Nothing like a Pumpkin Festival to get you in the Halloween spirit! The Annual Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival is just around the corner and will be opening the gates to the farm this weekend. Grab the family and head out to the Annual Pumpkin Festival at Hunsader Farms for the day. Parking is just $5.00 and the price of admission is $8.00 per person, children 12 and under gets in free!
Enjoy: Great Food ~Live Entertainment ~ A Pumpkin Cannon ~ Music ~ Hayrides ~ Pumpkins ~ Games ~ Pony Rides ~ Chainsaw Sculptor ~ Corn Maze ~ Petting Zoo ~ Face Painting ~ Children’s Train Rides ~ Frog Jumping Championship ~ Fresh Produce ~ and much more!
This year’s festival dates
October 13th & 14th – 9am – 5pm
October 20th & 21st – 9am – 5pm
October 27th & 28th – 9am – 5pm
The Annual Pumpkin Festival at Hunsader Farms is a great way to get in the Halloween spirit. Hunsader Farms Annual Pumpkin Festival will be held this year on Oct. 15th & 16th – 22nd & 23rd – 29th & 30th, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
G.T. Bray Park located in Bradenton, Fl has something for everyone. You can walk tree rimmed paths, swing on the swing in one of the three playgrounds, swim and play in the water fountains or take your dog to the very safe enclosed dog park.
If you are looking to have a larger event while visiting Bradenton or Anna Maria Island then G.T. Bray Park could be your perfect ticket. The Bradenton park has seven pavilions (Picnic Shelters.) Of course sizes vary. If you refer to the map below the numbers here correlate to those on the GT Bray park map. (1)Cedar Hammock (2) Oak Knoll (3) Hickory Hollow (4) Meadow View (5) Woodland Grove (6) Whispering Pine (7) Bright Outlook – located adjacent to the Activity Center. For information on availability of the picnic pavilions call (941) 742-5974.
The dog park is called happy tails and is a perfect treat for pet visitors to Anna Maria Island. Happy Tails Canine Park is a fenced in, 3-acre off leash dog park located at the North East corner of G.T. Bray Bradenton park. Happy Tails is just off 51st Street West. Amenities at the dog park includes one drinking fountain and free waste bags and a enclosed separate area exclusively for small, fragile, or elderly dogs.
This Bradenton park is a great place to relax or play soccer, softball or football in one of their many open fields. Tennis and racquetball courts are available year round. There is a weight room available for a fee. Skate and hockey court is also just one of the great amenities the Bradenton park has to offer. The skate park is located at G.T. Bray Park, 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West, Bradenton, Fl, 34209.
Depending on the time of year you are visiting the beaches of Anna Maria Island, you can find many family friendly events for children all year long. The Christmas party is a must see, Santa Claus flies in on a helicopter with Batman to give the children their opportunity to tell him what they want for Christmas and have their photos taken. The holiday celebration is perfect for families of all ages, face painting, bounce houses, games, crafts, etc. Easter is when they have the largest Easter egg hunt I have ever seen! The G.T. Park staff fill and lay out thousands of eggs. Imagine three baseball outfields covered in plastic Easter
eggs! These are just a few holiday events that the G.T. Bray park has to offer.
G.T. Bray Park
5502 33rd Avenue Drive West
SeaWorld is the perfect Anna Maria Orlando day trip for visitors. In addition, United Kingdom visitors typically hit Orlando for about 3-5 days then come to Anna Maria Island for a week long REAL vacation.
Sea World is just a short drive from Anna Maria Island making it a great Orlando day trip destination. If you can get the family up and ready to leave by 8:00 AM you should reach Sea World
by 9:30 AM and walking through the front gates of Sea World, Orlando by 10 AM. We like to leave a little earlier and stop at the Denny’s just across the street from Sea World for a strong breakfast to start our day. It starts us off on the right foot after the quick 1.5-hour ride to Orlando and seems to help the kids calm down since they can see the entryway to Sea World just across the street. Most parking in Orlando is NOT free and Sea World charges to park.
Sea World has a ton of stuff to do for all ages. They have an amusement park outfitted with a roller coaster that any adult would love. Tea Cups for those of you that have strong stomachs, swing rides, twirling rides, you name it. Of course, Sea World is not as large as a stand-alone amusement park but it has plenty to get you past your roller coaster “fix.” Sea World also has the classic water log ride and you can see a portion of the ride in the video shown below.
SeaWorld also has a large play area for children. Huge climbing nets will keep your children playing for hours and nearby is a water play area if they get bored of nets or other play areas.
Of course, we cannot forget the shows. The biggest show of all, “Shamu” will not disappoint. Plenty of jumps, dives, and splashes. Another great show is a dolphin show where more than 5 dolphins jump in unison all throughout the water. A high diving show lets your children watch as parrots buzz by just over your heads as well divers dressed in costumes dive into the water from about 30-40 feet above. One last show which is great for kids. The Sea Otter show is filled with blunders, clean jokes, and a few animals that perform tricks that even the toughest critic will be impressed with.
