Dedicated to communicating and celebrating the intricacies of Japanese art and culture for 33 years, The Morikami Museum has cooked up a visual feast of 5,000 art objects, rotating exhibits, 200 acres of lush, meticulously maintained gardens, and enlightening events such as tea ceremonies conducted in its Seishin-an tea house. The dual membership gifts up to two people unlimited access to the museum and gardens for one year, free admission to annual festivals, exclusive invitation to members-only receptions, and a host of discounts for events, local restaurants, and more.
A veteran of the arts, with more than 15 years of experience, Sarita Ciallella has performed her fair share of gymnastic, dancing, and acting routines. But it wasn't until May 2003 that these passions culminated in Virtuous Productions, a performing-arts community center where she could imbue kids, teens, and adults with her knowledge of the arts. Together with a dedicated staff of instructors, including dancers and acting coaches, Sarita's mission—to teach new artists creative skills in a purposeful and moral way—has never changed. Sarita and her team uphold the center's seven core values: excellence, innovation, teamwork, respect, integrity, social profit, and joy.
The schedule runs six days a week to keep dancers of any age or ability tapping, salsa-ing, and rhythmically stomping their feet across the studio's competition-size floor, which is made of the same material as the floor on Dancing with the Stars. Film and television classes teach aspiring stars how to emote for the camera and how to never lose a staring contest with the camera man, and the company's in-house shooting crew captures special moments with half- and full-day shoots that include editing, DVDs, and makeup applications.
Virtuous Productions also supports the arts through Virtuous Nites, which offer a safe, smoke- and drink-free environment for partiers to let loose and dance.
As the Delray Beach Garlic Fest proves, garlic is more than just the cornerstone to a great meal. It can also be a melee weapon. In the festival's Garlic Chef Stadium, seasoned chefs have one hour to prepare a unique three-course gourmet feast using garlic and a mystery ingredient in each course. They might also use the cloves to cleave any salivating fan who tries to sneak up and snatch a bite. Luckily, those fans can nurse their hunger at Gourmet Alley, which features samples of more than two dozen garlic-seasoned items, such as blackened mahi mahi, gator, and marinated vegetable paninis. Similarly spicing the air are live sets from Collective Soul, Amber Leigh, Andy Childs, and tributes to U2 and Bruce Springsteen.
A group of locals founded the Garlic Fest to help raise money for local organizations dedicated to promoting youth arts and education. Through the nonprofit organization Delray Beach Arts, Inc., the festival has raised more than $390,000 in charitable donations.
FLA Aquatics owes its growth from a 65-member operation to the home of multiple state, national, and international champions to 2000 Olympic coach Duffy Dillon, who—as noted in the Sun Sentinel—was recently inducted into the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame. Dillon has amassed an experienced staff of certified instructors who have passed a national level-two background screening, including head coaches with level-five certification from the American Swimming Coaches Association. The company's multiple locations offer programs for all ages, including very young children learning to safely enter the water, competitive high schoolers, and adults seeking to train for a triathlon or start a floatie-based fashion trend.
Colorful mats and bouncy trampolines fill the play-space at A Barrel O Monkeys Inc. This indoor playground exposes kids to creative and energetic play with open-gym sessions, Mommy and Me classes, and gymnastics sessions, during which kids can practice their cartwheels or glide down the slide to their heart's content. Kids can also zip-line through the gym or create art projects during all-inclusive birthday parties.
With rolling hills and lush, green woods in the background, expert instructors lead students out into the great blue Pacific for custom surfing lessons. During lessons, wave tamers certified in CPR, first aid, ocean safety, and mermaid diplomacy bestow burgeoning surfers with all necessary skills and ocean awareness, which helps surfers to keep their bearings and tackle whitecaps safely. Surf techniques and etiquette can be tailored to ease rookies into their comfort zones or amped up to challenge and heighten the skills of more experienced boarders.
Tamalpais Surf Club also rents boards and wetsuits for surfers looking to paddle out on their own, and their lending inventory includes vintage boards from renowned shapers. To throw more adventure into the mix, the team organizes yoga-surf retreats and surf camps in exotic locales such as Costa Rica and Hawaii, where groups can immerse themselves in the country's culture, cuisine, and bilingual waves.