All around West Villages, from Sarasota’s Pineapple Drop to fireworks at Historic Spanish Point and from black-tie galas to backyard BBQs, the Suncoast rolls out the red carpet for the New Year.
At West Villages, you get even more: You don’t have to freeze—or get soaked—with 1 million other revelers at the Ball Drop in Times Square, and you’ll find tons of family-friendly fun virtually around the corner from the nine award-winning communities here.
While ballrooms and bars pull out all the stops for all-night revelers, families enjoy a slew of festivities nearby. And with the Suncoast’s weather usually in the low 70s during the day and dipping just to the 50s by midnight, you can take in the spectacular spectacles outside.
Here are a few New Year’s Eve celebrations suitable for kids of all ages:
Sarasota Pineapple Drop: Considered the biggest outdoor New Year’s Eve party south of New York, the massive block party welcomes 2020 Florida-style. A giant pineapple drops at the stroke of midnight and—five, four, three, two, one! boom!—the fireworks begin. The whole shebang starts at 1 p.m. downtown, with rides, games, concessions and more.
Fisherman’s Village: In nearby Punta Gorda, a family-friendly fest kicks off at 6 p.m., with music, magic shows and fireworks through 12:30 a.m. The party in historic Charlotte Harbor is free, with free parking.
Starlight & Fire: A New Year’s Eve: Party like it’s 1899. Historic Spanish Point, the 30-acre living-history park just 18 miles from West Villages, offers a New Year’s experience unlike most you’ll find anywhere else. The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m.—perfect for early-evening revelers and children—with music, games and more, yes, s’mores, on an open fire.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: Billed as “Sarasota’s most sophisticated and diversely entertaining New Year’s Eve experience,” the black-tie gala offers a journey through the 15-acre tropical oasis. Tickets include hors d’oeuvres, a seated four-course dinner and ballet performances—with a champagne toast and stunning views of Sarasota Bay’s fireworks.
Venice Performing Arts Center: Celebrate the soundtrack of years gone by. Perfect for early birds, the “Decades Rewind” performance features not one but two productions, with hits from the 1950s-’70s at 2 p.m. and blockbusters from the ’70s through the ’90s at 7 p.m.
Sarasota Municipal Auditorium: If you’d prefer to party with a few thousand revelers indoors, the New Year’s Eve Red Carpet ILLUMINATION may be for you. From 9 to 1 p.m., the historic venue will be transformed into a full-on New Year’s Eve experience, with a dance floor, light show, catered appetizers, a dessert station, bottomless champagne, the whole works. Ride-sharing from the auditorium to West Villages runs around $50 one-way.
At home: Welcome 2020 with a block party or backyard BBQ. Ring in the Noon Year for the kiddos. Gather family and friends around any of the communities’ resort-style amenities to kick off the New Year exactly the way you want to. PBS offers a nifty assortment of family-style ideas for a New Year’s Eve with a neighborhood feel.
Celebrate Life Your Way at West Villages and start your year off right with a new home in one of the nation’s leading master-planned communities. To learn more, visit West Villages’ Model Home Centers, listed here. Or call the Home Buyers Information Line at 941-960-7805.