Congratulations, you made it through yet another working week. You might as well give yourself a pat on the back to celebrate -- or better yet, a drink or three.
Whether you'd like to do a Christmas bar crawl, attend a brewery or restaurant anniversary party, or help build a life-size gingerbread house, there's something for you to do in South Florida this weekend.
See also: Ten Best Beers Brewed in Florida in 2014
This holiday season, Diplomat Resort & Spa's pastry team combined 1,000 gingerbread shingles, 600 gingerbread bricks, dark chocolate painted shutters, 200 pounds of icing and numerous perfectly placed gumdrops to create a massive 10-foot tall, 10-foot wide gingerbread house. Marveled at by resort guests from around the world, the gingerbread house will be on display in the Diplomat lobby through New Year's Day. On Saturday, December 20, from 1-4 p.m., the Diplomat invites South Florida families to visit the gingerbread house for festive delights and holiday treats. Complimentary valet will be provided. For more information, please call 954.602.6000 or visit DiplomatResort.com.
Fort Lauderdale-based 100 Plus Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida will be hosting a special Yappy Hour this Saturday at the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park. The non-profit snatches up the left-for-dead pooches and gives them another chance to be with loving families. On December 20, Yappy Hour will be all about drinking beer and mingling with fellow dog lovers to bring awareness to the plight of abandoned pets. During this special happy hour, anyone attending the brewery between the hours of 2-6 p.m. can get a wristband for a $5 (or more) donation that's worth $1 off all Funky Buddha draft beers. The Yappy Hour happens once a month, either on the third or fourth Saturday each month. The brewery usually partners with a food truck and donates 10 percent of their sales to rescuing dogs, and cats too. Silent auctions are held. Sometimes they bake doggie treats.
On Friday December 19, downtown West Palm Beach will host the 1st Annual Great American Christmas Crawl. Tickets include a bracelet that will get you no cover entry to all participating venues, and a special collector's cup for $3 drinks at confirmed at places like Roxy's Pub, Pawn Shop Lounge, Off The Hookah, and Monarchy Nightclub. The crawl will start with registration at Bar Louie at 5 p.m. Be sure to wear your ugly sweater (or come dressed as an elf or Santa Claus) for a chance to win a cash prize as best dressed during the after party at Roxy's Rooftop. During the crawl restaurants will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots, and your donation will get you a complimentary drink ticket. Live music and DJs will be at each stop of the crawl, and don't miss special appearances by Santa Clause, midget elves, and a few of Santa's "sexy" helpers. Tickets are $20. Visit the Facebook event page for more information.
Calling all Santas, elves, and reindeer -- even grinches. The most wonderful time of the year is nearly here, and in Delray Beach that means only one thing: SantaCon. So grab your candy canes, snowmen, and maybe a beer or two and head to the Sandbar on A1A. At 8 p.m. the yuletide festivities begin with the restaurant's biggest, baddest, most incredible year-end holiday bash yet, what will be the Boston's sixth annual SantaCon Delray. The event will feature food and drink specials, as well as a toy drive. For more information and updates visit the Facebook event page.
On Sunday, December 21, the Sybarite Pig in Boca Raton will be celebrating its 2-year anniversary with a blow-out bash. The beer-licious festivities begin at noon, and will last long into the night -- but get there as soon as you can. Why? The day-long celebration will feature a ton of specialty release brews which will all tap at once. The selection ranges from local limited edition releases brewed by the likes of Delray Beach's Saltwater Brewery and Wynwood Brewery (or Cigar City and Boynton Beach's Due South Brewery and Wild Oaks), to a number of European specialty releases including an Italian sour beer and special aged stout. Food-wise, arrive at the party hungry: the restaurant will have a special sandwich available for one-day only. The dish: a special smoked lamb sandwich so good, Sybarite Pig owner said it's what helped to spark the entire Sybarite Pig concept, and even won an award during the 2011 Food Experiment competition sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery.
Nicole Danna is a food blogger covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.