Since its inception in 1964 as a partnership between circus artists, The Showfolks Club of Sarasota has blossomed into a multifaceted entertainment organization. This year, the club continues to beguile eyes of all ages with its 44th annual circus, which has become a familiar destination for Sarasota families and vagabond balloon animals alike. Guests can bask in synchronized exhalations as flying trapeze artists, acrobats, and aerialists rebel against basic physics and jugglers coax uproarious applause by maintaining seamless, atmospheric rotation of inanimate objects or volunteer audience members. For an extra dose of excitement, tiger tamers Juergen and Judit Nerger will be on hand to display their uniquely white feline counterparts.
Snakes slither in glass display cases, and lizards wriggle in the hands of trained handlers as they're held up in full view of a curious crowd. This is the scene as one of Repticon's presenters educates attendees on the biology, behavior, and typing speeds of exotic cold-blooded creatures at one of the year-round shows held in cities across the country. Reptile and amphibian breeders, scholars, and handlers engage audiences in lectures and demonstrations in the midst of live reptile exhibits, family activities, and displays for exotic-pet supplies. Presentations may focus on the genetics of large snake species, the specifics of exotic-pet care, and the effect that tiny hats have on the image of arachnids such as tarantulas, scorpions, and spiders.
Skaters blaze across Stardust Skate Center’s retro-themed, 14,000-square-foot rink amid a flurry of spotlights, lasers, and scanning beams. After retrieving their eight-wheeled rentals, friends and families strap in and set out on a circular trip down memory cul-de-sac. A giant disco ball fills the room with refracted light as foursomes choreograph roller dances to DJ-spun tunes that pump from a surround sound system synced up with the kaleidoscope of lights. After an hour or two of hairpin turns and confused wrestling maneuvers, skaters can enjoy well-earned refreshments in the complex's remaining 10,000 square feet of entertainment space. Stardust Skate Center is open for public skating on Fridays and Saturdays, and on Sundays starting October 2. Check the schedule for times.
With more than half a century of history behind its name, Sarasota Lanes has seen generations of locals bowl its alleys, with progeny making sly, crouching approaches to the same lanes their parents did years ago. The tradition continues at the alley?s 36 lanes with automatic scoring, far superior to counting on the fingers and toes of fellow players. The alley's snack bar refuels bowlers with succulent chicken wings, burgers, pizzas, and drinks. At the pro shop, bowlers can gear up for future lane domination with balls, bags, and accessories.
LTM Party packs a kaleidoscopic selection of costumes, party favors, tableware, and gifts into more than 50,000 square feet of retail space. This Halloween, disguise an infant as a walking, talking peanut ($14.99) to help him or her infiltrate a nefarious legume-smuggling ring, or turn back the clock with a caveman wig and beard ($15.99 each). Customized, full-color banners ($19.99–$33.99), which buyers can design online, can advertise a bake sale, high-school graduation, or alien-abduction anniversary, and color-coordinated tableware ($1.99−$12.95) helps ensure that knives and forks tastefully match collars at a dog’s wedding ceremony. In-store experts can offer advice or help customers navigate the abundance of additional merchandise such as classroom supplies, balloons, and rental tuxedos.