The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
For two months of the year, normally warm-weather Atlanta morphs into a wintry paradise during Global Winter Wonderland. The annual event stretches into January, ushering in featured entertainment, family-friendly happenings, and meet-and-greets with Santa. Here, participants can head to the Global Village to visit replicas of famed sites such as Big Ben, the Sydney Opera House, and the Great Pyramids of Giza, which were originally made out of snow. Elsewhere, holiday fun in the form of giant candy canes, a snowman, and a Christmas castle infuses the grounds with festive cheer. The whole event is set to a rotating soundtrack of live music from artists including funk band DC Cooper, pop singer Lexi, singer Coco Jones, plus dance performances by UniverSoul Circus and SALSAtlanta.
Ranked among Ticketmaster's Top 25 Most Requested Family Events for five consecutive years, UniverSoul Circus grants an interactive spectacle of acrobatic stunts, dance, and comedy set to popular urban sounds. With its swirling lights and pulsing beats, the circus's resemblance to a blowout concert tour is no accident: production designer Tom Marzullo has created internationally touring stage shows for Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, and Prince.
As hosts, a troupe of improv comics slip laughs in between the gasps and draw the crowd even closer into the action. Meanwhile, the production makes jaws drop farther with trained elephants, illusions featuring a live tiger, a head-balancing act from Vietnam, and female contortionists from Ethiopia. These make up just a few of the globally sourced performers, others of whom hail from locales as diverse as Colombia, South Africa, Russia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Atlanta Fair is one of the largest inner-city fairs in the Southeastern United States. It offers a multitude of rides, food, games, and entertainment. Food and games are cash only, so bring some dollars if you're planning on winning a stuffed snake or snacking on funnel cake. Spend some time meandering around the family-friendly grounds in between the coasting, spinning, and whirling of your unlimited rides. Fair-going thrill seekers must abide by the rules of the rides; meaning "you must be this tall to ride," "keep your hands inside the vehicle," and "no affixing flux capacitors to the Tilt-a-Whirl in hopes of achieving time travel."
Certified professional photographer Gene Taylor has fine-tuned his artistic vision while working in photojournalism and portrait photography for more than 30 years. During classes at Your Photo Safari, Gene introduces students to the photographic arts and the workings of DSLR cameras. Sessions begin in classroom settings, allowing students to get acquainted with camera basics as well as advanced features such as setting white balance and reducing blur. After learning how to navigate the multiple settings and buttons on their digital cameras, students traipse to area gardens to explore the natural world through their lenses. The hands-on experience allows students to take home artfully composed shots of plants bathed in natural light or trees planking over riverbanks in a bid for Internet fame.