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Sarasota Events in January for the SRQ Mom

Happy New Year from all of us at Sarasota Moms Blog, to all of you! We wish you all the best in 2018 — good health, love, happiness and lots of family fun!

With this new year comes new Sarasota events to keep you and your families entertained.

Things have calmed down a bit in Sarasota, now that the fall festivals and holiday activities have come and gone. Actually, there are still a couple holiday events for those die-hard festive people (like me!) who don’t want to see the Christmas trees, lights, music, and décor go just yet. And there are plenty of other things to do in January! Sarasota events for this month include fairs and festivals revolving around food, culture, and arts and crafts, plus outdoor movies, museum programs, and more. Plus, we also included some favorite daily and weekly activities.

*Please click on the name of each Sarasota event to learn even more about each program.*

Daily/Weekly Activities

Picking the last strawberries at the end of strawberry season. But strawberry season has just begun, so there are plenty to pick at O’Brien Family Farm!

Daily: U-Pick Strawberries at O’Brien Family Farms 

O’Brien Family Farms dedicates a ½ acre for hydroponically grown fruits and vegetables that are available for u-pick. Strawberry season has begun, so grab a bag or bucket and trek through the rows picking your favorite ones. 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.

Daily: Free admission to Ringling Museum      

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. 

Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays: Toddler Time at Sky Zone

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-based 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. The group also has monthly playdates and parents night out. Classes start at 9:30am. First class is free.

Tuesdays: Freedom Playgroup

Age appropriate activities for infants through age 4, along with games and group singing. Parents and caregivers can play with their kids, mingle with other adults, and enjoy complimentary 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.

Tuesdays: Preschool Craft and Story Time at Arts A Blaze Studio

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 two. This is based on Chakras, crystals, and yoga. 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 (except not on Jan. 3 and 4 due to the holiday 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.

Special Events

Jan. 1-15: Holidays on the Green

Deck the Halls at Ca’ d’Zan — Still open for one more date for those of you who don’t want the holiday season to end!

Visit the outdoor area at the Mall at University Town Center for ice skating, train rides, live music, Christmas tree displays, movies and more. Check website for hours, costs and varying activities. 

Jan. 4:  Deck the Halls at Ca’ d’Zan

The mansion at the Ringling Museum will be decked out in glamorous holiday decorations, including multiple Christmas trees with a variety of elegant themes. Explore the beautiful grounds and festive mansion during extended hours in the evening, when the lights truly twinkle. 5-8pm.

Jan. 4-6: Little Sprouts Club at Selby Gardens
The Little Sprouts Program 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 snack and story time at 11am. 

Jan. 5: Music on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch

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. Robin & The Retros will get you dancing to rock, funk, and soul music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Proceeds from the event will benefit a local non-profit organization each event; the recipient this month will be the CMHS Cor Unum Lacross.

Jan. 6: 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 wooden block calendar for the new year. Kids will build the calendar 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).

Jan. 6: Family Night at South Florida Museum — “The Five Senses — and Beyond”

On the first Saturday of most months, the museum stays open late for an evening of family fun at a reduced admission price. 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 7:15pm (unless otherwise noted). This month’s theme is “The Five Senses — and Beyond,” in reference to Edwin Hubble saying we explore the world with our five senses and call the adventure “science.” Tickets: $7-$9. Kids ages 3 and under are free.

Jan. 6: NBP Community Movie Night: “Moana”

Join the Sarasota Film Festival at Nathan Benderson Park for a free screening of Disney’s Moana! The event will be held on Regatta Island, so make sure to bring your lawn chairs and blankets. The movie will start at sunset (roughly 6pm), and drinks and snacks will be available for cash purchase. This event is dog-friendly, but please keep your dog on a leash and make sure to pick up after them. Gates open at 4:30pm. Free parking on the island.

Jan. 11: The Princess Bride at the JDubs Beer Garden

This family and dog-friendly brewery hosts a movie night at 7pm every 2nd Thursday of the month. This month’s showing is “The Princess Bride.” They recommend bringing a lawn chair or blanket to get comfortable in front of the 12-foot movie screen. The usual beer garden tables are available too. Spend time with your family enjoying an outdoor movie, paired with snacks, dinner, dessert, and, for the adults, local beer.

Jan. 11-21: Manatee County Fair

 The fair is a showcase for the best of Manatee County. This year’s fair features exciting exhibits and vendors, livestock shows and auctions, competitions, a thrill-packed midway, a variety of great entertainment and fair food — all packed into ten days and nights. 

Jan. 13: Winnie the Pooh Tea Party at the Children’s Garden

Celebrate Winnie The Pooh’s birthday with a scavenger hunt through 100 Acre Woods at the Children’s Garden. Kids will have a tigger-ific time listening to a beloved Pooh tale, making a craft, and playing in the garden. When your tummy gets rumbly, enjoy a yummy cupcake and a cup of tea. It’s a party, so bring your favorite bear for this grand adventure. Each person attending must have their own ticket. The cost is $10 plus tax.

Jan. 19-21: 11th Annual Sarasota Native American Indian Festival

This festival brings authentic Native American culture to the Sarasota area. Experience the artistry, dance, music, and food of many Native American tribes, and browse and shop for handmade, authentic fine arts and crafts, paintings, pottery, jewelry, sculptures, beadwork and leather items.

Jan. 20-21: 3rd Annual Sarasota Seafood and Music Festival

At Sarasota Seafood and Music Festival, hungry festivalgoers will flock to enjoy a delicious array of seafood ranging from Cajun-style crawfish to raw bars. Over the course of two days, thousands will enjoy the festival’s beer garden, live music, arts and crafts, and attractions for all ages. Free admission. 10am-6pm.

Jan. 20: Taste of St. Armands

St. Armands Circle Association and Wagner Realty present the 8th annual Taste of St. Armands. The event will showcase 19 St. Armands Circle restaurants as they share a sampling of some of their delicious recipes. There will also be wineries, microbreweries, auctions, raffles, and more. Tickets are $55-65.

Jan. 27: Kids in the Kitchen

The Junior League of Manatee County is hosting Kids in the Kitchen at the Bradenton Farmers Market. Kids will be making a healthy lunch or snack using the fruits and vegetables from the market. The event is free and open to elementary and middle school-aged children. Kids will receive a free lunch bag and recipe to take home with their treat. The event is limited to the first 8 children who arrive and sign up, along with their parents. Please arrive by 11:30am each Saturday to collect the fruits and vegetables from the recipe list! The event will conclude by 1pm. Please meet us at the chef’s table in the middle of the market when you arrive. (Future dates: Feb. 24, March 24)

Want to be featured in our next month’s guide? Submit your event here:  


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