University of Florida fans tuck into booths, sit along the bar, and lean across a blue-felt pool table while they enjoy the lively atmosphere and sports action at Gator Tales Sports Bar. The kitchen sates patrons with a long list of edibles, and bartenders keep whistles whetted and in tune with cool drafts of Miller Lite and Amber Bock. Ceiling fans manufacture breezes on the outdoor tiki bar, surrounded by key-lime-green walls and twin flat-screen TVs, and a mounted gator head smiles above the bar inside.
One of the oldest community theaters in the state, The Gainesville Community Playhouse has produced crowd-pleasing plays since 1927. In Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful, elderly Carrie sets out to escape the clutches of her cowardly son and his bossy wife by returning to her childhood home. A dedicated cast and crew of local volunteers ably enact Carrie's search for her past. Patrons peep through the fourth wall in the 210-seat Vam York Theater, which boasts facilities to stage the most demanding musicals or Shakespearean space battles.
Ethnic Dance Expressions teaches students how to shake and shimmy their hips, imitating belly-dance styles that have enraptured the Middle East for centuries. The school's classes progress from moves for beginners to more advanced techniques with veils and improvisation. Solo coaching caters to students who want to perform or compete, and costume-sewing workshops help fill out performances with sparkling and jangling outfits.
An endless amount of stories flicker across the screen at these cinemas, which offer stadium seating and digital sound. The theater plays films chosen from Hollywood’s newest releases, featuring stars just plucked from the vines where they grow in the California hills. Between whispered critiques of each preview, audience members can wash down fluffy kernels of popcorn with soda from the concession stand. The theater also opens its doors for birthday parties and large private screenings for up to 300 guests.
At Splitz, bowling is never the same as it was the day before. That's because the fun-focused bowling center rolls out a slate of nightly specialties such as family nights, bowling and laser-tag nights, team trivia, and karaoke. Abuzz with festive lights and the din of toppled pins, Splitz also makes an ideal spot for shindigs such as birthday parties, company parties, and bachelor parties for soon-to-be married bowling balls.
Mary Hencher and her team of certified instructors lead Dance Trance classes that set high-energy dance moves to upbeat music. Because the classes emphasize the energy of the music, instructors don’t shout out commands; instead, they use a series of hand gestures and intuitive, easy-to-follow dance moves to guide students through the classes.