Things To Do

Night + Day: The Eight Best Things to Do in Broward and Palm Beach This Week

Thursday, December 10

Celebrity chefs. Culinary trendsetters. Upscale digs. Luxury accommodations. You'll get all this — and more — during the ninth-annual Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival, which returns Thursday to Sunday at event locations throughout the Palm Beaches. The annual foodie-focused festival will host a series of culinary events over four days featuring new and returning celebrity chefs and culminating with a refresh of the festival's iconic finale event, the Grand Tasting at the Garden Mall (3101 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens). This year's chef lineup is star-studded, with returning chefs Robert Irvine, Marc Murphy, Christina Tosi, Jeff Mauro, and Elizabeth Falkner. This year, they'll be joined by newcomers Hugh Acheson, Gavin Kaysen, George Mendes, Dena Marino, Michael Ruhlman, Brad Kilgore, and Beau MacMillan, along with local Palm Beach County favorites Clay Conley, Tim Lipman, Sean Brasel, Tory Martindale, Lindsay Autry, and Aaron Black. Headquartered at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach (2800 S. Ocean Blvd.), the festival will include a number of intimate dinners, wine and cocktail tastings, cooking demonstrations, book signings, and seminars discussing the latest culinary trends — many featuring a chance to dine and chat with some of the world's most-renowned chefs and industry leaders.

The 2015 Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival event schedule includes a kickoff chef welcome party, a late-night rock party, and – as always – the grand finale grand chef tasting throwdown competition. Visit

Be nice or leave. It applies everywhere but especially at the dinner table with your family. If this is a policy you endorse, then join LauderAle Brewery owners Joey Farrell and Kyle Jones and the rest of the LauderAle crew for Beer Nice, a family-style dinner. The brewery is teaming up with barbecue-centric restaurant the Red Cow for a five-course beer-pairing dinner. After all, the only things better than being nice are meat and beer. With courses like bratwursts wrapped in puff pastries paired with LauderAle's Bush Brown ale and Red Cow bacon panzanella paired with La Nina blonde ale, it will be a dinner too nice to resist. Winter is coming. And while the rest of the country is freezing, you'll be feasting like a king.

The beer dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the LauderAle Brewery, located at 3305 SE 14th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are on sale on for $50 per person, but only 60 will be sold. Visit or, or call 954-653-9711. 

Friday, December 11

Not since Johnny Cash brought his guitar and an outlaw's empathy to the institutional interiors of Folsom and San Quentin prisons has an entertainer had as much impact on the locked-up as Jeff Ross. The fearless comedian, whose Comedy Central roasting infamy has earned him the sobriquet Roastmaster General, stepped out of most everybody's comfort zone earlier this year to record his latest special: Live at Brazos County Jail. His performance in the Texas prison — which he opened with the line "Where are my murderers at?" and then counted the show of hands that followed — humanized the inmates through humor, in much the way Cash humanized the incarcerated through the lyrics of his jailhouse ballads. Back among the unincarcerated, Ross' roasting résumé has ranged from Pamela Anderson to Donald Trump to Justin Bieber, and he crosses lines of good taste more than any other roaster, happy to engender boos as well as howls of appreciation. One critic wrote that "watching Jeff Ross roast live was like seeing Eric Clapton stroll into a Guitar Center and start playing 'Layla.' " His live tours typically combine a healthy dose of standup with an audience roasting session: If you're lucky, you might just be called onto the makeshift dais and become one of the General's next victims.

Ross performs at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Thursday, 7 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, and 7 p.m. Saturday, at Fort Lauderdale Improv, located at 5700 Seminole Way in Hollywood. Tickets cost $25. Call 954-981-5653, or visit

Saturday, December 12

Jaden Auslander is 9 years old and in the fourth grade. Since he was 3, all he has wanted to do is dance. Sadly, he hasn't done that in over a year because of arthritis in his knees, ankles, spine, hips, and shoulders. Instead, he's had to see a pediatric rheumatologist regularly to endure painful injections of chemo and biologic medications. Since January, Jaden's arthritis has been in remission, but he still deals with chronic pain and fatigue — and he's not alone. Here in Florida, the land of the snowbirds, it's not hard to believe that one in three (about 6.6 million) residents has arthritis, but it's a shocking fact that more than 16,000 of them are children. Arthritis sufferers are often told that it's important to keep moving, and you can help by doing just that at Saturday's Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run/Walk. To help raise funds to find a cure for arthritis — the leading cause of disability in the United States — throw on a wacky holiday costume and lace up your sneakers. Every year, the event also honors those who have worked tirelessly in the field of arthritis care and research. This year's honoree, along with Jaden, is Richard Zavoyski, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and past University of Miami chief resident who specializes in minimally invasive joint replacement surgery.

