Free Mondays at The Ringling
We are eternally grateful to museum founder John Ringling, who dictated in his will that there should always be a free admission day to view his art collection. No free entry to the circus museum or Ca’d’Zan mansion is included, but you can stroll the art galleries and the grounds each Monday to your heart’s content.
Area libraries are always buzzing with author readings, activities for kids and enrichment opportunities for adults, while local shops like Bookstore1Sarasota offer readings and signings and host book club gatherings for people who love mysteries and poetry and everything in between.
A Driving Tour of Sarasota History
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Sarasota County, local history buffs put together a series of audio tours designed to be listened to as you drive around. Using GPS technology, the tours will play automatically as you journey from place to place. sarasotacountycentennial.com/autotours
Enjoy Hermitage Artist Retreat Stars
Mimes, poets, composers, playwrights...sooner or later, they all turn up to share their work in talks and performances for the Hermitage, whether it’s virtually, at the retreat’s gorgeous Manasota Key beach setting or at a host of venues around town, like Selby Gardens or Art Center Sarasota. And they’re free with a $5 registration fee. Check out the schedule here.
Attend Music Matinees
These Sarasota Concert Association offerings (free!) present a range of musical styles from regional performers. Up this season: folk and bluegrass by Passerine; violinist Sun-Young Gemma Shin with pianist Avis Romm; Sarasota Opera’s Studio Artists; and GS Duo, serving up classical, jazz and more. All at noon in David Cohen Hall of the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, starting in January. First-come, first-served; no reservations. scasarasota.org
Don’t Forget Student Rush Tickets
Just about every arts and entertainment group in town offers discounted tickets for students shortly before curtain, with differing prices and policies. Check out individual websites.
Take An Architectural Tour of Venice
Grab a “Historic Downtown Venice Walking Tour” brochure at Venice MainStreet, 101 W. Venice Ave., to view 21 historic buildings from the 1920s, all in close proximity.