Weekend Planner

Your Top 6 Things to Do: Dec. 12-18

Lights in Bloom at Selby Gardens, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Van Wezel, and more.

By Ilene Denton December 12, 2019

The Lights in Bloom wishing tree.

Selby Gardens Lights in Bloom

Dec. 14-Jan. 4

More than 2 million multicolored lights illuminate the botanical gardens during this hugely popular holiday celebration. USA Today named it one of the top 10 botanical garden light displays in the country. Live music and plenty of food, too, and if you go before Christmas Eve, you’ll get a chance to chat with Santa. Do yourself a favor, park at the nearby Sarasota Friendship Center and let a trolley take you to and from the gardens. Want more area holiday events? Check out our Ultimate Sarasota Holiday Event Calendar here.


34th annual Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Dec. 14

Another beloved holiday tradition: brightly decorated boats will cross Sarasota Bay and tool around Bayfront Park to the delight of hundreds of parade-goers. Marina Jack is the sponsor. 

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

Dec. 13-15

Feel the earth move under your feet at the first notes of a Carole King tune? Was Tapestry the soundtrack of your youth? Then hotfoot it to the Van Wezel this weekend to catch one of five performances of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical based on the life and songs of the legendary singer/songwriter. We will see you there.

FST Presents Handle With Care

Dec. 11-March 8

Just in time for the holidays, Florida Studio Theatre presents this gentle cross-cultural romantic comedy, hailed as “hilarious and heartwarming” by The New York Times.

Sarasota Polo Club Season Begins 

Dec. 15

Opening day at the Sarasota Polo Club is here, so grab a picnic and head to Lakewood Ranch for the Game of Kings. You can find a complete season schedule here. And while you're at it, read how Sarasota has become a destination for the equestrian set here

Son Luna y Jóvenes Zapateadores: ¡Vívelo!

Dec. 12-14

The Mexican musical ensemble Son Luna and the dance troupe Jóvenes Zapateadores present a high-energy evening of folkloric dance, contemporary Spanish dance and African-inspired movements. Part of the Ringling Art of Performance series in the Historic Asolo Theater.

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