Things To Do

The 11 Best Things to Do In Broward and Palm Beach This Week

Thursday, December 17

Face it, Christmas began super early for you this year. As soon as Halloween ended, subtle reminders started appearing on the shelves at the local CVS, e.g., Santa Claus candies, green-and-red-themed decorations, poinsettias.

What does it all mean, though? Either nonstop gift begging from the kids or constant gift shopping for the kids. It's an endless cycle. But don't let the holiday blues get you down – after all it's Christmas. Take a time-out and get your family to the annual Santa's Enchanted Evening in Wilton Manors. It'll be fun for the kids as there will be bounce houses, face paintings, and a weather report indicating a "snowstorm" that will turn Wilton Manors into a winter wonderland with huge piles of the white stuff. (Be sure to bring your coats and mittens.) After enduring weeks of holiday prep, you yourself may need a little private talk with Santa Claus.

With only one week until Christmas, Santa's Enchanted Evening takes place during the home stretch on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Wilton Manors Elementary School, located at 240 NE Third Ave. The event is free. Call 954-390-2130, or visit wiltonmanors.com

In a history lost to the annals of time, some put-upon party planner in the not-too-distant past was looking for a creative theme, a departure from the usual humdrum holiday soiree. Browsing through old family photos, an idea occurred: "How about a party where everyone wears one of those hideous, ubiquitous Christmas sweaters?" He or she was a trailblazer and the party was the bright spot in an endless sea of office potlucks and family get-togethers. Today, that same sea is a teeming flood of Ugly Sweater parties. They're everywhere, with every conceivable twist and take. But hey, it's the holidays. We're allowed our nostalgia, and if putting on a horrendous knitted monstrosity with Rudolph's face – complete with battery-operated light-up nose – is how we want to spend the season, we will. So here's every Ugly Sweater Party we could find:

  • Most craft-beer bars tend to be cozy spots where you can catch up with your friends while sipping suds. American Social (721 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) doesn't sacrifice the party vibe. Expect a DJ, loud music you can dance to, and a packed house for this Ugly Sweater Party, at 9 p.m. Thursday.
  • Art and Performance space Jump the Shark (810 NE Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) is throwing its Ugly Sweater Party from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, with plenty of live music including Yoshi YKZ, White Condor, Swipa, and 6 Cardinal, as well as DJs King George and ZxFlo. There will also be art and photography on display, as well as live art performances. The night will culminate with a Most Creative Sweater contest, with the winner chosen by the audience. Admission is $5 for 21 and over, $10 for the under 21 crowd.
  • The worse your sweater is, the more likely you are to wow the crowd from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday at Respectable Street (518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach) in such categories as Most Original, All Around Ugliest, and Best Matched Couple. Memorialize the evening with some snaps in the photo booth – digital downloads available for posterity the next day. Catch performances by Raggy Monster and Lavola.
  • If you've been meaning to check out Funky Buddha Brewery's (1201 NE 38th St., Oakland Park) newly renovated dining area, throw on your most hideous holiday jumper and head over at 7 p.m. Wednesday. After you've sipped some Funky seasonals, you could take home a Funky Buddha gift card and special bottled release if you win for Best Overall, Best Vintage, or Best Homemade ugly sweater. 
The holidays are here, and that means lots of holiday parties (and lots of drinking). But for beer lovers, it won't get any better than a rare beer-sharing holiday party hosted by Funky Buddha. On Thursday the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery in Boca Raton will throw its first Barrel Aged and Rare Beer Holiday Extravaganza, a night where the brew-lounge will dedicate its taps to literally dozens of rare brews, all available for tasting until the taps run dry. Guest drafts include high-profile, coveted beers like De Struise Cuvee Delphine, Tool Simple Life, Bourbon County Stout 2015, De Dolle Stille Nacht, Prairie Christmas Bomb, Jolly Pumpkin Noel De Calabaza, Saint Bon Chien 2014, and De Molen Bommen & Granaten. A few surprise kegs are in the works too, but you won't know (or get a taste) unless you go. The event will also feature a number of specialty and limited release Funky Buddha brews given special aging treatments, including Morning Wood (aged in rye whiskey barrels); Snowed In (aged in rye whiskey barrels); a Wheat Wine; and Maple Bacon Coffee porter.

Purchase a raffle ticket that evening and you'll have an opportunity to win some rare bottles: Stouts like Bourbon County Coffee, Prairie Vanilla Noir, and sours like Mikkeller Spontanblueberry and Grimm Rainbow Dome will be up for grabs. The Barrel Aged and Rare Beer Holiday Extravaganza is free and open to the public. The event will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday at the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery, located at 2621 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. 

Friday, December 18

Fort Lauderdale is known for many things. It has evolved into a world-class destination with posh hotels, fancy restaurants, and fine cultural institutions. These days, the chic city by the sea has pretty much shaken off its spring break-Fort Liquordale rep. But not completely. After all, what are the holidays without a little revelry? The Fort Lauderdale Bus Loop is bringing just that and spreading it all over the city. It's winding around town again this weekend and bringing the holiday spirit along. The first annual Bad Santa Bus Loop kicks off on Friday night. Expect to see Mr. and Mrs. Claus at their finest. Costumes – sexy or silly – are highly encouraged. The sleigh is making stops at Tilted Kilt, American Social, Fork and Balls, Tarpon Bend, the Brass Tap, Rhythm and Vine, America's Backyard, and the Crafti Bar. Sign in at Tilted Kilt or the Brass Tap. Participants are entitled to one free drink at each stop. Get on and off as you please.

