USA's Great Skate

Now that electric scooters are becoming trendy transportation around town, it's hard to believe that people used to roller-skate along city sidewalks. Thankfully, roller-skating is still around, and indoor skating venues have air conditioning. This classic skating rink brings just the right touch of nostalgia to roller skating, through interior design and musical selections. It's a fun place to meet friends or have some alone time when you just need to work out a little something running around inside your brain. Strips of colorful lights cover the ceiling and reflect on the rink below as they elevate your mood and make you believe you can roll victoriously off into the sunset. There's something for everyone in the theme department, from "lit" skate nights with live DJ music to nights focused on a specific decade, when skaters can dress up in their best retro fashion gear. Don't worry about falling on your butt. Just pick up your pride and escape to the cafe or arcade, where you can take a break from being hell on wheels.

Bowling has come a long way, baby. Beige ruled back in the '50s, but now bowling is more like an immersive arts environment filled with music, lights, and color. Bowlero North Scottsdale has 36 lanes where you can bask in the glow of black lights, so if bowling isn't your best skill, just rock your best glow-friendly fashion and go for a bit of beer-pong time instead. You can watch sports, music videos, and films on video walls if seeing balls roll down lanes isn't enough to capture your imagination. There's also a sports bar, where you can rib your friends about all those gutter balls, and an arcade. If you're all about bowling, you can get your drinks and food brought to your lane. But remember to act shocked when the ball slips from someone's hand because you were kind enough to share your saucy chicken wings.

Opened in 2017 by animal fan Melissa Pruitt, La Gattara is home to about 30 felines — and lots more human visitors who can't get enough of this sweet collection of cuddly kitties. All these furballs go directly from foster situations to La Gattara's Tempe storefront, a safe space for cats where people can come unwind and relax, playing with fuzzy friends who love stuffed mice and feathers tied to strings. Visitors who don't want to adopt a friendly feline can leave with a painting of one by local artist Kate Benjamin. Cat-specific events here include decorative sand-carving classes, an occasional evening of drag queen bingo, and a kitty-and-me yoga class called Meowdidation. Where else can you spend $10 for an hour of dangling yarn scraps with a roomful of kittens?

Best Place to Play Twister With Strangers

Snakes & Lattes

So, it's Friday night and you just have to play a couple of rounds of Exploding Kittens, followed by Kerplunk and maybe some Tip It. You're in luck, because downtown Tempe is now home to Snakes & Lattes, where you can pack away a meal or throw back some brews while playing Café Fatal or Pictionary or Battleship with some of your best friends — or with total strangers at one of the communal tables. A six-foot wall of board games is arranged by theme — party, nostalgia, dexterity — and you can help yourself to Telestrations or Clue or Monopoly. Don't know how to play Parcheesi? No problem. On-site game gurus will stop by your table and teach you how — and it's all included in your tiny $5-per-head gaming fee. Game on.

Looking for a safe place to lose control? Look no further than Tempe's Simply Smashing Rage Room, where people come to throw glass objects against walls and beat the crap out of old adding machines. Visitors dress in neck-to-toe coveralls, gardening gloves, and welder's masks, and pay to smash the doo-doo out of a shopping basket of breakables. Each smash room offers a chalkboard where folks can write down a list of things they're angry about, then throw breakable stuff at it. Pretending your ex-husband is a stack of coffee mugs, and then smashing them into little pieces with a golf club, has its rewards. Corporate executives and PTA moms and everyone in between come in to release a little anger or just to have a smashing good time — and you can, too.

Phoenix Zoo

What could be better than booze and seeing wild animals up close after dark? The Phoenix Zoo's Roars & Pours event happens monthly except during the hotter months. You'll feel like you're behind the scenes walking around the animal exhibits, and although many of the inhabitants of the zoo will be in for the night, there's still plenty to see. There are also fun experiences like camel rides and visits to the Stingray Bay attraction at happy hour prices. You can meander around the zoo, or stay and play yard games like corn hole and beer pong, and you won't want to miss free shows like "The Mating Game" and the live music performances. It's perfect for a unique date or for blowing off steam after work.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of