Sock-footed moppets scamper up springy steps before hurling themselves down a towering slide as crocodiles and lions hover nearby, but these tykes' parents don't blink an eye. Sprawled across Jungle Bounce's 15,000-square-foot space, this playground teems with air-filled amusements for kids to safely bounce and tumble across. Six inflatable edifices in brilliant colors shiver beneath youthful romping, all against a backdrop of cheery giraffes, penguins holding maps upside down, and other typical jungle scenes. Two inflatable arenas thump and squeak as little ones leap into the air, gambol around obstacles, and wander through a maze.
A digital chorus of beeping and whirring drifts from the arcade, where tots and their grownups can whack moles and launch balls to garner tickets to trade for prizes such as plastic trinkets and stuffed mascots. A snack shop refuels young ones with pizza and wings so they can return to open play sessions or try and mediate disputes between imaginary friends wearing the same outfits at hosted birthday parties.
When a severe freeze struck Katherine and James Oleson's orange groves in the 1960s, it killed many of their plants. They found themselves with a lot of land and a business in need of saving, so they decided to try a few new things. They collected Floridian paraphernalia, made a show of their orange-picking operation, and even started a zoo. Today, their habitats hold monkeys, parrots, alligators, and even an African tortoise, comfortably ensconced in the middle of the revivified orange groves. Visitors can visit the Dinosaur Cave, check out the animals, or watch as fruit is picked, washed, polished, and sorted using half-century-old techniques.They can stop by the old fashioned tourist shop and pick up some Old Florida-style souvenirs, find ice cream and classic sodas, or even take a picture next to a 3,000-pound great white shark that's been stuffed, so its not at all hungry.
The high-energy activities under Xtreme Adventures Family Fun Center’s roof instigate rushes of adrenaline in technicolor environs. In the multileveled, 6,000-square-foot laser-tag arena, teams of combatants track down their opponents as they navigate serpentine passageways, duck around forest plants, and circumvent digital quicksand. Padded Crazy Cars spin 360 degrees as drivers ricochet around the rink, while on the trampolines lining the walls and floor of the Xtreme Jump pit, visitors of all ages traverse its elastic expanses in leaps and bounds. After their adventures, they can sample snacks from the Xtreme Cafe & Bar, including pizza, sandwiches, and wings.
Captain Bligh's Landing takes putters and dimpled orbs careening through a labyrinthine circuit of pirate-themed, contoured turf holes. Lively palms tower over the course's stone edifice, welcoming patrons to a pastiche of nautical artifacts and pirate lore, where putt-putt prodigies sink testy two-putts against a backdrop of a wooden ship, misting waterfalls, and caves teeming with buried treasures of the most popular colors of mini-golf balls. The course's 18 green corridors feature subtle slopes and strategically placed holes, which conspire to form breaks more difficult to read than a sentient rock playing poker. Patrons can put a competitive twist on date night with two-person packages, or swindle their two favorite children out of their allowance with high-stakes family competitions.
The Coast Guard–certified staff at Sky Screamer Parasail shows its passengers the glory of flight by suspending them from parachutes above sparkling Clearwater Beach. Pairs of pre-airborne passengers 6 years or older speed out into the Gulf aboard a steady winchboat before strapping in to a sturdy harness aboard the vessel’s flight deck. When passengers are ready, the captain accelerates the ship and extends the towline, letting the chute lift each duo lightly off of solid boatground. Familiar landscapes recede to microscopic size as the wind carries fliers 800 feet above the cerulean waves, where ears can bask in high-altitude hush or eavesdrop on gulls’ cocktail-party conversations.