Where to see Santa on Anna Maria

Did you know that Santa Claus spends his pre-Christmas days lounging on the beaches of the top vacation destination, Anna Maria Island? While most assume he’s tinkering away in his North Pole shop, he’s actually lounging on a Gulf-side Florida Island saying hello to children, making his lists, and checking them twice.

There’s no shortage of exciting Anna Maria Island Christmas activities featuring the big-bellied, white-bearded icon. Santa Claus is busy on Anna Maria Island, and you and your family can see him for yourself.

Where is Santa this year? Don’t worry, we have the inside scoop on his local itinerary on and near the island.

Santa Anna Maria Activities

Sledding with Santa

Santa’s first major local appearance is slated to be at the Lakewood Ranch Branch YMCA. It is located at 5100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton, FL.

This free family-friendly event is a wonderful way to see Santa Claus. Hot chocolate, arts and crafts tables, and holiday treats will be available. Santa Claus will do a meet-and-greet, where you can take photos and make special requests.

Perhaps the event’s most famous addition is the sledding set-up. Upon Santa’s request, guests will be able to sled on real snow. Florida pulls out all the stops to make Santa’s visit extra special.

Christmas on Bridge Street

The Bridge Street Town Centre is alight with holiday energy. The 45-foot Christmas Tree is a staple of the season. On December 15, you are likely to see Santa Claus posing for photographs with eager children. At this community event, Santa Claus isn’t limited to a roped-off throne. Instead, he’ll be seen roaming around the historic Bridge Street Pier spreading joy.

Santa will cruise the square on a golf cart, stopping by stores and corners to take photographs with his small elf crew.

The event feature lots of live music. Expect a flatbed truck looping up and down Bridge Street, with band playing from the back. There is also expected to be a lot of holiday craft tables, fun activities, and other entertainment. Perhaps even Santa will join in on the activities. He doesn’t always follow his schedule to a T, and is known to run around and have some of fun of his own.

This is an all-day event, and part of Anna Maria Island’s big holiday extravaganza. If you want to see Santa a little unleashed, this is the way to do it.

Christmas on Bridge Street

Lighted Boat Parade

Santa Claus will also be making a public appearance on the Lighted Boat Parade. While you may not necessarily get up close and personal time with the white-bearded traveler, you do get a chance to see him float by on a boat – and how often can you see that?

Santa Claus will be at the tail end of the lighted boat parade, the last of the Christmas on Bridge Street events. The parade is expected to begin at Cortez Bridge and continue to Longboat Pass. The best parade view is likely to be found at the Historic Bridge Street Pier. The parade will wrap up around the Bradenton Beach Marina.

Somewhere along the line, usually at the end, is Santa Claus, waving cheerfully from his souped-up ride. The parade takes place December 15, beginning at 7 p.m. Expect to see many boats lit up with colorful decorations, glowing gloriously over the Gulf of Mexico. The event is free for visitors – find a seat somewhere and enjoy.

With all these fun Anna Maria Island activities, you’re sure to run into Santa sooner or later. Stay at one of our vacation rentals to soak in the Island’s holiday spirit this season.