It's the weekend before Christmas, and we're all in a hurry. Last-minute presents, trips to the mall, picking up relatives at the airport.
Just remember to take a minute or two to actually enjoy the season. Have a good meal with friends, donate a toy to charity, or become Santa for a day.
This weekend is filled with good cheer, and it starts now!
Star Wars With Cocktails
Star Wars: The Force Awakens officially opens today. I've seen it, and let me tell you, the most shocking scene was — nah! I'll let you see for yourself what happens to Luke, Leia, Han Solo, and the new kids in the galaxy. I will say that the only thing better than watching Star Wars is watching it with a cocktail in hand. The iPic Theater in North Miami Beach and Cinépolis in Coconut Grove have created special Star Wars-themed cocktails. iPic is serving a Galactic Blue Mule that changes color when you add lime ($11 or $6 for a nonalcoholic version), and Cinépolis is offering a limited-edition popcorn tin and movie poster.
Dinner Lab Returns to Miami
Dinner Lab returns to Miami tonight, December 18, with a Brazilian theme. Launched in 2012, it's a social dining experiment that brings together chefs and diners in a roving, pop-up dinner party. Tonight, December 18, Dinner Lab will recreate a Rio Boteco, where you'll sip on Bombay Sapphire gin cocktails like the Red Sapphire Sunrise and Bombay mule before your six-course dinner prepared by chef Victor Lara (Vex Culinary). The menu includes pão de queijo (minas cheese with roasted romesco), salada acarajé (pepper shrimp with black eyed peas and watercress with spicy passion fruit vinaigrette), seared scallop bobo (dendê oil-poached scallop with shrimp and yuca mash, grapefruit gastrique, and cilantro), moqueca (crispy grouper with grilled peppers, coconut velouté, uni mousse, and herb crackers), feijoada (smoked sausage with garlic rice cake, black beans, and collards, and pickled orange yuca chips), and street sweets for dessert.
The dinner is located at MADE at the Citadel at 8325 NE Second Ave., Miami, and the membership fee is $175. To sign up, visit dinnerlab.com.
Hoppy Holidays From South Florida on Tap
South Florida on Tap is playing Santa this year by giving away 12 brew-centric prizes — one per day for the 12 days of Beer-mas. Nifty gifties like neon beer signs, a director's chair, a paddle board, a beer dinner for two, and a vintage-style bike are only some of the prizes you can win. Best of all, you don't even have to leave the privacy of your house to enter. Just visit the South Florida on Tap Facebook page and enter. Each evening at 5 p.m., the good beer-elves at South Florida on Tap will choose a winner at random.
Sakaya Kitchen Turns Six
It's hard to believe, but Sakaya Kitchen just turned six yesterday. Chef/owner Richard Hales' restaurant is actually the longest running restaurant at the Shops at Midtown Miami, and for good reason. His fusion of Asian flavors and comfort food never disappoints. But they say time brings familiarity and we are all fickle humans who stray to the next shiny new thing — be it the latest model car or the new restaurant that opened down the block. This weekend, why not use Sakaya's sixth birthday as a reason to reacquaint yourself with its chunk'd tater tots topped with cheese and kalbi beef ($10), KFC Korean fried chicken wings ($7), and pork buns ($8). After all, sometimes your first love turns out to be the best.
Toy Drive at Foxhole
At Christmastime, it's pretty easy to get caught up in the holiday rush of shopping, parties, and general merrymaking. It's a good time to stop for a moment and do something nice for yourself and others. It's as easy as picking up an extra toy or two at Target for a child this Christmas that might otherwise have no presents to unwrap.
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SHOW ME HOW
Tonight, December 18, bring a new, unwrapped toy or two to Foxhole in Miami Beach from 9 to 11 p.m. The toys will be give to Toys for Tots annual gift drive. In return, you'll be gifted with a complimentary Wodka Vodka drink. Buddy the Elf would be proud!
Jingle Bell Jog
Here's your chance to play Santa! On Sunday, December 20, Tropical Park will be invaded by Santas — thousands of them — and you can be part of the action. Starting at 7:30 a.m., you'll join thousands of Santas for a brisk 5K run. After, you'll be rewarded with a candy cane medal and be treated to egg nog. The only catch? You have to run in a Santa suit. Don't have one? You actually get one when you register, along with jingle bells for your running shoes. Sounds awesome? It kinda is. Registration is $35 at Active.com and includes your Santa suit and post-race holiday goodies.