As we make our way into December, finding new and creative ways to get our holiday fix is crucial.
There are always the reliable standards including visiting Santa if you have littles (or even if you don’t), perusing the various Christmas lights displays or attending a holiday concert at the local high school. But if you are looking for a one-stop-shop for holiday shopping, fun family events and a plethora of restaurants to please every picky eater in your bunch, then head to UTC-land.
What has become an annoyance of over-crowded gawkers and shoppers around the Bradenton-Sarasota interchange on I-75 suddenly becomes even more exciting with all of the people around Christmastime. If you drive that stretch of 75 with any regularity, then you are aware that tapping the breaks begins a few miles north or south of UTC. There is just so much to do in that area in addition to the already nationally famous UTC. Every “in” restaurant chain or high-end retailer with any number of followers is vying to fill up not just stores within the mall, but in all the ancillary strip malls as well. But, for nonstop holiday smiles, you just cannot beat the December fun happening at Ground Zero, UTC.
For starters, do you know what absolutely amounts to good old-fashioned fun on a Friday night? Watching Florida kids ice-skate can give you all the feels, from chuckles to nostalgia, and UTC is offering up the prime location to strap on your blades. Presented by the Tampa Bay Lightning, ice-skating on “real” ice can become your family’s pastime and something out-of-the-ordinary to enjoy doing every year. Skating is just one of the fabulous activities planned for UTC’s “Holidays on the Green.” If you are more into a team sport, ice-sledding is also offered as an evening activity throughout December. Do you remember the thrill of zipping down an icy hill full speed ahead? Give that same joy-ride to your brood and they will be calling you the cool parent to all their friends.
Another quaint activity to do throughout the holiday season is watching new and old Christmas classic movies. Throughout the holiday season, you can enjoy movies on the lawn in front of UTC every Friday and Saturday at 7:00 P.M. Gather your friends and families, a mug of cocoa and stretch out on the expansive areas surrounding the outdoor movie. On Saturday evenings at 9:00 P.M., fireworks will light up the skies just like clockwork, putting a bang into every weekend of your holiday outings. Fireworks every weekend? Now that is a great way to send 2019 out in style.
Some of the other events you can enjoy at the Mall at University Town Center throughout December include holiday lights tram and bike tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, giant lifelike Christmas cards, carousel rides and even an extensive gingerbread house display with hundreds of handmade candy creations. Of course, you can catch the big man himself, Santa, and a few of his elf friends hanging out at the mall throughout much of the festivities.
You know what they say, “if you can’t beat ‘em then join ‘em!” Come on down to UTC to catch the excitement of this holiday season, grab some present gear and a whole lot of cheer while you are at it. For more information on celebratory happenings over the holiday season at UTC, please visit Holidays at UTC.
The Mall at University Town Center
140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, FL 34243
Photos courtesy of Mall at University Town Center Facebook page.