Check It Out: Unique Entertainment And Cultural Options In Wellington
Are you bored with the same old thing? We went searching for unique entertainment and cultural options right here in our community. You can see a movie in the lap of luxury, take in an amazing tribute concert, check out an impressive public art gallery, visit a very moving memorial and experience the world’s most advanced riding simulators. How many of these hidden gems have you explored?
Experience The Equine Simulator
Experience horseback riding in a new way at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center with the amazing Equine Simulators. PBIEC offers jumper, cross country, dressage and polo sessions to both competitive and beginner equestrians who are interested in improving their riding skills.
The Equine Simulator is a mechanical device that imitates natural equine movement and physical responses to mounted riders.
The simulators serve as a one-of-a-kind opportunity for equestrian enthusiasts to fine-tune their skills, as well as provide a platform for individuals who have never ridden a horse to begin their riding careers in a safe and controlled environment.
Three interactive screens surround the simulator, creating an immersive atmosphere for individuals. A certified instructor is always on hand to perfect seat position, leg stability and connection to the bit.
World-class trainer Barbro Ask-Upmark teaches show jumping, cross country and dressage sessions for all ages and rider levels. Ask-Upmark is an accomplished dressage rider earning her USDF gold, silver and bronze medals in the United States, following her successful career as a top dressage trainer in Sweden. Ask-Upmark became involved with coaching and training on simulators in 2006.
A second simulator offers practice for polo players. This device allows them to work on their position and their swing with the moving treadmills located on either side of the horse. To practice hand-eye coordination, as well as near-side and off-side shots, both experienced players or first-time riders are encouraged to sign up for a session with polo instructor Gates Gridley.
The Equine Simulators are available for lessons at PBIEC. For more information about the simulators, or to book your first session, visit www.pbiec.coth.com or call (561) 793-JUMP.
See A Movie At The New Paragon Theaters
Years in the planning, Paragon Theaters opening earlier this year at the Mall at Wellington Green, offering guests the latest movie entertainment options in the lap of state-of-the-art luxury.
“We love the Wellington area, our home office is located in Florida, and the mall was a perfect location for our newest Paragon Theaters,” Paragon’s Niki Wilson said.
In Wellington, Paragon has 10 auditoriums of varying sizes — all with its signature reclining seats. Tickets are available online, at an automated kiosk or through guest services. The smallest auditorium features 47 recliners, while the largest has 176.
While you’re enjoying the big screen in the same comfort as your living room at home, don’t forget the snacks. The concession stand has popcorn, candy, soda and all the typical stuff, but guests can also enjoy beer and wine — and even a full gourmet meal.
Cask + Shaker Craft Bar and Kitchen, the adjacent Paragon-owned restaurant, serves up amazing creations from a diverse menu. You can dine there, or have your meal served in the theater on your recliner’s tray table. Yes! Chef-prepared appetizers, meals and serious cocktails for mom and dad, paired with popcorn and soda for the kids. Everybody’s happy!
Even if you don’t have time for a movie, Cask + Shaker is open to help you relax while you visit the mall. The restaurant offers a happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. with amazing drink and appetizer specials.
“Look for more promotions for both the restaurant and the theater, coming soon,” Wilson said.
For more information, including a treasure trove of special movie features and pricing, including how to get group rates, visit www.paragontheaters.com/promotions.
Take In A Tribute Concert At The Amphitheater
Live concerts by tribute bands — not the real deal, but pretty darn close — have been steadily gaining in popularity. Entertainers performing hits from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s can command audiences of up to 3,000, and tribute band musical shows are among the most popular events held at the Wellington Amphitheater.
Interest spans the age groups, with older residents looking to reclaim a bit of their youth, and a rock-loving younger generation wanting to learn firsthand what all the fuss is about. “The younger kids maybe heard these groups on the radio and want to hear what the music sounds like live,” Wellington Cultural Programs & Facilities Manager Joe Piconcelli said.
Concerts are held several times a month on Saturdays, and admission is always free. In case of inclement weather, concerts may be rescheduled.
