Paqua Park at Lake Pleasant Regional Park. Summer in Arizona usually means 6 months out of the year with temperatures over 100. It can be brutal so we love to find activities that get us outdoors near the water to stay cool. Lucky for us, Lake Pleasant Regional Park is just a short drive away, and has undergone some new improvements – and Paqua Park is one improvement worth visiting!
This weekend we had the opportunity to check out Paqua Park, a 5,000-square-foot inflatable obstacle course, located at the Scorpion Bay Marina on the west side of the lake. Think jumbo bouncy houses and slides directly on the water with a touch of “Wipeout” mixed in. My preteen and teens took the course for a spin and had an absolute blast!
They described the course as challenging (and slippery!), but with areas for all ages, including rock climbing style walls, a bouncing bean bag, monkey bars, and several jump points and slides. My 9-year-old said it feels much higher than it looks when you are at the top and she enjoyed the challenge. They did note how crowded it was and said it was difficult to get through it without bumping into other people. From the crowds we witnessed yesterday, it looks as though they are booking about 100 people per session and there is no social distancing happening.
Right now this attraction is only operating on the weekends at 4 separate time slots, so you need to make advance reservations to ensure a spot. Tickets are $25 a person for a 45-minute unlimited play window. They have an age requirement of 7 years old (and at least 45” tall) so my youngest couldn’t participate, but there is a long dock that runs along the obstacle course where we were able to dock our boat and sit and watch the entertainment! Other people brought chairs and umbrellas and there was plenty of room for observers.
If you book your ticket, make sure you arrive early because they have a trailer on site for check-in where you are required to fill out safety waivers for everyone in your party (there is also an option to complete this online prior to your arrival) and then they have life jacket fittings if you don’t bring your own. They do a quick safety briefing and then they release you to swim out to the course. Lifeguards were on hand and blew a whistle any time they saw people attempting anything unsafe. You also can’t bring any personal objects with you, so cell phones were not allowed on the course for photos.
If you want to make an afternoon out of your time on Lake Pleasant, I recommend walking over to the Scorpion Bay Grill for lunch or dinner afterward. They have indoor and outdoor dining on the water and have a large menu of salads, seafood, burgers, and flatbreads, as well as affordable and tasty kid’s meals and a full bar of refreshments. We enjoyed this restaurant much more than Dillion’s at Pleasant Harbor and the option to eat outside really makes a world of difference. They also have a dog-friendly side patio if you are bringing your pooch!
Scorpion Bay also offers boat and jet ski rentals, kayaking, and paddleboarding. I recommend the 4 pm time slot at Paqua Park followed by dinner on the patio at Scorpion Bay Grill where you are guaranteed to see an amazing sunset view over the mountains!
Go here to book your visit and please note that in addition to your ticket, there is a $7 charge per vehicle due to Lake Pleasant Regional Park being operated by Maricopa County Parks and Recreation. During busy times on the weekends, there is often a line to enter and find parking so plan extra time to allow for this.
For a summary of Lake Pleasant and other activities, check out this blog post.