Since I'm from Boston, I'm used to a short beach-going season, accompanied by high winds and chilly weather. But my friend Samantha grew up in Florida, a magical place (or so I'm told) where she could go to the beach even in the dead of winter. We were talking about our childhoods the other day, and I said that I couldn't imagine what it's like to go swimming in the middle of January. Then Sam told me that she had read an article about indoor beaches that are specifically designed to be open year-round.
These facilities are much more involved than just an indoor pool. Some have water slides, sand and even areas where beachgoers can lay out and bask in the pretend sun. Best of all, an indoor beach is open regardless of the time of year or weather.
According to Sam, there is an indoor beach in Japan that has a blue sky projected on its dome ceiling like the great hall in Harry Potter. That park even has artificial parrots that make the noise of chirping birds that people are used to hearing from the sand.
Then, my friend Zach surprised us all by saying his father made a miniature coastline in his basement a few years ago. Since Zach's dad loves heading to the shore, he put a sandbox and beach umbrella in the warm room next to the furnace in his basement. He even painted the walls blue to mimic the color of the waves. On a day off, Zach's dad will sit in his beach chair and catch up on his reading. He even turns on an electric fan to imitate the ocean breeze.
While installing your very own seashore in your house probably isn't for everyone, it is certainly an innovative way to use extra basement space. And maybe I'll go visit the beach in Zach's dad's basement if I feel like warming up on a cold winter's day.