Thanksgiving Weekend is one of those weekends that can go in a bazillion different directions: You can sit there, do nothing, and eat gravy all damn weekend. You can rub elbows with some shoppers at your favorite store (or potentially get elbowed in the face). You can spend time with family. Or, once you get sick of them, you can get out of the house and find something else to do.
This is America and the choice is yours. Here are the ten best events happening in South Florida during Thanksgiving weekend.
1. Fort Lauderdale Turkey Trot.
Courtesy Turkey Trot Fort Lauderdale
Before you eat stuffing for five consecutive days, you've gotta earn it. You can get that pre-turkey sweat on at the Fort Lauderdale Turkey Trot, a scenic race taking folks up and down Fort Lauderdale Beach shortly after the break of dawn on Thursday. There is
a 5K run/walk and kids’ dash, so be as competitive as you’d like. It’s the thought of exercising before a big meal that counts! 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 22, starting at the corner of SE Fifth Street and A1A, Fort Lauderdale; turkeytrotfl.com. Registration is $25 to $40.
2. Shelter Shindig at Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center.
Fido and Mittens want something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend, too. Join fellow volunteers on Sunday for 2.5-hour sessions bathing and walking shelter dogs, playing with kittens, eating pizza and helping dogs with their photos for online listings. You’ll be thankful you did it, too. 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 25, at Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center, 2400 SW 42nd St., Fort Lauderdale; facebook.com. Admission is free with RSVP.
3. Thanksgiving Dinner at Mai-Kai.
You can have Thanksgiving at Aunt Gertrude’s. Or you can be surrounded by tikis, Polynesian dancers and have a one-of-a-kind feast. Tough choice! Mai-Kai is having one heck of a Thanksgiving feast, including coconut lobster bisque, roasted turkey, mac and cheese and mango sorbet on top of the usual, stellar entertainment. 3 and 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, at the Mai-Kai Restaurant, 3599 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; maikai.com. Admission is $47.50 with show or $36 without show.
4. Las Olas Food Tour.
Okay, so maybe a Thanksgiving feast isn’t enough food for you and you want to keep the gluttony train going? Well, there’s a Las Olas Food Tour scheduled for Friday evening that has your name on it. Enjoy food and wine samplings from a selection of Las Olas’ top restaurants as you walk around town with fellow foodies. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 23, starting at the northeast corner of Ninth Avenue and Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale; sunny.org. Admission is $79.
5. Full Moon Yoga at Hilton West Palm Beach.
There will be a full moon on Black Friday which means... shopping that day is going to be extra psychotic. So, if you’re looking for something on the opposite end of the loony spectrum, there will be a calm, relaxing and reflective Full Moon Yoga session on Friday evening with Shelly Saunier at the Hilton in WPB. 8 p.m. Friday, November 23, at Hilton West Palm Beach, 600 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; facebook.com. $10 suggested donation.
6. Elton John at BB&T Center.
Photo by Andrew Potter
This is one of those moments that you could really look back and regret: “I had a chance to see Elton John’s final tour over Thanksgiving weekend and I missed it.” Don’t let that happen. Sir Elton’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour hits the BB&T Center on Friday evening (and the tour will be back in March, too). While it’s technically sold out, you’ll find a way to hear “Tiny Dancer” and “Bennie and the Jets” one more time live, right? 8 p.m. on Friday, November 23, at BB&T Center, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise; thebbtcenter.com. Tickets start at $132.
7. ‘Yarn Bomb’ Some Trees in Fort Lauderdale.
For a sixth consecutive year, some trees along Andrews Ave. in Downtown Fort Lauderdale are being covered with yarn in a holiday fashion. This year’s Yarn Bombing is happening on Saturday and ten street trees will be decorated to bring The Nutcracker
to life. With Thanksgiving 2018 in the books, it’s holiday time, folks. 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 24, along Andrews Avenue (435 N. Andrews Ave.), Fort Lauderdale; sunny.org. Admission is free.
8. Largest Group Sake Bomb World Record Attempt in Boca Raton.
Courtesy Kapow Noodle Bar
Your drinking skills are needed. Last year, Kapow Noodle Bar in Boca set the Guinness World Record for having 221 folks down sake bombs. A wily group of Texans has since broken that record. Now it’s time for Kapow (and you!) to reclaim the title, with a goal of 300 folks partaking in the rematch. Show up, down a sake bomb and (hopefully) celebrate. This event also takes place during Kapow's annual Movember — there will be a Tito's Tailgate BBQ, college football, and a performance by Uproot Hootenanny. 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 24, at Kapow Noodle Bar, 431 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; facebook.com. Admission is free.
9. Michael McDonald in Coconut Creek.
Steely Dan. Toto. The Doobie Brothers. What do they all have in common? Michael McDonald has jammed with them all. Now, you have a chance to see the iconic singer-songwriter in an intimate space on Saturday. Count on the classics – from “What A Fool Believes” to “Yah Mo B There” – and some newbies, stemming from McDonald’s 2017 release, Wide Open
. 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 24, at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 NW 40th St., Coconut Creek; seminolecoconutcreekcasino.com. Tickets are $50 to $80.
10. Polar Express Rides on Brightline.
Brightline Polar Express
You may remember the Chris Van Allsburg tale. And, the Tom Hanks film is a classic. Now it’s time to ride the Polar Express. Select Brightline trains departing from Fort Lauderdale have been morphed into a winter wonderland, including a handful of trains on Sunday. Enjoy performances by dancing chefs and carolers as well as treats including hot chocolate and cookies all onboard. 10 a.m., Noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday, November 25, at Brightline’s Fort Lauderdale Station, 101 NW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale; ftlthepolarexpressride.com. Tickets are $50 to $65.