Since 1989, The Miami Symphony Orchestra has mimicked Miami’s cultural diversity with concerts and events that act as a melting pot of musical influences. Music director Eduardo Marturet, a Venezuelan composer and conductor, helms many of the concerts, encouraging the musicians to unleash their inner Beethovens or Bachs—former members of the ’80s hair-metal band Skid Row.
Young dancers in red and gold embroidered costumes and traditional boots perform a syrtos as patrons wander by, munching on gyros and homemade pastries. All of this takes place at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church's Miami Greek Festival, a three-day celebration of Greek culture and the local community. All day, the festival showcases traditional Greek music and folk dancing, while kids' rides and wine tastings cater to visitors of all ages. The bakaliko, a traditional supermarket, sells feta and vlahotiri cheeses, kalamata olive, and olive oil so that patrons can take home some of the flavors of Greece.
When dance instructors Rochelle Fereira and Vanessa Caamano Gonzalez teach class, they draw from experiences instructing on a celebrity cruise ship, dancing for productions in Greece, and establishing a dance company in New York. Together, they imbue beginners and seasoned pros with lessons in ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary dance. Each of their two spacious studios hosts toes atop floating floors, which prevent fatigue as well as provide jumps with the necessary spring to dust the studio rafters.
At the Miami Fine Chocolate & Food Show, vendors and chocolate lovers alike descend upon South Florida during a celebration of life's sweeter side. An estimated 3,000 foodies visit the evening event, witnessing and tasting the creations of some of the region's and the world's most distinguished chefs.
Themed areas make navigating the event a cinch. In designated chocolate zones, gourmet retailers, bakers, and pastry chefs win the hearts of taste buds with their sweets, which range from handmade goods to organic and small-batch treats. For a more savory experience, Restaurant Row showcases the eats of more than 30 South Florida restaurants. Pairing seminars, meanwhile, discuss what edibles go well together, and live cooking demonstrations share tricks of the trade, such as how to turn a chef's hat into an oversized drinking goblet. There will also be a number of beer, wine, and spirits vendors on hand and attendees can enjoy music performances throughout the space.
Nestled within the food show, the Cigar Cellar & Lounge sponsors the Miami Smoke Affair. Cigar connoisseurs stroll the booths of 20 brands, learning from the factory reps about how the cigars are made, what they're made from, and how they should be smoked. As they meander through the space, they sip on unlimited glasses of craft beer and nibble on bites of food. They can also dig into cigar-packed goody bags in the tented smoking lounge.
With state of the art 4G synthetic turf soccer fields spread across Miami, Soccer 5 has become a premier South Florida destination for soccer, football, and f?tbol lovers alike. The program offers a variety of kids' camps, in which junior players up to 15 years old benefit from highly technical coaching, drills, and scrimmages. Adults can get in on the fun, too, with leagues and tournaments. The smaller fields allow for 5- and 7-a-side matches, which means players get more touches on the ball and opportunities to befriend the referee. Their fields are also available for rent for team practices, birthday parties, and private pickup games.
Discipline is better when it comes with a field trip to the beach. Kendall Dynamic Center's summer camps teach children respect, courage, and responsibility through martial arts, while at the same time engaging them through crafts, entertainment, and camaraderie. Rafael Ramos founded the facility, and as a longtime student and instructor of martial arts, he sets the scene for an encouraging space where kids can enjoy themselves both indoors and on fun outings while building character. After learning how to use traditional weapons, break boards, and deal responsibly with bullies in the morning's tae kwon do class, kids channel their creativity through art and kick back for a session of video games or sports, perhaps heading out later to play in the ocean or spar with a water-park fountain. The center also holds after-school programs where kids of all ages can learn martial arts in a safe and guided environment.