Free & Freeish

Kids of All Ages Will Love These Free Local Activities

Take a trolley, hit a playground, go bowling and more.

December 1, 2021 Published in the December 2021 issue of Sarasota Magazine

The playground at Bradenton Riverwalk

The playground at Bradenton Riverwalk

Image: Chad Spencer

Take the Anna Maria Free Trolley

Ditch the car and hop on the free trolley all along Anna Maria Island. Stop by Two Scoops for ice cream, play on the playground at Bayfront Park or walk the beach and look for dolphins. Trolley hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., with stops every 20 minutes.

Visit Joan M. Durante Community Park

The highlight of a visit to Durante Park, one of Longboat Key’s few remaining undeveloped parcels, is the boardwalk, which winds through mangroves and other native vegetation and pops out to offer views of Sarasota Bay. 5555 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, (941) 316-1988,

Bowling is a great—and inexpensive—activity for kids.

Bowling is a great—and inexpensive—activity for kids.

Image: Chad Spencer

Grab a Bowling Ball

Visit Sarasota Lanes (starting at $4.25 a game) or AMF Gulf Gate Lanes for its Sunday Funday $3.29-a-game special. AMF also has kids’ league bowling at $10 a night, shoe rentals included. Sarasota Lanes, 2250 Fruitville Road, (941) 955-7629, and Gulf Gate Lanes, 7221 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 921-4447

Hunt for Shark’s Teeth

Head to Nokomis, Manasota and Caspersen beaches to comb through the sand for these fossilized pointy teeth.

Be An Urban Cinderella

Payne, Gillespie and Arlington parks have ponds where you can relax and lure ducks, turtles and squirrels with nuts and birdseed.  

Roar! at The Ringling Museum

Enjoy story time and make art at the free, weekly Roar! program designed for preschoolers (but all are welcome). Registration allows for free admission to the museum, too.

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