6 Family-Friendly Halloween Activities Near Bradenton

6 Family-Friendly Halloween Activities Near Bradenton

Family-Friendly Halloween Activities Near Bradenton Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

6 Family-Friendly Halloween Activities Near Bradenton

With just two weeks away from Halloween, there are plenty of ways to have family fun without the fright! From parades to ghost walks and where to trick or treat with the kiddos, keep reading to find the best non-spooky spots for the remaining weeks of this hair-raising season.

Here are six family-friendly halloween activities near Bradenton and surrounding areas.

Bradenton Beach Ghost Tours

  • From Bridge Street
  • Ongoing, Tuesday–Saturday, 8 p.m.
  • $10–$15

Hear about the history of Bradenton Beach, shipwrecks and mysterious ghost stories, some of which are based on eyewitness accounts! The walking tour duration is 90 minutes beginning at 8 p.m. on Bridge Street. Tours are held every Tuesday–Saturday. Tickets must be purchased in advance online or via phone at 941-704-0621.

Night of Fun, Fish & Fright

  • Mote Marine Aquarium
  • Oct 20, 6–8:30 p.m.
  • $10–$14

This weekend, head to Mote Marine Aquarium for an evening of frightful, family-friendly Halloween activities! Discover shark teeth within Coffin Creek, view their exciting underwater pumpkin carving, Mad Science experiments and so much more spooktacular fun!

Boo Fest

  • Lakewood Main Street
  • Oct. 27, 6–9 p.m.
  • Parking: $5

Join in for this exciting annual event held on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch! Kids can trick or treat from local merchants, traverse their Spooktacular Maze and be amazed at the creations of a ghostly balloon artist. Entertainment includes a costume contest, local dancers and eerie music to set the tone for this haunting evening.

Selby Spooktacular

  • Selby Gardens
  • Oct. 29, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
  • $10–$20

Kick off Halloween weekend with an afternoon of wholesome, family fun! With trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating, seed planting and even a mad scientist experiment, you don’t want to miss out on all the fun at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Stick around for lunch at the cafe as well as frozen goodies by B’s Cool Treat’s.

Children’s Halloween Parade!

  • West Venice Avenue
  • Oct. 31, 4–7 p.m.
  • Free

Parents, bring the kiddos for the annual Halloween Parade down West Venice Avenue! In true Venice fashion, “Old Betsy,” the city’s antique fire truck, will be leading the parade of hundreds of children showing off their costumes. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Following the parade, kids are welcome to trick or treat along Venice Avenue.

22nd Annual Halloween Safe Walk

  • Dearborn Street
  • Oct 31, 5–7 p.m.
  • Free

For family-friendly Halloween activities, look to Dearborn Street in Englewood, which will be closed for your little ones to safely trick or treat. When you’ve fulfilled your kids’ sweet tooths, don’t miss the live music, costume contest and many more exciting treats!

Next: 4 Events for Fall Fun in the Palmetto Area

No Boat, No Problem! 4 Local Fishing Holes

No Boat, No Problem! 4 Local Fishing Holes

No Boat, No problem! 4 Local Fishing Holes

No Boat, No Problem! 4 Local Fishing Holes

Who says you need a boat to visit some of the best local fishing holes in our area? While we are certainly boat lovers around here at Riviera Dunes Marina, sometimes it’s nice to walk up to a local pier or park along the shores or banks to drop a line and wait for the next big catch!

Here are four local fishing holes for when you’re going boatless:

South Lido Park

Located on Big Pass shore, South Lido Park offers fun, fishing and more for the entire family. With ample parking, South Lido Park is also more secluded offering extra opportunities for fishing and quiet moments for you to relax. You will also discover pavilions, grills for picnicking and restrooms on-site.

Point of Rocks

While there is less public parking at Point of Rocks in Sarasota, there are ample opportunities to cast a line . . . you just have to arrive a little earlier. Then, when you’ve had your fill of an afternoon of fishing, you can enjoy some snorkeling among lovely coral if the weather permits.

Bay Island Park

This Sarasota hidden gem is a local favorite! Bay Island Park offers scenic views and … you guessed it, plenty of recreational fishing opportunities. In addition, there are hiking trails, a fishing pier, a playground and picnic and bathroom facilities.

Twin Lakes Park

Freshwater, bank fishing is at its finest at Twin Lakes Park, a 123-acre park brimming with catfish, bream and bass! What’s also unique about this park is that it doubles as a training site for minor and major league baseball teams! So, join in on the fun, cast a line and have a picnic at the pavilion, then you might catch some great baseball, too!

