Flashback Friday: Weekend fun for the kid in you

Whether you grew up here, or are discovering South Florida for the first time, there’s so much to do for both the young and young at heart. Let’s take a trip back to the good old days with some of the best places in South Florida to feel like a kid again.

Kendall Ice Arena

Miami is no place for the cold — that’s probably why a lot of us live down here. But that doesn’t mean we don’t miss it sometimes. Every once in a while, it’s fun to dress up in scarves and jackets and enjoy a temporary winter wonderland, even in the midst of summer, at Kendall Ice Arena. This classic has been the backdrop of countless childhood birthday parties, summer camp outings, and awkward first dates. And for the young at heart, this can be a fun, playful excursion, letting you try something you probably haven’t done in years.

You may discover your inner Elsa, or decide the hot chocolate is your favorite part (#quefrio). It’s a pretty inexpensive way to spend a few hours and spark that youthful sense of adventure.

Arcade Odyssey

In a world dominated by touch-screens and phone apps, it’s nice to break away and for some old-fashioned gaming. We’re talking Galaga, Ms. Pacman, Centipede, and Streetfighter. All the video game favorites of yesteryear are alive once more at Arcade Odyssey. This retro arcade has been ranked as Best Arcade by Miami New Times and features pinball machines and classic shooting and fighter games.

The shop hosts events and fosters a geektastic atmosphere that will leave you nostalgic for the days you held the highest score in Tetris.

Bird Bowl

For more than 50 years, Bird Bowl has been the go-to spot for old-school bowling. Sure, your skills with the bowling ball may be a little rusty, but this is a no-frills kind of evening where you can kick back with your friends over beers and burgers. There’s also a built-in sense of competition, be it friendly or fierce, and you can bring it from the bowling lane to the billiards room or even the arcade.

Check out the daily specials like Thursday Ladies Night or weekend Twilight Specials to make the most of this nostalgic night out.

Venetian Pool

Growing up in Miami means enjoying all the sun and all the surf, but if you’re looking for something more than another beach day, head over to Venetian Pool. A trip here was the highlight of any summer camp.

This historic pool is unique to Coral Gables. There’s no place else quite like it. It’s filled with 820,000 gallons of spring (read: freezing cold) water surrounded by beautiful coral rock, with luxurious waterfalls and cave-like grottos. So dive into this old time spot for a relaxing way to cool off on a hot summer day.

Swap Shop Drive-In

Not all of us had the chance to go to a drive-in movie theater during its hey-day. It’s a good thing the hey-day of drive-in movies never quite went away at the Swap Shop’s Drive-In where a retro viewing style meets today’s hottest blockbusters. And it happens to be the biggest drive-in theater in the world.

Though it’s a drive, there’s nothing like watching movies under the stars, laughing and chatting to your hearts content. Also, they sell beer, which they will conveniently bring right to your car window courtesy of a little concession cart that drives around selling goodies. Which doesn’t exactly seem legal, but hey, why not take advantage? So pick out your favorite action flick, park your car, hunker down with some snacks, and take a trip back to yesteryear.

 

This article originally appeared in The New Tropic July 17, 2015.

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