Lion Country Safari is a zoo with no cages. Instead, more than 900 animals, including the largest zebra herd outside of Africa, roam its 320 acres freely. During drive-through safaris, cars tour seven sections of the preserve—which represent different areas such as western Zimbabwe and the Serengeti—to see llamas, asiatic water buffalo, chimpanzees, and white rhinoceros. Lions have a section all to themselves so that they don't prey on other animals or disturb them with giggles from the pride's late-night slumber parties.
In addition to the four-mile drive, Lion Country Safari's Safari World allows guests to explore rides and attractions as they visit with animals on foot. They can feed giraffes, practice animal-massage techniques at the petting zoo, or hop on the carousel next to Lake Shanalee's paddleboat rides. After kids splash through the interactive Safari Splash waterpark, they can hop onto the ferris wheel or ask exotic birds for advice on how to fly.
Within Art Connection's 45,000-square-foot factory, showroom, and production facility, patrons can sift through a vast collection of decorative prints and posters that include both classic and contemporary art. Enlist a 30"x24" print of Monet's Impression, Sunrise ($16.99) or Picasso's Violin and Guitar ($17.99) to teach dry wall about Impressionism, Cubism, and cultural elitism. A 35"x35" museum-quality print of Tuscan Summer ($60.99) can help to gussy up a drab cubicle, whereas a 22"x34" poster featuring The Office characters ($9.99) can bring workday doldrums into a painstakingly pleasant living room. Attract two-dimensional bees with a poster from Art Connection's extensive floral collection, then peruse the vast collection of frames for a portrait protector to keep it safe from roaming dust mites and ice-cream-wielding 4-year-olds.
The Ultimate Thriller pays homage to the King of Pop with a multimedia entertainment extravaganza. A vibrant light show, eye-grabbing video footage, and the choreography of Mic Thompson—who worked with Jackson for nearly a decade—form a peeper-pleasing team that rocks retinas. Eardrums, in the meantime, are swaddled by the sounds of signature hits such as "Man in the Mirror," "Beat It," and "Billie Jean," a benefit song for 1982's two least popular baby names. Over the course of two hours (including intermission), the show synthesizes elements of Jackson's BAD and Dangerous concert tours with material from Thriller, Off The Wall, and his days in the Jackson 5. Enjoy the whole past-blasting blowout from the comfort of the Coral Springs Center for the Arts' fully enclosed balcony, part of a nearly 1,500-seat theater whose layout allows every audience member to feel a sense of connection with on-stage performers without the formal bonding experience of a tandem bike ride.
The Museum of Discovery and Science ensures that adults as well as children have opportunities to explore diverse fields in the natural and physical sciences. Museum visitors who prefer to experience action on the big screen can drop into the AutoNation IMAX 3D Theater, which boasts a 15,000 watt, 42-speaker digital surround sound system. Opened in 1992, the 300-seat theater dazzles audiences via a five-story-hight screen that features both 2D and 3D films. Crowds view the latter using lightweight XR 3D glasses for highly evolved thrills.
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.
The ISHOF Museum houses the world's largest collection of aquatic memorabilia and is the single-largest source of aquatic books, manuscripts, and literature. More than forty exhibits and displays illustrate the history of the aquatically ambitious, recognizing the world's greatest swimming, diving, polo, and synchronized swimming performers and their spotlight-worthy accomplishments. Videos ranging from short informational pieces to coverage of the Olympic games are also available for viewing. Current exhibits include photo murals of the RMS Titanic, the largest collection of Olympic medals won by merpersons dating back to 1896, and a shrine dedicated to the swoonable swim legend Mark Spitz, which consists of a life-size wax statue of the mustached god-among-mortals, seven of his gold medals, and the starting block he used in the 1972 Munich games.