3rd Annual Pavement Music Festival
3rd Annual Pavement Music Festival

A-Z: Fall for Sarasota's Autumn in 2017

During the fall, there is so much fun happening that it can be overwhelming. Take a deep breath of cool(er) air and, like the autumnal pumpkin at the patch, take your pick.

Although our leaves don’t fall and our air isn’t exactly crisp, we in Sarasota relish the arrival of fall just as much as those with the crimson trees. It’s the sign of the temperatures starting to drop, windows being opened, pants being rediscovered, and festival season beginning. During the fall, there is so much fun happening that it can be overwhelming. Take a deep breath of cool(er) air and, like the autumnal pumpkin at the patch, take your pick.

October

Sundays: Sunday evenings mean Drum Circle Night on Siesta Key. An hour before sunset, the beat begins and the dancing resumes until the sun has said goodnight. No fees, no expectations, no judgement.

Wednesdays: The mid-week shopping gets the weekend treatment at the Phillippi Farmhouse Market, open Wednesdays from 9am until 2pm. Fresh produce, flowers, crafts, and ready-made items (coffee and doughnuts anyone?) abound at this friendly fete of freshness.

6 – The Palm Avenue First Friday Walks event in Downtown Sarasota gives art lovers a backdoor peek without the hustle and bustle of the crowds but with the cool breeze and moonlight sky the evening brings.

6 - Café in the Park hosts their Live Music in the Park featuring Rebekah Pulley beginning at 7:30. Arrive early at 6pm to enjoy some of their shockingly delicious goodies before enjoying the outdoor concert.

6-7 – Snook, science, and salty air merge into an angler’s trifecta at the Mote Snook Shindig (mote.org). This catch and release event serves short-term goals (win a prize!) with long-term goals (help the biologists at Mote discover how their released snook fare in the wild). It’s do-gooding disguised as fun. All ages welcome.

7-8 – Every weekend of October, Fruitville Grove opens their gates for the annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival. From 10am until 5pm, the pony rides, haunted house, petting zoo, train and hay rides, crafts, and snacks await the smiling faces of fall fanatics. Plenty of pumpkins for sale mean jack o lanterns and photo ops. Entry is free but cash is needed for the events within.  

7 – The 3rd Annual Oktoberfest at Mandeville Beer Garden gives beer aficionados an excuse to don their lederhosen with the excuse of earning a free soft pretzel. With 11 German beers on tap, the 14-hour event, running from 11am-1am, will fly by.

7- Kids love trucks. And most want to be a firefighter or policeman/woman at some point of their childhood. Let them live out their fantasies while secretly learning safety at the annual Fire Prevention Open House. Climb in the trucks, don the suit and run an obstacle course, shake hands with the heroes, watch the pros extinguish the fire. It’s every kid’s dream come true. Free admission. 10am-2pm.

7 – Start your day in balance with free yoga at Bayfront Park. Beginning at 8am, stretch and center your body and soul while overlooking the stunning Sarasota Bay. Class provided by CircuSoul.

8 – The Morton’s Firehouse Chili Cookoff puts heroes from fifteen area Fire Houses in a battle of best chili in this outdoor event, which not only features firefighters and chili, but live music as well. All money earned supports the Sarasota Fireman’s benevolent fund. In conjunction with the event, the Big Top Brewtail Takeover at L Bar features beers from the local brewery.

12 – Everyone knows that the ghosts and goblins come out in the fall, and the Ghost Tour of Downtown Sarasota gives attendees a walking tour of what makes Sarasota’s skin crawl. $25. PG-13 content. Total walking distance is approximately one mile. 7:45-10pm.

12 – The Orchid Show at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens kicks off for the next six weeks. This year’s theme is Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Open 10am-5pm.

13 – Behold! The Budweiser Clydesdales are coming to Sarasota to amaze us all with their enormity and beauty…and to deliver beer. Between the hours of 5pm and 6pm, these awesome creatures will meander down Main Street, reminiscent of days long gone. Meet and greet tickets available.

