Pictured above: The Mystery Room inside the Arizona Biltmore requires a password to gain entry.
Anyone who has lived in the Valley during the summer knows that your daytime activities involve moving from one air-conditioned environment to the next. One can get a version of “cabin fever” like our blizzard-bound friends in the Midwest. When the sun sets, it’s the only time we have to get outside and get some exercise, try a new activity or seek a cooling beverage.
We have some different ideas for you to try while the lows hover in the mid-80s. Just think, fall is right around the corner – or, at least that’s what we have to tell ourselves.
Summer Night Rides
Get out, grab your bicycle and enjoy the cool desert nights! These rides, offered June 2 & 16, July 7 & 21, Aug. 4 & 18 and Sept. 15 from 7:30 to 10 pm, provide a great way to get together with your fellow mountain bikers during the long, hot summer. Riders must have a helmet, and a light system designed for mountain biking with battery power for three hours of riding. It is highly recommended that you ride this trail during the day before coming out for a night ride. Riders may start prior to 7:30 pm to ensure a return time of 10 pm. Fountain Hills Bikes supports these rides and the local biking community by providing an after-ride snack, and often a movie. Meet at the PB Trailhead Staging Area in McDowell Mountain Regional Park, 16300 McDowell Mountain Park Dr. in Scottsdale. For more information, call 480-471-0173 or visit maricopacountyparks.net.
Explore the desert at night with a relaxing hike in the moonlight. Bring water, a flashlight and wear close-toed shoes. The hikes take place at various locations of Maricopa parks across the Valley. Parks charge an entrance fee of $7 per vehicle. Visit maricopacountyparks.net for more information.
The schedule for hikes is as follows:
June 23 at 7 pm at Estrella Mountain Regional Park at 14805 W. Vineyard Ave. in Goodyear
June 26 & July 27 at 7:30 pm at Usery Mountain Regional Park at 3939 N. Usery Pass Road in Mesa
June 27 at 7:30 pm at White Tank Mountain Regional Park at 20304 W. White Tank Mountain Road in Waddell
June 27 at 8 pm at Spur Creek Ranch Conservation Area at 44000 N. Spur Cross Road in Cave Creek
June 29 at 7 pm & July 27 at 7:30 pm at Cave Creek Regional Park at 37900 E. Cave Creek Pkwy. in Cave Creek
Aug. 25 at 6:30 pm at Lake Pleasant Regional Park at 39345 N. Overlook Road in Peoria
Head over to Temple Town Lake on June 15 & 29, July 13 & 27 and Aug. 10 and glow and glide across the water. In addition to all necessary kayaking equipment, participants will receive glow-in-the-dark accessories. Feel free to wear glow in the dark clothing items that you don’t mind getting wet. Register early. Adults $35, youth $20. For more information, contact 480-350-8069 or visit tempe.gov.
Mingle with other Valley residents while enjoying the culture and spirit of downtown Phoenix every first Friday of the month from 6 to 10 pm and every third Friday from 6 to 9 pm. Sign up for the Artlink newsletter at artlinkphx.org for information on upcoming art happenings, exhibitions and more.
Learn star names, see constellations and listen to stories of the night sky presented by Tony and Carole La Conte of Stargazing for Everyone. View the moon, planets, star cluster, nebula, galaxies and more through their telescopes. They have presentations at Buckeye Skyline Regional Park at 2600 N. Watson Road in Buckeye at 8 pm on June 23 and 7:30 pm on Sept. 29. They will hold “sidewalk stargazing” at the Glendale Public Main Library at 5959 W. Brown St. in Glendale with a presentation in the auditorium prior to telescope viewing at 7 pm on June 4, July 9 and Aug. 6. For more information on the stargazing programs that are offered year-round, visit stargazingforeveryone.com.
Return of the Speakeasy
Nothing beats the summer heat like retreating underground to a quiet bar for a refreshing beverage, right? Welcome to the modern-day speakeasy.
These prohibition-era gathering places allowed patrons to consume alcohol in seclusion while speaking softly to avoid detection. The trend has returned with out-of-the-way bars serving up craft cocktails in an intimate setting.
There are many speakeasy-type establishments across the Valley where you can step back in time and enjoy a classic cocktail.
In Chandler, The Ostrich is located directly below Crust Chandler at 10 N. San Marcos Place and opens every day at 6 pm (5 pm on Fridays for happy hour). Housed in a basement that was once an ostrich feather storage facility after World War I. Chandler community founder, Dr. AJ Chandler, had hopes that the ostrich feathers would become a fashion accessory for the flapper dress industry, which it did not.
Located inside the Arizona Biltmore at 2400 E. Missouri Ave. in Phoenix, the Mystery Room requires a password to gain entry, found on the resort’s Twitter feed @ArizonaBiltmore. During Prohibition, the Mystery Room boasted a well-stocked liquor cabinet that turned into a bookcase in the event of a raid. Today guests can enjoy a bartender in period attire and music and cocktails from the 1920s. The Mystery Room is only open from 8 to 11 pm on Sundays.
Downtown Scottsdale’s hidden jewel is the Kazimierz World Wine Bar at 7137 E. Stetson Dr. Kazbar (for short) offers craft cocktail, global small plates, live entertainment nightly from 9 pm to midnight and more than 2,000 wines from which to choose. This underground space is accessed through a back door and is filled with wooden wine casks and couches. Visit kazbar.net for more information.