Safe off-campus activities to do this fall


Photo taken by Lauren Smith

UWF Historic Trust TT Wentworth Museum

Hunter Morrison, Staff Writer

In an effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, most on-campus activities at the University of West Florida have been suspended, leaving many residential students bored and in search of entertainment.

Regardless, Pensacola-based businesses and entertainment options continue to flourish despite these trying times. Customers are required to wear masks or face coverings while inside any establishment within city limits. Business and recreation that remain open include restaurants, museums, parks and many others.

DeLuna Lanes, located just ten minutes from campus on Nine Mile Road, offers safe and affordable fun for everyone.

“We had less business when [COVID-19] started but we’re back to normal now,”

Peter Keiek, the owner of DeLuna Lanes, said. 

All surfaces inside of DeLuna Lanes, including tables and bowling balls, are sanitized to stop the spread of COVID-19. Tables by the bowling lanes are also placed six feet apart to maintain social distancing.

The REX Theatre, a historical landmark in downtown Pensacola, will soon be offering comedy nights to the community. The REX plans to bring in acts such as stand-up comics, magic shows, blues bands and others. 

“Our ultimate goal is to have the doors open every day of the week,” Tom Coverly, booking promoter at the REX Theatre, said, “but to start off we’re going to start on the weekends.”

The REX will be taking precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“To open we’ll be at half capacity and requiring people to wear masks as they come in,” said Coverly. 

The first comedy act at the REX Theatre is set to take place on October 23.

The Pensacola Museum of Art remains open during this pandemic with enhanced safety precautions. The museum is operating at 50 percent capacity and visitors are offered a free disposable mask if they do not have one. 

The Pensacola Museum of Art offers a variety of temporary and permanent exhibits. The museum’s goal is to bridge the gap between UWF’s main campus and historic downtown Pensacola and to build dialogue between artists, students and the community.

Just a two-minute walk from the Pensacola Museum of Art, the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum has also remained open during the pandemic. 

This history museum offers both permanent and temporary galleries, filled with artifacts and other historical objects. Most notably, the Wentworth is home to The City of Five Flags exhibit, which tells the unique story of Pensacola and its journey to modern-day.

The T.T Wentworth, Jr. Museum is currently operating at 50 percent capacity to minimize the spread of coronavirus. The museum is providing free masks for visitors and is implementing hand sanitizing stations throughout the building. All guided tours have been suspended. 

Both the Pensacola Museum of Art and the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum are only open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to allow proper time for sanitization throughout the building. You can purchase your tickets on each museum’s respective website.

If you’re looking to get out in nature, Pensacola offers a variety of parks and recreation open to the public. Almost all parks within city limits have remained open or at least partially open since the pandemic began.

Just a short drive from campus, Bays Bluff Park on Scenic Highway gives you unobstructed views of Pensacola Bay. Offering boardwalks and hiking paths that lead to the bay, this beautiful park is the perfect place to go to get away from your roommates. Bays Bluff Park is open every day from 6am to 6pm.

Close to campus is also the Simpson River Recreational Site. Located directly off of Highway 90 as you drive toward Pace, this site offers fishing areas, wildlife viewing areas and a kayak launch. If you’re looking to get off campus but still want UWF’s nature-like feel, this is the place to go.

The lockdown resulting from COVID-19 has left us all a bit stir crazy. With that said, only go out if you are healthy enough to do so. Please be sure to wear a mask or face covering if you leave your residence hall and practice social distancing whenever you can.