In less than a week, Santa will hop into his sleigh for a one-night toy-delivery tour around the globe. In the meantime, he’s showing up at various events and venues in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
Beware his rosy cheeks and merry chuckle.
Folks in Fort Lauderdale are preparing to batten down the hatches Saturday night when SantaCon ushers in a rash of red-garbed Saint Nicks in various states of inebriation, clogging the Las Olas corridor.
Whether you'll join the fray or skip it, there are plenty of other entertainment options this weekend that might tickle your fancy. Here are the seven best.
Thursday, December 19
Miracle, the Christmas-themed pop-up bar at Java & Jam on Las Olas Boulevard, is celebrating the holiday season through January 2 with a festive menu of signature cocktails, over-the-top vintage Christmas decorations, traditional carols, and other diversions. Tonight at 7, the pop-up will host Tiny the Tallest Tongue-Twisting Elf in Town — a comic elf on stilts. Miracle has concocted a variety of Christmas cocktails, along with two seasonal shots: the Nice shot, with rum, peppermint, tea, and chocolate, and the Naughty shot, with bourbon and cinnamon. 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Miracle, Java & Jam, 301 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; java-jam.com. Admission is free.
Friday, December 20
The Boca Raton-based theater company Primal Forces is set to present its second show of the season: the powerful, female-focused play by Victor L. Cahn, Villainous Company. Part comedy, part suspense, the Genie Croft-directed production is a dramatic game of cat-and-mouse starring a trio of actors well known in Broward and Palm Beach: Anna Lise Jensen, Elizabeth Price, and Rita Cole. The story opens as Claire returns home from an afternoon at the mall. Soon after realizing a package is missing, she is visited by a mysterious stranger who seems to know all about her suspicious "shopping" habits. Larceny and trickery abound as three women compete in a suspenseful thriller. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through January 12 at Boca Sol Theatre, 3333 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Tickets cost $40 to $45 via primalforces.com.
Saturday, December 21
"Building a Feminist Archive: Cuban Women Photographers in the U.S." — an art exhibition showing the work of ten women whose photographic images provide a glimpse into diverse histories of migration, community, activism, and resistance — will conclude this Saturday at Bailey Contemporary Arts in Pompano Beach. The exhibition is part of launching activities for the Women Photographers International Archive, an emerging organization dedicated to research on, promotion of, support for, and education about the role of women, and those identifying as women, in photography. Participating artists include Aurora de Armendi, Carlotta Boettcher, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Coco Fusco, Nereida García Ferraz, Silvia Lizama, María Martínez-Cañas, Yali Romagoza, Gladys Triana, and Juana Valdés. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Bailey Contemporary Arts, 41 NE First St., Pompano Beach; baileyarts.org. Admission is free.
The woman who turned the violin into a lightning bolt of electronica is set to strike the Broward Center for the Performing Arts this Saturday night. Lindsey Stirling is an impresario of electronic music as well as a dancer. The 33-year-old is also considered one of the 21st Century's most innovative stars for her groundbreaking vision of cinematic violin-driven electric-music melodies. Her appearance in Fort Lauderdale is part of her Warmer in the Winter Tour and will likely tap into the holiday music from her best-selling 2017 album of the same name. Stirling has topped Billboard's Dance/Electronic and Classical album charts and received multiple Billboard Music Awards. She also was runnerup on Season 25 of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars with partner Mark Ballas. 8 p.m. Saturday at the Broward Center for Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; browardcenter.org. Tickets cost $39.50 to $89.50.
Beer is apparently the word of the year in this holiday-sopped world. In Delray Beach, Old School Square will host the second-annual Winter Craft Beer Garden — and the venue is a can't-miss in downtown Delray. Local-brewery favorites will be among the many seasonal suds that will be served where folks gather at the 100-foot Christmas tree downtown, at the intersection of Swinton and Atlantic Avenues. The now-annual Winter Beer Garden tides craft brew fans over until next year's Delray Beach Craft Beer Fest — the ninth-annual event is set for May 8. Until then, this Saturday, you can get your first brew free in the beer garden with the purchase of a 12-ounce commemorative mug ($15). Additional pours will cost $5 each. Lawn games, raffles, a full cash bar, and a holiday DJ will make it a fun evening of beer slams. 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday in Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Admission is free. dbcraftbeerfest.org.
On the topic of adult beverages: Plenty will be served, consumed, and possibly regurgitated Saturday when SantaCon and its holiday-garbed brethren stagger into Fort Lauderdale. The local version of this now-international annual bar crawl, SantaCon Fort Lauderdale will make its merry way along Las Olas Boulevard, while the similar but unaffiliated Santa Squad Bar Crawl takes place around Flagler Village in Fort Lauderdale. A short walk will get you from one to the other — roughly ten or so city blocks separate the two — depending upon your tolerance, of course. If Santas are too tipsy to hoof it or (God forbid) maneuver an e-scooter, Uber and Lyft are ever-present in the area.
Also on Saturday is the fifth-annual West Palm Santa Squard Bar Crawl, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at City Place at Clematis Street and Rosemary Avenue in Palm Beach. Tickets cost $20 via westpalmbarcrawl.com.
SantaCon Fort Lauderdale is set for 7 p.m. at Township FTL, 291 S. Andrews Ave., on the west end of Las Olas. There's no admission charge. As the river of Santas winds eastward, bars along the way will serve $5 wells and $3 beers. A charity raffle at Township will benefit Jack & Jill Children's Center.
The gathering point for the Santa Squad Bar Crawl is the Brass Tap, 551 N. Federal Hwy. The festively dressed will get free cocktails or beer along the way. Presale tickets cost $22 via fortlauderdalebarcrawl.com.
The Bad SantaCon Block Party — because SantaCon needs a good afterparty — will take place after midnight at Chops + Hops Axe Throwing Lodge, 702 NE First Ave. The no-cover get-together will offer live music, drink specials, and ax-throwing games.
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And that's exactly how 2019 should be remembered, with images of drunken, ax-wielding Santas.
Looking ahead to 2020
Adam Sandler is set to hit Hard Rock Live in Hollywood Friday, March 13. The news is ample reason to fast-forward your Christmas-heavy holiday mixtape to "The Hanukkah Song." Tickets ranging in price from $50 to $175 will go on sale this Friday via myhrl.com. The Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood is going all-in with standup comedy in the newly renovated Hard Rock Live and its new Comedy Club. Ahead of Sandler's appearance, Hard Rock Live will host Trevor Noah January 18 and Steve Martin January 25. The Comedy Club will welcome Gilbert Gottfried for six shows beginning January 23.