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Activities Family Fun Kids Corner Out of Town Uncategorized

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature

Formerly known as the South Florida Museum, The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is located in Downtown Bradenton. It is the biggest cultural and natural history museum on the Gulf coast of Florida. Most people know the museum as the home for Snooty the Manatee. The oldest recorded Manatee ever. Sadly, Snooty passed away in 2017 at the incredible age of 69 years old. But don’t worry, you can still see other Manatees here in the Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat.

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature has tons of awesome exhibitions, an impressive planetarium, and of course, the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat.

 

 Exhibitions

Let’s begin with the first floor of the museum. Here is where you will find some incredible fossil evidence of the earliest animals to live in the state. The exhibits on the first floor include; Great Hall, Land of Change, Fabulous Florida Seas, Archaic Peoples and the Tallant Gallery. There is even a underwater viewing window that lets you see the manatees being cared for in the rehabilitation facility. The second floor features the River Heritage Hall, the Environmental Hall ,and the Visible Storage Gallery.

Planetarium

The digital full-dome planetarium theater is truly out of this world. Featuring a digital 25,000 watt Dolby 5.1 surround sound system and stadium like seating. It’s even the west coast of Florida’s premier astronomy education facility! Check out the planetarium show schedule on the museums website.

Manatee Habitat

The most popular part of the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature would definitely be the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat. It consists of a giant medical pool, about 60,000 gallons of water, and some manatees of course. This manatee habitat serves as a second stage rehabilitation facility. This is where the manatees temporarily stay before being released back into the wild. The manatees end up at the habitat after they have received treatment. There is an exhibit area where the medical pool is which allows visitors to learn about Manatees, and view the ones in the pool from above and below the water. Believe me, it’s pretty awesome!

 

While you’re in Bradenton, check out some other great places, like the Red Barn Flea Market, and Myakka State Park!

 

 

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Activities Family Fun Out of Town Recreation Shopping

The Sarasota Farmer’s Market

The Sarasota Farmer’s Market has been a local favorite since starting back in 1979. It has continued since then in serving the community with local plants, produce, flowers, and more.

You can really find some great treasures here. There are orchids and seasonal flowers to buy, along with great local produce. My personal favorite are the artisans the Sarasota Farmer’s Market feature. These skilled people really produce some phenomenal work. You can find amazing art work from Pea’s Easel Art, to Arte Canales who makes amazing art out of metal & cooper. There are some adorable jewelry and fashion vendors as well, including Sugar Sand Jewelry and Clothes 2 Dye 4.

This market is one of the only, if not the only, local farmer’s market that is open year-round. It runs from 7am – 1pm every Saturday, rain or shine!

Sarasota Farmer’s Market
1 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 225-9256

 

Check out a few other local farmer’s markets, like the Coquina Beach Farmer’s Market or the Bradenton Farmer’s Market in Downtown Bradenton.

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Activities Family Fun Out of Town Recreation Shopping

Red Barn Flea Market – Bradenton

The Red Barn Flea Market in Bradenton Florida is definitely a place you should visit! Since opening their doors in 1981, this flea market has grown to over 600 vendors on 20 tree-lined acres. The Red Barn Flea Market is a traditional flea market combined with food courts, plaza shops, and farmers markets. There is really so many things to see, it may be a bit overwhelming. There’s clothes, jewelry & accessories, home decor, art, fresh produce, etc.

88,000 of the 145,000 sq.ft area is air conditioned. So don’t be afraid to make a trip here during the Summer time. They even host special events throughout the year, and you can find live music in the food court every Friday and Saturday.

Because the Red Barn Flea Market is so expansive, there is a Market Map available on their website. The market has their Summer hours, and their Winter Hours.

Summer Hours:

  • Monday – Closed.
  • Tuesday & Thursday – Plaza only from 9am to 4pm.
  • Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday – Entire market from 9am to 4pm.

Winter Hours:

  • Monday – Closed.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – Plaza only from 9am to 4pm.
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday – Entire market from 9am – 4pm.


Red Barn Flea Market:

1707 1st St, Bradenton, FL 34208
941-747-3794

Learn more about markets in the local area. Check out the Bridge Street Market in Bradenton Beach, and the Bradenton Farmer’s Market in Downtown Bradenton.

 

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Activities Events Family Fun Out of Town Shopping

Bradenton Farmer’s Market in Downtown Bradenton

From October through May is when you can expect to find the Bradenton Farmer’s Market in Downtown Bradenton. The market begins at 9am, and wraps up at 2pm. The Bradenton Farmer’s Market is a wonderful way of getting to know the local community.

What this market offers

Here you will find locally grown vegetables & fruit, plants, organic products, etc. The farmer’s market is also an awesome way of seeing/purchasing  some work by local artists and craftsmen. In fact, the 3rd Saturday of each month Mainly Art hosts many local artists/craftsmen who display and sell their works at the Market.

