Make gingerbread cookies at the Ritz-Carlton 

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The Market at Lakewood Ranch Season Opener

Wednesday, Dec. 5

This popular farmers market returns for its second season, with vendors selling dairy, eggs, fresh breads, honey, specialty spices and rubs, baked goods, prepared foods, and so much more. There will also be live music by Trevor Bystrom, the Tampa Bay Lightning's Rolling Thunder bus, sunset yoga, food samples, a Christmas craft workshop and more.

Cultured Vegan Cheese Course

Thursday, Dec. 6 

With the success of its last cultured vegan cheese course, Five Petal Holistic Healing Center returns for another. Learn to make an array of dairy-free cheeses that will rival the real thing. From cream cheese to smoky spreads that can be added to any holiday recipe. Last month's class sold out; get tickets now

Annual Congregational Hanukkah Celebration Dinner

Friday, Dec. 7

Temple Emanu-El is hosting its annual fundraiser for its religious schools. From brisket to latkes, challah and more, the catered buffet begins at 6 p.m., with a service to follow at 7:15 p.m. Tickets will benefit the religious school programming at the temple and are still available online

Holiday Sushi Social

Saturday, Dec. 8 

Skip roasted ham and cranberry sauce an opt for an all-you-can-eat Holiday Sushi Social at Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill, hosted by the Tampa Bay Sushi Society. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Tsunami will offer special off-menu items such as salads, appetizers and, of course, boatloads of sushi. This sushi social also features live entertainment; RSVP is required and you can do so on the group's Facebook page.

Gingerbread Cookie Decorating

Saturday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 15

While it might be hard to make gingerbread cookies that stack up to the creativity of Food Network Halloween Baking Competition winner and Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, executive pastry chef Lyndsy McDonald, baking gingerbread cookies is definitely a holiday pastime that shouldn't be missed. Children will don chef hats at the Ritz at 9:30 a.m. and get to work whipping up delicious holiday treats with the Ritz-Carlton's pastry team. $45 per person; reservations required.

A Taste of Hanukkah Festival

Sunday, Dec. 9

Celebrate the end of Hanukkah with Chabad of Sarasota-Manatee and its Taste of Hanukkah festival. Starting at 3 p.m. at Phillippi Estate Park, this three-hour event will feature hot pretzels, popcorn, latkes and catering by Michael's on East. Tickets are available online; children 13 years and younger enter for free.  

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