51 Ways to Beat the Heat

Written by Craig Outhier Category: Lifestyle Issue: August 2011

Underground Drinks at the Rokerij
Dungeons get a bad rap. We associate them with shackles and iron maidens and medieval sadism, conveniently forgetting one important fact: Dungeons are fantastically well-insulated. Enter the basement bar at the Rokerij. Abutted by several thousand cubic-tons of earth and stone, the dark, den-like space looks and feels a hemisphere apart from late-summer Phoenix. Better still, owner Richardson Browne has sagely swapped out the shackles and iron maidens for tasteful Renaissance-style artwork and friendly bartenders who spin the best iTunes playlists in the Valley. With triple-digit temps soaring outside, nothing beats $5 happy hour glasses of Klinker Brick and a little Band of Horses. That’s why we’re shackled to the Rokerij.
Info: 6335 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-287-8900, burningembersphoenix.com

Beer Tasting at The Grill at TPC
With commanding 180-degree views of the verdant TPC Scottsdale Stadium golf course – home of the vaunted Waste Management Phoenix Open – this high-end steakhouse at the ritzy Fairmont Scottsdale Princess makes for awesomely scenic heat-avoidance, especially with drink in hand. Try the AZ Beer Tasting flight: Three palate-pleasing offerings (Devil’s Ale, HefeWeizen Wheat and Epicenter Amber Ale) from Valley microbrewery San Tan Brewing ($16). Why break a sweat golfing when you can get buzzed watching somebody else do it?
Info: 7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale, 480-585-4848, fairmont.com/Scottsdale. Available 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Iruña’s Ginger Limonada
Have you ever visited Madrid in August? It ain’t exactly Seattle. So it follows that the Spanish would know a thing or two about staying cool during the scorching summer months – just as it follows that Aaron May’s Old Town tapas joint should feature this tantalizing heat-beater made by muddling candied ginger with Skyy Ginger Vodka, fresh lemons, lemonade and Sierra Mist. No, it’s not exactly a traditional Spanish favorite, but when it’s 115 degrees outside, the Ginger Limonada makes perfect cultural sense.
Info: 7217 E. First St., Scottsdale, 480-398-3020, irunaaz.com

MercBar’s Moscow Mule
For our money, the venerable Moscow Mule is the preeminent hot-weather tipple. Invented in the early 1940s by a trio of bored beverage executives, the cocktail combines vodka, ginger beer and a slice of lime (or, sometimes, cucumber) into one radically thirst-quenching elixir. Traditionally, the Mule is served in a copper mug, which enthusiastically conducts the icy coolness to your fingertips. Pure heaven. Try one at the MercBar – that somberly lit speakeasy near the Biltmore that’s always reminded us of a post-modern ski lodge.
Info: 2525 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602-508-9449, mercbar.com

Iced Coffee at Luci’s Healthy Marketplace
With its yawning garage-door entry, this north-central Phoenix coffee shop and health food market doesn’t look particularly cool. But it is, thanks to a stout air barrier system and perhaps the Valley’s best iced-coffee drink, the Luci Iced Toddy. Unlike most coffee folk, Luci’s baristas ferment their joe for 24 hours before icing it down and pouring it in your cup ($3.50-$3.75). This reduces acidity and makes for a superior sip. A tidy Toddy, indeed.
Info: 1590 E. Bethany Home Road, Phoenix, 602-773-1339, lucishealthymarketplace.com

Have a Ball at Boba Tea House
With 27 snow cone flavors (think green mango), 18 varieties of tea (think honey lemon), 15 yogurt selections (think strawberry lychee) and dozens of milk teas, slush beverages and iced coffees, this Taiwan-style refreshment mecca in Chandler could hydrate your sun-chapped soft tissues a hundred times over. The fun part: adding sweet, bb-sized tapioca balls – also known as boba – to your drink. It’s how they roll in Taiwan.
Info: 2055 N. Dobson Road, Chandler, 480-821-4008, bobateahouseinc.com

Tie One on at Buzzberry
Three words: Iced. Caramel. Latte. Intone them Ali Baba-style the next time you find yourself in north Scottsdale and need something magical and sweet to free you from the oppressive desert heat. Buzzberry also offers an intriguing menu of fruit smoothies with all the multivitamin, protein and “amino-repair” boosters you could ask for. No, we weren’t aware that our aminos were damaged, either, but with this ungodly heat, we don’t doubt that they could use some servicing.
Info: 5959 N. Granite Reef Road, Scottsdale, 480-717-9962, geturbuzz.com

