It is Christmas in Sarasota, and our beautiful city is full of festive activities and celebratory things to do. Between boat parades, light shows, and Christmas musicals, there is no better place to enjoy the holiday season. Explore the countless Sarasota Christmas events our area has to offer this 2017 season.

Holiday Night of Lights – St. Armand’s Circle

December 1, 2017 Cost: Free Location: Madison Drive, Sarasota, St. Armands Circle This annual magical event, “Holiday Night of Lights”, brings the circle to life starting with a special performance followed by a Christmas sing-a-long, the arrival of Santa, and a tree lighting ceremony. 5:30 – 6:00 PM: Special Performance 6:00 PM:  Christmas Carol Sing-a-long followed by the arrival of Santa and the tree lighting ceremony. 6:30 – 8:00 PM:  Photos with Santa In addition, visitors are welcome to view the nativity scene at St. Armand’s Key Lutheran Church.

Sarasota Christmas Parade

December 2, 2017 Cost: Free Location: Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 Time:  7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Join thousands of spectators in downtown Sarasota for the 22nd annual Christmas Parade Sarasota. With 2017 being the 65th anniversary of the film, “The Greatest Show on Earth, this years celebration will feature local circus performers, celebrities from the film, as well as local churches, high school bands, local businesses, and of course, Santa Clause. The parade route is from 301/Washington Blvd to Gulfstream Ave.

Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt

December 2, 2017 Cost: Free to garden members. Included in ticket admission for non-members. Location: 1670 10th Way, Sarasota, FL 34236 Time: 10:00 – 10:30 AM (Doors open at 9:45) Kick off the holiday season with a Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt presented by the Children’s Garden and Art Center. Kids will enter a world of make-believe where Gnomes and fairies will hide the holiday sweet treats amongst the kid-oriented gardens. There will be a coloring station for kids, hot chocolate and baked goodies for sale. Admission is free to garden members and included in the admission ticket for non-members. For ticket purchases visit

Jingle Paws Jubilee 2017

December 3, 2017 Cost: Free Location: 5500 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Phillippi Estate Park Time: 12:00 – 5:00 PM Jingle Paws Jubilee is a fun-filled holiday pet celebration for people and leashed pets of all ages. Bring your dog or cat dressed in their best holiday costume and take part in the Holiday Costume Parade hosted by Susan Marie and Miss Olive of the “Doggy Diva Show”.  In addition, there will be dogs and cats of all ages available for adoption. Enjoy pet photographs, agility demonstrations, animal communicators, music, shopping, face painting, and raffle prizes. All proceeds will benefit the local animal groups in attendance. All attendees are asked to bring a can or bag of dog food, cat food, treats or a pet toy.

Sensitive Santa Meet and Greet

December 3, 2017 Cost: Free Location: University Town Center, 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, FL 34243 Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM This special event is reserved for children on the autism spectrum. For more information contact 941-552-7000. Guests interested in attending should register here.

Holiday Tour of Lights

December 5th – 31st, 2017 Cost: $15.00 per person or rent a whole trolley. No refunds. Location: 4041 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL 34236, Outside the Regions Bank Time: 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM Tours  (arrive 15 minutes before your tour time) Bring your family and some drinks then hop aboard the SRQ trolley to experience the famous “Holiday Tour of Lights”. You will see some of the best holiday displays in Sarasota including arch lighted streets, a gingerbread house, a copy of National Lampoon Vacation home and more. Buy your tickets here.

Holly Days and Mangrove Lights 2017

December 7, 2017 Cost: Adults: $12 per person, Seniors (65+): $10 per person,Children (Ages 5-12): $5 per person, Children (under age 5): Free Location: 337 N Tamiami Trail, Osprey, Fl 34229 Time: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM Enjoy a magnificent piece of Florida history in combination with a magical holiday ambiance while strolling among 30 acres of lighted walkways and mangroves at Historic Spanish Point. Visit the historic homestead museum decked out in holiday decor and festive music. During the month of December, on Thursdays and Fridays, Spanish Point will remain open until 8 PM. On December 7, 2017, join in the Holiday Party. This event is free to members, $5.00 for member guests, and regular pricing for all others.  There will be festive music, refreshments, and good cheer.