Take part in the Jingle Bell 5k Run/Walk, held on the Nova Southeastern University campus (3301 College Ave. in Fort Lauderdale). Registration begins at 7 a.m., and the race begins at 8. Adult registration is $35; youth registration (ages 12 and under) is $20. Visit

Amy Schumer isn't just the female comedian America wants; she's the female comedian America needs. From her uncensored online short "The Last Fuckable Day" with fellow funny female phenoms Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Patricia Arquette to nearly nude pics with Annie Leibovitz, Schumer has been putting it all out there. Her jokes often hold a mirror up to sexist stereotypes, but she manages to do it without any hint of agenda. In other words, she isn't being funny to make a point. She's just being funny. If you're too stupid to get the point, then, well that's also kind of the point. Schumer is a female comic for a new generation; she's brash and gross and in-your-face. In a world overrun by political correctness and online sensitivity police, Schumer doesn't shy away from insulting anyone if the joke calls for it. These days, it seems, Schumer can do no wrong. Her Comedy Central series, Inside Amy Schumer, has been a hit since it premiered in 2013, her film Trainwreck — which she cowrote and starred in – did $140 million at the box office, and she's besties with Jennifer Lawrence. In the wake of her most recent HBO special, Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo, she's making a tour stop right here in South Florida.

Catch Schumer at 7 p.m. Saturday at the BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for $49.50 to $150. Visit

There was a time, not all that long ago, when drinkers would sidle up to the bar at their neighborhood haunt, sit on their assigned barstools, their favorite bartender would already know their drink order before it fell from their lips, and patrons would just park it right there for a couple of hours in a Cheers-like neighborhood bar experience. But that scenario is quickly being replaced as the ever-popular Bar Crawl Nation continues to spread its mantra of "I came, I saw, I crawled" to revelers everywhere who want a little variety in their bar time. With the last Fort Lauderdale event garnering 1,500 participants, Bar Crawl Nation is back this weekend with the Christmas-themed Santapalooza Bar Crawl, just in time for the holidays. Participating bars include America's Backyard, Himmarshee Public House, Briny Irish Pub, Cyn Nightclub, Lucky's Tavern, Stache, Dicey Riley's, Bull Market, and Original Fat Cats.

Tickets cost $14.99 in advance, and get you into the bars for free (crawl at your own pace) with a souvenir beer stein for drink specials. Check in at every participating bar between the crawl times of 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday night and earn yourself a souvenir T-shirt. Santa costumes, reindeer antlers, Hanukkah Harry, and various other holiday getups are encouraged but not required. Visit

In New York, Boston, Chicago, or any Northern city, celebrating the holidays means tree- and menorah-lighting ceremonies or parades in the frigid cold. Who the heck feels jolly in a ten-pound winter coat? Fortunately, you don't have to try. When you live in South Florida, boots are just a fashion statement. When we do holiday parties, we do them in flip-flops, and we do them by boat. On Saturday, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Winterfest Boat Parade is back to ring in the season. This year, Nick Cannon is presiding as grand marshal of "The Greatest Show on H2O." Watch as the New River in Fort Lauderdale fills up with festively adorned vessels covered in lights. Staging begins at the Stranahan House (335 SE Sixth Ave.) with boats lining up along the river all the way to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave.). The theme for the 44th-annual event is "Fairy Tales Afloat." You can catch the parade at spots all along the river and the Intracoastal, but there are also special seating areas open to the public.

There's a grandstand viewing area ($25 per adult) at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park (3109 E. Sunrise Blvd.); gates open at 3:30 p.m. The Riverside Hotel (620 E. Las Olas Blvd.) offers multiple viewing options, including Frozen-themed stadium seating ($30), an Alice in Wonderland-themed dock party ($75) with an open bar (must be 21 to enter), and a River Patio VIP party ($125) with an open bar, buffet, and Little Red Riding Hood theme. The Historic Downtowner Saloon (10 S. New River Drive E.) has prime views as well. Bridges start going up at 6 p.m. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Visit

Sunday, December 13

With all the Christmas events and festivities going on, sometimes it feels that certain holidays are a little neglected. Luckily, in South Florida, Chanukah gets its due. In its 15th year, the annual Grand Chanukah Fair presented by the Downtown Jewish Center Chabad takes the Jewish festival of lights to the streets of Fort Lauderdale with fun for the whole family. Festivities include children's rides, carnival games, bounce houses, and street food. Although admission is free, rides are ticketed. Unlimited ride tickets cost $15 per child in advance, $20 at the gate. There will also be educational activities, such as a free half-hour class called "Chanukah Mommy & Me" at 2 p.m. Of course, a Chanukah fair would be incomplete without the menorah-lighting ceremony, which features the Hebrew School Choir at 4 p.m.

The Annual Grand Chanukah Fair will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Huizenga Plaza, located at 32 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Visit for tickets. 

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New Times Staff