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The best things to do in Sarasota for Dec. 8-14

Ballet and holiday classics dot the landscape as Sarasota's arts community welcomes the Christmas season.

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  • | 1:30 p.m. December 6, 2022
Kellan Letschert-Price, 4, laughs as he tubes down an ice slope at Holiday on the Green at University Town Center,
Kellan Letschert-Price, 4, laughs as he tubes down an ice slope at Holiday on the Green at University Town Center,
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St. Armands Winter Spectacular
4-9 p.m. in St. Armands Circle.
$10 for attractions wristbands

See the Circle transformed into a winter wonderland until Jan. 3, 2023. Wristbands for attractions cost $10. The festival is open 4-9 p.m. on weekdays and from noon-9 p.m. on holiday weeks and weekends.

Steven and William Ladd will talk about their art and their inspiration.
Photo by Spencer Fordin

Artist Talk: Steven and William Ladd
6:30 p.m. at Sarasota Art Museum, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail

Very few artists are as productive and as charming as Steven and William Ladd. The brothers will greet the public and talk about their Sarasota Art Museum takeover, which includes both the Scrollathon and their 'Lead with a Laugh' exhibit. The Ladds made a beaded portrait family tree that currently hangs in the museum, and 'Lead with a Laugh' contains work they've developed over the last decade.

An Evening With Randall Goosby and Zhu Wang
7: 30 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.

PMP alumni Randall Goosby is back in town, and he's ready to show a little bit of what he's learned along the way. Goosby, an acclaimed virtuoso violinist, joined the PMP Orchestra at age 15 and spent a winter residency here in Sarasota. Goosby will be accompanied by pianist Zhu Wang.


Hermitage fellow Angélica Negrón is dropping science.
Photo courtesy of Hermitage Artist Retreat

Angélica Negrón: Playing a Plant
5 p.m. at Hermitage Great Lawn, 6600 Manasota Key Road, Englewood
$5, registration required

Negrón, the winner of the 2022 Hermitage Greenfield Prize, is a composer who loves to mix in a bit of the unexpected. The Puerto Rico native likes to mix the sounds of plants and other found objects into her compositions, and she'll talk a bit about her creative process at this event. Negrón will be back in Sarasota in 2024 to play the premiere of her Hermitage Greenfield Prize commision.

Southside Village Holiday Stroll
5-9 p.m. at Southside Village, between U.S. 41 and Opsrey Avenue

Join the evening festival filled with face painting, rock climbing and more. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit GIrls Inc.

'The Nutcracker'
7:30 p.m. at Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave.

The Sarasota Ballet School is thrilled to present the Nutcracker in conjunction with the Venice Symphony and the Venice Institute for the Performing Arts.
Photo courtesy of Frank Atura

If it's the holiday season, it's time for The Nutcracker. The classic ballet danced to a score by Tchaikovsky has taken on a life of its own here in the United States, and Sarasota is hosting several competing versions of the event this winter. The Sarasota Ballet School's performance will feature costumes and sets designed by the late Peter Farmer, and there will be an encore performance Saturday afternoon.

Three Dog Night
8 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail

Three Dog Night. One Great Show. The band named for a trio of canines is barking up the right tree at the Van Wezel, and it will be aiming to bring Joy to the World for one night in Sarasota. Three Dog Night had a trio of top Billboard hits in their heyday, and they've been touring for five decades now.


Country Bear Christmas
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bearadise Ranch, 6908 245th St. E., Myakka City
$20; ages 5-12 $5; ages 4 and under free

Bearadise Ranch is hosting Country Bear Christmas that includes visits with the bears in their habitat, visits with Santa, a petting zoo, country music, a vendor village, food and drinks, and live performances. Continues Sunday.

