The ever-expanding mosaic of Miami arts and culture offers plenty of visual stimulation, cultural expression and intellectual exploration to pique anyone's interest. From the eclectic Art Deco District of Miami Beach to downtown's haven for refined art and design, there's a gallery and collection for every taste. Brush up on Florida's rich history and cultural diversity in the many museums and centers around town or take the kids to swim with the dolphins, on a walk through a rainforest, or to a laser spectacle of the universe. No matter what you're looking for, this guide gives you everything you need to flavor your afternoons, weekends and vacations with the Miami arts and information scene.
Bakehouse Art Complex
561 NW 32nd St., Miami
Open daily 12-5pm
Founded in 1985, this 1930's baking-company-turned-art-gallery houses 70 low-rent studios where professional artists both create and exhibit. The complex has its own workrooms for sculpting, ceramics jewelry-making, printing and film development, plus two exhibition galleries and classrooms for workshops with visiting artists. Like what you see? Then buy it. Visitors are allowed to watch artists at work and purchase their creations. On special event nights, grab drinks with visiting wine bar Stop Miami, which has moved its actual serving bar, created by Bakehouse sculptors, into the complex.
Bass Museum of Art
2121 Park Ave., Miami Beach
Open Tue-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm, closed Mondays and holidays
Admission: adults $8, seniors $6, students with ID $6, members/children under 6 free. Group discounts available. Docent tours free every Saturday at 2 pm
Parking: metered lot on site and on streets
With a collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, contemporary photography and much, much more, the Bass Museum draws visitors with appetites for the rare and eclectic. Since its founding in 1963, the museum has brought international fine arts straight to Miami Beach and expanded its historical Art Deco building to more than 35,000 sq. ft. Japanese woodblock prints, Asian sculpture and ceramics, Rococo court paintings, 19th century landscapes, Latin American paintings, 16th century French tapestries, and works by Rembrandt, Daumier and Toulouse-Lautrec are just a few of more than 3,000 pieces that make up the Bass' permanent exhibits. The personal Austrian art collection of museum founder John Bass, an avid collector of objects from his homeland, is also frequently on display. Don't leave without seeing the outdoor arrangement of contemporary sculptures in bronze, steel, fiberglass and vivid polyester resin or checking out special temporary exhibits, which, in the past, have featured works by Frida Kahlo, Picasso and Matisse.
Lowe Art Museum
University of Miami
1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables
Open Tues-Sat 10 am-4 pm and Sun noon-4 pm
Admission: adults $10, students/seniors/adult group tours (10+) $5, student groups (10+) $3, children under 12 and UM students, faculty and staff free
Special days: Monthly Lowedown Happy Hour on First Thursday of every month from 7-9:30pm, $5 admission, free for Lowe Members
Founded in 1950, this museum started in three classrooms at the University of Miami. Since then it has amassed over 15,000 pieces of art and moved into its own 2,100-square-foot gallery, serving both the university and the general public. Lowe dedicates itself to education - students and faculty have annual exhibitions and tours engage visitors with questions and open dialogue. But this is more than just a student gallery. Five thousand years of art adorn the halls from the museum's permanent collection, which boasts Greco-Roman marble statues and painted pottery, Mayan and Incan carvings, Baroque and Renaissance oil paintings, African textiles and an expansive Asian art collection - the baby of museum director Brian Dursum, who is also an Asian curator. There's also a smaller modern and contemporary collection, including work from American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein and printmaker Frank Stella. Monthly happy hours sponsored by Bacardi offer special tours of exhibits, live music and international cuisine.
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse
591 NW 27th St., Miami
Open Wed-Sat 11am-4pm (October - April); closed May - September
Admission: adults $10
Look for paint and canvas elsewhere, because you won't find any in this 45,000-square-foot warehouse on the skirts of Miami's Wynwood Art District. The stark-white-walled gallery showcases photography, video, sculpture and installation art owned by local real estate developer Martin Z. Margulies, whose collection focuses on presenting large bodies of work by particular artists that represent shifts in key artistic movements of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Bauhaus, European modernism, social realism, American street photography and more. Sprawling art installations, video displays and sculptures from Do-Ho-Suh, Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Hirschhorn and Frank Stella occupy loft-like levels on the open-space floor plan. Stretched across the ceiling, Ernesto Neto's abstract spectacle of spice-filled Lycra, tulle and women's stockings is a must-see on the main floor. The warehouse closes to install new art every May through September, so make sure to call for opening dates in October.
