Everything from the landscape to the skyline will see some exciting changes during the month of March, thanks to a variety of Sarasota events. From hot air balloons dotting the sky, to Easter eggs scattered across the grass, carnival rides whirring in the night, fairy houses hidden among the trees, Irish music livening up the streets, and the scent of berry goodness filling the air — March is a month that will surely please all of your senses.
Here is a list of some Sarasota events that we consider highlights for the month. We will have separate event guides for Easter celebrations and St. Patrick’s Day activities for you to check out soon, too! And make sure to scroll further down to check out some weekly activities to keep you and your kids entertained and active.
*Click on the name of each Sarasota event or activity to learn more.*
Special Sarasota Events
March 1-3: 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. Soulcoaster will fill the air with classic rock, disco and country, while a DJ plays today’s top hits. The event will benefit the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance.
March 3: My Hometown Fest 2018
Enjoy samples of regional food favorites prepared by more than 40 of the area’s finest restaurants, free craft beer samples from around the country — including Southwest Florida’s own Big Top Brewing Company, Darwin Brewing Company and Taproom, Motorworks Brewing and Naughty Monk Brewery — and lots of great music from top local bands, including Twinkle and Rock Soul Radio and the Dr. Dave Band. Plus, there will be plenty of family-friendly activities like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kids Zone, stand-up paddleboard and kayak demos and more. Members of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Rays are expected to be there as well! General admission tickets, which include food, music and craft beer samples: $40; Food and music (no beer), $25. Kids 12 and under are free. Proceeds benefit the Sertoma of Greater Sarasota and Sertoma Kids, Inc.
Come meet the Pittsburgh Pirates while they are in town for spring training! The team is holding the 12th annual Pirate Fest at LECOM Park in Bradenton. Bring the family to get free player autographs, games, prizes and more just outside the ballpark on 9th street from 10am-12:30pm. The event is free and open to the public — and a good opportunity for kids to dress up like pirates if they wish! Tickets are required for the 1:05pm game against the Phillies.
March 3: 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 periscope to expand their view, and can use to pretend they are in a submarine or pirate ship using an above-water viewfinder. Once the periscope 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 February event will focus on “People in Art.” 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).
Enter the magical world of fairies! Search for all the little fairy houses that have popped up throughout 30 acres at Historic Spanish Point. You can build and enter your own fairy house in the competition, or just visit them all. There will also be enchanted garden walks, musical performances, games, crafts, food and more. Fairy costumes are encouraged! Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. Admission to the fairy festival is included in general admission tickets: Adults, $12; Kids 5-12, $5; Under 5, free.
March 3-4, 10-11, 17-18: Berry Fest
It’s berry season! So why not celebrate it with a Berry Fest at Fruitville Grove?? Bring your family and your appetite for strawberry shortcakes, fresh strawberry milkshakes, homemade berry pastries, orange dreamsicle soft serve, hand-dipped blueberry cheesecake ice cream, organic strawberry lemonade and kettle corn. There will also be craft booths, face painting, a rock wall, bounce house, mini train rides, a kids Easter egg hunt (1pm on Saturdays), a pie eating contest (1pm on Sundays), and baby animals.
March 8-11: Sarasota Balloon Festival
Hot air balloons will be soaring over Sarasota — and you could be on them! The event is a combination of mass balloon ascents, competition flying, static displays and tethered rides. It will also have a carnival with a variety of rides, and a kids zone for younger children, with inflatables, pony rides, a petting zoo and more. Admission is free; parking is $15 (in advance) or $20 (at the gate). Tethered balloon flights are $20 and are paid for on the spot; Full rides are $250 and must be booked online in advance. All balloon activity is subject to weather conditions.
March 9: Spring Kite Festival
The Mangrove School of Sarasota is hosting a kite flying meetup. Bring your homemade or store-bought kites and help transform the sky into a colorful, dancing mosaic. Meet near the yellow lifeguard stand on Siesta Key Beach at 10am for kite flying, sand castle building and nature exploration.
March 10: Irish Celtic Festival
Pull out those green clothes and your “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirts, and celebrate your Irish heritage (or pretend you’re Irish for the day!) at the Irish Celtic Festival in Lakewood Ranch. There will be a Lucky Dog Parade, Irish Spirits Relay Race, a Pot of Gold Scavenger Hunt, traditional Irish and Celtic food and drinks, artisan booths and other entertainment at Adventure Park. Free admission.
- Additional St. Patrick’s Day events and celebrations will soon be published in another event guide.
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 March session’s craft will be painting fairy houses. There will also be classes on April 14 and May 12, from 10:30-11:30am. Pre-payment and registration is required ($8-$10); not included in general garden admission.
Join Nathan Benderson Park and The Mall at UTC for a free screening of “Beauty and the Beast.” The event will be held on Regatta Island, so make sure to bring your lawn chairs and blankets. The movie will start at sunset, and drinks and snacks will be available for cash purchase from Tijuana Flats. This event is dog-friendly but please keep your dog on a leash and make sure to pick up after them. Gates open at 5pm; parking is free on the island.
March 16-25: Sarasota Agricultural Fair
Fair food and farm animals — all at the 82nd annual Sarasota County fair! Learn about farm life through exhibits, shows and competitions focusing on agriculture and animals, plus enjoy entertainment on two stages, arts and crafts, comedy shows, carnival rides, Kachunga and the Alligator Show, and, of course, traditional fair treats and goodies.
March 24: EGGstravaganza at Lakewood Ranch
The annual EGGstravaganza is the longest running egg hunt in Lakewood Ranch — and it is open to the public. There will be more than 22,000 eggs spread across the field at Adventure Park, separated into age groups to maximize the thrill of scooping up eggs. The Easter Bunny will also make an appearance! There will be face painting, balloon art, music, refreshments and more. Open to ages 2-13 with their families, $5 per person.
- Additional Easter events and celebrations will be published soon in another event guide.
Spark your little one’s creativity by encouraging their imagination at Imagination Day at Westfield Sarasota Square. Geared to benefit We Rock the Spectrum – Tampa, Imagination Day is a fun-filled day of hands-on activities, including science labs, rock painting, dancing, an ocean exhibit and more.
March 30: 2018 Hernando De Soto Children’s Parade
This year’s children’s parade has a theme of “Creatures Under the Sea.” Cheer on the floats from the sidelines and pick your favorites to see if they match up to the recipients of the “Best Performance,” “Best Cheerleading Performance,” and non-float “School Spirit” awards. The parade starts at 10am at the fairgrounds and ends at Sutton Park in Palmetto.
The Sarasota Police Department will host a free viewing of “The Emoji Movie” on the west end lawn of the police department headquarters. Complimentary drinks and snacks will be provided, but please bring your own blankets and chairs, and invite your friends. The lawn will open at 7pm, and the movie will begin at 8pm.
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 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.
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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