Christmas Dinner Restaurants – Anna Maria Island

ANNA MARIA ISLAND & CLOSE PROXIMITY RESTAURANTS OPEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S

Many of the restaurants on Anna Mara Island are closed on Christmas Day and some on New Year’s Day, therefore, we included several off Island restaurants as well.

We suggest you call ahead or check online for reservations. You will also want to ask questions if you have dietary restrictions.

Some restaurants may have special menu options, buffets and additional holiday offerings. While others offer a limited menu and chef specials.

Many of these restaurants will require reservations so we suggest you call now to avoid disappointment.

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CHRISTMAS EVE/CHRISTMAS DAY CHURCH SERVICES ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND

Christmas on Anna Maria Island for our guests staying with us at Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island 34217 and everyone visiting the island for Christmas.

ST. BERNARD CATHOLIC CHURCH – 248 S. HARBOR DRIVE, HOLMES BEACH

Date: Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sunday Mass with the St. Bernard Community
  • Time: 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
  •            10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
  • Christmas Vigil Mass
    • Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    •            10:00 PM – 11:00 PM
    • Date: Monday, December 25, 2017
    • Christmas Day Mass 
    • Time: 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
      •            10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    • EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF THE ANNUNCIATION – 4408 WEST GULF DRIVE, HOLMES BEACH
DateSunday, December 24, 2017
Time9:00 AM     Holy Eucharist
           4:30 PM     Carol Sing preceding the service
           5:00 PM     Holy Eucharist
          10:30 PM    Carol Sing preceding the service
           11:00 PM    Holy Eucharist
Date: Monday, December 25, 2017    Time9:00 AM     Christmas Day Service

GLORIA DEI LUTHERAN CHURCH – 6608 MARINA DRIVE, HOLMES BEACH

Sunday, December 24, 2017 Time: 9:30 – Worship         Time: 10:30 Fellowship

CLOSED – Christmas Day

ROSER MEMORIAL COMMUNITY CHURCH – 512 PINE AVENUE, ANNA MARIA 

DateSunday, December 24, 2017

REGULAR SUNDAY SERVICES WILL BE HELD AT 8:30 & 10:00 AM IN THE SANCTUARY

 The 5:30 PM Family Service features a Nativity Pageant in which all children are invited to participate. This service is meant especially for families, but all are welcome. There will be singing of carols, special music by the Joyful Noise Children’s Choir and “Good News!” from Dr. Bob O’Keef. All children will receive a gift. The service will end with the singing of Silent Night and the Passing of the Light.

At the 9:00 PM Traditional Service there will be special music and the singing of carols. Dr. Bob O’Keef will bring the message of “Good News!” The service ends with the singing of “Silent Night” and the Passing of the Light.

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FRESH BAKERIES ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND

 
The Donut Experiment – 210c Pine Avenue, Anna Maria
 
We first discovered Donut Experiment during spring break 2016. Since then, we’ve visited many times and brought lots of family and friends – all have loved it. We absolutely love the donuts and all the combinations. We’ve tried many! They are always fresh because you choose your donut and watch while they are made. The wonderful staff is friendly and helpful. The ordering process is easy and efficient. It is a fun atmosphere too – eating donuts right on the porch. Our son, the “Donut Connoisseur” says, “the donuts from Donut Experiment are simply the best!”
Hours: Open daily 7am – 1pm
Hometown Desserts – 507 Pine Avenue, Anna Maria
This little shop is tucked away near the General Store on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria. They have a wide array of cupcakes, cakes, brownies, and scones. This lady knows how to bake! Her key lime coconut cake is a slice of heaven and the chocolate cake is amazing too! Go check out these desserts, just so yummy!
Several area restaurants get their cake, etc. from them. People working there are so nice. If you are on the island, you really must go there and try their cake!
Hours:  Monday – Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm   Sunday 10:00am – 2:00pm
Cupcake Delights, Inc. – 3324 East Bay Drive, Holmes Beach
Cupcake Delights is a small family owned bakery in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island. They sell amazing cupcakes and specialty decorated cakes for all Occasions.  The staff are friendly and efficient.
The store is super clean, bright with cute decor and the staff are friendly. All baked goods are made fresh daily right on the premises. Their signature Butter Cream and Cream Cheese frostings are made from scratch using real butter, cream cheese and Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. They offer gluten free products.
We had the red velvet and carrot cake and both were delicious, fresh and very moist. The ladies told us they bake different cupcakes on different days. A must stop for everyone, but go early for the best selection as they sell fast.