Permanent Installations include work by Ernesto Neto, Olafur Eliasson, Donald Judd, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Willem De Kooning, George Segal, Michael Heizer, Richard Serra, Sol LeWitt, Isamu Noguchi, Tony Smith, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Will Ryman, Joel Perlman, Franz West and John Chamberlain.
Miami Art Museum
101 Flagler St., Miami
Open Tue-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 12-5pm
Admission: adults $8, seniors $4.00, members/students with ID/children under 12 free
Special days: second Saturdays free
Located in the Miami-Dade Cultural Plaza, MAM's main mission is to represent the city and its people through art. Experience an array of colors, lights, sounds and structures on the museum's two floors of exhibit space, which bring together painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation art of diverse artists such as Carlos Alfonzo, Sol LeWitt, Chuck Close, Ana Mendieta, George Segal and Frank Stella, among many others. See Vik Muniz's contemporary recreation of Monet's "Waterlilies," a collage of magazine clips on three walls, or take a closer look at the arrangement of mirrors and flame-inspired light boxes of Alfredo Jaar's "Europa" a commentary on the Bosnian War. Visitors can expect more exhibitions of new media bolstered by the 2006 partnership with Miami Art Central, a former contemporary art museum with specialty in Latin American modernists, video artists and photography. For adults looking for a more artistic after-work alternative, there's JAM at MAM on every third Thursday, a happy hour complete with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a DJ.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) at North Miami
770 NE 125th St., North Miami
Open Tue, Thur, Fri, Sat 11am-5pm, Wed 1pm-9pm, Sun 12-5pm
Admission: adults $5, seniors/students with ID $3, members/North Miami residents/children under 12 free
Special days: last friday of every month 7-10pm for jazz
MOCA presents a mix of both local and international artists in its galleries. Local emerging artists, including Jose Bedia, Pablo Cano, Hernan Bas, William Cordova, Robert Chambers and Ruben Torres Llorca have been shown here, with highlights of past exhibits including works by Anna Gaskell, Gianni Versace, Pablo Cano and Salvador Dali.
The art starts at the entrance, where a line of palm trees crosses a round reflection pool, now an interactive wishing well. MOCA's indoor exhibits encompass 1970s film, Mexican modernism, fashion design, architecture, embroidery, animation and much more. Moveable walls in the main gallery allow curators to tailor viewing space to paintings, photography displays, large sculptures and installations of any shape and size. With as many as 10 annual exhibitions, there's always something new on display.
MOCA is also known for its popular programs, including Jazz at MOCA concert series, "MOCA by Moonlight," Arts for All and 5 Minutes of Fame.
The museum also has plans for a 20,000 sq. ft. expansion with more exhibition space, a 2,000 sq. ft. gallery for local artists and a new education wing.
The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum
Address: Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St., Miami
Web site: www.frostartmuseum.org
Hours: Wed/Thur/Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 12-4pm
Once a small student gallery, the Frost Art Museum has blossomed on the lush lawns of Florida International University, supporting arts education and representing Latin American and Caribbean culture in the community. The museum's four art collections aim to balance the traditional with contemporary, and as a Smithsonian affiliate, Frost gets first dibs on the mega-museum's traveling exhibitions. Sample history with the General Collection's Mayan and Incan antiquities, Haitian and Brazilian folk art, 1960s and '70s printmaking, and painting and photography from Adolph Gottlieb, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg and Eduardo Del Valle. The Cintas Fellows Collection spotlights sculpture, film, literature, musical composition and architecture of Cuban artists living outside Cuba. Staying true to its roots, the museum also has an entire collection of art from award-winning undergraduate and graduate students. Also in house is the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Coral Gables, which closed in 1989 and transferred its 2,300 treasures to Frost for safekeeping.
