The giraffe smells a food pellet. He pokes his head just over the railing and starts sniffing for the guest holding his treat. Not far off, some brightly plumed parrots land on another visitor’s arm, spying the tasty apple slices in her hand. Though you can’t get this close to every animal at Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium—such as the lions and the wild Larry Fitzgeralds—the keepers do facilitate animal-human exchanges as often as possible with the zoo’s more than 600 species. They also give visitors novel views of some exhibits by welcoming them aboard the Skyride, the Australian boat ride, and the African train safari. The adjacent aquarium adds to the zoo’s impressive animal collection, housing more than 75 exhibits and enough water to start a new earth colony.
Further attractions include a children’s petting zoo, daily shows, and a baby-animal nursery. Wildlife World also encompasses two restaurants where guests can feed themselves and their own helpless progeny.
Now an international franchise of in-home education, Tutor Doctor was founded about 10 years ago on the principle of pupil-tailored programs that remove the classroom's barriers to success. Twenty-five-year education veteran and pastor Bill Davies heads the Phoenix division. By prioritizing a student's unique struggles over any particular curriculum and adopting an exclusively one-on-one approach, the house-callers help kids from grade school to college with math, the language arts, and standardized-test preparation. Whether demystifying the sciences or providing advanced abacus skills, the tutors take a personalized approach more efficacious than classroom environs. Specialists on staff pay equal attention to the needs of special-needs learners, including those with ADHD, autism, or bipolar disorder.
Named after the Sanskrit word for “community,” Sangha Yoga stays true to its title by bringing together yogis of all levels in peaceful classes six days a week. The studio’s curriculum incorporates both extremely gentle sessions and such intense rounds as the "rock my body, soothe my soul" class, which keeps sweat glands' hands full with challenging poses that strengthen the frame without overworking internal systems.
The 6th hole at Sundance Golf Club may be easy on the eyes, but it can be hard on a golfer’s scorecard. As the course’s signature hole, the 175-yard par-three requires a tee shot over the placid waters of Sundance Lake in order to reach a multi-tiered green. It may sound simple, but the considerable length from tee to green and the psychological challenge of the water hazard is a formidable combination—so much so that legendary course designer Greg Nash decided there was no need to add any greenside bunkers or trap-doors to the layout. The 6th hole is one of only two holes that have water in play—the rest of the 6,944-yard, par 72 layout ripples through desert tundra and arroyos, a mostly flat expanse that offers endless views of the White Tank Mountains to the north and the Estrella Mountains in the south.
To help golfers prepare for their round, Sundance Golf Club offers a driving range, a putting green, and a staff of PGA pros eager to assist in golf lessons. After a day at the links, visitors can unwind over a burger and a beverage at the Crooked Putter Restaurant, which is named after the only kind of eating utensil the restaurant offers.
Course at a Glance:
Ground Control at Verrado's founders, Sean and Tara, infuse the eatery’s casual atmosphere with a European vibe, plating a menu of gastropub delights that match with their 18 draft brews. During dinner, cherrywood bacon sneaks into creamy mac 'n' cheese ($9), beer-battered cod cozies up to hand-cut fries and homemade tartar sauce in the fish & chips ($12), and a medium-rare Angus burger ($10) tests jaw limits. Lunch promises leafy salads and packed sandwiches such as the Cowboy, loaded with layers of roast beef, bacon, sharp cheddar, grilled onions, and special sauce ($7.95). Ground Control’s kitchen also churns out egg-centric breakfasts, including huevos rancheros, two fried eggs in a bog of cheddar, beans, and tortillas ($8). Whether sipping a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale ($5) or cooling sweaty forearms against a creamy cup of gelato, diners can drink in fresh breezes on the outdoor patio. Inside, exposed-brick walls surround tables flanked by black leather chairs in an inviting and energetic loft-like atmosphere.
Presented in part by Dan Clark, also known as Nitro, of American Gladiator fame, the Gladiator Rock'n Run 6K pairs an obstacle-heavy running course with post-race entertainment, including beer, music, and food. Six kilometers’ worth of collective scampering awaits participants as muscle-testing obstacles impede progress to the finish line. Those prepared to race must dance through tires, army-crawl through mud, and clamber up rope ladders to avoid barrels thrown by giant apes. The roar of spectators rings throughout the course as bystanders cheer on runners to inspire strong finishes. Gladiator Rock'n Run proceeds go toward a good cause, helping to raise money for TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), an organization that provides education, support, and information to aid parents in helping their children diagnosed with autism.