Opening the Acts 2 Acres Equestrian Center was an ideal decision for Michelle Alvarez, who was eager to make use of both her teaching experience and her lifelong passion for owning and showing horses. Today, her center specializes in training young riders in beginner lessons, which journey through nearby Tradewinds Park's scenic trails and focus on fundamentals such as safety, care, horsemanship, and grooming.
Youth may enjoy mornings at Pony Club or entire days at equestrian camp playing games, filling their noggins with educational material, and riding horses. Acts 2 Acres Equestrian Center is approved by the Girl Scouts of Broward County, meaning that the facility's experienced instructors are accustomed to teaching girl scouts and receiving payment in the form of thin-mint cookies.
On the shores of Lake Boca, only 100 yards from the Atlantic Ocean, Ride-A-Wave doles out rentals from its fleet of WaveRunners and Sea Rays. Its entry-level WaveRunners, three-seat Yamaha VX 110s, can crest swells at up to 60 miles per hour. Alternatively, the open bows of 19-foot and 21-foot Sea Rays let up to eight passengers feel the wind in their chest hair as they steer through tropical waters while listening to the radio and grabbing drinks from the built-in cooler.
Mobile Gaming Events’s owner Jessy gives a new definition to "playing outside." With stations that can be set up beneath tents, his team of gaming experts let party guests play Xbox 360 and Wii consoles amid fresh air and spectating squirrels (game stations can also be set up indoors). Thirty-six-inch TVs or projector screens beam the familiar faces of characters from dozens of games, such as Halo 3 and Mario Kart. Mobile Gaming Events crew also brings along dance pads so players can master DDR and microphones so they can belt out karaoke.
The aroma of salt and butter fills Alco Capital Theaters in Boynton Beach. Manager Larry Forbes has worked in theaters for three decades, having started out projecting midnight rock flicks at a drive-in in Fort Lauderdale. He therefore balances a sentimental attachment to film with the practical aspects that make it good for business. "If there's a problem and you have a technician—which we do onsite all the time—you can fix it immediately," he points out. Although the majority of work is projected from film, the theater's eight screening rooms are not warehouses for nostalgia. Digital and Dolby 3-D projectors deliver sharp pictures and immersive experiences to stadiums of 1,500 lumbar-supportive seats, as digital speakers and ADA listening devices make eardrums quake.
During the winter, moviegoers prepare for the upcoming awards season with a full slate of Academy Award–nominated films. On some summer days 700–800 kids will flood the theater by 10 a.m. for adventure flicks and romantic comedies, and when things slow down in the fall, Forbes fires off notices of indie premieres and director Q&A sessions to members of the Movi-E Mail Club, who have chatted with director Susan Seidelman and burgeoning stars from The Palm Beach County Film & Television Institute. On federal holidays, the staff host a special matinee for students, and every Tuesday they pile free popcorn into reusable plastic buckets and vacant laps. The theater's dedication to its audience extends to special requests—Forbes remembers slipping a man's wedding-proposal video into the previews one night. Although he doesn't remember the film, Forbes does remember the woman's answer: she said yes.
Beads on the Ave combines an impressive selection of gewgaws with expert instruction from the likes of Tonia Turner, affectionately known as "The Bead Doctor." Inside the shop, Swarovski pendants, semiprecious and precious stones, and glittering pieces from local artists glimmer as light floods through them from the all-glass storefront. In the spacious back room, instructors lead up to 25 students through a range of hands-on classes, teaching them how to create stunning works of wearable art as they sip on brought-from-home libations. The teacher provides supplies appropriate for each class, though they may charge extra for specialty beads, more expensive materials, or top-secret access codes to the White House's ruby vault.