Eat in the Raw at Blue Nile Café
Want a true beat-the-heat meal? Every Sunday and Monday, this Ethiopian eatery in Tempe offers full menus of raw, organic food, like the noodle-free pad Thai with coconut sauce and veggie “quiche” in a pecan crust. For dessert there’s a selection of chocolate bars laced with adjunct flavors such as mint, peanut butter and caramel. And there’s not a flame in sight.
Info: 933 E. University Drive, Ste. 112, Tempe, 480-377-1113, bluenilecafe.net

Eat Like a Vampire at Carlsbad Tavern
Dubbed “the Bat Cave” by management, the Carlsbad Tavern dining room becomes bargain-nosh nirvana after 10 p.m. with a late-night menu that includes many of the restaurant’s most popular New Mexico-style dishes – including carne adovada and blue corn enchiladas – at half the regular price. Couple that business with a reverse happy hour prickly pear margarita and you’re too cool for school.
Info: 3313 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, 480-970-8164, carlsbadtavern.com

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Slurp a Cucumber Sage Martini at Sapporo
It’s “arguably one of Scottsdale’s hottest restaurants,” proclaims the Sapporo website, and we appreciate the even-handed qualifier. But can this arguably hot sushi and nightlife mecca go the other way and keep it cool? We say definitely – so long as you’re drinking a crisp, fragrant cocktail made with Hendrick’s gin, cucumber and that most cooling of the minty shrubs, sage. No argument here – it’s a warm-weather winner.    
Info: 14344 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-607-1114, sapporoscottsdale.com

Be a Pho King Stud at Da Vang
We’ve heard that spicy food has a counter-intuitive cooling effect on the body, owing to a shifting calculus of ambient and relative internal temperatures. Maybe, maybe not. But we like the idea of beating the heat with a big, fragrant bowl of pho from Da Vang – the once-grody Vietnamese eatery that recently changed ownership and cleaned up its act. Served with jalapeño slices and a bushel of tangy sprigs, this traditional Vietnamese noodle soup will lead you down a path of glorious heat until you’re reborn on the other side – energized and curiously refreshed.
Info: 4538 N. 19th St., Phoenix, 602-242-3575, no website

Be a Cellar Dweller at Sassi
The Valley’s coolest – and by “coolest,” we mean the least hot – dining destination might be the wine cellar at Sassi, the villa-like southern Italian dining retreat in the north Scottsdale foothills. Available by reservation for parties of up to 14 people, and done in stately, high-backed chairs and subdued earth tones, the cellar provides a transporting dining experience that few restaurants can match. And if it’s cool enough for Sassi’s 200 Italian wines, it’s cool enough for you, meat-bag.
Info: 10455 E. Pinnacle Peak Pkwy., Scottsdale, 480-502-9095, sassi.biz

Veg Out at 24 Carrots
Some of us like artificial ingredients, excess sugar and meat. Others don’t. For the latter, we present 24 Carrots, the three-year-old smoothie shop and deli where tofu, locally sourced produce and flax seeds rule, keeping you healthy and cool. Breakfast includes such fresh, cooling offerings as honey-drizzled fruity almond toast and fruit-dolloped “Raw-ky Road” oats; while lunch folks choose from a robust stable of salads, wraps, pita pizzas and veggie burgers. Meat-eaters: Settle your beef somewhere else.
Info: 6140 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, 480-753-4411, 24carrotsjuice.com

Go Tapas in Paradise Valley
It might be purely imaginary – or perhaps a function of the heat-island effect – but Paradise Valley always feels a few degrees cooler than other parts of the Valley. It figures that the well-heeled folks would get the best temps; they also get some of the tastiest Spanish bar food, courtesy of Executive Chef Peter DeRuvo and his tequila-and-tapas Mbar concept at the InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa. Enjoy bites of bacon-sprinkled razor clams and medjool dates with serrano ham while you plot your move to the 85253.
Info: 4949 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, 888-627-3010, pradolife.com/mbar

Cold Fish at Shinbay V.2
No less an authority than James Beard award-winning omakase mastermind Nobuo Fukuda – he of Sea Saw and Nobuo at Teeter House – calls Shinji Kurita the “finest sushi chef in Arizona.” Five years after the unceremonious demise of his Ahwatukee restaurant, ShinBay, Kurita is back in business. Also called ShinBay, the new place – which opened in May – resides on the same wily culinary frontier as Fukuda’s restaurants, blending Western haute cuisine with Japanese traditions. It’s kanpai-cool.
Info: 7001 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-664-0180, shinbay.com

