Experience Anna Maria Island wildlife with AMI Bird Nerd

Anna Maria Island – Bird Watching on Anna Maria Island is a must for visitors! Home to a wide variety of migratory and year round species, the Island is teaming with Birds from small passerines and large waders to the most common and rare. Bird Watchers on Anna Maria Island are never disappointed by their findings.

AMI Bird Nerd is here to assist visitors in choosing places to Bird watch and provide tools to effectively find and learn about local birds and wildlife. AMI Bird Nerd provides Binocular Rentals, Free Informational Mobile Apps and suggested places to find birds.

AMI Bird Nerd is committed to providing Anna Maria Island vacationers the opportunity to learn about and view local wildlife and birds. AMI Bird Nerd intends to fulfill this commitment in several ways. First, by providing Free Mobile Apps featuring local birds, birding tips, the importance of Florida ecosystems like Marsh and Mangrove, and navigation instructions through local nature viewing locations. Secondly, by providing Binocular rentals to visitors so they can experience wildlife up close from a distance and; therefore, helping alleviate the disturbance to species in their habitat. Last, AMI Bird Nerd will contribute 10% of profits to local and international wildlife conservation efforts.

Co-owner Bonnie Ferran elaborates on AMI Bird Nerd. “The challenge for beginning bird watchers is overcoming frustration. Often times, at first, bird identification can be overwhelming making the hobby too difficult to enjoy. Our intention is for AMI Bird Nerd to assist beginners in learning skills to better identify birds while avoiding frustration. Beyond birds, We want to help educate Anna Maria and Manatee County locals and visitors about vital Florida ecosystems and safe wildlife viewing practices”.

 Click HERE for rent your bird watching binoculars today!

AMI-Bird-Nerd-Birdwatching-and-Binocular-Tours-on-Anna-Maria-Island

Robinson Preserve, something for everybody in the month of February

Bradenton – Just over the Manatee bridge leaving Anna Maria Island is one of the areas most popular nature preserves attracting visitors year round. Coming up are two reasons among many to enjoy Robinson Preserve while on vacation.

Robinson Wagon Tour

On Saturday, February 7th from 8-10am, a tour guide while cart you around Robinson Preserve while explaining the preserve’s history, wildlife, flora and fauna. The tour is suitable for all ages and seats are on a first come, first served basis.

Valentine’s Date at Robinson

Start your Valentine’s celebration early on Tuesday, February 10th from 6-8pm  with a master naturalist and two chef’s. Melissa, the master naturalist, and chef’s Brian and Aedan will take you and your partner on a date at Robinson Preserve. You’ll enjoy a sunset from the observation tower where you get learn what really happens iwth the birds and the bees. You’ll also discuss the courting strategies of the preserve’s wildlife. You’ll finish the night up with a delicious desert over a campfire. The night is recommended for ages 16 and up. To reserve call 941-748-4501, ext. 6039.

Directions: Take SR 64 (Manatee Avenue) east from Anna Maria Island to 75th Street West. Turn north on 75th Street West and drive to 17th Avenue Northwest. Turn left and continue to the end of the street. Robinson Preserve is located on the corner of 17th Avenue Northwest and 99th Street West

Address: 1704 99th Street Northwest, Bradenton, FL 34209

Phone:(941) 748-4501 ext. 4602

January events at Robinson Preserve

Bradenton – The weather is beautiful and although you don’t need a reason to be outdoors, there is always something in the area that helps you figure out what to do once you get out of the house. Robinson Preserve is hosting a series of free events this week to give you a taste of the beautiful Manatee County sights and sounds.

Robinson Preserve Nature PReserveOn Thursday January 15th from 10am-11am experience a Tai-Chi and Qigong class. Suitable for beginners and experts, it will include an exploration of both styles of martial arts. Reservations are required. Call 941-742-5757 ext. 6.

Enjoy a Master Gardener tour on Sunday January 18th from 9am-11am with Master Gardener Sam Starrett.

