6 things to do near Bradenton on Thanksgiving weekend: Dinosaurs, holiday fun and more

The Downtown Bradenton Public Market (formerly the Bradenton Farmers Market) returns to Old Main Street October through May with a bounty of food, arts, shopping and fun to enjoy.
The Downtown Bradenton Public Market (formerly the Bradenton Farmers Market) returns to Old Main Street October through May with a bounty of food, arts, shopping and fun to enjoy.

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is almost here.

If you need plans for after you feast, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s a hand-picked guide to fun times around Bradenton and Sarasota this weekend, Nov. 26-28, 2021.

Holiday shopping, new art at ArtCenter Manatee

Enjoy some beautiful local artwork and get a jump on your holiday shopping on Small Business Saturday at ArtCenter Manatee.

This is the first weekend to check out ArtCenter Manatee’s Holiday Extravaganza. The annual display and sale brings of hundreds of handcrafted ornaments, wreaths and other holiday decor to the gallery.

Also now open is a new, all-media juried art exhibit titled “Small But Mighty/Off the Wall.” All pieces in the exhibit are 12 inches by 12 inches or smaller, and they can be purchased right off of the gallery floor.

Details: Both exhibits on display through Dec. 28. (Closed Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday). Gallery hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon., Fri. and Sat.; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue., Wed. and Thurs. ArtCenter Manatee, 209 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. Free.

Info: artcentermanatee.org.

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Dino Don’s DinoVenture, on display at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature through March 18, 2022, brings visitors up close to more than two dozen animatronic dinosaurs. Provided Image/The Bishop

Dinosaur fun at The Bishop

Head back to the Jurassic and meet lifelike dinosaurs at a special exhibit currently stomping around at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in Bradenton. Dino Don’s DinoVenture brings visitors up close to more than two dozen of the ancient reptiles in animatronic form.

The moving, “breathing” and roaring beasts hail from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and include iconic dinos such as Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex. The dinosaur expert and science writer behind the exhibit, Don Lessem, served as an adviser on the original “Jurassic Park” film, according to The Bishop.

Tickets for the DinoVenture experience are $10 and can be purchased separately or in combination with museum admission. Family passes are also available.

Details: DinoVenture on display through March 18. Museum open Tue.-Sat. (Closed Thanksgiving Day.) The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton. Ages 18-64: $23.95. Ages 65 and up: $21.95. Ages 12-17 and college students with ID: $17.95. Ages 5-11: $14.95. Ages 2-4: $8.95. Ages under 2: Free with paying adult. Dino Don’s DinoVenture: $10.

Info: 941-746-4131. bishopscience.org.

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11/14/21—A member of New Riders of the Golden Age performs War Games at the Sarasota Medieval Fair in Myakka Sunday. Tiffany Tompkins [email protected]

Sarasota Medieval Fair

Step back into the Middle Ages and partake in a day of medieval merriment at the 17th annual Sarasota Medieval Fair.

Walk among peasants and royalty, sup on turkey legs and other delights, peruse the offerings of ancient vendors and enjoy entertainment like jousting, comedy, rides, games and period music. Don’t forget to dress the part.

This year, the fair will celebrate its first year at its new home in the “Woods of Mallaranny,” a 47-acre festival grounds in Myakka City.

The final weekend of the fair will feature a holiday celebration with festive music, decor, storytelling and chance for kids to meet Papa Noël.

Details: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Nov. 27 and 28. 29847 S.R. 70 E., Myakka City. Ages 5-10: $9.95. Students, seniors and military with I.D.: $18.95. Adults: $21.95. Multi-day passes available.

Info: 1-888-303-3247. sarasotamedievalfair.com.

The fearsome “Hole in the Head Gang” is in the business of robbing trains; see if you’ve got what it takes to survive an encounter during the Florida Railroad Museum’s train robbery ride this weekend. Florida Railroad Museum

Train robbery ride at the Florida Railroad Museum

All aboard and full steam ahead to the Wild West, where the plucky traveler can stake a claim to adventure.

