Heading to a bowl game? There's plenty to do, and football too

Whether you’re heading to Shreveport, La., to cheer on the Bulldogs in the Independence Bowl or Miami-bound in hope of a Georgia Tech victory in the Orange Bowl, each destination has plenty to offer during downtime.

Shreveport

Things to do

Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center

While grown-up action takes place at the six casinos, both kids and adults can geek out at Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center. A snazzy interactive domed planetarium and Imax Dome Theatre attempt to educate and entertain. Inside the latter, holiday family fare shares screen time with films about dinosaurs and the Alps. Imax tickets are available individually or in a combo museum ticket. The museum itself has nine separate galleries with more than 290 exhibits, which helps guests soak up knowledge. Kids may just salivate over the candy-making workshops taking place during the holidays.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays; 1-6 p.m. Sundays. $13-$18 adults; $10-$13 ages 3-12; ages 2 and younger free. Sci-Port: Louisiana's Science Center, 820 Clyde Fant Parkway, Shreveport. 318-424-3466, www.sciport.org.

Nightlife

Stray Cat

This neighborhood bar snagged national publicity when actors Josh Brolin and Jeffrey Wright were arrested after a run-in with police while in town shooting Oliver Stone’s 2008 film “W.” But it’s best known to locals as a cozy spot to munch on pizza and sample a wide array of liquor and libations including a smart selection of scotches and wines. Some retreat to the Louisiana-style back patio. Yet the biggest draw for night owls and nonstop bowl-game partiers may be the fact that it’s open until 6 a.m.

2 p.m.-6 a.m. Mondays-Fridays; 8 p.m.-6 a.m. Saturdays-Sundays. 222 Travis St., Shreveport. 318-424-4747.

Shopping

Louisiana Boardwalk

It’s a sprawling shopping and entertainment district located along the Red River directly across the water from downtown Shreveport. A host of retailers cater to a variety of shoppers including outdoorsy sports fans (Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World), outfit-hunting moms (Liz Claiborne) and toy-grabbing kiddies (Build-A-Bear Workshop). Chain restaurants like Hooters and Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro serve familiarity.

8 a.m.-10 p.m. Dec. 26; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 27; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 28-30; call or check Web site for additional hours. Louisiana Boardwalk, 540 Boardwalk Blvd., Bossier City, La. 318-752-1455, www.louisianaboardwalk. com.

Dining

Monjunis Italian Cafe and Grocery

For more than 20 years, the flagship Monjunis has been whipping up Italian classics (think homemade lasagna, chicken parmesan) and Louisiana faves like shrimp po’ boys and muffalettas. According to its staff, Monjunis serves more than 7,000 meatballs and more than 1,000 servings of lasagna each week.

10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; closed Sundays. 1315 Louisiana Ave., Shreveport. 318-227-0847, www.monjunis.com.

Miami

Things to do

Coral Castle Museum

This off-the-beaten-path tourist attraction may be South Florida’s answer to Stonehenge. Beginning in 1923, the late Edward Leedskalnin spent the next 28 years carving 1,100 tons of coral rock. He supposedly did this by himself and shrouded in secrecy. The result was a monument to his fiancee, who backed out of their nuptials. Leedskalnin created everything from coral, including the massive walls, a coin pool, tables, chairs and crescent moon-shaped statues. The museum banks on its mysterious back story by hosting Psychic Saturday on the first Saturday of each month. That’s when guests pay to have their palms read and fortunes told.

8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. $9.75 adults; $6.50 ages 62 and older; $5 ages 7-12; ages 6 and younger free. 28655 South Dixie Highway, Homestead, Fla. 305-248-6345, www.coralcastle.com.

Nightlife

Plunge Rooftop Bar and Lounge

The rooftop pool at the Gansevoort South hotel and residence may be a daytime splash spot. But at night, it goes chic as an adult-only lounge. Sitting 18 stories above the crashing surf, Plunge invites the beautiful people to chill on beds and cabanas soaking up specialty cocktails. On selects nights, deejays provide pulsing sounds. Mingling and dancing takes place on the 26,000 square-foot Brazilian hardwood deck. The centerpiece is the 110-foot long pool and surrounding palm trees. Yes, you’re definitely in Miami.

9 p.m.-3 a.m. daily. Gansevoort South, 2377 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, Fla. 305-604-1000, www.gansevoortsouth.com.

Dining

Mr. Chow

Residing in the W South Beach hotel, the Miami location of the chic Chinese chain specializing in Beijing cuisine opened its doors in August. Its penchant for swank and celebrity makes it at home in South Beach. A duo of executive chefs, Nick Du and Xiao Lei Shao, oversee choice bites like green prawns and squab with lettuce and spicy beef casserole. Bring the camera for a shot of the Michael Chow-designed 123-foot gold-leaf and Swarovski crystal chandelier dangling from high. Chow shares pieces from his private art collection. Artist Yi Zhou provides animated projections bringing additional life to the outside dining and patio area where you can practically reach the beach.

6-11:30 p.m. Sundays-Wednesdays; 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Thursdays; 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays. W Hotel South Beach, 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. 305-695-1695, www.mrchow.com.

Shopping

The Webster

Football-loving fashionistas hunting for a high-end boutique, look no further. Sure, the prices can be mind-numbing. You can easily lay down more than $400 for an Adam Kimmel checkered and plaid men’s button down or more than $3,000 for a black silk Lanvin dress. But if you’re going to play with the likes of Stella McCartney and Pucci, you gotta pay. And if you’re already indulging, see it through with a nosh at the store’s own Parisian eatery, Caviar Kaspia. And the rooftop is now open for cocktails and food.

11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. 1220 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. 305-674-7899, www.thewebstermiami.com.