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Once the temperature tops 100 degrees, it’s hard to find a reason to leave the air-conditioned house. Here are 100 ways to actually enjoy the heat this summer.
The museum is ranked nationally as a top destination for families, and it’s easy to hear why. The museum offers interactive exhibits that allow kids to play, hear and experience music in new ways. Kids will love wearing headphones, walking through exhibits, and hearing world music. They’ll also like the Experience Gallery, where they can try instruments and make their own music.
Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays-Saturdays. 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. $20; $15 for ages 13-19; $10 for ages 4-12; free for age 3 or younger. 480-478-6000, mim.org.
Water attractions include a wave pool, slides, rapids experiences and extreme rides like the Tornado, Maximum Velocity and the Constrictor. Or, enjoy floating on the not-so-lazy Crazy Cactus Roaring River, complete with waves and waterfalls. Wet ‘n’ Wild Jr. offers fun for little visitors.
Details: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays-Wednesdays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays until Aug. 9, after which it will only be open on weekends. 4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road, Glendale. $34.99 on weekends and $31.99 on weekdays; $32.99 on weekends and $29.99 on weekdays for age 62 or older and children shorter than 42 inches; free for age 2 or younger. 623-201-2000, wetnwildphoenix.com.
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Central Phoenix has its own Sweet Republic branch, on 16th Street just north of Bethany Home Road. The hardest part is choosing from 20-plus delicious flavors, from coconut sorbet to salted butter caramel.
Details: Noon-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; noon-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Two locations: 9160 E. Shea Blvd, Scottsdale. 480-248-6979. 6054 N. 16th St., Phoenix. 602-535-5990, sweetrepublic.com. Can also be found in Whole Foods Markets and at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, in Terminal 4, past security.
Tubes, coolers, friends and weird sunburns. It never gets old. You and your pals can take two cars, park one where you want to get out of the river and drive the other to the entry point south of Stewart Mountain Dam, then retrieve the car by the dam after your float. Or you can ride the Salt River Tubing & Recreation shuttle and skip the car hopping. Caveat: Styrofoam coolers are discouraged and glass containers are verboten.
SALT RIVER TUBING: Tips for a great time on the river
Details: Salt River Tubing & Recreation, 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Sundays-Saturdays until September. 9200 N. Bush Highway, Mesa. $17 with tube rental, $14 without. Reservations and discounts available for groups of 30 or more. 480-984-3305, saltrivertubing.com.
Just outside Benson is Kartchner Caverns State Park, where you can step into the cool of a big, beautiful cave. You’ll see burly stalactites, delicate soda-straw formations and tiny corners of multicolored rock. The tours cover a half-mile and last about 90 minutes.
Details: About 9 miles south of Benson off Arizona 90. 520-586-4100, azstateparks.com/Parks/KACA.
Although it might sound illogical, the best way to stay cool is by adding chiles to your diet. There’s evidence that hot foods work as culinary air-conditioning. That’s why many of the world’s best spicy dishes come from India and Mexico and Thailand.
Here’s how hot cools: Blood vessels close to the surface of your skin, especially on your face and neck, expand so the blood can throw off heat. This causes your internal temperature to decrease and your skin temperature to rise. Next, you sweat, and as the sweat evaporates it cools you off.
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If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, try rides like the Sidewinder, Cauldron or Stormrider. A wave pool, lazy river, pools, slides and zero-depth water play area offer families and littler ones wet fun.
Details: Hours and events vary, see website. $29.99; $21.99 for guests ages 60 or older and children 47″ and under; $3 for ages 2 and under. 155 W. Hampton Ave., Mesa. 480-834-8319, golfland.com/mesa.
Maricopa County Parks around the Valley and state offer hikes by moonlight all the time. It’s something different, you’re getting exercise and it’s cooler. And at just $6 a carload, it’s affordable.
Details: Various locations and times. See maricopacountyparks.net for details.
Spend two hours on a Friday evening tucked into a kayak gliding across Tempe Town Lake. Online descriptions for Moonlight Kayak and Glow Paddle events mention the words “don’t mind getting wet” — perfect.
Details: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Various Fridays. See site for schedule. 550 E. Tempe Town Lake. $20-30. 480-350-8069. tempe.gov.
Sitting in the “water room” is a bit like being behind a waterfall at this attraction that’s part public art and part working hydroelectric plant. The site, at a natural 20-foot drop along the Arizona Canal, has been a gathering place since the late 1800s.
Details: Open 24 hours; parking available 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Free. G.R. Herberger Park, 56th Street and Indian School Road, Phoenix. srpnet.com/water/canals/azfalls.aspx.
The chic day club is the place to be if you’re looking for a Vegas pool-party feel. Dance in the shallow pool with other revelers, enjoy a refreshing drink at one of the bars staffed by bikini-clad bartenders, lounge on a day bed or splurge for a cabana and get access to the VIP bar behind the DJ stand that faces the pool. On Saturdays, head to the day club for the Soaked! pool party series. On Sundays, the Sound Wave series is hosted by Steve LeVine Entertainment and Disco Donnie Presents. Both feature guest DJs, including Chromeo (July 23).
Details: Pool parties run through Sept. 5. Doors open at noon for each party. Maya Day + Nightclub, 7333 E. Indian Plaza, Scottsdale. Admission varies. 602-810-0736, mayaclubaz.com.
Many people don’t know it, but metro Phoenix eventually gets nearly every independent film that New York and LA do, and most are shown at Harkins Camelview 5 in Scottsdale. Enjoy the retro vibe — and yes, the air-conditioning.