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Be Smooth at A Touch of Yogurt
This Downtown institution has been dispensing soft-serve treats since the heyday of Fife Symington and peg-leg cargo pants. That’s a lot of triple-degree relief. The shop provides a daily menu of flavors online, so you can plan your visit around the next appearance of your beloved Bavarian coffee or raspberry pomegranate sorbet.
Info: 2 N. Central Ave., Phoenix,
602-495-9226, atouchofyogurt.com

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Hangover Rx at True Food Kitchen
“Hangover combined with triple-digit heat” is a poignant euphemism for human misery if we’ve ever heard one. Sadly, it will happen. And when it does, head to Sam Fox’s True Food Kitchen and order the Hangover Rx – a freshly blended, vitamin B12-packed, hydrating elixir made with coconut water, orange juice, pineapple and a hint of vanilla bean. Hey, we love Bloody Marys as much as the next penitent boozer, but that hair-of-the-dog stuff is for the dogs.
Info: 15191 N. Scottsdale Road, Ste. 100, Scottsdale, 480-265-4500; 2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602-774-3488, truefoodkitchen.com

Throw a Fruity Fiesta in Your Mouth
For years, the popsicle languished as a second-class citizen in the American frozen treat hierarchy. Not so in Mexico, where paleterías (popsicle shops) were busy creating ever more refined and delicious specimens of popsicle craft. A few of these high-equality paleta purveyors have landed in the Valley, including Chandler’s Flor de Michoacan, which offers fruit flavors both familiar – orange, pineapple, etc. – and refreshingly exotic, including a melon-and-chile pepino that will make your internal thermostat do crazy-eights.
Info: 582 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler, 480-782-1939, no website
Shake It up at Zinburger
Remember when John Travolta made a big deal about Uma Thurman’s five-dollar milkshake in Pulp Fiction? It’s the one part of the movie that hasn’t aged well. After all, the crème brûlée shake at Zinburger runs six bucks, but when you taste it, “you’ll know where that extra money went,” to borrow a line from the movie. Combining vanilla ice cream with Madagascar vanilla bean, fresh cream and crushed caramel, it’s a heat-beating madman.
Info: 2502 E. Camelback Road, Ste. 127, Phoenix, 602-424-9500, foxrc.com/zinburger

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Get Shaved at New Orleans Sno Ball
Don’t confuse a New Orleans-style “sno ball” with a “snow cone” in the presence of a devotee. He’ll testily remind you that sno balls are made from shaved ice (as opposed to those crushed-ice snow cone abominations) and have a much smoother, softer texture. In oenological terms, it’s like the difference between a Grand Cru and a vin du pays. In the Valley of the Sun, Big Easy native Abron Morgan rules the “sno” scene from his New Orleans Sno Ball shop in north-central Phoenix.
Info: 5809 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 504-715-1662, neworleanssnoball.net

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Battle Hymn of the Sweet Republic
Three years after debuting in the Valley, the artisan ice cream creations of Helen Yung and Jan Wichayanuparp – both ex-investment bankers living out quixotic second careers – are the stuff of legend. Finding a palate-cooling scoop of Rocky Road is never a problem, but where do you go when you want some salted butter caramel or the charmingly self-explanatory I Love Bacon? Only at the place run by the two ex-financiers, who use all-natural, primo ingredients. Summer also brings some super cooling sorbets, such as coconut, watermelon and our fave –?basil lime.
Info: 9160 E. Shea Blvd., Ste. 105, Scottsdale, 490-248-6979, sweetrepublic.com

Hit the Ice at Oceanside Ice Arena
Pull out your mittens and heavy winter coats this summer and get chilly at Tempe’s Oceanside Ice Arena. If you’re looking to show off your ice-slicing skills, the arena offers public skating most Fridays and Saturdays at 40- to 50-degree temps for only $7 per adult ($5 for kids 3-17), plus a $3 skate rental. Feeling competitive? Test your slap shot with some adult hockey ($320 for a league, $10 for open games) or your triple salchow during figure-skating lessons ($12 walk-in). Since the arena is located just off loops 101 and 202, it’s easily accessible to all east-siders. Check the arena’s calendar for a daily schedule of ice skating activities.
Info: 1520 N. McClintock Drive, Tempe, 480-941-0944, oceansideicearena.net

