Rock climbing

Climbing, skate parts and more

Between dodging the intense summer heat and the frequent downpours, having fun this summer has been tricky.

Pensacola is a great place to explore outdoors, but there are some hidden gems when it comes to indoor activities.

Here’s a comprehensive list of things to do indoors in Pensacola when it’s too hot or humid to enjoy the great outdoors.

Climbing in Pensacola

Climbing and Pensacola are two things that don’t seem to go well together. Unless you’re looking to drive a few hours in a more topographically diverse area, you’re out of luck. But if you don’t mind climbing on interior walls, there are a few places you might be interested in.

Lily Room:Here’s a first look at Lily Hall, a Pensacola lodging house, speakeasy opening this fall

Weatherford Outback

Where: 3009 E. Cervantes St.

Located inside Weatherford’s Pensacola, The Outback is a small facility that was built in 1992 and was actually the first of its kind in the Southeast. There are 10 routes on top ropes which include several overhangs and a chimney. The highest point reaches around 35ft and there is a 55ft overhang open to experienced climbers during slower times. Additionally, they have a climbing tower available for lead climbing to practice multi-terrain climbing. It costs $15 for new climbers and gear can be rented for $12.

UWF Climbing Center

Where: 11000 University Drive

The UWF Health, Leisure and Sports Facility has a 36-foot-high rock climbing wall that sports 1,500 square feet of climbing space. There are 8 top ropes, a space reserved for bouldering, and the center is open to all skill levels. Nautilus cardholders can get climbing gear at no extra cost. HLS members can sponsor two guests per visit, and guest passes can be purchased for just $8 per day. A shared Google spreadsheet is also used to track climbers’ progress.

Try a new restaurant

Pensacola has a thriving food scene that began in downtown and has since spread to other parts of the county and neighboring Santa Rosa County.

The News Journal keeps track of all the latest restaurants to open in the area – there were four new ones in July alone, and we wrote about three in the first week of August. All this to say that there is absolutely no shortage of new restaurants to try in Pensacola.

Museums

Pensacola was founded in 1559 by Don Tristan de Luna by Spanish settlers, making it the first and oldest multi-year European colonial settlement in America. This makes Pensacola a hotbed of good museums.

Pensacola Historic Village

Where: 205 E. Zaragoza St.

Historic Pensacola Village is an 8.5 acre area that has 28 historic properties located where the Spanish and British forts were originally located in downtown Pensacola. Here’s an overview of some of the more popular museums, but click here for a full list.

African American Heritage Society

Where: 200 Church Street

The African-American Heritage Society aims to preserve, promote, and integrate African-American history, heritage, culture, and diversity in the Pensacola area. The organization hosts several events, but if you’re looking for a way to regularly check out what it has to offer, you can visit its retrospective exhibits at the historic Coulson House, located at 200 Church St.

Pensacola Children’s Museum

Where: 115 Zaragoza Street

The Pensacola Children’s Museum offers exhibits designed for parents and young children to learn and play in interactive spaces including a Colonial Classroom, Publix Super Markets exhibit, children’s corral and more.

Quina House Museum

Where: 204 S. Alcaniz Street.

The oldest building in Pensacola still in its original location, dating from 1810, the Quina House Museum can be visited for free Tuesday through Saturday.

Pensacola History Museum

Where: 330 S. Jefferson Street

The Pensacola Museum of History is the flagship museum located in the old Pensacola City Hall building which was built in 1907. This is a self-guided tour including general historical galleries with permanent exhibits and rotating.

To note: The National Naval Aviation Museum and Pensacola Lighthouse are extremely popular attractions that are not listed as they are currently closed to the public. Holders of Department of Defense ID cards can still access these attractions.

Escape rooms

You may have thought the escape room trend was dead and buried, but the four Pensacola locations are just begging to differ. Escape rooms are games you play with a group of friends. The object of the game is to uncover clues, solve puzzles, complete tasks, and ultimately escape the room(s) your party is in, all within a time limit.

Here are the local rooms, but feel free to branch out as there are plenty in the area as well.

Escape to Palafox

Where: 28 1/2 Place Palafox

Pensacola’s first escape room features three rooms: The Museum Robbery, It’s all WIRED! and haunted. Each room gives you 60 minutes to solve the puzzles and escape.

Escape on Palafox is located on the second floor of Elebash Jewelers, their entrance is just north of Dog House Deli.