Details: 7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. 480-947-8778, harkinstheatres.com.
Is there a better way to beat the heat than frozen custard? Maybe one or two. But it’s a good one. We recommend the Signature Turtle Concrete (the custard and toppings mixed together are so thick you could serve it upside down – hence, concrete): vanilla custard, hot fudge and caramel with pecans, whipped cream and a cherry on top.
Details: Ten locations in Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Goodyear, Glendale, Surprise and San Tan Valley. freddysusa.com/locations.
Master your wave-riding skills at Waikiki Beach wave pool, or for thrills, try such rides as the Black Hole, Tornado Twisters or the White Serpentine slide. Captain Cook’s landing and Otter Slides at Bora Bora Bay are great for families with little ones. On Fridays in June and July, stay or Sunset Fridays, when the park stays open until 9 p.m.
Details: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays until July 31. 1500 N. McClintock Drive, Tempe. $29.95; $19.95 for children up to 48″; $14.95 for ages 55 and older and active military, fire or police; $2 for children ages 2 and under. 480-994-2297, bigsurffun.com.
There’s a reason mint tea is popular in desert countries like Morocco and Egypt. The herb creates a cooling sensation. It also helps eliminate toxins from the body, calm the stomach and boost energy. Muddle mint with ice, then add water or iced tea for a refreshing summer drink.
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At the confluence of the Salt and Gila rivers, this is a super place to watch birds — great blue herons, screech owls, belted kingfishers, to name just a few — spot javelinas, beavers, Sonoran mud turtles and other mammals and reptiles, and drop a fishing line (you’ll need a fishing license). The state-managed wildlife area is adjacent to Monument Hill, where the U.S. Boundary Commission in 1851 laid out Arizona Territory’s Base Line and Principal Meridian. You can climb the hill to see “Arizona’s point of origin.”
Details: Sunrise-sunset daily. Avondale Boulevard at Indian Springs Road, just north of Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale.
A dark, cool, comfortable spot, Kazimierz is the go-to place for a chilled (or warmer, depending on the variety) glass or bottle of wine. Known as Kazbar, it bills itself as the Disneyland of wine, and it’s hard to argue. The bar’s wine list features more than 2,000 bottles.
Details: 6 p.m.-2 a.m. 7137 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale. 480-946-3004, kazbar.net.
You know what we’re talking about: the big, frozen slurps of cherry and cola ICEEs that go straight to your brain and send shivers down your spine. If you’re within spitting distance of an am/pm, Circle K, AMC movie theater, Burger King, Sam’s Club, Subway or Target, you’re almost there. No? Then guess what we have for you: an ICEE locator app, which will direct you to the closest machine from anywhere.
Never seen “Breaking Bad”? Always wondered what the fuss over “Mad Men” was about? Summer is a great time to catch up on streaming series on such online services as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. There is a subscription cost, of course (it varies by service and other options), but you can’t beat the convenience.
You can cool off on a log-flume ride with a three-story splashdown, train and boat rides, a carousel and skyride to keep you cool as you make your way through the park, which includes a zoo, 15-acre Safari Park and 75 indoor exhibits with several aquariums. A great option is aquarium-only admission from 5 to 9 p.m. when you can get in for about half the price.
Details: Zoo exhibits open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily; aquarium until 9 p.m. 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park. $37, $16 for ages 3-12 for admission; $16.99, $8.99 for ages 3-12 for aquarium-only admission after 5 p.m.; free for age 2 or younger. Free parking. 623-935-9453, wildlifeworld.com.
Summer sports in Phoenix are more than just baseball. We have basketball and football games, too. The Arizona Rattlers play fast-paced arena football at Talking Stick Resort Arena through August. The Phoenix Mercury, one of the original WNBA franchises, play at the same arena through September. Down the street at Chase Field, the Diamondbacks’ free fireworks shows are held after games on Friday nights through the season.
Eating fruits and vegetables with high water contents will help keep you naturally cool. So, when it’s hot, fill up on carrots, lettuce, kiwi, cucumber, watermelon, peaches, pineapple, celery, peppers, eggplant, radish, cantaloupe and summer squash. Frozen grapes are another quick cool-down.
You’re reading this, so you like to read. So why not spend some time browsing the stacks at this venerable independent bookstore. The stores also provide a steady slate of author talks and signings for both adults and teens. The Phoenix location’s First Draft Book Bar will let you enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine while checking out the books.
Details: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. 6428 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe, 480-730-0205. 300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602-274-0067. Most talks are free; signings usually require book purchase. changinghands.com.
Yes, there are options for kids and teens besides online gaming and swimming that don’t cost a cent. Head to your local library. Check out the hottest books, events and more.
Here are just a few websites you’ll want to bookmark and visit often: glendaleaz.com/teenlibrary, events.mesalibrary.org (click the “Search” button, then use checkboxes to narrow location, event type and age group), mcldconnect.org/teen, phoenixpubliclibrary.org/teens, scottsdalelibrary.org.
Vovomeena uses a Japanese cold-brew coffee machine to create a type of high-powered coffee that it calls Mornin’ Moonshine. Served over ice, it’s available as straight black coffee or as an infusion. Choose among five infused flavors, including orange peel/ginger.
Details: 6:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 1515 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix. 602-252-2541, vovomeena.com.
Test your strength, balance and dexterity at an indoor rock climbing gyms, where admission and equipment rental is usually less than $20.
