Find some free fun in Sarasota-Bradenton

Artwalks, farmers markets and more free fun in Sarasota and Manatee counties

Staff report

As season ramps up, more area farmers markets and other regular activities are returning to the area, offering more options for free entertainment.

Fridays

First Fridays: Lakewood Ranch’s monthly “Music on Main” series is 6 to 9 p.m. the first Friday of each month and features live music and vendors. Info: 941-907-9243; lakewoodranch.com

First Fridays and Saturdays: Visit the Village of the Arts for its vibrant monthly artwalk the first Friday night and Saturday afternoon of every month. Discover unique galleries, studios, specialty shops, healing arts, food and music during this popular monthly event. Opening receptions for new shows, special guests throughout the Village, and live music are all a part of artwalk weekends. Friday 6-9:30 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Info: villageofthearts.com

First Fridays: Palm Avenue’s First Friday “Gallery Walk” of each month from 6 to 9 p.m. Check out the galleries and unique boutiques on Palm Avenue in downtown Sarasota. Info: palmavenue.org

Second Fridays: Burns Square “Art Walk” is 5 to 8 p.m. from Mound Ave. to Ringling Blvd. along South Pineapple and South Orange avenues. Info: 941-954-5800; burnssquare.org

Third Fridays: Towles Court “Art Walk” series is 5 to 9 p.m. Meet the artists, shop and dine in an authentic “Old Florida” neighborhood in downtown Sarasota. 1938 Adams Lane, 34236 Info: 941-955-4546; towlescourt.com

Third Fridays: Sarasota Music Club hosts outstanding music performances at Eicher Auditorium in the Sunnyside Village Community Center, 5201 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota. Social gathering at 10 a.m. and performances begin at 10:30 a.m. Member and donor supported, free and open to the public. Info: 941-925-3602; sarasotamusicclub.org.

Fourth Fridays: The Historic Village north of Fruitville is open to all from 5 to 9 p.m. Check out the funky and colorful old Florida bungalows turned shops for special activities, free food and drinks, art demos, cooking demos, live music and more. Keffie’s ecoChic Boutique, 837 Fruitville Road, 34236. Info: Keffie Lancaster 941-365-0159 or keffies.com/event/4th-friday-historic-downtown-village-walk — or “like” Historic Downtown Village on Facebook.

Saturdays

Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market: 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. At one of the traditional weekly, year-round events in Sarasota, you’ll find everything from fresh produce, food, flowers and plants to arts and crafts. Dogs are welcome. Main Street and Lemon Avenue in downtown Sarasota. Info: 941-225-9256; sarasotafarmersmarket.org

Central Sarasota Farmers Market: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The market seeks and hosts vendors of locally or regionally produced vegetables, fruits, meats, baked goods and prepared foods. CSFM also hosts local artists, artisans, service providers, nonprofit organizations, and live entertainment. The market takes place in the parking lot of Sarasota County Technical Institute, at the northwest corner of Proctor and Beneva roads.

Bradenton Farmers’ Market: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Bradenton Farmers’ Market is a place where the community meets each week to enjoy fresh produce, local art, upbeat music, demonstrations by local chefs and family activities. Parking is free on weekends, and dogs on leashes are always welcome. The market sets up on Old Main Street, just north of Manatee Avenue. More than 35 vendors offer locally grown fruits, vegetables, plants, organic products, fresh seafood and prepared foods, as well as the work of local artists and craftspeople.

Venice Farmer’s Market: 8 a.m. to noon. Local produce, plants, flowers, crafts, jewelry, soaps, imported oils, seafood, pastries and much more can be found at the weekly market on Tampa Ave. between Nokomis & Nassau avenues in historic downtown Venice. Info: thevenicefarmersmarket.org

Nokomis Beach Drum Circle: Every Saturday (and Wednesday) evening, leading up to sunset. Listen for the drums and follow the crowd. Bring your chair, beach blanket or refreshments. Bring your own drum to play along. 207 Casey Key Road, Nokomis.

First Saturdays: Bradenton Village of the Arts “Art Walk” continues from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (more above under “Fridays”).

Sundays

Siesta Farmers Market: A year-round Sunday morning tradition in Siesta Village, this market runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday at 5124 Ocean Blvd. in Davidson Plaza. It features fresh local produce, plants, teas, fresh bread and baked goods, imported oils, organic personal skin products, upcycle fashion, jewelry, local shell decor, paintings, candles, batik, eyeglass holders, wood creations, photography, textile creations, pottery and much more by local artisans. There’s live music, too, and dogs are welcome.

The Siesta Beach Drum Circle: Year-round, you’ll find the drums beating and people dancing every Sunday evening on Siesta Beach. The beats begin about an hour before sunset, just south of the main pavilion on Siesta Beach. Listen for the drums and follow the crowd. Bring a chair, beach blanket, refreshments or a drum to play along.

The Beach Market at Coquina Beach: This market takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays and Wednesdays. Browse fresh produce, arts and crafts, jewelry, local artists, apparel, pottery, purses, collectibles, health and beauty items, music and more. Enjoy the white sand beach, relax on the deck overlooking the Gulf and get some great food and beverages at Coquina Cafe. 2650 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach, at the trolley stop, concession stand area. Manatee County does not allow dogs anywhere in Coquina Park. Stroller, walker and wheelchair accessible. Info: 941-518-4431 

Wednesdays

Phillippi Farmhouse Market: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Features locally grown fruits and vegetables, including local USDA certified organic produce and hydroponics. There are also plants, herbs, hanging baskets, shrubs and cut flowers for sale along with a wide variety of locally baked goods, delicious barbecue, plenty of food and beverage vendors, arts and crafts, soaps and candles and always live music. 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Free admission. More Info: farmhousemarket.org; 941-861-5000

The Beach Market at Coquina Beach: A variety of vendors bring goods to this market, which runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (More above under “Sundays”)

Nokomis Beach Drum Circle: A twice-weekly gathering of drummers offers beats and camaraderie leading up to sunset (More above under “Saturdays”).

Various days

Free yoga on Siesta Beach: 9-10:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Bring your own mat and water to the Siesta Beach main entrance and practice yoga with Avananda. Info: 941-320-6693

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