Amanda Jones’s artistry is an essential part of a greater cycle; after growing up in a home and community awash in creative expression, she now extends the same opportunity to students of all ages. Though she is a practitioner of many art forms, Amanda specializes in mixed media sculpture and fiber arts; her gifts typically manifest themselves as enigmatic folk art and intricately woven shawls. When not teaching out of her Johns Creek home, she can often be found holding classes for local organizations, providing lessons for disabled artists, and surreptitiously unraveling friends’ sweaters for weaving materials.
Art in Bloom showcases masterpieces by area painters paired with floral arrangements inspired by their works. Proceeds from the event benefit the Johns Creek Arts Center, whose inexpensive art programs kick-start the creative minds of nascent Picassos and glue-stick virtuosos. The Saturday event features an arts market, whose selection of pottery, jewelry, and trinkets serve as ideal Mother's Day gifts or as prizes for professional-wrestling tournaments.
AllStar's experience, upbeat instructors help pupils hone their gymnastics skills in a constructive learning environment. Depending on their age and experience level, youngsters can enlist in one of four different recreational classes—White Cubs, Silver Cubs, Gym Cubs, or Gym Cats—to study gym safety and practice back-bending maneuvers on modified, kid-friendly equipment. Each session lasts an hour and enhances flexibility, balance, strength, and agility, increasing your child's chances of making it to the Olympics or somersaulting in slow motion off of a truck right before Vin Diesel blows it up with guns. Check the online schedule for specific class times.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in locations around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their child’s development, their child learns to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of preschool knitting circles.
By virtue of its name, Wine & Beer conveys to customers exactly what it sells; but that name doesn’t tell the whole story. Inside, the shop stocks its shelves with red, white, and sparkling wines from small winery's around the globe, as well as more than 100 different kinds of beer. Rather than creating a stack of flash cards during their initial visit, customers can become more familiar with the shop’s inventory simply by attending one of its staff-led tastings. They can also join the Wine & Beer club for exclusive chances to try new arrivals.
At Great Play, kids are encouraged to break bottles—virtual ones, arranged on virtual shelves—in the center’s Interactive Arena. They are part of a hand-eye coordination game for kids, in which sensors track their “throws” and the computer-generated bottles projected onto the walls fall accordingly. Another version sees kids honing their throwing arms by aiming for an animated strike zone while a simulated crowd cheers.
But regardless of the specific games kids play on any given day in the 3,000-square-foot arena, each activity hews to the play center’s overall goal: to build kids’ motor skills and athletic abilities from an early age. Programs for younger kids focus on fundamentals, such as running, skipping, dodging, and tumbling. Meanwhile, athletic camps for older kids build skillsets that come in handy during pick-up games on the playground or at their first Olympic trials at age 3.