Everything from hands-on activities to appearances from storybook characters abounds at The Everything Kids Fest, a two-day celebration of the whimsical minds and innocent hearts of children. Among the many activities, kids and their families can construct new worlds at the Legoland California build arena, explore their fantasies at the Peter Pan pirate playground, and absorb animal-kingdom gossip from sheep, chickens, and goats at the petting zoo. Meanwhile, fairy-tale favorites such as Beauty from Beauty and the Beast, Tinker Bell, Cinderella, and the Fairy Godmother perform perform on the main stage. Local plush athletes including the Coyotes' Howler and the Suns' Gorilla ruffle each other's foam during competitive events.
Nestled on the Pleasant Harbor Marina, Go Kayak Arizona sends paddlers pushing out into the still, 10,000-acre expanse of Lake Pleasant atop easy-to-maneuver kayaks. After setting up each visitor with an appropriate watercraft, paddle, and life vest, the friendly staffers send explorers off to explore the hill-lined aqua-scape or drag race rival canoes by the hour or day.
At Jambo! Park's two locations, 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 Safari Train, a circle of spinning swings, and high-flying rides atop gravity-defying elephants. Families can settle disputes over who's the favorite child in a pirate-themed laser-tag arena or club their way through the greens of a mini-golf course. The Mesa location supports the same brand of excitement with a lineup of attractions illuminated by a brightly lit carousel. Miniature pilots control their altitude as they circle around the Jets Abouts ride, and responsible drivers exchange car-insurance information after collisions on the bumper-car track. 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. Adults can wile away the time in the Lion's Den, which is furnished with plasma televisions, pool tables, and foosball tables.
As a conglomerate of paintball facilities, Paintball International is a one-stop shop for weekend warriors seeking some chromatic outdoor combat. Partnering with fields across the country, the company helps players live out their battlefield fantasies, whether they're sneaking up on an enemy installation, executing tactic strategies, or painting Water Lilies on the chest of a charging opponent.
At Scuba Specialties, experienced instructors lend their nautical know-how to diving greenhorns age 10 years and up during Discover Scuba classes. Each introductory session—lasting 60–90 minutes—instills plunging pupils with the proper utilization of equipment, as well as tips and trips for making small talk with bashful snorkels. After gleaning basic fundamentals, students don diving duds and step into the shallow tides of an indoor heated pool, where newly acquired techniques are practiced in the safety of shallow waters. Instructors volunteer careful guidance as divers hone subaqueous skills, helping them master the art of breathing underwater for future undersea explorations and nightly tug of wars with stubborn bathtub drains.