Weekend Planner

Your Top 8 Things to Do: April 13-19

World Circus Day at The Ringling, an Easter egg hunt at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, David Sedaris at the Van Wezel and more.

By Ilene Denton April 12, 2017

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April 15

World Circus Day at The Ringling

The John and Mable Ringling Museum is throwing open the doors of its Circus Museum and Tibbals Learning Center for free Saturday in honor of World Circus Day, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. it’s offering extra-special art activities for families, too. While you’re there, check out the wonderfully creative outdoor Bolger Playspace.


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Image: Shutterstock


April 14

Jungle Trails and Bunny Tails at Sarasota Jungle Gardens 

A whopping 40,000 candy-filled Easter eggs will be hidden all around Sarasota Jungle Gardens at its annual Jungle Trails and Bunny Tails party Friday. Egg hunts take place at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Half-price admission for kids. Bring your own basket.


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April 16

Selby Gardens’ Garden Music concert: The Black Honkeys

The Tampa-based Black Honkeys will bring their ’70s groove to Selby Gardens Sunday afternoon for the monthly outdoor Garden Music concert. Wear your dancing shoes!


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Image: Kamal Asar


April 17

Boston Hyper Space Tour 

You’ll have “More Than a Feeling” when the hit-making ’70s rock ‘n’ roll band brings its Hyper Space Tour to the Van Wezel for an out-of-this-world evening. 


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April 19

David Sedaris at the Van Wezel

If you’ve been following Sedaris’ humorous radio contributions, essays and books (Me Talk Pretty One Day, SantaLand Diaries) for the past couple of decades, you’ll jump at the chance to laugh with him in person when he makes a stop at the Van Wezel.



April 14-15

Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash

Get your fill of mouthwatering BBQ from 40 of the country’s best professional barbecue pitmasters when they converge on the Venice Airport festival grounds for this eighth annual BBQ competition. Lots of live bluegrass music, too, courtesy of the Grammy-nominated Boxcars, The Grascals and The Lonesome River Band, plus there’s a cornhole tourney and more. Admission is free, and the fun starts Friday night.



April 15

My Hometown Fest

Food from 40 area restaurants; 60 craft beers; live music from Reverend Barry & Funktastic Soul, Twinkle and Rock.Soul.Radio and Strangeways; stand up paddleboard, kayak and RC sailboat demonstrations; the Tampa Bay Rays kids zone and Tampa Bay Lightning Thunderbug mascot—all that and more taking place from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at Nathan Benderson Park. Proceeds benefit Sertoma Kids Clinics.



April 19-23

FST Presents The Exonerated

Interviews with more than three dozen former death-row inmates, who all were eventually proven innocent and released after spending as long as 22 years behind bars, went into the writing of The Exonerated, the final play in FST’s gritty and thought-provoking Stage III series. 

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World Circus Day at The Ringling Museum

Editor’s Pick Free admission to the Circus Museum John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

World Circus Day celebrates the arts and culture of the Circus. In honor of this day, admission to the Circus Museum and Tibbals Learning Center is free.


Sarasota Jungle Gardens: Jungle Trails and Bunny Trails

Adults $17.99; children 4-16 $6.50; children 3 and under free Sarasota Jungle Gardens

Sarasota Jungle Gardens presents its annual Easter Egg Hunt.


Outdoor Garden Music Concert at Selby Gardens

Editor’s Pick Included in admission to Selby Gardens Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

The Black Honkeys headline this month's outdoor concert.


Boston Hyper Space Tour

Editor’s Pick $62.64-$137.54 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Boston's Hyper Space Tour blasts into the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.


David Sedaris

Editor’s Pick $46-$76 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

One of America’s pre-eminent humor writers makes his Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall debut.

Food & Drink

Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash

Editor’s Pick Free parking, free admission Venice Airport Festival Grounds

A destination for the best barbecue competition and bluegrass entertainment in Southwest Florida.

Special Events

My Hometown Fest

Editor’s Pick Adult tickets are $40 including all food and craft beer samples, or $10 in advance/$20 at the gate for food-only tickets. Kids 6 and under free. Nathan Benderson Park

Food, beer, music and family fun at Nathan Benderson Park.


"The Exonerated"

Editor’s Pick Florida Studio Theatre

Six riveting stories about innocence, injustice and redemption. A Florida Studio Theatre Stage III production.