Rubell Family Collection
Address: 95 NW 29th St., Miami
Web site: www.rubellfamilycollection.com
Hours: Open to the public November-July, Tues-Sat 10am-6pm
Admission: $10, $5 students with ID
Welcome to the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll of art. This warehouse gallery is home to the personal taste and vision of the Rubell family, who have been collecting contemporary art since the 1960s. Neon lights and massive murals coexist with moving mannequins and abstract sculpture in 45,000 sq. ft. of rotating exhibition space. The Rubells don't shy away from nudity or shock factor and hope to create discussions across generations with their avant-garde art choices - meaning you might not want to bring the kids or others with more sensitive tastes. Major artists in the collection include Maurizio Cattelan, Keith Haring, Paul McCarthy, Charles Ray, and David Salle. Doors close for a few months in the summer and fall to prepare for new exhibitions. The building also houses a research library, sculpture garden, book store and gift shop.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Address: 3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami
Web site: www.vizcayamuseum.org
Hours: 9:30am - 4:30pm daily
Admission: adults $12, seniors/students with ID/wheelchair users/Miami-Dade residents $9, children 6-12 $5, Children under 5 free
Built in 1916, this Italian Renaissance and Baroque-style national historic landmark was the winter home of agricultural industrialist James Deering, who wanted the estate to resemble a 400-year-old Italian villa. It's formal gardens, hedge maze and terraces lie on 10 acres along Biscayne Bay and are a popular romantic venue for weddings. Thirty-four rooms containing 16th through 19th century North American, European and Asian decorative arts are open for public viewing. Follow the marble floors and arched ceilings to James Deering's personal library with its camouflaged bookcase-door, or meander in the music room, designed for string melodies of its piano, harp and dulcimer. Guest rooms each have their own design theme, such as the 18th century-style "Espagnolette" room, adorned with dark wood floors and blue and gold fabric draping the four-post bed and windows. Take a stroll among the collection of rare orchids in the David A. Klein Orchidarium, watch sunlight scatter through the stained-glass doors of the tea room, or enjoy lunch with view of the historic swimming pool at the cafe and shop. Feel free to explore on your own or with guided tours offered every half-hour.
The Wolfsonian - FIU
Address: 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach
Web site: www.wolfsonian.org
Hours: Mon/Tue/Sat/Sun 12-6pm, Thur-Fri 12-9pm, museum restaurant open during regular museum hours
Admission: adults $7, seniors/students with ID/children 6-12 $5, Free after 6pm Fridays, members/Miami Beach residents/ children under 6/students, faculty, and staff of the State University System of Florida free
Parking: garages at 7th and 13th streets and Collins Ave ($1/hr) and parking meters along roadsides.
Amid the sun and clamor of South Beach lies the Wolfsonian, an oddball sophisticate among neon clones. Modern-age eclecticism is the museum's focus, and both permanent and rotating exhibits make use of the Wolf's vast collection of American and European objects and art produced during the height of the industrial age (1885-1945). Exhibits here examine art and design as they relate to political, social, and technological issues. According to the Wolfsonian, anything from propaganda posters and books to toasters and clocks, is a commentary on, and a product of, the times. Sit down to lunch or dinner at the museum's cafe and shop, which offers everything from art books to Bush Administration finger puppets.
World Erotic Art Museum
Address: 1205 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
Web site: www.weam.com
Hours: Daily 11am-Midnight, including holidays
Admission: Only adults 18 and older admitted, $15
Parking: garages at 7th and 13th streets and Collins Ave ($1/hr) and parking meters along roadsides.
WEAM houses over 12,000 sq. ft. of erotic art from the private collection of internationally renowned antiques collector Naomi Wilzig. Although Wilzig says her museum is not a hall of porn, what's on display is still sensual even though it's historical and educational. The showrooms display erotic artifacts, paintings, sculptures and tapestries from all cultures ancient and modern. Marilyn Monroe pinups are right down the hall from Haitian voodoo fertility fetishes, and objects range in size from tiny ancient Greek nude figurines to a massive king-size bed carved from wood, complete with four suggestive posts. If you're a Kubrick fan, make sure to seek out the actual male prop used in the 1971 film "A Clockwork Orange," located in the large pieces room. Many exhibits also have videos of Miss Naomi explaining the history behind certain pieces of her collection and their cultural significance. WEAM can be an enlightening stop on your South Beach vacation, but, sorry kids, you must be at least 18 years old to enter.
Miami Science Museum
Address: 3280 S Miami Ave., Miami
Phone: 305-646-4200/Planetarium 305-646-4420
Web site: www.miamisci.org
Hours: Daily 10am-6pm
Admission: adults $14.95, seniors (62+), students w/ID and children 3-12 $10.95, children 2 & under free.
Satisfy your curiosity at MiaSci - a family-friendly hub of science and technology. Exhibits and shows span the ancient history of dinosaurs to NASA's latest discoveries about distant planets. Learn about environmental conservation at the Wildlife center, where kids can encounter alligators, snakes, lizards and Florida birds of prey. Explore the human body and battle viruses with interactive games in Immersion Theatre, or push and pull your way to understanding the laws of physics in the Newton's Notions exhibit. The surround-sound planetarium offers music-filled laser light shows (as well as programs for the hearing and visually impaired), and if the skies are clear, visitors can get a closer look at the real stars and planets through the observatory telescope. MiaSci owns more than 60,000 artifacts and, as a science affiliate of the Smithsonian, presents major traveling exhibitions. Past highlights include "Amazon Voyage," "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition" and "The Dinosaurs of China."
