Within Art Connection's 45,000-square-foot factory, showroom, and production facility, patrons can sift through a vast collection of decorative prints and posters that include both classic and contemporary art. Enlist a 30"x24" print of Monet's Impression, Sunrise ($16.99) or Picasso's Violin and Guitar ($17.99) to teach dry wall about Impressionism, Cubism, and cultural elitism. A 35"x35" museum-quality print of Tuscan Summer ($60.99) can help to gussy up a drab cubicle, whereas a 22"x34" poster featuring The Office characters ($9.99) can bring workday doldrums into a painstakingly pleasant living room. Attract two-dimensional bees with a poster from Art Connection's extensive floral collection, then peruse the vast collection of frames for a portrait protector to keep it safe from roaming dust mites and ice-cream-wielding 4-year-olds.
Art-Sea Living owner Babs Lentz caught the entrepreneurial bug at age 12, when she helped her father sell his car for $200 more than what he was asking. But Lentz has always intertwined her business savvy with free-spirit artistry, creating a children’s clothing line, designing jewelry, and opening the Art-Sea Living boutique gallery. Inside this welcoming studio, Lentz displays her own handmade creations as well as items from other local designers. Above all, she believes that art can be a great healer. Visitors can unleash their own inner artists during pottery-painting sessions, clay-sculpting classes, and watercolor studies. And for special events, Art-Sea Living can bring its studio on wheels to your party, offering paint-your-own pottery, wineglass painting, and more.
Two floors of interactive exhibits help the Schoolhouse Children's Museum and Learning Center teach its pint-sized patrons about the history of the South Florida region. Mini milk-chuggers can indulge their lactose leanings at the Dairy Days exhibit, where they can take a turn milking a cow, whereas tractor-crazy tots might head for the Farmhouse, where they can role-play to learn about local agri-history. A 15-foot model of the Jupiter Lighthouse sports an animatronic clone of pioneer Hannibal Pierce that talks to visiting children during museum hours and sings baritone in the after-hours choir.
At Artful Dreamers Studio, artist Nadine Hamil evokes attendees' inner artists with sundry workshops that encourage creativity to flourish. During 90-minute kids' creative-art classes, tykes romp through the airy, bright studio painting on easels and donning masks with their imaginary friend, Van Gogh. Three-hour Intuitive Painting classes allow students to relinquish creative restraint and artistically express themselves. Two-hour wine-and-painting classes encourage patrons to imbibe and doodle with provided art supplies for the most inspired combination of art and alcohol since Michelangelo painted the ceiling of his local bar and grill.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and located in the heart of the city, Stranahan House stands as one of the few remaining shadows of Fort Lauderdale’s pioneer heritage. The house was constructed in 1901 by the eponymous Frank Stranahan as a trading post for early settlers, native Seminole Indians, and the now-extinct verbose alligator. After the burgeoning town appropriated it for use as a post office, town hall, and more through the decades, historians painstakingly restored it to its 1913–1915 glory. On three daily tours lasting 45 to 60 minutes, expert guides lead local history buffs through its rooms, detailing the house's multitudinous uses, showing off its Victorian furniture, and offering a glimpse into the vernacular architecture of the bygone era.