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  • Nancy McAleer

Things to Do this Winter on Anna Maria Island 2017


It's time for the Anna Maria Island Beach Life Christmas Issue! We've filled this article with lots of fun things to do and experience this holiday season on Anna Maria Island, Florida. The perfect time to getaway from the cold up north. Let's hit the beach.

TREE LIGHTING & MOVIE ON BRIDGE STREET

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach

4:30 - 8:30 pm

Christmas on Bridge Street opens up on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. The Bridge Street Merchants host its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. This holiday festivity will take place on Bridge Street, in Bradenton Beach between Fish Hole Adventure Golf and the Island Time Inn. The best news..... it's A FREE family event!

Santa Claus arrives at 4:30 p.m. The Magic of Manatee Sweet Adeline Chorus will be on hand to sing Christmas carols. The tree lighting kicks off in the evening at 6 p.m.

Grab some hot chocolate and popcorn and stay for the showing of the holiday classic movie, “A Christmas Story”.

Insider Tip: Bring chairs and blankets to sit on while you watch the movie.

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WINTERFEST

Saturday, December 9 & 10, 2017

City Hall Field, Holmes Beach

10:00 am - 4:30 pm

Check out Winterfest, a Festival of Fine Arts & Crafts Show held at City Hall Field in Holmes Beach, Florida from 10am to 4:30pm. An amazing event full of entertainment, food and of course arts and crafts for purchase by talented artists from near and far.

This year there are over 80 participants showcasing their works in the 30th Annual Winterfest Festival, Sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Art League. This is a fun family event that features continuous live music on stage Saturday and a large food court offering a variety of food and beverages. Exhibits include various, art, jewelry, historical, and environmental booths.

Be sure to enter the gala raffle of art work donated by festival exhibitors. Proceeds benefit the League’s Scholarship Fund, which provides classes to children and adults.Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and winners need not be present to win.

Admission and parking are free.

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Christmas Parade

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Starts at Bayfront Park, Anna Maria

to Coquina Beach, Bradenton Beach

10:00 am

This much anticipated event starts at Bayfront Park at the north end of Anna Maria Island and runs the full length of the island all the way down to Coquina Beach. Children can gather at Coquina Beach to meet Santa where he hands out gifts to the kids!

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The same Bridge Street Merchants will host its annual Christmas on Bridge Street celebration on Saturday, Dec. 16.

CHRISTMAS ON BRIDGE STREET

Saturday, December 17, 2017

Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach

4:30 - 8:30 pm

If you missed the Tree Lighting then this event is sure to spread some holiday cheer into your Beach Life. Enjoy listening to live music and holiday choirs while you meander down historic Bridge Street. Featuring the Powell Crosley Dickens Carollers and Storytellers.

To help you with your Christmas shopping there will be a coastal, holiday market with tons of great Christmas ornaments and decorations available for sale. Don't miss out on the wreath raffles and silent auction!

Enjoy the delicious hot chocolate bar and other treats as you experience winter on Bridge Street. Keep your eyes out for a special appearance by Santa.

IT'S FREE!

This is a free event but also a great shopping experience so be sure to bring your wallet and cross some gifts off on your Christmas list.

Don't forget there is plenty of shopping throughout Anna Maria Island so be sure to visit Holmes Beach and Anna Maria villages for more coastal treats and holiday treasures.

Insider Tip! There is limited parking available on Bridge Street so keep the car at home and take the free Island Trolley. Need the schedule? Get it here.... FREE TROLLEY SCHEDULE

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Photo Courtesy Mote Marine Aquarium

MOTE AQUARIUM SNOW CAMP FOR KIDS

Select days from December 27, 2017 - January 5, 2018

Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach

4:30 - 8:30 pm

Kids can spend some or all of their winter break at Mote Camp. Campers will explore marine life during this winter themed camp. Join Mote Aquarium for all 6 days or pick your favorite one. The Winter Camp is open to all students currently enrolled in 1st - 5th grade. Camp hours run from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm.

Mote Marine Aquarium Winter Break Camps, encourage participation in the water for part of the morning, weather-permitting so come prepared with towels, water gear and a change of clothes.

Camps are $45 for non-members and $38 for member; sign up for 3 or more days and receive a 10% discount. This registration fee includes all materials, visits to the aquarium and mammal center, and snack. Please note: camps will not run if minimum number is not met. A notice will go out the week prior to camp should this happen.

Contact for more information: Email camps@mote.org​ or call 941.388.4441 ext. 348

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NEW YEAR'S FIREWORKS

Unfortunately, the New Year's Fireworks that are normally celebrated on the beach at The Beach House Restaurant will not take place again this year. They have cancelled this celebration in order to keep all migrating and nesting shorebirds safe and out of harms way. We support The Beach House and the entire Chiles Group of restaurants in their endeavours to keep Anna Maria Island wildlife thriving for years to come.

You can still enjoy New Year's celebrations in Many of the local restaurants and bars open on the island. There's no place better to be!

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WHERE TO STAY

Anna Maria Island Home Rental

At Anna Maria Island Home Rental, we have luxurious waterfront accommodations available for minimum one week stays. We specialize in family vacations.

Contact us for information about our fantastic last minute deals!

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