Introduce a bunch of men to each other and chances are it won't be long before at least a few of them are shooting the bull over sports, cars or music. They're topics near and dear to a lot of guys' hearts, and the perfect inspiration for Father's Day gifts. Whether you're looking to spend time with your dad this weekend or simply slip him a gift card for later use, here are three Valley venues likely to make the old man smile.
Crosswoods Indoor Golf Center
What: Imagine playing a four-and-a-half hour game of golf in the air-conditioning, without having to drive around in a cart or hunt down lost balls and the drink cart girl. At this high-tech facility, simulators re-create about 30 real-world golf courses and driving ranges with 3-D effects such as grass and trees that wave in the wind. Swing away, and a ball-tracking sensor constantly measures and relays ball speed, launch angles, sidespin, back spin, club head speed, strike angles and club face angle. The 19th Hole, an on-site cafe, will even deliver food and drink to your golfing bay.
When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays
Where: 6170 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, and 5222 E. Baseline Road, Gilbert
Cost: $22.50 for nine holes, $32.50 for 18 holes, $12.50 per half hour on driving range, $20.50 per hour on driving range
Information: (480) 961-4653 for Chandler, (480) 654-4653 for Gilbert, or www.crosswoodsgolf.com
Penske Racing Museum
What: Cars, trophies and racing memorabilia chronicle one of the most successful dynasties in all of sports at this small but mighty museum. Among the 20 or so Indy, NASCAR, Iroc and Formula cars on display are a replica of the 1963 Pontiac Catalina that Roger Penske drove to victory in the 1963 Riverside 250 and Rusty Wallace's 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Dodge Charger. Dine at the second-floor Turn 4 Cafe, open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and choose your view: 40 years worth of Penske Racing's gleaming trophies or the Land Rover off-road course. (The museum is on the grounds of the Penske Automotive Group, where dad can also drool over the shiny new cars in the Lamborghini, Porche, Jaguar, Bentley and Rolls Royce showrooms.)
When: Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: 7125 E. Chauncey Lane, Phoenix
Information: (480) 538-4444 or http://penskeracingmuseum.com
The Musical Instrument Museum
What: Instruments from 200 places around the world - from handmade tribal gourds to shred-your-face-off electric guitars - fill nearly 300 exhibits at this brand-new, one-of-a-kind museum. Guests hear the sound of each instrument as they approach it via wireless headsets handed out at admission, and there's an Experience Gallery, where you can touch, play and hear some of the more exotic music makers.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix
Cost: $15 adults; $13 seniors 65 and older; $10 kids 6-17
Information: (480) 478-6001 or www.themim.org