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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Jul. 17, 2013 4 years ago

Destination Downtown Bradenton

by: Mallory Gnaegy A&E Editor

1 Turner Donut Shop
902 Martin Luther King Junior Ave. Way, Bradenton

Start your day off by enjoying one of the 1,500 doughnuts sold daily at this Manatee County staple open for more than 20 years — but be ready to wait in line. This is one of a few Spudnut joints left in America; that means its raised doughnuts are potato-based rather than cake flour-based. It’s open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday; 5 a.m. to noon Saturday; and 6 a.m. to noon Sunday.

2 Village of the Arts
Bradenton; bound on the north by Ninth Avenue West, on the west by 14th Street, on the east by Ninth Street West and on the south by 16th Avenue West

There are 42 acres upon which a community of artists dwells and works in eclectic and colorful cottages that act as galleries, studios and businesses, including restaurants, retail shops and even a yoga studio.

A few of the galleries are open during the summer season from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, such as Dancing Crane Gallery, 1019 10th Ave. W.; and Divine Excess, 1125 12th St. W. But the big event in the Village of the Arts is the Monthly Art Walks, held the first weekend of every month. The next one takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3.

3 South Florida Museum
201 10th St. W., Bradenton

A trip to downtown Bradenton wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Gulf Coast’s largest history-and-cultural museum. In addition to learning the prehistory of Florida’s Gulf Coast from fossils, you’ll see art exhibits, a planetarium and an aquarium. At 6 p.m. most Fridays, the museum shows a film; this month, the films all relate to waterways. Cost for film admission is $5.

And, Snooty the manatee’s 65th Birthday Bash takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Snooty is the oldest manatee on record. To celebrate, there will be games, activities and family fun. If you were born in 1948 (the same year Snooty was born), you receive free admission to the museum during July.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $11.95 to $15.95.

4 Bradenton Riverwalk
452 Third Ave. W., Bradenton

The new development of downtown Bradenton’s waterfront has a little something for everyone: from a pickup game at the beach volleyball courts, or a picnic on the Great Lawn, to learning about river tides and ecology in the Tidal Discovery Zone or splashing around in the fountains at the Family Fun Zone. There’s also a kayak-and-canoe launch site, a fishing pier and a skate park.

On-street parking is free, but limited to one-to-two hours on weekends. The SunTrust garage is open to the public on weekends, and if you travel by boat, there are tie-ups at the day dock.

Gas needed: 1/4 a tank.

Total mileage: 30.1 miles

Total trip: 8 hours

Total cost: $ $ $ $

Manatee Village Historic Park, 1404 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton
Step back in time with a free visit to restored buildings from life before modern conveniences, such as an early settler’s home, a church from 1887 and even an old steam engine. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the second and fourth Saturdays of the month.

• Manatee Performing Arts Center 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton
The Manatee Players’ new and beautiful Manatee Performing Arts Center doesn’t officially launch its 2013-14 season until the highly anticipated “Les Miserables” Thursday, Aug. 8. But, there is a once a month, Sunday night “Music and Movie” series featuring food and cabaret followed by a 7 p.m. movie. “Fried Green Tomatoes” is Sunday’s flick. 

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