Catch Some (French) New Wave at FilmBar
For years Phoenix film buffs loudly lamented the absence of an art house movie theater in the city. Well, now we finally have one – and it sells adult beverages, no less. The brainchild of ex-software scribe Kelly Aubey, FilmBar boasts a lobby/lounge done in Asian floor lamps and Moroccan pouffes, and a programming philosophy that’s refreshingly outré: documentaries, foreign and cult. So tell ya what, film buff: Sit back, sip your Stella and stop lamenting.
Info: 815 N. Second St., Phoenix, 602-595-9187, thefilmbarphx.com

Chill out at Ice House Tavern
Say it aloud: “Ice House Tavern.” Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? So polar. So frigid. Psychosomatically, that’s important – we’re already feeling cool the moment we open the door. It also helps that the tavern is built into the Arcadia Ice Arena, with a panoramic Plexiglass view of the rink. It all makes Ice House Tavern one of the most singularly cool venues to catch local bands in the Valley. Or just to watch a little amateur hockey.
Info: 3855 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix, 602-244-1179, icehousetavernphx.com

Laugh off the Heat at Stand Up Live
For years the funniest thing about Downtown Phoenix was the sun-crisped dude in dolphin shorts who cruised around the city on his 10-speed. Now we have Stand Up Live, the new comedy club at CityScape that showcases people who – unlike dolphin-shorts guy – try to be funny on purpose. The club’s late-summer calendar includes old pro Bobby Slayton and Jackass alum Steve-O. Beats a dude on a bike any day.
Info: 50 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix, 480-719-6100, standuplive.com

Damsels in Distress
“Hot All-Girl Roller Derby Action” doesn’t necessarily preclude a comfortable, thermometer-friendly night on the town. After all, the Arizona Derby Dames are doing all the hard work – slamming, sling-shotting and body-checking each other over a banked track at the air-conditioned Veterans Memorial Coliseum. And lucky for you: The playoffs season begins in August, pitting the likes of the Schoolyard Scrappers against the Brutal Beauties. You know what else is hot? Alliteration.
Info: 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, 602-252-6771, azderbydames.com

Jazz It up at Kazimierz
Anybody who frequents Peter Kasperski’s Kazimierz will tell you that the wine bar has an “underground” vibe to it – both in the sense that it has no front door and feels like an old-timey, off-the-books speakeasy, and in the sense that it’s virtually lightless and feels like a subterranean cavern potentially inhabited by mole-people. Either way, we say it’s damn cool. On Mondays, Valley jazz siren Margo Reed performs for wine lovers and mole people alike.
Info: 7137 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, 480-946-3004, kazbar.net

Climb to Cooler Altitudes at Ape Index
Give up the desert scenery this month for some sweet air-conditioned rock climbing at Ape Index. The climbing emporium, complete with more than 75 climbing ropes, short walls for the inexperienced and 32-foot walls for thrill seekers, is the perfect place to work up a sweat in the coolest gym in the Valley. Try it out with a $13 day pass (plus gear rental fees for non-members). Can’t get enough? Passes are available for five days ($60), 10 days ($100), one month ($60), three months ($165), six months ($310) and, for the super dedicated, one year ($550). Sure, scaling mountains is free, but just think of the money you’ll save by not melting the soles off your shoes.
Info: 9700 N. 91st Ave., Peoria, 623-242-9164, apeindex.net

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Lift off at Dorrance Planetarium
Escape the sweltering Arizona summer by immersing yourself in the vast, absolute-zero freeze of deep space. No, it isn’t Richard Branson’s latest extraterrestrial joyride – it’s the state-of-the-art Dorrance Planetarium at the Arizona Science Center, your launching pad for high-definition explorations of the cosmos, and Fantastic Voyage-like microscopic tours of the human body. Just ignore the two catatonic college students seated next to you – their “trip” started in the parking lot.
Info: 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix, 602-716-2000, azscience.org/planetarium

Get ‘Modern’ at Phoenix Art Museum
You know Diego Rivera. You know Frida Kahlo. But do you know María Izquierdo? Culled from the Andrés Blaisten collection at the Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco in Mexico City, the Modern Mexican exhibit includes paintings by many of Mexico’s leading modernist artists working between 1910 and 1950. Stunningly pigmented, with an aesthetic poised excitingly between 20th-century cosmopolitanism and Old colonial Mexico, the paintings make for a masterful cool-down.
Info: 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-257-1222, phxart.org

