Climbing in Riverside Heights

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The Tampa Bay Seafood Festival brings together local merchants and great music for a weekend of celebration that benefits the Friends of Tampa Recreation. Refreshments scheduled to make an appearance include award-winning chowder from Chowder Heads, crab bites and fish tacos from Coastal Crab Company, and Mama Jugs' tasty iced tea. Les Dudek headlines the musical schedule on Saturday, filling the air with his original blues tunes, and the melodious four-person harmonies from Mo' Gravy kick off Sunday's festivities, followed up by The Shakes Society, The Bobby Friss Band, and Doug the reggae seagull.

705 Channelside Drive
Tampa,
FL
US

More than 6,000 square feet of climbing space at Vertical Ventures beckons climbers skyward with rigorous scrambles to the top of peaks, over boulders, and along treacherous ceiling routes. The staff routinely overhauls old configurations to reveal fresh paths, forcing climbers to exhibit physical and mental agility while bouldering, sport climbing, or top roping––a sport in which climbers ascend to a mountain's summit to lasso its goats. The gym caters to both the beginning and expert climber with challenges spanning the difficulty spectrum, as well as an array of classes on the basics of climbing, movement and technique, or rappelling.

5402 Pioneer Park Blvd
Tampa,
FL
US

Cupids Bar Crawl invites ladies and gentlemen?single or paired up?to express their devotion or disdain for the holiday of lovers by hitting eight hot spots across the city. The crawl begins at 6:30 p.m. at Tequilas on Valentine's Day, and ventures to seven other locations, where participants revel in free shots and swag from Fireball Whisky. At the end of the three-hour crawl, partiers return to Tequilas to soak up the libations with light food and to nurse any wounds from Cupid's arrow. Proceeds from Cupids Bar Crawl benefit the Michael Agana Memorial Scholarship at USF.

4207 South Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa,
FL
US

Someone's little brother shrieks, mournful at being too small to play laser tag with his cousins. Another youngster wants to bowl, but can’t pick up the ball. To Terrace Sports's manager, John McMillan, these are simple problems. A crew member scurries through the laser-tag arena, holding the toy gun for the little boy who would otherwise be too small to play. Another sets up a ramp at the top of a bowling lane, helping the toddler to push the ball into the pins with a satisfying clatter.

Smiling on as his staff solves such crises, McMillan strolls through Terrace Sports, which he remodeled after taking the reins from his father. Leading the way to the laser-tag arena, skating-rink, indoor-climbing wall, bowling alley, and arcade, murals stretch down the entryway, saluting the nearby Hillsborough River with more than 85 depictions of the waterway’s inhabitants, dynamic ecosystem, and naturally occurring steamboats. The entryway leads to the snack bar, where a full menu of gator tail, buffalo burgers, and sweet-potato fries glide down countertops handcrafted from teak and embellished by solid-brass elephant heads.

Entering the laser-tag arena gives one the sensation of delving into the interior of a complex machine, with mechanical parts strung with LED lights lining the walls and generating an eerie glow. Imaginations run wild as players choose to take on roles as monarchy loyalists or rebel forces, with both sides fighting for command of the heart of the machine and firing at one another's bases. The guns, powered by unlimited ammo, unleash streams of crimson and emerald light, and fiber-optic aiming ensures pinpoint accuracy. Vests beep when another player is taking aim, giving warriors a moment to find obstacles to hide behind or nearby portraits of themselves to hide in front of. On an observation deck, cheers rise from friends and chaperones as a 32-inch monitor displays scoring and live footage from six in-arena cameras.

5311 E Busch Blvd.
Temple Terrace,
FL
US

At Calta's 24/7 Fitness Clubs, members can work out at any time of day, seven days a week. Instructors at the 24/7 gym also lead group cardio-fitness classes, and personal trainers help clients observe correct form while lifting weights or using machines.

14968 N Florida Ave
Tampa,
FL
US

Established: 2010

Reservations/Appointments: Recommended

Staff Size: 2?10 people

Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Quantity and Quality of Obstacles.

Recommended Age Group: Adults

Pick a verb?crawl, climb, drag, lift, sprint?and chances are, you'll be executing it during a US Obstacle Racing event. Throughout the year, US Obstacle Racing bounces around the country organizing obstacle-laden races on beaches, in the mountains, across flatlands, and just about anywhere in nature that's accessible and not yet overrun by Sasquatches.

The organization hosts three styles of events, each more extreme than the last. Their Mud Race 5K series challenges competitors of all abilities with a grimy course peppered with more than 25 obstacles, such as climbing walls, barbed wire, hurdles, and rope walks. However, seasoned racers can truly test themselves with the OCR 100?a course riddled with 100 obstacles, designed specifically for experienced athletes?or the Elite Legend 24?a 24-hour gauntlet of obstacles and puzzles that rewards winners with a gigantic cash prize.

Q&A with Fred, Event Coordinator

When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?

Due to our long history in the Adventure Race industry. The executives of our company were hired to consult and develop obstacles for some of the first obstacle course race companies in the USA. We wanted to improve on the business model, increase the number of obstacles and up the level of challenge instead of decreasing the number like they are doing.

What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?

We have one hundred obstacles in this race, which makes it the largest obstacle course race in the world.

Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?

This course has a $10,000.00 first place challenge.

Have you ever been a patron of your own business? If so, what was the most enjoyable part?

Yes, the obstacles are a real challenge.

6311 Burts Road
Tampa,
FL
US