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Summer Fun

33 Things to Add To Your Sand Bucket List this Summer

Here are the top things to do, places to go, and sights to see this summer in Sarasota, Manatee counties.

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School’s out for the summer — and we know exactly what to do and where to go, what to do and what to see to fill the Florida summer months full of unforgettable memories. Forget the lazy days of summer, those days are long gone. 

We’ve rounded up a list of summer activities and destinations that you’ll want to cross off your sand bucket list this year.

Let's start exploring!

Sarasota Jungle Gardens

3701 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota; 941-355-5305;
It’s never too early to make summer plans for your little ones or for the entire family. Zoo camp is back for kids ages 6-11. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Bring the whole family to explore exhibits, see animal shows and have the adventure of a lifetime!

SCF Coding Academy

5840 26th St. W, Bradenton; 941-752-5160;
Ignite your child's curiosity at Spring Break Tech Camps! March 11-15 at SCF Lakewood Ranch for Sarasota County and March 25-29 at SCF Bradenton for Manatee County. Camps are from 9am - 3pm for 2nd-6th grades. STEM Tech Campers will use the "sandboxed world" more for Lego® Fortnight®. PLUS STEM-tastic summer awaits your child at our STEM Summer Camps! Emerging technology camps for 2nd-11th graders witha. focus on science, Minecraft, drones, robotics, 3D printing, laser cutting, entrepreneurships, virtual reality and more! Elementary camps are half day.

Discovery Point Child Development

7218 55th Ave., E, Bradenton' 941-200-4250;
Discover a summer camp full of possibilities. Visit all the attractions this summer at Discovery Land! Create masterpieces in constructions kingdom, solve the amusement park mystery, survive the high seas on pirate island — each weekly theme includes science experiments, literature and creative art projects. Field trips, water days, lunch, breakfast and snacks are part of camp.

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

201 10th St W, Bradenton; 941-746-4131;
This summer meet in The Planetarium for a monthly guide to the night skies and the latest news from the world of astronomy. Feel like an astronaut with their 50-foot drone! Doors Open at 6:30, presentation at 7PM. Beer and wine cash bar available for $10/$3 for Members/Members under 17; $15/$5 for Non-Members/Non-Members under 17.

School of Rock

8741 State Road 70 E, Bradenton; 941-842-7625;
Do you have a superstar on your hands? Artists ages 4 and up can rock with groups and have a weekly private lesson to develop skills only rockstars dream of and kids ages 12+ can join a songwriting program! PLUS, mom and dad, are YOU wanting to live out your rocker dreams? The adult program, 18+ helps improve musical abilities or to pick up an instrument for the first time!

Jumpin’ Fun Inflata Park!

7321 Trade Ct, Sarasota; 941-388-5867;
With over 15,000 sq. feet of inflatable fun plus 250 ft. long Air Rider zip-rail coasted, there’s fun for the entire family at this fantastically fun park! Looking to celebrate a birthday? They have hosted over 5,000 parties over the last 7 years!

SANCA: Nathan Benderson Park

5851 Nathan Benderson Cir, Sarasota; 941-358-7275;
This outdoor playground for all ages is accessible year-round! Between the recreational facilities, athletic centers, fitness classes and more there is something for every single outdoor loving member of your family. Summer camp on the water is the perfect way to spend your summer! Ages 6-14 can sign up now.

Florida Studio Theatre

1241 N Palm Ave, Sarasota; 941-366-9000;
A country music show, comic songwriting, 1970’s rock and roll, journey to recovery, an award-winning short play for children and improve — all offered on the stages of FST? Founded in 1973, the village of five theatres offers performances to the likes of every and any viewer.

Asolo Repertory Theatre

5555 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 800-361-8388;
Does someone ages 6-14 in your home have rhythm? It’s time to get them to make some noise — at Asolo Rep! Young artists get to explore movement, sound, and storytelling with professional. Spark creativity, create and perform, and fall in love with theatre, regardless of your experience.

