32940 Magazine — 2012-2013
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It's All In The Family
Maria Sonnenberg

local activities abound for the entire family

The Suntree/Viera area is all about families, and even the furry members of the clan are included in the fun.

The dog-friendly area includes a doggie area at Wickham Park, where the pooches can strike up new friendships and romp free while still safe in a controlled environment. The canines can also enjoy window shopping with their owners at the Avenue or rack up the miles exercising with the rest of the family around Viera’s numerous walking trails.

For day care fun and overnight “spa” experiences for the furry kids, pet resorts such as Dog Spot Hotel offer convenient, fivestar care. You won’t see any kennels at Dog Spot, a full-service hotel for discriminating dogs. “We have suites, not kennels,” says Dog Spot Hotel owner Anna Jayne. “This is a no-cage atmosphere, which is very popular with our customers.”

With spacious private suites and standard rooms, the hotel features relaxing piped-in music, climate controlled comfort, plush beds, toys and hypoallergenic grass play areas. Canine guests can partake of services that include grooming, training, special meals Yappy Hour, massage and group activities. Dog Spot’s daycare program engages the lucky dogs with at least six to seven hours of indoor and outdoor exercise, all under complete staff supervision, so the dog returns home contented and tired.

For the rest of the family, activities abound. With the yearround family-friendly opportunities at Brevard Zoo and the King Center for the Performing Arts, the only problem is choosing which venue to visit. Viera Regional Park also provides a host of things to do. The 117-acre outdoor/indoor recreational venue includes two lighted Little League and two Major League baseball fields, eight soccer fields, two youth softball fields, lighted basketball and tennis courts, three playgrounds, eight acres of lakes, a large pavilion and a community center with a full range of classes and special events, from the smallest member of the family to the oldest.

Viera Regional Park is only one of many 32940 area parks. Clubhouse Park is a popular spot for parties and flying kites. Suseda Park is perfect for walking the family dog along its windy trails. Old Florida is alive and well under the grand live oaks at pretty Woodside Park, popular with runners and walkers. The 20-acre North Solerno Park features climbing rocks, play structures and a gyro climbing web. Eastwind Park, home of the Evos Play Structure, challenges children ages five and up to explore and use hand/ eye coordination to solve the structure’s various elements. The younger set needn’t feel left out, either, since across from Eastwind is Westwind Park, designed for two to five-yearolds and a favorite spot for moms’ play groups.

Residents are allowed to fish, canoe and kayak on Suntree’s spectacular 1,000 acres of lakes and waterways. A myriad of plant, bird and animal species make their home along the 100 miles of trails that wind through Suntree.

Space Coast Stadium, home to the Brevard County Manatees and spring training grounds for the Washington Nationals, serves as a magnet for sports fan, but that’s not all, for the facility offers year-round family fun, including an amazing Fourth of July party, the Brevard County Fair and many other events, some of them even dog-friendly!

Local churches and schools, such as Suntree United Methodist, Hope Episcopal Church and Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy all feature a busy calendar of community events and concerts open to the public.

Viera Dance Conservatory caters to both children and adults who want to hone their dance skills with classes that include tap, ballet, hip-hop, jazz and lyrical. Additionally, the conservatory offers both acrobatics classes, musical theatre classes that focus on vocal, acting and dancing training and music and piano lessons.

“One of our students became a Radio City Rockette this year, and another one is under contract with Disney Live,” said the Conservatory’s Bonnie Callahan.

Beyond the excellent training facilities, the Conservatory serves as a venue where families can experience the world of dance through performances and competition.

In nearby Rockledge, the Space Coast IcePlex supplies the coolest fun in town with open skating for the entire family, as well as special performances by its award-winning Theatre on Ice troupe. Rockledge is also the home for Galmont Ballet, resident company of the Cocoa Village Playhouse.

Excellent shopping goes hand-in-hand with family activities at The Avenue Viera, where many free events such as Day of Play with Radio Disney entertain and educate. Located at The Avenue, the Art Gallery of Viera nurtures the inner artist young or old with classes and exhibitions.

Memories are just around the corner in Suntree and Viera, where families thrive!

"One of our students became a Radio City Fockette this Year, and another one is under contract with Disney Live," said the Conservatory's Bonnie Callahan.