As you can see, great fishing in our area doesn’t have to be synonymous with being a boat owner! If you decide to go boatless, why not keep your boat safe and secure here at Riviera Dunes Marina? Here’s a full list of the luxury services we offer to our customers.

Next: The Best Freshwater Fishing in Bradenton

4 Events for Fall Fun in the Palmetto Area

4 Events for Fall Fun in the Palmetto Area

4 Events for Fall Fun in the Palmetto Area Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

4 Events for Fall Fun in the Palmetto Area

Now that it’s officially fall, make sure you clear your schedules for all of the fall fun our area has to offer!

From pumpkin festivals to art festivals, you’ll want to make sure you plan accordingly so that you don’t miss out.

2017 World Rowing Championships

When: Through Oct. 1.

Where: Nathan Benderson Park.

Admission: Starting at $10.

There’s still time to check out the World Rowing Championships! Representing more than 60 countries, around 1,700 athletes and coaches have travelled to Sarasota’s own Nathan Benderson Park for a thrilling international regatta! This weekend, you can expect expos on local attractions, boating and fishing and health and wellness. Though the races officially started last Saturday, Sept. 23, there’s still time to catch the closing ceremony as well as special events including Row for the Cure in honor of cancer fighters and survivors on Sunday, Oct. 1.

29th Annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival

When: Every weekend in October.

Where: Fruitville Grove.

Admission: Free.

Join in for the annual pumpkin festival held every weekend in October for ultimate fall fun! Once you pick your pumpkin, make sure you stop by the petting zoo, playground, bounce house, game booth and many more fun activities. There will also be live music as well as a rock wall and pony rides available for the little ones. If you visit on a Saturday, come dressed in your best costume for the weekly contest at 1 p.m. 

Ringling International Arts Festival

When: Oct. 18–21.

Where: Throughout The Ringling.

Admission: Varies depending on event.

Prepare for four days of innovative performance art ranging from dance performances to an African singing ensemble. Every year, the line-up includes exciting international performance artists, and this year is no different! This year, artists hail from Germany, Italy and Zimbabwe! The festival kicks off on Oct. 18 with a gala celebration and performance of eVenti Verticale’s WANTED. With performances being held throughout each day, festivalgoers can remain on-site as lunch and dinner are available. The full line-up of events can be found here

Sun Fiesta

When: Oct. 20–Oct. 22.

Where: Centennial Park. 

Admission: Free.

Head to Centennial Park in Venice for an action-packed, family-friendly event. The kids will enjoy crafts, contests, a bounce house and even facing their fears with bungee jumping. Other special events include a Miss Sun Fiesta pageant and a Young Marines Breakfast on Sunday morning. In addition, there will also be live entertainment, a beer and wine tent, a parade, a variety of food vendors and so much more.

Next: Rainy Day Fun Near Riviera Dunes Marina

Rainy Day Fun Near Riviera Dunes Marina

Rainy Day Fun Near Riviera Dunes Marina

Rainy Day Fun Near Riviera Dunes Marina

Rainy Day Fun Near Riviera Dunes Marina

Just because the sun is on vacation for a day or so doesn’t mean the fun stops near Riviera Dunes Marina! There are plenty of activities that you and your family will enjoy when in Palmetto and nearby Sarasota . . . even when it’s a rainy day! From museums to the local family skating center, a rainy day in Palmetto will certainly be well spent.

Head to the museum.

From classics cars to sharks, the museums here will provide much fun, rain or shine. At the Ringling estate, visit the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art for nonstop rainy day fun! Here you can view 21 galleries chock-full of Renaissance and Baroque art as well as American contemporary art. In addition, head to the Circus Museum on the property, which is included in your art museum admission, to view authentic costumes and other neat treasures from “The Greatest Show on Earth.” At the Sarasota Classic Car Museum, feast your eyes on rare and classic cars. See Paul McCartney’s Mini Cooper and even a car resembling the famous DeLorean from “Back to the Future.” For marine fun without getting wet, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is home to a sea turtles, manatees and a 135,000-gallon shark tank!

Create your own art.

There are several spots to exercise your creativity, especially when the weather isn’t cooperating. Once you peruse the gift shop and the lovely art by local artists at the Artful Giraffe gallery, head to their pottery studio where you can mold and paint your own works of art. The studio will glaze and fire your pottery, then you can take it home! At Arts A Blaze in Lakewood Ranch, try your hand at pottery making, glass painting and infusing, pallet painting and more! This walk-in studio has it all, no matter your age or skillset.