The Living Nativity

December 7th – 10th, 2017 Cost: Free Location: The Tabernacle Church, 4141 Desoto Road, Sarasota, FL 34235

Time: 7:30 PM Experience the reason for the season at The Tabernacles interactive Living Nativity. Over 100 cast members and animals will take you back to the time of Christ’s birth, with flying angels, live animals, music, and treats.  Children can pet the manager’s camels, goats, and sheep. The event takes place outside, weather permitting. Admission is free. For additional information, call the church office at (941) 355-8858 or visit the website at


Holidays Around the Ranch

December 8, 2017 Cost: Free Location: Marina Jack Restaurant, Bayfront Park, City Island and Centennial Park. Time: 6:00 – 9:00 PM “Holidays around the Ranch” brings a touch of winter to Florida with a  fun-filled snow slide. Enjoy hot chocolate, eggnog, stage performances, Carolers, Santa in his horse-drawn carriage, and the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

December 9, 2017 Cost: Free Location: Marina Jack Restaurant, Bayfront Park, City Island and Centennial Park (best places for viewing) Time: 6:00 PM The 2017 Sarasota Boat Parade is a fun-filled evening with music and decorated boats of all sizes, parading along the Sarasota Bay.  Bring your lawn chairs and some food, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the festivities. The rain date for this event is Sunday, December 10th.

A Night Before Christmas

December 9, 2017 Cost: Free Location: GT Bray Park, 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West, Bradenton, FL 34209 Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Santa will be making his annual appearance at GT Bray Park. Enjoy meeting with Santa, face painting, hayrides, and snow, plus lots more. This event is great for kids of all ages.

Holiday Wine Tasting & Toy Drive

December 9, 2017 Cost:  Bring an unwrapped toy donation Location: Michael’s Wine Cellar, 1283 S Tamiami Trail | Midtown Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34239 Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Taste fine international boutique wines at this walk-about wine tasting. Michael’s Wine Celler offers several kosher wines perfect for Hanukkah. Your toy donation for the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program will serve as your admission.

The School of Russian Ballet – The Nutcracker

December 10,2017 Cost: $17.00 – $45.00 Location:  61 N. Pineapple Ave 34236,  Sarasota Opera House Time: 4:00 PM The School of Russian Ballen will present their spectacular performance of the Christmas Ballet, The Nutcracker. Dancers from the School of Rusian Ballet will be accompanied by international world famous dancers.

Cinematic Celebrations at the Ringling | Elf

December 15, 2017 Cost: $15 Non-Members , $13.50 Members,  $10 Child Location:  The Ringling |5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243 Time: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM Put on your holiday attire (optional) and head over to the Ringling Museum of Art Courtyard for an evening of music with Josh Walther and Phase5 Band, holiday lights, art activities, photos with Buddy and Jovie provided by Manatee Performing Arts Center. Finish off the evening with the holiday movie, Elf. Your ticket includes hot chocolate, coffee, and candy canes. Popcorn, candy, beverages, and cocktails are available for purchase. Click here for more information

John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker

December 15th – 16th, 2017 Cost: Starting from $30.00 Location: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall | 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL34236 | (941) 359-0099 Time: 7:30 December 15 |  2:00 & 7:30 December 16 This wonderful, over the top production of John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker will enchant audiences of all ages. Set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic and beloved score, the ballet interweaves the history of John and Mable Ringling with E. T. A. Hoffman’s classic The Nutcracker. the Sarasota Orchestra will accompany the performance. This is a Nutcracker like no other.

Elf Workshop & Sweet Cookie Bar

December 17, 2017 Cost: This is a pre-payment event only. Registration required. Location: 1670 10th Way, Sarasota, FL 34236 Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM  Bring your little ones to the Sarasota Children’s Garden where the Bird Art Gallery will be transformed into an Elf workshop. Kids can decorate their own birdhouse ornaments and big sugar cookies.  The cost of the birdhouse ornament is $5.00 (plus tax) with admission. The cost of the Sweet Cookie Bar is $5.00 (plus tax) with admission. Kids can have the option to visit one station or both! This is a reservation only event. For more information visit

Santa Comes to Sarasota

December 17, 2017 Cost: $32.00 Adult,  $17 Child (2-12 years). Tickets will not be sold at door. Location: Powel Crosley Estate, 8374 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL34243  Time: 11:00 AM, Lunch 12:30PM Visit Santa and his Christmas Fairy at the Powel Crosley Palace.  Start off with some hot chocolate and some reindeer games. Decorate Christmas cookies then gather around while Santa reads some Christmas fables, then join Santa’s fairy for a delicious holiday lunch. Each child will leave with a gift from Santa’s fairy.

Things to Do in Sarasota for Christmas
Article Name
Things to Do in Sarasota for Christmas
It is Christmas in Sarasota. Explore the countless Christmas events our area has to offer.
Publisher Name
Ursini Real Estate Agent
Publisher Logo

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!