November Events in Anna Maria Island

While you’re busy searching for Anna Maria Island vacation rentals for families in Anna Maria Island, be sure to look up some of the November events happening on the island.

You might think that November wouldn’t be a very busy time on AMI, but you’d be gravely mistaken.

In the off-season, Anna Maria Island stays plenty busy. Truth be told, three of AMI’s biggest events occur in November – ArtsHOP, sandcastle building, and Symphony on the Sand. Each one is absolutely worth checking out, so if you’re on the island in November, head on down to all of them and see what AMI has to offer.


ArtsHOP is actually an art walk that is put on every November by the Cultural Connections of Anna Maria Island. This is a weekend-long arts festival, which features receptions for local artists, gallery walks, a concert on the beach, and numerous theatrical performances.

Every year, there is a public art exhibit reception for one of Anna Maria Island’s art galleries. The Island Players also put on various dramatic performances for everyone to enjoy. The gallery walks happen all over Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton. In addition to local art, you can get food and drinks from vendors, hear live music, and even meet the artists themselves.

Symphony on the Sand is also put on (see more below), and beach wares are sold at the Coquina Beach Market. The event is free, and everyone of all ages can enjoy it.

anna maria island sand castle
Photo from Shutterstock

Sandcastle Building

You can’t really build a snowman here, but there are plenty of opportunities to build a sandcastle or watch one being constructed. In fact, there is an International Sand Sculpting Festival that happens every November. It has been going on for a decade now on Siesta Key. If you’ve got plans to venture into Sarasota at all, this is the perfect time to go.

Last year, there were 24 master sand sculptors who competed for the honor of being the best sand sculptor on Siesta Key Public Beach. They even introduced a brand-new solo competition in 2018! Each artist is given 24 hours to complete their sculpture, which will be shown for four days in the beach’s outdoor gallery. Last year, over 50,000 people attended and got to vote on which sculpture they liked the best.

There is also a lot of shopping to be done as well as visiting the local food vendors and listening to live music.

Anna Maria Island also hosts its own sandcastle contest each year, appropriately named Sandblast. This sand sculpting competition is held on the first Saturday of November and starts at 9 AM. This is an exciting family event that provides an opportunity for school-age amateur teams to compete, as well as adults. All funds go toward Keep Manatee Beautiful. Just journey on down to the Manatee Beach Lifeguard Tower on Holmes Beach and check out the gorgeous sand sculptures!

Symphony on the Sand

As mentioned above, Symphony on the Sand is a part of ArtsHOP. This year is the 7th annual production of this event, which features the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra. The event kicks off at 4:30 PM at Coquina Gulfside Park and lasts for about three hours. Tickets range in price from $20 to $125 per person.

Plan Your Visit

As you’re looking for Anna Maria Island pet-friendly rentals, be sure to check out these November events on AMI. Some of the places you will find are pet-friendly, and all of the events are definitely kid-friendly.

The $20 tickets get you bring-your-own-seat general admission and access to the concessions. The $50 tickets include concert chairs with two drink vouchers per ticket. Meanwhile, the $125 ticket will get you to table seating at a table for 10 with meals provided by local restauranteurs along with delicious beer and wine options. There are also VIP Sponsorship opportunities for those who are interested. Sponsors also get a complimentary beer and wine and are able to access the VIP luxury bathrooms.

Some of the Anna Maria Island restaurants that participate in this event include Harry’s Continental Kitchen, Beach House Restaurant, and the Coquina Café. You will hear everything from Mozart to well-known operas and classic American hits.