First off, I want to be clear about something. I really love coming here. They have pretty much everything I need, except for climbing gear. I mean, really? They have stuff for camping, fishing, hunting, shooting, archery, etc. They don't have anything for rock climbing. I would have given them 5 stars if they had climbing gear. Oh well, on to my review.
I have been shopping here for years now. It's a drive for me to get here, but it's always worth it. There is so much to say about this store, that it's ridiculous and I'll probably run out of room before I finish. I'll try not to let that happen.
Every time I come here, I'm usually greeted with a full parking lot, unless I manage to get here before everyone else OR if it is later in the evening during the week. On the weekends, forget about it. Typically when I arrive, there is something cooking on the grill outside, girl/boy scouts are sitting by the door waiting to try to sell you something.
Those addictive cookies are very difficult to resist, plus, having been the child who used to go from door to door for fundraisers - I can relate and feel obligated to support them. At least that's what I tell myself to quiet the guilt I feel from buying the cookies. Who am I kidding? I don't feel guilty at all. I will eat a few of these boxes without sharing them with my boys at all. I know, that's really mean, but I buy them some also. I think that more than makes up for my selfishness. ;-)
Then on Easter, they have an Easter egg hunt for all children. It's fun, even though it's quite packed. They also offer free pictures with the Easter bunny, well, that is if your children don't scream and cry in fear. I don't remember what it was like when I was child, but I am sure I wouldn't want to be near the gigantic bunny either. It's freaky. Mine just let me torture them for the sake of a picture. We have plenty of screaming/crying pictures with the "evil" bunny. Santa is no exception. Santa is equally disliked. Speaking of Santa, during Christmas, they also have free pictures with Santa. They have lots of games and activities for the children on both holidays. **The lines for pictures are extremely long. Get there early, otherwise you will be in for a VERY long wait.**
They also have activities during the summer and a summer camp for the entire family. BPS is extremely family-oriented and always has a fun, interactive (some are seasonal) event going on that everyone can enjoy.
If you enjoy archery, well, they have a range. It does get extremely busy, so you may have to wait a bit for your turn. There is also a shooting range, which has sections for rifle and pistol owners. I love coming to this gun range. The guys working the range are friendly, informative and extremely helpful. The first time I went alone, I was extremely nervous. One of the guys, whose name escapes me at the moment, calmed me down and reminded me of everything I already knew. I was able to focus again after that. Ever since then, I have made this my "go-to" spot for shooting practice.
That touches on another subject. The staff of this entire store is excellent. I have never received so much assistance or information about products as I have in this store. They go above and beyond to try and help you find whatever it is you need. The classes they offer usually run longer than advertised, the instructors are extremely knowledgable and they are very patient with my 8-year-old, who is ADHD. We have gone through fly tying classes, fly casting and many other classes. I attended my concealed weapons course here.
The waterfall flowing into the enormous fish tank is an excellent distraction for children (and adults!). We like to sit and watch for a bit. They have scheduled feedings for the public to observe.
They have pretty much everything you could need for fishing, boating and other water sports. You will also find they have a decent selection of golfing supplies. However, you may not get as lucky in the ammunition department. They are constantly selling out. You have to call up, check on the shipment and have them put your name on a few boxes if you want some ammunition. It's the same everywhere though. You can't blame them for that. Just stay on top of it by calling every day and you will eventually score some.
They have a decent selection of clothing, shoes, boots for children and adults. It could be a bit larger though. I have never been impressed by their line of women's running shoes. They DO have lots of hunting apparel, which is great for hunters.
The Islamorada Fish Company Restaurant is adjacent to BPS, which also has a HUGE cylindrical aquarium in the middle. The food has never disappointed, but that is for a separate review.
It is also next door to the International Game Fish Association's (IGFA) Hall of Fame & Museum. It's really interesting and open seven days a week.
If you haven't had a chance to make it out to BPS, you should definitely come check it out!
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