At the Tampa Bay Pro-Am, celebrities and PGA Champions Tour golfers thwack balls toward the stratosphere in hopes of securing the pride and glory of a victory whose spoils benefit charitable foundations. Athletes take to the turf of one of Golf World’s 100 best public courses in the country, targeting greens with homing-missle-like precision, avoiding pesky bodies of water, and distracting sand-trap monsters with steaks painted to resemble Jack Nicklaus. The roster of the 2012 edition’s celebrity participants remains shrouded in mystery, but past tournament competitors have included actor Craig T. Nelson, former professional-football player Emmitt Smith, and former UN Secretary General Bill Murray. Proceeds from each year’s tournament are filtered into local or national charities through a sieve made of woven generosity; contributions from 2011's edition went to Special Operations Warrior Foundation and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
Named one of USA Today's Top Ten Skating Rinks in 2008, USA Skateplex sends eight-wheelers careening around a skating arena, competing in a full arcade, and snacking at concession stands. During public skate sessions, freewheelers strap on their own blades or a rental pair of old-school four-bangers and do the counter-clockwise coast to DJ hits. Pairs of floating friends can take a breather for intermittent soda and arcade breaks; groups of four get twice as many game tokens and a large cheese pizza to salten the deal.
Cinema 6 projects second-run films onto first-rate silver screens. Bring some friends and brandish your four movie tickets to see a box-office hit weeks after its premiere—the exact time when it has aged to its optimal ripeness, like a fine wine or a bag of Funyuns. As you watch, sip on two cool, carbonated beverages and chomp on the fluffy explosions of a large popcorn while taking in the scene-stealing performance of a favorite actor for the first, second, or eighth time. Although not included in the deal, Cinema 6 presents in-theater dining tables and a full menu of nonfried fare, including pizza, french fries, and mozzarella sticks, for those with more massive movie munchies. Recent titles have included Little Fockers and Tangled, but Groupon buyers should go online to check out what films are making their re-debut next.
The phosphorescent indoor landscape at Monster Mini Golf immerses putters in an eerie universe that inverts the sun-soaked cheer of conventional courses. Rimmed in glowing green barriers, 18 holes lure swingers of all sizes to challenge their coordination and resolve in the face of winged monsters, scowling animated trees, a creepy clown, and their opponents' shockingly dazzling smiles. Sheltered from searing rain and howling wind, the indoor course enables play around hazards such as a spell well and luminous, ghostly windmill at any time of the year. An in-house radio station and DJ mask the sound of pounding hearts with lively beats and course commentary, and golfers looking for additional glory can win prizes by participating in regular contests or at the on-site arcade.
Stretching across two of the vessel's three decks, Sun Cruz Port Richey Casino offers its visitors something other casinos can't?stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Aboard the flotilla, game lovers square off against more than 325 slot machines as the calm waters carry them along on a smooth jaunt. After a spirited round of roulette, gamblers can gambol around the decks for roulette and craps, or consult pods of dolphins for advice on winning three-card poker.