Address: 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami
Web site: www.miamiseaquarium.com
Hours: Daily 9:30am-6pm
Admission prices: general $35.95, children 3-9 $26.95, children under 2 free
Sea turtles, manatees, killer whales, dolphins and many more marine creatures make for fun with the family at this aquarium and conservation center. Watch colorful tropical fish swim through coral reefs in the aquariums and view Discovery Bay's endangered mangrove habit -- home to white-tailed deer, wild birds, rays and alligators. Trainers in the Tropical Wings exhibit handle exotic animals from the tropical rainforest, including toucans and poisonous arrow frogs. Make sure to check out the feeding frenzy in Crocodile Flats, a pond-filled home to 26 Nile crocodiles, and Shark Channel, where special trainers satiate 200-pound sharks. For an additional fee, you can make your visit even more memorable by swimming with the dolphins in a two-hour program led by marine training staff.
Atlantic and Caribbean Fish Aquariums
Miami Children's Museum
Address: 980 MacArthur Cswy., Miami
Web site: www.miamichildrensmuseum.org
Hours: Daily 10am-6pm
Admission: general $16, Florida residents $12, members/children under 1 free
Special Days: Third Fridays, free admission from 3-9 p.m.
With 12 galleries, a 200-seat auditorium and hundreds of interactive exhibits, this museum offers kids a hands-on ways to experience art, culture and communication. Kids can build healthy habits at the Health and Wellness Center, climb a giant sand castle, shop in their very own supermarket and work the cameras in a mock television studio. Explore local lifestyle and culture in Meet Miami's mock neighborhoods, ports and cruise ship. See what life's like for police officers and firefighters in Safety Zone, where kids can dress the part and drive virtual motorcycles and fire trucks. For children under five, there's The Sea and Me exhibit, an ocean-inspired play area of water and bubbles. Create masterpieces of color and sound in the art and music rooms or exert energy on the rock-climbing course of "Mt. Michimu." The museum also houses an educational gift shop and Subway restaurant and offers multiple after-school art, dance and storytelling sessions.
Address: 1531 Brescia Ave., University of Miami
Web site: www.miami.edu/iccas
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm
Admission: $5 donation requested, free for UM students, faculty, staff, and children under 12
Located at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at University of Miami, this center features interactive exhibits and educational sessions about Cuban history and culture. A cinema shows daily nostalgic and informative films about Cuban heritage, lifestyle, politics and the history of rum and tobacco. Sample assorted instruments and more than 2,000 digital songs by Cuban singers and composers in the Music Pavilion or get a taste of Cuban humor with recorded routines of comedians Luis Carbonell, Trespatines, and Guillermo Alvarez Guedes. The conference room displays historical exhibits, such as the Smithsonian's photo collection of early 20th century Cuba, and offers guest speakers on subjects like Cuban cuisine and Cuba's criminal justice system. The center also hosts an online database for everything Cuban at http://cuba.iccas.miami.edu.
Gold Coast Railroad Museum
Address: 12450 SW 152nd St., Miami
Phone: (305) 253-0063
Web site: www.goldcoast-railroad.org
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm. Model Train area: Mon-Fr 11am-2pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm
Admission: adults $5, children 3-12 $3, children under 3 free
A must-see for model train collectors, Gold Coast hosts a collection of more than 40 passenger cars, freight cars, locomotives and other railway equipment. View "Ferdinand Magellan," the private railway car of Franklin D. Roosevelt and only custom-made car ever built for a U.S. President in the 20th century. The model train building, open for a few hours daily, has an array of model scales (Z, N, HO, O27, G) on display, plus a play room for kids to build their own wooden train sets, including "Thomas the Tank Engine" models. On weekends, take the family for a ride on the "Edwin Link Children's Railroad" for a small fee. The museum also offers rides on larger diesel and diesel-electric locomotives on some weekends.
Address: 101 W. Flagler St., Miami
Web site: www.hmsf.org
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm
Admission: adults $8, seniors/students with ID $7, children (6-12) $5, children under 6/members free
Parking: available at the Miami-Dade Cultural Center Parking Garage, 50 NW 2nd Ave. Discount through museum validation.
