Phoenix With Kids

Pecan Lake Entertainment in Queen Creek

Pecan Lake Entertainment in Queen Creek a new family owned activity center that really does have something to offer everyone. This is going to be the kind of place you come back to over and over again, and you can have a different experience every time.

Liz Haveman

Pecan Lake Entertainment in Queen Creek a new family owned activity center that really does have something to offer everyone. This is going to be the kind of place you come back to over and over again, and you can have a different experience every time.

Located on Riggs Road in Queen Creek, between Fat Cats and Chapman Automotive Group Arena, the setting is very picturesque. The San Tan Mountain range in front of the venue and the lake in the back lends to the sophisticated feel of Pecan Lake. It is beautifully landscaped. The Olive Grove sitting area draws you in to come relax. My kids wanted to climb the trees and splash in the brook.

Pecan Lake is a rare gem, created to let people tailor their own day with their own interests. Parking and entrance are both free. You only pay for what you want to do. The options include 4D VR, axe throwing, karaoke, mini golf, ropes course, and an escape room. The restaurant on property is called Caldwell County BBQ. For dessert, there is a Soda Rush, and coming soon, there will be ice cream from Sky Time Creamery, which will be located next to the ropes course.

A botanical garden is open on Saturdays, as well as a lake for fishing, and a jumbotron with a stage and picnic area. Pecan Lake also hosts weddings, parties, and corporate events. I saw families bringing Soda Rush cookies and drinks to the large picnic tables in front of the jumbotron, and cheering on their favorite basketball team while enjoying their snacks.

The axe throwing is for ages 12 and up. The tablet that you use to set up your game is a little confusing, but the instructions were clear, and made it easy to get started. The attendant there also was great when she explained the rules, and gave us some tips for achieving a better throw (step into your throw, and remember to let go). It was fun! My 12-year-old was a little nervous, but she gave it a try! Our favorite axe game was tic tac toe. Which I won. Just FYI.

The VR was a big hit with my 8 and 11 year old. We chose a pirate adventure, and had fun setting off canons, opening treasure chests, and defending ourselves from pirate skeletons! The headset was a little heavy, but it didn’t bother the kids. The attendant was very knowledgeable and did a great job explaining the game to us. He helped us get our gear on and off, and told us how to get started. It’s incredible how immersive this experience is. At one point, I had to cross a plank over a pit of lava, and for a few seconds, I genuinely thought, oh no I can’t do this! I had to take a breath and remind myself that I wasn’t actually walking over lava, and I couldn’t actually fall off the edge! That being said, I did hold my 8-year-old’s hand most of the way through, and that was completely fine! She had a blast.

The mini golf course was very beautiful and fun. It also felt very laid back and relaxing. We did enjoy the course, however it was tough for the kids. The holes were almost all on a slightly raised mound, so if you didn’t get the ball close enough, it rolled back down. That was frustrating for my younger ones, but my 12-year-old continued on with me all the way through hole 18. The second half of the course was more fun. The landscaping was lush and fresh. After hole 10, we walked up a small set of stairs and could hear a stream, and were under shade. Each hole took us a bit higher until we had an incredible view of the lake. We enjoyed being near the botanical garden, listening to the birds and watching people fish below us. The mountain range in the distance was dramatic. If the younger ones had made it through the first half, I think they would have enjoyed the second half more because of the scenery.

After this, We were all hungry and needed a break. Even though the weather was cool, the sun was still hot on the mini golf green, and we needed some cold drinks. When we went into Caldwells County BBQ restaurant, we met one of the owners, Audra Campbell. Audra kindly talked to us about the business and the land.

She told us that the land belonged to her father-in-law, and he had set up the lake and botanical garden area. But they needed a way to help the land be more self supported. So she and her husband, Tim, came up with the entertainment venue idea. They have been open for just about a month, but have already experienced great community support.

Although they have a lot of activities to choose from already, the area has more growing to do. Construction is underway for a go kart track, and by next summer, the surf rider wave pool should be open. Audra said they are looking forward to growing and expanding, and appreciate customer feedback to help make this experience the best it can be.

