Beer Boats and Bacon event at Nathan Benderson Park. Courtesy Image
Beer Boats and Bacon event at Nathan Benderson Park. Courtesy Image
Beer Boats and Bacon event at Nathan Benderson Park. Courtesy Image

Fall Activities for Adults in Sarasota

Check out some of the best events for adults in Sarasota this fall, such as Beer, Boats and Bacon, Ringling International Arts Festival and Jdub’s Brewing Oktoberfest.

Fall is in the air in Sarasota, and beyond the faint scent of salty sea breezes and pumpkin spice pancakes linger the distinct seasonal smells of—could that be hops, barley and malt? Sizzling bratwurst and barbecue? And do we smell... horses?

Fall may be the season for pumpkin patches, tricks and treats, and campfire s'mores for kids—but for the grown-ups, October in beckons full-bodied brews and autumnal celebrations as the days become shorter, the nights grow longer, and the temperatures dip into the 70s Fahrenheit in Sarasota.

Oktoberfest'ing and Fall Feasting

October 7: Mandeville Beer Garden's 3rd annual Oktoberfest will feature 11 German brews on tap, with a limited number of one-litre beer steins for purchase. As a fun twist on classic Oktoberfest themes: come dressed in your best lederhosen or dirndl to receive a free soft pretzel.

October 7: The 3rd annual Beer, Bands & BBQ presented by the Music Compound will feature local craft and domestic beers on tap, barbecue-inspired dishes from local restaurants, and 45-minute live music sets from local bands including Funktastic Soul, Steve Arvey Band, Trailer Tricks & Finger Picks, Jah Movement, Blue Skye Pipe & Drums, Trey Wanvig Band, and Music Compound students. This is a family friendly event.

October 7: Prepare to polka. BOPtoberfest 2017 at the British Open Pub in Venice celebrates Oktoberfest with German brews, nosh, and the musical stylings of Hafenkapelle—a Cape Coral-based costume band specializing in German festival music.

October 13: The Budweiser Clydesdales are coming to downtown Sarasota to deliver ice-cold beer the old-fashioned way! Check out the Destination Downtown Sarasota event details here.

October 21: Celtoberfest, Sarasota's Celtic Music Festival, celebrates a range of Celtic music including Celtic folk, fusion, and rock. As a bonus, sip on award-winning Celtic beers and chow down on eats from Sarasota's Pub 32 Irish Gastropub and the Celtic Ray Public House restaurant from Punta Gorda.

October 29 & 30: Big Red Nose Burlesque, Sarasota's newest caburlesque troupe presents Halloween BOOlesque 8 p.m. at The Starlite Room. Blending arts of cabaret and burlesque, this troupe presents a unique burlesque experience with a musical theatre twist.

November 4-5: The annual Beer, Boats and Bacon festival at Nathan Benderson Park is a family-friendly event that puts bacon and beer from Florida breweries at the forefront of the festivities—along with the excitement of the coinciding Sarasota-Bradenton Rowing Chase Race. Adults can sample from 80+ beers and cocktails, and all can enjoy $4 bacon and brunch bites from local restaurants.

November 11: The Suncoast Food and Wine Festival puts the spotlight on fine wine and dining at the picturesque Lakewood Ranch Polo Grounds. Festival proceeds benefit local charities in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, with more than $1.5 million raised to date from the annual festival.

Burn off those Oktoberfest Beers and Brat Calories

October 7-8: Get a head start burning the fall beer and barbecue calories at the first annual Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon Festival at Nathan Benderson Park. The festival offers racing opportunities for all age groups, collegiate and elite racers alike.

October 22: The 8th annual "Tour de North Port" Bike Ride by People for Trees offers 15, 35, and 65 mile road routes highlighting North Port's scenic pine flatwoods, as well as a "Gravel Grinders" route at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, specially designed for mountain bikers.

October 28: The 14th annual Boo Run 5K by the Lakewood Ranch Running Club is a family-oriented race. Dress in costume to celebrate Halloween and compete in the Boo Run costume contest and awards.

October 29: The 29th annual Bill's Beer Run is a fundraiser for the Manasota Track Club, funding college scholarships and youth running programs. Need incentive to lace up your jogging shoes? Participate in the run, and your wristband earns you a celebratory post-workout beer.

November 23: The ALSO Youth Turkey Trot 5K is a chance to squeeze in a run over the Ringling Bridge on Thanksgiving morning before squeezing in those second and third helpings of sweet potatoes, stuffing and Thanksgiving turkey. Proceeds benefit Sarasota's LGBT peer-support organization, ALSO Youth.

Other Fall Events Geared Toward the Grownups:

October 5 and November 2: Ringling Underground springs into action when Sarasota's college campuses fill up during the fall and spring semesters. The Fall 2017 installment of Ringling Underground features eclectic and indie, folk, and psych rock lineup in addition to the work of up-and-coming visual and performance artists in the Ringling Museum Courtyard.

October 14: Part performance art, part philanthropy, and 100% camp, the Sarasota Lady Arm Wrestlers throw their muscle—and a slew of unruly stage antics and improv humor—behind local nonprofits serving women, equality and freedom of expression. SLAW's October 14 fall brawl at Sarasota's Cock & Bull Pub benefits UnidosNow.

October 18 - October 21: The annual Ringling International Arts Festival brings a breathtaking lineup of top global performers to the Sarasota stage at The Ringling. Ranging from traditional and folkloric to cutting-edge avant-garde, RIAF performances generate a buzz that extends long past the four-day festival. Get cultured at RIAF 2017.

November 10-12: The Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) presents SarasotaMOD Weekend Nov. 10 through 12. This festival celebrates the legacy of acclaimed Sarasota School architect Edward J. Seibert, FAIA.

Enjoy Fall in Sarasota

Of course pumpkin patches, hayrides, and trick-or-treat sweets certainly deserve their place on Sarasota's fall social calendar. Find a cornucopia of all-ages fun in our Family Friendly Guide to Halloween and Fall in Sarasota County.

However, we encourage you to keep in mind that…: from sophisticated contemporary dance acts to foul-mouthed arm wrestlers—to sauerkraut, schnitzel and malty Märzens—some tastes are just better suited to an adult palate.

Make sure you don't miss out on your chance to sample from the wide variety of what Sarasota offers the grown-ups during its most "Oktober-festive" season!