Visit dozens of galleries in the Scottsdale Arts District, where member galleries of the Scottsdale Gallery Association have been hosting art walks for more than 30 years. Art ranges from the expected Western traditional to up-to-the-moment contemporary, and the scene is mellow: typically older patrons with a glass of wine in hand.
Details: 7-9 p.m. Thursdays. Along Main Street and Marshall Way, Scottsdale. scottsdalecan.com/SGA.
Tubing is the traditional way to chill in the Salt, but it’s hardly the only way. Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch, nestled below the towering Bulldog Cliffs just beneath the dam that forms Saguaro Lake, offers two kayaking trips: one about two hours, the other nearly five. Either way, you get a shuttle ride back to the ranch. Paddlers must be at least 12, but no experience is necessary (orientation and flotation vest are included). If you’d rather go by inner tube, the ranch rents those, too. And if you want to make a night of it, the ranch, established in 1930, has 20 cabins to rent.
Details: Daily through September. 8, 9 and 10 a.m. launches for the shorter kayak trip; 8 a.m. launch for the longer trip. $41; $70. Registration required. 480-984-2194, saguarolakeranch.com.
Climb into the pines to test your ability at this elaborate above-ground obstacle course. Aerial challenges include cable bridges, zip lines, swings, ladders and Tarzan-style ropes designed for visitors of a variety of ages and abilities. The highest point is about 60 feet. Bridges wobble, cables sag, swings carry you to a rope net or platform. You first must complete the training course, which is about 4 feet off the ground. After that, there are separate courses for adults and kids.
Details: Fort Tuthill County Park, 3 miles south of Flagstaff off Interstate 17. $27-$50. 888-259-0125, flagstaffextreme.com.
The theory is that when you eat really hot food — like, make you sweat hot — the outside air won’t feel so bad. OK, so it’s just a theory, but the food is really tasty whatever the case. But don’t be fooled, even the salsa is blazing.
Details: Two locations: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. 1044 E. Camelback, Phoenix. 602-528-3535. 8646 S. Central Avenue, Phoenix. 602-243-9113. losdosmolinosphoenix.com.
In Hawaii, the finely grated frozen desserts are known as shave ice, rather than snow cones, which are prepared with grated ice. Shave ice in Hawaii also features Asian-influenced toppings. Snoh in central Phoenix prepares its shave ice in this style, with toppings from Oreos, mango and caramel, to lychee fruit, boba pearls and condensed milk. You’ll feel like you’re on the islands in no time.
Details: Snoh Ice Shavery, 914 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix. 602-888-4063, snoh-ice.com.
Not only can you go on the twisty water slide, you can surf the waves generated at the indoor pool — and never worry about sunburn. Discounted waves from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. ($4 for age 2-12, $5 for age 13 or older.)
Details: 6111 S. All-America Way, Tempe. $7 for age 13 or older; $5 for ages 2-12. 480-350-5201, tempe.gov.
Have a watermelon toss or smash. Invite friends and family over for a watermelon party. Spread a large clean piece of plastic on the grass, then throw watermelons onto it to split them open. Everyone gets to enjoy the treat.
Does smashing watermelons seem wasteful? How about eating them instead? Throw a summer party with old-fashioned games, including three-legged races, horseshoes and sack races. And don’t forget the melons.
The indoor bounce-house playground offers parties and open jump. Attractions include inflatable bounce houses with slides and obstacle courses that will keep them busy for hours.
Details: Hours vary based on availability, but open jump usually runs 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Glow jump is 11 a.m.-noon daily. $8.67 per child. Three locations: 14131 N. Rio Vista Blvd., Peoria, 623-572-0090; 9378 E. Bahia Drive, Scottsdale, 480-425-7867; 1325 W. Auto Drive, Tempe., 420-940-7867. pumpitupparty.com.
Nightlife lovers know that things get better after the sun goes down, especially in warmer months, which are perfect for club dresses, tank tops, shorts and sandles. Call an Uber or Lyft and make the rounds on Mill Avenue in Tempe, Old Town Scottsdale or Westgate Entertainment District and make a night of it.
Swimmers in the East Valley can try two water slides, diving boards and a vortex whirlpool at this state-of-the-art facility. Sand volleyball, a beach-entry pool, swimming and diving lessons and water aerobics also are available. Check the website for details on annual events, such as the Itty Bitty Beach Party and Teen Night Beach Bash.
Details: Open swim is noon-6 p.m. daily, Aug. 9. $1.50 for age 17 or younger; $2.50 for age 18 or older. Season passes $50-$110. 1091 W. Southern Ave. 480-474-5210, ajcity.net.
If you have yet to experience this downtown Phoenix music venue, you should check it out. And you don’t even have to venture in to see the show (although most nights, you really should). The main bar doesn’t have a cover charge, and as it cools off in the evening, you can hang out on the patio like it’s a proper major city.
Details: 308 N. Second Ave., Phoenix. 602-716-2222, crescentphx.com.
Paletas are Mexican ice pops, and Betty’s are made from scratch in Chandler, using fruit, herbs and cream. Flavors, which change seasonally, include arroz con leche (rice-pudding dessert made with freshly ground canela), sandia (watermelon with fresh mint), pineapple with chile, strawberries and cream, and chocolate.
Details: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. 96 W. Boston St., Chandler, and 425 S. Mill Ave., Tempe. 480-779-8080, paletasbetty.com.
Ice-skating rinks in the desert always seem a little silly until it gets to be 100 degrees outside, and then they seem very, very smart. The Arcadia Ice Arena has midday public-skating times every day. You can rent skates there, and they’ll even teach you to tie them properly.