There are lots of sea life to view at Sea World. There is a great penguin exhibit where you see a great variety of penguins. There is sea life tunnel where sharks and other sea life swim throughout the tunnel overhead. The tunnel provides plenty of Oohs and aahs. After one of the shows, there is a neat spot where the floor below is made of glass and right above is a glass ceiling both outfitted with plenty of sea life. Children love to run around and chase the fish in the floor.
Be sure to bring your sunscreen, some cash, and a little patience and Sea World will offer a lifetime of family memories. For more great Orlando things to do be sure to visit our Orlando Activities pages.
Ok everyone, I have a restaurant you all have to try! The Café on the Beach is the place to be on the weekends or any day really. On the weekends you can enjoy the famous “All You Can Eat” pancake breakfast. Friends of mine were there recently and said, “It isn’t just pancakes. You actually get a full breakfast!” During the week they offer delights such as hamburgers, hotdogs and snacks for relaxing days at the Manatee Public Beach in Holmes Beach. This is a great location to enjoy our beaches because you have a lifeguard on duty, a playground, public restrooms, a large public parking lot and a little beach shop for Florida souvenirs. It is also perfect if you have little kids because you unpack the car once, and you have facilities near by to keep them happy. As a new mom I can’t wait until my little one is big enough to enjoy the azure blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, sugar soft sand of Manatee Beach and the all you can eat pancakes that I remember from my childhood.
Just visited Cafe on the Beach for dinner and their fish and chips were great. Right now they have all you can eat buffet’s Monday, Wednesday’s and Friday’s for dinner. Currently they have an Italian Buffet, Taco and Fajita bar, and all you can eat fish and chips for their three night a week buffets. We sat out outside in November surrounded by patio heaters and Mike Sales singing to the crowd. Mike’s singing made us all get out of our seats to dance to a few oldies but goodies.
Manatee Public Beach is located in Holmes Beach where Manatee Avenue runs right into the Gulf of Mexico. Manatee Public Beach has free parking, picnic tables, public restrooms, a play ground on the beach for children, a café right on the beach with food and drinks, and a lifeguard on duty.
The playground is directly on the beach and contains swings, a wall to climb, ladder, a larger straight slide as well as two toddler slides, and the normal accessories most modular playgrounds offer. This playground can be busy all week long as mainland locals use this playground very often as well as families that want a combined day at the beach and playground. There are a few benches that parents can use to sit and relax however an inexpensive beach chair located close to the playground can work best.
For a bite to eat try out Cafe on the beach, located at the public beach to get drinks and hot dog meals etc. There is also a small gift shop located at the Manatee Public Beach.
The Anna Maria Island Manatee Public Beach is very popular!
Manatee Public Beach
located in Holmes Beach, it allows for easy access since it is at the end of Manatee Avenue/SR64. This is one of three access points to the island.
The Public Beach boasts a very large FREE parking area that handles 120 parking spots however there are plenty of times that the parking is not adequate for the demand. Manatee Avenue does have additional street parking, however, be sure to mind no parking signs. There is a trolley stop at the public beach too!
Manatee Public Beach offers great amenities. Lifeguards, showers, volleyball courts, playground, swings, slides, gift shop, bathrooms, concessions, and covered eating area with picnic tables make this a great beach spot. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon people watching, or just relaxing at the beach with family.
The public beach is officially 900 feet in width although it’s difficult for even locals to see where the park really ends since the entire island has public beaches. Within a walk to the beach is a popular restaurant called Skinny’s that serves alcoholic drinks and concessions. Bring plenty of water and some snacks for children as the heat can quickly take its toll on active children. For more information call Manatee County Parks and Recreation Department at (941) 742-5923.
Bay Front Park located on the North end of the island is a quiet park that is great for a picnic with the kiddos. The Park offers calm beaches, and spectacular views of the Sky Way Bridge, and is a wonderful place for walking, fishing, and swimming! Bay Front Park features picnic tables and grills covered by pavilions, and an awesome new ADA playground. After taking a dip in the water, or an afternoon of playing on the playground with the kids, take a short stroll to Two Scoops for some ice cream. Feel like walking to a restaurant from the park? There are a couple of great choices. The Waterfront Restaurant is fine dining, and just a short walk to the South. A bit closer to the North is the Rod and Reel Restaurant overlooking the water.
if you are coming from Bradenton take Manatee Avenue West to the beach. Once you have gone over the bridge onto Anna Maria Island make a right onto Gulf Drive. Keep heading north on Gulf Drive, when you come to the stop light
in Holmes Beach make a right onto Marina Drive. You will head north on Marina Drive through Holmes Beach to The City of Anna Maria and make a right onto Pine Avenue, take Pine Avenue all the way to the stop sign, make a left onto North Bay Blvd and the park is on your right.