Even with the football game glowing on the 20-plus HD flat screens, you can't help but glance over when a dish emerges from the kitchen at Nicky's Restaurant Sports Bar. The sizzling seafood and juicy steaks give off an enticing aroma that can be a challenge to ignore. Chef Julio Renderos masterminds the full menu, folding fresh ingredients into the seafood specialties and favorites such as fiery wings, ribs, burgers, and tender lobster tails. Meanwhile, friendly bartenders take charge of the lengthy wooden bar, doling out frosty pints of draft beer and premium mixed drinks. Nicky's also offers free WiFi as well as buzztime trivia and Texas hold 'em nights.
Everglades Holiday Park unveils the natural splendor of one of Earth's last undisturbed territories with invigorating airboat tours and interactive alligator presentations. Visitors to the untamed river of grass explore its wetlands and observe its animal residents, and tour guides keep encroaching gators at bay with pointed comments of historic and ecological significance. The powerful airboat fleet features a covered passenger vessel for all-weather observation and an innovative zephyr-harnessing propulsion system that allows boats to swiftly skim across the Everglades' grassy rivers while sneaking up on unsuspecting patches of spanish moss. The park is also home to Animal Planet's Gator Boys; most of the reality show's episodes are filmed here.
The park complements boat tours with 20-minute gator presentations that star a cast of live alligators and shed some light on nature's last remaining dinosaurs. The boat captains are always available for private charters, which can be stocked with food, beverages, and ice at the park's 24-hour general store before heading out for fishing expeditions or leisurely cruises through the glades.
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For 17 years, Flamingo Gardens has gathered plant experts, landscapers, and other gardening connoisseurs to its annual festival. This year, the Broward Bonsai Society joins in the fun with an exhibition of the varied shapes and levels of perfection its miniature trees can hold. Displays from Alexander Farms, Greenhouse Orchids, and other vendors entice the eyes while guests wander about, taking in colorful performances from butterfly stilt-walkers and West African drummers. At the Butterfly Encounter, guests learn lepidopterist lore from expert Mike Rich while feeding live butterflies and teaching them about the updated food pyramid.
Wee ones, meanwhile, can head to the Kids Gardening Zone to decorate their own pots and plant a seed or romp through the gardens on a scavenger hunt. Plant experts also hold classes and demonstrations, including "Mounting Orchids & Basic Orchid Culture," and take guests on guided tours through the botanical gardens.
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.
More than just a creative outlet, art teaches students how to solve problems, set goals, communicate, and challenge themselves. The art instructors at Priscilla & Tiffany’s Art Corp. incorporate these lessons into each activity, whether students are using charcoal to sketch a winter scene or constructing a collage representing the report card they'd like to receive. As kids and adults work at easels or across large tables, the spacious studios are filled with carefully designed lighting and soft classical music.