Park, Everglades National Park and Gulf Islands National Seashore. Or, if you are traveling, you can check out other parks around the country too.
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