Amusement Parks in Paradise Valley

Select Local Merchants

In 1966, Big Surf Waterpark founder Phil Dexter built his first model of a wave machine in his backyard, a place he affectionally named Tahiti Phil's. With some help, and several models later—including one assembled inside an abandoned billiards hall—he perfected the contraption, making it the centerpiece of his newly opened waterpark in 1969. Dexter's invention instantly snagged press from Time, Sports Illustrated, and Life, and today, it remains Big Surf Waterpark's 2.5-million-gallon keynote attraction. Over the years, despite Arizona's lack of rain or gigantic sprinkler, the park has managed to grow around the wave pool, and its current 20-acre campus features dozens of slides, rides, and areas for all ages. Big Surf's real estate has also played host to entertainment events, including concerts from Pink Floyd, Elton John, and the Beach Boys. New for this year, and in honor of Phil’s wave making machinery and his original backyard site where it all began, Big Surf has unveiled its own Tahiti Phil’s, a full service bar for adults over 21 that looks over the historic wave pool.

1500 N McClintock Dr
Tempe,
AZ
US

Climbers cling to large, composite structures, strategizing their way up the side of a rocky cliff. They have come to conquer Climbmax Climbing Gym's myriad rock-face combinations and master the art of blindfolded belaying on thick, padded floors. Before challenging themselves on the climb-through cave or scaling an overhang, climbers slip into a harness and climbing shoes for safety.

In addition to climbing areas geared toward beginners and advanced climbers, a children's area features its own pint-sized climb-through cave where youngsters learn to appreciate all aspects of the stimulating sport. Thick padding covers the floors of each climbing area, ensuring safe landings and comfortable, celebratory belly flops from the wall's summit.

1330 W Auto Dr
Tempe,
AZ
US

At Wheel Fun Rentals, visitors can traverse surrounding areas in fun paddle- and pedal-propelled vessels while soaking in oft-overlooked scenery, which would not be possible while buckled to a car seat or an Acme rocket. Established in 1999, Wheel Fun Rentals provides locals and tourists with an engaging way to sightsee while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Customers can rent a wide range of vehicles, such as a paddleboat ($15 per hour), surrey ($20–$30 per hour), scooter ($5 per hour), or kayak ($15 per hour) to traverse the verdant nature trails of Encanto Park or the glittering lake and bustling recreational center of Kiwanis Park.

111 E Baseline Rd
Tempe,
AZ
US

At Jambo! Park, children uncork bottled up energy as they spring across an indoor playground sprawling with jungle-themed rides, family-friendly games, and towering play structures. The fun factory's Phoenix locale manufactures raucous laughter and endless enjoyment with myriad attractions, including the Himalaya mini roller coaster, Monkey Barrels ride, and Spin Tops ride. Families can settle disputes over who's the favorite child in a pirate-themed laser-tag arena or club their way through the six greens of a mini-golf course. Miniature pilots control their altitude as they circle around on the Flying Elephants ride or take a spin on the Jungle Swing ride. Little conductors can take in the views on the Safari Train. A three-level play structure festooned with tubes and slides welcomes climbers and sliders, and more than 90 nonviolent video games jangle merrily in the arcade.

12046 N 32nd St
Phoenix,
AZ
US

On Imagination Avenue, kids eight and under rule the roost. Kids let their creativity soar as they pretend in any of nine playhouses that compose a scaled-down replica of Anytown, USA. Speed demons borrow cars from the firehouse to cruise Main Street, while aspiring builders browse Home Depot for the materials needed to shore up the schoolhouse walls. Each business is stocked with props and toys, ranging from dress-up clothes in the boutique to out-of-date National Geographics at the medical clinic. When kids get tired of tea parties, the onsite café purveys healthy snacks such as almond-butter and jelly sandwiches and deli sandwiches on artisan rolls. Imagination Avenue also offers birthday party packages and hosts special events throughout the year.

10614 N 32nd St
Phoenix,
AZ
US

Amid the bright lights and engaging attractions of the Arizona State Fair, Beerfest fills mouths with local brews, craft beers, and traditional American favorites. Quaff local bounty as Arizona brewers Sleepy Dog, Mogollon, and Mudshark serve three specialties each, or refresh palates with Anheuser-Busch mainstays—such as Stella, Beck's, and Bud Light—hewn from wheat, laced with lime, or crammed with beer. Inventive craft brews tickle tongues as pairs jointly gulp from a roster boasting brews including Deschutes’s Mirror Pond pale ale, Odell’s 90 Shilling, and Kona's Pipeline Porter. Between knocking back fermented fare and brainstorming plans to construct a home beer moat, fair-goers can gawk at events and attractions at the fair, such as the Phoenix Police Department's K-9 competition or roller-skating battles by the Arizona Derby Dames, both on October 30.

1826 W McDowell Rd
Phoenix,
AZ
US