PLAYguide: Kiddie Culture

2016 Family Favorite Winners: Kiddie Culture

Orlando Repertory Theatre Youth Academy

Orlando Repertory Theatre Youth Academy

Performing Arts Program

1001 E. Princeton St., Orlando
The REP receives a resounding applause for its brilliant and engaging productions for young audiences. The REP also offers sensory-friendly performances for some productions, designed for children with sensitivities to bright lights, loud noises and intense action. The REP Youth Academy offers an array of classes, camps, workshops and performance opportunities for kids, even casting its students in full-scale productions.


777 E. Princeton St., Orlando
No shocker here. The Orlando Science Center is the local fave escape when it’s raining, when it’s too hot or when you just can’t think of anything to do. Everyone always has a great time seeing, touching and playing at Orlando’s favorite museum.

Big Kids Music Class

5420 Deep Lake Rd., Ste. 1024, Oviedo
With a rockin’ collection of instructors, instruments and proven music programs, your young rocker will learn the skills needed to reach rock star status.

Baby and Toddler Music Class

Grow and Sing Studios is staffed by music professionals who offer several Kindermusik classes for you and your child to experience together in an enriched musical program. In addition to Kindermusik classes, Grow and Sing Studios also offers private lessons, group guitar classes and private parties. Your first class is free!

Kids Art Class

310 N. Dillard St., Winter Garden
Crealdé offers the creative and inspiring art classes for families in the Central Florida area. With photography, painting, sculpture and ceramics, Crealdé guides children and adults who aspire to artistic excellence. Classes in Winter Garden and Winter Park.

Historical Site

1300 N. Fort Christmas Rd., Christmas
There’s something about historical forts that gets kids (and parents) excited. The park includes a replica of a fort built in 1837 during the Second Seminole Indian War, a traditional Florida Cracker house and eight pioneer homes, a schoolhouse and lunchroom, a sugar cane mill and other historical farming equipment.

Free family-friendly events: Fun on the Farm every Wednesday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.Cracker Christmas on December 3 & 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.Bluegrass Festival on March 18 & 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

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Registration Open for Spring Classes at DPC School of the Arts


Registration is now open for 2017 Spring Semester classes at the Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts. Classes begin Monday, January 16.

Students of any age can take part in classes for dance, vocals, instruments, acting, and musical theater. Check out all of the available classes below:

Dance & Movement

Jazz I (Ages 8-12, 13+)
“Fun” and “high energy” characterize the Jazz I dance class. Students practice isolations, leaps, learn jazz techniques and vocabulary. Students gain the competencies to complete jazz-centric dance combinations and execute complete jazz dance routines.

Jazz II (Ages 13+)
The Jazz II dance course builds on fundamentals of the style. Students focus on honing their technique and learning new and more challenging combinations.

Dance Technique I (Ages 6-8)
Dance Technique brings the foundation of all movement to young dancers. Ballet positions and terminology, along with movement, pattern and rhythms, establish the foundations for all dance instruction.

Dance Technique II (Ages 9-12)
Dancers build on the basic teachings from Dance Technique I and learn to expand their structured dance training and vocabulary.

Dance Improvisation (Ages 12+)
This free-thinking and free-flowing dance class encourages students to explore their creativity and individuality through prompts, movement exercises and guided movement. The class focuses on the concept of improvisational dance in solo and group situations. Movers of all levels are welcome in this class as students work collectively to create new and exciting works.

Tap I (Ages 12+)
Tapping is an exciting way to start dance training. This introductory course shapes the students’ rhythm and musicality through learning the steps and basic techniques of tap dancing.

Tap II (Ages 13+)
Tap is an important part of the Broadway and musical theater craft. This intermediate tap course builds on students’ prior knowledge of technique and movements by adding more advanced steps and combinations.

Hip-Hop I (Ages 6-9, 10-13, 14+)
This high energy, fun Hip-Hop class teaches basic steps, while building flexibility, precision, technique and style. Using upbeat music from various genres in addition to the latest Hip-Hop hits, this class begins with a basic warm-up to stretch and tone the body, followed by across-the-floor progressions, concluding with work on a fun and energetic combination.

Creative Movement (Ages 3-5)
Perfect for the young dancer, this class focuses on creative movement that builds on the necessary gross motor skills needed for primary dance instruction. Students learn self-discipline, confidence, coordination and rhythm while moving to upbeat and age appropriate music. Students engage in dramatic music movement and learn introductory dance positions and steps.

Move with Me – Baby Wearing Dance Class (Adults with Babies)
This is a movement class for adults with young ones in wearable carriers. Move with Me provides early exposure to music, movement and dance. Geared towards creating an environment for community interaction, this class devotes equal focus to the parent/caretaker, the child and the bond between them. Appropriate for all carrier-age children, from birth to toddler. Nursing mothers and siblings are welcome.


Vocal Performance I (Ages 8-13 and 14+)
Vocal Performance provides singers with a proper foundation in diction, vocal production and an awareness of their body in both classical and contemporary music. Students also learn how to honestly express themselves through their song, communicate with the musicians, enhance their stage presence and effectively apply their vocal and performance techniques.