Details: 3853 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix. $5.50; $4.50 for ages 3-12; $3.50 for age 65 or older; free for age 2 or younger with a paying adult. 602-957-9966, azice.com/arcadia.
Seriously, get out of the Valley. We’ll help you do it, too. It isn’t 100 degrees everywhere in Arizona. Eat. Play. Stay. Plan a trip for the day or stay somewhere the whole weekend.
There are many times when we’ve looked longingly at the kids playing in the outdoor water fountains in the center of Tempe Marketplace, soaked from head to toe, not caring if it were 91, 101 or 111 degrees. Usually, the grown-ups all stand off to the side, holding shopping bags or the kids’ shoes. So let this be your strategy: Don’t wear good clothes. Don’t dress for the movie theater or the bookstore or the restaurants; dress for the water fountain: shorts, T-shirt, flip-flops. Then enjoy. Just don’t leave your cellphone in your back pocket.
Details: Tempe Marketplace, Loop 202 and McClintock Drive.
An indoor butterfly exhibit allows visitors to talk with dozens of types of butterflies, learn about how they live, and watch them hatch out of their cocoons. Kids will love when a butterfly lands on them. The indoor atrium that houses the live butterflies is magical, if sometimes a little intimidating, because of the sheer number of butterflies flitting about the space.
Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. $19.95; $12.95 for ages 3-11; $17.95 for students, military and ages 62 or older; free for age 2 or younger. 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Salt River Reservation. 480-800-3000, butterflywonderland.com.
Cinemark Mesa 16 has made a regular habit out of presenting a weekly series of classic movies on the big screen. Screenings are at 2 p.m. Sundays and 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesdays.
Details: 1051 N. Dobson Road, Mesa. $5.50-$9.50. 480-733-2843, cinemark.com.
The museum offers permanent and rotating exhibits that allow kids to explore the science that’s all around them. Demonstrations, which are held throughout the center each day and run up to 20 minutes. Check the daily schedule in the lobby. The center includes an IMAX theater and a planetarium.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. $18; $13 for ages 3-17. Admission to featured exhibits, the planetarium and for IMAX showings is additional. 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix. 602-716-2000, azscience.org.
There are few better places to while away the hours while soaking up the AC than an independent record store. Just start at A and work your way toward Z and you’ll be shocked at the number of records you forgot you meant to buy. And while you’re doing that, the store is playing music, which means you could stumble across a whole new favorite band just by soaking it in.
Details: In Phoenix, try Stinkweeds at 12 W. Camelback Road; Zia Record Exchange at 1850 W. Camelback Road; and/or Revolver Records at 918 N. Second St.
This indoor Mesa fun spot offers go-karts, laser tag, a rock wall, bowling, miniature golf, rides and arcade games — and it’s all indoors. Plan to eat; buffet purchase is required. Coupons and specials can be found online. Height and weight restrictions apply for some rides.
Details: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays. 1830 E. Baseline Road, Mesa. Admission and buffet $6.99 to $9.99, free for age 3 or younger; $1-$4 each for attractions; $7.99-$14.99 fun passes are a good deal. 480-926-7499, amazingjakes.com.
There are 27 city-park lakes around the Valley where you can fish from the shore. An annual general fishing license is $37 (free for age 10 or younger) and you can get one online, at Arizona Game and Fish offices, or at such dealers as Cabela’s, Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods. The online “how to” covers what’s biting and where, the kind of bait that fish like and catch-and-release tips and rules.
Dozens of artists show a wide variety of works, including upcycled jewelry and painting on metal panels. Visit some of the nearby bars and restaurants to cool off and make a night of it, such as SanTan Brewing Co., Paletas Betty and Original ChopShop Co.
Details: 6-10 p.m. the third Friday of the month. chandlerartwalk.com.
Join a naturalist at Red Rock State Park just southwest of Sedona for a hike. You’ll learn about Oak Creek, animal and plant life, geology and the history archaeology of the area. The hikes take one and half to two hours.
Details: 9 a.m. daily. 4050 Red Rock Loop Road, off Arizona 89A. $7 for age 14 or older; $4 for ages 7-13; free for age 6 or younger. 928-282-6907, azstateparks.com/Parks/RERO.
For a Western experience, visit Rawhide, where you can ride a burro, watch a gunfight, pan for gold and ride Widowmaker, the mechanical bull. For some added fun, have your companion arrested for $10 or get hitched at a classic shotgun wedding. Check the website for upcoming July 4 event details, including fireworks, live music and kids activities.
Details: 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Fridays ; 12 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; Sundays 12 p.m.-8 p.m. 5700 W. North Loop Road, Gila River Reservation. Free admission; 480-502-5600, rawhide.com.
The recreation center offers two giant slides, a zero-depth leisure pool with spray features, an aquatic playground and a lazy river. A diving well and two diving boards are also on site. Water aerobics, lap swimming, pool rentals, private and group swim lessons and special events can be found online.
Details: 5:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. $6; $5 for ages 55 or older; $4 for ages 13-19; $3 for ages 5-12; free for ages 4 or younger. 5600 W. Union Hills Drive. 623-930-4600, glendaleaz.com/foothillscenter.
There are three indoor skating rinks around the Valley where kids, teens and families can keep cool and have fun. Roll around on regular or in-line skates to music, play arcade games and get snacks like pizza and soda. There are family events, teen skates and themed sessions throughout the summer.
