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. One of Big Surf Waterpark's newest attractions is the Mauna Kea Zip Line, which starts high in the air before zipping over the wave pool. 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.
The coasters at Wheel Fun Rentals in Tempe are a blast for the whole family!
No matter what you're hungry for, the menu at this park promises the perfect dish for you.
This park welcomes kids, too, so you can feel good about bringing the whole family.
Parking is plentiful, so patrons can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Treat your family to a day that's jam-packed with thrills and excitement! Take them on a trip to Universal Studios in Tempe.
Parking is plentiful, so visitors can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Roller coasters, soft pretzels, and games of chance...need we say more? Come have a blast at Universal Studios.
Though the medieval era was undoubtedly exciting, with its jousting matches and knightly errands, King Arthur's castle could have done with a few upgrades—namely, a laser-tag arena. King Ben's Castle at Golfland Sunsplash has modernized its interior to include just that. During games of Lazer Knights, players dart between glowing columns to target enemies on the opposing team, blending science-fiction and fantasy into one intense competition.
The castle is also host to a sprawling arcade with more than 200 games. And, instead of a protective moat, its grounds are home to a water park and several family-friendly attractions. Three separate mini-golf courses challenge putters to sink their shots between colorful obstacles, while go-karts vie for first place on the Fastcar Raceway and bumper boats jostle their water volcano-sprayed riders.
May through September, guests careen down slides in Sunsplash water park, including The Revolution—a nearly seven-story slide that culminates in an open bowl, sending raft riders into dizzying circles. Entire families can board a raft for the three thrilling drops of Thunder Falls, whereas the Lazy River carries swimmers on a lackadaisical journey atop inner tubes. There's also an enormous wave pool, which recreates the feeling of riding swells on a choppy ocean more authentically than asking someone to shake your bathtub.