Advanced Vocal Performance (Ages 8-13 and 14+)
For the advanced singer, this class focuses on performance and vocal production for performance. Maintaining one’s instrument and creating that pitch-perfect performance every time requires more rigorous training, and this class provides that for the advanced vocalist.

Yamaha Music School

Yamaha Music School Young Musicians I & II (Ages 7-9)
This three-year course provides effective and enjoyable musical training for young students. They develop keyboard-playing skills, ear training, rhythm training, note-reading and writing, keyboard harmony, arranging, ensemble playing and music appreciation. This class is taught by qualified teachers in a group environment and is designed to promote confidence, team spirit and group dynamics.
To enroll, students must be 6 years of age by February 15 and must have access to a keyboard for practicing. Once the course is completed, students can take the Yamaha Student Grade 9 Exam to confirm musical achievement. Teachers refer to the exam results to correctly place students in advanced courses of study.

Yamaha Keyboard Encounters I (Ages 10-13) and Adult I (Ages 15+)
This class is an innovative keyboard music program for those interested in learning to play the piano. These classes are taught in small groups, combining technology with an effective and enjoyable approach. Students study piano technique, read music and learn to play various musical styles.

Yamaha Young Education System Junior Music I (Ages 4-5)
A comprehensive and fun music curriculum designed for 4 and 5 year olds, this class offers ear-training using solfege, basic keyboard playing skills, rhythm and notation, music appreciation, creativity and singing various musical styles. This is a 2-year program capitalizing on the young child’s developmental characteristics to train basic musical skills. Parents/Guardians are required to actively participate in their child’s music lessons, helping to cultivate a life-long love for music. (Advance level courses, II – IV, as well as Junior Music X, are available for students in the junior music program).
To enroll, students must be 4 years of age by February 15 and must have access to a keyboard for practicing. Once the course is completed, students can take the Fundamental Skills Survey to confirm musical achievement. Teachers refer to the survey results to correctly place students in advanced courses of study.

Rock Band (Ages 12+)
Students gain insight into performing together as an ensemble. Students are grouped into a band based on instrument, musical tastes and age. Band members learn the process of rehearsing and performing, band etiquette, stage presence, equipment set-up and more.

Guitar I (Ages 10-13) and Adult Guitar I (Ages 16+)
This class is for the beginner. Learn chords, simple strums, simple finger-picking and tuning in a fun, relaxed group setting. Students are introduced to the basic elements of rhythm and harmony that allow one to make music in no time.

Adult Guitar II (Ages 16+)
Builds on the basics learned in Guitar I. Students develop proper left and right-hand techniques. You will learn more about reading music, musical terms, chording, alternating bass and how to move smoothly from one chord to another. Have fun learning to play duets and other simple melodies and exploring many different genres of music. Students must bring their own acoustic guitar with an extra set of strings.

Strings I (Ages 10+)
This class is open to anyone with an interest in learning string instruments such as cello, viola, violin and bass. Learn basic instrument set-up and position. Playing in a small group teaches how to match pitch, bow articulation, tone and, best of all, how to play together.

Strings III (Ages 13+)
This class is the next step for those interested in the string section. Students play simple songs that use their new skills and are introduced to the music of the great composers. They play games to develop rhythmic skills and a musical ear and also learn the basics of reading music.

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s WeBop (Ages 2-3)
WeBop is an early-childhood jazz education program developed by Jazz at Lincoln Center for children that invites families to stomp, strut and swing to the rhythms of jazz. These 45-minute classes are structured for participation in groups of two: child and adult. They offer a creative outlet for children to explore jazz through movement, songs, storytelling and play, all as they learn about the core concepts, instruments and great performers of jazz.

Theater Arts

Creative Drama (Ages 6-8)
In a nurturing and supportive environment, young participants explore an improvisational form of drama where they are encouraged to imagine, perform and reflect on real or imagined experiences. Through stories, games and movement, young students make the connection between the magical world of theater and make believe. There is an emphasis on personal expression, creative imagination, confidence and socialization.

Creative Drama II (Ages 8-10)
This class is a continuation of Creative Drama I. Students build on the confidence they have developed. Storytelling, imagination and ensemble work strengthens young actors’ skills, building a foundation for the more complex work of scene study waiting for them in Acting I/II/III.

Acting I (Ages 10-13 and 14+)
Through improvisation, script analysis and scene study, entry-level students are introduced to the fundamentals of acting and performance. Special emphasis is placed on interpretation, character development and ensemble work.

Acting II/III (Ages 10-13 and 14+)
The intermediate/advanced scene study class allows students to build on the tools they gained in Acting I. Students are introduced to higher level character analyses, stretching their abilities as they attack more difficult acting problems through situations that are foreign and unfamiliar. Recognizing and understanding the subtext of a scene is explored as students examine the texture, tone and timing found in plays of contemporary and classic writers to bring subtle nuances to their performances. Students also gain an intermediate skill set of production responsibilities that an actor should possess to contribute to a piece of successful theater.

