EXPAND Mavrix in Scottsdale has games for days. Jennifer Goldberg ^ I Support Local Community Journalism Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of the New Times free. The irony has not escaped us that the time of year we want to let off steam and have some fun the most is the same time of year we feel like we spontaneously burn up when we go outside during the day. But city life has adapted to this paradox, and the local landscape is littered with indoor fun centers – you know, those aggressively air-conditioned big-box eateries where you can get chicken wings and roll a game or two Play a skee ball or play laser tag. Here are 10 places in town to have fun while hiding from the sun. 1830 East Baseline Road, Mesa 480-926-7499Indoor amusement centers often cater to a specific audience. Those for kids are outfitted with mini rides and trampolines, while others are geared towards adults promoting their cocktails and lounge areas. Amazing Jake’s is that rare place that does a great job of keeping everyone entertained; Kids have perks like a teacup ride and mini-bowling, and adults have bumper cars, pool, a carnival center, bowling, laser tag, and two full bars to do when they get there. North Scottsdale has beer pong, Christown has foosball and shuffleboard, and Gilbert has laser tag. But all three outposts have a few things in common: chic, upscale decor; Dozens of bowling alleys; and a fully stocked sports bar with food and drinks. EXPAND Castles N ‘Coasters is equipped with pinball machines. Benjamin Leatherman 9445 North Metro Parkway East 602-997-7575 This is an oldie, but a goodie. Castles N ‘Coasters may lack the modern decor and numerous amenities of other local indoor amusement centers, but the factor of nostalgia cannot be overlooked. It’s fun to spend an evening playing where you used to go to your school friends’ birthday parties. Castles N ‘Coasters has a full arcade and laser tag, and if you want to venture outside after sunset, there are options like rides, mini golf, and bumper boats. 16001 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale 480-998-2800 Cracker Jax is another entertainment complex with both indoor and outdoor options. When it’s hot, stay inside and pass the time in the Cyber City Arcade game room or the Alien Invasion laser tag game. Later in the evening (or during the day if you’re wearing sunscreen), your options include mini golf, go-karts, batting cages, a driving range, volleyball, and more. You know Dave & Buster’s. The famous national chain of indoor fun centers has a lot going for them, including huge arcade areas, plenty of TVs for watching sports, and pool tables to brush up on your pool skills. The Desert Ridge location also offers bowling (but not Westgate or Tempe Marketplace so take that into account). When all the fun makes you hungry, there is a full menu of food and drinks. We encourage you to show up during happy hour to save yourself a few bucks on your summer cocktails. Multiple Locations FatCats’ three locations in Gilbert, Mesa, and Queen Creek offer amenities other indoor amusement centers in town don’t: Movies. All FatCats feature a small selection of premieres for children and adults, plus everything they have to offer, such as bowling, arcade games, indoor glow golf, and virtual reality games at the Mesa and Queen Creek locations. The EXPAND Main Event features all of the classic games, including skee-ball. Jennifer Goldberg You want choice? Main event has choices. The three Metro Phoenix locations have all the features of a well-stocked funporium, such as bowling, arcade games, and a full menu of food and drinks. But they also have VR games, a high ropes course, and even karaoke if you fancy popping a tune or two. If you are bored here, don’t try very hard to have fun. 9139 Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale 480-291-7500One of the newer indoor amusement spaces in town, the locally run Mavrix holds its own against its established competitors. Laser tag is always a good choice, or if that’s not your style there are dozen of bowling lanes and a full arcade area. The adults can hang out in the bar and everyone can enjoy the food. And if that’s not enough entertainment for you, Mavrix’s sister company, Octane Raceway, is right next door for some go-karting gadgets. EXPAND Tilt Studio in Tempe offers two levels of entertainment. Benjamin Leatherman 5000 Arizona Mills Circle, # 669, Tempe 480-648-1222 Tilt Studio is primarily an arcade; The two-story room has pretty much anything you could want to play, from first person shooters and racing games to skee ball and basketball. But it also has a full bar and plenty of dining options. We like Tilt for the top area where you can take a break from the shiny new games and relax with a decent selection of pinball machines and vintage arcade cabinets. 13525 North Litchfield Road, Surprise 623-975-7529 It’s always a good thing when West Valley residents don’t have to travel far to take in the city’s sights. In the northwest corner of the city, Uptown Alley is fun seven days a week. The chain’s only location in Arizona has plenty to do, including 40 bowling alleys, 80+ arcade games, VR games, pool tables, laser tag, a sports lounge, bar, and a full menu. Keep Phoenix New Times Free … Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we want it to stay that way. We offer our readers free access to concise coverage of local news, food and culture. We produce stories about everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with bold reporting, stylish writing, and staff who have won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Feature Writing Award to the Casey- Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with the existence of local journalism under siege and setbacks in advertising revenues having a greater impact, it is now more important than ever for us to raise funds to fund our local journalism. You can help by joining our “I Support” membership program which allows us to continue to cover Phoenix without paywalls. Jennifer Goldberg is the Arts Editor and Best of Phoenix Editor for Phoenix New Times.