Holiday Ice Skating
4-10 p.m. in the East District at UTC
$17, which includes skate rental

Enjoy some cooler weather and test your balance at UTC's ice rink. Ice skating continues through Jan. 2. From Dec. 8-22, the rink will be open 4-10 p.m. From Dec. 23 to Jan. 2, the rink will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Country Christmas
6-10 p.m. at Hunsader Farms, 5500 C.R. 675 E., Bradenton
$15;kids 5 and under free

Hunsader Farms presents its annual Country Christmas, featuring more than 300,000 lights, train rides, Santa, craft vendors, live bands, a Christmas village, a petting zoo and more. Continues Sunday.

'Hip Hop Nutcracker'
7 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail

Sure, you've seen The Nutcracker. But have you see it on Hip Hop?
Photo courtesy of Cheryl Mann

If it's good enough for ballet, then why wouldn't it be good enough for hip hop? Settle into your seats for the energetic, explosive and infectious stylings of the Hip Hop Nutcracker, which aims to take a stately and familiar institution and turn it into something raucous, wild and unexpected. This production has toured all over the country for a decade, and over time it may just become an institution of its own.

Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade

6 p.m. on Marina Plaza, 2 Marina Plaza

Enjoy a holiday parade by the bay. Watch this annual holiday event full of boats decorated with colorful lights. 


TBI Open House
2-4 p.m. at Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key
Call 383-3428. 

Members and the public are invited to the pre-Chanukah open house to see what’s new at the temple. Refreshments will be served.

Hollywood Holidays
3 p.m. at Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way

The Pops Orchestra and the State College of Florida film department team up to bring you Hollywood classics and the music you may already know by heart. It's a dose of Holiday CineMagic, and The Pops will repeat their performance Monday afternoon at the Neel Performing Arts Center.

'Peace on Earth'
7 p.m. at Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Ave.
$35; $5 students

Choral Artists of Sarasota are ready to celebrate Peace on Earth.
Photo courtesy of Barbara Banks

Let Choral Artists bring you Peace on Earth. The choral group will hit the high notes on a bunch of holiday selections including "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and "O Come All Ye Faithful" in this event at Church of the Redeemer.

Lewis Black: 'Off the Rails Tour'
7 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail

He's a very angry man. Lewis Black burns with passion so incandescently that sometimes he spits out his punchlines as if he can't stand their acrid sensation in his mouth one moment longer. He's thought deeply about the world's problems, and he's coming to tell you all about them.

Holiday Harmony — Jingle All the Way
7 p.m. at Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave.

Pretty voices and beautiful holiday songs will hit the stage at the Venice Performing Arts Center on Sunday. Venice Chorale will celebrate the season with choral masterworks, seasonal favorites and even an audience singalong. 


TBI Toy Drive
Noon-1 p.m. at Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key
Call 383-3428.

Drive through the parking lot. Volunteers will be collecting toys for Second Chance Last Opportunity.

Carlos Serrano, Classical Guitarist
7:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 2256 Bahia Vista St.

Colombian-born guitarist Carlos Serrano is taking center stage as part of Guitar Sarasota's Emerging Artists Series. Serrano was a prize-winner at the Florida International University Concerto Competition, and he's performed with a number of small guitar and mandolin ensembles.


The 442s
7:30 p.m. at Historic Asolo Theatre, 5400 Bay Shore Road

These virtuosos are an acoustic quintet that includes three members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. You'll hear fantastic group singing and inventive improvisation, and the music will move all along the shadowy borderlands that comprise the worlds of jazz, classical, folk and pop music.

'My Fair Lady'
7:30 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail.

Wouldn't it be loverly if you had a chance to see one of the most acclaimed Broadway musicals right in your backyard? The classic 'My Fair Lady' comes to Sarasota with a new production helmed by Bartlett Sher.


SAM's 3-Year Anniversary Party
11 a.m. at Sarasota Art Museum, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail
Free with museum admission

Time passes by when you're having fun. The Sarasota Art Museum will be celebrating its third year of bringing memorable art exhibits and events to the community, and its inviting the public to join in the fun.


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