Summer Success Institute

8084 Hawkins Rd, Sarasota; 941-587-6207;
Now is the time to build confidence and inspire your kids to be the best that they can! This premier academic summer camp has principles that your kids will learn and apply for the rest of their lives; be respectful, be grateful, be responsible, be friendly, be kind and be helpful.

Mystical Dance Company

4289 Clark Rd, Sarasota; 941-809-0054;
Calling all dances ages 2+! Choose from ballet, pointe, tap jazz, acro, lyrical, hip hop, musical theater, leaps and turns, contemporary, children's classes, adult classes and with summer themes like Taylor Swift, TikTok and others offered in June and July, the fun never ends.

Sarasota Crew

150 Bayview Ln, Osprey; 941-966-9791;
Did you know that one or the largest rowing programs is in your community? The skillsets, both inside the boat and outside of the boat, empower rowers from all walks of life. Youth, disabled, seniors and corporate rowing teams have participated in this organization. Since 2002, over 2000 individuals have benefited from the development program!

Drama Kids of Manasota

383 Interstate Blvd, Sarasota; 941-922-8121;
School might be out for the summer, but drama never ends! Sign up your drama loving children for a one-week camp where attendees get to unleash their creativity, refine acting skills, and have a captivating and entertaining time while doing so.

FC Sarasota

6700 Clark Rd., Sarasota; 941-925-7679;
Youth soccer has never been at this quality before! From ages 4-21+, athletes of all ages are developing skills, fitness, teamwork, and sportsmanship to adopt and preserve these important qualities in both personal and soccer focused growth. The passion for the game is felt on and off the field from coaches and athletes alike!

ArtCenter Manatee

209 9th St W., Bradenton; 941-746-2862;
Founded in 1937, ArtCenter Manatee is located in downtown Bradenton at the intersection of arts and culture. Have your little ones embark on an artistic adventure — Sprouting Artists (ages 4-6), Marvelous Mondays and Talented Tuesdays (ages 6-10), KidsArt Camps (ages 6-10), Emerging Artists (ages 11-15) are just some of the opportunities for your young aspiring artists! Scholarships are available.

Intercoastal Medical Group

Multiple locations,
What’s more fun then knowing your entire family is happy and healthy? Schedule check-ups or specialty appointments at multiple locations in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch. From allergy and asthma specialists to family practice and more — your health matters every season.

The Players Centre for Performing Arts

3501 S. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota, 941-365-2494;
The Secret Garden, an enchanting classic, will be showing from April 3 through April 21 at Players Theatre venue located in the Rosemary District downtown Sarasota. This community theatre is full of talent and offers locals and visitors alike to experience live theatre right here in our city.

Sarasota Art Museum

1001 S Tamiami Tr., Sarasota; 941-309-4300;

A cool and creative way for your child to learn, Sarasota Art Museum camps are the best of summer. At SAM Summer Art Camps, your young artist will get a chance to experiment with new materials, try new techniques, and even install their own Art Show with the Museum as their classroom! Looking for fun for the whole family? Check out SAM’s Youth and Family programs. From Spring Break art workshops to Saturday Family ArtLabs to Your Wednesday Playdate, there’s something for everyone this summer at SAM.

The Circus Arts Conservatory

2075 Bahia Vista St, Sarasota; 941-355-9805;
The Summer Circus Spectacular is coming June 2024 at the Ringling Museum! This exciting performance is perfect for the whole family — tickets on sale in May 2024.


10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch; 941-893-4321;
Make a reservation for brunch, served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am – 3 pm. Snack on sliders, feast of flatbreads, bite into brunch classics, eat entrees, sip on drink specials, dive into dessert and offer the kids anything from fish, steak, pasta and more!

Discover Sarasota Tours

1826 4th St, Sarasota; 941-260-9818;
Choose from entertaining and interactive tours (with air conditioning!) such as city sightseeing, art crawl, circus secrets, history hop, Amish experience, murder mystery, sunset cabaret, architecture and more! Whether you are 2 or 102, there is something for everyone.

