At Action Town Florida, battles take place with paint, lasers, and putters. A professional paintball team designed the outdoor paintball arena, which sprawls across 2 acres and encompasses urban-warfare and garage areas. Area 51, the laser-tag arena, fuels competition with high-tempo music and glow-in-the-dark obstacles. The nine-hole miniature golf course also glows in the dark, offering a helpful way to distinguish between real obstacles and imaginary friends' heads. Action Town Florida also fills its facility with arcade games, bumper cars, and climbing walls, as well as a bounce-house city with very reasonable property taxes. Its party packages give guests a taste of all offerings, along with refreshments and food.
At CinéBistro, a luxurious dining theater, patrons settle into wide cushioned seats as they watch the latest action flicks and comedies flicker on the silver screen. Viewing companions alternate drawing buttery, salty puffed maize out of a shared tub of popcorn, hoping to find Gene Hackman's golden business card buried somewhere inside. Although not included with this Groupon, CinéBistro serves seated cinema aficionados a wide menu of appetizers, entrees, and desserts to complement their popcorn, from a caesar salad for a light meal ($10.75) to a pan-seared Atlantic salmon cooked to order ($19.50). Dessert indulgences include a deconstructed peanut-butter pie ($8), and liquid indulgences proffer a wine list full of international vintages to guzzle during foreign movies, as well as domestic and imported beers, martinis, and cocktails.
Rink Side Family Entertainment Center & Ice Arena features activities and amenities for visitors of all ages. The center's regulation-sized ice rink serves many purposes throughout the year. Public-skate times are offered every day, allowing guests to escape the summertime heat or reconnect with the snowman they've been hiding since winter. Additionally, the rink's staff hosts figure-skating lessons and organizes hockey leagues for adults and children seeking casual or competitive play.
In between laps around the ice, Rink Side's visitors can take advantage of the facility's other family-friendly pursuits. The 18-hole, black-lit miniature-golf course embraces a nautical theme, complete with sculptures of exotic sea creatures and spiderwebbing coral growths. Hundreds of games fill the arcade space, tempting passersby to test their hand-eye coordination or win tickets that can be redeemed for prizes. For an adrenaline-boosting experience, the entertainment center also features a laser-tag arena. As many as 20 participants can spend seven minutes dodging behind the arena's towering, neon-banded columns and tagging opponents before regrouping with friends and comparing scores. Rink Side even includes a small caf? where visitors can recharge. The facility also creates lifelong memories with family and friends through its private party and event services.
Inside Laserland & Adventure, lasers pierce through clouds of fog and past glowing black-lit murals. Their targets: participants navigating the labyrinthine 3,000-square-foot arena's multiple levels during standard games of tag, as well as variations that incorporate special power-ups.
But as massive as it is, Laserland's laser tag arena is only a fourth of the entire 12,000-square-foot fun center. Upbeat tunes accompany the bleeps and blips of classic games from the on-site arcade before players head to the coffee shop to recharge with cups of joe and healthy snacks.
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.
The Patricia and Philip Frost Museum has spent most of its life outgrowing its digs. It debuted in 1949 as a children's museum, which took off quickly and soon expanded into the Museum of Science and Natural History in 1952. In 1960, it again needed more space and moved to its current site, and now an even larger space is being built, set to open in 2016.
But throughout all its physical changes, its mission remains the same, "We inspire people of all ages and cultures to enjoy science and technology, in order to better understand ourselves and our world."
Size: as of now, the site stands at 48,000 square feet; plans for the new space will expand that to 250,000 square feet over five levels
Eye Catcher: tour the Wildlife Center, where the staffers care for injured wildlife?specifically majestic birds of prey?and release them back into the wild
Permanent Mainstay: the Planetarium, where PBS's Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer was filmed, boasts a 65-foot-diameter domed projection screen
Don't Miss: in the late afternoon, the planetarium hosts Legends of the Night Sky Laser Show, which teaches kids how to find constellations using lasers and Greek myths
Hands-On Experiments: in Nano, kids manipulate large-scale mechanisms as they familiarize themselves with the principles behind nanoscience
Special Programs: the museum?s Sea Lab features beautiful underwater creatures and coral reefs. Guests can get up close and personal as they reach out to touch a starfish or a sea urchin or have a cleaner shrimp nibble at their nails