Get Off the Couch, Bradenton! 25 Cool Things To Do In December

The holiday season is here! Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year by getting off the couch and enjoying some of these fun events!

Check out our round-up of the top 25 Things to Do in Bradenton this month.

1. ArtFul Holidays Party & Sale

Thursday, December 1st from 5-7 pm and December 2nd and 3rd from 9 am to 5 pm
ArtCenter Manatee: 209 9th St W Bradenton, FL 34205

Begin the holiday season with something artsy and fun! Check out the annual ArtFul Holidays Party and Sale at the ArtCenter Manatee. This is a lively event where you can party while doing early holiday shopping and enjoy 20% off in the LiveArtfully Market. (Excludes items from Holiday Extravaganza and the Galleries.)

2. Movie in the Park – How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Friday, December 2nd from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
1036 6th St W, Palmetto, FL 34221, United States

Enjoy a fun movie night in Sutton Park! Movie in the Park will be showing the famous Christmas movie: “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas” to bring you the feels of this holiday season. Bring your own chairs, blankets, or anything that makes you comfortable for this family-friendly event.

Drinks and snacks are available on-site, and outside food will also be allowed. However, no alcohol is allowed.

3. December Artwalk Village of the Arts Christmas Bazaar

Friday, Dec. 2nd from 6 pm to 9 pm and Saturday, Dec. 3rd from 11 am to 4 pm
Village of the Arts, 1227 12th St. W Bradenton, FL 34205

The monthly Art Walks at Bradenton’s Village of the Arts are always fun, but the December one is extra special. Come check out the Village’s eccentric holiday decor while shopping for unique handmade art crafted by local artists.

The whole village will be lighted by sparkling Christmas luminaries and you’ll be surrounded by the sound of caroling as you stroll around this colorful art community. There will be paintings, jewelry, sculptures, arts & crafts, and much more. You can find something for everyone on your Holiday Gift List. This is an awesome opportunity for you to #ShopLocal this holiday season.

4. Bradenton BluesFest

Friday, December 2nd and Saturday, December 3rd
Bradenton Riverwalk Pavilion at Rossi Park: 452 3rd Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205

An incredibly popular annual event, Bradenton BluesFest presented by Realize Bradenton features an outstanding lineup of talented blues musicians on the big stage. In addition to amazing music, you can purchase local craft beer and wine, delicious food, and cool festival merchandise.

This event regularly sells out, so be sure to get your tickets now! General admission starts at just $20. Also don’t miss out on the Bradenton Blues Brunch on Sunday (more details listed in #10 below)

5. Pineapple Kitchen Holiday Tasting Event

Saturday, December 3rd from 10 am to 4 pm
Pineapple Kitchen, 4914 Lena Road, Unit 104 Bradenton, FL 34211

Here’s another chance for you to #SupportLocal and prepare for the festivities – check out the Home for the Holidays FREE Tasting Event at Pineapple Kitchen and get a chance to sample some of their delicious gourmet food products.

You can pick up great gifts for your family and friends, win prizes, drink complimentary seasonal beverages, and let your kids have fun at the Pineapple Kitchen Kids Cookie Decorating Corner.

15% of all food sales during the event and $5.00 from any Murder Mystery Dinner bookings will go directly to support the Lakewood Ranch Preparatory Academy. That’s what we call a win-win!

6. Shoebox for Seniors Reception

Saturday, December 3rd from 4 pm to 6 pm
Lakewood Ranch Elks Lodge, 4602 Lena Rd., Bradenton, FL 34211

Help bring the joy of the holidays to Manatee County seniors by packing a gift box or bringing a $20 donation to the 17th Annual Holiday Shoebox for Seniors Reception sponsored by Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee County.

Sadly, many of our seniors are facing isolation and these boxes might be the only presents they receive this holiday season.

This fun and heartwarming event is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season. Check out all the details on the event page.

7. Cattle Baron’s Ball

Saturday, December 3rd from 6 pm to 10 pm
Manatee County Fairgrounds: 1402 14th Ave W, Palmetto, FL 34221

Celebrate Feeding Empty Little Tummies (F.E.L.T.) Inc. for its 12 years of serving the community with a Cattle Baron’s Ball at the Manatee County Fair. Not only will this be a super fun event, but it will help support an amazing cause – feeding the homeless and food-insecure children in our community.

Enjoy a night with One Night Rodeo playing live country music while having dinner, dancing, and raffles. Tickets are still available but may sell out. You can purchase your tickets here!

8. Bradenton Beach Holiday Boat Parade

Saturday, December 3rd at 6 pm (approximately)
Bradenton Beach Marina, 402 Church Ave Bradenton Beach, FL 34217

Don’t miss out on the 4th Annual Bradenton Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade! Celebrate the holidays in true Florida fashion. The event will start at approximately 6 pm. So get there early to find your best viewing spot!

