The Gold Coast Railroad Museum began in 1956, when train enthusiast William J. Godfrey chanced upon the miles of abandoned railroad track snaking through the pineland of University of Miami’s southern campus. He imported a newly retired steam engine to the premises, and a tribute to railroading history began.
Now in a new location in Miami proper, the museum continues to honor trains’ role in American history, with nine exhibits on locomotives, passenger cars, and the Richmond’s Naval Air Station’s fleet. Visitors can hop aboard a full-size diesel locomotive passenger coach, or take a ride a miniature children’s railroad that’s ideal for transporting shipments of Lincoln logs. Alternatively, they can run motorized or free-wheeling trains through a model railroad, which zips through mountain tunnels and circles around to-scale landscapes.
A nationally sourced all-star roster of professional singers, Seraphic Fire weaves complex vocals and dynamic performance into a shimmering audio-visual tapestry. Their popular Christmas program features English, Spanish, and American carols, sung with classical poise and seasonally appropriate gusto. Patrons can fill their ears amidst flickering candlelight, and enjoy sweeter sounds than those produced by well-intentioned but atonal door-to-door carolers and traveling reindeer choirs.
Before the landmark age of 5, children's teensy brains soak up knowledge at a rate unmatched during any other period of development. Starting Ahead Academy takes full advantage of these crucial years, packing preschoolers' heads with knowledge according to the Opening the World of Learning (OWL) and HighScope curriculums. OWL springs from the philosophy that the entirety of a child's day impacts his or her learning. So each component of the day—that is, the environment and interactions—must be approached as a learning experience. The HighScope curriculum, on the other hand, focuses strictly on the rapport between children and adults, coupled with a learning process of planning, doing, and then reviewing.
Founded in 1999, Just The Funny Theater hosts a rotating roster of improv and sketch teams, and also opens its stage to standup comedians. The theater’s comedic cast members have numerous credits from local theater productions. Just The Funny also offers classes in the improvisational arts and sketch writing, during which instructors dispense the comedic skills they’ve learned from their own training with such groups as The Second City, Upright Citizens Brigade, and The Groundlings.
A local landmark for more than 50 years, Duffy's entertains patrons with 20 draft beers and an eclectic menu of hearty pub fare staples. A selection of 16 burgers anchor the sumptuous spread, with selections ranging from the jalapeno-topped Mexicali burger ($7.25) to the Italian burger ($7.25), smothered in marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. Fish fans can incite a feeding frenzy with an appetizer of fried shrimp ($9.99) perched next to a choice of onion rings, potato salad, or steak or cheese fries, while fried clams ($6) escape an otherwise chowdery death in the company of fries and homemade tartar sauce. Though a food purchase is required with this Groupon, Duffy's offers a full drink menu including domestic, imported and craft beers.