By Danielle Charbonneau
Some of the best advice I was ever given is,
“If you live like a tourist in your own town, you’ll never get bored.”
I have found this advice to be remarkably true. As an adventurer by heart and a columnist covering fun things to do in South Florida, I’ve spent the last several years exploring and experimenting. From kite boarding to scuba diving, wake boarding to cooking classes, sensory deprivation to turtle watching, indoor skydiving to high-speed go-carts — I have now tried at least four dozen of South Florida’s most entertaining activities. I have compiled a guide for your summer bucket list, broken into by category.
This is PART ONE: Games & Play
COMING SOON…CLICK HERE FOR…
CHALLENGE YOUR MIND: Try an Escape Room
When I first heard of escape rooms, I imagined something like a haunted house with live actors…scared souls scrambling to escape zombies, or run around like rats in a maze. I really had no idea what to expect, but the mystery intrigued me. What I came to find out is that escape rooms are not so much a horror experience, as they are an electrifying mental challenge. The basic idea is that participants enter a themed room — anything from the wild west, to zombies, mummies, bank robbers or murder mysteries — and are tasked with uncovering puzzles using the contents of the room (for example — the tee shirts hanging in the closet, the paintings on the walls, books, decks of cards and knick-knacks placed around the room).
The puzzles unlock a series of combination locks, each leading to more clues, puzzles, locks and eventually, additional rooms. Some escape rooms have only two rooms, while others have three or four, sometimes with hidden rooms, blacklight rooms or secret entryways. Get ready for your mind to go on hyper-drive as you focus on every little detail of the objects and room. Some puzzles might be physical (such as using a magnet to guide something through a maze, tossing a hook to retrieve a set of keys or pumping water to push out a container of clues) while other puzzles deal with numbers, making connections between objects, recognizing patterns, using logic or playing word games. Each clue challenges the mind in a different way. If your team gets stuck, a walkie-talkie is provided to ask the room operator for clues and hints along the way.
The idea is to beat the clock (generally 60 minutes) and make it out the other side (without killing your teammates or filing for divorce). Working with others, of course, can be challenging; so the experience can be a great team-building exercise.
SOME LOCAL ESCAPE ROOMS INCLUDE:
3350 NW 2nd Ave Suite A2, Boca Raton,
try-n-escape.com, 561-409-4930, Private rooms are $90 between two and ten players; frequent discounts can be found online and on Groupon.
Try-N-Escape currently has two rooms: “Hang Em’ High” (a western themed room) and “Sara’s Got a Secret” (a mystery about a missing girl). A third room called “Monkey See” (set in a secret animal testing facility) is currently under construction.
717 E. Atlantic Blvd. Pompano Beach, 954-951-2829, qquestgames.com, $28 per person.
Q-Quest is one of the oldest escape room facilities in the area. Q-Quest currently has two rooms: “Chainsaw Bob” (based on a chainsaw murderer) and “Room Amnesia” (centered around someone who has suddenly lost their memory).
6466 NW Fifth Way Fort Lauderdale, escape-topia.com, 754-200-6047, $27 per person.
EscapeTopia has three rooms: “Zombie Escape,” “Escape the Beast” and “Carnival Macabre.” This place goes all-out on immersive, horror themes.
DRIVE FAST: High Speed Go-Carts at Xtreme Action Sports
While there’s lots to do at Xtreme Action Sports — including roller skating, bowling, a massive arcade, escape rooms, laser tag, roller derby games and a ropes course — by far the most adrenaline-pushing activity is the racetrack. Xtreme Action Sports has a fleet of European Race Karts including three different models — the Biz Kart Junior Cadet, Biz Kart EVO3 Pro and Bowman Arrow Super. The cadet and pro karts can reach 45mph on the straightaways and the Supers 65mph. The racetrack has 48,000 square feet of track space (a half mile in distance) and 10 fast-paced turns, including one hairpin curve. The track is professionally timed. The experience is probably the closest an amateur will get to being a race car driver.
The Cadet race sessions are $10 per race. The Pro race sessions are $20 per race; $50 for three; or $80 for five. And the Super race sessions are $25 per race; $65 for three; or $125 for six. All gear is included.
Extreme Action Sports is located at 5300 Powerline Road, Fort Lauderdale, 954-491-6265, xtremeactionpark.com
STEP INTO A GAME TIME MACHINE: Silverball Museum
Don’t be scared off by the word “museum” and assume this place is a bore. This two story museum is really an arcade of pin-ball machines dating back to the 1950s, all the way through time to today’s most modern machines. Plus, there’s old classic video games like PacMan and Space Invaders. There are two full bars for cocktails, beer and wine.