The annual Robinson Preserve Race at Couch to 5K takes place on Tuesday January 20th from 5pm-6pm. The walk and run program starts out slow and is good for runners of all experience levels 13 and up. Reservations are required. Call 941-748-4501 ext. 6044.

The Preserve Ambassadors for Robinson Preserve are joining on Wednesday January 21st from 2pm-4pm. They will be hosting a course designed to help volunteers learn more about Manatee County’s preserve system. The first course focuses on Robinson Preserve’s history, habitats and wildlife. All participants will receive a certificate of completion and pin for this course. Reservations are required. Call 941-748-4501 ext. 6039.

 

TreeUmph Adventure Courses

Bradenton – Don’t miss out on trying TREEUMPH Adventure Courses just off the island in Bradenton. Enjoy a day of outdoor play in the trees at Southwest Florida’s only elevated adventure course. Bring the family, get together with friends or grab a group from the office for an adrenaline-pumping activity that has something fun for everyone ages 7 and older.

>>> Ages 7 to 9 challenge themselves on our child only course – about a 1.5 hour experience.
>>> Ages 12 and over experience 5 adventure courses and our giant zip line – typically a 3 to 4 hour excursion!
>>> Ages 9 to 11 experience 3 of the 5 courses and our giant zip line – a 2 to 3 hour tour!

Plan. Play. TreeUmph! Book your reservation, come prepared, then swing into action on wobbly bridges, hanging nets, bungee swings, swinging logs, foot bridges, Tarzan ropes, ZIP lines and more. Book your adventure now!

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS!


Treeumph adventure courses

Restaurants open for Christmas and New Year 2014

Anna Maria Island – While the holidays may bring everybody together, it doesn’t mean you want to cook for everybody, so Here is our list of Restaurants open Christmas on and around Anna Maria Island. The list shows openings for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day.

Restaurants open Christmas and New Years

Restaurants Open Christmas and New Year 2014christmas new years key

Choose causal or a more fine dining atmosphere while visiting Anna Maria Island during the holidays. Some of the restaurants open can be found on Anna Maria Island, and some are in Longboat Key, Bradenton and St. Armands Circle near Sarasota. From the graph above you’ll notice most places are closed on Christmas Day, so you’ll want to make reservations ahead of time.

Enjoy the holidays on Anna Maria Island!

Robinson Preserve Weekend

Bradenton – This is what’s going on at Robinson Preserve weekend December 20th. Located just off of Anna Maria Island in Bradenton, Robinson Preserve is one of the areas best spots to hike, kayak and enjoy nature.

The Salt Marsh Explorers are going out Saturday December 20th and they would like you to join. From 1pm – 2pm, the Salt Marsh Explorers will be hiking and taking in the local wildlife. They’ll be equipped with their new WCIND-funded backpacks that are stuffed full of tools and activities to get you fully outfitted for the hike. Call 941-748-4501 ext 6039 to register and find out more.

Then on Sunday December 21st from 9am – 11am Master Gardener Sam Starrett will take walkers on a relaxing stroll stroll to see Robinson’s resident plants undergoing a colorful transformation. Call the Master Gardener office for reservations at 941-722-4524.

Take a trip off island to Bradenton, and enjoy a fun weekend outdoors at Robinson Preserve. There is always something to see when you visit the great and wild outdoors public space!

 

Robinson Preserve Weekend
View of Robinson Preserve. Image from the Robinson Preserve Facebook Page.

University Town Center brings much anticipated shopping to the area!

Sarasota – When visiting it won’t take long to realize that dragging yourself away from the sugar-sand beaches of Anna Maria Island for shopping is nearly impossible! However, during times it may get a little rainy, take the day and head over to the BRAND NEW MALL in Sarasota!

The Mall at University Town Center (Mall UTC) just had it’s opening day on October 16, 2014.  The architecture of this mall is unique and attractive.  The glass brick roof keeps the mall light and bright letting the Florida sun shine through – it really compliments the fresh new mall. For us locals, it was very anticipated for the area! This multi-level, 880,000 square foot mall changed shopping for us here in Southwest Florida.