Release some energy.

Even though it’s wet out, there is plenty of rainy day fun to be had! From roller skating to speed skating, show off your skills and even get some exercise in at Astro Skate Family Fun Center in Bradenton. If you’re still working on your skating skills, the center also offers skating lessons. The fun doesn’t stop when you tire of skating! There are also dance rooms, inflatables, an arcade and so much more.

Next: 4 Top Spots to Visit in Bradenton

Don’t Miss these 4 Breweries near Sarasota

Don’t Miss these 4 Breweries near Sarasota

Don’t Miss these 4 Breweries near Sarasota Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

Don’t Miss these 4 Breweries near Sarasota

Calling all beer lovers! The craft beer scene has taken off in the Sarasota and Bradenton areas! There are several breweries near Sarasota where you can have a brew, have a bite and enjoy beautiful Manatee County. Here are four breweries you do not want to miss during your visit.

3 Keys Brewing and Eatery

2505 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton

3KeysBrewing.com

This family-owned brewery is known for their exquisite small-batch brews and fresh, wholesome menu! Unlike other breweries near Sarasota that partner with food trucks to provide delicious nosh, the folks at 3 Keys pride themselves in a well-rounded offering of appetizers, soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches. Bring the kids and pups and enjoy a visit at 3 Keys.

Darwin Brewing Company

803 17th Avenue West, Bradenton

DarwinBrewingCo.com

Inspired by exotic flavors and spices, Darwin Brewing Company translates this to their brews, too. From tropical pineapple and grapefruit notes in their Summadayze IPA to the Amazonian chocolate notes you’ll find in the Llama Mama Milk Stout, the brewers at Darwin Brewing always keep your tastebuds entertained.

Motorworks Brewing

1014 9th Street West, Bradenton

MotorworksBrewing.com

As Bradenton’s first craft brewery, you won’t want to miss a pint (or two) of their delicious brews amid the largest beer garden in the state! Their flagship lineup includes award-winning brews Rollcage Red Ale, Midnight Espresso, Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA and V Twin Vienna Lager. Of course there are specialty offerings that are offered seasonally such as their Pumpkin Ale.

JDub’s Brewing

1215 Mango Avenue, Sarasota

JDubsBrewing.com

What began as a homebrewing mishap by a soldier stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington is now JDub’s Brewing in sunny Sarasota. The brewers at JDub’s pride themselves in creating funky, wild brews that are also high-quality and distinctive. Flagship beers include Up Top! an IPA, the Kolsch-style ale Poolside, Bell Cow, a milk chocolate porter, and Passion Wheat brewed with passionfruit and mango. You’ll also find rotating limited releases such as En Haut, a French Oak aged IPA, a rye amber ale and many others.

Next: 4 Top Spots to Visit in Bradenton

4 Top Spots to Visit in Bradenton

4 Top Spots to Visit in Bradenton

4 Top Spots to Visit in Bradenton Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

4 Top Spots to Visit in Bradenton

There’s never a dull moment when vacationing in Bradenton! Next to our beautiful beaches and year-round sunny weather, there’s an abundance of unique, top spots to visit while you’re in Bradenton.

Manatee Village Historical Park

The history of Manatee County truly comes alive with a visit to Manatee Village Historical Park. From historic buildings to artifacts, learn about decades of Manatee County’s rich history and pioneer life. In the park, peruse 14 buildings and exhibits including Wiggins General Store, Blacksmith Shop, The Settler’s House, The 1860 Courthouse and so much more. Little ones will also love the Junior Junction play area. In addition, the park hosts several special events throughout the year including lecture and craft shops!

South Florida Museum

If you’re a natural and cultural history buff, then you’ve come to the right place! As one of the top spots to visit while here, it’s also the largest museum of its kind on the sunshine state’s Gulf Coast! From collections of historical archeological artifacts to  the Parker Manatee Aquarium, there’s never a dull moment when at the museum. For ultimate stargazing, you don’t want to miss the Bishop Planetarium, which showcases films, art performances and of course an interactive way for visitors to learn more about the universe!

De Soto National Memorial

Get out in nature to traverse Florida’s ecosystems with an afternoon at De Soto National Memorial. Take your bike or travel by foot along the park’s nature trails. Accompany a park ranger to learn about the area’s culture and heritage. Relive history at the park’s Camp Uzita, a replica village where costumed rangers and volunteers present historical talks and demonstrations. Then if you visit the park on a Saturday or Sunday, make sure to schedule an unforgettable kayak tour!

