Hotel Congress and Maynards Market and Kitchen host the Second Annual Whiskey Weekend from Thursday, Dec. 17, through Saturday, Dec. 19. Thursday offers a tasting affair at Hotel Congress (311 E. Congress St.) where guests pick 10 tastes from more than 20 whiskey varieties for $15. The festivities move across the street on Friday to Maynards (400 N. Toole Ave.) for a dinner by Chef Addam Buzzalini and a guided tour through five whiskeys and two cocktails, all for $75. Things wrap up on Saturday with another tasting at Hotel Congress, with the same rules and price as the first tasting. You get Sunday to recover. Call 622-8848, or visit www.hotelcongress.com for more information.
Talk about a surreal desert dining experience: Make reservations at Primo or Signature Grill at the JW Marriott Starr Pass (3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd.), and ask for the "Skate and Dine" special. They'll reserve a 25-minute session for you on the Arctic Pass, a 1,500-square-foot temporary skating rink. (The "ice" is synthetic.) Diners pay $3 for a rink ticket; skate rentals are $5 for kids, and $8 for adults. How many chances are you going to get to execute that perfect figure-eight with a saguaro cactus forest on the horizon? The special takes place from Friday, Dec. 18, through Valentine's Day; 792-3500.
The Ventana Room is closed, but Loews Ventana Canyon Resort (7000 N. Resort Drive) still has many of the wines that were served there. Those wines will be available when the resort holds a sale featuring bottles ranging from $10 to several hundred dollars from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 19. The sale takes place in the Ventana Room, and admission is free; champagne and dessert will be served. Call 529-7856 for more information.
Learn the story behind early Jewish Arizonans who spent Christmas dining on Chinese finger foods at an event on Christmas Day at the Jewish History Museum (564 S. Stone Ave.). A movie and vegetarian Chinese buffet will be featured from 2 to 4 p.m., along with a presentation by 92-year-old Esther Don Tang, who will share stories about Tucson's bygone Chinatown, among other things. $10; RSVP is required. Call 670-9073, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP or for more information.