See the Fishes at The Wildlife World Zoo
Watching the zoo’s Asian small-clawed otters and black-footed penguins cool off in their aquatic habitats, you’re liable to have this thought: Hmm. Maybe being an animal in captivity isn’t so bad, after all. Featuring nearly 150 species, the Wildlife World Aquarium now comprises some 75 indoor exhibits, including the new 40,000-gallon Amazon River Monsters display. The star of the show is the payara “vampire fish,” whose six-inch lower fangs should put to rest any bright ideas about joining him for a swim.
Info: 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park, 623-935-9453, wildlifeworld.com

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Get in Tune at The Musical Instrument Museum
Crooner Tony Bennett called it his “favorite museum in the whole world.” Latin rock legend Carlos Santana said it left him “supremely inspired and overwhelmed,” and a tribute to the king of cool – Elvis – opens in August. If that weren’t enough to lure you here, you’ll appreciate the respite from the brutal daytime sun while learning about instruments from more than 200 countries and reveling in musical artifacts such as John Lennon’s piano and Eric Clapton’s guitar. Now that’s cool.
Info: 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, 480-478-6000, themim.org

Peruse the Stacks at the Downtown Phoenix Library
Opened in 1995, the Burton Barr Central Library is every bit the temple of literacy it was designed to be, even in our era of Internet search engines and digital readers. Hunker down for the day in the library’s acclaimed Rare Book Room – which boasts 3,400 texts including ancient cuneiform tablets, early Shakespeare folios and even a page from the Gutenberg Bible – or polish off a classic in the library’s sky-lit Great Reading Room. There’s also a weekly “Introduction to E-mail” class, in case this whole digital revolution thing somehow escaped your notice.
Info: 1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-262-4636, phoenixpubliclibrary.org

Go North, Young Culture Seeker
You don’t have to fight the weekday Phoenix traffic blizzard to enjoy the cultural fruits of the Heard Museum – there’s an adjunct Heard campus in north Scottsdale. Current exhibitions include Calfornia Dreamin’: Reflections on Land and Culture, which pays tribute to the Golden State’s colonial and fortune-seeking origins, and a showcase of American Indian artists. And it’s located well north of the Loop 101 – perfect for all you traffic-hating Downtownaphobes.
Info: 32633 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, 480-488-9817, heard.org/north

Light up the Night at Taliesin West
Since nighttime is the only bearable time to leave the comforts of your summer ice caves, take the Night Lights tour at Frank Lloyd Wright’s breathtaking Taliesin West. Astounding architecture, luminous lighting and cooler temps combine to form a trifecta of desert beauty ($35 adults; $30 seniors, active military and students). This home meets studio meets campus located on the foothills of the McDowell Mountains is a testament to Wright’s love of the desert, though he only intended to live in it during the winter months. Check out Wright’s brilliant skills in one of these unique guided tours, which take place Monday and Friday evenings at 6:30, 7 and 7:30 p.m. through August. Reservations are requested but not required. Light refreshments are included.
Info: 12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-627-5340,

Sweat It out with Hot Yoga
Yeah, we know, it’s redundant: All yoga in Arizona is hot yoga, at least in the summer. Still, some yogis are certifiable madmen, and will ride you in triple-digit heat until you’re lying in a pool of sweat the size of Saguaro Lake. That could be refreshing, we guess. Try the Heated Flow class at Inner Vision Yoga in Tempe, a Vinyasa discipline designed to increase blood flow, purge toxins and sweat out all the nasty stuff in your body that makes you feel hotter in the first place. If you’re like us, you’ll need to purge some more in the bushes outside once the class is over.
Info: 725 E. Guadalupe Road, Tempe, 480-839-1006, innervisionyoga.com

Bulk up at Chakra 4
Think of Chakra 4 in Phoenix as the Wal-Mart of teas and herbs – not in the oh-my-God-this-is-depressing kind of way, but in the oh-my-God-they-have-everything kind of way. From Acerola berry extract to Yellow Dock powder, Chakra 4 is a veritable wonderland of bulk rate nutritional exotica, including many products that aid weight-loss and enhance daily energy. Ask for the “Air Element” formula with a wisp of peppermint – perfectly refreshing for a hot summer night. Or simply hunker down in the relaxing café and order one of dozens of freshly brewed iced teas.
Info: 4769 N. 20th St., Phoenix, 602-254-0129, chakra4.com

