Giant toy soldiers clothed in thousands of colored lights wave at passersby as glowing reindeer take off into the dusk. Towering Christmas trees topped with stars glimmer and glisten with blue and green fiber optics. At Santa's Enchanted Forest, one of the world’s largest Christmas-themed amusement parks, holiday spirit and festive music fill the air long before the end of December. Visitors laugh and shriek on a multitude of carnival rides, including whirling swings, bumper cars, tower drops, and roller coasters, whipping through the air until their cheeks are as rosy as old Saint Nick’s. Traditional carnival games are also on hand, such as dart tosses and soccer-ball kicks, to complement more unconventional carnival amusements such as giant plastic balls to roll around in and a rock-climbing wall to scale. Wee visitors, meanwhile, can make the acquaintance of small livestock in a petting zoo or draw a portrait of their favorite goat in royal costume on a wall-size coloring-book mural. Carnival food, such as barbecue, pizza, and cinnamon donuts, fuels guests as they conquer rides or take in the Cats of the World Tiger Show, the Cirque Equinox, or the Sea Lion Splash Spectacular.
When the University of Miami's Lowe Art Museum began in 1952, the school could comfortably display its entire collection in three unused classrooms. Those days are long past. Today, the museum stands as Miami's most comprehensive collection of western and non-western art. The permanent collections feature pieces drawn from across human history, with notable works including Claude Monet's Waterloo Bridge and a recently acquired face mask from the Dan people of Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, forged from wood, cloth, and fur. A sizable trove of Native American artifacts includes pieces from the Southeast such as a beautifully embroidered bead shoulder bag. Other exhibits include paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photographs from the Middle Ages through the present, including the Samuel H. Kress Collection of Renaissance and Baroque art, as well as pottery, sculpture, and metalwork from ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, dating from the first millennium BCE through the 4th century CE.
A few miles away, the tower of the 1939 Old Police and Fire Station rises above the street, gazing down on an unusual blend of sleek, depression-era modernism and Mediterranean revival ornateness. Founded in 2003, the Coral Gables Museum Corp. completely renovated the old municipal building. Spanish touches were added—the new Fewell wing and a 5,000-square-foot plaza—and the space was opened in 2011 as a museum dedicated to the civic arts of architecture, urban design, historic and environmental preservation, and sustainable development. Today, it holds regular art and design exhibitions, educational events, and concerts.
Making its debut at Actors' Playhouse, the five-time Tony Award–winning black comedy August: Osage County follows a dysfunctional family in rural Oklahoma and the fallout after their alcoholic patriarch disappears. Scribed by 2008 Pulitzer Prize–winner Tracy Letts, audience members hug their adopted playbills as the story unwinds with unspoken secrets and the clan's confrontation with crisis.
Coral Gables Museum celebrates the civic arts of architecture, urban and environmental design through education, scholarship, and exhibitions. By fostering appreciation for the history, vision, and cultural landscape of Coral Gables, the Museum promotes beauty, planning, and historic and environmental preservation.
Splitsville explores contemporary consumption within a bowling framework, combining swankiness with three bars, and a full-service restaurant. Splitsville’s menu, developed under the guidance of one of Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chefs of 2008 Tim Cushman, stacks up and knocks down a cadre of ville plates ($5–$14) including spicy edamame and three-pepper calamari, stomach-stuffing signature plates ($14–$19) including the mahi mahi with voodoo shrimp and filet mignon, and big bowl drinks ($21) including the rum bowl and voodoo juice bowl. Diners sprinkle the restaurant with chatter as they dive into their choice of sauced steaks, generous pizzas, and rolls from the on-site sushi bar to the musical vibrations blowing from the speakers. After 8 p.m., all diners younger than 21 turn into pumpkin-shaped bowling balls and the fine hobby-sport decorum requests an evening-casual dress code as the crowd usurps the restaurant’s reins for nocturnal nourishment with energetic music.
From a scenic, outdoor perch overlooking Biscayne Bay, yoga instructor Gabby Goldbaum guides students through salubrious asanas in stress-obliterating group sessions. In the timeless practice of exercise by mimicry, patrons emulate Gabby as she moves fluidly between poses culled from the Hatha yoga tradition, keeping patrons ever mindful of breath control and the coterie of heist-planning waterfowl squawking conspiratorially at water's edge.
The most recent addition to Paragon Theaters’ repertoire of upscale movie venues, Paragon Grove Theater cushions customers in the plush luxury of its newly renovated theaters. Stadium-style seats pad posteriors as their owners gaze upon the silver screens from clear vantage points. An expanded concessions menu sates the palates of moviegoers by presenting a range of hearty fare and, for those of age, beer and wine.
Sony HD digital projectors bathe the towering screens in crystal clearness, granting films a visual crispness so pronounced it has enabled sponsors to advertise their logos in actors' pores. The company plans additional upgrades and outdoor seating to bring all the amenities found in its locations in Miami, Florida, and Burnsville and Rochester, Minnesota, to the new Deerfield Beach location.