The licensed skydive veterans of Skydive Tampa Bay have accompanied customers soaring from the bellies of airplanes since 1978. These plummetologists have earned national and international championship titles and multiple world records, and now start beginners on a path to their own air-bound accolades with introductory tandem jumps. Lessons begin with on-ground instruction before instructors securely attach students to their torsos like thrill-seeking mother kangaroos and freefall for two miles. After students learn the basics through tandem dives, instructors put them through the Accelerated Freefall Program, which includes classroom time, ground training, solo jumps, and post-dive critiques of freefall techniques and maneuvers.
Although the 1960s was an era of change, children were still not allowed to pick their own produce at Milwaukee-area farms. This seemingly minor policy was the spark that began Green Meadows Farm, Kissimmee's family-oriented petting farm populated by 300 animals. Bob and Coni Keyes started with a hog and cattle farm in Waterford, Wisconsin. Believing farms were places where kids could learn and interact with animals, the couple converted their 80 acres into a raspberry and veggie patch that also featured a handful of friendly farm animals to welcome kids. The petting farm was born in 1965 when a local teacher asked if her youngsters could drop by to visit the animals and give the roosters mop-top haircuts.
More than 40 years later, the Keyes are still at it. Over the years, their quest to enrich the education of children with a "low-tech" farm experience has taken shape in Texas, Illinois, and Florida. The owners live right on the Green Meadows acreage with their small village of cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and other barnyard citizens. Bob and Coni lead hands-on daily tours for visitors and facilitate pony rides, along with a host of other seasonally varied activities offered 363 days a year.
Fun Spot America's family-friendly amusement park has the charm of a small-town carnival, but the colorful adventure never packs up and leaves. Although there are activities for kids, such as miniature tea cups, a fun slide, and an arcade, where Fun Spot really makes its name is with its thrilling ride for adults. White Lightning, Orlando's only wooden roller coaster, offers 10 moments of air time over it's 2,000-foot track, sending riders down 75-foot drops, around a track filled with twists and turns, and around 90-degree banking turn before pulling back into the loading station.
Speedsters can also head over to a series of Go-Kart tracks that keep riders pushing pedals through banked bowls and hairpin curves on a multilevel track. The park rounds out its attractions list with bumper cars, Enterprise, a Tilt-a-Whirl, and Rip Curl.
Pirate's Island and Pirate's Cove plunge putters deep into a thicket of thieving pirates, buried treasure, and stowaways tangled in rigging. Players select an appropriately sized putting club and a golf ball of any color, asserting individuality while creating polychromatic turf art. Putt through two 18-hole courses (one at the Daytona Beach Shores location), skirting shimmering waterfalls that conceal skeletons and spelunking convocations behind translucent veils. The golf course abuts a glorious gift shop, and snacks are available for additional gold.
A conch shell’s throw from Orlando's theme parks, Fantasy Surf utilizes a patented FlowRider system that combines the look of surfing, the feel of snowboarding, and the trick potential of skateboarding. Every hour, 25–30 riders can navigate immense indoor waves hanging 10 on provided Flowboards. Three inches of surfable water flow over walls, floors, and faux beach—all of which are padded to prevent catastrophic wipeouts and shark attacks. After conquering manmade mega-waves, grab a burger or slice at the Lull café, or head to the Offshore Surf Shop, where you can use today’s deal to receive a 25% discount on brand-name surf gear and apparel.
Happy Days Family Fun furnishes a vast selection of digital and analog games, enticing entertainment-seekers and inducing friendly competitions. Eighty tokens depicting old-timey buggies clink together as they pour forth into the hands of game players eager to sample myriad of games. Challenge the slopes of skee-ball's nefarious ramps with the nine balls granted by a single token, as the multimouthed game devours well-spun rolls and rewards accuracy with tickets and old-fashioned soup recipes. Manageable arcade versions of Deal or No Deal and Wheel of Fortune recall fantasies of mornings spent watching daytime game shows and the Terminator arcade game emulates a relaxing futuristic robot safari. Tickets won from besting machines or siblings can be spent at a large prize-redemption counter, which touts a wide selection of toys and gifts such as Tootsie Rolls, Xboxes, and trigonometry study guides.