Things to Do

What to Do in Sarasota: Dec. 3-9

Holiday concerts and shows, college baseball, an FSU/Asolo Conservatory production and more.

By Kay Kipling December 3, 2020

It's beginning to look a lot like the holidays with sparkling events around town.

Editor’s note: In-person events are subject to change. Please check before venturing out.

Jim Brickman/Darlene Love

Dec. 3; Dec. 5

Get a little holiday cheer with virtual concerts by either of these performers, through the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Pianist Brickman blends traditional carols with his own hit songs in his “Comfort & Joy at Home” show, set for 7 p.m. Dec. 3; Love offers, of course, “Love for the Holidays,” with a one-night-only performance at 8 p.m. Dec. 5. (You can count on hearing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home.”) Streaming tickets on sale at

Manatee Performing Arts Center: Winter Wonderettes

Dec. 3-20

There’s more holiday fun on tap with this Manatee Players production, a Christmastime jukebox musical comedy follow-up to The Marvelous Wonderettes. Four female singers deliver plenty of classics from the 1960s while trying to cope with a missing Santa during the annual office party. You can watch in person at MPAC’s Stone Hall, go for an outdoor cinema experience, or stream it; discover your options at

Downtown Venice Christmas Walk

Dec. 3

Downtown Venice’s merchants celebrate the season by staying open late, with live entertainment, twinkling lights, special treats and window displays from 5 to 8 p.m. along Venice’s Miami, Tampa and West Venice avenues. For more on this annual event, visit

Sarasota Orchestra: On the Road with SO: Parks &Partners

Dec. 6

The orchestra’s outdoor concert series allows more of its musicians to get into the act, including wind and brass players, than indoor settings can during Covid-19. This one, at 2:30 p.m., is at Nathan Benderson Park; admission is free, but bring a blanket or a chair, and you must register in advance here

Florida Collegiate Instructional League at CoolToday Park

Dec. 4, 11 and 18

Are you ready for some baseball in December? Top-tier college players from around the country have been training at the Atlanta Braves’ spring home for a while; now’s your chance to take in a Friday night game under the lights in the main stadium, at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. in double header fashion. Concessions will be open, and seating will be distanced. For tickets click here; for more info, or (941) 413-5000.

FSU/Asolo Conservatory: Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992

Dec. 9-20

The acting Conservatory’s second-year students, plus two alums, perform this Anna Deavere Smith play based on interviews with real people at the time of the 1992 arrest of Rodney King and its often violent aftermath. Filmed at students’ homes and other locations, this first-ever digital-only production for the Conservatory will be available for streaming here.

Ellenton Holiday Village

Dec. 3-Jan. 3

Ellenton’s Prime Outlets is the setting for this seasonal event, offering midway rides, games, fair food, entertainment and socially distanced visits with Santa. Hours vary; for more info call (866) 666-3247 or click here.

Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee: The Women’s Event

Dec. 7

Jamie Bernstein, the inimitable Leonard Bernstein’s oldest daughter, shares a look at life with father, from her memoir Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein, via Zoom at 7 p.m. She’s joined by Broadway performer Alexandra Silber for conversation and a selection of Bernstein’s most famous songs. Register here

SPARCC Drive-Thru Winter Wonderland Experience and Holiday Toy Drive

Dec. 5

SPARCC (Safe Place & Rape Crisis Center) provides the holiday lights, tunes and more, from 4 to 7 p.m. at its downtown office at 2139 Main St.; you provide an unwrapped gift for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and everyone is better off for it. Check it out at

The Hermitage Artist Retreat: Illuminating the Transcendent

Dec. 4

Composers Krists Auznieks and Robert Pound, along with poet Jason Schneiderman, are up next in the Manasota retreat’s outdoor beach programs. They will share how they express complex ideas and emotions through their work. At 5 p.m.; admission is free, but registration is required, and there is a waitlist. Check for the latest at

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