TerraNova Equestrian Center

31625 Clay Gully Rd, Myakka City; 941-557-8014;
Does a younger member of your family have a passion for horses? For children ages 5-12, the Mini Horsemanship Camp is an exciting opportunity for young equestrians. Connect, groom, mane braid and get creative at the hose-themed craft tables!

Swim City

1960 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota; 941-922,4545; 50 N Tamiami Tr., Sarasota; 941-954-8800; 3170 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key; 941-383-2288;
On your way to the beach this summer? Stop into Swim City to grab everything you and your family could ever need — designer swimwear, resort wear, beach accessories and more! With locations at Stickney Point, downtown Sarasota, and Longboat Key your go-to sea-side shop is always nearby.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Downtown Sarasota Campus

1534 Mound St, Sarasota; 941-366-5731;
Thursday, July 4 the infamous Fourth of July All-American Cookout is back at the beautiful Selby Gardens! Delicious favorites available for purchase from Michael’s on East Grill, enjoy family-friendly activities and games on the Great Lawn and spectacular fireworks that light up the Sarasota Bay.

Cat Depot

2542 17th St, Sarasota; 941-366-2404;
This rescue, adoption and education cat center has placed over 20,000 cats to date in loving homes in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Volunteers are local heroes and heroes save these cats lives! Volunteer programs include teens (ages 12-17), adults (18+) and more! It’s the purr-fect way to spend your summer.

St. Armands Circle

300 Madison Dr, Sarasota; 941-388-1554;
Not that we need a reason to shop this summer, but here is another one. Support these local businesses in the infamous circle when it’s easier to find a parking space! The St. Armands craft festival and sidewalk sale is on June 8-9, 2024 from 10am-4PM. Enjoy works from over 175 artisans and craft persons!

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota; 941-388-4441;
Did you know that you can schedule a Sea Snooze overnight experience at our local aquarium? Available on Friday and Saturday nights for $75 per person, for 10 people minimum, sleep alongside galleries of fish, crabs, corals and more! Due to the popularity of this program, please request your Sea Snooze 6-8 weeks in advance.

The Bay Park

655 N Tamiami Tr., Sarasota; 941-203-5316;
Planning your visit at this “one park for all” is as easy as it is exciting. From programs such as introduction to pickleball to yoga, to kayak tours and astronomy gazing, to concerts and movies and more this transformed 53-acre park is an oasis for the entire family.

Waterside Place

7500 Island Cove Terrace, Sarasota; 941-755-0512;
Have you been to this mecca for foodies? Restaurants including Crop Juice, Forked at Waterside, Good Liquid Brewing and Distilling Co., Kilwins, Kore Steakhouse, O&A Coffee Supply and Osteria 500 — with more to come, have redefine the foodie scene in East County.

Siesta Key Drum Circle

948 Beach Rd, Siesta Key; 941-861-5000;
One hour before sunset, locals and visitors alike gather at Siesta Key Beach for this free, festival-like atmosphere to hear and view one of the largest drum circles in the world. Everyone is welcome, everyone is encouraged to enjoy the fun and everyone can take in what it’s like to live in paradise. Just bring yourself and maybe a beach chair.

Myakka Elephant Ranch

4450 Verna Bethany Rd, Myakka City; 941-702-0220;
Elephant conservation is happening down the road and providing memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences for those who are going to the center. Interacting with these magical creatures, learning about who they are and even washing and feeding them are all possibilities on the ranch.

Sarasota Paradise

1000 S. School Ave., Sarasota;
Kicking off its second season, played from May through July, this soccer club fuels the community with its heart of the game. Cheer, chant and push the first soccer club of Sarasota to victory!


21805 State Road 70 E, Bradenton; 941-322-2130;
When was the last time you played in the trees? Rise above this summer at this adventure course full of climbing, swinging and adventuring through 10 football fields of terrain. Celebrating a summer birthday? Receive a 50% discount within 7 days of your special day when you bring another climber that pays full price.