13 - Café in the Park hosts their Live Music in the Park beginning at 7:30. Arrive early at 6pm to enjoy some of their shockingly delicious goodies before enjoying the outdoor concert.

14- The Howl-o-Ween Movie Night Spooktacular at Ed Smith Stadium features a costume parade around the bases for kids dressed up, games, activities, and a showing of Monsters, Inc. on their big screen. The cost of admission is a non-perishable food donation to All Faith’s Food Bank. Bring chairs and blankets. No outside food admitted but concessions will be sold. The event begins at 5:00pm and ends at 9:00pm.

14-15 – Enjoy food, drinks, and live entertainment at the 11th Annual Hungarian Festival at the Sarasota Fairgrounds.

14-15 – Every weekend of October, Fruitville Grove opens their gates for the annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival. From 10am until 5pm, the pony rides, haunted house, petting zoo, train and hay rides, crafts, and snacks await the smiling faces of fall fanatics. Plenty of pumpkins for sale mean jack o lanterns and photo ops. Entry is free but cash is needed for the events within. 

17 - Everyone knows that the ghosts and goblins come out in the fall, and the Ghost Tour of Downtown Sarasota (Everyone knows that the ghosts and goblins come out in the fall, and the Ghost Tour of Downtown Sarasota gives attendees a walking tour of what makes Sarasota’s skin crawl. $25. PG-13 content. Total walking distance is approximately one mile. 7:45-10pm.) gives attendees a walking tour of what makes Sarasota’s skin crawl. $25. PG-13 content. Total walking distance is approximately one mile. 7:45-10pm.

18- Orchids, music, and cocktails merge into the perfect night out at Orchid Evenings at Selby Gardens. Each week of the event features a new signature cocktail and entertainer.

18-21 – Prepare to feel and think at the Ringling International Arts Festival. Over these four days, performers mesmerize with their unique and beautiful art, from dance to music to photography. Each act is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

20 – Mote Marine’s Night of Fish, Fun & Fright is my kids’ favorite event of the Halloween season. Trick or treat, watch divers carve pumpkins while swimming with sharks, Mad Science experiments, and costumes galore. 6-8:30pm.

20 – Celebrate the end of the week at Lakewood Ranch’s 3rd Annual Main Street Block Party. Vendors, beer, and live music take the party to the street. 5-8pm. Free. Kid- and dog-friendly.

20 - Café in the Park hosts their Live Music in the Park beginning at 7:30. Arrive early at 6pm to enjoy some of their shockingly delicious goodies before enjoying the outdoor concert.

20-21 - Choose your poison at the Haunted Trails at Oscar Scherer. Timid visitors enjoy the Trick or Treat Trail, while the more adventurous head to the Haunted Trail. Only the bravest of the brave dare to explore the Haunted Pavilion.

21-22– Every weekend of October, Fruitville Grove opens their gates for the annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival. From 10am until 5pm, the pony rides, haunted house, petting zoo, train and hay rides, crafts, and snacks await the smiling faces of fall fanatics. Plenty of pumpkins for sale mean jack o lanterns and photo ops. Entry is free but cash is needed for the events within. 

22 – Grab your pointy hat and ride your broom to the Witches Tea at Children’s Garden. Crafts and goodies abound at this whimsical Halloween-y event.

22 – Get ready for some raunchy fun at Drag Queen Bingo Bonanza at McCurdy’s Comedy Café.

22 – Marie Selby Botanical Gardens hosts the Curious Bedfellows at their Garden Music Series event. Local favorite Michael’s on East will be selling grilled food. The show spans from 1pm-3pm and is included in the price of admission.

25 – Orchids, music, and cocktails merge into the perfect night out at Orchid Evenings at Selby Gardens. Each week of the event features a new signature cocktail and entertainer.