But wait — there are valuable goods stowed on your locomotive, and bandits are roaming the countryside.

See if you can survive an encounter with the “Hole in the Head Gang” during the Florida Railroad Museum’s train robbery ride.

Details: Trains leave at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Florida Railroad Museum, 12210 83rd St. E., Parrish. Ages 3-11: $12. Ages 12 and up: $16.

Info: 941-776-0906. frrm.org.

The Downtown Bradenton Public Market (formerly the Bradenton Farmers Market) returns to Old Main Street October through May with a bounty of food, arts, shopping and fun to enjoy. Bradenton Herald file photo

Farmers’ markets

Downtown Bradenton Public Market: Formerly the Bradenton Farmers Market, this weekly community gathering is back on Saturdays with a fresh new name. But you’ll still find a bounty of produce, food, handcrafted goods, arts, music, cooking demonstrations and more along Old Main Street. The market offers more than 40 vendors.

Details: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, Oct.-May. Old Main Street, Bradenton. Free.

Info: realizebradenton.com/public-market.

The Beach Market at Coquina Beach returns for the fall/winter season this weekend. The market offers fresh produce, arts and crafts, jewelry and apparel, health and beauty items, music and more on Anna Maria Island. The market will be held on Sundays during November and on Wednesdays and Sundays December through March.

Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Coquina Beach, 2650 Gulf Dr. S., Bradenton Beach. Free.

Info: facebook.com/BeachMarketAtCoquinaBeach.

The Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch boasts more than 50 local vendors. Offerings include produce, prepared foods and breads, crafts, plants and pet treats. Local musicians are another regular feature at the market.

Details: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, 8330 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch. Free.

Info: mylwr.com/185/Farmers-Market-at-LWR.

Oneco Farmers Market is open seven days a week. The permanent market boasts more than 100 vendors in one location, including meats and seafood, fresh produce, sweets and treats. There are also restaurants and arts and crafts vendors to check out, and the market frequently hosts free community events.

Details: Open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Oneco Farmers Market, 5108 15th St. E., Bradenton.

Info: onecofarmersmarket.com.

Sarasota Farmers Market brings vendors selling arts and crafts, goods and services, produce, food, plants and more to downtown Sarasota. There’s also live music to enjoy.

Details: 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Lemon Avenue and Main Street, downtown Sarasota.

Info: sarasotafarmersmarket.org.

See a movie

Ruskin Family Drive-In: In operation since 1952, this drive-in plays classic flicks, family favorites and new movies with showings every day of the week.

There are two options for audio: bring a portable radio or leave your car radio turned on during the film. You can also bring folding chairs to set up outside of the vehicle (bug repellent is recommended if you go this route).

“Encanto” (PG): 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sun.

“Jungle Cruise” (PG-13): 9:10 p.m. Fri.-Sun.

Details: 5011 U.S. 41 N., Ruskin. Ages 9 and up: $6. Ages 5-8: $1. Cash only. $5 fee for bringing your own food. Alcohol not permitted.

Info: ruskinfamilydrivein.com.

Sarasota Film Society: Sarasota Film Society’s Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota theaters are a great place to catch a weekend flick. Screenings include independent and art films as well as blockbusters. Check the society’s website for the current lineup of movies. Masks are recommended for unvaccinated guests.

Cinema fans can also continue to stream SFM’s latest offerings in the world of independent and thought-provoking film from home with the purchase of a virtual movie experience.

Details: Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, 10715 Rodeo Drive 8, Sarasota and Burns Court Cinemas, 506 Burns Lane, Sarasota. Online streaming available any time.

Info: filmsociety.org. 941-955-3456.

This story was originally published November 25, 2021 6:00 AM.

Ryan Ballogg is a news reporter and features writer at the Bradenton Herald. Since joining the paper in 2018, he has received awards for features, art and environmental writing in the Florida Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Support my work with a digital subscription