What drives $34B (billion with a capital B) of economic activity and sits right in our backyard?


Whoah - this holiday season is ON FIRE with fun events. For the last several weeks the calendar has been jammed with fun, and lights, and more fun. Here are some highlights below:

  • One the biggest drivers of economic activity is right here in our backyard ($34 BILLION of annual economic activity) - can you guess what it is? 👇
  • Multiple options to shop (marketplaces), watch movies (even on the water), or get your pajama party on!
  • Need some help with your gift giving ideas this week? Scroll all the way to the bottom

Stuff You Won't Want To Miss This Week:

  1. TONIGHT - it's A Dog Named Christmas as the film on the beach beginning at 6:30pm. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and favorite movie date to Las Olas Oceanside Park. Enjoy complimentary popcorn courtesy of movie night sponsor, JOLLY TIME Pop Corn, and holiday shopping in our vendor marketplace under the stars. (Free)
  2. If you like the idea of an outdoor movie but that was not tonight is not the night for you, maybe take in a Floating Movie at All Saints Episcopal Church on the New River. On Saturday night it will be The Muppets Christmas Carol. (Free)
  3. Friday night- music down by the Beach at Las Olas Oceanside Park as Calyp-Soul gives us the island-version of popular holiday tunes. (Free)
  4. Also on Saturday, it is the Craftapalooza event at the Broward Main Library. With workshops and creation stations (led by students from Dillard and Broward South HS, live music and even a book sale. (Free)
  5. Don't be alarmed on Saturday Night if you see one, two, or dozens of (naughtly and nice) Santas wandering around Las Olas, because its time for the annual SantaCon Pub Crawl. We wonder who will be writing down names on the naughty/nice list when Santas out having fun? 🤔
  6. Because its the holiday season - for a lot of folks that means shopping (locally) and gift giving. And we've got multiple options to help you get your list done:
    1. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - The Holiday Market at Flamingo Gardens
    2. Saturday - the Merry Christmas Market on Las Olas
    3. Saturday - The Oceanside Market at Las Olas Oceanside Park
    4. Sunday - The Sunny Side Village Farmer's and Artisan Market
    5. Sunday - The New River Open Air Market
  7. If you are feeling nostalgic for Tom Hanks and The Polar Express this holiday season, you have a couple of options to get your pajama party fix. MODS is hosting the second of their Polar Express events on Saturday. Broward County Library is also hosting a Polar Express Family Night on Wednesday, December 21st. Come for the train rides, Santa’s visit, interactive model train tours, storytelling, photo station, bell choir, & hot cocoa! Jammies are welcome. (Paid/Free)
  8. Want to try drive your sleigh with Santa at this free spinning class at the YMCA? Get your workout gear on and register for Saturday morning from 9-10am. Stay till Noon for selfies with Santa, Arts & Crafts, and all kinds of family fun. (Free)
  9. Sunday its the annual Chanukah Fair on Las Olas, starting at 12:30pm and followed by the Grand Menorah lighting with city officials 6pm. There will be bounce houses, food trucks, face painting. (Adult admission is free, but children's tickets are paid)
  10. On Tuesday the 20th, stop by the Riverland Branch of the Broward Library for Holiday Music and Crafts for the little ones. This one starts at 3pm and is just around the corner from our Acton campus, timed perfectly for a fun after school event. (Free)
  11. On Wednesday the 21st or the 28th you can catch Todd Sinelli, Master Magician as he entertains for the holidays with illusions for all ages. Shows will be at the Gratefuel Cafe (21st) and Savor Cinema (28th). (Tickets)
  12. What do Sean Astin (you might know him as Samwise Gamgee from the Lord of The Rings) and Oscar winning actress Mia Sorvino have to to with Acton Academy? Next Thursday, December 22nd - come visit AAFTL's first Student Film Festival at Savor Cinema. The first 30 minutes will be short films created by the learners, followed by a brief intermission. The main event will be a feature film, starring Mira Sorvino and Sean Astin with an Acton-twist. Hope we will see you there!


With Over $34 Billion In Annual Economic Activity, Port Everglades is the hub of cruise ships, petroleum products, ferries, container ships, and transportation in South Florida. For this recent episode of the podcast we talked with Jonathan Daniels, the Port Director and Chief Executive of Port Everglades.

Do you have a favorite event, place, business, or organization you would like to see featured on the podcast? HIT REPLY and let us know!

So... You Think You Know Fort Lauderdale?

You probably know... South Florida is ALIVE for the holiday season, with lights, events, and lots of visitors who want to soak up the sun while their neighbors up north are shoveling snow.

But do you know that... amidst all the holiday hustle and bustle, there are secret getaways that will be quiet and help you escape the hullabaloo. For example, have you visited the Sugar Sand Park up in Boca? This one was recommended by FFFTL reader Laura, who enjoys this getaway with her son as a fun place to play and lot's to do in one location.

If you want to stay closer to Fort Lauderdale but still feel like you are worlds away, then you definitely need to explore the Secret Woods Nature Center. Tucked away between the New River and Marina Boulevard, this hidden oasis is 57 acres of nature trails, an exhibit hall, and more. Definitely worth a visit!


  • Get on the water and paddle for the holiday lights with Sunrise Paddleboards. Cruise through the waterways on paddle boards and kayaks checking out all the houses with lights. Anyone can drive around on the roads but paddling the waterways gives it more spice and a great evening outing on the water enjoying the beautiful South Florida winter weather
  • Follow the WaterTaxi on IG and win! Enter our December giveaway on Instagram and you could win two Water Taxi Holiday Lights tickets for Saturday, December 17. Don't miss your chance to take in the sights of the season with tons of holiday lights, enjoy live music and specialty cocktails. To enter, head over to the instagram @fortlauderdalewatertaxi
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Flotsam & Jetsam

Stressed by your holiday gift list and not sure what to buy? Here are tips to save you a headache.

This article “How to become a truly excellent gift giver” has some great advice for gift-giving, including 3 questions to consider when gift-giving.

For example, “Can I introduce someone to something they might not otherwise know about? Can I get them a nicer version of something than they would buy for themselves? Or can I make them feel seen?” Another helpful tip is to write a mini-bio of the recipient to help you hone in on their enthusiasms and interests.

Raise your gift-giving game this holiday season!

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