Fall is a busy season for outdoor entertainment in Central Florida, Tampa Bay, and Bradenton-Sarasota. It brings slightly cooler temperatures, giving Floridians a chance to savor the harvest festivals, arts and crafts events, and happenings that the streets of downtown Bradenton, Sarasota, Lakeland, and Tampa Bay have to offer. Some of the best festivals take place right near our Florida homes, and are coming up soon!

Bradenton – Sarasota

Our popular Gulf Coast neighborhoods are located near gorgeous beaches and they offer homeowners a community where festivals are fun-filled, and every holiday is meaningful. We’ve done the research for you – here are the piping hot fall activities in this vibrant region of Florida:

November 10: The Veteran’s Day Parade on Anna Maria Island starts at 1 p.m. on Pine Avenue at City Hall and will go to the City Pier Park. Honor guards, high school marching bands, the Privateers, floats, flags, beads and much more will be incorporated into this popular parade. All island veterans, as well as those visiting, are asked to gather at city hall between noon and 12:45 p.m.

November 10-13: 8th Annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition. In Florida, we don’t have snow, we have sand! Master Sand Sculptors from across the U.S. will compete in paired teams for thousands in prize money. Other activities, including live music and food and retail vendors will also be a part of the festival! Hours vary Friday through Monday; click here for more details.

Canine Fall Festival (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tanner Casares/Released)

November 18: It’s the Annual Canine Christmas Festival and Adopt-A-Thon 2017! Canine Christmas is a fun festival for dog owners and their dogs, and of course, those looking to adopt a dog! The festival features a parade of adoptable pets, a doggie fashion show, games, contests, a canine IQ test, pet pictures with Santa, pet vendors and more. Admission is free for the event, which is located at the Bishop SPCA Animal Shelter grounds at 5718 21st Ave. West in Bradenton. The event takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

November 22: Thanksgiving Eve Party: “Main Street Live.” From 5 p.m. to midnight, come to Historic Old Main Street in Bradenton where live music, food and drink vendors, and arts and crafts will carry you through the evening.

Turkey Trot (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. John Raufmann)

November 23: Run off the turkey and extra gravy before the feast even begins at the 8th Annual Thanksgiving Morning Turkey Trot 5K! The race begins at the Hyatt at 7:30 a.m. and crosses the Ringling Bridge. Along with the run will be food, music, raffle prizes, beer and more! Registration is still available for those interested in running, and all proceeds benefit ALSO Youth.

Polk County

New model home in Lakeland at Highlands GraceLiving in East Polk County or the Lakeland area places you right between the action, sun and fun in Tampa and Orlando, as well as offering plenty of activities and events right in your local community! And, we build homes in neighborhoods which place you near the action. In south Lakeland, new model homes are now open at Highlands Grace, an upscale, gated neighborhood located off CR 540A, and Towne Park Estates, offering beautiful Lakeland homes with amenities off Pipkin Road.

Coming up this weekend in Polk County:

November 11: From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Downtown Bartow, the 26th Annual Bartow Craft Fair and the Honey Bee Festival will offer a wide variety of handmade, all-season crafts, and honey and honey products. A pumpkin sale by the Young Farmers & Ranchers will also be included, as well as produce and plant sales.

November 11: For a day of family fun, head to the BIG Event Lakeland: Pirates on the Promenade at Lake Mirror Amphitheatre. This fun-filled evening is a free event open to the public featuring a Salute to Veterans, live music, food and a good time for all. Taking place from 4 to 10 p.m., the list of events and activities taking place is incredible! Highland Homes is proud to sponsor this event and support the Lakeland community and Lakeland Chambe of Commerce – Check it out here.

Tampa Bay

We have a multitude of communities offerings stylish homes in Tampa Bay that are just minutes away from glistening waters and gorgeous beaches, as well as homes located just north of the city in a laid-back environment.

November 15-19: Fall Fair at The Shops at Wiregrass. Fall is never complete without funnel cakes, carnival rides, games, and traditional family fun! Homeowners at our Santa Fe at Westbrooke and Stonebridge at Chapel Creek communities are especially near this popular shopping destination, and it’s easily accessed off I-75 for anyone coming from Tampa proper.

November 19-December 31: Busch Gardens – Christmas Town. The Christmas cheer begins with the return of the beloved characters from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™ television special. It continues at Santa’s House in his private study, and then guests will even have the opportunity to ride some of the most popular rides during the jolly fun. Christmas Town admission is included with daily admission to the park.

Orlando

We recently announced a brand-new neighborhood of homes near Orlando, Gramercy Farms. Perhaps one of its biggest assets? It offers easy access to attractions such as Walt Disney World, Old Town Kissimmee and Universal Orlando!  Plus, enjoy plenty of fall fun right in the neighborhood, with fantastic amenities.

November 9-12: Apopka’s Fall Family Festival at Kit Land Nelson Park is giving Orlando families a chance to enjoy classic fun, fried food and live music and more. The festival opens weekdays at 5 p.m. and weekend days at noon, and is organized by the Rotary Club of Apopka Foundation.

November 9-December 22: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park features a series of nighttime holiday fun events for the entire family including holiday shows, fireworks and magic treats with Minnie and Mickey.

Epcot Food and Wine FestivalNow-November 13: Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival. The event is marked by wine tastings, Disney and guest chefs cooking up culinary delights, and the popular Eat to the Beat! concerts. Entrance to the Festival, plus select wine and beer seminars, cooking demonstrations, culinary exhibits, concerts and all attractions are included with regular Epcot admission.

November 11: The Annual City of Orlando Veterans Day Parade begins at 11 a.m., and it honors the courageous men and women of the armed forces who have fought for our nation’s freedom. The parade starts at the corner of Orange Avenue and Robinson Street, and heads down Orange Avenue toward Central Boulevard before heading north again to Robinson Street via Rosalind Avenue.

November 18-January 6: Come to Universal Orlando Resort for Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter where Diagon Alley, London and Hogsmeade are transformed with festive decorations, treats and special entertainment.

Whether you are a local celebrating falls cooler temperatures, or a Florida visitor looking for a Turkey Day getaway, fall is one of the best times of year to enjoy the Florida sunshine! We hope you have an opportunity to check out some of these fun Florida fall festivals.

For more information on building your new home in Tampa, Orlando, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Bradenton-Sarasota or Ocala, Florida, visit www.highlandhomes.org.