Get inspired in The Palm Beaches, where arts festivals, engaging performances and fine art collections continue all summer long. There’s also a complimentary Cultural Concierge to help infuse your itinerary with customized experiences that reflect your cultural interest and schedule. To kick-start your summer travel plans, here are a few highlights.
From Broadway musicals to Shakespeare under the stars, summer in The Palm Beaches means friends and family can enjoy great theatrical moments together. The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach offers musicals by the award-winning MNM Theatre Company, including a three-week run of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” that starts on July 27. This Tony Award-winning show roasts certain aspects of love and marriage in a most entertaining manner. Nostalgia and inspiration are the takeaways for “Woody Guthrie’s American Song,” which runs July 13–August 8 at Palm Beach Dramaworks. The Boston Globe describes it as “a dazzling, dizzying explosion of Guthrie’s genius.”
The Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival presents “Shakespeare by the Sea” at the Seabreeze Amphitheatre in Jupiter’s Carlin Park each summer on the second and third weekends in July. Friends and family traditionally picnic, while being dazzled by a fully-staged outdoor performance of “Antony and Cleopatra.” Boca Raton’s Florida Atlantic University hosts its 21st annual Festival Repertory Theatre 2018 this summer with productions of Noël Coward’s brilliant comedy, “Easy Virtue” (June 8–23), and Kander and Ebb’s “Cabaret,” July 6–22.
Treat yourself to stunning exhibitions at the fine art museums and galleries of The Palm Beaches. The Boca Raton Museum of Art is a must-see for fans of modern and contemporary works. Consider, for example, the abstract expressionist paintings of “Nick Carone: Shadow Dance” (through July 29), the contemporary textile design trends of “Nomadic Murals: Contemporary Tapestries and Carpets” (through October 21), and outrageous portraits of Canadian photographer Lisette Model, among the most influential of 20th-century street photographers, and the woman who famously taught Diane Arbus.
In addition to its dynamic permanent collection, the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach offers art classes, tours, lectures, Thursday night “Art After Dark” events and captivating visiting exhibitions. “William Henry Fox Talbot and the Birth of Photography” and “Unexpected Narratives: Videos by Chris Doyle and Muntean/Rosenblum” invite your attention through July 15. By the way, during the Norton’s nearly completed expansion, admission to this beautiful museum is absolutely free.
Immerse yourself in flowers and fertility with the stunning art exhibition “Flora” (through September 9) at the Cornell Art Museum. This recently renovated museum in Delray Beach is located at Old School Square, a vibrant arts hub that also hosts outdoor concerts in its new pavilion and indoor performances at the vintage Crest Theatre. Fans of traditional chamber music can attend the 27th Annual Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, which features weekly concerts during July at this and several other venues.
Also in Delray Beach, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens offers special tours on the second Friday evening of each month. Called Sushi and Stroll, they encourage visitors to experience the peaceful Roji-en gardens at sunset, sample premium Japanese sakes and/or beers, partake of sushi in lake-side restaurant and witness the unforgettable power of a traditional Taiko drum performance.
When it comes to family-friendly events, there’s nothing quite as fun and easy as paying a visit to the Palm Beach Zoo in West Palm Beach. On the first Friday of each month during the summer, the zoo hosts Safari Nights with kids in mind. Each event features a different them (real or mythical) including dinosaurs, fairy tales and even pirates! Just down the road, South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is perfect for the little explorers in your family. The center’s newest “Travel Adventure” summer exhibition lets kids go anywhere using vehicles built from Lego bricks. How cool is that?
Tucked into downtown Delray Beach’s Pineapple Grove Arts District is Arts Garage, one of The Palm Beaches’ go-to nightspots for fans of live jazz, blues, soul and rock ‘n roll. This friendly, casual venue features gallery/cabaret seating, where ticketed guests are encouraged to BYOW (“bring-your-own-whatever”). Several nearby restaurants can even provide a carry-out meal, along with a bottle of wine, to be enjoyed tableside during performances—it’s a fun and inspiring venue.
Get your tunes under the open sky in West Palm Beach on Thursday evenings, as Clematis by Night kicks off. These weekly outdoor soirées along the downtown waterfront feature an ever-changing roster of local bands, along with games for kids and a vibrant nightlife scene for grown-ups afterward at nearby clubs, bars and restaurants.
Make the most of your summer stay in Florida’s Cultural Capital® with support from the Cultural Concierge, a complimentary service of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. This local insider helps individuals, travel agents and meeting/event planners build customized cultural itineraries and explore the destination with ease and confidence.
The Cultural Concierge program manager is Bama Lutes Deal (B.A., Music; M.M. and Ph.D., Musicology), a seasoned arts professional who enjoys helping visitors explore Palm Beach County’s distinctive cultural community.
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