Around Siesta Key in January 2009

Mark your calendars for some of my favorite picks for January.

New Year’s Day Bird Walk at Sleeping Turtle Preserve in Venice on January 1 from 9:30pm to noon.  www.sarasotaaudubon.org or call Mark Leggett at 925-7220. 

Free beginning Yoga class on Siesta Beach Friday, January 2 and every Monday, Wednesday and Friday following.  Bring your own mat and water.  Info: yogaonsiestabeach@yahoo.com, www.hathayogalesson.com, or call 320-6693, or just show up.  The address is 948 Beach Road.  It looks like it’s on the beach in the area of the fire department and the tennis courts at the public beach. 

I have to plug the Florida Studio Theatre because my kids are participating in a program there and I think the theatre is awesome.  Their season opener, a celebration of Irving Berlin, is Friday, January 2 at 6pm.  Check out their website for the schedule.  www.floridastudiotheatre.org or call 366-9000 for tickets to Friday’s show.

Art Center Sarasota has some pretty cool activities and events scheduled for the month.  Call 355-1023 for info.  www.artsarasota.org

January 4th is the date for the Sarasota Orchid Show and Sale at the Selby Gardens.  www.selby.org

GWIZ Titanic Exhibit: www.gwiz.org

MOTE Marine Laboratory: www.mote.org.  Please support the Dolphin and Whale Hospital with your donations.  Keep checking their site or request being added to their mailing list for updates on “Ginger”.

It’s Polo season so check out www.sarasotapolo.com for their schedule.  We went last year and had a blast tailgating.

On January 6, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is having its backstage tour.  Call 966-9415 for more info.  Also check out their performance schedule at www.vanwezel.org.

This one’s too cool: Tribute to the Beach Boys.  The performance is January 8, from 7pm to 9pm at the Venice Community Center.  861-5000  This band will also be playing songs from some other beach music bands. You might spot me there…I was a Beach Boys fanatic (not just a fan).  I saw them in concert everytime they came to the Baltimore/DC area when I was in high school and college.  I bet you can guess my age now.

January 10 you can attend the Anna Maria Island Privateers Annual Thieves Market at Coquina Beach.  I’ve never been but passed by last year…it was packed with vendors (craft and food) and was well attended.  Its from 7am-4pm.  www.amiprivateers.org

You can’t go wrong with the Siesta Key Farmers Market every Sunday in the Davidson Parking lot in the Village. 

Sarasota has an artist’s market on Saturday’s in Historic Burns Square (@ Laurel and Pineapple).

Sarasota’s Flea Market is open this month at the Municipal Auditorium.

Check out the schedule for the Aslo Theatre: www.aslo.org.

I just found out about the Powel Crosley Theatre.  I haven’t attended anything there yet but they have an interesting schedule.  I’d have loved to have seen the Dickens show in December but had family in town and forgot.  January brings us “Edgar Allen Poe at the Crosley” to celebrate his 200th birthday.  The show runs from January 13-23 and, myself being a Baltimore native, I will be in the audience during one of the shows.  There are some matinees as well as evening shows.  My husband gave me a really cool book for Christmas on Poe.  I must read it before the show.  Check out www.powelcrosleytheatre.com for info and their March schedule.  I’ll be at the March show, too.

Southwest Florida Heritage Festival at the Crowley Museum and Nature Center on Saturday, January 10 from 9:30 am to 4pm.  This festival features living history, agriculture, nature, family activities, music entertainment, and of course, food.  Info: http://www.cmncfl.org/

 Paine Park in Sarasota is the site for the First Annual Walk for Wishes to benefit the Make A Wish Foundation.  The Walk begins at 9am sharp on Saturday, January 17.  Info:  call 941-952-9474

Circus Sarasota’s opening night is January 30 and runs through February 22.  Go to: www.circusarasota.org or call 941-355-9335

And speaking of the circus, don’t forget the Ringling Museum.  www.ringling.org   I finally got to see the whole art museum and it was incredible.  Totally worth the trip.   The mansion was fabulous.  I suggest paying for the private tour.  There are some interesting facts you’ll learn plus you’ll get to see some of the upstairs rooms.  The rose garden was in bloom (this was early December) but I enjoyed it much more in March.  Still, you can’t help to pass it by and sniff deeply.  Ahhhh.

January 30 is as the Sarasota Indian Festival at Oscar Sherer State Park.   It runs for the weekend.  Info: www.myspace.com/sarasotaindianfestival or call 941-924-2784

And, getting into February, I have to let you know about the pet walk-a-thon sponsored by the Junior League.  I’m a former Jr Leaguer (and pet owner) and like plugging the organization’s events.  It  takes place February 7, 10am at Twin Lakes Park and the walk is 1 mile but it sounds like there are a lot of other activities going on to promote pet safety.  Early registration ends January 10, then the price goes up so register early.

Now…if you need food recommendations you can go to my husband’s website: www.dixiedining.com and his blog (with up-to-the-minute eating reviews around town) www.dixiedining.wordpress.com.

I’m sure there is a lot more going on that I’ve forgotten or hadn’t yet heard about but this should keep you busy for a while.  Meanwhile, though, the beach is FREE, as is window shopping St Armand’s Circle on our beautiful winter days, bird watching, fishing (if you already have the supplies), reading a good book while sitting in the sun (don’t forget sunscreen), viewing  the art galleries of downtown Sarasota.  Disclaimer: I suggested that these activities are free so if you buy something, I will not be held responsible. 

Sundays  I welcome you to visit the Siesta Key Chapel for worship (Presbyterian).  It’s “God’s Treehouse” and we enjoy going there.  Service times are 8:45 and 11am.   www.siestakeychapel.org

Enjoy your stay on Siesta Key.

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