The weather is finally starting to cool down! So take advantage and find some fun outdoor festivals and events to check out with your family or friends. But if you’re now a true Floridian and get cold very easily, there are plenty of indoor activities to choose from too.
Here we have a list of some of the many Sarasota events and activities happening in the month of November, including festivals to kick off the Christmas and holiday season, plus opportunities to honor and remember our veterans on Veteran’s Day.
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.
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 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.
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.
Nov. 2-3: 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 a snack and story time at 11am. Also held on Dec. 7-9, Jan. 4-6.
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. Yesterdayze Band will fill the air with Beatles, Motown, Woodstock, Hendrix & Surf music and the deejay will keep you dancing with today’s Top 100 hits. The event will benefit the Humane Society of Manatee County.
Children ages 3-5 and their families are invited to three exciting, marine science outreach programs led by Mote Marine Laboratory and The Out-of-Door Academy (ODA) in Sarasota County. Through these free educational programs from 10-11 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2017, Feb. 3 and April 14, 2018, participants will learn about marine animals’ survival strategies, about keeping the environment clean, and about how the ocean connects people everywhere. November: Theme – Colors of the Coral Reef; Location – Out-of-Door Academy, Siesta Key campus.
The Village of the Arts presents its most popular First Friday Artwalk weekend of the year – the 13th Annual Festival of the Skeletons. Festival of the Skeletons is a celebration of life as we remember our departed loved ones in the tradition of Dia de Los Muertos. Each year, the Village of the Arts dedicates a community shrine during the festival to an iconic artist or other public figure. This year the Village will honor two beloved southwest Florida icons, Snooty the manatee and musician Gregg Allman. Hours: Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, 11am-4pm. A Gregg Allman tribute concert starts at 7pm on Friday.
Nov. 4: Harvest Fall Festival
The Fall Festival at The Harvest Church is a free event meant to strengthen the community and celebrate good things happening in our lives. The festival will have lots of activities, including bounce houses, a photo booth, trunk-or-treating, aerialist performers, airbrush tattoos, roasted corn and more.
Nov. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19: Sarasota Medieval Fair
Huzzah! Medieval 11th-century England returns to Sarasota! Live the majesty and madness of knights, jesters, minstrels, belly dancers, wenches, and sword swingers. Watch the full contact joust and human combat chess tournaments. Ride rides and play games. Feast on turkey legs and hearty ales from the English pubs. Enjoy Celtic music and the new artisan marketplace with over 100 shops, food, and snack booths. Plus, step into the adventure with this year’s theme with young King Arthur! Each weekend features a full new line-up of different nationally renowned acts, plus returning favorites such as the Washing Well Wenches, Wheel of Death, the Human Combat Chess Match, and our returning favorite full-armored full-contact jousting troupe, the Knights of Valour, with tournaments held three times daily. Hours: Three weekends, 10am-5:30pm.
Celebrate Hispanic culture and all it has to offer, including food, music, traditional dances, crafts and more. It’s a great opportunity to sample lots of typical foods from Latin America and Spain. When we went two years ago, we split several dishes in order to try many, including: Peruvian papa a la Huancaina (potatoes in spicy cream sauce), Cuban pan con lechon (pork sandwich), Puerto Rican empanadas, Brazilian flan dessert and much more. This is the 14th year for this event, which is hosted by Saint Jude Catholic Church. Free admission, 10am-6pm; Food, drinks and crafts for sale.
Nov. 10-13: The 10th Annual Sarasota Chalk Festival
Join the Chalk Festival as it hosts the largest gathering of renowned pavement artists in the world as they turn the pavement into a “museum in motion.” The festival also hosts the largest display of 3D pavement anamorphic paintings in one location than any other on the whole planet. These paintings not only trick your eye to see something flat in three dimension but they are interactive too. You are allowed to step onto them and pose as if you are part of the scene. This year the Chalk Festival will celebrate 10-years of chalk with the theme EVANESCENT at the Venice Airport Fairgrounds November 10-13.
Master sculptors from around the country spend three days creating sand masterpieces — some more than 10 feet tall! — with beautiful Siesta Key Sand. You can watch them at work and see their delicate process, then stare in awe at their finished artworks. Other activities include the live music, lessons, food, vendors and more.
Nov. 11-12: Free admission to National Parks
National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee offer free admission to everyone on 10 days of the year. The next free admission weekend is Nov. 11-12, in honor of Veterans 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.
Nov. 19: Miracles on 17th Street
Miracles do happen. But not without the commitment of a collaborative community and the support of people like you. Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center is hosting a celebration of the everyday miracles made possible by its campus partners — a collaborative of more than 17 nonprofit agencies providing over 80 programs to those most in need. Dinner and cocktails at Pineapple Yoga Studio.
Old Main Street (12th Street West), between Manatee and 3rd avenues, in Bradenton will be closed traffic and opened for a Thanksgiving Eve street party. Live music, plus food, drink and arts and craft vendors. Music until 10pm, but the street will be closed to traffic for the party until midnight. Free admission from 5pm-midnight; music and drinks for sale.
Nov. 25: Light Up Siesta Key Village
Visit the Siesta Key Village to kick off the holiday season with a holiday tree lighting, parade, a visit from Santa, entertainment and more. 5-9pm.
Nov. 25: Venice Holiday Parade
Continuing a 40 year old tradition, the City of Venice Holiday Parade is a great “kick off” to the holiday season. More than 3,000 participants representing approximately 120 local companies, schools, churches, social organizations and music groups join together to make this community family event fun for all ages. Thousands of spectators line the parade route early to find and secure their perfect spot to enjoy the festivities. Pre-parade entertainment starts at 5pm, with the parade beginning at 7pm. Food and drinks sold along the parade route.
Nov. 30: 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, also on Dec. 14, 21, 28 and Jan. 4.
Veteran’s Day Celebrations
A breakfast benefitting the Sarasota Kiwanis Foundation and Veterans Services at USF. With keynote speaker Rear Admiral, USCG (retired) Steve Branham, CFS. $25 tickets available until Nov. 3. Held at 7-9am at Robarts Arena.
Each year this mass recognizes all military veterans for the many sacrifices they and their families have made, including giving their lives. Begins at 2:45pm on State Road 72 (exit 205 at Clark Road), approximately four miles east of Interstate 75. Opening ceremony, patriotic music, hymns, the placement of an oversized commemorative floral wreath, and the Presenting and Posting of the Colors, followed by the mass.
The ceremony starts at 11am at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto, with the parade following it’s conclusion. The parade will begin around 11:45am and end around 1pm at Sutton Park.