Ah, the holidays. Living in West Villages already feels like a vacation all year long, but as soon as Thanksgiving’s tryptophan wears off and Black Friday’s spent, why, Santa Claus and Chanukah are right around the corner. Let the festivities begin!
Sure, you can always take advantage of West Villages’ swimming pools, golf course, lush walking trails, parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, tennis courts and clubhouses. From now through near the end of the year and just beyond all those resort-style amenities, the most wonderful time of the year fills the world with sparkling lights, colors, sounds and flavors
Florida does the holidays like nowhere else. Where else could you see Kris Kringle in a Chris-Craft, go watch a parade without donning four layers of clothes or catch traditional Chanukah gelt from a helicopter or get into the swing of the season at a Major League ballpark?
Here are just a few events nearby to stuff your stockings or light your menorah through the season, with events in North Port, Venice and Sarasota, all within an easy drive of the award-winning West Villages:
CoolToday Park’s First Annual Jingle Jam: The holidays take the home-field advantage at the Atlanta Braves’ new Major League Baseball spring-training complex at West Villages with the Jingle Jam Dec. 7-8. The action-packed family fest, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. both days, scores big with a holiday market, horse and carriage rides, Insta-worthy opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus, holiday-themed food and beverages, bounce houses, movies and more—and all free.
The City of Venice Holiday Parade: On Nov. 30, join 3,000 of your closest friends who put on the 43rd edition of the parade in downtown Venice—just 10 miles from West Villages. The pre-parade kicks off at 5 p.m. with the party starting at 7. Along the route, which ends at Venice Community Center, booster clubs, churches and other nonprofit organizations sell pizza, hot dogs, burgers and snacks to their 10,000 neighbors at the free event.
Christmas Through the Ages: Go old school with a holiday concert featuring music from the medieval, renaissance and Victorian eras, along with some contemporary tunes. Port Charlotte’s Charlotte Players, one of Florida’s oldest performing arts organizations, also use period instruments and tell stories about the tunes’ originations at the Dec. 7 performance.
The 34th Annual Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights: There’s nothing quite like dazzling holiday lights that sparkle off the water. Starting at 6 p.m. Dec. 14, about two dozen boats decorated in their festive finery and blaring sounds of the season start cruising from City Island. Thousands of spectators, with folding chairs and coolers, line the route along Sarasota Bay to Centennial Park.
A Taste of Chanukah: The ninth annual edition of the Jewish Festival of Lights features the Skyriders Trampoline Show and a helicopter dropping gelt over Phillippi Estate Park, where the event runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Dec 22.
Pinecraft Christmas Parade: Here’s an event brimming with charm and cultural tradition. Sarasota’s Amish and Mennonite communities celebrate the season with their signature foods and their own parade at around 1 p.m. Christmas Day in the heart of Sarasota.
To learn more about Holidays Your Way, gift yourself with a visit to West Villages’ Model Home Centers, listed here, Or call the Home Buyers Information Line at 941-960-7805.