It’s hard to believe 2020 is almost over. What a wild ride it’s been! We’re excited to help you close out the year with a round-up of fun and exciting things to do in Bradenton this month. From shopping and holiday celebrations to wine tasting and beer releases there’s something here for everyone.
We’re well aware of the continued threat of COVID-19, so we’ve done our best to find a variety of activities that are held outdoors with plenty of space for social distancing. Please remember to stay safe and respect each other!
1. Lights of Palmetto
Daily throughout December
5220 69th St E, Palmetto, FL 34221
If you’re ready to get into the holiday spirit, you won’t want to miss Lights of Palmetto! This incredible synchronized musical light display is absolutely magical!
The display hours are Sunday through Thursday from 7 pm to 10 pm and Friday and Saturday from 7 pm until 11 pm. It will run each night until January 7th.
There are also some AWESOME new additions, including a Santa mailbox for the kids to drop off their letters to Santa and a Snapchat filter you can use while your there. You can also text during certain songs and it will show up across the display!
Check out or RECENT ARTICLE for even more details.
2. Anna Maria Dolphin Tours Christmas Cruises
December 1st through December 22nd (Tues., Thurs., and Sat. at 6:30 pm)
Depart from Waterline Hotel: 5325 Marina Dr. Holmes Beach, FL
Celebrate the season Florida-style with a holiday cruise! Anna Maria Dolphin Tours is decorating their boat and taking revelers out on the waters to search for the area’s most beautiful Christmas lights.
Dress up in your favorite ugly Christmas sweater, holiday onesies, or glitz and glamor! They’ll bring the hot chocolate and eggnog and you can bring adult beverages and snacks.
Public and private tours begin on December 1st and run through December 22nd. They’re available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. You can find all the details HERE.
3. Holiday Shoppe Crawl
Daily through December 6th at 4 pm
This fun shopping event features 9 local retailers. What a great way to kick off your holiday gift buying!
During the 10-day period from 11/27 to 12/6, each participating retailer will have special promotions and will stamp your card when you visit (no purchase necessary). When you get all 9 stamps, fill out your contact info and leave the card with the last location you visit. At the end of the event, they’ll do a drawing for a cool prize donated by the retailers!
You can find all the details here!
4. Beach Market at Coquina Beach
Wednesday, December 2nd from 10 am to 4 pm and every Wed. and Sun.
Coquina Beach: 2650 Gulf Dr. S. Bradenton, FL 34217
There’s no better way to #ShopLocal than The Beach Market at Coquina Beach! This is the perfect place to purchase your holiday gifts from local artists and craft makers. They have tons of vendors selling jewelry, fresh produce, baked goods, gourmet foods, herbs and teas, local honey, plants, apparel, pottery, purses, collectibles, photography, woodworking items, health and beauty items, unique gifts, and more!
The beach market is now open Wednesdays and Sundays from 10 am until 4 pm. You’ll also find discounts for many of their vendors in our Ultimate Shop Local Holiday Guide.
5. Girl’s Night Out
Wednesday, December 2nd from 6 to 9 pm
Clancy’s Irish Sport’s Pub: 6218 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton, FL 34210
Ladies — this one is for you (although we’re sure guys are welcome too). Clancy’s Irish Sports Pub is hosting a Girls Night Out with lots of local vendors selling jewelry, Scentsy, wreathes, LulaRroe, CBD and so much more!
They’re also doing a wine tasting paired with cheese and chocolate with all proceeds benefiting the Blessing Bags. This is going to be a super fun event, so make sure you mark your calendars!
6. Boys & Girls Club 66th Annual Christmas Tree Lot
Wednesday, December 3rd through Saturday, December 19th
McKelvey Park, 3913 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton (Next to Publix and adjacent to Jessie P. Miller Elementary School)
A Bradenton tradition for 66 years, the Boys and Girls Club Christmas Tree Lot is open once again! You’ll find a wide selection of beautiful trees here, and, best of all, you’ll be supporting a great cause.
The lot is open Thursday through Sunday until December 19th (or sooner if they run out). They’re also taking extra precautions to keep everyone safe, including limiting the number of people allowed on the site at one time and maintaining social distancing. Check out their website for more details!
7. Kris Kringle Market
Saturday, December 5th from 9 am until 5 pm
Scavenger’s Marketplace: 2100 US 301 Palmetto, FL 34221
Scavenger’s Marketplace is home to 50+ vendors offering a diverse assortment of vintage, antique, Shabby Chic & unique finds. During their annual Kris Kringle Market, they celebrate the 700-year old tradition of the open-air Christmas markets throughout Europe.
The event will feature one-of-a-kind, locally-made art, wreaths, and handcrafted gifts for the holidays. There might also be a visit from the Big Man himself! There will also be multiple food trucks including Smokin’ Momma Lora’s BBQ and Q&S Ice Water Kool Cups.
8. Trivia with Cash Prizes!
Every Thursday from 6 pm until 9 pm
Table Talk SRQ: 3999 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton, FL 34210
Need a break from the holiday shopping? Head over to Table Talk SRQ (Bradenton’s only board game café) for their Thursday night trivia games! It’s only $3 to play and there are cash prizes for first and second place!
