A look at our favorite events taking place this week.
Thursday, Dec. 7
5 p.m. at The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road
$15; $5 for children ages 6 to 17 and free with one unwrapped toy
Get in the holiday spirit and give back at this festive evening in support of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots (serving Sarasota and Manatee counties). The Ringling will offer extended evening hours so visitors can enjoy holiday music performances by local students and explore both museums, the Ca’ d’Zan and Tibbals Learning Center on self-guided tours.
7 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.
$17 to $21
Louisville native and racehorse owner Mark Klein has made national comic appearances on CBS, Showtime, Sirius XM and the “Bob and Tom Show.” His act is known as a fast-paced examination of the things he knows best: bourbon, horse racing, family and freedom.
Jazz from Pearl Harbor: A Veteran’s Tribute
7:30 p.m. at the Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton
$10; $5 for students and staff
Pete Carney will lead the State College of Florida Big Band and Jazz Combo in this unique Pearl Harbor tribute performance. Take a step back into the 1940s when jazz music was the only piece of home soldiers and sailors at sea could experience.
Friday, Dec. 8
Haze — Opening Reception and Artist Meet & Greet
6 p.m. at 530 Burns Gallery, 530 Burns Lane
“Haze - A Collection of Atmospheric Paintings” is an exhibition of work by Steven Anton Rehage and Katie Cassidy. Hear from both artists as they explain why they’re inspired by nature and how they use blurred, layered paint to create abstract spaces.
Community Ocean Conservation Film Festival
6 p.m. at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Free, but registration required
Kick off the 2017 Youth Ocean Conservation Summit weekend with a screening of the award-winning film “Chasing Coral.” Learn how individuals from several fields came together to invent the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events in real time.
Don't Miss: ‘The Nutcracker’
Ariel Serrano, Delia Ballart Arcia, Tania Vergara and Wilmian Hernandez of The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School conceived and choreographed this version of the classic holiday ballet. Bring the kids and enjoy the school’s Venice debut.
If You Go:
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice
Tickets: $36 to $51
Info: Call 218-3779.
8 p.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota Orchestra harnesses the power of intense emotion in this performance of pieces such as Stravinsky’s “Firebird” and Barber’s Violin Concerto. Soloist Benjamin Beilman joins guest conductor Larry Rachleff for the passionate performance.
Saturday, Dec. 9
Lido Beach Holiday of the Arts
Paragon Fine Arts Festivals
10 a.m. at Lido Beach, 400 Benjamin Franklin Drive
Ring in the holiday season with a weekend of original artwork. Whether you’re gift shopping or treating yourself, there’s something in every price point at this festival of handmade pieces by 80-some artists from across Florida and the nation.
Holiday Pops Cabaret Concert
2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish Auditorium, 3100 26th St. W., Bradenton
Free, donations accepted
Sit back, relax and tap your toes as The Manatee Community Concert Band plays many of your favorite holiday tunes, including “The Nutcracker Suite,” “Sleigh Ride,” and a special transcription of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Back by popular demand, the Dewey, Singum and Howe Barbershop Quartet will provide preconcert entertainment.
Ugly Sweater Crawl Sarasota
6 p.m. at Old School Bar & Grill, 1991 Main St.
$18 to $30
Just because we don’t get a winter wonderland doesn’t mean we can’t pretend. Grab the Christmas sweater only your mom finds cute and cross your fingers that it’s not too hot to wear it. Oh, and look out for drink specials at every bar.
5th Annual Barrel Tree Lighting Party
6 p.m. at Siesta Key Rum, 2212 Industrial Blvd.
Toast to the yuletide season with a holiday drink at this Siesta Key Rum event. Enjoy live music, shopping and plenty of samples, all while supporting Toys for Tots (to which 100% of ticket sales will be donated).
‘Everything Under The Florida Sun’ Opening Reception
7 p.m. at Oddity Tattoo Studio and Gallery, 1778 Main St.
Free, donations accepted
Call 955 6246.
Oddity Tattoo’s latest exhibit, “Everything Under The Florida Sun” will feature works inspired by people visiting and living in the Sunshine State. Featured artists include both guest and in-house Oddity artists. The event is also a fundraiser — 100% of the proceeds will Child Protection Center to help neglected and abused children.
Sunday, Dec. 10
Nik's Pick: Holiday Popera
When: 3 p.m. Sunday (and 7:30 p.m. Monday at Neel Performing Arts Center)
Where: Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way
Tickets: $20 to $25;students $5
Info: Call 926-7677.
Soprano Jenny Kim-Godfrey joins the Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota for its annual holiday performance, bringing with her a few opera arias along with a special duet with her husband, jazz guitarist John Godfrey.
Black Diamond Burlesque Holiday Show
8 p.m. at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd.
“Tease the season” with a burlesque performance in vaudeville fashion. Come for the Diamonds and stay for the special guests at this cabaret-style show.
Monday, Dec. 11
‘The Christmas Story’
7:30 p.m. at Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave.
Musica Sacra Sarasota will use “The Magnificat of John Rutter” — often considered one of the most important choral pieces of the 20th century — to get audiences in the Christmas spirit. The performance will also feature Oratorio de Noël by Camille Saint Saëns, a canta-like work created in 14 days.
Wednesday, Dec. 13
Holiday Champagne Tasting
6 p.m. at Michael’s Wine Cellar, 1283 S. Tamiami Trail
Toast to avoiding holiday gift shopping and sample a wide array of Champagnes and sparkling wines at this fun tasting event. Each ticket will receive a $25 retail voucher for purchases of $50 or more.