Sensory Friendly Theater (Ages 12+)
Theater training includes the skills of speaking, interacting, applying memorized text appropriately, listening, non-verbal communication and interpreting. For those on the autism spectrum, these skills can be challenging. In this fun and safe environment, students will learn to interact with others and project in their performance. Students with an affinity for drama will grow through the chance to practice with their peers. Students new to drama will experience a fun and engaging craft that will enhance their social skills.

Musical Theater

Musical Theater Performance I (Ages 7-10, 10-13 and 13+)
Students integrate singing, dancing and acting into one creative expression through Broadway songs, scene work and choreography. This collaborative learning experience introduces basic acting principles, vocal techniques and fun beginning choreography. The emphasis for this class is on building a confident proficiency to execute all three art forms that make up a modern musical.

Advanced Musical Theater Performance (Ages 10-13 and 13+)
This class builds on the techniques and skills developed in Musical Theater Performance I, while introducing more challenging material. Students work on advanced musical theater training techniques, an expanded repertoire and the business acumen required for the musical theater profession.

Prospective students can visit, call 407.455.5551, or schedule a time to register in person at the arts center by emailing
Early registration is encouraged by January 2, 2017.

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Disney On Ice Presents Follow Your Heart


Tickets are on sale today for Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart Featuring Disney•Pixar’s Record-Breaking Animated Hit Finding Dory and Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out

This Disney On Ice extravaganza is visiting Orlando at the Amway Center from September 2 through September 4 for a total of six performances.

Just keep swimming with Dory, Nemo, Marlin and new pal Hank from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory as they embark on a life-changing excursion to find her parents and discover the true meaning of family. Cheer with the Emotions from Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out –Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust– as they help Riley find the confidence to win the hockey championship and experience the emotional rollercoaster of growing up. Venture to wintery world of Arendelle where Olaf and Kristoff help reunite royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and learn love is the most powerful magic of all. See Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana and the Disney Princesses make their dreams come true through their virtues of bravery, kindness and perseverance. And celebrate true friendship with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and The Toy Story gang. Make unforgettable memories with Mickey, Minnie and all your Disney friends when Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart skates into Orlando!

Tickets for Disney on Ice presents Follow Your Heart start at $18. Click here or here to purchase tickets for you and your family. You can also purchase tickets at the Amway Center Box Office.

Friday, September 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 3 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.
Sunday, September 4 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

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2014 Family Favorite Award Winners: Kiddie Culture

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Orlando Repertory Theatre

Best Kids Theater

Orlando Repertory Theatre
What kid doesn’t love fancy costumes and meet and greets with actors after the shows? The Rep is the go-to kid-friendly theater that offers fun shows with all your kiddo’s fave characters. Dr. Phillips and Altamonte Springs,

Best Family Festival

Kids Fringe at Orlando Fringe Festival
Kids Fringe is a special part of the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival just for kids and families! Located in the sculpture gardens of The Mennello Museum of American Art, Kids Fringe offers performances by Fringe artists, workshops, hands-on art activities and more. The best part is it’s free.

Best Family Program or Tour

Kennedy Space Center
From the KSC Bus Tour, which gives you an up-close view of a launch pad and the massive Saturn V rocket, to the IMAX theater, which features images of the Hubble Space Telescope and life aboard the International Space Station, there’s a lot to experience at KSC. A 40-minute drive from Orlando, KSC provides an important, yet fun, history lesson. Titusville, 321-449-4440,

Orlando Science Center Photo By RF Photography

Orlando Science Center Photo By RF Photography

Best Museum for Kids

Orlando Science Center
It’s no surprise the Orlando Science Center won your pick for best museum for kids. It’s full of learning opportunities disguised as playtime. There’s always a new exhibit to explore. Consider the yearlong membership to save money on each visit. You’ll also save on the center’s coveted camps! Winter Park, 407-514-2000,

Best Story Time

Orlando Public Library
From tales for tiny tots to songs, and folk and animal tales, the Orlando Public Library is the place for story time fun. The story time is held Fridays and Saturdays at the downtown library, and your kiddos will be enthralled by fascinating stories, flannel and big book stories, plus rhymes, songs and poetry. Orlando, 407-835-7323,

Editor’s Choice

Discover, inspire, and create at The Craft Shack set in a charming historic house in Longwood. Local mom Debbie Helton is a whiz at arts and crafts enrichment with a recycled flair. Check the online schedule for mommy-and-me classes, open studio, after-school classes, homeschool classes, Girl Scout events, ladies nights out and birthday parties. Or rent the space for private events. Longwood, 407-448-1375,

Hidden Gem

The Public History Center is the area’s best- kept secret. A partnership with the University of Central Florida’s History Department has enhanced programming at this facility. The building was once a public school, but is now a place for kids to learn about Florida history. We love the fact that each room has a different theme with plenty of hands-on activities to take students back in time. In the Pioneer Room, for example, kids can explore a log cabin, try on authentic clothing and work with pioneer tools. Sanford, 407-936-1679,

Words by Tracey Velt

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