Details: Hours and admission varies depending on event. $3.50-$4.50 skate rental or bring your own. USA’s Skateland Mesa, 7 E. Southern Ave., 480-833-7775. USA’s the Great Skate, 10054 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale; 623-842-1181. USA Skateland Chandler, 1101 W. Ray Road; 480-917-9444. unitedskates.com.
Party with a putter every Friday and Saturday night through Labor Day at TopGolf, where you and your friends can enjoy a few beverages, listen to a tunes from a live DJ, and try to outscore each others’ golf drives, all in the comfort of your mister-cooled stacked golfing bay.
Details: Two locations: hours vary, see website for details. Bay rental is $45 per hour for up to 6 players after 5 p.m. All players must have a membership, which costs $5. Gilbert, 1689 S. SanTan Village Parkway; 480-240-1282. Scottsdale, 9500 E. Talking Stick Way; 480-240-2402. topgolf.com.
People hype New Year’s Day as the time to start exercising, but that was mid-winter — who cared? Now’s the time to find your fit self. It’s something of a trend for gym memberships to be $10 a month — check out the many branches of Planet Fitness, Youfit or Gold’s Gym.
The Rock runs in partnership with Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock and Genesis Church. The center offers a place for kids interested in music, collaboration, dance and training. The Rock offers music lessons for such instruments as bass, guitar and drums, as well as vocal and dance classes.
Details: 2-8 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Free. 13625 N. 32nd St., Phoenix. 602-482-3534, alicecoopersolidrock.com/about/teen.
The powerful and the less so have mingled at the Coach House for generations. The longtime Scottsdale watering hole is informal, fun and a great antidote to the usual Scottsdale scene. And yes, the beer is icy cold.
Details: 6 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. 7011 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale. 480-990-3433, coachhousescottsdale.com.
An air-conditioned movie theater is a go-to choice for the summer, and so is a cold beer. So why not combine the two at the FilmBar, a hip hangout in downtown Phoenix. Offerings range from contemporary art films to campy nostalgic fare, such as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Dr. Strangelove.”
Details: 815 N. Second St., Phoenix. 602-595-9187, thefilmbarphx.com.
With enough shade trees to make you forget you’re in the desert, House of Tricks has long been one of the Valley’s best spots for patio dining. The contemporary American menu, with items such as sweet mustard glazed Campbell River salmon ($29) and Sumac crusted rack of lamb ($36), can be a bit on the spendy side, so consider stopping by just for desserts ($7), such as flourless turtle brownie with salted caramel sauce.
Details: 114 E. Seventh St., Tempe. 480-968-1114, houseoftricks.com.
Inside Arizona Mills is an aquarium with 30 displays and more than 5,000 ocean creatures, including clown fish, sea turtles, sharks, jellyfish, rays, octopus and seahorses. The biggest attraction is the awe-inspiring 360-degree ocean tunnel. All that water and the fact that it’s indoors make this a great place to hide out when temps soar beyond 100. Get tickets online ahead of time for best price and shorter wait times.
Details: 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays; hours vary on holidays. Interstate 10 and Baseline Road, Tempe. $13-$18; $10.50-$14.40 online in advance; $15-$20 for flexi-ticket that’s good any day; 877-526-3960, visitsealife.com/arizona.
This also means hanging out at the Tempe Library. Depending on the day, the cafe has a surprisingly rich offering of sandwiches (the pulled pork is a favorite) and always has a wide variety of coffee-type drinks. And it’s not like you’ll have a lack of reading material.
Details: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, noon-4 p.m. Sundays. 3500 S. Rural Road, Tempe. 480-350-5490, tempefriends.org/cafe.
Structures at this National Historic Landmark are constructed of piers and beams extending beyond glass, wood and stone, will be aglow and reflected in the waters of Kiva Pool. Cabaret Theater, Music Pavilion, Wright’s private office and the Garden Room where famous guests were once entertained are among the stops.
Details: 6:30 and 7 p.m. Fridays. $35 online in advance. Not recommended for children younger than 13. 12345 N. Taliesin Drive (Cactus Road and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard), Scottsdale. 480-627-5340, franklloydwright.org/taliesin-west/plan-a-visit.html.
The car-show scene cools down when the weather heats up, but this is the exception to that rule. This show goes on every Saturday evening, triple digits not withstanding. About the only thing that knocks it out is a monsoon storm. It bills itself as “the largest consistently run car show in the United States,” and even in the dead of summer routinely draws at least 100 hot rods, classic cars and muscle cars, as well as a passel of motorcycles.
Details: 4 p.m. until about 8 p.m. Saturdays. Free. Pavilions at Talking Stick, Indian Bend Road and Loop 101, Salt River Reservation.
Most computers, tablets and smartphones have multiple photos to choose from for your primary “wallpaper” or “screen saver.” Forget that photo of yellow tulips, ignore the sunset shot or the cute-as-kittens kittens. You want snowflakes, sun sparkling on cool water, a frosty margarita, or city lights at midnight. Find one that invites you up on the porch for iced tea.
The museum is a day’s worth of fun, and that’s no understatement. It offers engaging play for a range of development, providing cool exploration opportunities for itty bitties up to tweens. Don’t miss the big sneakers. They’re right in front of the Noodle Forest, and they make for a fun photo when kids try them on.
Details: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily . 215 N. Seventh St., Phoenix. $11, $10 for age 62 or older, free for members and children younger than 1. 602-253-0501, childrensmuseumofphoenix.org.
