Resplendent with creatively displayed, informative exhibits and beaming with an array of interactive events, Sandoway House Nature Center delights visitors eager to engage with wildlife and local ecosystems. Meander through the popular shark exhibit, taking thrilling ganders at now-harmless jaws from more than 80 different species, including a replica of the world-record-holding great white jaw and pictures of it earning its other world record in hot-dog eating. The Florida reptile room showcases a plethora of native slitherers along with a variety of invasive species, and daily shark feedings display the predator's ravenous ferocity. Groupon guests spend their $5 credit at the gift store, and members take advantage of a blanket discount of 15% off goods, stocking up on crack-your-own geodes ($3.50), or grabbing handfuls of mixed fossil shark teeth to create edgy jewelry or exciting dentures ($2/bag). Members also receive free admission to the center for one year, as well as a newsletter and invitations to special events.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba.
Self-made industry guru Alicia Sanchez, whose Favala Designs has been featured in fashion-week events in New York, Trinidad and Tobago, and Europe, shares her expertise with kids and adults at La Sewing Café. Her children’s classes fuel creativity by introducing wee ones to the notion of haute couture and teaching them sewing basics both by hand and on a machine before they start designing patterns of their own. Elsewhere in the studio, adults can be found making outfits and organic treats for their dogs or creating holiday-themed home projects.
A nationally sourced all-star roster of professional singers, Seraphic Fire weaves complex vocals and dynamic performance into a shimmering audio-visual tapestry. Their popular Christmas program features English, Spanish, and American carols, sung with classical poise and seasonally appropriate gusto. Patrons can fill their ears amidst flickering candlelight, and enjoy sweeter sounds than those produced by well-intentioned but atonal door-to-door carolers and traveling reindeer choirs.
Though SoLita Delray's lounge-like atmosphere hosts live music and DJs on the weekend, nightlife isn't even its main draw. In addition to a bustling lounge and courtyard, SoLita—or "south of Little Italy"— houses a hopping kitchen where chefs cook Italian meals using generations-old family recipes. Local and imported ingredients give zings of flavor to all dishes. Fresh pastas come draped in sauces from light, spicy tomato broth to rich mascarpone cream. For heartier fare, chefs grill rib-eye steaks, veal chops, and filet mignon or roast whole fish with lemon, olive oil, and jokes about diminutive fin size.