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Escape rooms bring the heat for summer 4

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Escape rooms around Tampa Bay Can You Escape?

5811 Memorial Hwy #206, Tampa, FL 33615 • • • •

Escape From The Office Medieval Adventure Escape From London Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

Price Range: $28 - $30 Participants in one Room: 4 - 10

American Escape Rooms

2707 University Square Dr., Tampa, FL 33612

Can You Escape? in Tampa features rooms such as Escape From The Office that challenges a team to find clues and solve puzzles in order to escape the room. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE By Jennifer Rughoonundan C O R R E S P O N D E N T

Looking for something else to do besides going to the beach? Grab some friends and test your luck at indoor escape rooms. “It’s kind of like a live action video game,” said Kristen Livesey, a USF senior who works as a Game Master at American Escape Room. “It’s a cool alternative to going to the movies or hanging out. People want to check it out because it is a newer experience.” Escape rooms have quickly risen in popularity over the last few years. USF alumna Kristi Collins posits that only 300 escape rooms were in existence when she founded Can You Escape? in 2015, but now there are upward of 5,000 nationally. “Escape rooms are a unique activity,” Collins said. “It’s a lot of puzzles and tasks that have more to do with a mystery, like (the movie and game) Clue. It involves analysis, reasoning, logic, tactile, audio, visual — all kinds of puzzles to interact with. And that’s why it has such a broad demographic.” Can You Escape? currently offers five escape rooms, with its sixth escape room opening soon. The themes include “Medieval

Adventure,” “Escape from London,” and “Trapped in a Room with a Zombie,” which has proven to be their most intense escape room. “If the zombie tags you, you’re out because now you have mutated DNA and you have to go to quarantine,” Collins said. “But, it’s also like comedy improv because the zombies talk to you and try to pull you out of your shell so that you’ll engage and have fun.” At American Escape Room, the focus is on three specific adventures: the “Mad Professor’s Asylum,” the “Zombie Apocalypse,” and the “Cold War Crisis.” Aside from proving to be great entertainment options, these escape rooms have been useful in improving team-building skills for companies and corporations, according to Livesey. “We have a lot of companies that come in and they’ll bring their interns, or just team-build in general,” said Livesey. “I don’t think a lot of the time we do activities that make us think in different kinds of ways and sort of work together like that.” The benefits to this type of bonding are not exclusive to

professional settings. USF senior Kidany Camilo, Game Host at Rabbit Hole Escape Games, attests to the power of escape rooms in bringing even friends closer together. “If you go with a bunch of people that you like and trust, you get to see another side of them,” Camilo said. “It helps you grow as friends because you learn all these things about them, such as how to work together as a group.” Rabbit Hole Escape Games features cryptozoologically themed escape rooms centered on the Florida Skunk Ape myth. According to Camilo, Rabbit Hole Escape Games strives to make its company not just about the rooms, but about the stories and how participants relate to it and each other. “What we have to offer is connection,” Camilo said. “We live in an era where people don’t connect. With these rooms, you are forced to interact with the people in your group and to find a way out, because once you go into these rooms there’s no need for phones or anything. It’s just you and your teammates. What we have to offer is a taste of what life should be.”

• • •

Zombie Apocalypse Cold War Crisis Mad Professor’s Asylum

Price Range: $30 - $35 Participants in one Room: 2 - 7

Rabbit Hole Escape Games

5205 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33603 •

Shadows of the Skunk Ape

Price Range: $19 - $30 Participants in one Room: 2 - 7

Imagine Escape Games

2830 E Bearss Ave, Tampa, FL 33613 • Jungle GEM • reSEArch Price Range: $24 Team Members: 2 - 8

Mouse Trap Escape Rooms

1701 N 14th St. Tampa, FL 33605 • • • •

The Classroom Sherlock Holmes, A Murder Mystery Jose Gaspar Demands the Key Monica’s Apartment, The Friends Experience

Price Range: $23 - $27 Participants in one Room: 2 - 8

Escape Quest Tampa

6176 Gunn Hwy, Tampa, FL 33625 •

The Riddle Room

Price Range: $30 Participants in one Room: 2 - 6


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Madeira Beach offers students shopping, dining options By Jesse Stokes C O R R E S P O N D E N T

Madeira Beach is a quiet, yet equally lively vacation spot that is about an hour away from campus. It is a destination for students who are looking for anything from a quiet day trip to a weeklong retreat. Samantha Hall, a freshman majoring in mass communications, loves all that Madeira Beach has to offer. “Madeira Beach has to be one of my favorites, because the environment is much more relaxing than some other beaches in the area,” Hall said. However, just because

the environment is relaxing, does not mean that there is any shortage of activities for visitors of the area. “Staples near Madeira Beach, like John’s Pass Village, offer a great alternative for day activities, if sitting in the sun all day is not what you enjoy,” Hall said. John’s Pass, the area neighboring Madeira Beach, is within walking distance of most resorts and hotels, and provides dozens of beach-style and specialty stores for guests of the region to explore. There is also a number of sightseeing opportunities if tourists are looking to feed more into their wild side.

Visitors can enjoy dinner on the water at dive bars like Sculley’s Seafood Restaurant, or chain restaurants like the ever-popular Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Opportunities for adventuring are affluent with activities such as dolphin watching and Jet Ski rentals. Hall said a must-do for anyone who visits would be to visit Candy Kitchen. This family owned business has been satisfying sweet teeth since 1950. With homemade delicacies such as ice cream, fudge and Italian ice, accompanied by historic candies like, Big League Chew and Chick-o-Sticks. “We have been here for 67

years and we keep doing the same thing. If it’s not broke, why fix?” said Matt Giorbano, the manager of the Candy Kitchen’s original location on Madeira beach. Giorbano said that he has noticed that spring break is definitely the time to visit Madeira Beach for the typical college student. However, the time for relaxation on the beach is during the summer. To get there from campus, take I-275 south to the Pinellas Park exit, continue west to Seminole Boulevard, turn left and follow US-19 toward the beaches, turn left on Gulf Boulevard.


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Calendar of Events

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Thursday

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Saturday

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Sunday

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Young Frankenstein @ 3 p.m. as part of the Summer Classics Movie Series at the Tampa Theatre Price: $10

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USF event: Power of Being Positive Drop In Group in the Counseling Center @ 4 p.m.

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Coffee with a Curator: Go to the Desert, Go to the Devil at the Dali Museum @ 10:30 a.m. Price: Free

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9 USF event: How To Create Powerful Visual Pitch Presentations in Research Park @ 3 p.m.

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16 Sangria and Stories: Mapping the FloridaCuba Connection at the Tampa Bay History Center @ 6 p.m. Price: $17

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Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini & Brett Young at the Florida State Fairgrounds Price: Not listed

USF event: LGBTQ+ Student Social in MSC 3306 @ 4 p.m.

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Last day of Busch Gardens Summer Nights Price: included with day ticket of $90

First Friday at Henry B. Plant Museum includes music and admission to the museum @ 5 p.m. Price: Free

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