Pump It Up party centers pique the spirits of young and restless rovers with safe, clean, and climate-controlled indoor arenas packed with a bevy of custom bounce houses, obstacle courses, and merry-making inflatables. Their trained staff continuously casts watchful eyes over young bouncers, ensuring that kids safely burn off excess energy as they leap, duck, and dive with abandon during open play sessions, summer camps, and birthday parties. The customizable, multi-hued playscape, vibrant with primary colors and a sound system, captures the romping imaginations of tykes and magazines alike, earning a mention in Parents Magazine?s list of "Six Fun Places to Party." Parents are always admitted for free with their child, and may join in the fun as well, engaging their inner youth as they lovingly supervise, socialize with other parents, or fill out patent papers for the world's first inflatable minivan.
As they observe the vibrant exhibits of aquatic life inside the Miami Seaquarium, many guests don't realize that they are walking through a movie set and a hospital. In the onsite lagoon, bottlenose dolphins swim through waters once traversed by Flipper, who filmed several television episodes and films at the venue. The Seaquarium is also recognized as a manatee critical care facility. Its staff has accomplished several historic treatments, including monitoring the conception and arrival of the first manatee born under human care and conducting the first manatee neurological surgery.
These facets of the Seaquarium—along with its many conservation efforts, educational programs, and shows—underscore a united commitment to wildlife consciousness. The animal attractions enable visitors to witness the allure and fragility of oceanic fauna up close, whether they are petting the back of a stingray or washing a dress shirt on the rough back of an 8-foot nile crocodile. Special encounters decrease the distance even further, sending patrons on underwater Sea Treks through the reef display or helping them to lead marine-mammal training routines.
It's hard to pinpoint the biggest personality inside the Seaquarium tanks, but Lolita the killer whale—who performs daily alongside pacific white-sided dolphins—claims the title of heaviest, period. On the other end of the scale, macaws and cockatiels perch around the Tropical Wings section of the park, and endangered sea turtles lounge at Discovery Bay. Elsewhere, a watery playground and three-story ropes course keep legs from growing too wobbly after a trip to Shark Channel or a smooch from a sea lion.
Prepare 1,000 lunches in less than 20 hours. That was the challenge posed for The Brunchery’s catering staff. The eatery’s experts met the daunting request, quickly assembling the hefty sandwiches that The Brunchery has perfected throughout its more than 25 years in business. When President George W. Bush came to Tampa, the White House called upon The Brunchery's catering. In addition to corned beef, grilled grouper, and shaved steak piled on deli rye bread and kaiser rolls, The Brunchery plies guests with half-pound burgers seasoned by chipotle mayo and dill pickles.
But as its name implies, the restaurant doesn’t just craft food for lunch; it’s possibly best known for its morning treats. Made-from-scratch hollandaise sauce for benedicts and golden pancakes have earned The Brunchery awards including Best Place for Breakfast/Brunch from readers of the South Tampa Community News in 2010. When NBC interviewed owner Greg Elliot, the feature zeroed in on the restaurant’s signature french toast, which mingles cream-cheese sauce, bananas, strawberries, and slivered almonds.
Guests devour this lavish creation and others while dining among the dining room’s decorative dishware, Coke bottles, and shelves. Many of the objects come from Greg’s family, such as a hutch his great-great-grandfather built in the 1800s, making guests feel as at home as a rabbit in a top hat.
Much like professional skydivers, wily coyotes, and other careers that involve a degree of danger, most professional glassblowers aren’t self-taught. Joshua Poll, however, learned to harness the glass furnace all by himself, today imparting more than a decade of self-taught experience to Zen Glass Studios, where he and fellow glass smith David Walker create custom works of art by hand. Together they shape glass into authentic and unique pieces, including custom glassware and jewelry to wear while meeting a spouse’s goldfish for the first time.
Within their studio, Joshua and David teach workshops and classes, during which students survey basic to advanced glass-blowing techniques, crafting their own handmade objects such as ornaments, beer glasses, and vases. The duo also runs a full glassblower training program, which follows a syllabus structured to arm all students with all the necessary skills to set out on their own in the industry, just as Joshua did all those years ago.
When they enter Titanic The Experience, visitors receive a replica boarding pass. From there, they relive the ship's history from a passenger's perspective, from life onboard during its 1912 maiden voyage through to the crash. The exhibit closes with updates on modern efforts to recover its wreckage, which the museum is thoroughly part of?it's myriad artifacts were found by a team that performed seven deep-sea expeditions.
At first glance, Lil Miss Ooh La-la looks a lot like your average up-scale salon, but with a few noticeable differences. Touches of fuschia-pink pepper the interior, popping against the sleek black chairs and elegant black and white wallpaper. The pedicure stations are situated a little closer to the ground, and the white foot baths are filled with colorful, floating flowers. The patrons sip beverages as they relax in plush, pink robes––but instead of champagne, they have pink lemonade in their glasses.
These whimsical touches make all the more sense when you consider the fact that most of the clients here are under age 13. Girls as young as 3 come to Lil Miss Ooh La-la for some age-appropriate pampering or to celebrate a special occasion with their friends. Spa parties can include everything from mani-pedis to glittery up-dos to fashion shows with music, and moms can even get in on the fun too, by enjoying adult-style mani-pedis and a glass of wine.