A few artists/craftsmen you can expect to find here are:

  • Reds Shadow: Handcrafted shadow boxes.
  • Sea Side Studios: Prints & canvas’s of local scenery and wildlife.
  • Game On: Family games that are handmade out of refurbished pallets.
  • Logan Pottery: Hand built, high-fired stoneware.

The Market takes place on Main Street downtown, where there are tons of restaurants, bars, and small boutiques to enjoy. So stop by Robins Downtown Cafe for breakfast, or O’bricks for a cocktail and lunch.

 

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Activities Bradenton Beach Family Fun Out of Town Recreation Shopping The Things that Locals Know!

Farmer’s Markets On and Off Anna Maria Island

Farmer’s Markets, who doesn’t love them? I know I sure do! Below you will find some great information on a few of our local Farmer’s Markets.

Anna Maria Island:

  • Bridge Street Market (107 Bridge St. in Bardenton Beach):
    The outdoor Bridge Street Market runs every Sunday, November – April, form 10AM – 3PM. This Bradenton beach tradition is a great place to find local artwork, jewelry, produce, and live music.
  • Coquina Beach Market (2650 Gulf Dr S, Bradenton Beach, Florida):
    The beach market at Coquina Beach takes place two days of the week, Sundays and Wednesdays. The Sunday market starts in November and is held every Sunday through July. While the Wednesday market takes place December – April or May. Both last from 10AM – 4PM. This is the only beach farmers market in the area, so don’t miss out. The Coquina Beach market is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Dogs are NOT allowed within Coquina Park. Stop by to find some great food, fresh produce, purses, pottery, and more!

Bradenton

  • Bradenton Farmers’ Market (Old Main Street/ 12th St W.):
    The Bradenton Farmers Market in Downtown Bradenton is hosted every Saturday in October through May, from 9AM – 2PM. This farmers market is very popular with the community and is a great way to start your Saturday. Fresh produce, live upbeat music, free activities for the family, etc. On the 3rd Saturday of each month during the farmers market season, they do “Mainly Art”, where local artists/craftsmen display and sell their work.
  • Red Barn Flea Market (1707 1st St.):
    At this market everyone in the family is sure to find something they want. The Red Barn Flea Market is located about 25-30 minutes away from Anna Maria Island. But the drive is worth it, and its bound to be a few hours of shopping and walking. This Market has over 600 vendors! Out of the 145,000 sq.ft area, 80,000 sq. ft. is indoor and air-conditioned. The indoor area includes shopping, fresh produce, entertainment, and a food court. Trust me, the Red Barn Flea Market is worth a visit while you’re in the area!

Sarasota:

  • Sarasota Farmers’ Market (Main St. & Lemon Ave.):
    Established in 1979, the Sarasota Farmers Market continues to carry the tradition of providing the community with plants, local produce, prepared foods, and artisans. With 80 vendors, there is quite a bit to check out here. Rain or shine, the Sarasota Farmers Market is open all year round, from 7AM – 1PM. This market is about 40-45 minutes away form AMI, though because this market is held earlier in the day, traffic shouldn’t be an issue.

 

Want more ideas on what to do in the local area, check out some of our other blogs, including; Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary, Myakka River State Park, and Fun Children Attractions near AMI .

 

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Anna Maria Bradenton Beach Family Fun Holmes Beach Kids Corner The Things that Locals Know!

Ice Cream Options on Anna Maria Island

There’s nothing better than treating yourself to some delicious, cold ice cream on a hot and humid Florida day. Which may be the reason why there is quite a selection of ice cream options on Anna Maria Island. Here are all the ice cream shops the Island has to offer, and which Island city they’re located in:

Anna Maria City:


Holmes Beach:


Bradenton Beach:

 

 

 

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Bradenton Beach Family Fun Kids Corner

Island Scoops – Bradenton Beach

Serving ice cream, gourmet sodas, baked goods, and much more is Island Scoops in Bradenton Beach. Island Scoops sells Big Olaf ice cream, which is hand mixed by local Amish craftsmen and absolutely to die for. Seriously, visitors return year after year for some of the best homemade ice cream Florida has to offer. With about 20 different flavors always on the menu, coming to your final decision may be a bit difficult.

Flavors Include:
Dutch Peanut Butter
Amaretto Almond
Butter Pecan
Kahlua Krunch
Coconut Almond Joy
Pistachio
Heath Bar
Chocolate Lovers
Etc.

Aside from ice cream, they also carry tons of assorted candy, baked goods, and retro gourmet sodas. Some baked good items include cupcakes, gourmet pies, cookies, etc. They have anything and everything sugary and sweet, except their sugar-free ice cream of course.

Island Scoops is open everyday, from 1PM – 10PM. Check out their full menu!