Palma Sola Botanical Park

Ten acres of lush, picturesque gardens, lakes and bridges await you at Palma Sola Botanical Park. From unique flowering trees to subtropical plants, there is no corner of this park that you’ll want to leave unseen. You might even bring your own picnic lunch so you can pause at one of the three lakes, each complete with stunning views. Then, throughout the year, the parks hosts educational programs as well as public events that are perfect for you and your family.

Next: 5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton

5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton

5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton

5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton

Labor Day 2017 is right around the corner, and you do not want to miss all that will be happening near Bradenton. The holiday weekend will be chock-full of events from the annual Labor Day Regatta to an event dedicated to bacon and so much more!

Check out our round-up of Labor Day 2017 events near Bradenton:

71st Annual Labor Day Regatta

When: Sept. 2, 9 a.m. to Sept. 3 at 4 p.m.

Where: City Island, 1717 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota.

Admission: Free.

Make way for the Sarasota Sailing Squadron’s grand event! Every year, competitive sailors from around the country and Canada gather in Sarasota for the annual Labor Day Regatta! Hundreds of sailors spanning ages 8–80 are expected at this year’s event. In addition to the five race courses, there will be live entertainment, food, beverages and an awards ceremony to commemorate the winning sailors.

When Pigs Fly Bacon Fest

When: Sept. 2, 5–10 p.m.

Where: JDub’s Brewing Company & Tap Room, 1215 Mango Ave., Sarasota.

Admission: Free. 

Who doesn’t love bacon? What better way to celebrate International Bacon Day than at the When Pigs Fly Bacon Fest during Labor Day weekend? Sarasota’s own JDub’s Brewing Company will be hosting a bacon festival featuring food trucks serving dishes for the bacon lovers. Food trucks include Solid Slab BBQ, Mobstah Lobstah, Mouthole BBQ, The Schnitzel Trailer and Create bakery & gifts. If you’re still craving more bacon, you’ll even find it in some of their brews.

Florida Studio Theatre’s Family Day

When: Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Where: Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota.

Admission: Free.

Join in for the theatre’s first ever Family Day event! Florida Studio Theatre will be partnering with Selby Gardens and Sarasota Opera to present an action-packed day for children and adults to explore the arts through hands-on activities. You and your family will get to discover your opera voice, take the stage with the theatre company and even go on a safari.

9th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival

When: Sept. 2–3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Where: 220 Miami Ave. W, Venice.

Admission: Free.

It’s that time of the year again! Enjoy this two-day craft festival as vendors display their intricate masterpieces. From ceramics to stained glass and jewelry to metalworks and more, there will be many unique treasures for you to discover and purchase. In addition, there will be a Green Market with a variety of flora as well as food items including spices, sauces and kettle corn.

61st Annual Englewood Pioneer Days Parade & Festival

When:

  • Sept. 3, Noon–8 p.m.
  • Sept. 4, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Parade—Sept. 4, 9 a.m.

Where: Festival at Pioneer Park on Dearborn St.; Parade begins at St. Raphael’s Church.

Admission: Free.

Englewood’s Pioneer Days concludes its two-week celebration with the annual parade and festival! The fun kicks off on Sunday for the Parade Days Festival. Join in on delicious food, music, beard contests, car shows and so much more! Then on Labor Day—in addition to the festival—the parade will start at St. Raphael’s Church, continue down Olde Englewood Road and west Dearborn Street before turning on North McCall Road. Don’t miss this exciting annual extravaganza!

Next: August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota

August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota

August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota

August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota Riviera Dunes Marina

August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota

Looking for fun things to do this month? While summer is nearly over, there are still plenty of things to do in the Sarasota area! Here’s your guide for weekend fun in the Sarasota area for August 2017.

This weekend, Aug. 11–13, head to Historic Spanish Point in Osprey for a docent-guided walking tour! During this enriching tour, you’ll get to experience the history, architecture and nature of Old Florida.

For home goods lovers, you’ll enjoy perusing the vintage and antique goods at Vintiquity Lane’s European-style, monthly market on Aug. 19–20. It’s also important to note that this market opens every third weekend of the month in Sarasota’s Design District, which is located at 1540 N. Lime Ave. At the market, you will discover repurposed, kitschy home treasures, clothing and other unique artifacts from yesteryear. Here are the upcoming market hours:

  • Saturday—8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday—10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you haven’t heard by now, Venice, FL is known as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.” In addition to the vintage market, you’ll also have a better chance to find shark teeth in Venice since the kids will be back in school. Shark teeth are often found near the beach accesses that are south of the jetty. All you need is your shovel and strainer, and you’ll be equipped to find these local treasures. Happy searching!