This isn’t your typical “serious” trivia game. It’s meant to be fun, so all ages and skill levels are welcome. They also have great food, specialty drinks, and adult beverages. Plan to come early or stay late and enjoy playing some board games for free as well. They have over 550 games to choose from. Check out our recent article for more details.
9. Ellenton Holiday Village
December 3rd through January 3rd
Ellenton Outlet Mall: 5461 Factory Shops Blvd. Ellenton, FL 34222
Round up the kids and head over to the Ellenton Outlet Mall for their Christmas Holiday Village. It will feature lots of fun carnival rides and daily visits from Santa!
You can save some money by purchasing online-only pre-sale tickets up until 5 pm on December 3rd. You can also buy individual tickets, ticket bundles, and $30 unlimited ride wristbands on-site when you arrive. You can find all the details, including hours, and buy tickets on their website.
10. Crisis at the North Pole
Multiple Dates in December
Premier Escape Adventures: 7369 52nd Pl E, Bradenton, FL 34203
Oh no! Christmas is almost here, and Santa’s “Naughty and Nice” list has gone missing! He and the elves have looked everywhere but it seems to have disappeared!
This is the storyline behind Premier Escape Adventures‘ holiday-themed escape room, Crisis at the North Pole.
This fun 60-minute escape room adventure is the perfect holiday activity for families, friends, or date night! Check out their website to reserve your room today!
11. Create Your Own Holiday Art
Multiple Days in December
Painting with a Twist: 5917 Manatee Ave W #209, Bradenton, FL 34209
It’s always fun to decorate your space for the holidays, but it’s even more special when you create the décor yourself! Painting with a Twist has tons of great holiday-themed options including canvas paintings, wooden porch leaners, wine glasses, and more!
They’re practicing social distancing and taking other precautions in the studio, but if you’re worried about contact, you can also order kits to take home and make on your own. They come with all the materials you need and an instructional video that will teach you exactly how to create your masterpiece.
In-studio classes last about two hours. They’re BYOB and you’re welcome to bring snacks. This is a great idea for a small family get-together, night out with friends, or a unique date. You can learn more here!
12. December Art Walk
Friday, December 4th from 6 pm to 9 pm and Saturday December 5th from 11 am to 4 pm
Village of the Arts: 1017 12th Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205
The monthly Art Walks in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts are always a great time, but the December one is even more special! It’s the perfect time to #ShopLocal and support the incredibly talented artists who live and work here.
This month, the village is decked out in holiday lights and many of the galleries are decorated too. There will also be live music, strolling entertainment, unique holiday shopping, and tasty treats!
13. Walking in a Musical Wonderland
Friday, December 4th from 6 pm to 9:30 pm
Monark Custom Framing and Art Gallery: 1207 13th Ave. W. Bradenton, FL 34205
If you head to the Art Walk on Friday night, you’ll definitely want to visit Monark Custom Framing and Art Gallery. They’re having a wine reception in the gallery from 6 to 7:30 pm and Taste the Vibz Jamaican Food Truck will be on site.
For the first time in nearly a decade, they’ll also have five original watercolors created by Jamaican born artist Herbie Rose — the unofficial Mayor and creator of The Village of the Arts! Come take a look, and maybe even think about buying one.
They’ll also have other artists on site for your shopping pleasure. Some of the things you’ll find here include acrylics, ink, oils, pet portraits, watercolors, mixed media, medicinal aromatherapy, and jewelry.
14. Geraldson’s Christmas Market
Saturday, December 5th from 8 am until 3 pm
Geraldson’s Family Farm: 9812 9th Ave. NW Bradenton, FL 34209
Geraldson’s is a small, family-owned farm that grows some of the best produce around. Their Christmas Market is a great way to #ShopLocal.
They’ll have tons of great vendors in their outdoor, fresh air market so come by and visit. You never know what you’re going to find here!
Follow them on Facebook to keep up with any event updates.
15. Shoebox Collection & Drive-Through
Saturday, December 5th from 4 pm until 6 pm
Lakewood Ranch Elks Lodge: 4602 Lena Rd, Bradenton, FL 34211
Want to make a REAL difference for someone this holiday season? Consider participating in the 15th annual Shoebox for Seniors collection and drive-through sponsored by Meals on Wheels PLUS.
The event is especially important this year because of the isolation so many of our seniors are facing.
It’s easy to bring some joy to Manatee County seniors! Simply wrap an empty shoebox and fill it with small items like chapstick, hand lotion, and socks — then drop your box off at their collection event. You can find all the details here!
16. Bar Wars
Monday, December 7th from 7 pm to 10 pm
Clancy’s Irish Sports Pub: 6218 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton, FL 34210
Want to do something that’s NOT holiday related? Head over to Clancy’s Irish Pub for Bar Wars. This is a fun way to support your favorite local bar while they compete in games and competitions.