Special days: open until 9pm every third Thursday
According to HMSF, the past is just as important as the present, and you'll find plenty of history in the museum's vast collection of more than 13,000 artifacts, dating back to pre-Columbian times. Exhibits reflect the influences of immigration, tourism, development and the environment on Miami and surrounding cities. The permanent exhibit "Tropical Dreams: A People's History of South Florida" examines five periods of social rivalry, expansion and technological advancement in South Florida. Other points of interest are 1920s trolley cars, gold and silver recovered from 17th and 18th century shipwrecks, and the Miami Centennial Quilt - each colorful block depicts a moment of South Florida's history.
Natural Disasters of the Caribbean, 1495-2010
Address: 1933-1945 Meridian Avenue, Miami Beach
Web site: www.holocaustmmb.org
Hours: 9am-9pm daily
Parking: Free south of the memorial
The large circular plaza in Miami Beach serves as a tribute to the six million Jewish victims of the Nazis during World War II. Black granite walls display a brief history of the war from 1933-1945, and bright Jerusalem stone passages lead to a towering 42-ft high bronze sculpture in the plaza's center -- a giant hand reaching out of the ground covered with almost 100 bronze human figures. The structure, which took four years to construct, represents the pain, despair and anguish of the Holocaust experience. Surrounding the memorial are photographic murals and a reflection pool. For a fee, visitors can submit names of loved ones for inscription on the memorial wall.
Jewish Museum of Florida
Address: 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
Web site: www.jewishmuseum.com
Hours: Tues-Sun 10am-5pm, closed on all Jewish holidays.
Admission: adults $6, seniors/students $5, families $12, members/children under 6 free
Special days: Saturdays free
Having expanded into Miami Beach's first synagogue built in 1929, this cultural and historical museum occupies two historic Art Deco buildings decorated with chandeliers, sconces and more than 75 stained glass windows. Its core exhibit, MOSAIC: Jewish Life in Florida, includes a timeline wall, audio-visual presentations and more than 600 photos, documents and artifacts representing the past 250 years of Jewish history in Florida. In addition to permanent collections, the museum also hosts many traveling exhibits, including the art of Matatiaou, portraits of Jewish personalities, and this history of anti-Semitism. The museum store sells books, memorabilia and ceremonial items for Jewish holidays and events.
Wings Over Miami Air Museum
Address: Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport, 14710 SW 128 St., Miami
Web site: www.wingsovermiami.com
Hours: Thur-Sun 10am-5:00pm
Admission: adults $10, seniors $7, children under 12 $6
Located at the Tamiami Airport, Wings Over Miami functions as an educational, family-oriented tribute to veterans, aviators and aircraft history. The museum hangar houses military and vintage planes, like the B-59, 1942 Boeing Stearman, 1957 Ikarus, and the GNAT, used by the British Yellowjacks and Red Arrows aerobatic team from 1964-1979. Other historical exhibits focus on aviation and World War II. Bring the kids to the museum's air shows throughout the year and watch Yaks and F-86s take to the sky in close formations. Visit the on-site gift shop for T-shirts, photos and model planes - both pre-made and build-it-yourself.
World Chess Hall of Fame and Museum
Address: 13755 SW 119th Avenue, Miami
Web site: www.chessmuseum.org
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:30am-5pm
Admission prices: suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for children
Special days: Second Sundays of each month: "Sundays at the Museum" Chess Tournament, Thursday nights: chess club from 6-10pm
With its checkered exterior and turret entrance, this museum is hard to miss while driving on Florida's Turnpike. Inside, black and white floors resemble a chessboard, and suits of armor stand next to exhibits along the walls. See rare collector's chess sets and ancient chess pieces, including an Egyptian game of "Senet," one of the oldest board games ever played. Photo and trophy displays pay tribute to legendary chess players Paul Morphy and Bobby Fischer, who has his own chess table exhibit. Learn about the evolution of electronic chess, inspired by the science-fiction technology of Star Trek, and test your skills with interactive computer chess games. The chess club meets Thursday nights for even more hands-on fun. Feeling like a pro? Compete more seriously at museum sponsored chess tournaments for cash prizes.
Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Address: 2000 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach
Web site: www.mbgarden.org
Hours: Tue-Sun 9am-5pm
Bringing balance to creeping urban sprawl are 2.6 acres of botanical gardens near the Miami Beach Convention Center. The gardens specialize in orchids and bromeliads, creating a lush green space of tropical palms, trees and flowers. Walk by the "autograph tree," which has been signed by tour guides over the years, and cross the bright red wooden bridge for a stroll in the Japanese Garden. The garden recently underwent a $1.2 million renovation by acclaimed South Florida landscape architect, Raymond Jungles and now has meandering pathways that allow for full use of the small space. There are several oolite rock water features, a wetland mangrove, and constantly changing temporary art installations. Exploring the grounds is free, as are the garden's many lectures and events, including lessons in tropical cooking, photography and horticulture.
Hours: 9:30am-5pm every day
Web site: www.fairchildgarden.org
Admission: adults $20, seniors $15, children 6-17 $10, children under 5 free
Paved pathways provide easy access to the beauty of Fairchild's 2-acre outdoor tropical rainforest, where plants are labeled and visitors can learn about the importance of rainforest conservation. Stroll through Windows to the Tropics, a large conservatory in which rare palms, ferns and tropical plants thrive year-round. The display room features two greenhouses with new species blooming every day, and the Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion showcases some of the most exotic fruits from around the world. One of the Garden's annual highlights is the International Mango Festival, where visitors can sample a variety of exotic mangos, purchase mango trees and try mango-inspired cuisine. Fairchild also runs a fruit market on 20 acres of commercial orchards in Homestead, where the public can buy specially grown mangos, avocados and tropical fruit smoothies.
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Art and Culture Center of Hollywood
Address: 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood
Web site: www.artandculturecenter.org
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, 12-4pm sunday
Admission: adults $7, students/seniors $4, children under 4 free
Special days: Free Family Days - third Sunday of most months, 1-3pm; Parent's Night Out - second Fridays of most months, 6-10pm
Founded in 1975 at a small, beachfront gallery, this contemporary art and culture center now occupies the historic Kagey manision in downtown Hollywood, built in 1924. Visitors can still see painting, sculpture, installation, photography and video in the new center's gallery exhibitions, which have included the pop-cartoon art of Art Spiegelman and Takashi Muakami, minimalist sculpture, and the local art of Frank Wick and Tom Scicluna. But the center has expanded to serve the community with a library, outdoor sculpture garden and art school offering classes in visual arts, acting, dance and Broadway for both adults and children. Watch ballet, modern dance, and even puppet theatre at the 500-seat performing arts theater, or attend the annual OceanDance event for free on Hollywood Beach - past performers include Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project. Just east of the center is the ArtsPark at Young Circle, where the center will present programs in the "black box" studio, amphitheater and art gallery.
Museum of Art - Fort Lauderdale
Address: One E. Las Olas Blvd.
Web site: www.moafl.org
Hours: Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Open till 8 p.m. on Thursdays
Admission: Admission $10 for adults; $7 seniors, military and students. Free admission for college students with valid ID and students with a Broward Library card. Free admission the third Thursday of each month with 2 for 1 wine and beer specials. Prices may vary for special exhibitions.
With a collection of more than 6,000 international works and more than 21,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, this museum is one of the most visited art centers in Fort Lauderdale. Its focus is 20th century contemporary art, and a large group of paintings, photography and sculpture by more than 100 Cuban artists flavors the collection with the culture of South Florida and the Caribbean. The museum also boasts ceramics of Pablo Picasso, works from the European CoBrA movement and realist paintings of William Glackens. Highlights of past traveling exhibits include Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, plus works by the legendary Renoir, Manet, Van Gogh and Degas. For a little drama, check out performances by the resident theater company Inside Out at the Horvitz Auditorium, or get some hands-on training in painting, drawing and design through the Studio Arts Program and workshops with professional artists.
Buehler Planetarium and Observatory
Address: Broward Community College, Central Campus, 3501 SW Davie Road
Web site: www.iloveplanets.com
Hours: Observatory viewings: Wed/Fri/Sat 8:00-10:00pm, planetarium: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm
Admission: free admission to public observatory viewings, other prices vary ($2-$5)
Families can enjoy laser shows and open sky presentations at this planetarium, which is one of the most technologically advanced observatories in South Florida. Kids can watch shows that explore planets, stars and galaxies while those interested in astronomy can attend nighttime observatory viewings for free. Learn about the history of exploration from Marco Polo to space probes, listen to Indian myths and sky lore or search for signs of life on Mars through different presentations. Show times and topics are constantly changing, so make sure to call for new schedules and prices.
