Sarasota Annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights – Although Sarasota is known for its beautiful beaches year-round, December brings a whole different light to that will light up Sarasota Bay with a festive display of all types of boats decked out in holiday cheer.  A celebrated tradition since 1986, this year’s holiday boat parade will be on Saturday, December 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Bring your family and friends to experience this spectacular parade of festively-decorated boats followed by an awards ceremony determining the best ones. The best areas for viewing the parade are Marina Jack Waterfront, Bayfront Park, City Island Park, and Centennial Park. The parade route has been expanded by an additional turn marker located at the southwest side of Bayfront Park.  For more information log onto or call Marina Jack: 941-365-4232

Here’s a Holiday Gift Idea – When asked what they want most for their children, most parents reply that they just want them to be happy, but happiness comes from building a strong family foundation. Psychologists note that of the five most important aspects of a healthy family, communication is one. Simply put, strong families pay attention to each other, and there aren’t many ways the cultivate an atmosphere that generates this type of communication and attention than a family fishing trip. While fishing is great in that it allows your whole family to enjoy screen-free time in nature and reap the health benefits of fresh air and a bit of exercise, it’s really the atmosphere that allows you to cultivate deep family bonds. Outside activities have shown to foster social, emotional, and cognitive competencies in kids, including strengthening the language and communication interactions. This means that the time and space you have on a boat as a whole family is a great way to allow them to cultivate communication skills while also helping to teach them important life lessons. Fishing also improves balance and coordination, and the more a child can develop these skills early on, the more physical and general confidence they will have later in life, which directly translates into healthy familial relationships. Teach them how to bait a hook and cast a spinning rod and watch them build their confidence and physical strength. Not only will you be helping them build confidence as they set goals and reel in big fish, but you will also be teaching them important life lessons of patience, perseverance, and even focus. Fishing, by nature, requires you to sit back and enjoy the stillness while waiting for a large bass, grouper or tarpon to come along and reel in. This lesson is by far the greatest lesson for children and a great way to bond as a family as they will understand the importance of focus and perseverance while by your side doing something they enjoy. In a world that is largely dominated by technology, fishing is also a great way to reel their focus in and help them learn how to live in the moment while also enjoying time spent with their family members and friends.