Slated to appear between September and December are the sounds of Motown, the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Val Halen, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac. In December, there’s a holiday show with a Neil Diamond tribute band, as well as the Wellington Chamber of Commerce’s Winterfest, featuring Vanilla Ice (the real one). Negotiations are underway to bring in the sounds of the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, the Bee Gees, Prince and Michael Jackson during the 2018 winter season.
On Thursday nights, food trucks and local bands still working toward tribute band status inhabit the space and, on Friday nights, there are movie nights — and that doesn’t include the many festivals and special events that also visit the amphitheater.
Concert-goers are welcome to bring blankets or chairs and, for the little ones, it’s nice to know that bathrooms and Scott’s Place playground are nearby.
For more information about events at the Wellington Amphitheater, contact Piconcelli at (561) 791-4756 or jpiconcelli@wellington fl.gov. Find the complete schedule online at www.wellingtonfl.gov.
Visit The Wellington Patriot Memorial
A more somber place for quiet reflecting is the incredibly moving Wellington Patriot Memorial, located along Forest Hill Blvd. in front of the Wellington Municipal Complex.
Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks that downed the World Trade Center towers in New York, hundreds of pieces of steel were used as evidence during the investigation and eventually offered for public display. In 2009, communities around the world sent letters requesting pieces of the World Trade Center, and Wellington was selected to receive one.
Wellington staff members traveled to New York and selected the piece they felt best suited Wellington’s planned memorial. The beam was solemnly transported here, where the memorial site, complete with an eternal flame and reflecting pond, was being readied.
“This piece was recovered from the South Tower, just below where the plane attack took place,” Wellington’s Nicole Coates said. “In addition to a plaque with the history of the piece of steel, there is also a plaque with the names etched in glass of all the victims who lost their lives that day.”
The Wellington Patriot Memorial was dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It sits in a place of honor at the gateway to the village complex.
“That location is such a good fit for our public display. There are also unrealized benefits that cannot be quantified,” Coates explained. “There are all sorts of uses of that memorial that you wouldn’t think of. There has been a funeral there; one of the keynote speakers from the dedication wanted to have his eulogy read there — and it was.”
Individuals and groups come for miles around to visit this unique Wellington treasure.
“Tens of thousands of people visit each year, especially considering that we have a lot of activity around that site,” Coates said. “We are grateful to have this unique artifact, a part of American history, and we invite everyone to come out and take a look.”
The Wellington Patriot Memorial can be found at 12300 W. Forest Hill Blvd.
Check Out The Wellington Art Society Gallery
Craving a cultural fix? The Wellington Art Society hosts a year-round art installation at the Wellington Municipal Complex, where the works of its members span two floors in a rotating show.
“The dedicated gallery encompasses all the perimeter walls on both the first and second floors, with an atrium area in the center,” Wellington Art Society Board Member Leslie Pfeiffer said. “It accommodates 40 to 60 pieces of artwork and has professional natural spectrum track lighting, as well as the natural daylight from the windows. There’s enough space to accommodate smaller as well as larger pieces, including sculpture.”
Every four months, a committee chooses a theme for each installation, juries the entries, gets a Wellington Village Council member’s approval on the choices, then places each piece in the gallery for Wellington staff to install.
The gallery is open whenever the building is open, and each show features a reception during which the public can meet the artists.
“The Wellington Art Society is open to local and regional artists of all mediums, patrons of the arts and snowbirds,” Pfeiffer said. “We feature professional and emerging artists, as well as nationally acclaimed artists. Mediums include drawing, painting, photography, mixed media, sculpture and ceramics. To keep it interesting, each show is a combination of mediums and techniques.”
The location is well-suited to offer an “art break” to those visiting the village’s nearby facilities. In addition to receptions and self-guided tours, the Wellington Art Society has scheduled private tours for scout troops, women’s groups and art groups from other areas.
The artwork on display is for sale, with 20 percent of the purchase price going toward the Wellington Art Society’s Scholarship Fund. Over the last decade, $75,000 in college scholarships has been distributed among 50 talented students for advanced art studies. “It’s our legacy, and we’re very proud of that,” Pfeiffer said.
The Wellington Art Society meets monthly and also hosts exhibits at other locations around the community. On the horizon is the annual ArtFest on the Green juried show slated for Jan. 27-28, 2018 at the Wellington Amphitheater.
For additional information, visit www.wellingtonartsociety.org.