I haven’t picked a favourite yet, will just have to keep going back until I’ve tried them all!

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 6pm   Closed Sunday and Monday
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MARIETTA MUSEUM OF ART AND WHIMSY IN SARASOTA

The MARIETTA MUSEUM OF ART AND WHIMSY is a delightful place to visit with the entire family. You’ll find a large variety of interesting works to see from fine art to kitsch. The Marietta Museum offers a traditional museum setting as well as a beautiful sculpture garden too. This museum and sculpture garden is unique in offering light hearted paintings, sculpture and a wide range of artworks. The different artworks include a mosaic mirror in the ladies room offering choices of “who will I be today”.  Your children will find enjoyment as they see the stainless steel rocket ship, the cool bench that looks like a toucan, as well as the very realistic police officer that is actually a soft sculpture.

We loved the sound and light show. When we talked or exclaimed the lights on the walls and ceiling reacted with a crazy dance.

Founder and Curator Marietta (Mary) Lee was an emergency room nurse for many years and found art helped her to de-stress. Her passion to share her love of art is what led her to start this attraction. She had a great desire to share her collection at this museum and to create a space for people to relax and enjoy art. Her wish was that art be inclusive to all. A unique feature of this museum is half the artists are women, half men, and almost all are still living.

You can’t miss the museum on North Tamiami Trail as the exterior is painted bright pink with Key West accents.

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Annual Christmas Cookies N’ Cans Party December 9, 2017 Saturday from 1 to 4 PM

The museum’s yearly cookies swap.  Visitors can bring homemade or store bought cookies to eat and exchange.  Cans or nonperishables can also be brought to be put under the Christmas tree for the All Faiths Food Bank.  Any Left over cookies are packaged for local police, firemen, Sarasota Building Dept., and the Sarasota Library.

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The Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy is open November 24, 2017 to May 26, 2018

ThursdayFridaySaturday 1PM to 4PM – Closed for Major holidays

No Cafe or Retail store on site.

There is No Entrance fee, but a $5.00 Donation per person, per admission is suggested.

(Credit Cards are not accepted)

This is a non profit organization and your donations are greatly appreciated to help keep this lovely museum operating.

Just a thirty minute drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217.

For the latest up to date news, events, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog at Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog 


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CORTEZ AND MANATEE BRIDGES TO BE OPENED LESS FREQUENTLY

I cause of great concern for Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island 34217 and the residents and tourist of Anna Maria Island is the Cortez Bridge.
When we vacation on Anna Maria Island we love to sit back, relax and enjoy the surrounding beauty.
Coming on or going off the island can be challenging at times. Turning onto Cortez Road or Manatee Avenue and then there you are, stopped. Looking ahead at the lineup of cars you see the Drawbridge starting to lift and you know you will be sitting there a while.
Some people say they don’t mind waiting on the bridge for the boats to pass. But, for those on vacation who plan to just quickly pick up a few things and get back to the Beach, waiting for the drawbridge can be frustrating. It looks like some relief has arrived.
The U.S. Coast Guard has reduced the number of bridge openings from three times to twice an hour at both the Anna Maria Island and Cortez drawbridges. Cortez Bridge, with a vertical clearance of 22 feet is on State Road 684.-Cortez Road. It spans the Intracoastal Waterway between the Village of Cortez and Bradenton Beach. The Anna Maria Island Bridge has a vertical clearance of 24 feet. It spans the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway connecting Perico Island to the East and Holmes Beach to the West.The Cortez Bridge near Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria Maria Island/ Manatee Avenue Bridge near Holmes Beach are now to be opened twice an hour instead of three times an hour from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. On demand from boaters the bridge will open at 15 and 45 minutes after the hour, daily, on a year-round basis. Both bridges are required to open on signal from boaters from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. As per federal regulations any Public vessels — those owned and operated by the U.S. government, including the Coast Guard— a vessel in distress or vessels with tows may request an opening at any time.The Cortez and Manatee Avenue bridges are tended and the openings are logged 24 hours a day, seven days a week.A lengthy process, bridge timing discussions originated in 2014.  Traffic and congestion have been frequent topics of discussion at the Island Transportation Planning Organization (ITPO) meetings. ITPO includes the Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach mayors, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) representatives and others. The MPO and island mayors requested in February to reduce the number of bridge openings. They stated that the surge of traffic previously associated with winter and spring tourism is now year round.The changes to the drawbridge opening schedules approved by The Coast Guard and The Florida Department of Transportation, which owns and operates the bridges, took effect October 5, 2017. According to the ruling the change provides reasonable needs to both land transportation and water navigation.