The mall which includes over 100 stores to shop, 12 places to get some food (including casual dining, fine dining and quick eats) as well as a list of upcoming events such as styling from Aveda Salon, Eye Wear Trunk Show, Designer appearance and fashion show at Dillard’s, and more!

Mall UTC  is located at 140 University Town Center Drive in Sarasota, FL 34243, which is only 30-35 minutes from AMI.  Time for some serious shopping fun!

Here is the Mall Directory:

Aerie
Aldo
American Eagle Outfitters
Ann Taylor
Anthropologie
Apple
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
Aveda
Banana Republic
Bath & Body Works
BCBG MAXAZRIA
Bebe
Bose Boston Proper
Brighton Collectibles
Brio Tuscan Grille
Brooks Brothers
Brooks Brothers Women
Brow Art 23
Caché
Calypso St. Barth
Camicissima Milano
Cellairis
Champs Sports
Chico’s
Claire’s
Clarks
Cold Stone Creamery
Crate & Barrel Sale
Dillard’s
Diventi Bella
Edward Beiner Purveyor of Fine Eyewear
Everything But Water
Express
Express Men
Fast Fix Jewelry Repair
Foot Locker
Forever 21
Gap
Gap Kids
GNC
Godiva Chocolatier
Gymboree
Icing
J.Crew
J.Jill
J.S. Trunk & Co.
Jackie Z Style Co.
Janie & Jack
Johnston & Murphy
Journeys
Kate Spade New York
Kay Jewelers
Kona Grill
L’Occitane
LensCrafters
Lilly Pulitzer
LOFT
Lovesac
Lululemon athletica
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
MAC Cosmetics
Macy’s
Mandarin Express
Mayors / Rolex
Michael Kors
Moleskine
Oil & Vinegar
OndadeMar
Organic Nail Bar
PACSUN
PANDORA
PAPYRUS
PINK
Pottery Barn
Rise Pies Handcrafted Pizza
Robert Graham
Saks Fifth Avenue
Seasons 52
SEE Eyewear
Sephora
Smoothie King
Soap Stories
Solstice Sunglasses
Soma Intimates
Sophie’s (inside Saks Fifth Avenue)
Starbucks
Stuart Weitzman
Sunglass Hut
Swarovski
Sweet Doctors
T-Mobile
Teavana
Tesla Motors
The Art of Shaving
The Capital Grille
The Cheesecake Factory
The Walking Company
Things Remembered
Tina Stephens
Tommy Bahama
Tumi
Venus Med Spa
Vera Bradley
Victoria’s Secret
White House | Black Market
Williams-Sonoma
Yankee Candle Co.
Vince Camuto
Z Gallerie
Zales

Coming Soon!

4D Gelateria, Arhaus Furniture, Banana Moon Swimwear, Burger & Beer Joint, Charlotte Russe, Fit2Run, Footgear, Forever Flawless, Forever Nails & Spa, Francesca’s Collections, Free People, Great American Cookies, H&M, Invicta, Kiehl’s, Lucky Brand Jeans, Motherhood Maternity, Naracamicie, Natural Comfort Footwear, Talbots, Tricho Salon, Camuto and YO! Sushi.

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Anna Maria Island Thanksgiving 2014 Restaurants Open

Anna Maria Island – Visiting during Anna Maria Island Thanksgiving 2014, but don’t feel like cooking a big meal? Here is the list of restaurants that will be open so you can take it easy.

Anna Maria Island Thanksgiving 2014 Restaurants

The list below is mostly Anna Maria Island restaurants, but Longboat Key, Bradenton, Sarasota and Saint Armands Circle as well. You’ll find a great selection of places to dine with both fine dining and casual options.

Anna Maria Island Thanksgiving 2014
Thanksgiving 2014 Restaurants, what’s open

It’s a good idea to make reservations at the restaurant of your choice to ensure you have a place to gather.

