Calls for More Indoor Leisure Activities for Families in Town

In a recent development, a cherished indoor virtual reality gaming center, which had become a staple for entertainment in town, shut its doors for the last time. Opened two years ago on Maiden Street, this center was a beacon for families seeking fun and adventure with a variety of activities including escape rooms, laser tag, sim-racing, and even zombie-themed entertainment. Its closure on May 30 marks the end of an era for local entertainment options, especially those suited for indoor enjoyment.

The closing of this venue highlights a broader concern within the community regarding the availability of indoor leisure activities. This is particularly poignant given the increasing unpredictability of summer weather, which has been inclining towards the wetter side, leaving families scrambling for entertainment options that don’t depend on sunny skies.

Paul Appleby, a notable figure in the local commerce sphere, emphasized the growing need for indoor entertainment solutions. “With the shifts in weather patterns, our community is in dire need of attractions that aren’t weather-dependent,” he stated. The closure of the virtual reality gaming center opens up a space in the heart of the town, potentially paving the way for new businesses to fill the void left behind. Appleby further remarked on the town’s natural beauty and outdoor attractions but stressed the importance of balancing these with indoor entertainment options for those less sunny days.

The locale’s offerings of indoor activities have been dwindling, an issue further highlighted by the closure of MFA Bowl in 2019 due to safety concerns regarding the building’s structure. While the town boasts an award-winning beach, a picturesque harborside, and an array of parks and gardens, families often find themselves at a loss when the weather turns foul.

Current indoor attractions include a cinema, historical forts, and a few recreational parks that cater to family outings. Additionally, amusement arcades and indoor play areas do exist but are scattered and not within immediate reach for all residents. This dispersal underscores the community’s lament for more centralized, accessible indoor entertainment options.

Conversations with locals reflect a shared sentiment for enhanced indoor activity choices. Visitors from Southampton, Marvin and Beth, expressed their frequent encounters with the limitation of indoor venues during their visits, especially under unfavorable weather conditions. Similarly, Weymouth residents Kevin and Julie mourned the loss of the bowling alley, highlighting the gap in affordable and engaging activities that the whole family can enjoy indoors.

However, there might be a light at the end of the tunnel with the anticipated development of Brewers Quay. This project promises to breathe new life into the town’s indoor entertainment scene, although it is slated for completion in three years. The planned renovation aims to introduce new homes, shops, and a museum, potentially offering a reinvigorated hub for locals and visitors alike to explore irrespective of the weather.

The closure of the virtual reality gaming center is more than just the end of a business; it’s a wake-up call for the community and stakeholders to recognize the importance of providing diverse, accessible, and weather-proof entertainment options. As the town anticipates future developments like Brewers Quay, the hope is that more indoor entertainment venues will emerge, enriching the lives of families and ensuring fun-filled outings are always on the horizon, rain or shine.

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