Carol Sottosanti inherited her love of hitting high notes and cutting rugs from her father, an opera singer who inspired her to pursue a degree in vocal performance from the University of Arizona. Naturally, Carol wanted her children to also experience the beauty and exhilaration of performing on stage, but she couldn't find a program that would grant her kids the proper exposure and practice they needed. Teaming up with other moms in the community, Carol organized a few small shows starring the neighborhood's charismatic children, and subsequently, Kids Unlimited was born. Since its inception in 1986, KU Studios still produces shows regularly, preparing their young performers with various classes in vocal performance, dance, and acting. Aspiring triple threats can dive into a wide variety of camps designed to hone singing and dancing skills, while promoting awareness of important topics such as bullying or the proliferation of mimes in Tucson. KU's outstanding performers earn their way into small-group ensembles that perform regularly throughout the community.
The very first ATA Martial Arts opened in 1987, its 25 years of existence encapsulating the training of multiple generations of martial artists. Students trained, grew, had children of their own, and enrolled their kids at the same martial arts school they enjoyed as youths. The program of classes grew and evolved as well, starting with a foundation in taekwondo and growing to incorporate other styles and mixed martial arts training. The teachers now tone bodies using renowned MMA fighter Matt Hughes? personal cage fitness regimen.
Family-friendly and fully loaded, Vantage Bowling Centers boasts lane after lane of well-maintained surfaces, modern scoring, and bumpers primed and ready to boost any youngster's score and attitude. To amp up the alley-based excitement, various alleys also host Cyber/Cosmic Bowling, an intergalactic amalgamation of flashy lights, fog machines, fresh pop beats, and occasional flying saucer sightings, often identified as piping-hot pizza from the food counter. Beyond pizza, most locations provide a range of eats and thirst quenchers, including burgers, fries, sodas, and a variety of adult beverages such as draft beer and milkshakes made entirely of Wall Street Journal clippings. Select locations keep the action rolling as late as 1 a.m. on weekends. Call ahead to check for lane availability.
Grand Cinemas, originally opened in 1998, has two second-run theaters, Crossroads and Oracle View, in its movie-watching network. Films may be a few months old by the time they reach Grand Cinemas’s 35-foot screens, but Dolby surround sound and a unique snack bar keep the experience from going stale. Their managing staff is always eager to accept suggestions for feature films both large and small, and their modest ticket prices and membership packages grant visitors a bigger budget for snacks, offering discounts of up to $2.50 on a single item and diamond-studded soda glasses. See independent films from Hollywood and Sundance at the Crossroads location at a discounted rate.
GolfTEC has three convenient locations in the Phoenix area and one in Tucson, all staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the Three Laws of golfing robotics. Motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor the golfer’s swing and break it down on a high-definition video display. GolfTEC’s PGA specialists point out golfers' flaws and strengths, and coach them on how to permanently improve their game, from tee to green. Sensors chirp with approval when golfers execute a perfect stroke or crack an especially witty golfing joke. Customers will also benefit from a $10 gift certificate to Golfsmith, the golf equipment superstore housing GolfTEC’s Chandler, Scottsdale, and Tucson locations. Each of Golfsmith's four Arizona locations is stocked with cutting-edge equipment and custom-fitted clubs.
Funtasticks entices visitors of all ages with abundant play areas along with racing, riding, and sporty attractions. Guests can test their aim by precisely putting through one of two 18-hole miniature golf courses, sniping opponents in a high-tech laser-tag facility, or hitting softball or baseball homers in a batting cage that launches orbs between 40 and 70 mph from an accusatory foam pointer finger. There's also an indoor laser tag arena that allow up to 30 players per game.
Electric bumper boats come equipped with water guns for squirt-attacks against other seafarers, and go-karts navigate a racetrack's lengthy stretches and curves. The video arcade's plentitude of games rewards players who can later collect prizes, and Kiddie Land sequesters a bouncy castle, rookie go-kart track, and mini roller coaster geared to younger attendees. Funtasticks accommodates organized group outings and birthday parties with an extensive selection of packages.