Museum of Discovery and Science/Blockbuster IMAX(r) Theatre
Address: 401 SW 2nd St., Fort Lauderdale
Web site: www.mods.org
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12-6pm
Admission: (includes IMAX) adults $10, seniors $9, children 2-12 $8
Parking: In SW Fifth St. garage, $3-$7, metered parking also available along streets
Discover the worlds of sharks, bats, dinosaurs and other reptiles. View the largest living Atlantic coral reef in captivity. Wander along a vast nature trail and learn about Florida's Everglades before taking a simulated trip to Mars and the moon. Adults and kids will find plenty of interactive exhibits to explore in this 85,000 sq. ft. museum. Hungry? Grab lunch at the Subway Cafe, or stock up on concession snacks to keep you refreshed while experience both educational and full-length feature films in the five-story high Blockbuster(r) 3D IMAX(r) Theater. The museum also holds various overnight and week-long camps for both kids and families.
Young at Art Children's Museum
Address: 11584 W. SR 84, Davie
Web site: www.youngatartmuseum.org
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm
Admission: adults $8 , seniors $7.50, members/children under 2 free
This museum lets kids experience art and culture from around the world without leaving South Florida. Watch them create black-light art in the surreal environment of artist Kenny Scharf's Closet or travel through Global Village with self-made passports to exhibits of Japanese houses, Mayan pyramids and African villages. Visit the educational Earthworks exhibit, which explains Broward County's recycling and waste management process and encourages kids to "think green." Even toddlers have their own special space to explore crafts and play with building blocks. The museum also holds 11 weeks of summer camps and other studio art classes for kids to try their skills at multiple art styles.
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum and Village
Address: Big Cypress Reservation
Phone: 863-902-1113 (Reservation)/954-797-5570 (Hollywood)
Web site: www.ahtahthiki.com
Hours: Open daily 9am-5pm
Admission: adults $6, seniors/students/children $4, under 6 free
With a name that means "a place to learn" in the Seminole language, this museum and "living" Native American village lets visitors watch Tribal Elders craft baskets, beaded jewelry and wood carvings just as they would have years ago. Watch the film "We Seminoles" to learn about the tribe's history and culture or view exhibits on the their economy, religious ceremonies, transportation methods and rare artifacts. Take a stroll along the one-mile long raised boardwalk through Cypress Swamp or browse the museum store for authentic Seminole arts and crafts.
Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum
Address: 1527 SW 1st Ave., Ft. Lauderdale
Web site: www.antiquecarmuseum.org
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat-10am-3pm
Admission: adults $8, seniors $5, under 12 free
This museum hosts one of the largest known collections of Packards, once considered one of the most luxurious cars in America. On display is owner Arthur Stone's massive collection of cars, antiques and other automotive memorabilia. In addition to the 22 fully working Packard motor cars, which date from the 1900s to the 1940s, be sure to check out the technological marvel of the 1932 Shovelnose Sedan, as well as the oldest car in the museum, a 1909 Gentleman's Runabout Speedster. More than just an antique showroom, the museum also features a vintage bar, a room dedicated to memorabilia of president Franklin D. Roosevelt and a refurbished 1930s Texaco gas station.
IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum
Address: 300 Gulfstream Way, Dania Beach
Web site: www.igfa.org
Hours: 10am-6pm daily
Admission: adults 17-61 $5, children 3-16 $4.50, seniors $4.50, members/children under 3 free
Parking: Free on grounds
Set in a gleaming new building just off Griffin Road, the Fishing Hall of Fame is an educational outpost on all things nautical. Upon walking into the main area, it's hard to miss the ceiling, where the tiniest fish and the biggest beasts of the sea all come together. The museum offers old fishing trophies, a video test that challenges visitors to "Name that Fish," a cinema and life-sized mounts of world-record sport fish. Relax and watch Saturday morning-style fishing shows in the replica fishing lodge, complete with aquarium and flat-screen TV. Learn about sea creatures and ecosystems in the Fish Gallery or view the evolution of sport fishing fear in the Tackle Gallery. Interactive simulators allow you to practice your fishing skills without getting wet in the Catch Gallery, and kids under seven can cast toy reels in the Discovery Room. Also, make sure to check out the Wetlands Walk, an exhibit that mimics the natural environments of marshlands and swamps.
