5 Fun Places to Embrace Your Inner Child

From flinging axes in bars to solving puzzles in escape rooms, adventure-seeking adults are looking for creative ways to spend time together. Indoor trampoline parks and other unconventional businesses are trending across the country and in Southwest Florida, in part because they prioritize carefree fun and foster a sense of community.

1. Defy Fort Myers

A trip to this Defy Fort Meyers guarantees an adrenaline rush. The park 40,000 square foot facility houses over 35 trampolines, launching decks, and battle beams. Guests can partake in the alternative activity of their choice with options like dodgeball, slackline, parkour, and aerial silks.

2. Just One of Those Dayz 


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Earlier this year, Jesse and Angela Ziegler opened Just One of Those Dayz rage room in Fort Myers. All participants must be 18 or older (16- and 17-year-olds are permitted with parents) and wear protective gear at all times. Children are invited to channel their creativity in the laser- and black light–lit splatter paint room.

Today, Angela is encouraging twentysomethings Tara and Chris Tuttle to smash everything from the chairs to the china. By the end of the hour, the space is demolished, strewn with piles of shattered glass and other materials.

3. Bounce! Trampoline Sports

This indoor trampoline park will let you jump as high as gravity will allow! Adults and kids alike will love the dozens of trampolines, angled walls, foam pits and obstacle courses.

4. Brainstorm Escape Room

Escape rooms range in difficulty and are designed for the participants’ enjoyment. Brainstorm Escape Room in Bonita Springs, for example, offers an “Edison Versus Tesla” room that’s ranked as medium difficulty and tasks users with escaping from Thomas Edison’s secret study within 60 minutes. “It’s like writing a short story, and then, in that short story, each and every puzzle is a tiny murder mystery,” says owner Stephanie Chervoni. “After the initial scavenger hunt, everyone is usually pretty amped up, and they forget the simplest things.”

While you might think experienced problem solvers would have an advantage, escape rooms present a surprisingly level playing field. They’re also a great team-building exercise, one that can take coworkers out of the office and challenge them to effectively communicate in a low-stress environment.

5. TJ’s Hatchet Hangout 


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The percussive thud of small axes being thrown against plywood punctuates the jukebox jams at TJ’s Hatchet Hangout in Cape Coral. The business began welcoming throwers in June, bringing the hottest new bar sport to Southwest Florida. Here, laughter mixes with rallying cheers and the occasional ringing of a bell to announce someone’s landed a bull’s-eye.

But before achieving that perfect throw, many first timers are thrilled just to get the ax to stick into the board. Ax throwing, it turns out, is harder than it looks. “When they stick it, they get really excited,” says Dakota Hawkinsen, who spends as much time coaching men in their 40s and older as he does younger visitors and female throwers. “When was the last time you were able to say you did something for the first time? As adults, maybe we don’t get to say that enough.”

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