Floating movies 😱, family day events, and trot your socks off on Turkey Day

Next week the FFFTL newsletter will take a pause for triptophan and in celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday. But before we sit down to count all our blessings, check out the full plate of events below:

  • If you like attending Family Fun Day events - we've got several of them from which to pick
  • Fort Lauderdale is postcard material when it comes to Christmas on the Beach, and this week the lights go up
  • Want to get your groove on? We've got several music options this weekend to get you going

Things You Won't Want To Miss This Week:

  1. The holiday season is fully upon us, including the series of Light Up events hosted by the City of Fort Lauderdale's Parks & Rec. Tonight (Thursday the 17th) it's Light Up The Galt at the Beach Community Center. It will be an enchanted evening of live music, entertainment, food, and fun for the entire family. And on Tuesday the 22nd, it will be the Light Up The Beach event at The Loop on Las Olas Oceanside Park. With the illumination of more than 50,000 holiday lights along our picturesque beachfront and the return of “Olas,” our wildly popular larger-than-life 20-foot beach snowman at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard. Highlights include performances by the Bobby Rodriguez Orchestra plus a kids zone with Santa, inflatables, slides, pony rides, and more. (Both Free)
  2. On Friday night, it is another rendition of Friday Night Sound Waves down at The Loop. Come on shake your body and baby feel that conga, when Mantrap takes the stage, bringing the best of Miami’s 70’s scene along with pop songs from today. (Free)
  3. On Saturday during the day, it's the Family Day Event at The Bonnet House Museum & Garden. The day’s activities include live music by the **Gold Coast Youth Orchestra at 10:00 am & 11:15 am on the lovely veranda. Visitors will also have the opportunity to tour the historic house museum filled with a delightful collection of art and personal treasures from the Bartlett family as well as explore the nature trails filled with native plants, trees, and an occasional monkey. (Tickets and Children Under 13 Are Free)
  4. Saturday night, join All Saints Episcopal on the New River for the Floating Films by Starlight. This month it's a special showing of “The Princess and the Frog!” Everyone is welcome to attend our free movie night hosted at Brion Park. Don’t forget to pack an extra sweater since the nights are getting chillier. (Free)
  5. One of the big events of the year that you won't to miss, is the annual Winterfest Family Fun Day at Esplanade Park. That happens this Sunday, starting at 10am. This event offers many FREE activities for kids of all ages–and parents, too! This holiday event features giant slides such as the Alpine Woods Toboggan Tunnel, Polar Express Slide, Catabella Express Train, and other activities. (Free)
  6. The Broward Center is gearing up with amazing shows for the holiday season, including two options this weekend. Tonight (Thursday the 17th) it's the Straight No Chaser 25th Anniversary Celebration All Maile A Capella Singers. Apparently these guys put on quite a show and have been racking up awards (plus over 1.5 million tickets sold). Both Tonight and Friday night you can also see African Style Dance with the Ronald K. Brown Dance Company. (Tix and Tix)
  7. On Monday the 21st, the Human Society is hosting the PAWS Shopping Extravaganza at the Coral Ridge Country Club. Guests will enjoy drinks and light bites while perusing a selection of jewelry, home decor, clothing, pet items and so much more. You can also participate in the Lucky Draw Auction featuring items from participating vendors.
  8. Next week - NO NEWSLETTER - as we will be taking the day off the celebrate Thanksgiving. But that doesn't mean you won't want to get up early, lace up your sneakers and join the 11th Annual Turkey Trot 5k Run. The Fort Lauderdale Turkey Trot has become a Broward County tradition, attracting more than 3,000 participants annually, including runners, joggers, walkers, friends, coworkers, and family. (Register)

FEATURED - Upcoming Light Up Lauderdale Events & More

This week we talked to Tim McGovern from the City of Fort Lauderdale Parks & Rec Special Events division, about all the upcoming events that will bring the holiday spirit to the beaches and local neighborhoods. Hurricane Nicole absconded with the first Light Up event planned for Esplanade Park. But there are more coming, including Light Up Galt and Light Up The Beach next week. There are special holiday events all the way through to the New Year's Eve party on 2nd Street.

We share so many cool events planned and organized by the folks at Parks & Rec, it was cool to meet Tim and hear about some of the folks locally who make these events go as volunteers. Tim will be back to visit us in March when we get closer to the big St. Paddy's Day Festival here in Fort Lauderdale.

So... You Think You Know Fort Lauderdale?

You probably know... about all the cool places and events here in Fort Lauderdale. I mean, that's what we do here with Family Friendly Fort Lauderdale. We keep you in the know. 🙂

But do you know that... if you are willing to drive just a little bit north up to Delray Beach, is the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens. And this weekend is a great time to visit for the Kanji Rocks Craft Activity for children of all ages. Learn how to write some kanji, Chinese characters, and paint it on your very own rock. We've heard there will also be a demonstration of the sacred Sado Tea Ceremony (can't miss).

Starting at Noon, all Family Fun Days are FREE with paid admission.


  • Are you a Fort Lauderdale organization or business with jobs positions to fill. We are gearing up a Family Friendly Fort Lauderdale job board. Hit reply and let us know what you would like to promote.
  • Are you still looking for something RADICAL for your child? Here at AAFTL we have new families shaping up to join us in Dec (Film Maker Quest - Session 3) and January (Detective Science - Session 4). We are thinking it might be cool to gear up with a special onboarding "bootcamp" specifically to help them with "how we do things differently at Acton." If you've been thinking it is time for a change, we should chat 🙂
  • Want a holiday treat that the family will rave about? This past weekend we ordered a tray of Tres Leches cake from Vegan Junkie in Dania Beach. Oh what decadence! It was a big hit and adding the raspberries on top (thanks Martha for the idea)... YUM!
  • Would you be willing to get your freeze on... all in the name of beauty. Discover a whole new way to health and wellness. Visit Cryoyou.com
  • Meet Melanie - the owner of Grace on Face Beauty. She is a licensed esthetician/certified make-up artist with a passion for skin rejuvenation and SUPERIOR customer service. Helping women and men have a more youthful appearance so they can feel more confident, secure, and empowered, she will create skincare treatments for YOUR personal needs.
  • You might have seen the movie with Jack Black, but did you know that School of Rock serves adults too. We all deserve to "Band Together" - with classes at 4 different locations here in Broward County.

Flotsam & Jetsam

You live here (or want to) in the Greater Fort Lauderdale... so you know the cost of living can be a little pricey at times. But how pricey? Enter this tool to help you compare our beloved Venice of America with over 11,000 other cities around the world.

Numbeo is the world’s largest cost of living database. Numbeo is also a crowd-sourced global database of quality of life data: housing indicators, perceived crime rates, healthcare quality, transport quality, and other statistics. Pretty interesting and worth a couple turns of comparing your favorites against one another.

Tell Us How We Are Doing

We are working to improve #FFFTL every week, both for your reading experience and to provide a cutting-edge media apprenticeship opportunity for our learners. We want to hear from you. What do you love? How could we do better?

And most importantly, what FTL businesses and experiences should we be highlighting?