Where the Buys Are For The Holidays

Find holiday deals and special shopping opportunities at Sarasota County retailers

Got a holiday shopping list a mile long—and no elves to help you check it off? Whether playing Santa makes you feel fa-la-la or ho-ho-hum, merchants in Sarasota County stand ready to help you find a gift for everyone in your life. From high-end goodies to handmade treasures, shoppers can score all kinds of presents people will love unwrapping.

A good time to visit local retailers is during special holiday neighborhood events. The Holiday Night of Lights takes place December 1 on St. Armands Circle, featuring a Christmas carol singalong at 6 p.m. followed by Santa’s arrival and a tree-lighting ceremony. Look for special promotions at shops located on the circle during the annual event, such as Apricot Lane Boutique.

The 34th Annual Christmas Walk takes place in downtown Venice on December 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. The festively decorated shops along Venice and Miami Avenues stay open later than normal during the event, with some offering specials and other treats for holiday shoppers.

Sarasota’s Southside Village holds its Holiday Stroll December 8 from 5 to 9 p.m. Santa will be in attendance, and shoppers can enjoy music, games, and crafts.

In Englewood, Evening with Santa takes place December 15 from 5 to 9 p.m. During the family-friendly event, many shops along Dearborn Street will stay open late with some, like Ivy’s on Dearborn and the Past Revisited, offering special holiday sales and discounts.

Deals continue throughout the holiday season at places like the Spice & Tea Exchange on St. Armands Circle. Customers who buy five of anything edible at the shop receive a sixth item free through the end of the year.

On December 7 from 8 to 10 p.m., Carlisle Gifts hosts its 12th Annual Pajama Night. The longtime Sarasota gift shop located in the heart of the city’s Amish community will be offering 40% off Christmas items, 12 raffle door prizes, complimentary gift wrapping and refreshments, and a free gift with purchase during the event.

Sarasota Honey Company holds its A Bee Merry Christmas event on December 22 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Get your last-minute shopping done by building a gift basket filled with honey, soaps, and candles from the shop. Shoppers can sample honeys, sip special holiday beverages, enjoy seasonal music, and even learn about bees while their baskets are being wrapped. For those who like to think ahead, Sarasota Honey Company will offer 10% off all items preselected for gift baskets prior to the event. Just visit the shop, pick out your items, and choose a pickup date.

The gift shops at some of our local attractions can also be a great place to discover fun holiday gifts. On November 26 and December 9, the Ringling will host trunk shows for Art, Not Just Jewelry, a local business that sells handmade beaded jewelry produced by a Tanzania nonprofit that empowers Maasai women. Another trunk show December 8 showcases fine metal and gemstone jewelry from Sarasota artist Kim Schmeits.

At Sarasota’s Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the gift shop boasts new products featuring botanical prints from the gardens’ rare book collection. Items like trivets, coasters, and magnets let buyers (or holiday gift recipients) bring a little bit of the gardens into their own homes.