The parade can be viewed from the Longboat Pass Bridge at the beginning of the Parade (6:00 PM to 6:30 PM) or the Bradenton Beach City Pier as the Parade ends (6:30 PM to 7:00 PM). According to event coordinators, the City Pier is the best viewing location.

9. Friendly City Flea

Dec. 3rd from 9 am to 2 pm | Dec. 10th from 6 pm to 10 pm | Dec. 17th from 8 am to 1 pm
Oscura, 816 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton, FL

If you’re looking for unique, handcrafted gifts (or just some cool stuff for yourself) then check out the Friendly City Flea at Oscura Café & Bar. Here you’ll find a variety of crafts and goodies from local makers, musicians, and creatives in Downtown Bradenton.

There will also be food, drinks, music, and more! Come on out and support local businesses, artists, and the community.

10. Blues BluesFest Brunch

Saturday, December 4th from 11 am to 2 pm
Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille: 101 Riverfront Blvd Ste 120, Bradenton, FL 34205

The Bradenton BluesFest wraps up its exciting weekend of music, dancing, and fun with a Blues Brunch hosted by Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille. The featured musicians will be Dustin Arbuckle and the Damnations. Doors open at 10:30 am.

A limited number of tickets are available for $90 each and includes a three-course, seated-and-served brunch created by award-winning Chef Paul Mattison, as well as bottomless Bloody Marys, Mimosas, and non-alcoholic beverages. Get your tickets here.

11. ‘Tis the Season Holiday Concert

Monday, December 5th from 6:30 pm to 8 pm
Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Avenue W, Bradenton, FL

Check out the ONE NIGHT ONLY Christmas Concert of the year! ‘Tis the Season Christmas Concert is a must-see show during the holiday season. It will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions from heartwarming scenes to the “edge of your seat” WOW factor – a great way to celebrate the holiday feels. Tickets are on sale now. This might sell out, so reserve your tickets now!

12. Lights of Palmetto

Every Night Starting on November 25th
5220 69th St. E. Palmetto, FL 34221

A local holiday tradition you won’t want to miss, Lights of Palmetto is back at it again! This breathtaking lighted display is one you definitely won’t want to miss. You can catch the display every night through the New Year.

The property is located at 5220 69th St. E. in Palmetto, but the best viewing spot is from Buffalo Creek Rd. To hear the music, you’ll want to tune your car radio to 96.1. This year is extra exciting because the family is a contender on the 2022 ABC show The Great Christmas Light Fight. You can see their eposide on December 12th at 8:00 pm on ABC or streaming on Hulu. Tune in and root for the home team!

13. Historic Holiday Tours

December 6th through 9th
Palmetto Historical Park, 515 10th Ave W Palmetto, FL 34221

Holiday tours are a fun activity to enjoy during the season. This month, take a trip to the Palmetto Historical Park & Manatee County Agricultural Museum and learn all about the history of Palmetto while appreciating the beautiful decorations of each building in the park.

You will also be able to see the highlighted agricultural heritage of Manatee County. Many trees around the Museum will be decorated for your viewing and enjoyment. Tickets sell fast! So don’t wait out, reserve your spot here.

14. 12 Shops of Christmas Shop Crawl

November 25th through December 24th
Bradenton – Palmetto – Anna Maria Island

As you’re making your holiday shopping list and checking it twice, remember to #SupportLocal and #ShopLocal to make a difference this season.

This year, 12 locally owned shops have joined together for a fun and exciting Christmas Shop Crawl. You’ll find a variety of gifts with this marvelous list of local shops, boutiques, and handmade markets. So be sure to show your love and support them! You can find the list of shops and all the details on pages 14-15 of Discover Bradenton’s Holiday Guide.

15. Gypsea Soul Vintage & Artisan Night Market

Friday, December 9th from 4 pm to 8 pm
Gypsea Soul, 615 15th Street West Bradenton, FL

Ready to do some more holiday shopping? Head on over to GypSea Soul Boutique and Studios for an amazing night of shopping and fun!

Support your favorite local artists and vendors this season. They’ve got a variety of fantastic handmade gifts and treats for you to choose from. After all the shopping, you can grab a bite and drink cocktails at Salt and Pepper while enjoying live music. You can also book a studio session to create your own unique gift! Check out Gypsea Soul’s class schedule for more information.

16. Sip & Shop at Market Boutique

Friday, December 9th from 5 pm to 8 pm
The Market Boutique and Events: 6650 Cortez Road West Bradenton, FL 34210

Start or finish up your holiday gift list while shopping local during the Holiday Sip & Shop at The Market Boutique.

There will also be local pop-up vendors available to serve you some delicious food and wine – so come on out for a fun evening of supporting local!

17. Old Florida Christmas

Saturday, December 10th from 10 am to 3 pm
Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton, FL

Want to experience an old-style Christmas celebration? Head on over to the Manatee Village Historical Park for their Old Florida Christmas event.