Regular ice cubes melt too quickly, diluting the best cocktails into a watery mess. Buy a tray that creates 2-inch-square cubes (about $8), which melt slower and keep your drink cooler for longer. Better yet, get an ice-ball maker (about $15). A giant sphere of ice just looks so much classier. They’re available at Amazon.com, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Williams Sonoma, Sur la Table and other specialty stores.
The modern equivalent of an old-school dollar theater, Pollack Tempe Cinemas boasts films for $3 ($2 on Tuesdays). Granted, the films are second run; some features play at Pollack the same time they hit home video. On the plus side, it’s probably your last chance to catch some of these movies on the big screen. Check out the lobby, which features movie-star photos, vintage lunchboxes and other fun touches.
Details: 1825 E. Elliot Road, Tempe. 480-345-6461, pollacktempecinemas.com.
Yes, you read that right: Play golf. Metro Phoenix is home to some of the best courses in the country, if not the world. Trouble is, for half the year they’re outside the price range of anyone who isn’t a pro (or a 1-percenter). But if you’re willing to put up with the heat (and drink a lot of water), there are great discounts available during summer. Because, you know, no one wants to play in the heat. But with hydration, it’s really not that bad. Your slice, on the other hand …
No one wants to fire up the oven when it feels like an oven outside. So fire up the grill instead. The food tastes better, it’s less mess in the house and you don’t have to stand outside the entire time it’s cooking. Go inside, have a cool drink while the chicken, ribs and veggies char to perfection.
Bowling is out of the sun and in the air-conditioning. It’s fun and lets you exercise without breaking a sweat. We recommend Let It Roll Bowl because it has a good vibe, it’s independently owned and it includes Pizza RE, which sells specialty pies and desserts.
Details: 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays; 2 p.m.-10 p.m. Mondays; noon-10 p.m. Tuesdays; 9:00 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturdays. 8925 N. 12th St., Phoenix. 602-944-4401, letitrollbowl.com.
The museum, which is open to all ages, encourages children to make choices that increase their cardiovascular health. The interactive experience inspires kids to stay active. Interactive exhibits show them how the heart works and reminds them that it’s a muscle, an organ and a pump. Kids will come home with facts about the human heart, as well as the hearts of other mammals, including giraffes and elephants.
Details: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. $5 for age 4 or older; free for age 3 or younger. 2929 S. 48th St., Tempe. 602-414-2800, halleheartchildrensmuseum.org.
This 110-acre oasis in Gilbert is a great place to watch wildlife — especially birds — catch (and release) fish, learn a few things and just kick back. The lake and seven ponds are for groundwater recharge and recreation. Horses are allowed on some trails, bikes are allowed on trails and sidewalks, and leashed dogs can accompany walkers in all pedestrian areas. Although the preserve is accessible to folks with disabilities, the gravel hiking trails can be uneven. There’s a playground and library in the preserve, which also is home to the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory.
Details: Dawn to dusk daily; the fishing lake is open dawn to 10 p.m. 2757 E. Guadalupe Road. 480-503-6200, riparianinstitute.org.
Lustre, the poolside bar at the Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix, brought back its 100 Days of Summer series, which will run through Labor Day. Both hotel and non-hotel guests can relax by the pool, sip on cold cocktails, nosh on appetizers and play backyard games. On Fridays, Saturdays and holiday weekends, guest DJs will perform. Lustre will have a weekly summer fitness series in partnership with Orange Theory Fitness, where fitness buffs welcome the heat to help with tight and sore muscles, and cool off in the pool afterward.
Details: Yoga is 7-8 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 1; Free. Pool parties start at noon on Mondays; 11 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day weekend, with DJs on the weekend. Special events take place on holiday weekends for an extra cost. Lustre Rooftop Bar, 2 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. 480-478-1765, lustrerooftopbar.com.
Give yourself a strategic advantage by purchasing a water-balloon pump, which fills the balloons quickly. They’re $10 to $15 at mass retailers and party-supply stores. Most come with balloons.
You’re already sweating, so might as well make the most of it. Most students are gone for the summer, so the clubs will be less packed. Walk down Saddlebag Trail in downtown Scottsdale and drop into any of the popular clubs and bars, such as Whiskey Row or INTL. If you’re in downtown Phoenix, head to Monarch Theatre. DJs from across the world come to perform at the large nightclub, which has ample room to dance. The club’s long-running sister property next door, Bar Smith, features entertainment downstairs and on its rooftop bar.
The best way to do that is to indulge in island food and cocktails. Hula’s Modern Tiki takes a contemporary twist on the 1950s and ’60s tiki bars, with hip decor, such tropical cocktails as the Dr. Funk and Pink Bikini Martini, and island-inspired cuisine. At the Breadfruit, the dark and moody Rum Bar boasts more than 100 types of rum, with such tasty cocktails as Hemingway’s Daiquiri and Pineapple Royale, as well as Caribbean food. You’ll forget where you are at any of these three bars — until you step outside again.
Details: Hula’s Modern Tiki, 4700 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-265-8454; Hula’s Scottsdale, 7213 E. First Ave., 480-970-4852. hulasmoderntiki.com. The Breadfruit and Rum Bar, 108 E. Pierce St., Phoenix. 602-267-1266, thebreadfruit.com.
There’s a handful of underground bars and restaurants in Phoenix, and our favorite is the Rokerij. Esquire magazine included it in the Very Dark Bar category as part of its 2010 “Best Bars in America” series. The main restaurant is upstairs, but walk downstairs and you’ll be greeted with a cellarlike, windowless bar and a cozy atmosphere. It’s so cool in this bar that you probably won’t even notice the fireplace, which is lit year round.
