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Old 08-25-2011, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Tucson, baby!!
65 posts, read 125,033 times
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My family is trying to plan a trip to the Bradenton area in the middle of November. We'd like to spend the majority of our trip at the beach, if possible. At this time of year is the weather warm enough? What about the water? On our last trip, there seemed to be a freak cold spell (temps in the 50's & 60's) and we didn't have much beach time.

We're trying to think of cheap or free things to do while we're there, and of course the beach tops our list. Any other suggestions? We've been to the Mote Aquarium, South Florida Museum and Sarasota Jungle Gardens.

Thanks for any tips!!
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
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The average temp in November is in the mid to high 70's during the day and 50's at night. We do have cold spells once in awhile but not usually in Nov. The average Gulf water temp in Nov is around 72. Here are some other suggestions of places to visit in the Sarasota/Bradenton area that might be fun for a family.

Crowley Museum & Nature Center.
A non profit nature and pioneer history center located on 190 acres of native land adjacent to the Myakka River in Sarasota County. Visitors can enjoy nature trails through the protected wildlife sanctuary, a boardwalk traversing the Maple Branch Swamp and Tatum Sawgrass Marsh and an observation tower overlooking the Myakka River. The pioneer history area includes a museum with artifacts from the late 1870's to the early 1900's, a one room homestead cabin, a working blacksmith shop, a working sugar cane mill, and a restored 1892 "Cracker" house. Trails are well maintained, and many are handicapped accessible. (941) 322-1000


G Wiz - The Gulfcoast Wonder and Imagination Zone.
A hands-on science center. Exhibits are located on two floors of the science and technology center. They also schedule field trip programs for kids. G.WIZ offers special one-week half day and full day programs during June and July each summer. Open Tuesday - Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm, Sunday 1:00pm - 5:00pm and closed Monday. Admission is free from 5pm-8pm on the first Wednesday of each month. 1001 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota. (941) 906-1851.


Pirates Cove, Bradenton
Features bumper boats, laser tag, go-kart tracks, miniature golf, batting cages, and video arcade. Open seven days a week. 5410 14th St. W., Bradenton (941) 755-4608.


Sarasota – Bradenton Children’s Zoo.
A sanctuary for injured wildlife and abandoned exotic animals. Children's petting zoo. Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am - noon. Open 9am - noon Saturday. Closed Thursday and Sunday. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. The zoo provides short-term care for local injured wildlife. 7512 Tamiami Trail. Sarasota. (941) 360-8315.


Smugglers Cove Adventure Mini-Golf
Two great locations in the Sarasota-Bradenton area! Come play “adventure” mini-golf amid pirate shipwrecks, caves, beautiful waterfalls and live alligators!!! Feed the live alligators too! The best courses on Florida’s West Coast. Open 9am-11pm daily. 3815 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota / (941) 351-6620 & 2000 Cortez Road W., Bradenton / (941) 756-0043.


South Florida Museum - Bishop Planetarium & Parker Manatee Aquarium.
*Planetarium - Planetarium Starshows, these presentations can place visitors in a simulated thunderstorm or propel them through the universe on a photon of light.
*Laser lightshows, - One of the longest continuously-running laser shows in the world (20 years!) offered at 2:30 pm daily, features artistic interpretations in light to a wide variety of musical styles. Weekend evening laser shows - Feature various rock & roll music, presented on Fridays and Saturday nights.
*The Rooftop Observatory - Solar observing is open to the public Friday and Saturday nights 8:30 PM until 10 PM (weather permitting) for lunar, planetary and deep-sky observation. The observatory is also open Saturdays from 11:30 AM until 1 PM for solar observation (weather permitting).
*The Parker Manatee Aquarium - Above and below-water viewing of West Indian Manatees. The pool holds approximately 60,000 gallons of water and includes both deep and shallow areas to provide viewing of Mo and Snooty the Manatee’s. 201 10th Street West. Bradenton. (941) 746-4131.

Here are some parks to visit:
Urfer Park on Bee Ridge is nice but gets busy. Playground and Bathrooms
Rothenback park at the eastern end of Bee Ridge is a bit quieter and has two walking trails 1 mile and a 3 mile. Both have playground equipment. If you have a way to transport bikes the 3 mile round trip is nice, deer are often spotted. Bathrooms.
Arlington is good, walking trail and playground equipment. You can sign up and use the pool too.
I think the bathrooms are in the rec building.
Colonial Oaks off of Bahia Vista on Honore. Playground and Bathrooms.
Bayfront Park is OK and has bathrooms and of course the water views.
One last suggestion would be Pinecraft park off of Bahia Vista. They have an adjoining wooded area along Phillipi Creek for kids to explore.Playground and bathrooms.


Longwood Park | 6050 Longwood Run Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34243
Longwood Park, just south of University Blvd, boasts not one, but two playground areas! Parents will love that the main play area is covered by a large Apollo shade system over the playground itself, which blocks 96% of solar radiation. In addition, there are big trees throughout the park that lend extra sun protection. Featuring a fantastic state-of-the-art prototype playground for children aged 2 to 5, with Softile safety surfacing to protect tiny knees and elbows from falls, and swings, slides, and picnic tables to load up on snacks – this is one park that the kids will want to visit again.