Audra gave us some great recommendations for lunch, and we took her advice, and tried a little bit of almost everything. The turkey was the softest meat, full of seasoning and smokey flavor. My favorite was the brisket with a generous helping of the hot and sweet barbeque sauce. The heat was very mild, perfect if you like just a little bit of spice. The house sauce was a more traditional barbeque sauce; not spicy, but tangy and mild. The kids liked the ribs best. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender, and had mild seasoning. The AZ Gold was a sweet mustard sauce that was a perfect complement to the brisket slider on a pretzel bun. Think a salty pretzel, chewy bread, drizzled in a sweet mustard finished off with pure bliss in the middle. Each bite of each meat was a new adventure that made us keep going back for more.

The sides we got were corn bread pudding, and mac n’ cheese. My kids were not big fans of the mac n’ cheese, sadly. They unfortunately still think the best stuff comes from a blue box. But this stuff to me tasted like my grandma’s mac n’ cheese. It was thick and creamy, and had a hint of onion and bread crumbs, like it had come out of a casserole dish from an oven. My husband agreed, and we happily polished off the mac n’ cheese left on the girl’s plates. The corn bread pudding was sweet and moist without being overly heavy. It tasted like a savory side dish, not a dessert in disguise. It also gave our pallets a nice break in between the flavorful seasoning of the meat. I liked having a bite of the corn bread pudding in between trying the different meats. It acted kind of like a southern palate cleanser.

For dessert, we splurged on some treats from Soda Rush. For drinks, we first got the Frog Prince: Sierra Mist with coconut cream and a gummy frog on top. The gummy frog got eaten before I could get a picture, but it was very cute. We also got a S’mores soda, the Miguel, which is Coke with coconut and lime, Orange Crush, and a Cloud Nine, which is blue curacao and coconut cream. They were all amazing, but I think the overall favorite was the Frog Prince. It was sweet and fruity and not too heavy. It was the perfect refresher for a hot day.

Because this wasn’t enough sugar, we also got a cinnamon roll, and four cookies. The cinnamon roll was absolute perfection. They warmed it up for us so the icing was gooey but not melted. The cinnamon filling was sticky, and the bun was soft. The Rainbow Smash cookie is a March special celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a sugar cookie topped with green vanilla icing, a tiny brownie with gold sprinkles, and a sour rainbow candy ribbon. This was a hit with my kids; two of them said it was their favorite. My 12-year-old said her favorite was the Brookie, a soft chocolate chocolate chip cookie that resembled a brownie in texture. My husband loved the Mint Chocolate Chip, and I am absolutely in love with the PB Smash, a peanut butter cookie with soft peanut butter icing.

Our last event of the day was the ropes course. I’m terrified of heights. But for the sake of this blog, I bravely followed my fearless children up the stairs and onto the course. I then found the nearest big pillar and mostly just held on. Huge thanks to Beth, an employee that gave me awesome advice on the most solid paths, how to hang on and the best way to move through the obstacles.

Anyway, the kids had a blast! They were up there for almost an hour, enjoying the challenges and testing every path. My 8-year-old enjoyed climbing around and didn’t do a zip line, but my husband and 11-year-old did each zip line twice. This ropes course is really fun for any age level and experience. Once you’re up, it’s basically a choose your own adventure experience. You can go wherever you want as many times as you want. The rules are explained really well while you are still on the ground, and attendants on the course make sure everyone is safe. There is even a water fountain on the second level that should be operational soon. The last challenge is completely optional: a free jump. You just take a step off the edge and are lowered down in a controlled way by a rope. I did not choose to exit the course this way. But my husband and 11-year-old did! That is a scary thing to do even for people who are not afraid of heights. They did amazing!

There is a Sky Tykes area of the ropes course for little guests. All you have to do is be able to walk, and be 48 inches tall or under. I saw tiny little people as young as 18 months old laughing their way along the zip line and triumphantly climbing through elevated obstacles.

Pecan Lake Entertainment is a place where you can spend as much or as little time as you want. You can go and just get lunch and watch the people on the ropes course, or you can go grab some ice cream and watch a game on the Jumbotron. You can go fishing, or take a walk around the lake. My husband and I want to go back for BBQ and VR. But if you’re looking for something fun to do with your family or out-of-town guests, or relax in a peaceful place by yourself for an afternoon with a fancy soda, Pecan Lake Entertainment will not disappoint. I highly recommend this experience for all ages.

For more information, location and pricing, visit their website.

More great things to do in Queen Creek can be found here!


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