 

For more ice cream options, check out this blog that lists all the ice cream shops on Anna Maria Island.

 

 

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Anna Maria Family Fun Kids Corner

Anna Maria Island Creamery and Bakery

Baked goods and sugary goodness is what you’re in store for at Anna Maria Island Creamery and Bakery. Located toward the North end of the Island, this shop is  just two blocks before Pine Ave. Here you will find Handmade Italian gelato, premium soft serve, and sorbettes. Among classic bakery items like croissants and danishes, this bakery also sells William Dean truffles (known from the Hunger Games).

Anna Maria Island Creamery and Bakery

This family owned business uses fresh fruit and local dairy. They even produce their gelato on site! If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll appreciate the fact that they have 8 different chocolate based flavors. Or you could go for their delicious dairy-free sorbetto. The kiddos will really enjoy the customized sundaes they do. Now lets talk about the bakery aspect of the Anna Maria Island Creamery and Bakery.

The bakery offers danishes, croissants, and more! Though, this bakery also carries a very unique product, William Dean truffles. These truffles are known for their flavor combos, like peanut butter & jelly, port & fig, etc. In fact, you can choose from 36 flavors of the William Dean truffles.


9801 Gulf Dr, Anna Maria, FL 34216
(941) 896-5308
Open from 10am – 10pm everyday

 

 

If you liked this blog (and ice cream), then you’ll definitley apprecaite our “Ice Cream Options on Anna Maria Island” blog.

 

 

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Activities Bradenton Beach Family Fun Kids Corner

Joe’s Eats & Sweets in Bradenton Beach

If the bright & fun colors of the building don’t get your attention, then the tasty treats inside sure will. Joe’s Eats & Sweets is an adorable stop in Bradenton Beach that will have your taste buds happy you stopped by.  Homemade ice cream, sundaes, and fudge is what they specialize in. The selection of ice cream flavors include classics like chocolate, strawberry, and mint chip, but they also have key lime cheesecake, cotton candy and nerds, pineapple coconut, and even almond turtle fudge. And the list goes on!

Sundae options include over 15 different, delicious concoctions. Two of my favorites are the Coffee Lovers Dream, which contains coffee ice cream, of course, topped with coffee syrup, whipped cream (the real stuff), and a cherry. My second favorite Brownie Sundae, mainly because it comes with a homemade walnut brownie.
End your evening out with a stop here after dinner on Bridge Street, or come over after a day at the beach.

 

Check out our blog, “Ice Cream Options on Anna Maria Island” for details on all the local ice cream shops.

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Activities Anna Maria Anna Maria Island Featured Blog Bradenton Beach Family Fun Fishing Restaurants Shopping The Things that Locals Know!

Sightseeing Anna Maria Island Piers

Sightseeing Anna Maria Island Piers is a great activity during your visit. All located on the bay side of the island, there are three different piers to see.

Sightseeing Anna Maria Island Piers
The Bradenton Beach Pier is great for Fishing and Sightseeing.

Sightseeing Anna Maria Island Piers

Each of the three island piers has a little something different to offer, but all have beautiful views. Enjoy a peaceful stroll along with a respite from time on the beach.

Rod & Reel Pier

The Rod & Reel Pier is the northern most of the three. Here you’ll enjoy views of Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. At the end of the pier you’ll find the Rod & Reel Restaurant. The small downstairs bar is a great stop for a beer. Grab a drink and sit down on one of the outdoor benches. Upstairs you’ll find the dining room with both indoor and outdoor seating.

For a small fee you can fish off the pier too! This is a great place for family fun with a view. If you are looking for a taste of old Florida, you’re sure to find it on this pier.

Anna Maria City Pier

The Anna Maria City Pier is located just a few blocks south of Rod & Reel pier. Here you’ll also enjoy views of Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway. The city pier is a historical site with an important past. This is where boats would drop off “Day Trippers” from the mainland before a bridge was built.

At the end of the city pier is a restaurant and small gift shop. The menu here offers a little of something for everyone. Find the city pier at the end of Pine Avenue. There are also some bay beaches to visit around the base of the pier.

Bradenton Beach City Pier

On the south end of the island you’ll find The Bradenton Beach city pier at the end of Bridge Street. The pier is in the location of what was the first bridge connecting the island to the main land.

Here you’ll enjoy views of Sarasota Bay and the old fishing Village of Cortez directly across the Intracoastal Waterway.

At the base of the pier is the Anna Maria Oyster Bar restaurant. The menu has great seafood in addition to chicken and burgers. Anna Maria Oyster bar offers a full service bar along with both indoor and outdoor seating.

The Bradenton Beach City Pier is a popular spot for fishing too. Bring your own pole, or rent one from the bait shop. You can also catch a dolphin watching boat tour here.

Be sure to enjoy a walk on one of the three island piers on your next visit to Anna Maria Island.