The Museum sits on a municipal lot with 8-hour parking. Or, catch the Museum’s signature Katcha Ride, a golf cart service that runs up and down Atlantic Ave. and surrounding areas that provides transportation to and from the museum. Look online for the various Katcha Ride stops, or just look for the illuminated golf cart with a giant pinball sign on the roof traversing down Atlantic Ave.
The Silverball Museum is located at 19 NE Third Ave., Delray Beach, silverballmuseum.com, 561-266-3294
THROW AN AXE: POMPANO’S AXE THROWING BAR
The Axe Throwing Society — a 5,400-square-foot sports bar and ax-throwing facility at 1301 W. Copans Rd. in Pompano Beach — has had some delays opening. The facility, however, should be open any day now. The bar’s chief executive and self-proclaimed “axepert” Jeff Morford was quoted in the Broward County New Times saying axe throwing is now “one of the hottest growing sports.”
Reportedly, the society will have a full kitchen, beer, wine and 14 axe-throwing lanes. Throwing coaches will be available for newbies and all equipment will be provided. The only requirement is that axe throwers must wear closed-toe shoes. After throwing, guests are encouraged to stay and enjoy a meal and a few beers with friends.
“I’m not interested in being just a sports bar — there are plenty of those around,” said Morford in the New Times. “Our facility is designed for people to have a good time, throw, and have something to eat and drink.”
The bar will offer a mix of local and non-local craft beers. A food menu is being developed. In addition, the Axe Throwing Society is a member of the World Axe Throwing League. The Society’s axe throwing leagues are only $15 per week and run for a total of eight weeks of league play. The society will offer league-standardized scoring systems, points and throwing techniques.
For more information, visit axethrowingsociety.com
ESCAPE THE HEAT: Ice Skating at The Rink on the Beach
Put on your mittens and beanie and go ice skating at Pompano Beach’s Rink on the Beach. Normal admission during public skate times is $10. Check online at glaciericeandsnow.com for public skate hours. Skate rentals are $3.
Or attend one of the public “Cheap Skate” sessions, during which admission is $10 and includes skate rental. “Cheap Skate” hours are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:20 to 10pm.
Glacier Ice and Snow is located at 4601 N. Federal Hwy. Pompano Beach, glaciericeandsnow.com, 954-943-1437
CHALLENGE YOUR FRIENDS: Lazerland
Lazerland’s 40-player lazer tag arena is straight-up awesome. It has custom, glow-in-the-dark grafitti on the walls, two stories to play on, tons of laser lights, bumping music and two ways to play — on teams, or every-person-for-themselves. There’s also a dodgeball arena and an arcade. The arcade has the classics like ski-ball, air hockey and clown ball toss, plus the newer, more hi-tech games with motion seats. Lazerland has multiple rooms for birthday parties, a snack bar and prize counter. With discretion parents can drop children off at Lazerland if they first fill out a waiver. Waivers can be found online at lazerlandofpompano.com.
The pricing packages at Lazerland are very reasonable. For the arcade, you’ll pay $12.99 for an hour of unlimited games; $21.99 for two hours or $28.99 for three hours. For lazertag: $9 per game; or unlimited play Monday through Friday for $19.99. For dodgeball: $4 a game; or $19.99 for unlimited play. For both dodgeball and lazertag: unlimited play Monday through Friday for $24.99
Lazerland is located at 413 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach, 954-603-3259, lazerlandofpompano.com
THIS SUMMER ADVENTURE GUIDE IS A SIX-PART SERIES…
Click below to find more great activities to add to your summer bucket list:
PART ONE: GAMES & PLAY | This part of our summer adventure series has adventures to bring out your inner child, challenge your mind and free you to play.
PART TWO: EXPERIENCE NATURE | This part of our summer adventure series has adventures that will get you in-touch with nature.
PART THREE: ADRENALINE JUNKIES | This part of our summer adventure series has adventures for adrenaline junkies.
PART FOUR: CREATE & LEARN | This part of our summer adventure series has adventures that will get you learning and inspire your creativity.
PART FIVE: RELAX |This part of our summer adventure series has relaxing activities to rejuvenate your mind, body & soul
PART SIX: ROAD TRIPS, DAY TRIPS & BEYOND | This part of our summer adventure series has day trips, road trips and a few travel ideas.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]