I was publisher of a newspaper in Sarasota a year ago, http://www.creativeloafing.com.
Sarasota is a nice, quiet seasonal artsy community with a lot of snowbirds. There are some nice museums, beautiful beaches, and great restaurants. That being said, it is a pretty quiet town out of season and you may want to travel to Tampa for more activity options. Lakewood Ranch is where you would probaby have the higher concentration of families with school-age children.