Maybe you’ve noticed that it’s a tad warm outside lately. Oh, and odds are good that it’s raining as well. But that doesn’t mean you need to hide in the house and watch reruns all day.
In the Jacksonville area, you can go ice skating, skydiving, go-karting or bouncing on trampolines — all in air-conditioned comfort. Or stroll through one of the city’s museums and look at cool art in the cool air.
Here are some indoor things you can do in the Jacksonville area to keep from overheating until Florida turns a little more tolerable, which should happen sometime around Halloween.
3605 Philips Highway
There’s a good bit of construction going on at the old Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex building just off I-95, south of downtown Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Icemen professional hockey team is behind the $18 million renovation project, which will add a second ice rink, an e-sports facility, a training center for the team and a sports-themed restaurant when all is said and done sometime this year. For now, though, there is public skating offered every weekday from 10 a. m. to noon, plus Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It costs $12 to skate, and skate rentals are $5. They also offer eight-week learn-to-skate classes and a figure-skating academy.
10579 Brightman Blvd.
Skydiving sounds like a lot of fun, except for that whole stepping out of the airplane and falling thousands of feet thing. That’s not an issue at iFly, which uses four fans in a recirculating wind tunnel to create a powerful column of rising air in a flight chamber. Flyers sign a waiver, take a short instruction course, don a flight suit over their clothes and fly for about 60 seconds with an instructor. Anyone over age 3 and under 260 pounds can fly. There are more than 80 iFly locations worldwide, including Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. $84. 99 for two flights, although cheaper rates are available on some weekdays.
1214 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville Beach
14985 Old St . Augustine Road
7022 A. C. Skinner Parkway
11840 Beach Blvd.
9292 Arlington Expressway
9950 Southside Blvd.
Indoor trampoline parks are becoming all the rage, and the Jacksonville area is now home to at least six of them. They’re a great place to take the kids to burn off excess energy. Most have games built in — dodgeball, basketball and the like. You’ll probably have to sign an injury waiver before entering, and some require special socks for jumpers.
Indoor go-kart racing
6601 Executive Park Court N.
Autobahn’s electric karts are no joke — they are capable of speeds up to 50 mph. That is why they are equipped with safety harnesses and roll bars plus why drivers are required to wear a helmet. They also have junior karts, which will hit 25 mph, for ages 8-12. Races last 7-12 minutes. Two races in the adult karts start at $39. 98 Monday-Thursday and $49. 98 Friday-Sunday. Autobahn also offers for ages 13 or older, and a video game arcade.
Nothing beats the heat like a slow stroll through a quiet museum. Jacksonville has several to choose from.
• The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens on Riverside Avenue is a traditional art museum, with galleries filled with paintings, sculpture and a world-class porcelain collection. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students, but you can get in free from 4-9 p. m. Tuesdays and Fridays and 11 a. m. to 4 p. m. on the first Sunday of each month.
• The Museum of Contemporary Art The city of jacksonville is the downtown area on Laura Street, facing James Weldon Johnson Park . MOCA is owned and operated by the University of North Florida and has a rotating series of shows in its galleries. Don’t miss Project Atrium, in which artists from around the world create pieces specifically for the 40-foot-high walls around the museum’s main staircase. Admission will be $8 for adults, $5 for students.
• Kids will love the Museum of Science & History on the Southbank of the St . Johns River. Plans are in the works for a new MOSH , but the old one works just fine for now. Kids can learn about sea life, health, electricity and local history while pushing buttons plus pulling levers on the interactive displays. There’s also a planetarium and a large gallery that is used for traveling exhibits. Admission is $17. 95 for adults, $14. 95 for kids.