For more than 50 years, family-owned Pin Chasers alleys have been adding perks to the bowling basics. Leagues for all skill levels, six-week lesson plans, and the immersive light shows of late-night Cyber bowling entertain families with the fundamentals. It's when the scoring systems—equipped with touchscreen consoles and customizable backgrounds—boot up or the automatic bumpers raise between turns that players might first take notice of their high-tech surroundings. As for service, the inviting staff hand out complimentary bowling shoes and socks, and will assist guests in picking out the right type of ball rather than noisily sandblasting one down to size when it doesn’t fit. The full-service cafes also manage to defy expectations by serving breakfast fare around the clock.
Friendly employees and full bars span each of Pin Chasers' three locations, but other amenities differ. Visitors can aim cues at Veterans' four billiards tables, stretch their thumbs at East Pasco's arcade, or try to count all of Midtown's 50 lanes without first extracting their fingers from their bowling balls.
A member of a previously undiscovered species known as skateasaurus stakes its territory, tracing figure eights along the rink's hardwood floor. Dressed in blue-and-white shorts and a red trucker hat, the plush, green-and-yellow dinosaur?otherwise known as Skato?eschews eating children, and instead prompts them to shake it all about in rounds of Hokey Pokey. This fun ambiance extends to the rest of United Skates of America's roller rink, surrounded by lime-green walls and manned by a smiling staff.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Our performance theatre class, which encompasses acting, singing, and dancing
Recommended Age Group: All ages
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
South Tampa Center for the Arts was voted 2013 Best Theatre Group on Tampa's A-List. We are also one of the only Performance Theatre Groups for students ages 4–14 in South Tampa. We obtain the rights through Music Theatre International to produce two musicals each year. Some of our credits include Disney productions such as Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Book, Little Mermaid, and Peter Pan.
What special training do you or your staff have?
Our faculty members have college degrees related to education and/or the arts. Also, our program has an educational-based approach and our mission is "Enriching Students' Lives with Education through Entertainment".
As the old adage says, "Stuff happens." What training do you and your staff have to stay ahead of the unexpected?
All of our theatre faculty members are currently working professionals in the field, so aside from teaching at South Tampa Center for the Arts, they have contracts with local and out-of-state theatre companies. Our students and their parents have the opportunity to see their instructors performing on stage throughout the year and have expressed how much they enjoy being able to do so.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Our largest and most popular program is Performance Theatre. However, these same students often enroll in the private piano and voice lessons we offer, as well as our dance classes. We also established Glee Club back in 2010 and it remains a popular program also run by our theatre director.
Cirque Over The Park erupts into a glowing, community-wide celebration as the courageous aerialists and circus performers of Moving Arts of Tampa Bay prompt collective gasps from onlookers while they vault upside-down from flying trapezes and dangle fearlessly from colorful drapery. After staking their claim in the park with their lawn chairs, blankets, and bronze statues of the family dog, viewers cast their eyes skyward toward the daring acrobats and contortionists, who strike gravity-defying poses and sway back and forth on hanging hoops. While the lively troupe drops jaws, attendees can fill their conveniently open mouths with the wares of local food vendors, including offerings from 3 Suns Organic Bistro, Burger Culture, and Cupping Cakes. Live music complements the night’s astonishing visual arts, including energetic performances by Fencewalk Band, as well as Justin and Travis from The Groves. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts.
When you think about things to do in Tampa, outdoor ice-skating is usually not usually the first thing that comes to mind. But you can experience this quintessential winter activity at Tampa’s Downtown on Ice, the city’s only outdoor ice rink. Here, skaters can practice ice-hockey moves, figure-skating leaps, and carving the alphabet in cursive. The rink is part of Friends of Tampa Recreation, an organization that leads several activities, such as youth arts and crafts programs, sports leagues, and field trips for seniors.
After becoming a success in the railroad and steamship industries, 1800s businessman Henry B. Plant set his sights on a new venture: building a luxury hotel near Florida's cerulean shores. His vision landed him in an area that was but swampland and sand in 1889 Tampa. But three years and $3,000,000 later—including $500,000 in furniture and art—he successfully opened The Tampa Bay Hotel, a 511-room luxury destination sprawled over six acres.
Today, Henry's architectural and engineering feat serves as the home of the Henry B. Plant Museum, an institution that educates visitors on Plant's life, the Victorian period, and life in early Tampa. Among the building's groundbreaking aspects, the hotel was among the first in Florida to feature electrified rooms and pampered guests with in-house billiards, a babershop, and a telegraph office. His guests even enjoyed in-room telephones and private baths with hot and cold running water, a lofty accomplishment considering man wouldn't invent soap for another 13 years. The museum has now been restored to its former glory, showering current visitors in Victorian opulence, art, and its historic achievements.