Concealed in the leafy canopy of the forest at the Central Florida Zoo, wires, rope bridges, and ziplines create intricate pathways amidst the treetops. Zoom Air Adventure Park's monkey architects designed courses to follow the natural flow of the area's existing terrain and plant life. While securely fastened to a safety line via a sturdy harness, visitors can swing, climb, and balance their way through dozens of obstacles while taking in views of the forest below. The grand finale: a zipline that soars through the air for about 500 feet. Safety is just as important to the experience as fun, and the adventure park's experienced operators keep an eye on guests to ensure that everyone is comfortable and secure.
Airboat & Gator Charters’ expert swamponauts ably escort guests through the placid waters of central Florida’s most serene lakes and rivers. Customers can hop aboard a 425-horsepower Diamondback airboat for a 90-minute private tour, which offers the chance to glimpse wildlife including bald eagles, herons, red-tailed hawks, manatees, turtles, and alligators. The high-performance watercraft seats up to six and comes equipped with a USCG-licensed captain, who will harness the power of the boat’s Piratecom headsets to point out targets for your eyes, whether they're animal, plant, or the occasional plantanimal. The private tours are offered year-round and launch throughout the day, from sunrise to sunset. Choose to embark on a daytime trip, which features views of the American alligator’s daily tanning habits, or embark on the nighttime tour and hope for a rare sighting of the white-tailed deer’s annual sighting of its tail.
Thumping music and flashing, colored lights infuse a spin class at Studio RPM with the energy of a night on the town. The powerful bass can't drown out the instructors' enthusiasm, however. The mic-wearing teachers lead their classes on excursions into unseen landscapes, leaping imaginary gullies and climbing intangible hills, the effort simulated by the Livestrong cycles on which each student is mounted. They welcome students of all ability levels, since the low-impact, cardio-focused exercise lends itself well to those who suffer from joint problems.
Beyond spinning, the staff also teaches regular yoga classes, covering extensive series of asana in each 75-minute course. They delve into Vinyasa, hatha, and warm yoga sequences, focusing on improving agility, increasing flexibility, and revealing snowmen disguised as humans, respectively. For a more high-intensity session, they lead boot camps, which incorporate weight lifting and plyometrics into cardio-heavy routines.
Expedition Florida Adventures’ guided kayak tours explore the placid, pristine backwaters of Blue Spring State Park, less than an hour away from downtown Orlando. As CPR-trained guides describe the complex ecosystems, boaters may witness sand cranes wading in tall grasses, gators soaking up sun, and turtles discussing the housing market. Prior to each kayak outing, adventurers receive equipment such as state-of-the-art kayaks, paddles, and life jackets equipped with whistles or tambourines.
BounceU transports kids to an inflatable, climate-controlled playground in which they can bounce from side to side in a safe, secure environment. During open-bounce sessions, kids can imagine they're Spiderman while climbing the new Spider Climb, or pretend they're synchronized leapers in Michael Flatley's Riverbounce as they carom around the inflatable stadium, expending energy with every leap. Cosmic Bounce sessions give jouncing juniors a much-deserved break from earthly leaping, allowing them to play under the violet glow of black lights and special-effect lights moving in coordination with fun music. Each cosmic bouncer receives a complimentary glow-in-the-dark accessory upon entrance, which can be used to light the way in a dark tunnel or light half the face to recreate Colonel Kurtz's monologue from Apocalypse Now. When a cause for celebration arises, parents snag party rooms and private bouncing rooms for their buoyant revelers. During summer camps, kids pair their bounce-based brand of performance arts with imaginative crafts.
The attentive BounceU staff monitor the rebounding facilities at all times, ensuring the inflatable playground is kept safe, clean, and free of spiky objects such as mohawks and sea urchins. Call ahead or check the calendar for available open-bounce times. Frolicking children must be supervised by a parent and must wear socks to play. Parents of children younger than 4 are welcome to join the vivacious youngsters in the playground.
Each time Captain DJ McCabe leads a sailing lesson, a smile of familiarity crosses her face at the sight of students' widening eyes as the sails catch wind and glide the boat across Lake Monroe. In the silence of the 9,406-acre freshwater lake, sailors can catch glimpses of rare wildlife as the vessel drifts past bathing manatees, soaring herons, and bald eagles snatching each other's toupees. A range of lessons taught by United States Coast Guard captain acquaint aspiring sailors with the trusty rigs, and more advanced students can sign up for certification courses, which follow ASA teaching curriculums to instill safe and steadfast sailing skills. Stationed adjacent to Monroe Harbour Marina, U-SAIL keeps a fleet of 8 boats ranging from 18 feet to 30 feet long and lavishes sailors on land with amenities such as abundant parking, wireless Internet, showers, and laundry machines. U-SAIL is located in the historic downtown district, which boasts myriad restaurants, art galleries, and unique shops.