While vehicle wait time has been shortened, boaters adjust to the new bridge time openings. Next time going off or coming on the Island you might try to avoid 15 and 45 past the hour. That is, unless you enjoy watching the boats lined up to pass under the bridge, which is be a truly beautiful site. It’s your vacation, we’ll let you decide.

For the latest up to date news, event, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog

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December Lights – Anna Maria Island

We welcome our guests to delight in a Beach Christmas when you vacation with us. No shovelling snow, instead shovel sand to build your very best sand castle. The Island is all decorated for Christmas and has many activities for you to enjoy.
 
December 8, 2017 – 5:30 to 8 pm
Anna Maria Holiday of Treasures – Stroll along Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria and enjoy cookies and eggnog with entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus at City Pier Park.

At 6:00 pm see the Roser Children’s Choir perform in the the Historical Park at 402 Pine Avenue

December 9, 2017 – 10 am – 12:30 pm
Privateer’s Christmas Parade and Santa Open House
The parade will go the entire length of the island, starting at the north end  (Bay Front Park) ending at Coquina Beach, where Santa will board the Privateers’ Flagship “Skullywag” for all the kids to sit on Santa’s Lap. Hotdogs, chips and soda will also be provided for all the kids.
December 9 & 10, 2017 – 10 am – 4:30 pm both days 
Winterfest – A festival of Fine Arts & Fine Crafts will be held at Holmes Beach City Hall Field. 5901 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island
December 10, 2017 – 8:30 am – 10 am
Candles & Carols – Enjoy a presentation of the Advent Cantata “Candles & Carols” at Roser Community Church, 512 Pine Avenue in the City of Anna Maria
December 15, 2017 – 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Holiday Open House at Anna Maria Island Centre, 3246 E Bay Drive, Holmes Beach. The Shops will be open late spreading holiday cheer with entertainment, eats, treats and fun for everyone.
December 16, 2017 – 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Christmas Festival on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach –  see the beautifully decorated Christmas tree with music playing, games, food and drinks while shopping on beautiful historic Bridge Street.
December 24, 2017 – 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service – there will be two candlelight services held at Roser Community Church Sanctuary, 512 Pine Avenue in the City of Anna Maria.
For the latest up to date news, events, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog

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LOOKING FOR A FRESH MARKET ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND?

Island Fresh Market is certainly one we can recommend. They specialize in local seafood and locally grown seasonal vegetables. Also selling spices and condiments to compliment your meal.

The owner/operator of Island Fresh Market, Nancy Feely, is a local island resident. Nancy’s passion is to serve fresh, sustainable products and foods. She partners with local vendors and suppliers who grow and produce products from sustainable sources. She strives for a green market, and whenever possible utilizes bio-degradable bags, food containers and cups and cutlery.