Details: 6335 N. 16th St., Phoenix. 602-287-8900, richardsonsnm.com.
An indoor trampoline park that offers connected and angled trampolines so kids can actually bounce off the walls. Sky Zone also offers skyrobics, an aerobic trampoline class, and dodge-ball leagues.
Details: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. Sundays. $14 for an hour, $17 for 90 minutes and $20 for two hours. 9040 W. Larkspur Drive, Peoria. 623-979-4000, skyzone.com.
Yup, we have the rundown on how to do it. Check out our top picks for places to get pampered from Scottsdale to Phoenix.
Have a beer, grill your own grub, listen to live music and play life-size checkers, sand volleyball and horseshoes at the Monastery in east Mesa. The comfy duds you’re wearing to keep cool is just fine here. It’s like having a party in your back yard, their website says.
Details: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Fridays; 10 a.m.-2a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 4810 E. McKellips Road. 480-474-4477, realfunbar.com.
Sign up for a Sweet Basil class that teaches how to turn summer’s bounty into dessert, from peach smoothies to fruit kebabs to caramelized strawberries with basil and balsamic vinegar over vanilla ice cream.
Details: 9:30-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 11-4 p.m. Sundays. Sweet Basil Gourmetware and Cooking School, 10749 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-596-5628; sweetbasilgourmet.com.
Whether it’s fishing at Lake Pleasant near Morristown or water skiing on Canyon Lake near Apache Junction, there are plenty of recreational water activities at the state’s many lakes and reservoirs. And they’re a lot closer than driving to the beach.
Details: Lake Pleasant, open 24 hours. 41845 N. Castle Hot Springs Road, Morristown. 928-501-1710, maricopacountyparks.net. Canyon Lake, 16802 N.E. Highway 88, Tortilla Flat. 480-288-9233, canyonlakemarina.com.
The flimsy fold-up windshield shades don’t cut it — we need heavy-duty heat shields here. The best ones are fairly thick, accordion-style and highly reflective on one side. Such brands as Covercraft, Dash Designs and Intro-Tech start at $35 to $60. While you’re at it, get a cover for the steering wheel and you’re ready to go.
This creative workshop allows kids to explore such hobbies and crafts as soapmaking, jewelrymaking, cake decorating and ceramics. Children can make bracelets, work with custom glass or make a candle. Kids will also love that ceramics can be taken home the same day.
Details: Noon-6 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; noon-7 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays. 15257 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Prices vary based on the project. 212-744-0011, makemeaning.com.
You can get mimosas, wine and beer here, but a sweltering summer afternoon is the perfect time to sample a Luci’s Quencher, a frozen hot chocolate or a freshly brewed iced tea. Smoothies are half-price after 5 p.m. The menu includes sandwiches, wraps, salads and breakfast items, and you can kill an hour browsing the specialty cheeses, foodstuffs and kitschy products on the shelves. Don’t miss the display of cheeky refrigerator magnets at the colorfully tiled counter.
Details: 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays. 1590 E. Bethany Home Road, Phoenix. 602-773-1339, lucishealthymarketplace.com.
Create a new family tradition by making one morning each week “movie day” at a Harkins Theatre location this summer. Summer Movie Fun is designed for kids 12 or younger and features 9:45 a.m. screenings of animated movies rated G or PG. It’s $2 per flick or $7 in advance for all 10 movies through July 31.
Details: Find the schedule and more details at harkinstheatres.com/smf.
Through Aug. 31, the Phoenix Zoo will open at 7 a.m. (6 a.m. for members) and close at 2 p.m. But don’t sweat it, there are water-play areas such as Leapin’ Lagoon and Yakulla Caverns splash pad, and you can escape the rays in the Enchanted Forest, too. And Saturday, July 16, is Winter in July, which features 40 tons of snow to play in and frozen treats for some of the animals. Watching an Andean bear devours a “popsicle” of fruit and worms is worth the price of admission.
Details: 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. 602-286-3800, phoenixzoo.org.
Seriously. If it’s hot enough to do nothing but sit and binge watch every season of “The Good Wife,” surely you can spare a few hours cleaning up the mess you have doubtless created with all the pictures you’ve uploaded from your digital camera. What’s the best? Depends on what computer you use and how big your library is, but Picasa, Flickr and Carousel are good places to start.
Is it a wine bar? Is it a store? It’s both. Brix Wines combines retail and bar, keeping prices by the bottle down and creating an atmosphere for casual conversation. The market also offers gourmet snacks and chocolates. In addition, Brix offers temperature-controlled private lockers so wine enthusiasts can keep their stash comfortable.
Details: 37636 N. Tom Darlington Road, Carefree. 480-595-2749, brixwinesaz.com.
This former mining hub at the base of the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction was founded in 1892. Keep cool on a 25-minute tour of mine shaft as the guide talks about the good ol’ days before the gold played out. The town includes a museum, LuLu’s Bordello, a church, livery stables, a reptile exhibit and a mystery shack where objects seemingly defy gravity. Panning for gold, a shooting gallery and rides on a zip line, train or horseback are among the activities, and gunfights are held on Saturdays and Sundays. A steak house and saloon offers chow, cold drinks and options for kids.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Prices for attractions vary. 4650 N. Mammoth Mine Road, Apache Junction. 480-983-0333, goldfieldghosttown.com.
If you haven’t played a board game since Monopoly, know that they’re a lot more sophisticated and fun these days. Plus, pick one with a chilly theme and you can at least think about cooler climes. We love Hey! That’s My Fish, in which a player tries to keep penguins alive on ice floes; it’s more cutthroat than it sounds. If you’re playing with kids, there’s always the (c)old favorite, Don’t Break the Ice.
