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.
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.
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.
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.
During the Backwoods Challenge, runners shimmy through a tunnel of mud, step across a balance beam, army-crawl under barbed wire, and shoot through a slide before plunging into a pond. And for some of them, there isn't even a prize on the line. In addition to frequent competitive races, Backwoods Challenge also hosts fun runs and mud-run training sessions. Either way, the 5K course, which pushes bodies and minds to the brink, forces participants to confront more than 25 obstacles that test their physical prowess. Only those who aren't afraid to get down and dirty in the mud can conquer all of the manmade and natural obstacles.
A glance up at the high canopies of TreeUmph! Adventure Course's 14 forested acres yields views of beautiful flora, birds, and... humans. Though the people aren't native to these trees, most of the activities here are set high up in the foliage, giving groups a chance to see what the birds see. Among the attractions, you can speed down the woods' biggest obstacle, the Triumph zip line: a 650-foot cable that starts 60 feet high and descends toward the forest floor. The five age-appropriate elevated courses here complement the low-height Climb-On course with flat, netted walkways, a zip line, and monkey bridges meant to challenge customers with progressively more difficult courses. After completing the first four courses, course-goers can be cleared to ascend to the Summit.
Then there's the most challenging Summit course, which features the park's most demanding obstacles. But these attractions aren't just designed to thrill: they're also designed to challenge, both mentally and physically, and to be entirely environmentally friendly. Aerial platforms are secured by compression rather than bolts, which allows the trees to continue growing unobstructed and roots are protected by winding trails and barriers.