Weekend Planner

What to Do in Sarasota This Weekend: Feb. 27-March 4

Southwest Florida Heritage Festival at Crowley Nature Center, Mote’s Savage Seas exhibit opens, Les Miz at the Van Wezel and more.

By Ilene Denton February 27, 2020

A scene from last year's Fairy & Gnome Festival.

Fairy & Gnome Festival

Feb. 29-March 1

The magic of nature is on full display at the seventh annual edition of the popular family-friendly fest held on the beautiful bayfront grounds of Historic Spanish Point. (Expect lots of tots in fairy wings and tutus!)

Paul Taylor Dance Company

Feb. 28-March 2

An exclusive Florida engagement for this acclaimed modern dance company, whose “Paul Taylor: The Celebration Tour” honors its late founder; three of Taylor’s masterworks will be performed. Proving to be so popular that an extra Monday evening performance has been added. At the FSU Center.

Southwest Florida Heritage Festival

Feb. 29

Get back to nature on Leap Day as Crowley Museum and Nature Center presents a daylong celebration of Florida pioneer life, with costumed actors and demonstrators, music, food, hayrides and more. $20 per carload and bring cash—just like in the olden days credit cards won’t be accepted.

Mote’s “Savage Ancient Seas” 

Feb. 29  

Take a virtual trip back in time to the Late Cretaceous period, 87 to 70 million years ago, when giant ocean animals prowled beneath the waves. This special Mote Aquarium exhibit displays replicated skeletons cast from the real fossils of extinct giant sea turtles with 12-foot shells, flightless birds with teeth and more. Through May 31.

Les Misérables

Feb. 26-March 1

The Van Wezel presents eight performances of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s glorious Tony Award-winning musical about the French revolution. Bring hankies!

Your Arms Too Short to Box with God

Feb. 26-April 5

Next up for Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe: the Broadway musical that tells the Biblical Book of Matthew through rousing gospel song. Through April 5 in WBTT’s wonderfully expanded and comfortably renovated theater.

Circus Sarasota

Ends March 1

Last chance to catch the 2020 edition of Circus Sarasota under the Big Top at Nathan Benderson Park; it closes Sunday. Our theater critic says, “a visit to Circus Sarasota is just the tonic you need.” Read her entire review here

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7th Annual Fairy & Gnome Festival

Members: $12 adults | $5 children (12 and younger); Nonmembers: $15 adults | $7 children (12 and younger); free for children 3 and under Historic Spanish Point

Historic Spanish Point invites families to explore the magic of nature.


Sarasota Ballet Presents the Paul Taylor Dance Company

Start at $35 FSU Center for the Performing Arts

The Sarasota Ballet welcomes back the Paul Taylor Dance Company to Sarasota.


Southwest Florida Heritage Festival

$20 per carload, cash only Crowley Museum & Nature Center

Crowley Museum & Nature Center presents a family-friendly celebration of Florida pioneer life.



Starting at $77 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall presents the multiple award-winning musical.


"Your Arms Too Short to Box With God"

Westcoast Black Theatre

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe presents this rousing celebration of the story of Jesus, his apostles, and the women who inspired, followed and consoled him.

Special Events

Circus Sarasota

$15-$55; children under 2 free Big Top at Nathan Benderson Park

Sarasota’s hometown circus, Circus Sarasota, is ready to bring chills, thrills and laughs aplenty to audiences of all ages during its professional winter show.