Luxury Retirement Living Sarasota

Holiday Events in Sarasota You Don't Want to Miss

by Sarasota Bay Club

Sarasota might not be the first place that comes to mind when it comes to getting into the holiday spirit, as it is a sunny seaside community. However, the reality is that Sarasota offers the perfect environment to enjoy a variety of unique and delightful holiday activities. If you're fortunate enough to be spending the holidays in Sarasota, you will find memorable holiday happenings around every corner that are versatile enough to please an array of personalities. From indoor craft festivals to outdoor lighting ceremonies, it's easy to find something that pleases everyone and brings unexpected joy. When you're searching for outings to get you in the holiday spirit, make sure to add these top activities to your list.

Related Blog: The Ultimate Guide to Dining Out in Sarasota, Florida

Revel in the Holiday Night of Lights at St. Amands Circle

St, Armands Circle is one of Sarasota's most popular shopping centers and the Holiday Night of Lights makes the area even more magnificent. This magical event includes a Christmas carol sing-along, a parade with Santa Claus, and the lighting of the 60-foot Christmas tree at the center of the circle. The event also includes live entertainment and a photo spot with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. 

The event takes place on December 1, from 5:30 PM-9:00 PM.

Enjoy the Sarasota Holiday Parade


The Sarasota Downtown Holiday Parade is a much-anticipated annual event sure to get you in the holiday spirit. The theme for 2023 is Holidays Around the World. See costumed performers, decorated floats, cars, motorcycles, trucks, clowns, and more. The parade begins at Main Street and US 301 and ends at JD Hamel Park over about two hours. It is one of the biggest and most well-known parades in Florida. 

The 2023 Sarasota Holiday Parade begins at 7:00 PM on December 2.

Watch the Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade

Life on the coast allows you to see a holiday parade unlike any other. The annual Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade is a festive and beautiful celebration that attracts thousands of spectators. Watch from the shore as a spectacular array of beautifully decorated and lighted boats of all sizes (even yachts) travel across Sarasota Bay. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays as boats play holiday music from sound systems or participate in live performances. 

The hour-long parade begins at 6:00 PM on December 9th. You can find the best viewing locations at Bayfront Park, Centennial Park, and City Island. Consider arriving a little early and bringing a lawn chair. 

Admire Lights in Bloom at Selby Gardens

During the holidays, the Selby Botanical Gardens downtown Sarasota campus is transformed into a dazzling holiday wonderland. Stroll through the gardens to see how more than two million lights illuminate paths, trees, and plants. Walkways turn into sensory light tunnels and stunning displays feature flamingos, tropical butterflies, and more. While taking in the sights, you can enjoy holiday foods and beverages from a variety of vendors. 

Lights in Bloom will run from December 10-23, December 26-30, and January 1, and 3-5. Hours of operation are 5:30 PM-9:30 PM.

The holiday season in Sarasota is filled with magical events that usher in the most wonderful time of the year. Whether you attend one or all of these occasions, you can be sure you'll create a memorable season with friends and loved ones. Sarasota Bay Club is a full-service retirement living community that provides outstanding services and gives you the chance to explore the many holiday events in Sarasota. Get in touch today for more information.

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