Arlington Park | 2650 Waldemere Street, Sarasota, FL 34239
Arlington Park, in the heart of Sarasota, has a stunning mile walking trail, (perfect for moms to sneak in a workout!) a doggie park, and big shaded playground for the little ones. In addition, Arlington Park has tennis courts, a basketball court, and a community pool. The whole family will be delighted at the amount of activities to participate in – even Fido!

Red Rock Park | 3987 Camino Real, Sarasota FL 34231
Red Rock Park, a small gem west of the Trail, features one acre filled with a playground designed for children aged 6-12 years old, a covered picnic area, a tiny “tot lot” for the smallest members of the family, and a large field to play a game of baseball or soccer.

Phillippi Estate Park | 5500 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231
Phillippi Estate Park, a gorgeous parcel of land located on the shores of Phillippi Creek, is a historical landmark that also offers views of the bay. In addition to the playground, there is a nature trail to explore the area’s wildlife, and the entire estate has grassy areas to run and play upon.

Locklear Park | 821 South Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota FL 34237
Locklear Park, an undiscovered little park northeast of Tuttle Avenue, is covered by oak trees to shield from the sun and surrounded by two lakes. Kids will love crossing the extremely long bridge to get to the park itself!


Sarasota Bay Front Park | 1 Marina Plaza, Sarasota Florida 34236
Sarasota Bay Front Park offers hours of splashing fun in their fountains on the bay! Kids will love to play at this gorgeous island park filled with scenic water views. Situated right on Sarasota Bay on a large island peninsula, the big shady trees, large playground zone, and sidewalks for bike riding, roller blading or walking will get the whole family involved.



Have a great vacation!!
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Sarasota/ Bradenton - University Pkwy area
3,214 posts, read 4,574,675 times
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Here are some of the local events in November that you may want to check out:

Nov 5th - Ferraris at St. Armands Circle car show (free)

Nov 10th to 13th - Siesta Key sand sculpting competition with contestants from all over the US competing (free to watch)

Nov 12th & 13th - Sarasota Medieval Fair at the Sarasota county fairgrounds. (tickets required)

Nov 19th & 20th, Mixon Fruit Farms puts on a large fall festival: Calendar of Events at Mixon Fruit Farms, Inc. - Bradenton Florida

Nov 19th - Cortez village folk art festival. Bluegrass and country bands.

Nov 20th - Ford Mustang & Shelby car show at St. Armands Circle (free)



The weather is usually beautiful in November. Hope you have a great vacation.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:59 PM
 
125 posts, read 164,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaynesWife View Post
My family is trying to plan a trip to the Bradenton area in the middle of November. We'd like to spend the majority of our trip at the beach, if possible. At this time of year is the weather warm enough? What about the water? On our last trip, there seemed to be a freak cold spell (temps in the 50's & 60's) and we didn't have much beach time.

We're trying to think of cheap or free things to do while we're there, and of course the beach tops our list. Any other suggestions? We've been to the Mote Aquarium, South Florida Museum and Sarasota Jungle Gardens.

Thanks for any tips!!
Have you tried the Historical Village in Sarasota? That is free and very interesting. There is 'old cabbage head' there that the kids can enjoy, it is an old railway engine that they can climb on. The various houses, such as the old school house, the church and the Courthouse and various other buildings. We found it all really enthralling.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,486 posts, read 19,860,552 times
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You didn't give the ages of your children but if you have little one's The Children's Garden is not to be missed: Home
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Paradise
275 posts, read 622,565 times
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My wife (Sue in Ohio__but not for long!__) has been spending the first 2-3 weeks of November on Lido Beach since about the mid 80s. He parents willed their timeshare to her and her brother, so for the past several years, I've been coming down there too. The weather has always been "beach weather" especially if you're acclimated to more northern climates.

You and the kids will be fine!
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Tucson, baby!!
65 posts, read 125,033 times
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Thank you all for the great ideas! My hubby grew up in Bradenton so he is familiar with the area, but it's changed so much since he lived there. We visited in March of 2010 and that was his first trip back since he moved in 2000. He couldn't believe the difference!

SoFLGal- My girls are 9 and 6..The Childrens Gardens looks like something they (and we!) would enjoy.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:21 PM
 
Location: SWFL
386 posts, read 859,460 times
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Thanks to everyone for the helpful posts. We have family (with grandchildren) visiting in November and the suggestions are great. We were busy moving and getting settled in last September. Plan to spend a lot of time hanging out with our grandkids on the lanai and in our heated pool but it's nice to know about other diversions when that gets old...
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
100 posts, read 279,568 times
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the further south u go the less likely you'll run into a "freak cold spell"

Consider Naples florida. November temps are easily into the 80s and its uaually dry and sunny, so perf for the beach. . .
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