Showcasing more than 30 hot air balloons, the Spooktacular Balloon Festival invites aerial-interested families to a day of Halloween-themed attractions. The festival's schedule of events includes costume contests and time to watch hot air balloons inflate at 6 p.m. as they take the shapes of animals, cartoons, and Burt Reynolds combing his mustache. Balloon rides, a kids' zone, and haunted houses beckon intrepid explorers. VIP tickets grant holders access to an Italian buffet dinner and a private cash bar, as well as tickets for a tethered balloon ride that lets two riders experience the fast-paced thrills of hot air balloons without fear of being swept away by flocks of angry clouds.
On opening night for the Arizona Fall League at Salt River Fields, many of MLB's most talented prospects will jog onto the field to begin a fall season of America's favorite pastime. With rosters packed with prospective players from 10 major-league teams, including the Diamondbacks, the Javelinas and Salt River Rafters showcase the athleticism of players such as pitcher Anthony Bass and infielder Ryan Wheeler. Groups and duos can revel in traditional moments, from the opening pitch to the seventh-inning stretch and ninth-inning worm. The game kicks off Arizona Fall League's season at the new stadium, which takes in panoramic views of red mountains.
When it comes to using correct form during a workout, athletes might check themselves in a mirror or get subjective advice from a trainer. Absolute Kinetix Sports Science & Biomechanics Center takes these techniques a step further. Using motion-capture technology similar to that used to develop video games, experts analyze a 3D model of each client to suss out muscle imbalances, potential injury zones, and inefficient form. With this super-specific information, they're able to advise clients on the best ways to achieve their goals, whether that's adjusting the hips before a golf swing, performing special exercises to strengthen weak muscles, or practicing gymnastics until they can recreate scenes from The Matrix. The center showcases this expertise in Fitness From the Ground Up, an easy-to-follow talk show hosted by sports kinesiologist Zig Ziegler. During each show, Ziegler works with guests to demonstrate just how unique the human body is, letting viewers watch both correct and incorrect movements as the show’s guests perform activities, such as running or swinging a golf club, with the motion-capture equipment.
UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes to handpick an action-packed flick, romantic comedy, or chilling thriller featuring inexplicably aggressive hamsters. The concession stand outfits moviegoers with snacks, drinks, and buckets filled with warm kernels, keeping stomach grumblings to a minimum during showings and providing crunchy projectiles in case of sudden younger-sibling attacks.
Afro:Baile Records transforms the Valley into an exotic celebration of Brazilian culture during its third annual Carnaval do Brazil, which has reeled in the attention of such media outlets as Fox 10 News and Latino Perspectives Magazine. The yearly showcase of authentic Brazilian music and dance directs the spotlight toward artists flown in from across the globe, fusing a colorful medley of Carnaval elements into one energized gala. As attendees shake their hips to the samba, groove to the tribal beats of batucada, and frantically write revised lyrics on napkins to the ethereal sounds of capoeira, multitalented performers sashay across the stage sheathed in eye-dazzling costumes and elaborate accessories. The lively bill of Carnaval do Brazil includes a cast of tuneful artists such as Quetzal Guerrero, Axe Folclorico, and DJ Seduce. Additionally, homemade Brazilian food and drinks (not included with today's Groupon) help recharge dancing batteries, and giveaways and prizes reward best-dressed attendees and guests who can most successfully morph into a human maraca.
Arizona’s most promising side-splitters share the stage with nationally renowned headliners at The Speakeasy Comedy Lounge, an irreverent comedy club that takes its atmospheric cues from a Prohibition-era nightspot. Shows on Friday and Saturday nights feature performers who have honed their anatomical knowledge of funny bones during televised appearances on Conan, Last Comic Standing, and HBO comedy specials. Though the club discloses its password to a range of comics from diverse backgrounds, most performers eschew squeaky-clean comedy for a brand of dirty humor that appeals to the noir detectives who regularly lean on the venue's gray brick walls or occupy the back row’s plushy seats. A friendly and attractive wait staff supplies cocktails ($6¬–$10), signature margaritas ($8¬–$12), and other exquisite libations along with munchies such as Comedy wings ($9) and Mexican street tacos ($9) to soothe bellies aching from chortling fits.