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‘Discover Sarasota’ through a child’s mind

The tour will be offered on select Sundays through July.

by: Whitney Elfstrom Staff Writer

Sarasota is about to get a whole lot more magical.

Rainbows, unicorns and princesses are going to take over the streets with Discover Sarasota Tour’s new tailored-for-children Rainbows and Unicorns Trolley Tour, which has its first tour March 8.

Owner Tammy Hauser said the idea for the children’s tour came after guests of the company’s adult tours, such as the Haunted Sarasota Tour and the Tiki Trivia Tour, expressed interest in an experience they could share with their little ones.

Children will be able to get off at the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy stop.
From there the Rainbows and Unicorns tour was born, which Hauser said she drew inspiration from her daughter, Lily, 27, and what she would have liked to do as a child.

“I came up with this concept thinking about what I would have done with her when she was little or if I had grandkids, and this is exactly what I would have wanted to do,” Hauser said. “Then it grew because we really do have so many charming, sweet, whimsical places in Sarasota, and we wanted to do a tour that focused on those through kids eyes.”

The 75-minute tour will drive by the Children’s Garden and Sarasota Jungle Garden and stop at the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy, where the children will be able to wander around.

Guests are encouraged to wear costumes on the tour, and a prize will be given out for the best fairy costume, Hauser said.

Beginning at the Tour’s Trolley Depot, 1826 Fourth St., the magical day will kick off with a lemonade and cookies party with Princess Jenny, played and created by Jenny Aldrich, who is part magical grandmother and part princess, Hauser said.

Then it’s time to climb aboard the trolley, where Princess Jenny will tell stories and sing songs about rainbows and unicorns.

To keep the tour interactive, Hauser added a scavenger hunt where riders will track down hidden rainbows and unicorns. Some have been hidden by Discover Sarasota, but many will be found along the trail.

The Children’s Garden is one of the three places the trolley will drive by. “We’re really trying to make it an interactive and magical experience for little kids,” Hauser said. “It’s a combination of actually hiding a few and going to places that have rainbows and unicorns to look for them. … For example, there are rainbow parrots in the Jungle Garden, so we’ll be going there to talk about that.”

Hauser said that if this were a tour she was going on with her daughter, afterward they would have gone out for ice cream, so she added a Chill Mobile to the Trolley Depot. The 1979 vintage ice cream truck will sit in a picnic area outside the tour’s cottage to provide ice cream treats for purchase. Hauser said the stand will be operational by the first rainbows and unicorns tour.

“Everyone will have a great time,” Hauser said. “It’s not a preschool program. It’s an interactive show. It’s all ages with a specific sweetness and design for a kids is attention span. We’re really focused on having them sing and share and laugh.”

When: 2 p.m. on March 8 and 22, April 19, and July 12 and 26; rain or shine

Where: Discover Sarasota, 1826 4th St.

Tickets: $15 for 3-11 and $30 for 12 and up

Info: Call 941-260-9818 or go to