Now that several festive holidays have come and gone — Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter — what does April bring, besides showers and spring flowers? Well, for one, the snowbirds should be all but gone, so we can reclaim our city, beaches, streets and restaurants! There are even a few Sarasota events celebrating their departure! But there is in fact a holiday in April that is worth celebrating — Earth Day. Plus lots of other fun experiences for the whole family.
Below we have highlighted some of the best Sarasota events this month, including festivals focusing on Earth Day, shark teeth, storytelling, Cajun food, ice hockey, and much more. And keep on scrolling to find some fun weekly activities for you and your kids.
Click on the name of Sarasota each event to learn more.
Special Sarasota Events
April 5-7: Little Sprouts Club at Selby Gardens
The Little Sprouts Club is a family-friendly way to enjoy the beauty of the Gardens. Meet monthly in the Children’s Rainforest Garden as preschool-aged children and families explore rainforest plants and animals through sensory centers, themed art and science activities, stories and free play. Sessions run from 10:30-11:30am, with a snack and story time at 11am.
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 Karen and Jimmy Band will fill the air with R&B, rock, blues and country music, and the DJ will keep you dancing with today’s Top 100 hits. The event will benefit Camelot Community Care.
April 7: Tampa Bay Lightning Watch Party
Cheer on the Tampa Bay Lightning, right here in Lakewood Ranch! A live broadcast of the ice hockey game between the Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes will be shown on Main Street. To add to the excitment of the viewing party, Thunderbug, the Lightning Girls and Cranky the Crane will also be there. The party starts at 5pm; the game, 7pm. Guests can bring their own chairs, but no coolers allowed. Proceeds benefit the Lakewood Ranch YMCA.
April 7: 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 window birdhouse that will allow them to watch birds as they build nests and as eggs hatch. Once the birdhouse is built, your child can 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).
On the First Saturday of every month enjoy programming for families with kids of all ages, with different activities taking place between 10am and 3pm. The April event will focus on the Ringling’s circus legacy. Check out the website (click on event name) for details on these programs and more during the event: Art Making (relating a project to art you can find in the galleries, for all ages); ROAR for Big Kids! (Ringling Order of Art Readers, for ages 5-7); and Kids Quest (Tours with games and activities for ages 8-12).
April 10: Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s
Since 1979, Ben & Jerry’s has thanked its customers for every year of support by offering FREE ice cream around the world! Stop by and choose your favorite scoop at your local shop.
April 13: Pop Tart Nite
Take your whole family out to Sarasota Christian Church for some nonsensical good old fashion fun! You and your children will play silly games, sing silly songs, and laugh until your belly hurts, And of course, eat Pop Tarts. Eat dinner before you come, but leave room for dessert!
April 13: Friday the 13th Skate
Do you love horror movies and consider Friday the 13th a special day? Well celebrate it with a spooky skate party at Astro Skate of Bradenton! If you wear a black shirt, you will receive free pizza for the first hour. If you wear a black shirt and black pants, you will receive free pizza and free soda for the first hour. Plus, there will be a horror movie trivia contest — so brush up on all your favorite scary flicks! 8-11pm.
April 13-15: Venice Shark’s Tooth Festival
The City of Venice has been named the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World” because of the millions of shark teeth that wash up on its sandy white beaches. The Sharks Tooth Festival takes place each spring against the backdrop of Venice’s best shark tooth hunting beach, where fossil collectors from around the Southeast display and sell sharks teeth and other prehistoric fossils. More than 100 artists from around Florida market their original work. Food vendors serve up delicious dishes from seafood to BBQ. Live entertainment is on stage all weekend. Children are entertained with such events as the Sharks Tooth Scramble and Mote Marine’s hands-on exhibit.
Calling all fairies! The Children’s Garden of Sarasota is hosting fairy-themed art classes each month that provide an enchanting hour of make believe entwined in nature, with fairy folklore, magical crafts, gnome juice and pixie play. The April session’s craft will be making whimsical fairy furniture. There will also be a class on May 12, from 10:30-11:30am. Pre-payment and registration is required ($8-$10); not included in general garden admission.
April 14: Storytelling Festival
Celebrate National Library Week with this first-time community event at the Rocky Bluff Library in Ellenton. Fun for all ages, outdoor and indoor! Enjoy continuous on-stage performances by intergenerational storytellers, plus roving minstrels, Sparky the Clown, raffles, popcorn and cookie sales, cornhole games, a hula hoop competition, face painting, hopscotch and book sales. Presented by the Friends of Rocky Bluff Library.