End the month of August 2017 at Friday Fest on Aug. 25! Friday Fest is a family-friendly, outdoor music series held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. This month, groove to the R&B and funky tunes from local band Jah Movement Reggae Band as you enjoy a view of the Sarasota Bay. The show begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. Food and beverage vendors will also be on site, and the event will take place rain or shine! So, bring your beach towels or chairs and join in for this fun evening on the bayfront!

Next: Free Things to Do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017

Local Beaches Among Top Family Beaches in U.S.

Local Beaches Among Top Family Beaches in U.S.

Local Beaches Named Top Family Beaches Riviera Dunes Marina

Local Beaches Among Top Family Beaches in U.S.

Three beaches near Palmetto, Florida were named among Reader’s Digest‘s top family beaches to visit in the U.S. and Carribean! You’re in luck when visiting our area because these top family beaches are just a short drive away. Below, you’ll get the scoop on each beach as well as the amount of travel time it takes to reach your destination from Palmetto.

Clearwater Beach

Travel Time: 57 minutes

With it’s pearly-white sand against the lucid ocean waters, what’s not to love about Clearwater Beach? Take the kids to a pirate ship cruise where they can hear pirate stories, play games, go on treasure hunts and much more. You may even spot a dolphin! Speaking of dolphins, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium also boasts a one-of-a-kind experience as you’ll get to meet the movie star dolphin Winter, who starred in Dolphin Tale

Sanibel Island

Travel Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes

When you visit Sanibel Island, there’s one pastime that might take over your entire day: shelling. That’s right—Sanibel is known for its spectacular shelling opportunities! You’ll be surprised to discover a variety of shapes, sizes and colors making this the perfect souvenir to remember your trip to Sanibel. When you’re taking a break from shelling, the Gulf is the perfect area for kids to swim since there’s no shore break. Kids will also enjoy the national wildlife refuge where they can see blue herons, pelicans, alligators and more!

Fort Lauderdale

Travel Time: 3 hours, 16 minutes

When in Fort Lauderdale, you and your family will have plenty of beaches to explore! In fact, there are six beaches; each has its own unique amenities. Deerfield Beach has a family playground and a fishing pier. Then, Hollywood Beach has a boardwalk spanning miles, where you can walk or bike! After the beach, don’t miss Butterfly World downtown where you will see nearly 2,000 caterpillars and butterflies in a screened-in aviary. Then, when you’re looking for a more scenic route to explore the area, hop in a water taxi and enjoy the ride!

Next: Free Things to Do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017

3 Affordable Travel Destinations Near Bradenton

3 Affordable Travel Destinations Near Bradenton

3 Affordable Travel Destinations Near Bradenton Riviera Dunes Marina

3 Affordable Travel Destinations Near Bradenton

Are you on a budget this summer? While there is much to see and do in the Bradenton area, there are many affordable travel destinations nearby!

In fact, three cities in Florida were named among the Top 10 Most Affordable Travel Destinations in the country by AOL! Orlando ranked at No. 1 for the second consecutive year, Fort Lauderdale came in at No. 3, and Jacksonville ranked at No. 9.

For a family of four, the total vacation costs for three days and nights are $2,284 in Orlando, $2,560 in Fort Lauderdale and $2,852 in Jacksonville.

To find the most affordable travel destinations, AOL considered the average cost for a family of four and individuals using these four key factors: roundtrip airfare, hotel rates, car rental rates and dining.

If you’re on a budget and looking for an affordable getaway for you and your family, learn more about these cities near Bradenton: 

When in Orlando, located just a couple hours from Bradenton, you’ll certainly find extraordinary theme parks. But, that’s not all there is to do while visiting. Families will love seeing dinosaur fossils at the Orlando Science Center or stars at the Crosby Observatory. Golfers will also have their fair share of stunning courses when they’re looking to play a round.

In Fort Lauderdale, boat lovers—yacht lovers, especially—will relish in the Florida sunshine. The city is also home to major annual boat shows, museums and lovely beaches. However, Fort Lauderdale is nearly 4 hours away from Bradenton, so you may want to take this factor in consideration before traveling.

Lastly, Jacksonville is also a mere 4 hours away, but it is certainly worth the trip, especially when considering affordability. Take a day to kayak throughout the city, where you will experience the area’s breathtaking nature and gardens. On another day, you might rent some snokelling gear and explore Blackmar’s Reef.

Next: Free Things to Do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017