'Tis the Season

Your Guide to the 2018 Holiday Season

Let's get festive.

By Giulia Heyward November 20, 2018

Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" comes to life on stage at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. 

Deck the Halls at the Ca' d'Zan

Thursday, Nov. 29 through Thursday, Jan. 3

The end of November signals candy canes, hot chocolate and the Ca' d'Zan. Curious gazers can enter the Ca' d'Zan at 5 p.m. every Thursday into the new year to check out the decorated halls of the first floor. Enjoy a self-guided tour surrounded by twinkling lights and festive hues to get into the holiday spirit. A full schedule can be found online.


Black Nativity, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

Wednesday, Dec. 12 through Friday, Dec. 21

The poetry of Langston Hughes meets gospel, blues and, of course, Christmas music. This high-energy show is back on select nights during this season at 7:30 p.m., at the Sarasota Opera House. Tickets are available online.

Victorian Nights at the Sarasota Ballet

Friday, Dec. 14 through Saturday, Dec. 15 

Breathtaking performances bring the music of a full orchestra together with talented dancers. Occurring at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 14 and at both 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. the next day on Dec. 15, this ballet offering features the work of Sir Frederick Ashton and George Balanchine. Tickets are available online. 

Seraph Brass

Image: Lisa Mazzucco

Seraph Brass 

Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16 

This ensemble of ten woman musicians will be performing classics like "Winter" and the "Nutcracker Suite." Starting at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday at the Historic Asolo Theater. Tickets are available online. 

Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Sunday, Dec. 16 

This holiday classic comes to life on the stage at the Van Wezel Performing with music, elaborate costumes and intricate scenery. It's a production guaranteed to touch even Ebenezer Scrooge himself. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office at (941) 953-3368.

Lights in Bloom at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Thursday, Dec. 20 through Sunday, Jan. 6 

Taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Lights in Bloom will feature 1 million lights that will transform the gardens into sensory light tunnels. Santa Claus and his elves will stop by, and children will test their toy making skills with arts and crafts events.   

Moscow Ballet: Great Russian Nutcracker

Friday, Dec. 21

The classic Nutcracker is back in Sarasota for one day only at the Van Wezel, with shows at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Watch snow maidens and nesting dolls on the stage. The holiday classic is perfect for all ages and the perfect experience right before Christmas Eve. 

Lakewood Ranch's Christmas on Main

Saturday, Dec. 23

From 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., gather around downtown Lakewood Ranch for food, fun and games. With Santa Claus and a candlelight service, Lakewood Ranch celebrates Christmas with plenty of cheer.  

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Sarasota Ballet: Victorian Winters

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

The company presents Sir Frederick Ashton's Les Patineurs & Enigma Variations and George Balanchine's Diamonds.