Some of Island Fresh Market’s Seafood selections include, whole fish, local, sustainable Seafood, wild-caught salmon. In season you can also purchase – Stone Crab, Oysters and Clams.
They have a nice assortment of house made chowders and soups, pastas, rice and assorted grains, sweet and savoury crackers and assorted Oriental and Italian condiments.
If that isn’t enough they offer fresh local salads, artichoke dip, seafood salad, Island veggie rolls with dipping sauces and a favourite of ours – Cap’t Rusty’s seafood spread.
And, that’s not all…how about some Homemade Dessert?  You will have a hard time deciding between their Key Lime Pie, Richards Vegan & Raw fudge or Caramel Nut Bars.

Open – Monday – Friday 11:00 – 6:00 p.m
Saturday & Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 p.m

Located @ 5604 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217. Just a short trolley ride from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island 34217

Drop in, they are happy to help you with any of your meal planning or preparation questions.
We’re sure you will be as happy as we are with their friendly and helpful service.

For the latest up to date news, events, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog


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FAVOURITE CAFES-ANNA MARIA ISLAND

 Ginny’s and Jane E’s Cafe and Coastal Store  – Open daily 7:00 am – 4:00 pm

Super friendly staff, great food and an amazing, eclectic atmosphere. Love the inside of this place, while you wait for your food you can look at the collection of unique gifts decorating the inside. Very imaginative!
Bakery/cafe serving espresso, breakfast fare, sandwiches & cinnamon rolls in a relaxed, funky setup.
Fresh ingredients, healthy options and organic dishes. Service is quick, prices are reasonable, good quality and quantity of food.

It’s nice to sit outside and eat as you watch the island come to life, beachgoers and shoppers.

 
Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe  –  Open daily 7:30 am – 8:00 pm
Open 7 days a week! They have all you can eat pancake breakfast 7:30am-11:00. Great place to spend the day on this beautiful, clean white-sand beach located on the Gulf. Stay for the beautiful sunset while relaxing on the outdoor patio for a bite to eat while listening to music. Entertainment nightly. Lunch and dinner menu provides salads, wraps, sandwiches, tacos, and kid meals. They even have a delicious veggie burger was on the menu! Prices are very reasonable! A nice gift shop, restrooms, water fountain and ice cream shop. Plenty of free parking and beach umbrellas available for a fee.
 Paradise Bagels and Cafe  –  Open Sun 7:00am-12:30pm  Mon-Sat 7:00am-2:00pm
Definitely put this on your list of places to visit for breakfast. Their bagel/egg sandwiches can’t be beat, they are terrific. The New York bagels are delicious and fresh. Breakfast sandwiches with egg, cheese and bacon are so big be prepared to share one. The day we were there we heard others raving about the Mickey shaped pancakes, omelettes and waffles. The fresh tasting lox is a perfect lunch or try the chicken salad. Really generous serving size. Everything is fresh and homemade. The owner, Jackie, makes everyone feel at home. A casual atmosphere, great for breakfast or lunch and no worries about parking here.
Coquina Beach Cafe  –  Open daily 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
When visiting Coquina Beach you have to try the cafe. Good variety of food, generous serving serving size and the prices are that of any beach cafe. You can’t beat the Beach view! They even have ice cream and sno cones.
This place will leave you with memories to last a life time…food, drinks, ice cream, gift shop, walk up in your swimsuit type of place…the quint essential beach café and they do it well. Absolutely a must-do place.
Cortez Cafe  –  Open daily 6:30 am to 2:00 pm
Nice quaint little cafe in one of the last historic fishing villages in Florida. Casual setting,daytime cafe serving hearty breakfast fare and made-to-order lunch specials. Their specials are all wonderful and prices for the freshness of the food is unbeatable.
Good food, great prices and very friendly service.
For the latest up to date news, things to do, events, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog

