Vetro Glass Blowing Studio & Art Gallery, winner of the WFAA-List’s award for best art gallery, offers the public an inside peek at renowned glass artists working on fragile creations. In a 30-minute, artist-instructed session, students help create one hand-blown, fluted glass bowl, choosing colors from among the vibrant Vetro palette.
Unlike many of its brethren, the Arlington Museum of Art does not maintain a permanent collection. Instead, it celebrates the ever-changing nature of art by featuring local artists in traveling exhibitions and curated shows. Also, since opening in 1952, the museum has been a headquarters for promoting artistic expression throughout the community. Gallery talks and artist lectures give visitors the chance to interactively learn, and summer art camps get kids motivated to create masterpieces.
No great work of art is ever finished, but at Sunshine Glaze the works are even more unfinished than usual. Shelves lined with dozens of unpainted, blank clay bisques in the shape of bowls, plates, and pots await the creative touches of customers armed with the studio’s array of brushes, stencils, paints, and glazes. Visitors can leaf through idea books before setting out to decorate their clay vase or wooden mosaic, or tap into their right brains to render wholly original pieces. At the end of the session, the staff gives works a finalizing fire to dry the glaze and allow customers to take home their creative handiwork.
The chefs at La Buena Vida Vineyards orchestrate symphonies of cheeses, vegetables, and spreads to create four varieties of thematic appetizer boards. Munch on complimentary crackers and tuck grapes into cheeks before nibbling on the tuscan board's genoa salami, manchego cheese, and spinach-parmesan dip. Or, opt for the veggie board, which offers an edible constellation of grilled artichoke hearts, cheese-stuffed red peppers, and a mozzarella that has been marinated in a spice blend whose recipe is heavily guarded, much like the final resting place of George Washington's axe. The strong flavors of olives compliment the subtle flavors of the mediterranean board's all-natural hummus, which steadies palates in preparation for soft, creamy Boursin cheese.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center gives kids a little round-headed person's view of the world, surrounding them with blown-up versions of normally miniature plastic environments. At six locations across North America, children ages 3 and older—and their adults—drive all-terrain buggies through a Lego forest in hot pursuit of bank robbers, travel through a dungeon blasting skeletons with laser guns, and build and test their own race cars on a colorful track. At every location, visitors can enter the 4D Cinema, where 3D Lego films are enhanced with in-theater weather effects such as wind and snow. They can also look out over Lego-brick recreations of the local city that feature scale models of landmarks such as Chicago's Navy Pier.
An exploration of the bright world of plastic bricks doesn't have to end at the attractions. In a Master Builder Training Academy, experienced Lego architects pass on their construction tips to eager students. To continue the fun at home, shops at each location house hundreds of current Lego sets.