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.
Leave your friends in the dust with today's Groupon: $29 gets you three go-kart races at Speedway Raceway. With this deal, you get Speedway's Arrive & Race (three laps of practice and a 13-lap race) package times three. Bring two friends along for a speedway showdown, or keep this deal all to yourself and get loopy doing 40-plus turns around the track. With that much practice, you'll be fit enough to try out for the National Hot Rod Association.
At Castles N' Coasters, visitors can plummet down a 120-foot tower, ride giant logs down a waterfall, and crash cars with abandon. It sounds crazy, but it’s safe—the Sky Diver, Splash Down log ride, and Ram-Rods bumper cars are among the 18 attractions at this family-friendly amusement park. Guests can also howl around the loop-the-loops of the Desert Storm roller coaster or set their little ones on kid-friendly rides such as the Spinning Top and Flying Bugs. At the 18-hole mini-golf course, families putt around a landscape flush with tall palms and spouting fountains, as well as a regal castle where golf balls are knighted for jumping the moat. With all these activities, plus a three-level, 12,000-square-foot arcade with more than 200 games, the park ably hosts both spur-of-the-moment outings and planned parties and events.
In 1966, Big Surf Waterpark founder Phil Dexter built his first model of a wave machine. 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.
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.
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.