The crew at Kayak Valet has one mission: to get more people out and enjoying the local waterways and scenery via kayak or paddleboards. Since storing, hauling, unloading, reloading, and potty training their own kayaks can deter people from boating, the team sets up shop to cancel out such deterrents. They take care of nearly every task, bringing all equipment necessary for a leisurely paddle on puddles of all sizes right to the launch site. Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Manatee Counties are popular launch sites that the crew will pick up and deliver equipment to. Keeping the experience accessible, the shop rents only kayaks and paddleboards that can be piloted by anyone, experienced or not. Additionally, they give aquatic adventurers tips on paddling and safety techniques and sell new kayaks, paddleboards, and accessories.
Genesis Paintball's woodsball field sprawls across 38,000 square feet with uneven terrain and junkyard obstacles including corrugated pipes and large wooden spools. Players dive into the long trench to evade their opponents, who can shoot from a minimum of 10 feet away or duck into hollowed-out bunkers to catch their breath with a game of Pattycake. On the other end of the facility, the astroturf-covered speedball field measures a regulation 120'x170', where teams can fire at close range and hide behind inflatable obstacles such cylinders and pyramids. Between bouts, patrons retreat to the concession stand to refuel with drinks and snacks.
Champions of safety, the owners of Indoor Shooting Company opened their range with the hope to provide a space where people could learn about firearms from certified instructors. Since 1996, people have been pointing handguns directly down the six climate-controlled lanes of their 10-meter Olympic range. Electric target retrievals assist marksmen in taking a closer look at their shots, and certified instructors fluent in English and Spanish assist gun handlers of all skill sets by promoting firearm safety at classes. There, first timers can learn proper gun cleaning and firearm-handling techniques, and experienced shooters can improve their aim in marksmanship-qualification programs or monthly challenge contests.
For first-time tandem jumpers, the experience of free falling from 11,000 feet is an unforgettable experience. But just in case, Skydive Orlanpa, in partnership with Jump Florida Skydiving, can document tandem jumps with professionally produced videos set to music. A preflight interview on the ground gives way to footage shots inside the plane as jumpers and their tandem instructors make their ascension. From there, videographers capture the entire free fall as participants take in the scenery and attempt to block out the chortles of condescending geese. The parachute then deploys, and jumpers and their instructors return to terra firma. Meanwhile, friends can watch dives from the ground in a large spectator area or tag along on the plane ride and watch the leap firsthand.
An award-winning restaurant and full-service bar supply participants with snacks and drinks after their dives. Patrons can even make a weekend of their dives by staying in one of Skydive Orlanpa's 26 guest rooms replete with cable TV and WiFi.
Lauded by Creative Loafing for its "multi-sensory approach to historical storytelling," the Tampa Bay History Center uses its 60,000-square-foot space to display immersive exhibits on 12,000 years of Tampa history. Historically-curious visitors can browse the center's interactive exhibits, including the story theater, which tells the dramatic story of Chief Coacoochee during the Second Seminole War. Browse through artifacts from Florida’s cigar trade, including a replica of a 1920s cigar store, an ideal exhibit to take any uncles that believe they've switched bodies with Groucho Marx. A new temporary exhibit, Blue and Gray in Tampa Bay: The Civil War on Florida's Gulf Coast opens January 10, 2011, joining exhibits on cattle ranching, European exploration, and the civil rights movement.
Booth's Brewing outfits customers with quality beer- and wine-making supplies, from Briess dry malts to brew kettles by Blichmann Engineering. Hops-savvy staffers also guide students through the basics of crafting custom beers at home with beer-brewing classes. The sessions familiarize students with standard brewing equipment and ingredients, arming them with the theoretical and practical knowledge to successfully make beer at home without fitting their bathtub with a blowoff hose.