Weekend Planner

Your Top 6 Things to Do: Oct. 18-24

Hunsader Pumpkin Festival continues, Kenny G returns to the Van Wezel and lots more.

By Ilene Denton October 18, 2018

Image: Shutterstock

Hunsader Pumpkin Festival

Oct. 20-21 and 27-28

The granddaddy of all area fall festivals, this 27th annual event features hayrides, pumpkin games, scarecrow displays, a petting zoo and children’s train rides, craft vendors, homemade ice cream and so much more. Get the scoop here.

Sun Fiesta

Oct. 19-21

Venice’s hugely popular celebration includes bed races, a Miss Sun Fiesta competition, arts and crafts, a kid’s corner and lots of food. This year, because of downtown street reconstruction, there’s no parade, but it’s promised to return in 2019. Get the complete schedule of events here. .

Mary's Chapel at Historic Spanish Point.

Full Moon Ghost Tour at Historic Spanish Point

Oct. 24

Spooky times afoot at Historic Spanish Point, as the 30-acre living museum on Sarasota Bay presents three full moon walking ghost tours next Wednesday evening. Stops at the prehistoric burial mound and pioneer cemetery are included, natch.  

Kenny G

Kenny G

Oct. 19

You didn’t score tickets to Bob Dylan’s sold-out Sunday night show at the Van Wezel? There’s always an evening with smooth jazz saxophone star Kenny G. The Grammy Award-winner returns to the Van Wezel for one show Friday. 

Matthew Duvall

Matthew Duvall: Transient Landscapes and Rhythm of the Ringling Season Kick-off Party

Oct. 19-20

The Ringling Museum’s beautiful bayfront gardens become “an instrument for sound” when percussionist Matthew Duvall, co-founder of Grammy Award-winning eighth Blackbird, presents outdoor performances all around the campus starting at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. (Friday evening ticketed show in the Historic Asolo Theatre, too.) Learn more about it here. Saturday evening Duvall and the Kraken Quartet help the Ringling kick off its season with a Rhythm of the Ringling  party in the museum courtyard. Fireworks are promised!

Mote's Fish, Fun and Fright.

Fish, Fun and Fright at Mote Aquarium

Oct. 20

Calling all buoys and ghouls for an afternoon of Halloween fun at Mote Aquarium, with shark teeth hunts in “Coffin Creek," deep sea delights in the “Diner of the Dead" and Mad Science experiments and activities. There’s even an underwater pumpkin carving in the shark habitats. Come in costume; children 3 and under admitted free.

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Special Events

Sun Fiesta 2018

Venice Airport Festival Grounds

This popular three-day celebration includes a 5K Run, Bed Races, Arts & Crafts Vendors, Food Vendors, Miss Sun Fiesta, music and dancing.

Special Events

Full Moon Ghost Tours at Historic Spanish Point

$20 Historic Spanish Point

The 30-acre living museum on Sarasota Bay presents full moon walking ghost tours.


Kenny G

$37-$82 Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

The Grammy Award-winning saxophonist returns to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

Special Events

Ringling New Stages: Matthew Duvall

$20-$30 for Oct. 19 performance; Free on Oct. 20 Ringling Museum

The Ringling Museum presents the Grammy Award-winning percussionist in "Transient Landscapes."


Fish, Fun and Fright at Mote

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

Buoys and ghouls of all ages are invited to dress up in costume for an afternoon of Fish, Fun & Fright at Mote Aquarium.