International Swimming Hall of Fame
Address: One Hall of Fame Drive, Fort Lauderdale Beach
Web site: www.ishof.org
Hours: 9am-5pm daily
Admission: adults $8, seniors $6, students $4, members/active military/children under 12 free
With a view to the ocean and over 7,500 sq. ft. to house the worlds largest collection of aquatic memorabilia, books and literature, the International Swimming Hall of Fame has more than 40 exhibits about the history of the sport and its athletes. On display are the Olympic medals of Johnny Weissmuller and Mark Spitz along with tributes to American presidents who were swimmers. The elevated, wave-shaped complex also has a theater with historical videos and offers educational programs on water safety training and fitness at its two 50-meter pools.
Old Dillard Museum
Address: 1009 NW Fourth St., Fort Lauderdale
Web site: www.broward.k12.fl.us/olddillardmuseum
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-4pm
Built in 1924, this nine-room schoolhouse is Broward County's first full-scale museum devoted to black history and culture. As the first school for blacks in Fort Lauderdale, it was originally named the Colored School until it became the Old Dillard Museum in 1991. It is now a focal point for Fort Lauderdale black history, featuring exhibits and displays from local, national and international artists that include everything from woven kente cloths and photos to live performances. Highlights include a permanent Jazz Gallery exhibition dedicated to the late jazz saxophonist Julian ``Cannonball'' Adderley and the museum's library, which houses more than 2,500 books and other reference materials on the African diaspora.
Old Fort Lauderdale Museum of History
Address: 231 SW 2nd Ave.
Web site: www.oldfortlauderdale.org
Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12-5pm
Admission: guided tours $10, self-guided $7
Home to the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, this village of early 20th century buildings offers museums and research centers on everything from Old Broward. Kids can learn about the lives of settlers through the village's re-enactments, pioneer museum and replica 1899 schoolhouse. Hour-long historical walking tours run Saturdays at noon and start at the New River Inn, which houses the history museum just steps away from the Riverwalk. Go back in time with the Society's collection of pioneer artifacts, furniture, clothing and faming tools, including World War II uniforms and Seminole artifacts. View manuscripts of Fort Lauderdale's first settlers, local historians and writings from Dr. James Glenn's days as a Seminole Indian Agent. The Society also owns a collection of oral history tapes, 250,000 historical photographs of Broward County and hard copies of old newspapers, including a 19th century series on the Seminole Wars.
Bonnet House Museum and Gardens
Address: 900 N. Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale
Web site: www.bonnethouse.org
Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 12-4pm. Closed for the month of September
Admission: Grounds only - $10, Tour Fees - individuals $20, seniors $18, students a(6-12) $16, members/children under 6 free. Broward County residents $3 off with ID.
Parking: available on grounds
Built in 1920, this 35-acre plantation estate of Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett was designed to capture the essence of outdoor living. Its gardens, coastal hammock, courtyard and freshwater slough form an oasis of green among the developments on Fort Lauderdale beach. Australian Melaleuca trees shade the path to the front of the estate, decorated with a desert garden of yucca and century plants. To the west are saltwater wetlands and mangrove trees - home to manatees, fiddler crabs and shore birds - and lying east are groves of mangos, avocados, guavas and citrus trees. Watch for the resident colony of Brazilian squirrel monkeys on the grounds, swinging from trees or grabbing a fruit snack. Guided tours of the main house run about every hour or so and take visitors through the dining room, music room, drawing room and art studio, which displays Bartlett's personal watercolor and oil paintings. Arcaded hallways decorated with New Orleans-style ironwork open the estate's walls to breezes from the Atlantic shoreline and views of lush vegetation. Also on the grounds are Evelyn's shell museum, an orchid house and a bar made from bamboo.
Address: 3750 S. Flamingo Road., Davie
Web site: www.flamingogardens.org
Hours: daily 9:30am-5:30pm, closed Christmas, Thanksgiving and Mondays from June 1 to Sept. 30th (Open Labor Day).
Admission: adults $17, children 4-11 $8.50, children 3 and under free. Seniors/AAA members/military get 20% discount with ID. Students get 30% discount with ID. Discount coupon also available online.
This 60-acre botanical gardens and wildlife sanctuary showcases a 25,000 sq. ft. "free flight" aviary of wading birds, live presentations of rare Florida birds of prey, tram tours through groves and wetlands, and gardens with butterflies, hummingbirds, and tropical plants. Take the kids on a trip to Flamingo Island, Alligator Lagoon, the arboretum and the natural habitats of panthers, bobcats and river otters. Visitors can grab lunch or a snack at the café while watching Flamingos in their naturalistic environment. In addition to a gift shop, there is also a marketplace that sells tropical fruits, juices and trees and a garden shop with a diverse selection of plants and garden accessories.