April 14: Cajun Crawfish & Seafood Festival
The Seventh Annual St. Martha Catholic School Cajun Crawfish & Seafood Festival will be held from 11am- 4pm on the grounds of St. Martha Catholic School. There will be Cajun food including crawfish, plus music and entertainment for the whole family!
April 15: April Family Nature Club Meeting
Bring the family to this special Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration commemorating Israel’s 70th year of independence. Enjoy Israeli and other food (falafel, kosher hot dogs, lemonana and chocolate), Israeli wine, folk dancing, obstacle course, games, a kotel where you can write a note to be taken to Israel, and lots more family fun. 4-6pm at the Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota County, 3100 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota. This is a FREE event and all are welcome. Registration is REQUIRED to receive a food ticket.
This is the last market day for the season in Lakewood Ranch and organizers are celebrating with a party! Hang out, shop, eat and celebrate a successful and bountiful first season of The Market with all the vendors! Live music from 3-7pm by southern The Bearded Brothers Band!! Local craft beer and wine from The Market’s wine cellar for sale throughout market hours. Corn hole and games for all ages will be set up on the field, and there is also a playground for kids.
April 18-21: Annie – The Musical
The Sarasota High School Drama Department presents Annie – The Musical. Great Family Fun for all ages! Your kids will love this live theater experience (and a REAL dog named Sandy!) Tickets available online in advance or at the gate! These kids shine like the top of the Chrysler Building!
April 20: Fun To Be Fit Kids – Springtime Class
Fun To Be Fit Kids is a music and movement program for children and their caregivers to attend together. Ms. Adrianne leads kids in song and dance with different themes, and during this session will teach kids about the different seasons. This class will be held from 10:15-11am at Gulf Gate Library, but she hosts classes throughout the Sarasota area on different days. Check her Facebook page for more details.
This new event launches the dragon boat season in Sarasota. Come watch as participants race in 200m, 500m and 2k distances on the Nathan Benderson lake. Festival grounds offer something for everyone. Spectators can take in the action and follow the excitement of racing, while learning about the sport of dragon boat. The Health and Wellness Village will provide participants and spectators with products and services to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Families are invited to bring their children to come spend time at the races and enjoy the outdoors.
April 21: STAR: Storytelling at the Ranch
The Players Centre for Performing Arts Presents STAR: Storytelling at the Ranch – “Mummies in the Morning.” Join characters Jack and Annie from “The Magic Tree House” series as they read some of their favorite stories! Experience the story through a live performance by Jack and Annie themselves, fun activities and a book to take home for your own collection! $15 per person, book included; $10 without book. Reserve your spot by calling 941.365.2494.
April 21: TownieFest III
Celebrate the end of snowbird season, and the beginning of summer with the locals at this Shamrock Pub block party. There will be live reggae music, a Sailor Circus performance, pop-up food joints, beer releases, and more. The streets will be closed for a 3 vs. 3 street soccer tournament as well. This is a free family-friendly event, so take your chairs, tents, friends and family. The fun starts at noon and goes all day.
As part of the Sarasota Film Festival, you can enjoy a free outdoor movie right on the beach. Bring your own chairs or blankets, and set up on Lido Beach across from the Holiday Inn. 7:15-10:15pm. The movie: “A little loggerhead turtle follows in the path of her ancestors on one of the most extraordinary journeys in the natural world. Born on a beach in Florida, she rides the Gulf Stream all the way to the frozen north and ultimately swims around the entire North Atlantic to Africa and back to the beach where she was born.”
April 28-29: Siesta Fiesta
This art festival comes at the end of the “season,” so it serves as an unofficial farewell party for all the snowbirds who are heading back north. This year it will return for its 40th anniversary on Siesta Key. Stroll along the beach while enjoying fine art and handmade crafts from 200 of the nation’s most talented artists and crafters. Showcasing an extensive collection of work ranging from life-size sculptures, spectacular paintings, one-of-a-kind jewels, photography, ceramics and more, this show has something for anyone. Complete with an additional green market, this show also features plants, body products, and tasty dips.
Earth Day Events
April 21: 5th Annual Free Earth Day Festival
The Learning Cottage in Sarasota is celebrating Earth Day with a free festival full of games, crafts, stage shows, raffles, and health and wellness focusing on the green approach our community craves. This year you can take an interactive adventure through biomes and ecosystems: the Arctic tundra, the African savannah, the ocean and the rainforest. There will also be dance, yoga and stretching classes for the whole family. A community meal table, donated by Trader Joe’s, will include delicious, organic and free goodies.
