High temperatures got you down?
By Virginia Betz
The classic rock tune claims that “there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues,” but LPM begs to differ. The cure – keep it indoors! Arizona is well supplied with innovative, indoor recreational facilities guaranteed to lure you from your lounge chairs and counteract the inertia that overtakes you when the mercury rises. These businesses specialize in high-tech environments where the activity and excitement levels meet, and often exceed, those of outdoor sports. Read on to get LPM’s picks for the best indoor action to rescue you from the summer doldrums.
Note: All the activities described below require that persons under 18 years of age be accompanied by a parent or guardian or present a signed, notarized liability release form.
No parachutes, no nets!
If fear of heights has kept you from even thinking about sky-diving, SkyAdventure Arizona has an alternative – a gigantic vertical wind tunnel that creates conditions enabling users to experience a cross between freefall and flying. Flights last 1-2 minutes, equivalent to the duration of a conventional sky dive. Experienced instructors prep and assist first-time fliers, while more practiced “divers” can advance to refined acrobatics. Flight packages include one-on-one coaching and all the necessary equipment. A detailed preview of the wind tunnel experience (including exhilarating video clips), requirements, and physical/age restrictions can be found at skyventureaz.com
Location: 4900 N. Taylor Rd., Eloy, AZ 85231
Hours: 7 a.m.—9 p.m. daily; advance booking recommended
Cost: Basic Flight Package: Adults (12 years and older), $ 50; Children (3-12 years old), $ 40; Deluxe Flight Package: Adults, $ 80; Children, $ 70.
Rocks for all ages
If you’re not prone to acrophobia, but prefer to be somewhat more grounded, rock climbing might appeal. Indoor rock climbing is high on safety and kid-friendly, and Scottsdale’s AZ on the Rocks is the largest such facility in the state, boasting 14,000 square feet of textural climbing terrain, designed for all levels of expertise. You can choose to go for the vertical with ropes (requiring shoes and harnesses), or just clamber over boulders (no gear required). The price of admission also includes access to cardiovascular and weight-training equipment. Info about age restrictions, what to wear, day camps and classes is online at azontherocks.com/our-gym.
Location: 16447 North 91st St., Suite 104, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Hours: Mon., Wed., Fri., 3–10 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
Cost: Day passes: Family, $ 49; Adults, $ 15.76; Children (6-12 years old), $ 12.76 (prices do not include equipment rental; punch cards and memberships also available).
Skateboarding style and stunts have traditionally been dictated by the architectonic configurations of the urban landscape. Now skaters can avail themselves of this same environment indoors at the 40,000 square foot KTP (Kids That Rip) Skateboard School. The facility has rails, ledges, stairs, banks, walls, towers, ramps and lines, just like you see at the X-Games – and, why not? – the same designers created it. Besides training programs, KTR has 3-hour-long open skate sessions every day of the week and three sessions on Saturdays. Some sessions are skateboard only, but other welcome BMX and scooters; a live DJ assists on Friday nights. No rentals, and helmets are a must. See the complete open skate schedule at kidsthatrip.com.
Location: 1927 North Gilbert Rd., Mesa, AZ 85296
Cost: $15 for a 3-hour open skate session
The largest indoor go-kart facility in America is in Phoenix, with karts that reach speeds of 45 mph. The 113,000 square foot Octane Raceway has two quarter-mile tracks (combined on Mondays) and a variety of other entertainments, such as a games arcade, a sport lounge, and a brand new Segway Performance Course (available on weekends). Octane features daily specials and sponsors many special racing events, as well as offtrack entertainment. So, call ahead before you schedule your visit to take advantage of “extras.” General information is online at octaneraceway.com.
Location: 317 South 48th St., Phoenix, AZ 85034
Hours: Mon.—Thurs., 2–10 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.–midnight; Sun., 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
Cost: per race: Adults (16 years old and up), $ 14.95; Kids (10-15 years old, at least 54 inches tall), $ 12.95; annual membership packages from $ 19.95 – $ 200.
For less frantic sport, there’s archery. Inaugurated in June of this year, the Arizona Archery Club offers a full-service indoor facility for the experienced or aspiring bowman (or woman). The Club features 31 air-conditioned lanes up to 45 feet for target shooting with all types of bows (long, recurved, compound and cross). The Club has expert shooters available for coaching sessions, and a well-stocked retail outlet. The Club is for members only. To learn how to become a member and the benefits that accrue to membership, look up firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: 1115 West Deer Valley Rd., Phoenix 85027
Cost: Standard membership, $ 199.95/year ($ 19.95/month; add one child for $ 50); Family membership, $ 249.95/year ($24.95/month); Patriot membership for active service military and law enforcement personnel and first responders, $ 129.95/year ($ 13.95/month)