If you’re like most people out there, your birthday party got canceled, vacation plans botched, and that family reunion at the lake got converted into a living room Zoom meeting. It’s time to get creative and learn more about what’s happening right here in Sarasota. We went to tour operator and expert on fun Tammy Hauser and asked for some suggestions on how to keep this summer exciting. She didn’t disappoint, here are her top five things to do: 

Couple on a ghost tour

1. Hop aboard a Haunted Trolley Tour hosted by Discover Sarasota Tours. It’s a 90-minute tour, on an air-conditioned adventure trolley that looks into our city’s spooky past. See haunted buildings, hear tales of murder, and meet entertaining spirits of the past with your Ghostess Lady Melody leading the way. Costumed mystery characters even jump on and off along the way to keep you on your toes. It’s the perfect Friday night outing and will give you interesting things to chat about at the virtual family reunion. Tickets include a complimentary beer or wine at the tiki bar before boarding. Friday nights, 8 p.m., $39.99. Kids 12+ welcome. Book now.

Kids standing outside the ChillMobile in Sarasota

Please note: photos for this article were taken pre-pandemic. Guests and tour operators are required to wear masks during tours, and social distancing is practiced on the trolley. 

2. Be the talk of your neighborhood and book The ChillMobile for a visit! The ChillMobile is a 1979 vintage Good Humor ice cream truck run by Tammy and Max, the ice cream dog! They bring groovy treats, smiles, and cool summer fun. Preorder a DIY Sundae Kit to your door, complete with four pints of ice cream and toppings to make a truly special Sundae Funday. New Boozy Pops from PopCraft add some adult fun to the menu, too. Schedule a Sunset Driveway Happy Hour or Office Parking Lot Party, and enjoy drinks on a stick (strawberry margarita, piña colada, mojito, blue razz, and watermelon rose cosmo). All work and no play will make for a very long summer.

Bob Collins tour guide

3. We all feel like we’ve been living in a circus these days, but in Sarasota it’s just part of our heritage. Explore the history of the circus and how it’s shaped our city on the Circus History Trolley Tour with Bob Collins. Hear personal insider stories of Bob’s 20-year career as an advance man for the Ringling Circus, visit hidden places with a circus tie-in, and learn about the legendary showman and circus performers who called Sarasota home. Saturday afternoons, 1 p.m., $34.99. Book here.

Group tour in Sarasota

Please note: photos for this article were taken pre-pandemic. Guests and tour operators are required to wear masks during tours, and social distancing is practiced on the trolley. 

4. Forget MTV’s Siesta Key reality show; we have the real scoop! Learn about Sarasota’s intriguing past and the colorful cast of characters who lived here on the City Sightseeing Tour. Tour-goers explore historic neighborhoods, visit attractions, and hear entertaining stories of its years of boom and bust, artistic heritage, Amish and circus communities, and much more as you take in the sights. Thursdays–Saturdays, 10 a.m. or 1 p.m., $34.99. Learn more.

Friends wearing flamingo tiaras on a tour in Sarasota

Please note: photos for this article were taken pre-pandemic. Guests and tour operators are required to wear masks during tours, and social distancing is practiced on the trolley. 

5. When all else fails, good old-fashioned fun and games come to the rescue! Win prizes, sing songs, and stop by the most famous tiki bar in town, The Bahi Hut, for one of their infamous mai tais on the Tiki Trivia Trolley Tour, led by singing tour guide Steve McAllister. Ticket includes a complimentary beer or wine before boarding. Sundays, 4 p.m., $39.99. Stay calm and happy hour on.

Book the ChillMobile

Discover Sarasota Tours

Private concierge tours available for up to 10 people

Call for details: 941-260-9818

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