26 - Everyone knows that the ghosts and goblins come out in the fall, and the Ghost Tour of Downtown Sarasota (Everyone knows that the ghosts and goblins come out in the fall, and the Ghost Tour of Downtown Sarasota gives attendees a walking tour of what makes Sarasota’s skin crawl. $25. PG-13 content. Total walking distance is approximately one mile. 7:45-10pm.) gives attendees a walking tour of what makes Sarasota’s skin crawl. $25. PG-13 content. Total walking distance is approximately one mile. 7:45-10pm.

27 – Evie’s Spanish Point’s Family Horror Night gives the little ones what they want (hayrides, face painting, outdoor movie) as well as the big ones (jello shots and Halloween cocktails).

27 - Café in the Park hosts their Live Music in the Park beginning at 7:30. Arrive early at 6pm to enjoy some of their shockingly delicious goodies before enjoying the outdoor concert.

28 – The Monthly Food Truck Rally features not only nine food trucks, but also brew from local favorite JDubs, tshirt screenprinting, nitro cold brew coffee, kombucha, and live music. Kid- and dog-friendly. 5-10pm.

28 – Giving Hunger the Blues & Jazz gives guests ten hours of live entertainment on two outdoor stages at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Overlooking Sarasota Bay, groove to the tunes while raising money for those in need.

28 – It’s a tale as old as time – you, a lawn chair, and an outdoor showing of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. A match made in heaven. If you haven’t seen the new live version of the film, this event at Nathan Benderson Park is a perfect opportunity to view this lovely film for free and under the stars.

28-29 – Every weekend of October, Fruitville Grove opens their gates for the annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival. From 10am until 5pm, the pony rides, haunted house, petting zoo, train and hay rides, crafts, and snacks await the smiling faces of fall fanatics. Plenty of pumpkins for sale mean jack o lanterns and photo ops. Entry is free but cash is needed for the events within. 

29- Don a costume and bring the kids to the daytime Selby Gardens Spooktacular event. Trick or treating, seed planting, mad scientist center – it’s the Halloween for kids who like to get dirty and learn a thing or two. 10am – Noon.

29- The Children’s Garden 14th Annual Children’s Spooktacular Celebration! features trick or treating, crafts, and goodies, free with a donation to the All Faith’s Food Bank. Prize for best costume. 5:30-7pm.

29 – Like beer? Like running? At the Halloween Beer Mile at JDubs Brewing, participants drink a craft brew, run a ¼ mile, drink a craft brew, run a ¼ mile….you get the idea. After a mile and four beers, it’s a party.

29 - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens hosts Renesito from Cuba at their Garden Music Series event. Local favorite Michael’s on East will be selling grilled food. The show spans from 1pm-3pm and is included in the price of admission.

30 – The 4th annual Food and Wine Festival gathers the top restauranteurs of downtown Sarasota to the historic Sarasota Opera house for an event celebrating all things culinary. 1-4pm.

31 – Grownups like dressing up, too, and the Halloween Costume Party at Marina Jacks is the place to do it. Free drink ticket to those in costume, prize for best costume, cocktails, and piano bar.

31 – Halloween Costume Contest at JDubs Brewing gives prizes for the best costume and the best group costume. Special beer and a macaroni & cheese bar rounds out the night.

31 – Venice Children’s Halloween Parade allows the kids to proudly show off their costumes to more than just their neighbors. Hundreds of children walk the route, earning candy along the way. 4pm in Centennial Park in Venice.

November

Sundays: Sunday evenings mean Drum Circle Night on Siesta Key. An hour before sunset, the beat begins and the dancing resumes until the sun has said goodnight. No fees, no expectations, no judgement.

Wednesdays: The mid-week shopping gets the weekend treatment at the Phillippi Farmhouse Market, open Wednesdays from 9am until 2pm. Fresh produce, flowers, crafts, and ready-made items (coffee and doughnuts anyone?) abound at this friendly fete of freshness.

