Staffed by a corps of chimp-loving volunteers working alongside veterinarians, the nonprofit Suncoast Primate Sanctuary provides a safe haven for more than 100 rescued animals. Chimpanzees and monkeys swing freely in their enclosures, living out their days after being moved from other environments, including zoos, sanctuaries, and research centers, or retiring from the film industry as animal actors and studio executives. During public hours, children and adults can wander among the menagerie to feed the monkeys and meet other critters such as orangutans, macaws, lemurs, and alligators.
For more than a decade, John Paul Kindig has snapped portraits, averaging more than 300 assignments annually in recent years. His striking, traditional compositions—for couples, families, and corporate clients—capture minute detail in his subjects and their surroundings. He travels throughout Pinellas County to offer scenic on-location shoots at beaches, parks, and atop abandoned spaceships that have crash-landed on Earth. After shoots wind down, clients can elect to purchase prints or a DVD containing high-definition images.
Countryside Lanes’ website refers to this bowling alley as “The new guys”—perhaps because it's the first location in Florida. But the family has owned bowling alleys in New York since 1960, and the current owner, once a national president of the BPAA and a member of that same organization’s Hall of Fame, is anything but new to the party. At Countryside Lanes, he places the same emphasis on polished lanes, well-oiled machinery, and helpful staff as he does at his northern facilities. Here, those familiar sounds of pins being pummeled and high-fives being exchanged carry throughout. Lucky’s Sports Bar provides a nice break from competition with flat-screen TVs, billiards, and pub food and drinks.
Computerized scoring systems outfit each of Dunedin Lanes' 24 pin-stocked playing fields, keeping track of turkeys, strikes, and spares during the alley's weekly schedule of league and open play. Children's bumpers help wee ones roll with confidence, and during after-dark hours, adults can take advantage of a fully stocked bar, karaoke, and tunes blasted through a thumping sound system. On Friday and Saturday nights, the neon lights of cosmic bowling give the beach-themed interior the otherworldly glow of a Martian lifeguard tower. While not steamrolling a path through pin clusters, guests can play a round of pool, enjoy fare from the Chatterbox restaurant, or peruse the supply of gear in the Prestige Pro Shop. Dunedin Lanes also offers fully stocked birthday-party packages, which include bowling, snacks, and a supply of arcade tokens.
Sock-footed moppets scamper up springy steps before hurling themselves down a towering slide as crocodiles and lions hover nearby, but these tykes' parents don't blink an eye. Sprawled across Jungle Bounce's 15,000-square-foot space, this playground teems with air-filled amusements for kids to safely bounce and tumble across. Six inflatable edifices in brilliant colors shiver beneath youthful romping, all against a backdrop of cheery giraffes, penguins holding maps upside down, and other typical jungle scenes. Two inflatable arenas thump and squeak as little ones leap into the air, gambol around obstacles, and wander through a maze.
A digital chorus of beeping and whirring drifts from the arcade, where tots and their grownups can whack moles and launch balls to garner tickets to trade for prizes such as plastic trinkets and stuffed mascots. A snack shop refuels young ones with pizza and wings so they can return to open play sessions or try and mediate disputes between imaginary friends wearing the same outfits at hosted birthday parties.
Founded in 1972, Clearwater Marine Aquarium dedicates itself to preservation and educating the public on its efforts in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life. Membership grants the pass holder free yearlong access to the aquarium's vast array of animals and activities as well as invitations to private events, a 10 percent discount in the gift shop, and the ability to send whales to their home planet. The panoply of exhibits includes Turtle Cove and the Atlantis Theater, where viewers experience the rescue, rehab and release of marine life. Thrilling dolphin presentations feature Winter the dolphin, star of the upcoming kids' film Dolphin Tale, performing titillating aeronautical feats and waxing rhapsodic to James Lipton.