Before paved streets and residential blocks took its place, a maze of wetlands rife with rustling wildlife thrived in Central Florida. Such a scene is hard to imagine amid a backdrop of loud car horns, but skeptical visitors to The Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science can travel back in time and see it for themselves on a stroll through the museum’s 19.5-acre nature preserve.
This remarkable preserve joins special exhibits dedicated to regional and cultural artifacts in fulfilling the museum’s mission to keep Florida’s heritage alive in the minds of its current inhabitants. Since the nonprofit facility first opened in 1973, an influx of state and philanthropic funding has spawned further expansion. One of the most crucial add-ons, the Taylor Wing, now houses a nonstop procession of visiting exhibitions and the kid-themed Imagination Center, where young hands can touch actual fossils of mammoths and 8-track tapes. Popular ongoing exhibits include large dioramas of local ecosystems and the Windover Story exhibit, which illustrates how the residents of Brevard County lived 7,000 years ago.
Phantom Fireworks first burst onto the scene more than three decades ago. Today, the company lights up backyards of America from coast-to-coast with more than 1,200 permanent and temporary locations.
Much like its products, Phantom?s employees frequently take to the skies. They travel around the globe in search of the industry's latest ground and aerial displays before returning home with rockets, missiles, fountains, and aerial repeaters. From there, an extensive in-house testing program takes over, checking each item's safety before it?s sold to the public.
That testing program is just one of Phantom?s pillars of safety. The company also holds memberships with multiple pyrotechnics organizations, and it offers customers additional information about fireworks laws and history through its Fireworks University.
For the past 15 years, Oviedo and Port St. John Eye Care's knowledgeable staff—led by board-certified optometrists Dr. Robert S. Webster and Dr. Stephen J. Thomas—has been striving to treat each patient that walks through their doors like family. They do so by taking the time to learn each patient's history, which helps them better assess ocular conditions during preliminary tests, visual-acuity and refraction measurements, and eye-health evaluations. Once prescriptions are known, the staff helps patients sort through over 1,000 frames, including high-end brands such as Gucci and Vera Wang, to find their ideal match. The staff shows equal love for the environment by taking on green initiatives, such as switching to all-natural cleaners, using recyclable polyethylene bags, and declaring fern the new pink.
Owner Mary Myers believes in sharing the gift of movement with everyone. She offers dance and music instruction to students of all abilities and helms sessions specifically catered to autistic and hearing-impaired students. At her family-run studio, students sample different flavors of the diverse class offerings, from the peppy steps of merengue to the honky-tonk struts of line dancing. She also leads a variety of dance-fitness classes to help students carve off calories with sessions such as belly dance and Flamenco Fit. Further fostering patrons' passion for beats, the instructors teach introductory violin lessons and music theory to help students unravel the complexities of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
It has been said that smell is the sense most closely tied to memory, which explains why visitors to Scentchips Cocoa Village often linger in nostalgic reverie over the store’s 64 varieties of wickless candle chips. The possibilities don’t stop at these elemental aromas, as each can be blended with up to three others to create more than 30,000 unique scent combinations. Carved into the shapes of leaves and flowers, the chips simmer in warmers that diffuse their scents throughout the rooms of your home, masking pet odors and the smell of fear that emanates from under your child’s bed.
At HART, Hidden Acres Rescue for Thoroughbreds, instructor Shannon Norris calls upon 30 years of riding expertise to guide students on instructional trots. In groups of six or fewer, they glean essential techniques for balance and safety and learn about steering methods to prevent horses from running off at the first sound of the ice-cream man’s bell. Norris also ensures that students practice barn safety, grooming, and general equestrian care. Lessons take place on the center’s open arenas and grass paddocks, which border a wildlife preserve that allows pupils to bond with the natural environment.