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South Florida's best spots for kids' enrichment activities | 2018 Kids Crown Awards

Correspondent

South Florida Parenting readers voted these the best enrichment activities for kids in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.

Broward: Best Swim Program

The Swim Academy

Pembroke Pines and Weston; theswimacademy.com

Offering a progressive learn-to-swim program, The Swim Academy teaches stroke development through nationally recognized swim techniques for students of all ages who are fearful near water or for children and toddlers learning safety skills. The 30-minute lessons are taught in heated pools. The Swim Academy invites potential students to schedule a free evaluation to determine which type of lessons would be best suited for that person.

Coral Springs Aquatic Complex

12441 Royal Palm Blvd, Coral Springs; Aquaticcomplex.com, 954-345-2121

From beginning to advanced levels and for various ages, Coral Springs Aquatic Complex offers diving lessons, synchronized swimming, water polo, water aerobics, learn-to-swim programs, swim training and technique classes. The 50-meter pool is newly renovated, and there are several swimming and diving clubs for true water enthusiasts to join.

Miami-Dade: Best Swim Program

Born 2 Swim Aquatic Academy

1955 NW 108th Ave, Miami; Born2swim.net, 305-437-7946

Offering programs such as Aqua Babies and Aqua Tots, Born 2 Swim Aquatic Academy also features Rolly Polly Floaty, which teaches babies 6 to 11 months how to hold their breath and roll over from a face-down position in the water onto their backs and survival floating. There is also an Aqua Club, which is a weekly group program for more experienced swimmers ages 3 and older who are transitioning from Rolly Polly or AquaTots levels and can maintain a self-relying back-float.

Palm Beach: Best Swim Program

Small Fish Big Fish Swim School

346 Pike Road, West Palm Beach; smallfishbigfish.com, 561-818-7946

Small Fish Big Fish Swim School has quickly become a premiere swim resource in West Palm Beach. They live up to their motto: “Small fish become BIG fish by swimming in schools.” Through a community-minded approach, they work to provide ongoing drowning prevention education. They also offer adult and “Small Fish And Me” free lessons for children under 6 months.

Multiple County: Best Swim Program

Baby Otter Swim School

Babyotterswimschool.com, 954-704-0080

With seven instructors, Baby Otter Swim School travels from Miami to Port St. Lucie to teach students ages 8 months and crawling to senior citizens. Utilizing the Turn, Kick, Reach 5-Day Program, students learn to hold their breath using a set of commands. They put their face in the water, swim to the steps and wall by kicking, and learn how to turn around and swim back to where they fell into the water because that is usually the closest place to reach safely. The school aims to make Florida a ZERO drowning state and prides itself on having the world’s fastest learn-to-swim program. The school also teaches special-needs students.

Broward: Best After-School Program

David Posnack JCC

5850 S. Pine Island Road, Davie; Dpjcc.org

David Posnack JCC’s Afterschool Adventure Program allows kids to engage in sports such as karate, swimming, soccer, basketball, dance, tennis and yoga, release energy on the playground, get homework done in a supervised homework room, discover new technology in a computer lab and expand their minds with chess, cooking, robotics, magic, stop motion animation and more. After school program transportation is provided from nearby schools.

Broadway Kids Studio

9042 W. State Road 84, Davie; Broadwaykidsstudio.com, 954-693-7500

A Kids Crown winner in previous years, Broadway Kids Studio is still going strong with its award-winning after-school program that exposes to students to singing, acting, dancing and musical instruments. There are standard rates available for ages 5 to 18 as well as discounted sibling rates. Students will also have a chance to appear in holiday shows and annual showcases. Transportation is included.

Miami-Dade: Best After-School Program

The Art Shack

9831 NW 58th St., Suite 145, Doral; theartshackmiami.com, 786-664-8893

The staff at The Art Shack believes creativity is a must at any age, and their goal is to nurture that creative energy. After school, children will not only get a chance to complete their homework, but they’ll also get to engage in creative arts such as painting, drawing and more when school is out for the day.

Palm Beach: Best After-School Program

Mandel JCC

8500 Jog Road, Boynton Beach; Jcconline.com, 561-740-9000

Club J, the Mandel JCC after-school program, picks up students from nearby schools. Designed for children in kindergarten through fifth grade, students have an afternoon snack and homework time in a supervised homework room before moving on to specialist-led activities including cooking, science, a DJ club, Shabbat and Jewish holiday celebrations, swimming, science, sports, dramatic theater and art.

Multiple Counties: Best After-School Program

YMCA

YMCA.net

Focusing on child safety, health, social growth and academic enhancement, YMCA after-school programs welcome kindergartners through middle-school students. Homework assistance, swimming, themed activities and special-needs programs for grades K through 12 are offered.

