We’re back from our weekend getaway to Sarasota. I can’t even begin to tell you how much we loved it. If you watched my Instastories, then you have somewhat of an idea. Although we had fun and it was a trip that my family desperately needed, it rained the entire time.
It was a bummer.
We had the entire trip planned out and then Hurricane Harvey literally rained on our parade.
Luckily, we had a backup plan! When people think of Sarasota their mind goes straight to the beach but did you know that the destination has so many other things to offer? Since we couldn’t go to the beach, I wanted to share the list of family friendly rainy day activities that we did to keep the fun going.
Visit a Museum
1.Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
There’s something for everyone at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. It’s open 365 days a year, even holidays from 10am-5pm. It’s a great rainy day activity because you can see sharks, sea lions, turtles, manatees and so much more. You won’t feel sad about missing out on the beach after your trip here.
The tickets are affordable and if you plan your trip ahead of time, you can spend the entire day at the aquarium and experience everything there is to offer. The Deep Sea Diner at the aquarium is a retro ’50s-style diner, complete with an old-fashioned soda fountain that offers a family style menu.
2. Ringling Museum
You may get a little wet on a rainy day here because the walk from building to building is uncovered but with a poncho and an umbrella, you should be covered.
The Ringling Museum is one of the most notable museums in the world and for good reason. It’s known for it’s impressive collection of Renaissance and Baroque art cultivated by John Ringling himself. If you don’t know who John Ringling is, you can read more about him and the history of The Ringling here. Not only is the artwork impressive but the grounds themselves are a sight to see. The Venetian Gothic style architecture is beyond amazing.
The Circus Museum and Tibbals Learning Center are also on the same property. If you’re a lover of the circus then you’ll definitely want to visit these two buildings. Visitors get to experience firsthand of what it was like to be a part of the circus by walking the tightrope or cramming into a tiny clown car.
3. Classic Car Museum
The Sarasota Classic Car Museum is every car lover’s dream. It’s open 7 days a week and showcases more than 75 classic cars. The museum is indoors so you’re sure to stay dry. You’ll also be able to see the Ringling’s collection of Rolls Royce cars here.
Catch a Show
4. Movie Theaters
Sarasota has a handful of movie theaters where you can catch your favorite celeb on the big screen. If you’re looking to catch dinner and a movie, the CinéBistro is just the spot.
5. Burns Court Cinema
Burns Court Cinema is a small theatre run by the Sarasota Film Society and one of the only places to find first-run, hand-picked foreign language, independent, and art films. You may even be able to catch one of their annual film festivals if you plan your trip accordingly.
6. Asolo Repertory Theatre
The Asolo Repertory Theatre shows a variety of works from contemporary to classics during the weekdays at 2pm. The plus is that the theatre is at the Ringling Museum so you can tour the museum on the same day.
7. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is every performer’s dream. The building itself is a pretty shade of purple so you can’t miss it from far away. The hall has a large selection of music, dance, theater and comedy shows to choose from.
Explore The Area
8. Take a drive to see famous Sarasota buildings
Sarasota is home to many historical buildings and structures. A rainy day is perfect for driving around and taking a look at all the history and beautiful architecture that the city has to offer.
9. Red Barn Flea Market
The Red Barn Flea Market has been around since 1981 and it should be on your to-do list, rain or shine. Not only is it indoor but it house 3 farmers markets, garage sale booths, and more than 600 traditional flea market booths to choose from.
10. Shopping Malls
Sarasota County has 4 shopping malls to choose from. There is something for every budget in Sarasota. The malls are definitely where you would find me on the rainy days.
11. Eat at area restaurants
The restaurant options in Sarasota County are never-ending. You can find everything from fast food to seafood. One of our favorite stops was the Surf Shack located in the St. Armands area. Their menu has something for everyone. We loved their buffalo chicken egg rolls and tacos. I tasted out their jerk chicken and fish taco. They were so flavorful and different from anything that I had eaten before. At night, you can enjoy rooftop dining on the top floor of the restaurant known as The Terrace.
So although it rained during our trip to Sarasota, we were still able to have a blast with these family friendly rainy day activities. We’re already planning a trip to go back in the fall to enjoy the beach and everything else that Sarasota County has to offer.
This post was created in partnership with Visit Sarasota County. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.