10 Phoenix Indoor Fun Centers to keep you cool while playing


Games run for days at Mavrix in Scottsdale.

Jennifer Goldberg


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The irony has not escaped us that the time of year when we want to let off steam and have a little fun is the same time of year when 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 some skee ball or a round of laser tag.

Here are 10 places in town to have fun while hiding from the sun.

1830 East Baseline Road, Mesa

Indoor fun centers often serve a specific target group. Those for kids are outfitted with mini rides and trampolines, while others are geared towards adults and advertise their cocktails and lounge areas. Amazing Jake’s is that rare room that does a great job of keeping everyone entertained; Kids have perks like a teacup ride and mini-bowling, and adults have bumper cars, billiards, a carnival center, bowling, laser tag, and two full bars.

Before choosing a Phoenix Bowlero subway location, it’s a good idea to decide what to do when you 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 lanes; and a fully stocked sports bar with food and drinks.

Castles N 'Coasters is equipped with pinball machines.EXPAND

Castles N ‘Coasters is equipped with pinball machines.

Benjamin Ledermann

9445 North Metro Parkway East

This one is an oldie, but a goodie. Castles N ‘Coasters may lack the modern decor and numerous amenities of other local indoor amusement centers, but they don’t neglect the nostalgic factor; It’s fun to spend an evening playing where you used to attend 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

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 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 it, 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 recommend showing up during happy hour to save a few dollars on your summer cocktails.

Several locations

FatCats’ three locations in Gilbert, Mesa, and Queen Creek offer a convenience that other indoor fun centers in town don’t: movies. All FatCats feature a small selection of premieres for children and adults as well as everything they have to offer like bowling, arcade games, indoor glow golf, and virtual reality games at the Mesa and Queen Creek locations.

Main Event features all of the classic games, including skee-ball.EXPAND

Main Event features all of the classic games, including skee-ball.

Jennifer Goldberg

Do you want options? 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 food and drink menu. 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

As one of the city’s newer indoor amusement spaces, 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.

Tilt Studio in Tempe offers two levels of entertainment.EXPAND

Tilt Studio in Tempe offers two levels of entertainment.

Benjamin Ledermann

5000 Arizona Mills Circle, # 669, Tempe

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 because of 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

It’s always a good thing when West Valley citizens don’t have to travel far to enjoy what the city has to offer. 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.

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Jennifer Goldberg is the Arts Editor and Best of Phoenix Editor for Phoenix New Times.

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