On the Riptide slide, brave park-goers grip small, yellow rafts as they descend down a nearly vertical 35-foot drop into a long alley of water. This thrilling ride is one of the Breaker Water Park's main attractions, joined by the twisting and turning Bonzai Pipeline?which propels bodies through a large jumble of pipes?and a massive wave pool filled with more than 1 million chlorinated gallons. The sprawling Breakers compound also has two food and refreshment stands and plenty of space for dining or relaxation. Sunbathers and those afflicted with wicked-witch syndrome can plant their beach towels and collect sunshine at one of many seating areas, and families with children too small for larger water slides can escort the tykes to Captain's Kidd's Surfari. A designated kids' area, the Surfari gives littler kids an oversized and waterlogged playground outfitted with wading pools, tamer slides, and elaborate sprinkler fountains.
Three baseball cages and three softball cages housed in the indoor Batters Box facility hurl their best stuff into the strike zone so that baseball players can polish their cuts. Various settings enable all levels to improve, serving slower pitches to younger and less-experienced players and transforming into hecklers so experienced players can master their game faces. Batter’s Box also employs a couple of decorated instructors in Jerry Hairston Sr., a 14-year major leaguer and father to two current pros, and Autumn Champion, a former standout at the University of Arizona and current record holder for the fourth-highest softball batting average in the nation.
Clasped between Saguaro National Park and the Ironwood Preserve, Double R Ranch appears as though it were plucked straight from the frames of an old Western movie. The windswept grounds stand as a gateway to the thousands of untouched acres that quietly stitch together the Northwest side of Tucson. The ranch gives visitors a chance to explore that land with horseback rides and birthday parties. It also offers weekend getaways and RV hookups to city-dwellers in need of an escape from the crowds and door-to-door minivan salesmen that come with urban living. Double R also accommodates guests who have their own horses with overnight stabling services.
With more than two decades of airborne experience under their wings, Scott Johnson and his wife Terri teach students the fundamentals of sport piloting during tandem paramotor and trike flights. After mastering the helm of a trike or the cords of a paramotor on the land, pupils and teachers soar over the stunning vistas of southern Arizona's expansive landscape for hands-on experience. Scott draws from his time spent helping film nature documentaries for the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet to help students identify shorebirds and sandhill cranes midflight. Arizona Trike School also deals in new and refurbished sport aircraft as well as piloting necessities such as parachutes and headsets that play the Top Gun soundtrack on repeat.
The experienced horsewomen behind Way Out West Ranch host equine activities that range from riding lessons and trail rides to jumping and cattle work. The facility's location affords it easy access to miles of scenic desert trails, which groups can explore from a saddled vantage point. Riders steer well-trained and responsive horses, never having to worry that the steed will buck at the sight of a lizard or shirk its responsibilities to run off and build sand castles. Riders who'd like to brush up on their technique can also enlist the on-staff farm hands for instruction in the disciplines of Western, English, and Jumping.
If horseback riding is Renee Lewis's first love, watching others learn to share the same passion comes a close second. As the owner of Double R Ranch, Renee gets to share her experiences every day. Situated between Saguaro National Park and the Ironwood Preserve, the ranch offers thousands of acres to explore on trail rides by the hour, half-day, or full-weekend, which is the longest the horses can last without their daytime soap operas. Back at the ranch, Renee also conducts Western BBQs and equine-themed birthday parties.