At Greenacres Bowl's lacquered lane emporium, competitors ranging from pint-size to full-size unleash spherical fury seven days per week. Strikes, spares, and sequential cheers ring through the center late into the evenings on weekends, which features laser bowling on Fridays and Saturdays. Automatic scoring helps cut down on disputes between opposing players or teams of Olympic figure-skating judges. In addition to games between friends, the facility also plays host to pin-punishing birthday parties, as well as leagues designed for all levels and ages. A recently sprouted billiards room lures eyes away from slick lanes and onto felt tables and high-definition televisions, while an on-site pro-shop stocks the latest shoes, gear, and accessories.
Palm Beach Skate Zone's 75,000-square-foot facility encompasses two ice rinks and a roller rink under its climate-controlled eaves, which host public skate sessions, ice- and roller-hockey teams, figure skating, and parties. The year-round roller skating and ice-skating schedule beckons the public to glide around Skate Zone’s rinks, which are all well tended and never used for ice fishing. A dedicated team of coaches and managers works diligently to maintain the skate center’s award-winning Blackhawks youth ice-hockey teams, a travel hockey program, and the Palm Beach Figure Skating Club, whose skaters are trained to remain perfectly still when in the line of sight of a woolly mammoth.
The aroma of salt and butter fills Alco Capital Theaters in Boynton Beach. Manager Larry Forbes has worked in theaters for three decades, having started out projecting midnight rock flicks at a drive-in in Fort Lauderdale. He therefore balances a sentimental attachment to film with the practical aspects that make it good for business. "If there's a problem and you have a technician—which we do onsite all the time—you can fix it immediately," he points out. Although the majority of work is projected from film, the theater's eight screening rooms are not warehouses for nostalgia. Digital and Dolby 3-D projectors deliver sharp pictures and immersive experiences to stadiums of 1,500 lumbar-supportive seats, as digital speakers and ADA listening devices make eardrums quake.
During the winter, moviegoers prepare for the upcoming awards season with a full slate of Academy Award–nominated films. On some summer days 700–800 kids will flood the theater by 10 a.m. for adventure flicks and romantic comedies, and when things slow down in the fall, Forbes fires off notices of indie premieres and director Q&A sessions to members of the Movi-E Mail Club, who have chatted with director Susan Seidelman and burgeoning stars from The Palm Beach County Film & Television Institute. On federal holidays, the staff host a special matinee for students, and every Tuesday they pile free popcorn into reusable plastic buckets and vacant laps. The theater's dedication to its audience extends to special requests—Forbes remembers slipping a man's wedding-proposal video into the previews one night. Although he doesn't remember the film, Forbes does remember the woman's answer: she said yes.
Two floors of interactive exhibits help the Schoolhouse Children's Museum and Learning Center teach its pint-sized patrons about the history of the South Florida region. Mini milk-chuggers can indulge their lactose leanings at the Dairy Days exhibit, where they can take a turn milking a cow, whereas tractor-crazy tots might head for the Farmhouse, where they can role-play to learn about local agri-history. A 15-foot model of the Jupiter Lighthouse sports an animatronic clone of pioneer Hannibal Pierce that talks to visiting children during museum hours and sings baritone in the after-hours choir.
Opened in January of 1959 by Hazel Verdes, Verdes Tropicana Bowl features 32 lanes, a snack bar, and a lounge with billiard tables and a fully stocked bar. The alley offers open bowling until midnight or later, hosts parties, and oversees bowling leagues and tournaments. In addition to offering shoe and equipment rental, the pro shop supplies bowlers with gear of their own, so they can personalize bowling balls with tick marks indicating the number of pins they have knocked asunder.
One of the last decade's most award-winning country-music bands, Rascal Flatts has delighted listeners with a unique mix of catchy tunes, soaring harmonies, and emotionally charged lyrics. Lead singer Gary LeVox's dynamic vocals get a loving boost from the instrumental stylings of guitarist Joe Don Rooney and bassist Jay DeMarcus, allowing carefully crafted lyrics to effortlessly scale the protective walls of listeners' hearts. Guests Sara Evans, Easton Corbin, and Justin Moore add their distinctive tones to the evening's tuneful mélange, creating well-balanced aural meals for ravenous ears.