1 - Orchids, music, and cocktails merge into the perfect night out at Orchid Evenings at Selby Gardens. Each week of the event features a new signature cocktail and entertainer.

2 – Music and art combine at Ringling Underground, an after-hours event held at the stunning outdoor courtyard of the Ringling Museum. College students enter free, as do museum members and children under 5. Additional entry information found at the Ringling website. Cash bar.

3 – The Palm Avenue First Friday Walks event in Downtown Sarasota gives art lovers a backdoor peek without the hustle and bustle of the crowds but with the cool breeze and moonlight sky the evening brings.

3 - Café in the Park hosts their Live Music in the Park beginning at 7:30. Arrive early at 6pm to enjoy some of their shockingly delicious goodies before enjoying the outdoor concert.

4 – Inspire Sarasota! Festival, held at Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota from 9:30am-4:30pm is a free event packed with culture, art, food, and activities.

4- Start your day in balance with free yoga at Bayfront Park. Beginning at 8am, stretch and center your body and soul while overlooking the stunning Sarasota Bay. Class provided by Pineapple Yoga.

4-5 – The Sarasota Medieval Fair is open for three weekends for a reason – there is so much to do and see. Pub crawl, kids’ activities, jousting, turkey legs, live music, over 100 craft artisans, demonstrations, games, and costumes galore. Held at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. 10am-5:30pm.

5- Marie Selby Botanical Gardens hosts PMP/Suncoast at their Garden Music Series event. Local favorite Michael’s on East will be selling grilled food. The show spans from 2pm-3pm and is included in the price of admission.

8- Orchids, music, and cocktails merge into the perfect night out at Orchid Evenings at Selby Gardens. Each week of the event features a new signature cocktail and entertainer.

10-13 – After attending the Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival, you will never look at sand the same way again. Watch as these artists create masterpieces over the course of days, listen to live music, snack and drink, take a sand building class, and vote for the grand champion.

10-13 – Winner Best Festival/Event in Sarasota County six years in a row the International Chalk Festival is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of turning pavement into a 'Museum in Motion.’ Its the largest gathering of renown pavement artists in the world who create over a few days chalk oversized masterpieces as well as the biggest display of 3D illusions ever to be seen in one location. Hot air balloon, food, spirits, family interactive - tickets online at chalkfestival.org.

10-13 – 3rd Annual Pavement Music Festival welcomes local and national musicians who perform onstage from 8 AM till sunset during the Chalk Festival. Events, Music lineup and tickets online.

10 - Café in the Park hosts their Live Music in the Park beginning at 7:30. Arrive early at 6pm to enjoy some of their shockingly delicious goodies before enjoying the outdoor concert.

11 – Running the Myakka River Half Marathon, the 13.1 miles fly by as stunning views of forests, lakes, and true Florida come into view, mile after mile.

11-12 - The Sarasota Medieval Fair is open for three weekends for a reason – there is so much to do and see. Pub crawl, kids’ activities, jousting, turkey legs, live music, over 100 craft artisans, demonstrations, games, and costumes galore. Held at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. 10am-5:30pm.

12 - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens hosts The Bird Tribe at their Garden Music Series event. Local favorite Michael’s on East will be selling grilled food. The show spans from 1pm-3pm and is included in the price of admission.

15 – Orchids, music, and cocktails merge into the perfect night out at Orchid Evenings at Selby Gardens. Each week of the event features a new signature cocktail and entertainer.

17 - Café in the Park hosts their Live Music in the Park beginning at 7:30. Arrive early at 6pm to enjoy some of their shockingly delicious goodies before enjoying the outdoor concert.

18 – For the fifth year in a row, the Venice Blues Festival brings performer after performer onto their stage. Bring a chair and some soul for this outdoor event. Children under 12 free. In conjunction with the Festival is the Pub Crawl (https://www.facebook.com/events/418334415202715/), spanning November 17th and 18th.

