The giraffe smells a food pellet. He pokes his head just over the railing and starts sniffing for the guest holding his treat. Not far off, some brightly plumed parrots land on another visitor’s arm, spying the tasty apple slices in her hand. Though you can’t get this close to every animal at Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium—such as the lions and the wild Larry Fitzgeralds—the keepers do facilitate animal-human exchanges as often as possible with the zoo’s more than 600 species. They also give visitors novel views of some exhibits by welcoming them aboard the Skyride, the Australian boat ride, and the African train safari. The adjacent aquarium adds to the zoo’s impressive animal collection, housing more than 75 exhibits and enough water to start a new earth colony.
Further attractions include a children’s petting zoo, daily shows, and a baby-animal nursery. Wildlife World also encompasses two restaurants where guests can feed themselves and their own helpless progeny.
Powered by 270cc Honda engines, the SODI go-karts at Speed Street Indoor Race Track generate 9 horsepower while rocketing around the 1/3-mile track at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Fit for drivers of all skill levels, aged 7 and older, the karts and their pilots whiz through the track as tire walls, helmets, and the ghost of Henry Ford protect them at all times. Races mimic the action of big-league sprints, and onlookers can watch the action on the track or on TV screens around the complex. Speed Street Indoor Race Track welcomes birthday parties and corporate events, outfitting its media rooms with A/V equipment and full-service catering. It also organizes league racing, giving drivers the opportunity to compete for a spot in Speed Street's elite hall of fame.
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.
NASCAR Racing Experience plops fans inside the roll cages of authentic cars that have been revved by pedigreed speed demons. Experienced racing instructors spearhead a spectrum of racing experiences that range from pace-car rides to the guided NASCAR Ride-Along to the free-wheeling World Champion Experience's six side-by-side racing sessions. Traveling to racetracks across the country, the racing experiences allow drivers to spike speedometers without obeying the pace of a lead car or the math of a speed-limit sign.
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.
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.