Proceeds benefit Jessica June Children's Cancer Foundation, Jack and Jill, Covenant House Florida, the Riverwalk Trust, and the Broward Co. Gator Scholarship Fund. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Tilted Kilt is located at 219 S. Andrews Ave. and the Brass Tap at 551 N. Federal Highway #600 in Fort Lauderdale. Visit busloop.org. 

The Kim Jong-Il Show was one of the many prescient highlights of MADtv's 14-season run. It reimagined the humorless dictator as the smirking, mugging, quipping host of a late-night talk show on Korean state television, where anyone who failed to laugh at one of his jokes would be summarily shot. For MADtv's producers, casting Kim was a no-brainer: The honor went to Bobby Lee, the series' only cast member of Asian descent for its final eight years. In fact, any character remotely Asian found its way to Lee's desk, from the "Blind Kung-Fu Master" to Connie Chung. Born in San Diego to Korean-American parents, Lee's ethnicity – and his strong writing chops – arguably helped MADtv satirize more Asian stereotypes than any other American sketch series. It's a prestigious honor for a comic whose introduction to the funny business was born more of economic convenience than inspiration: When the California coffee shop where he worked closed down, he walked into the adjacent property and got a job, which happened to be the La Jolla Comedy Store. A few months later, he took the stage at an amateur night, and voila! He's been a high-energy physical comedian ever since, with his Asian heritage and universal Gen-X concerns influencing his material.

See Lee at 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, and 7 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday at Fort Lauderdale Improv, located at 5700 Seminole Way in Hollywood. Tickets cost $20. Call 954-981-5653, or visit improvftl.com

Saturday December 19

It's officially 5k season in South Florida, which is the perfect, opportune time to burn off calories before indulging in more holiday food. And although it seems like a pain to run around outside in the El Nino winter humidity, there is a less masochistic version of exercise. Enter the Insane Inflatable 5K, a fun, bouncy race presented by the Music Messenger. Participants will bounce, er, run their way through a three-mile course of inflatable obstacles. Individual entries are certainly allowed, but team entries are most definitely encouraged. Although the 8:45 a.m. wave is sold out (who wants to wake up that early, anyway?), waves from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. are available in 15-minute increments. Packet pickup takes place on Friday from 4 until 7 p.m. at Sports Authority, located at 1901 N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. Bring a picture of the participant's ID through a text, email scan, or photocopy if you are picking up someone else's packet.

Registration is $64 until December 18, so be sure to buy early. For slackers out there, it costs $75 on the actual event day. For $100, participants get an all-access pass for any wave time, even the ones that are full. With registration comes a custom Insane t-shirt, a medal, runner's bib, and access to the Insane Midway. The race takes place on Saturday at Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 NW 11th Place in Lauderhill. Visit InsaneInflatable5k.com/FT-Lauderdale-FL

A Starbucks gift card, a haphazardly wrapped Whitman's Sampler package, a desk calendar with syrupy inspirational quotes for the upcoming new year – while they all may have their place out there somewhere, let that place not be in the pile of gifts at the third-annual Makers Square Holiday Party and Dirty Santa Gift Exchange. That's because, when you get the creative types together who frequent the beloved social club/DIY skill exchange hub, the last thing you'll want to find amongst the holiday merriment are any store-bought trinkets. Creative folks equal better gifts, almost always. Test this theory out Saturday by bringing a gift of a nominal amount (no more than $20 in value) and place it in the pile. Then everyone gets a number, picks a gift with the corresponding number, and fights to keep said gift out of the claws of friends who go after it and have every right to swap out their less-fun gift for yours. Last year's holiday party saw over 120 participants so an on-time arrival of 9 p.m. is strongly suggested. Besides the gifting, there will be drinks for purchase, grilled cheese from T.C. Melts, and live music by Hot Whiskey and Chantil Dukart.

Makers Square members get in free; guest members for the night pay $10. Call 954-361-4114, or visit Makerssquare.com. This is a 21 and older event. Makers Square is located at 1142 NE Sixth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. 

Well, the holidays are upon us and no matter how many times you vowed to have your shopping done during the summer, chances are you still have a few ends to tie up – maybe a new painting for the boss' office or a new, hand-crafted ewer for nana. In any case, FAT Village, MASS District, and other locations nearby are gearing up for the final art walk of the year. Nothing is better than a unique gift and with a raised awareness of the arts happening in Fort Lauderdale, any gift with a provenance from these districts is sure to be cherished. But it is not just about holiday shopping; this art walk is proof positive of Fort Lauderdale's civic commitment to the arts and to the communities of artists and art lovers who've long been clamoring for such an environment.

Christmas Artwalk at FAT Village (521 NW First Ave.), MASS District (807 NE Fourth Ave.), and the surrounding areas will host a holiday-themed art walk replete with vendors, local artists, food trucks, and holiday merriment that can be enjoyed by the whole family from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Visit fatvillage.com and/or massdistrict.co

For more events, visit our online calendar or pick up the print edition of the New Times Broward-Palm Beach every Thursday. To submit an event, use our online form.
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New Times Staff