18 - The Monthly Food Truck Rally features not only nine food trucks, but also brew from local favorite JDubs, tshirt screenprinting, nitro cold brew coffee, kombucha, and live music. Kid- and dog-friendly. 5-10pm.

18-19 - The Sarasota Medieval Fair is open for three weekends for a reason – there is so much to do and see. Pub crawl, kids’ activities, jousting, turkey legs, live music, over 100 craft artisans, demonstrations, games, and costumes galore. Held at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. 10am-5:30pm.

20 – Start your week off right. From 6-9pm, Ringling by the Bay, explodes with music provided by Kettle of Fish and dancing provided by you. This outdoor event is held on the Bolger Campiello.  

22 – Orchids, music, and cocktails merge into the perfect night out at Orchid Evenings at Selby Gardens. Each week of the event features a new signature cocktail and entertainer.

24 - Café in the Park hosts their Live Music in the Park beginning at 7:30. Arrive early at 6pm to enjoy some of their shockingly delicious goodies before enjoying the outdoor concert.

25 – From noon to 7pm, nosh on bite after bite of heaven at the 3rd annual Snowcrab Festival at Whitaker Gateway Park.

December

Sundays: Sunday evenings mean Drum Circle Night on Siesta Key. An hour before sunset, the beat begins and the dancing resumes until the sun has said goodnight. No fees, no expectations, no judgement.

Wednesdays: The mid-week shopping gets the weekend treatment at the Phillippi Farmhouse Market, open Wednesdays from 9am until 2pm. Fresh produce, flowers, crafts, and ready-made items (coffee and doughnuts anyone?) abound at this friendly fete of freshness.

1 - Café in the Park hosts their Live Music in the Park beginning at 7:30. Arrive early at 6pm to enjoy some of their shockingly delicious goodies before enjoying the outdoor concert.

2- The 22nd annual Sarasota Holiday Parade proudly ventures down Main Street beginning at 7pm. Like most holiday parades, it features floats and ends with Santa himself making an appearance. Unlike most parades, there is a lion and you won’t freeze as you watch.

2 – Start your day in balance with free Yoga at Bayfront Park. Beginning at 8am, stretch and center your body and soul while overlooking the stunning Sarasota Bay. Class provided by Pineapple Yoga.

3 – The Jingle Paws Jubilee makes sure that even four-legged babies get some special attention. Bring your favorite furry friend(s) to Phillippi Estate Park for some photo ops with Santa, special goodies, live music, gifts, animal readings and blessings, even adopt a friend for Fido. Admission cost is a bag of pet food, toys, or treats for donation.

7 – At Wine & Design: Holiday Splendor at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, learn floral arranging from the masters while enjoying a cocktail and great company.6-9pm.

7-  Get into the spirit of the season with some holiday music at the Holiday Splendor at Ringling Art Museum. Extended museum hours 5-8pm.

8 - Café in the Park hosts their Live Music in the Park beginning at 7:30. Arrive early at 6pm to enjoy some of their shockingly delicious goodies before enjoying the outdoor concert.

9- This year’s Christmas Glow Run 5K at Nathan Benderson Park features miles of holiday décor, music, and maybe even snow. You’ll have to run it to find out.

9-10 – For unique and special gifts for your family, friends, or yourself, a visit to the annual Atomic Holiday Bazaar fits the bill. Held each day from noon until 5pm at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium on Tamiami Trail.

9- For a uniquely Florida event, the Sarasota Boat Parade is a must-see. Enjoy the elaborately decorated ships of all sizes as they display their sense of spirit from the seas. h

15 - Café in the Park hosts their Live Music in the Park beginning at 7:30. Arrive early at 6pm to enjoy some of their shockingly delicious goodies before enjoying the outdoor concert.

18 - Start your week off right. From 6-9pm, Ringling by the Bay, explodes with music provided by Big Night Out and dancing provided by you. This outdoor event is held on the Bolger Campiello.  

21 – First Day of Winter!