This year’s participating bars include Clancy’s, Swordfish Grill, Cork’s, Tarpon Bay Grill & Tiki Bar, The Ugly Grouper, Gulf Drive Cafe, and Motorworks Brewing.
Show up early to get your souvenir Deep Eddy tin cup and you can enjoy $4.00 Deep Eddy cocktails all night long!
17. Maker’s Market at Jackie
Thursday, December 10th from 5:30 pm to 8 pm
Jackie: 816 Manatee Avenue East #200 Bradenton, FL 34208
If you haven’t heard of Jackie yet, you’re missing out! This is a high-end boutique subscription styling service headquartered right in Bradenton!
They have a fabulous space that they use for events, and this month they’re hosting a Maker’s Market. It will feature some of their favorite local vendors, treats, and Jackie styling. What a great way to kick off the holiday season! Follow Jackie on Facebook for more information!
18. Country Christmas at Hunsader Farms
December 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20
Hunsader Farms: 5500 CR 675 Bradenton, FL 34211
Want to enjoy an old-style traditional Christmas? Head over to Hunsader Farms for their County Christmas event. They’ll have over 300,000 lights, hayrides, train rides, pony rides, food, Christmas music, petting zoo, snow tubing, Christmas movies on the big screen, visits with Santa, and more!
You can also enjoy tasty snacks, pony rides, and a craft and antique store! It’s just $10 to get in and kids under 5 are free.
19. A Night Before Christmas
Saturday, December 12th from 6 pm to 9 pm
GT Bray Park: 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West
If you’re looking for an evening of family-friendly fun, you’ll want to mark your calendars for A Night Before Christmas at GT Bray.
They’ll have inflatables, a snow slide, hayrides, photos with Santa, letters to Santa, food vendors, and local businesses with giveaways and resources. This awesome event is great for kids of all ages.
There’s no charge for the event, but they kindly request that you bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. You can also bring your dog in their best holiday attire and you could win a basket from Barkity Market! You’ll find all the details here.
20. December Pop-Up Market Event
Saturday, December 12th from 9 am to 4 pm
The Cat’s Meow: A Vintage Marketplace – 4307 26th St. W. Bradenton, FL 34205
You’re welcome to bring your pet with you while you browse treasures offered by over 40 indoor shop owners and dozens of guest vendors and artisans who will be set up outside. Don’t miss this opportunity to #ShopLocal and support our area vendors!
21. Winter Nights Under the Lights
Thursday, December 17th through Sunday, December 20th 6 pm to 9 pm
Palma Sola Botanical Park: 9800 17th Ave. NW Bradenton, FL 34209
If you love holiday lights, you won’t want to miss Palma Sola Botanical Park‘s Winter Nights Under the Lights. Entry into this beautiful walk-through holiday light display is free, however, optional donations are greatly appreciated.
There will also be sweet treats and warm beverages available for purchase. Gather up the family and come on out to enjoy some holiday spirit while supporting this great cause!
22. Wine Tasting for a Cause
Friday, December 18th at 6 pm
The Blue Flamingo: 4229 26th St. W. Bradenton, FL 34205
Help The Blue Flamingo support The Nutrition Initiative of Manatee by attending their Wine Tasting for a Cause. It will be an evening of fun, charity… and shopping!
You’ll enjoy hors’ deurves and several featured wines to sample as well as silent auctions, gifts, and more. The cost is $25 per person. Limited space is available, so make sure to get your tickets today by stopping by The Blue Flamingo or ordering them online.
23. Christmas Sidewalk Sale
Saturday, December 19th from 9 am until 2 pm
The Rustic Flamingo: 4306 E SR-64 Bradenton, FL 34208
The Rustic Flamingo is a fun and friendly DIY Studio where guests choose from an array of trendy techniques to create one-of-a-kind home décor.
What’s really unique about this studio is their team. They provide job training and jobs for people with disabilities and they also give back! A portion of all their proceeds is donated to agencies in the area that serve persons with disabilities.
Come check them out during their safe outdoor sidewalk sale. They’ll have tons of holiday décor and more!
24. Good Liquid Brewing Company Three-Year Anniversary
Saturday, December 19th at 1 pm
Good Liquid Brewing Company: 1824 14th St. W. Bradenton, FL 34207
Ready to take a break from shopping? Head over to Good Liquid Brewing Company for their three-year anniversary celebration!
They’re going to have beer releases, can and bottle releases, food, and more all day. They have both indoor and outdoor seating so you’ll have plenty of room for social distancing.
Follow them on Facebook to keep up with additional details as they’re released.
25. Yappy Hour Pet Extravaganza
Sunday, December 20th from 1 pm until 4 pm
Motorworks Brewing: 1014 9th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205
Attention all animal lovers! Come on out to Motorworks Brewing to have a great time and support an amazing cause!
Yappy Hour Pet Extravaganza happens every third Saturday of the month in the 12,000 sq. ft. artificially turfed beer garden. They’ll have raffle items and silent auctions benefitting the organization of the month (Shiba Inu Rescue of Florida S.I.R.F. in December).
You’re welcome to bring your well-behaved dog as long as it’s leashed and up-to-date on all shots.