Sarasota Area Arts & Entertainment
Music, Theater & Ballet:
More than 50 years old, The Florida West Coast Symphony presents a full program of symphonic and classical music from September through June. You'll find them at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. (941) 953-4252.
The inspiring Gloria Musicae Singers is a chamber chorale ensemble which has been performing everything from Gregorian chants to major choral works since 1979. For their performance schedule, contact them at (941) 954-4223.
The Jazz Club of Sarasota is one of the largest in the world, boasting over 2,500 members. They present over 100 events annually, beginning each spring with Jazz Festival Week when the Club's offerings range from free concerts to performances by prominent jazz greats. The Club also sponsors monthly concerts, jazz jams and other community concerts throughout the year. They're located at 290 Coconut Avenue in Sarasota. (941) 366-1552.
The Lemon Bay Playhouse produces six plays annually. This not-for-profit community playhouse is operated solely by more than 140 volunteers. There's also a Children's Theatre Workshop and clown classes for both children and adults. They're located at 96 West Dearborn Street in Englewood. (941) 475-6757.
The Players of Sarasota utilizes the community's ample talent pool for year-round musical productions. Contact them at 838 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. (941) 365-2494.
The Sarasota Ballet of Florida has been performing classical, contemporary and modern ballet for more than a decade. You'll find them at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. (941) 351-8000.
The Sarasota Concert Band is an ensemble of 50 professional players who combine their talents to present a delightful variety of musical programs. From November through May, they host "Music for the People" at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. During the summer months, weekly concerts are held in local parks. Contact them at (941) 955-6660.
The Sarasota Opera has been delighting audiences for more than 40 years and is home to an internationally acclaimed professional opera company. While their Presentation Series is ongoing, February and March is when they perform their annual repertories. In October, the Sarasota Youth Opera presents a fully-staged musical in the Opera House. Built in 1926, the Sarasota Opera House has been restored to its original splendor and is listed on the National Historic Register. It's located at 61 North Pineapple Avenue in Sarasota. (941) 366-8450.
Sarasota Pops is made up of almost 100 talented players, both professional and amateur. Throughout the year, the Bradenton-based orchestra takes part in several concerts at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. For schedule information, call them at (941) 795-7677.
The Golden Apple Dinner Theatre opened its doors in 1971, and has since produced over 300 plays and musicals including such classics as 42nd Street, Hello Dolly and The Sound of Music – along with more modern presentations like Chicago, Urinetown and Footloose. The theatre is open Tuesdays through Sundays with a 6pm Dinner / 8pm Show. (Sunday show times different from Easter through mid-December). In addition to the evening show, on Saturdays only, The Golden Apple offers a Matinee which is a 12pm Lunch / 1:30pm Show. Call the Box Office at 941-366-5454 for more information.
Theatre Works, Inc. performs musicals, comedies and dramas from November through May. You'll find them at 1247 First Street in Sarasota. (941) 952-9170.
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is a stunning entertainment arena designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. It hosts world-renowned music, dance and theater events throughout the year. They're located at 777 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. For a seasonal brochure or to obtain more information, call them at (800) 826-9303 or visit Van Wezel Performing Arts Center Events & Tickets
The Venice Little Theatre is undeniably one of the most successful non-profit community theaters in the country. Their September through June performance schedule usually includes six main stage musicals and comedies, four full-length plays and two full-length youth oriented shows plus a series of one-act plays and readings of new materials which extend throughout the summer. Visit them at 140 West Tampa Avenue in Venice. (941) 488-1115.
The Venice Symphony performs classical and pops concerts during their regular season of November through May but there are also additional performances off-season. For more information, you can reach them at (941) 488-1010.
Asolo Center for the Perfoming Arts
Experience the thrill and tradition of four decades of professional theatre in the
beautiful setting of Sarasota.
Circus Magic In Sarasota
Feel The Magic Of The Circus in Sarasota. Sarasota is home to one of the greatest circus museums in the world. The Ringling legacy includes John Ringling’s personal home, the Ringling Museum of Art, the Ringling Circus Museum, as well as St. Armand's Circle and the circus ring of fame. There are several circuses still providing performances based in the Sarasota area.
Gamble Mansion & Plantation (State Park)
The visitor center is open from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Thursday through Monday; it is closed on Fridays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
The grounds of Gamble Plantation contain the mansion, where tours are given through the house, a visitor center and a picnic area where the visitor can relax and enjoy the beautifully landscaped grounds. This historic site grounds are open from 8 A.M. to sunset. There is no fee to enter the grounds or the visitor center. The mansion is open Thursday through Monday with tours being given at 9:30 and 10:30 A.M., and at 1, 2, 3 & 4 P.M. Tickets for a guided tour of the mansion can be purchased in the visitor center.
Herrmann's Royal Lipizzan Stallions of Austria
Visitors are welcome to watch the Winter training sessions beginning the first weekend after Christmas through the end of March. Show times are Thursdays & Fridays 3:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. Reservations requested for groups of 15 or more.
Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzan Ranch. 32755 Singletary Road. Myakka City. Take I-75 to Fruitville Road (Exit 210), drive 12 miles East to Verna Road and turn left. Turn Right on Singletary Road and drive 6 miles. Turn right on Betts Road and your there.
Historic Spanish Point
As this region’s premier historic site museum, Historic Spanish Point actively preserves and interprets its valuable archaeological record. Prehistoric people occupied the site as early as 3,000 BC and lived along the shoreline for nearly 4,000 years. Located on the shores of Little Sarasota Bay in Osprey.
Siesta Key Drum Circle
Every Sunday in Sarasota, about 1 hour before sunset, located just south of the main pavilion between lifeguard stands 3 and 4 on Siesta Public Beach. Just follow your ears. This is not a commercial event but local phenomenon that began sponteneously and now has a life of its own.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Perhaps best known for its living collection of more than 6,000 orchids. Selby's 11 bay-front acres are an open-air and under-glass museum of more than 20,000 colorful plants, many collected in the wild on nearly 100 scientific expeditions to tropical rainforests by the Selby Gardens' research staff. Seven greenhouses are the heart of botanical research and plant identification, for which Selby is internationally recognized.
Make memories at Mote Aquarium! 135,000-gallon shark habitat, sea turtles, jellyfish, seahorses, two touch pools with rays and more! See research in action through viewable labs and visit Hugh and Buffett, two resident manatees. Mysterious Mollusks features a 25-foot preserved giant squid specimen and visitors can travel through the marine food web in Immersion Theater.
Myakka River State Park
Myakka River is one of Florida's "Wild and Scenic Rivers". Twelve miles of Myakka River flows through Myakka River State Park. The Park is 45 square miles (28,875 acres) of wetlands, grassy marshes, prairies, river floodplains, pine flatwoods and oak-palm hammocks and is one of the original Civilian Conservation Corps parks. The park is also a premiere bird and wildlife observation area in Florida.
Ringling Museum of Art
Located on a beautiful 66-acre water-front estate, The Ringling Museum of Art is known for its rich and varied collections including the largest collection of Peter-Paul Rubens paintings outside of Europe. The Ringlings built their winter home, Ca' d'Zan, in 1924-26 and opened the art galleries to the public in 1930. The Circus Museum displays the world's largest miniature circus, costumes, wagons and more. The rose garden, two restaurants and a gift shop are also located on the grounds.
S.W. Florida Wineries
Visit the groves and wineries of South West Florida. Taste award winning wines of this region and bring home your favorite flavor. Grapes produced in this area include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Sangiovese. Several wineries provide lunch tours, or picnic areas as well.
Formerly the spring home of the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds, you can now watch the Baltimore Orioles play during spring training. A $31.2 million renovation was completed prior to the beginning of spring training in February 2011 which includes high definition TV's, air conditioned suites, and a new cafe.
Sarasota Classic Car Museum
The Museum is the 3rd oldest automobile museum in the United States and has over 100 automobiles spaning nearly ten decades of automotive history.
Sarasota County parks & recreation facilities
Sarasota County has over 40 public parks & recreation facilities offering everything from archery, baseball, basketball, and canoeing to fishing, fitness training, picnicking, racquetball, softball, swimming, tennis, volleyball, and watersports. Food and drink, nature trails, childrens playground equipment and restrooms are located at many of the area parks as well.
Sarasota Music Archives
With an inventory of more than 100,000 items and a full educational program, the
16 year-old Sarasota Music Archive is thriving.
The Opera celebrates its 40th season with Carmen, La Rondine, Luisa Miller and
Rimsky-Korsakov's romantic comedy, May Night.
Sarasota Film Society
Find out what is Now Showing at Burns Court Cinema, or read about the upcoming films and events.
Myakka River State Park
This 28,875-acre park invites visitors to explore wetlands, woodlands, and prairies and observe a large wildlife population. Info: (941) 361-6511.
The Players of Sarasota
Sarasota's Premiere Entertainment Center -- Musicals, musicals, and more musicals -- not to mention concerts, dance, special events, and Performing Arts School too! Don't miss Sarasota's finest! Great entertainment at reasonable ticket prices.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
One of southwest Florida's favorite family attractions. Acres of beautiful gardens and nature trails make this a perfect setting for leisurely strolls.
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Located directly on Sarasota Bay, the publicly owned Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall presents some 110 performances of world-class professional music, dance, and theater from October through April of each year.
Warm Mineral Springs
The Springs is the only warm mineral spring in Florida. It's water has the highest mineral content of any warm springs in the world, even more than the famous spas in Vichy and Aix les Bains in France, Baden Baden in Germany and the Hot Springs in Arkansas. The Spring's 87 degree water can provide relief for muscular problems, arthritis and rheumatism.
Ballroom Dancing Locations:
Wilsons Dance Sport. 2272 Main St. Sarasota. (941) 955-8558
The Dance Palace. 5725 Lawton Dr. Sarasota. (941) 923-3923
The Ballroom. 5660 Swift Rd. Sarasota. (941) 925-2411
Gotta Dance Studio. 303 S. Tamiami Trail. Nokomis. (941) 486-0326