The hit Nickelodeon children’s program Yo Gabba Gabba! bounds from the small screen to the big stage in a show filled with cartoonish critters and boundless dancing. Beloved by hip preschoolers and savvy postschoolers for its eye-popping sets, catchy songs, respect for intellect, and absence of Shrek, Yo Gabba Gabba! teaches inner and outer children valuable life lessons without stooping to condescension. For the special It’s Time to Dance! tour, favorite adorable toy monsters such as Brobee, Foofa, Plex, and Biz Markie join human surrogates DJ Lance Rock and BeDazzler queen Leslie Hall for an onstage celebration of imagination. Mixing animation, games, and new songs with classic bits from the television show, the Technicolor mise en scène and infectious energy of Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! gives children enough confidence to apply to college after elementary school.
In 1989, Young At Art began as a small, 3,200-square-foot children’s museum dedicated to shaping young minds and enriching the community through the transformative power of art. Since then, the tiny workshop has grown into a 55,000-square-foot collection of activities celebrating the diverse influences of art on our lives and imaginations, garnering a rare accreditation by the American Association of Museums for its efforts. At ArtScapes—one of the four main exhibits—kids and their parents travel through The Cave, a frantic slideshow of images conveying 5,000 years of human history, step into a replica of a New York City subway car, and view examples of graffiti as a means of creative expression against the oppressive forces of aluminum spray cans.
Elsewhere, WonderScapes transports children up to 4 years old to a world inspired by the illustrations of DeLoss McGraw, whose version of Alice in Wonderland won the Society of Illustrators Book of the Year award in 2002, and GreenScapes demonstrates the immutable intersection of art and the environment as visitors build sculptures from natural materials. Never ones to ignore their creativity, teenagers can find refuge in the Teen Center, where a graphic design lab with Mac computers and a recording studio let them convert their pre-calc homework into digital form before it’s too late.
To beat the all-tackle world record for a yellowfin tuna, you'd have to hook a behemoth weighing in the neighborhood of 450 pounds. Should any angler ever successfully snag such a fish, the record keepers of the International Game Fish Association will be among the first to announce the catch's confirmed stature. As part of their mission to conserve all types of game fish and to promote ethical angling practices, the IGFA representatives also advise fishermen on how to bring the catch ashore, verify its measurements, and release it while causing as little stress to the fish as possible.
The association’s conservation efforts continue with its IGFA Great Marlin Race program, a partnership with Stanford University that outfits fishermen with research equipment to achieve a better understanding of marlin biology and the cause of pruney fingers. The IGFA also keeps the community engaged with ethical game fishing by hosting school groups and summer camps for kids. Beyond this programming, the IGFA maintains a museum that honors the history of sport fishing and its legendary anglers.
Arthur Stone spent six decades assembling the collection of classic Packard autos that makes up the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum. His love for the Packard's combination of engineering and elegance has resulted in the United States' largest Packard collection, containing one model from each year of the company's 58-year existence. The museum's 30,000-square-foot space mirrors the look of a 1920s Packard showroom, with heraldic-style gas-station signs hanging above gleaming specimens of auto history, all restored to full working order.
Models such as the 2201 Woodie wagon from 1948 demonstrate the manufacturer's innovation amid changing times, and the 1909 18 Speedster evokes an era when saddled cheetahs shared roads with cars. Original concept-design drawings line the walls, and an expansive library contains shelves laden with periodicals and fascinating reading materials.
MUSE stands for "mastering unique self expression"—a common experience for students at the MUSE Center for the Arts, where they show off their creativity in dance, music, and theater classes. Its instructors, who come from a variety of arts backgrounds, have extensive résumés, including dancing with choreographer Twyla Tharp's company, performing at the Metropolitan Opera House, and specializing in stage combat.
Both children and adults learn styles such as jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary in dance classes, and skilled kids aged 6–18 can try out for MUSE's competitive dance team. Musicians can further their craft in private or group lessons available for a variety of instruments, including voice, guitar, and violin. And the theater season is divided into school-year and summer sessions, where young Broadway hopefuls learn how to sing, dance, and write a quippy Playbill bio.
As a rainbow ribbon or metallic hoop flashes in the air, a young performer stands on her toes and lifts a foot up behind her head, showcasing elegance and flexibility. Rhythmic Art helps children achieve this picture of balance and grace through a curriculum of gymnastics, cheer, and martial arts classes.
Rhythmic gymnastics challenges young bodies to dance and stretch in accordance with official U.S. Gymnastics standards, with props such as ropes, hoops, balls, ribbons, and candelabras. Alternatively, cheer programs impart tumbling skills and motivational stunts to youth of all innate charisma levels, and martial arts classes teach wushu—a modern form of kung fu with kicks, fist blows, and pinky waggles. Smaller children can leap on trampolines and dangle from monkey bars in toned-down baby gymnastics classes, and summer camps incorporate a potpourri of the above physical activities alongside an array of stimulating, off-site field trips.