ArtWorks on the Square inspires the creatively disposed with a variety of classes, workshops, and events. Encourage your inner artisan with a Vino Van Gogh Night class, which offers a night of painting, conversing, and wine drinking from 7 p.m.–9 p.m. on the second Friday of every month. Each vinely inclined class can accommodate up to 12 students and is led by a professional canvas caresser, who issues step-by-step instructions to help keep brush strokes on the straight and narrow and prevent students from accidentally painting a hole in the universe.
The first year of life holds so many milestones: the first step, the first Christmas, the first time baby realizes “coo” is the word for everything. As the parents of three young children, photography team James (a self-taught photographer) and Michelle Hill (a model and actress) understand that well. That’s why the Hills offer their Bebe Collection photography packages, which document Baby’s first year with photo shoots at three to four months, at eight months, and at one year. Each shoot captures a different aspect of infancy, from the debut of teensy feet and toes to the discovery of crawling.
The Bebe Collection exemplifies what James and Michelle do best: capture newborns, children, and maternity in evocative and personal photo shoots. For family portraits, James stays behind the camera and Michelle is in charge of styling as shoots unfold at the studio, at the client’s home, or at a location of the client’s choice, be it a local park or a place that is special to the family.
Informed by an ever-growing body of developmental research, classes at The Music Class introduce tots to tunes and concepts that boost creativity and listening skills. In Music Pups (a $72 value) courses, children under 4 years of age gleefully sing, dance, and bang away on rudimentary instruments such as the drums or theremin. Four and 5-year-olds learn concepts of tone and rhythm in the Music Cats course (a $77 value), which lets kids experiment with keyboards before defending their dissertations on the narrative redundancies of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." Each 45-minute course meets four times in one month-long segment, and includes CDs for parents to play at home to follow up on in-class tutelage. This Groupon may also be used toward The Music Class' ten-week music courses.
Zoo Atlanta set up shop in 1889 after a traveling circus rolled into town and stayed indefinitely. Financial hardships had driven the circus owner bankrupt, leaving a flood of out-of-work circus performers and animals without anywhere to go. With the help of generous donations from concerned residents, Atlanta adopted the animals and converted a part of Grant Park into what is now Zoo Atlanta.
Since those early days, many animals have found their home at Zoo Atlanta, from elephants and tigers to gorillas and zebras. All in all, more than 1,500 animals currently roar and romp in their respective enclosures, meeting up once a night to dish over visitors’ summer outfits.
A typical journey through the zoo begins at Flamingo Plaza, from which visitors can choose one of two paths: They either take the left path and come face to face with elephants, warthogs, and lions, or they can choose the right and find themselves amid a flurry of exotic birds and excitable children at the KidZone playground. Visitors can walk at their own pace and follow their own path, still watching otters play, the nation's largest zoological collection of gorillas and orangutans swing through trees, and pandas pretend like they don’t care people are watching them sleep.
At Applause For Kids, children can cultivate self-confidence and self-awareness through a supportive program that helps them develop singing, dancing, acting, and even costume-creating skills. A talented group of instructors prepares campers for performing in a Broadway-style show over the course of one week, ending with an impressive performance. Several camps are available from June to August, including Willy Wonka and Wonderful Wizards, the jazz- and tap-dance-infused Puttin’ on the Ritz, and the Magical World of Broadway, which showcases characters from Mary Poppins, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid. To ensure optimum skill development, children are divided into groups by age. Children will attend camp between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, while Friday camps start at 10 a.m., with a week-ending showcase performance.