The stunning beauty of Anna Maria Island draws visitors throughout the year, but one of the most special times to visit is without a doubt during the holiday season! The tropical shores of the Gulf of Mexico remain as stunning as ever, and with breezy holiday temps, you can take advantage of long walks on the beach, enjoy outdoor dining, and engage in plenty of other vacation pastimes while you explore AMI. The moderate weather pairs perfectly with Christmas cheer, as the island comes to life with decorations and special events during the holidays. With so much to do on AMI for Christmas, we’ve gathered some of our favorite family-friendly Christmas activities on Anna Maria Island!
Mistletoe Market Art and Craft Show
This wonderful annual event occurs during the beginning of the holiday season and is a prime choice for a fun filled afternoon with the kids. Peruse a selection of handmade crafts from local vendors, featuring everything from jewelry to home décor. Pick up a nautical themed wind chime to decorate your patio back home or pick up some small-batch skincare products for your loved ones as a last-minute gift. You’ll also find things like Christmas ornaments, boutique clothing, artwork, and even stickers that the little ones are sure to adore. Even better, the Mistletoe Market is situated right near many of our amazing local restaurants in Holmes Beach, so you can dine before or after visiting the market!
Spend an Afternoon at Christmas in Cortez
Cross just over the bridge in Bradenton Beach, and you’ll find yourself in the quaint fishing village Cortez. This historical town has plenty of charm and a low-key vibe that makes you want to sit back and relax. Each December, the free holiday event “Christmas in Cortez” is put on for the public annually and gives you another option to celebrate the Christmas season if you’re visiting in December! Make crafts with the kids, explore the holiday maze, and snag a picture or two with Santa himself. There’s also a bounce house and vendors selling tasty holiday treats. Parking is also free and can be found at F.I.S.H. Preserve nearby. You can attend the event this year on December 10th, 2022 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.!
Celebrate the Season with Christmas on Bridge Street
Every year in Bradenton Beach, the historic Bridge Street district twinkles to life with a dazzling array of holiday lights. You can dine and shop locally, check out the Bridge Street Pier, and attend local events in the area. The Saturday before Christmas a classic holiday movie is shown—this year it’s the timeless Home Sweet Home Alone! And it’s not just the film screening you have to look forward to—there will also be face painting and a kid’s activity zone! You’ll be treated to a performance from the Crosley Theater Dickens Carolers, bringing you some old timey Christmas joy to get the night started in a festive kick off. At the post office, you’ll find that Santa and his sleigh will be visiting from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the movie starting at 7 p.m. This year the Christmas on Bridge Street event will be December 17th, 2022.
Treat Yourself to a Holiday Show with The Nutcracker Tea Party
The festive events don’t stop there! The Dance Theatre of Bradenton puts on a magical show featuring excerpts from The Nutcracker, and pairs it with a delightful array of snacks, holiday treats, and a self-serve candy bar that the kids will fall in love with. This ticket event runs from $30 to $40 a ticket, which includes the show and the light lunch buffet. As a bonus, kids can have their hair styled in a classic ballet bun at the Sugar Plum Saloon. A unique holiday experience to put on your weekend agenda, this event takes place on December 17th, 2022 from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Enjoy the Best of AMI
Besides all the fantastic Christmas events, you and your family get to enjoy all the amazing, everyday things about an AMI vacation. Wake up at sunrise to collect shells on the beach, rent bicycles to ride around the island, go on a boat tour on the turquoise waters of the Gulf. You can dine on everything from fresh seafood to classic American cuisine, and we have plenty of restaurants where you can take advantage of a prime coastal view. When you feel like doing some Christmas shopping, venture up to Pine Ave, where you’ll find a cluster of local AMI stores selling all kinds of goods. It’s the perfect Christmas getaway!
When you’re looking for the perfect vacation rental to go with it, we here at Anna Maria Life are here to help you find it. Take a look at our lovely collection of Anna Maria Island Christmas rentals and call us to reserve yours today!