Commemorate Earth Day by celebrating the opening of the newest Lakewood Ranch park, Bob Gardner Community Park. The ribbon cutting will be at 11am, followed by music all day, Frisbee golf demos, caricature artist, exhibits of Gatorland Orlando’s live animals, rock climbing walls, kids scavenger hunts, face painting and much more. Beer and wine for sale, and several food trucks will be on site. All are welcome, including our four-legged friends on leashes. 11am-3pm.
April 21: Earth Day at Oscar Scherer State Park
Free admission to this popular state park in Osprey, from 10am-4pm. The celebration will include Earth friendly vendors, photo contests and exhibits, family focused activities, guided hikes, kayak and paddleboard demonstrations and live music.
Sundays: Free Ski-A-Rees Show
Catch a free waterski show put on by the Ski-A-Rees team, which is made up of a diverse group of amateur performers that spans several decades and several generations. The group performs every Sunday at 2pm in the waterway near the entrance of Mote Marine. You can even sign up to join the organization as a new hobby, to exercise, make friends and be a part of a Sarasota tradition. There are bleacher seats but people can bring their own lawn chairs too. There is free parking and a concession stand to purchase snacks and drinks.
Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays: Toddler Time at Sky Zone
The Toddler Time program offers kids ages 5 and under free run of all open trampoline courts in the park. Toddler Time at Sky Zone is a special time, just for the little ones, where they can explore exciting new ways to be active. One parent can assist for free. Additionally, check out the Glow and Character Toddler Time events held select Toddler Time days.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: Baby Boot Camp
Baby Boot Camp is a stroller fitness group where moms can bring their babies in jogging strollers and exercise in a group setting. After the workouts, children get to play at the park while the moms socialize. The aim is to provide a supportive environment for all mothers to get in shape while developing a sense of community. Classes start at 9:30am.
Tuesdays: Freedom Playgroup
Age appropriate activities for infants through age 4, along with games and group singing. Parents an caregivers can play with their kids, mingle with other adults, and enjoy complementary coffee and snacks. Held at Freedom Christian Church, from 9:15am-11am.
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 with 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.
Wednesdays: Tunnels of Fun at Colonial Oaks Park Gym
Toys and open, unstructured play time for babies to preschoolers, along with their caregivers, is available inside the gym from 9:15-11:45am. Cost is $2/child. Additionally, there is an outdoor playground and shaded picnic tables that are free to use.
Wednesdays and Saturdays: 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 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. Kids yoga will also be held at Circusoul yoga studio from 1:30-2:30 every Monday.
Thursdays and Fridays: ROAR: Ringling Order or Art Readers
Stories and illustrations are often a child’s first exposure to the joy of reading and the wonder of art. ROAR! is The Ringling’s family story time designed to engage toddlers and preschoolers in activities that connect art with early literacy. Stop by for a story and an accompanying activity. This program is free but now requires a free ticket that can be picked up in the Visitors Pavilion the morning of the program. Starting in 2018, the program has expanded to Thursdays too and is held every week. A similar program, ROAR for Big Kids, is held on the first Saturday of the month (next one is Feb. 3). There is plenty of other family programming too.
Faith Early Learning Center hosts a weekly stay and place class at its Sarasota school. This class focuses on large body gross motor play. Each session will celebrate a different body awareness activity designed to get your child moving. Come jump, dance, dribble, balance, run, and more. $10/class per family. For toddler through 4-year-olds and their caregivers. 10-11am.
Saturdays (first and third Saturdays of each month): KidSpace at the South Florida Museum
Are your kids obsesses with outer space and beyong? KidSpace is a program for kids who want to explore everything there is to know about space and become Masters of the Universe. From 10:15 – 11am on the first and third Saturday mornings, your kids can help unleash the 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. Museum members, $3; Non-members, $5. Space is limited. Admission to the museum is not included, other than for members.
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.
O’Brien Family Farms dedicates a ½ acre for hydroponically grown fruits and vegetables that are available for u-pick. Strawberry season is wrapping up, but you can still pick strawberries until they are gone, for only $1 per pound. Blueberry picking season has begun too! O’Brien Family Farms also has 5 acres of row crops grown next to the farm stand that are picked fresh daily for the stand and available for you to purchase. And they have an educational center to learn about how a farm works and a retail store where you can purchase snacks and drink to enjoy there as well. Check website as sometimes the hours and produce available change.
Want to be featured in our next month’s guide? Submit your event here: https://sarasota.citymomsblog.com/calendar-submission/
Our Monthly Sarasota Events Guide is Sponsored by State27Homes.com.
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