Returning to Indoor Fun in Tampa

With both the temperature and vaccination rates on the rise, many are making the transition back to indoor fun.

As with everything about resuming “normal” life, it may take some time to get used to activities that were once routine. For those who have not spent much time in indoor public spaces in the past year, below are a few ideas for indoor fun that still make it relatively easy to remain socially distant and ease back into social interaction with the public.

Go to New Heights
Indoor skydiving is a thrilling, yet completely safe indoor activity that can be enjoyed by kids and adults ages 3 and up. There is no jumping or falling involved; rather, with the assistance of an instructor, participants simply hover in a vertical column of air at speeds high enough to keep a person safely floating. IFly Tampa offers packages for small groups, including a Family & Friends package that can be shared among 1-5 people. At the time this issue went to print, iFly still required face masks for all patrons, as well as social distancing and enhanced sanitation protocols. Learn more at www.iflyworld.com/tampa.

Get Vertical
Rock climbing is a low-impact activity that improves coordination, builds muscle and improves flexibility…and you can pretty much keep to yourself. Vertical Ventures in St. Petersburg is currently only open to members and punch pass holders. Capacity is limited to 100 people separated into three zones. At the time this issue went to print, masks and social distancing protocols were still being enforced. Punch cards start at $65 for five visits. Learn more at https://stpete.verticalventures.com/.

Attempt a Great Escape
Escape rooms are immersive, real-life adventure games available in a range of fun themes and difficulty levels. From escaping a prison cell to solving the Cold War crisis to surviving a zombie apocalypse, there is an escape room for everyone. The best part? If you show up with the maximum number of occupants per room (usually 6-10), you are guaranteed to have the room to yourself. A simple Google search for “Escape Rooms Tampa,” will result in a long list of options. Yelp is a great site to find helpful reviews. Once you narrow down your options, be sure to check current safety protocols and room occupancy before heading out.

Get Creative
Even the most artistically challenged individuals will feel like Picasso at Painting with a Twist. Knowledgeable (and patient) instructors walk you step-by-step through the process to create a masterpiece you’ll be proud to hang on your wall. Nearby locations in Town ‘N Country and Carrollwood are both BYOB (meaning, you can bring your favorite alcoholic beverage). When booking a class, painters can choose whom they want to sit by to ensure they are seated in a group. And the painting stations are currently a little further apart. Not ready to mix it up with strangers? You can also book a private painting event or opt for take-home painting kits your friends and you can paint in the comfort of your home. Check out the upcoming painting themes at www.paintingwithatwist.com.

Immerse Yourself in the Arts
There is no more relaxing place to cool down and escape the monotony of everyday life than by visiting a museum – and Tampa Bay is chock-full of them! History buffs will love the Tampa Bay History Center in Downtown Tampa. Advanced timed-tickets are currently required in order to limit capacity. At the time this issue went to press, masks were also still being enforced.
Art aficionados will revel in the expansive collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. At the time this issue went to press, masks, socially distancing, temperature checks and advanced-timed tickets to maintain 25 percent capacity were all still being enforced. The museum café and gift store are also currently closed, but the collections are on full display.
The always-quirky Dali Museum in St. Pete is packed with surrealism and captivating stories about the artist and his work. Now you can download the Dali Museum app and use your own earbuds to enjoy a self-guided museum tour. Timed tickets and masks are currently required.
That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to area museums. Most clearly outline their safety protocols and capacity limits online.

Watch a Movie
If you’re burned out on watching Netflix on a small screen, maybe it’s time to get back to the movie theater. AMC theaters are still requiring masks and operating at reduced capacity to make it possible to seat patrons at a distance. For theaters with recliners that offer advanced seat reservations, adjacent seats will automatically be blocked. For theaters without advanced seat selection, a limited number of tickets will be sold and patrons are asked to leave adequate distance between seats.

The Regal Theatre at Citrus Park has reopened at 50 percent capacity, with masks required except when eating and drinking when seated. Better yet, Regal Summer Movie Express has returned with $1 family favorite movies at 10 am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays all summer long!

As we get back to our normal routines, everyone will need to get back out there at their own pace. Thankfully, area venues are working hard to welcome everyone back safely!

By Karen Ring

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