Escape Zone 60

Where: 4400, boul. Bayou, Suite 38

Escape Zone 60 has multiple rooms scattered throughout the Gulf Coast. The Pensacola room is called Crime Scene “The Bank”.

Escape LOL

Where: 1757 N. Tate School Road

Escape LOL (for a lot of locks, no laughing out loud) is another escape room located towards the north end of the county. It includes a haunted mausoleum room and a prison escape room.

Get out of Pensacola

Where: 1207 Creighton Road

Exithis Pensacola is a larger escape room with three rooms to choose from. There’s the Assassin’s Lair, the Temple Ruins, and the Oval Office.

Grizzly Axes

Where: 6300 N. Davis Highway

Grizzly Axes on N Davis Highway in Pensacola on Monday, July 15, 2019. Grizzly Axes will be opening soon.

Looking for something new to try? What about ax throwing? Grizzly Axes is the region’s premier ax shooting range and rage room. Yes, you read that right. In addition to being able to throw axes at a target, guests can also dress up and choose from a suite of rage packages that will allow them to destroy small, medium and large objects.

Finally, let loose in one of the Messy Murals rooms. Everyone can play in the room and you will throw paint to create your own artistic masterpiece.

Prices depend on what you are looking to do. Ax throwing starts at $20 per person, rage room packages start at $20, and messy murals start at $30 per person.

Art classes/activities

The art is pretty deep in Pensacola. One of the best festivals in the area is the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival. So it’s no surprise that there are plenty of opportunities to let your creativity run wild. The best part is that you don’t need observable talent to create something cool.

Believe me, you can do it.

First art center in the city

Where: 1060 rue N. Guillemard

First City Art Center is a non-profit art center that offers a wide range of workshops, classes, studio spaces, gallery exhibits, youth camps, and a ton of other opportunities. Drawing classes, yoga and art classes, glass blowing, clay sculpting, kiln glass, art labs and more are on the program.

Paint with a twist

Where: 4771, boul. Bayou, office 11

Step 1: Browse the selection of paints available on the Painting with a Twist website.

Step 2: Secure your favorite beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic).

Step 3: Blow your mind with your innate artistic abilities.

Most people are probably familiar with the concept of painting with a twist, but for the uninitiated, it’s a BYOB art class that teaches you how to paint a picture you’re absolutely sure to slaughter. But, with camaraderie, laughter, and a little liquid courage, you can persevere. Classes start at around $40 and include all necessary art supplies.

Creators loft

Where: 2400 Michigan Avenue West, Suite 19

Maker’s Loft is an open workshop-style craft studio to teach kids and adults how to make tons of diverse crafts. You can book classes now to make barn quilts, use acrylic paint, create silhouettes, mosaic windows and more. Many projects would also make a great home decoration.

Galleries

Speaking of deep art, check out some of Pensacola’s many art galleries, most of which can be visited for free.

Quayside Art Gallery

Where: 17 E. Zaragossa St.

The Quayside Art Gallery is the largest cooperative gallery in the Southeast and is open to the public free of charge. On display you will find 3D works in clay, glass, fiber, precious metals, wood and more; as well as oil, watercolours, photography, inks and mixed formats.

Some of the items on display at the Quayside Art Gallery during the first Gallery Night of 2020 on Friday 17th January.

Blue Morning Gallery

Where: 21 S. Palafox Square

Blue Morning Gallery features a collection of over 60 local artists, including many award-winning artists.

Artel Gallery

Where: 505 S. Adams Street

The Artel Gallery is a non-profit gallery run by volunteers which was founded in 1993. It offers several quality exhibitions of experimental and contemporary art.

Waterboyz Skate Park

Where: 380 N. Ninth Avenue.

Waterboyz Skatepark is a 5,000 square foot air-conditioned indoor skate park. You can take skate lessons or even enroll your child in a summer skate camp. It doubles as a retail store, and you can even grab a bite to eat at Café Single Fin, located inside the park.

DIY art ideas

Open your web browser, type “youtube.com” and search for “painting along” or any other art project you plan to do. Chances are there’s a fantastic video out there that will teach you, step by step, how to bring this idea to life. It’s good to host at home and a little cheaper than going out – all you need are the supplies, which you can pick up with a coupon from Michael.

The “events” page of Facebook is usually full of various artistic events. A secondary source follows your favorite brewery on social media. Oddly enough, there are fairly frequent workshops held at places like Odd Colony.