The event will feature a variety of food, drinks, crafts, and music. There will also be live vendors selling handmade goods. Expect the buildings to be decorated in Victorian and Florida pioneer-inspired décor. Explore different landmarks such as the “Old Cabbage Head” locomotive, Junior Junction playground, museum exhibits, and the Whistle Stop Gift Shop.

18. De Soto Cornhole Tournament

Saturday, December 10th at 10 am
Rossi Park, Bradenton, FL 34205

Want to do something that is NOT holiday related? Check out the Desoto Cornhole Tournament at Rossi Park.

Not a great cornhole player? No worries! You’ll have the chance to choose your level. Participate in the skilled-level tournament for $60 or choose the fun-level tournament for $40. Food and drinks will be available during the event, and it’s sure to be a great time!

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Check out their event page to learn more and get your tickets.

19. Christmas in Cortez

Saturday, December 10th from 1 pm to 4 pm
Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th St W, Cortez, FL

Celebrate Christmas in Cortez at the Florida Maritime Museum. During this FREE family-friendly event, experience tons of holiday activities for the whole family. There will be games, crafts, mazes, a Santa meet-and-greet, and more.

Food and drinks will be available on-site for purchase, but admission, parking, & ALL activities are free of charge. Parking is available at F.I.S.H. Preserve located on Cortez Road, there is no parking at the museum.

20. Manatee River Boat Parade

Saturday, December 10th at Dusk
Manatee River – Bradenton & Palmetto

The Manatee River Boat Parade is back! Don’t miss out on Manatee County’s largest holiday event. Thousands of spectators are expected to gather together and experience the magic of watching lighted boats tour around the river. There will be holiday music, tons of fun, and you might even see the big guy in the red suit. 🎅
The best public viewing spots are along the Green Bridge and Palmetto Pier.

21. Reiki and Restorative Yoga Workshop

Sunday, December 11th from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Every Body Yoga, 494 9th St. E, Bradenton, FL

If you want to try another non-holiday event, check out the Reiki and Restorative Yoga Workshop at Every Body Yoga Studio. This workshop centers on cleansing and balancing energy, so participants can expect a meditative experience with restorative asanas and a 1:1 Reiki session (if desired). This allows participants to enjoy a wonderful and gentle practice for the mind, body, and spirit.

The restorative yoga-reiki combination makes this workshop fitting for everyone. Wear your most comfortable yoga clothes, no experience is needed. Advance registration is recommended. You can reserve your spot here.

22. POPS Orchestra – Hollywood Holidays

Monday, December 12th at 7:30 pm
SCF Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St W, Bradenton, FL 34207

The Pops Orchestra is back for the holidays with a performance you don’t want to miss. Make your holidays extra fun and special with the Hollywood Holidays show.

They will be recreating scenes and music from famous Christmas films like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Home Alone,” “The Grinch That Stole Christmas,” “The Polar Express,” and much more. Get your tickets here.

23. Winter Nights Under the Lights

December 15th through 18th from 6 pm to 9 pm
Palma Sola Botanical Park, 9800 17th Ave NW, Bradenton, FL 34209

Celebrate the holidays is a gorgeous, unique, and unforgettable way! Visit Palma Sola Botanical Park for their Winter Nights Under the Lights Holiday Display. This stunning light display is FREE for everyone to enjoy, but donations are very much welcome to help keep the park open for the community.

Foods and drinks are available for purchase onsite. Everyone is invited, and this is an event that is sure to bring fun and smiles to the festive season.

24. 108 Sun Salutations & Holiday Beach Party

Sunday, December 18th from 8:30 am to 11:30 am
Anna Maria Island, 101 S Bay Blvd, # 1727 Anna Maria, FL 34217

Join Thrive Yoga & Fitness for their annual 108 Sun Salutations & Holiday Beach Party on Anna Maria Island. This event is a great way for everyone to socialize and party during the season.

The Holiday Beach Party will be potluck style, so bring your most delicious appetizers or dishe to share, and also your personal beverage! DJ Patrick Joseph will be bringing the sounds and Sami Hobbs snapping photos, so wear your best beach party attire. All donations for this event will support Streets of Paradise.

25. Main Street Live

Saturday, December 31st from 6 pm to 12 am
Old Main St. Bradenton, FL 34205

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Bradenton’s most popular street party! Come and enjoy Main Street Live as you close out 2022 and look forward to all the excitement of the New Year. The streets will be closed as vendors and food trucks line up and live music plays throughout the night.

Don’t miss this exciting NYE countdown and celebration!

There you have it – a list of some of the best things to do in Bradenton this December! Mark your calendars and bookmark this page, so you don’t miss a thing. Looking for even more exciting events? We update our Event Calendar every day, so make sure you check it out and visit often!

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