Broward: Best Academic/Enrichment Program

Team of Tutors

Multiple locations in Broward County; teamoftutors.com

Team of Tutors offers both effective and affordable one-on-one instruction personalized to each student’s needs. Each tutor specializes in a specific subject or grade level so students can learn from instructors that are not only trained, but trained to help them specifically. Along with tutoring help, tutors teach study skills, test-taking tips and organizational skills. This individualized attention and positive reinforcement will have students on track academically in no time.

Miami-Dade: Best Academic/Enrichment Program

Math Monkey Miami

12659 S. Dixie Highway, Pinecrest; mathmonkeymiami.com, 305-971-6284

The Math Monkey program has mastered the art of teaching mathematics. Their methods combine the both Eastern and Western math techniques and give children the skills to use multiple approaches to solve problems. Math Monkey and its associated programs will help children increase speed, understanding and confidence in their math abilities. Group, online and one-on-one tutoring offered.

Palm Beach: Best Academic/Enrichment Program

YMCA of the Palm Beaches

2085 S. Congress Ave., West Palm Beach; ymcapalmbeaches.org, 561-968-9622

In addition to aquatics, youth sports and health and wellness programs, YMCA of the Palm Beaches offers preschool, voluntary VPK and team-building after-school programs. Devoted to promoting the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of children, the staff at YMCA of the Palm Beaches centers programming around the YMCA’s values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility.

Multiple Counties: Best Academic/Enrichment Program

Kumon Learning Centers

kumon.com, 800-222-6284

Kumon’s math and reading programs can help build and advance your child’s skill levels in each subject. The Kumon program takes about 30 minutes twice a week in a center along with work completed at home. With each lesson, your child’s critical reading skills and overall reading, writing and math skills will improve steadily. Many Kumon parents report that their children have mastered concepts to the point of putting them grade levels ahead.

Broward: Best Kids' Arts/Theater Program

Encore Dance Theatre

3461 Hiatus Road, Sunrise; Encoredancetheatre.com, 954-746-0822

With dance classes ranging from jazz, hip-hop and modern to flamenco, pointe, Irish dance, acrobatic and musical theatre classes, Encore Dance Theatre has something to inspire your little performer. The school’s teachers continue to win choreography awards, and 23 students from Encore Dance Theatre were invited to perform in Disney’s televised Christmas Day Parade on ABC.

Miami-Dade: Best Kids' Arts/Theater Program

The Art Shack

9831 NW 58th St., Suite 145, Doral; theartshackmiami.com, 786-664-8893

The Art Shack offers art classes for 3-year-olds to adults. Students will learn basic art skills to more technical techniques. Sculpture, painting, ceramics, mixed media, drawing, installations, group and individual works are all part of the program. There are also photography and comic and cartoon classes.

Palm Beach: Best Kids' Arts/Theater Program

Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; kravis.org

The S*T*A*R (Students & Teachers Arts Resources) Series introduces students to live theater while Student Art Enrichment programs bring Disney musicals to schools, and Broadway performers lead workshops for high school students. Students can also participate in workshops to learn how to write theater reviews.

Broward: Best School Break/Summer Program

David Posnack JCC

5850 S. Pine Island Road, Davie; Dpjcc.org

Children can make arts and crafts, participate in cooking, swimming, sports and more with David Posnack JCC’s “School’s Out…JCC Is In” program. Kids will love Camp Kadima, where they will go on interesting field trips, play tennis, enjoy daily activities such as TV production and karate, and engage in color wars and sing-alongs and make other priceless summertime memories with new friends.

Miami-Dade: Best School Break/Summer Program

The Art Shack

9831 NW 58th St., Suite 145, Doral; theartshackmiami.com, 786-664-8893

Children ages 5 to 12 will enjoy Creativity Summer Camp at The Art Shack with educational programming such as dancing, acting, singing and visual arts. Kids even get a chance to record music in a real recording studio. Half-day and full-day summer sessions are available. Some of the weekly themes campers can explore include nature art, animation, toy creation, outer space adventures, art and storytelling, and ocean explorers.

Palm Beach: Best School Break/Summer Program

Camp Shalom at the Mandel JCC

5221 Hood Road, Palm Beach Gardens; campshalom.org, 561-712-5227

Camps are broken down into categories including art, basketball, Broadway, circus and soccer. Starting at preschool age and moving through sixth grade, campers can participate in sports, learn about Israeli culture, archery, fishing, dance and more. There are also special dress-up days and religious activities such as Shabbat. Special needs programs are also available.

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