The Miami Art Museum houses an ever-growing collection of more than 600 works of art, with pieces by such art-world luminaries as Chuck Close, George Segal, and Robert Rauschenberg. Spend 12 months getting physically lost and emotionally found in abstract landscapes of paint and perspective with a one-year membership. Individual memberships grant unlimited free admission to one person. The dual membership is ideal for families because it admits two individuals in the same household and any children under the age of 18. The one-year membership also includes invitations to exclusive members-only events and preview parties at the Miami Art Museum, without the need for a Members-Only jacket.
Contrary to the belief that Jewish immigrants began populating Florida in the aftermath of World War II, the very first Jewish settlers in the state arrived a bit earlier—almost 200 years earlier, in fact. Spanish-controlled Florida banned all non-Catholic religions, but England's 1763 purchase of the land was followed shortly by the arrival of Alexander Solomons, Joseph de Palacios, and Samuel Israel—and a new heritage was born. Today, the Jewish Museum of Florida – FIU celebrates this rich legacy and its impact within the larger Jewish community with a core exhibit brimming with more than 500 artifacts that span over 250 years.
In "Mosaic: Jewish Life in Florida," visitors will find relics such as a pocket watch owned by the first known Jewish boy born in Florida, a Purim party dress made for the Jacksonville YMHA in 1918 out of Floridian seashells, and the ketubah from the marriage of Margaret Fishler and Joel Fleet in 1940. Family photographs, immigration papers, and travel documents record the rich tradition of immigration, and images from wars dating back to 1815 evince the ongoing role Jewish residents have played in American history. In the building's community section, guests learn about more than 250 mayors, legislators, judges, and activists, including David Levy Yulee, the first Jew elected to Congress and the man who ushered Florida into statehood. Elsewhere in the museum, temporary exhibits might spotlight contemporary Jewish artists, Jewish rituals, or profile a prominent family. The museum is housed within two refurbished synagogues connected by the glass-roofed Bessie's Bistro, which serves snacks in the cheerful spirit of its namesake, Miss America 1945, Bess Myerson.
As they observe the vibrant exhibits of aquatic life inside the Miami Seaquarium, many guests don't realize that they are walking through a movie set and a hospital. In the onsite lagoon, bottlenose dolphins swim through waters once traversed by Flipper, who filmed several television episodes and films at the venue. The Seaquarium is also recognized as a manatee critical care facility. Its staff has accomplished several historic treatments, including monitoring the conception and arrival of the first manatee born under human care and conducting the first manatee neurological surgery.
These facets of the Seaquarium—along with its many conservation efforts, educational programs, and shows—underscore a united commitment to wildlife consciousness. The animal attractions enable visitors to witness the allure and fragility of oceanic fauna up close, whether they are petting the back of a stingray or washing a dress shirt on the rough back of an 8-foot nile crocodile. Special encounters decrease the distance even further, sending patrons on underwater Sea Treks through the reef display or helping them to lead marine-mammal training routines.
It's hard to pinpoint the biggest personality inside the Seaquarium tanks, but Lolita the killer whale—who performs daily alongside pacific white-sided dolphins—claims the title of heaviest, period. On the other end of the scale, macaws and cockatiels perch around the Tropical Wings section of the park, and endangered sea turtles lounge at Discovery Bay. Elsewhere, a watery playground and three-story ropes course keep legs from growing too wobbly after a trip to Shark Channel or a smooch from a sea lion.
Lucky Strike throws state-of-the-art bowling and a pinch of swanky atmosphere into a blender, presses "puree," and serves you a thrillciting bowling smoothie. Saddle up to one of 14 lanes and spend two full hours basking in bowling-induced merriment ($45 per hour). Lace up the Louboutin-designed foot coverings (shoe rental is $4.95 per person) to achieve the ideal footing for perfecting your roll, bagging some turkeys, and settling a long-running score with a shifty-eyed mail carrier. Included in the deal is a $10 food voucher, so when stage fright results in trembling limbs and fingers, you can quell the shakes with some homemade roasted-garlic hummus or mac 'n' cheese bites.
The most recent addition to Paragon Theaters’ repertoire of upscale movie venues, Paragon Grove Theater cushions customers in the plush luxury of its newly renovated theaters. Stadium-style seats pad posteriors as their owners gaze upon the silver screens from clear vantage points. An expanded concessions menu sates the palates of moviegoers by presenting a range of hearty fare and, for those of age, beer and wine.
Sony HD digital projectors bathe the towering screens in crystal clearness, granting films a visual crispness so pronounced it has enabled sponsors to advertise their logos in actors' pores. The company plans additional upgrades and outdoor seating to bring all the amenities found in its locations in Miami, Florida, and Burnsville and Rochester, Minnesota, to the new Deerfield Beach location.
It used to be that while the northern regions of the country enjoyed hayrides through patches of plump, orange gourds, south Floridians had to be content with only their gorgeous, tropical weather, but that all changed in 2012. At the 2nd annual Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival, 5,000 pumpkins will assemble just off the coast of Biscayne Bay for Peacock Park’s first pumpkin patch. But the pumpkins are just the centerpiece of a weekend-long celebration filled with classic autumn traditions. “We deserve to have that magical fall feeling too,” says organizer Vanessa Goodis, working to bring autumnal splendor to the Miami waterfront.
Along with pumpkins harvested for their slow-flickering internal flames, the fest also entertains guests with a diverse set of attractions. Kids navigate straw-strewn tunnels in the giant hay maze and tread eerie, eary paths in the corn stalk labyrinth. The dress-your-own scarecrow village stocks the latest field-hand fashion wear, and the orange orbs that star in the festival can be decorated with paint, glitter, glue, and googly eyes for an additional fee. The Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival lets Florida children enjoy everything fall has to offer.