Tour a Cryonics Facility
You’ve heard of Alcor Life Extension: It’s the sub-zero cryonics facility where Hall of Fame slugger Ted Williams – or his head, anyway – is laid to rest. Essentially a super-cold morgue, Alcor keeps its deceased clients on ice until such a time that science can revive them. They also give free, 30- to 60-minute tours of their “cooldown bay” and operating room. Question: Can they freeze us and bring us back in late October? We’ll just chill out with Ted.
Info: 7895 E. Acoma Drive, Ste. 110, Scottsdale, 480-905-1906, alcor.org

Float on by at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak
With four acres of aquatic play-space – including a serene, pulse-inhibiting lazy river and a 130-foot water slide – the River Ranch at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak is one of the Valley’s top stay-cation options for heat-weary locals. A standard suite at the resort gets you four River Ranch passes, or you can pay $20 for a non-room all-access pool pass.
Info: 7677 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-997-2626, squawpeakhilton.com

Scope out the Scene at JW Marriott
Though unquestionably more wholesome than the rump-slapping singles scenes at the Valley Ho and W Hotel, the Marriott and its five pools offer an impressive spectacle of sun-drenched humanity: Bieber wannabes and Real Housewives and apple-cheeked infants enjoying their first lazy river. It’s like a Disney special to the Valley Ho’s MTV beach party. Guests only. The summer standard rate ($169) includes golf and other amenities.
Info: 5350 E. Marriott Drive, Phoenix, 800-835-6206, jwdesertridgeresort.com

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Raise the Roof at The W
The W’s rehab-inspired Summer Groove pool party is back in full swing, meaning the Valley’s tanned and toned leisure elites finally have a place to showcase their goods come Sunday morning. It’s a people-watching bonanza with all the Vegas amenities – private cabanas, plush daybeds, dubstep-cranking DJs – that a bottle-service-loving $30,000 millionaire could ask for. It costs $25 for non-guests.
Info: 7227 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, 480-970-2100, whotel.com/Scottsdale. Hours: noon-5 p.m.

After-Hours Waves at Big Surf
It’s splish-splashy child’s play at Tempe’s Big Surf until Friday nights, when the H2Overload after-hours program turns the proud doyenne of Arizona water parks into a hyperactive teen hussy. From 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., a slightly older crowd gets the run of the place, from the towering Kilauea Cove Slides to the rideable three-foot waves at Waikiki Beach. It’s all the fun, without the sun.
Info: 1500 N. McClintock Dr., Tempe, 480-994-2297, bigsurffun.com

Poolside Cinema at The Wigwam Resort
Recently purchased by sports maven Jerry Colangelo, the Wigwam got a $7 million facelift last year and is making a strong off-season play for Valley business with $99 summer room rates and two new 25-foot waterslides in the refurbished pool complex. But the wrinkle we like best probably didn’t cost the resort anything: The family-friendly Saturday night Sunset Poolside Movie program (guests only). Show us $7 mil in upgrades, we shrug. Show us Toy Story 3 and we’re yours forever. A special summer room rate for Arizona residents ($109) includes golf and other amenities.
Info: 300 E. Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park, 623-935-3811, wigwamresort.com. Hours: Saturdays at 8 p.m.

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Make Some Waves at Bartlett Lake
Think of Bartlett Lake – located about 45 minutes north of Phoenix in the Tonto National Forest – as Lake Pleasant’s less-wild, more virtuous kid sister. Which isn’t to say you can’t have a great time on her placid, cobalt blue waters. Daily eight-person pontoon rentals go for $280-$300, or you can bust out $995 for the super-fly, 45-foot party yacht, which accommodates 25 revelers and untold beer kegs. Jet-skiing and other water activities also are available.
Info: Bartlett Lake is located four miles east of Cave Creek Road on Bartlett Dam Road. 602-316-3378, bartlettlake.com

Have a Tangerine Dream at Four Seasons
As a temple of head-to-toe pampering, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North lords over its competitors like a mighty, expertly exfoliated dragon. So one must respect their use of tangerine oils and scrubs for body wellness. Opt for the tangerine oil therapeutic massage that’s included as part of the resort’s Girls’ Day Out package ($109), which also includes lunch, use of the pool complex and free run of the fitness center. And here we are, thinking tangerine oil was something you put on your salad. That’s why we’re not in the spa biz.
Info: 10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale, 480-515-5700,

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