In 1989, Young At Art began as a small, 3,200-square-foot children’s museum dedicated to shaping young minds and enriching the community through the transformative power of art. Since then, the tiny workshop has grown into a 55,000-square-foot collection of activities celebrating the diverse influences of art on our lives and imaginations, garnering a rare accreditation by the American Association of Museums for its efforts. At ArtScapes—one of the four main exhibits—kids and their parents travel through The Cave, a frantic slideshow of images conveying 5,000 years of human history, step into a replica of a New York City subway car, and view examples of graffiti as a means of creative expression against the oppressive forces of aluminum spray cans.
Elsewhere, WonderScapes transports children up to 4 years old to a world inspired by the illustrations of DeLoss McGraw, whose version of Alice in Wonderland won the Society of Illustrators Book of the Year award in 2002, and GreenScapes demonstrates the immutable intersection of art and the environment as visitors build sculptures from natural materials. Never ones to ignore their creativity, teenagers can find refuge in the Teen Center, where a graphic design lab with Mac computers and a recording studio let them convert their pre-calc homework into digital form before it’s too late.
The goals of the instructors at Intensity Dancers' Studio go far beyond dance—the team aspires to help their students become well-rounded individuals as they grow. That can even be seen by the number of students using their talents outside the studio, with some competing on teams at the national level. Children can participate in lessons that cover classic or modern dance styles at the school, where ballet gets equal billing with hip-hop and acrobatics options. As dancers progress, they not only learn proper technique and execution, but how to cultivate discipline and self-confidence, tools intended to help them success off the dance floor too.
At the Art Institute of Weston, master artist Conchita Firgau and her associate professors lead students of all ages in learning the classic style of European painting. Drawing on traditions of color, light, and composition practiced by Renaissance painters, Conchita and her staff give students the confidence and skill to develop their own style. But painting is not the only activity that goes on here. Photography classes help shutterbugs master digital cameras, and guitar classes use fun, easily digestible techniques to give more credibility to students’ air-guitar performances. The friendly studio also hosts after-school programs and camps to hone kids’ artistic talents.
A tree is something you might not expect to see inside a bar. But Mystic Water Kava Bar has one—and it's everywhere. Every look around yields views of the sculpted banyan tree's gnarled branches and roots tracing along the interior, giving the space the feel of being underground or in a secret lair. And the signature drink is just as unique. Kava, a traditional Polynesian drink said to have soothing properties, is served in a large bowl with small coconut shells that are used to dip into the concoction and to sip from. Beyond the drink's relaxing ways, the whole place feels like a haven for unwinding, with live funk and soul groups performing regularly, a yoga studio on premises, and plenty of space to let loose or meet up with your friend with the really calming voice.
Featuring instructors who have performed with the Ringling Bros. and Cirque du Soleil, South Florida Circus Art School's classes meld strength, beauty, and aerial grace. With each 60-mintue flying-yoga session, an aerialist expert will teach posing fundamentals and physical training to solidify core strength. Led by the well-balanced directives of professional circus performer and yoga specialist, flying-yoga classes alleviate pressure from the body, cleanse the spirit with inner balance, and relieve any stress in astronauts wistful for low-gravity environs. During each class, aspiring contortionists use hammocks to pose as circus aerialists for 30 minutes, resulting in full decompression of bodily lines. In addition to channeling their inner arachnids, participants spend the remainder of the time toning muscles through a series of floor exercises over padded surfaces.
Playing temporary host to the timeless treasures of the Vatican Splendors exhibit, the aesthetically ascendant Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale was designed by noted American architect Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1986. Experience 2,000 years of Vatican art and history with two adult tickets to Vatican Splendors: A Journey Through Faith and Art. Children older than 6 and senior citizens can also use the tickets. Audio tours are self-guided, allowing visitors to schedule around the time-consuming process of crafting their own homemade relics and patiently waiting for hundreds of years until they’re historically significant.