Have a happy holiday, and enjoy a tropical Thanksgiving on Anna Maria Island!

Manatee Performing Arts Center (lovingly known as Manatee Players)

Bradenton – Three musicals about Jesus and a show about a whorehouse are coming to Bradenton. Those shows, and nine others, are part of the Manatee Players 2014-15 season.  It’s the company’s second full season at the Manatee Performing Arts Center that was recently renovated.

The season includes seven shows in the larger Stone Hall and six in the Bradenton Kiwanis Studio Theater. The company’s first season of presenting shows in two theaters proved to be a big success, and audiences have responded to the more varied offering made possible by the intimate Bradenton Kiwanis Studio Theater.

The Stone Hall shows (all musicals) are:

  1.  “Disney’s Tarzan” (Aug. 7-24),
  2. “Dames at Sea” (Sept. 11-28), “
  3. “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” (Oct. 23-Nov. 9),
  4. “Meet Me in St. Louis” (Dec. 4-21),
  5. “Brigadoon” (Jan. 8-25),
  6. “Into the Woods” (Feb. 12-March 1, 2015)
  7.  “Jesus Christ Superstar” (March 19-April 5, 2015).

The Kiwanis Studio Theater shows mix plays and musicals:

  1. “Morning’s at Seven” (Sept. 11-28),
  2. “Godspell” (Oct. 31-Nov. 17),
  3. “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (Dec. 4-21),
  4. “The Foursome” (Jan. 15-Feb. 1, 2015),
  5. “Agnes of God” (Feb. 19-March 8, 2015)
  6. “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” (April 9-26, 2015).

Most shows are classics, or at least well-known to theatergoers, but a few aren’t so familiar. “Tarzan” is of course based on the 1999 animated film, which features music by Phil Collins. It ran for a little more than a year on Broadway in 2006-07. The same company that created the flying effects for this season’s production of “Peter Pan” for Manatee Players will be back for this show.  “Morning’s at Seven” is 1939 drama about four aging sisters. Its three Broadway runs have not been hugely successful, but it’s popular with regional theaters.  “The Foursome” is a Norm Foster comedy about four buddies who play golf.

They picked “Godspell,” the 1970s Stephen Schwartz musical, to balance out “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”.  They don’t expect any community objection to “Whorehouse,” which despite its title, is a light and splashy musical, but by staging “Godspell,” which is based on the Gospel of St. Matthew, at the same time, they are offering something for families.

“Amahl and the Night Visitors,” gives Manatee Players a chance to explore opera.   “Amahl” will be the first opera Manatee Players has done in decades.  Historically, about 60 years ago, operettas were a regular part of their schedule.

The Manatee Performing Arts Center is at 502 Third Ave. W. in Bradenton. For information about the season or any of the shows, call 941-749-1111 or go to manteeplayers.com.

The Spectacular Desoto Parade

desoto

Bradenton – One of the largest parades in the South that attracts over 200,000 people every year, is Bradenton’s famous Desoto Parade. To give a little background, In the early 1500’s, Conquistador, Hernando De Soto, and his army of soldiers walked the grounds of Bradenton, making local and national history. In the first few months of every year over 150 beautifully lighted and decorated floats are driven through the streets of the city. If you’re staying with us during this time, it is a highly suggested event to take part in with the entire family. Definitely come out to enjoy some tailgating, music, candy, beads, and various merchant carts on this exciting evening.

However, IMPORTANT  to note, if you do plan on coming I highly suggest getting there at least an hour early to set up some chairs and get situated (This event gets EXTREMELY crowded and busy, so make sure to keep an eye on your children). This is a very fun parade, which is patrolled the entire time with an abundance of police officers and deputies to keep everyone safe, so don’t hesitate on bringing you’re entire family/friends to this entertaining time.

For more info head to the Desoto Parade website! And keep an eye on our Event Calendar for more information!