Explore Indoor Active Fun During the Winter Months

By Tracy Wright

We can get some pretty chilly days as we move into the winter season. When it’s too cold to enjoy the outdoors, head inside for some fun activities that will keep you active this winter! Some of these may require a short drive to Jacksonville, but it’s worth it!

Ice Skating is a way to enjoy the cold weather in a controlled environment. Health Fitness Revolution reports that it helps to improve balance and joint flexibility while also providing a great cardio workout. On average you can burn between 600-800 calories per hour while ice skating.

  • Community First Igloo is an indoor ice rink that offers ice skating lessons, figure skating teams, ice hockey as well as other indoor activities like indoor football. The rink is open for public skating seven days a week with varying hours (check their website). This venue also offers a dog park on ice! A snack bar is open during public skate hours. communityfirstigloo.com, 3605 Philips Hwy., Jacksonville, FL 32207

Indoor Skydiving – If you’re a fan of outdoor skydiving, try the indoor kind! It’s a very unique experience and fun for the whole family.

  • iFLY is an indoor skydiving facility open to the public ages 3 and above. Guests should wear comfortable clothing and socks. Each guest will be guided by an instructor to ensure the safest experience. Book a “flight” online to secure your reservation. iflyworld.com, 10579 Brightman Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32246

Bowling may seem like a sedentary sport, but there are actually multiple health benefits. According to Health Fitness Revolution, the impact of walking with a heavy ball improves muscle tone and can help you lose weight. Added benefits include improved mental health, better hand-eye coordination and lower stress levels.

  • Splitz of Gainesville is part of Skate Station Funworks and located in the same complex. The bowling alley has 30 lanes with bumpers available for younger bowlers. You can sign up for a bowling league on their website. It is open seven days a week with later hours on Friday and Saturday with daily specials. bowlsplitz.com/Gainesville, 1301 NW 76th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32606
  • Reitz Union Game Room at the University of Florida has 14 bowling lanes, pool tables and foosball tables. It is open daily from noon-10:30 p.m. union.ufl.edu/gameroom, 686 Museum Rd., Ground Level, Gainesville, FL 32611

Racquetball is a great cardio workout. According to U.S. Olympic training center, the average racquetball player runs approximately 3,650 feet. In one hour of play, the player can run more than two miles and burn between 600-800 calories.

  • db Racquet Club is located on the Northwest side of Gainesville near Devil’s Millhopper. Although the club is mostly dedicated to tennis, the facility offers the only air-conditioned racquetball courts in town. Members of the club have access to these rooms, available by reservation only, open from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. Membership also offers ten tennis courts, a pro shop, fitness room and swimming pool. dbtennis.com, 5100 NW 53rd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32653

Roller Skating has been recommended by the American Heart Association as a great workout, burning about 350 calories per hour.

  • Skate Station Funworks is a large recreational complex featuring a number of indoor activities, including a large skating rink. It is open Wednesday through Sunday with varying hours. In addition to roller skating, the location has an arcade, rock wall, trampoline and bounce houses. funworks.com/Gainesville, 1311 NW 76th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32606

Rock Climbing has been described by some as the ultimate full body workout. According to climbingblogger.com, it can burn from about 500-900 calories per hour. Those missing a daily hike may find that rock climbing scratches that itch.

  • Sun Country Sports is an indoor recreational facility with a variety of activities for both children and adults. Sun Country Rocks has over 2,500 square feet of climbing space and their wall features many of the same qualities as a real rock cliff. Classes are available for beginners and advanced climbers. They even have their own competitive climbing team, which travels around the Southeast to compete. They have a Belay 101 class for participants to learn or brush up on belay techniques (as all climbers must pass a belay test). suncountrysports.com, 333 SW 140th Terrace, Jonesville, FL 32669

Dancing has multiple physical and mental health benefits while providing a great cardio workout. It improves balance and strength, boosts brain health, and improves your mood. Active.com says that you can burn between 200-400 calories per half hour.

  • Dance Sun Country features classes in ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern dance and even clogging! Weekly classes are offered throughout the year with an annual recital. Sun Country also has a Sun Country Dance Theatre, a resident pre-professional dance company. suncountrysports.com, 333 SW 140th Terrace, Jonesville, FL 32669
  • Cameron Dancenter features classes in ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, musical theater and tap beginning at 2 years old through adult level. Weekly classes are offered with an annual production. Cameron also has a resident company, the Danscompany, which features an annual performance of Cinderella and a spring concert. camerondancenter.com, Two locations in Gainesville: Dancenter NW Studio, 5003 NW 34th Blvd, Suite 120, Ridgeway Village and Dancenter SW Studio, 5211 SW 91st Terrace, Haile Village Center.
  • IndepenDANCE Studio offers dance classes from 6 months to adults. Classes range from acro, ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, conditioning and injury prevention as well as adult ballet, hip hop and West African. IndepenDANCE also offers their dancers the opportunity to perform in recitals as well as offering a competitive dance team. independancestudio.com, 5745 SW 75th Street, #311, Gainesville, FL 32608

Indoor Cycling is for those who don’t want to venture bike rides in the colder temperatures. Indoor cycling classes help to amp up with the experience often led by high-energy instructors in a fun and lively environment. Besides burning an average 400-600 calories in a 45-minute class, these indoor cycling classes can also boost your metabolism while toning your lower body, said VeryWell Fit.

  • CycleBar Gainesville is a local indoor cycling location that offers a variety of classes and options for riders. Led by CycleBar instructors called Cyclestars, each class is powered by a pumping playlist curated to get riders’ hearts moving and moods motivated. Classes are designed for riders of all levels including performance, classic, empower and xpress class offered in a shorter time format. Classes are offered seven days a week. cyclebar.com/location/Gainesville, 3597 SW 32nd Court, Suite 40, Gainesville, FL 32608

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