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SARASOTA JUNGLE GARDENS 

 A fun daytime activity if you’re looking to get away from the beach while still enjoying the sunny weather. This family attraction has been a favourite since 1939.
Visit Sarasota Jungle Gardens where you will find 10 acres of lush gardens, jungle trails and beautiful lakes. You’ll see over 200 native and exotic animals throughout the gardens including primates, reptiles, birds and free roaming flamingos that can be hand fed. Don’t miss the daily interactive wildlife, reptile or bird shows all included in your park admission.
Take the Inner Jungle Trail through the Tiki Gardens. The trail is shaded under a canopy of Palms and other Florida native trees, which makes the walk a surprisingly cool reprieve from the hot afternoon sun. Informative signs provide visitors with information about some of the animals in the Tiki Gardens (such as skunks and iguanas) as well as a little bit about the vegetation and plant life..
Walking along you can take a break in the canopy at the Flamingo Lagoon. The water is crystal clear, and you can see big fish as well as ducks and their free-roaming Flamingos. There are coin operated vending machines at the lagoon or you can purchase small or large bags at the gardens entrance. The flamingos will come right up and eat out of your hands.
Further along on the trail are the Koi Pond and Flamingo Café. In the air-conditioned the café you can enjoy lunch, snacks, cold beverages and ice cream. The pavilion near the Café is a great place for parents to kick their feet up and is within viewing range of the large Kiddie Jungle Playground.
Enjoy a stroll through the Butterfly gardens, continuing along the Outer Jungle Trail passing the waterfall and the Flamingo Nesting Island. The Jungle trail contains a handful of pretty little natural springs and is also home to the Petting Zoo, Birds of Prey and the Turtle Pond.
See a variety of large Alligators and Crocodiles by visiting the indoor area known as Reptile World where visitors can see large snakes, alligators, lizards, and other reptiles. Watch the Reptile Encounter show offering kids an opportunity to learn and hold an alligator after the show or even get a photo with one!  
The Jungle Bird show features parrots, cockatiels, macaws, and more performing a variety of different tricks including roller-skating and riding a bike. Be sure to catch Frosty the cockatoo’s twice a day act when he performs his bicycle, unicycle, and scooter tricks! After the show you will have an opportunity to pet or hold one of the exotic birds. There is a daily Wildlife Wonder show featuring red tail hawks, kookaburras, various species of owls, and other small mammals.
Many of the animals found their home at Sarasota Jungle Gardens through approved donations, rehabilitation centers or through state and federal agencies ensuring animals have a safe environment and permanent, caring home.
Go to Sarasota Jungle Gardens website to find admission discount COUPONS.

A visit to Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a fun escape from the beach, and a must do for all ages.

Just a short drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217

For the latest news, events, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog

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OUTDOOR ICE-SKATING RINK OPENS IN SARASOTA

 
Yes, an outdoor ice skating rink in Florida – with real ice!
The outdoor, tent-covered skating rink opened Friday, November 17th as part of the mall’s “Holidays on the Green” at University Town Center (UTC). The mall at UTC is a retail paradise conveniently located at I75 and University Parkway in Sarasota. Now when you shop, you will see this seasonal holiday village nestled among strings of illuminated palm trees between the mall and North Cattlemen Road. The festive “winter” village will be open to the public through Jan. 15.

At the grand opening on Friday of Holidays on the Green there was a featured meet and greet with Ana and Elsa and then a movie showing of Disney’s “Frozen”! The village will also feature various holiday character meet-and-greets throughout the season. There will be a list of characters updated on the mall’s holiday village website – mallatutc.com Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/news/business/retail/mall-at-university-town-center/article185334933.html#storylink=cpy

Just a short drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217.

Each Saturday at 7 p.m. there are plans to show a holiday movie on a big screen. Classic movies such as, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Elf are some of the suggested, but not confirmed. Visit their website for an updated list.

There is also a free small off-track train that children can ride throughout the village.

The ice skating rink sitting under a tent filled with string lights, is equipped with real ice. The cost is $10 to rent skates and use the rink for 90 minutes. If the temperature is 78 degrees or below, the tent flaps will be open. Skating completely outside in the warm Florida air sounds inviting, doesn’t it?

Holidays on the Green Hours (Nov. 17, 2017 – Jan. 15, 2018) weeks 

For the latest up to date news, events, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog at Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog

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