Enjoy the galleries, stories and restaurants along Roosevelt Row this summer after dark. Many of the businesses will be open until 9 p.m. or later, allowing visitors to walk around and soak up the ambiance after the sun goes down. Look out for special promotions from many of the participants.
Details: 4-9 p.m. or later, depending on the business. Through Sept. 1. Roosevelt Row, Seventh Avenue to 16th Street, Culver to Fillmore streets. 602-772-0083, rooseveltrow.org/vampirehours.
And we do mean check out. Head to your local public library to borrow a Culture Pass, which is good for two free admissions to one of 14 area museums and attractions, including the (air-conditioned) Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona Science Center and Arcosanti, the utopian community in Cordes Junction created by the late architect Paolo Soleri. The pass is also good for the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden.
Sun Devil Liquors in downtown Mesa has a cool cellar hidden downstairs with cozy seating and an inviting vibe. Owned by the Eccles family, the cellar is open 5-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 3-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; closed Sundays. Drop in for wine tastings and live music Thursdays, and beer tastings on Fridays. Upstairs, open daily, is where thousands of bottles of wine can be found.
Details: 235 N. Country Club Drive, Mesa. 480-834-5050.
You can look at it as paying to paint pre-made pottery or as having something to do in a mellow, air-conditioned room for hours on end, but either way, pottery painting is a popular summer activity. As You Wish supplies the ceramics and you get to park at a table and create a masterpiece. Here’s the secret: the less you try to make it look perfect, the better it probably will look.
Details: Locations in Phoenix, Chandler, Tempe and Mesa. asyouwishpottery.com.
Witness North American wildlife in a natural environment from the safety of your vehicle on this drive-through adventure. It’s best to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the park’s bison, bighorn sheep, goats, wolves and bear cubs are moving around. A walk-through Fort Bearizona experience includes smaller animals and babies, a petting zoo and a mine-shaft exhibit with cave dwellers and nocturnal creatures. You’ll want to allow at least two hours, but you can stay all day and drive through as many times as you like. Open-air bus tours with an interpretive guide (weather permitting) are available at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. daily. Birds-of-prey shows also are offered at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. daily except in January and February. Annual passes are available.
Details: 8 a.m.-dusk. June-August. 1500 E. Route 66, Williams. $20; $18 for age 62 or older; $10 for ages 4-12; free for age 3 or younger; $175 for annual pass. 928-635-2289, bearizona.com.
No cuisine is more light and refreshing than Japanese sashimi (thinly sliced raw fish) and sushi (bite-size delicacies made with vinegared rice, but not always with raw fish). And thanks to the modern wonders of airplanes and refrigeration, you can enjoy both of them safely even in the middle of a desert summer.
Details: For a top-quality, fairly traditional fish feast, try Hana Japanese Eatery (602-973-1238, hanajapaneseeatery.com) or Hiro Sushi (480-314-4215, hirosushiaz.com). For more of a fancy factor, three of the Valley’s finest Japanese joints are Yasu Sushi Bistro, specializing in wood-fire-grilled tapas (602-787-9181); Nobuo at Teeter House, billed as “refined Asian-style teahouse by day, funky izakaya by night” (602-254-0600, nobuofukuda.com); and ShinBay, where the chef’s tasting menu might break the bank but will be worth every Andy Jackson (480-664-0180, shinbay.com).
“On top of the world, Ma!” Ride to the top of an extinct volcano about 11,500 feet above sea level, where you’ll probably need a jacket. While you take in the breathtaking views of northern Arizona and beyond, a Forest Service ranger can tell you about the flora and fauna below.
Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays-Sundays through mid-October. Open Mondays on holiday weekends. From Flagstaff, drive 7 miles northwest on U.S. 180 to Snowbowl Road. Turn right and go 7 miles to the lodge. $15; $10 for ages 8-12 and ages 65-69; free for age 7 or younger and age 70 or older. 928-779-1951, arizonasnowbowl.com.
Return to your childhood roots and turn your backyard into a low-cost waterpark – provided you have a patch of grass instead of desert landscaping. Slip ‘n’ Slide has an array of new products, well beyond the single yellow strip most of us recall. Products available at most major retailers.
Pop some corn, crank up the air-conditioning and feast your eyes on wintry landscapes and snow-capped mountains. Might we suggest Russell Crowe’s hockey comedy “Mystery, Alaska.” It’s about a small town in Alaska that lives and breathes hockey. You may get jealous: They can ice skate on their sidewalks instead of frying eggs on them.
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- Touchdown on Mars! Jubilation as NASA’s InSight lander survives ‘six and a half minutes of terror’ landing to begin historic mission to dig deep into the Martian crust
- Arizona tribes oppose plan to dam Colorado River tributary
- Intense heat wave hits northern Europe
- The flying tortoises of Mojave: US Marines airlift 1,100 rare desert animals to new homes to make way for training base
- Daughter, grand-daughter arrested in Arizona woman's killing: police
- Why we keep the heating on at 77°F: People try to match the temperature in Africa enjoyed by our ancient human ancestors, experts say
- Notre Dame's architect says the heat wave could cause the cathedral's ceiling to collapse
- BREAKING: Three children, aged 5 and 6, swept away after 'military-type' RV is submerged in Arizona floodwaters as two adults and four other children manage to make it to safety
- Tour de France riders are strapping on ice vests and guzzling water amid a scorching heat wave
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