Zao Island’s exciting attractions make summertime fun last

Zao Island’s exciting attractions make summertime fun last

The beginning of August is near, which means the start of the next school year and the end of summer are both approaching quickly. It’s enough to make anyone groan.

Don’t get too upset, though, because although the summer is coming to a close soon, that doesn’t mean the fun has to! You just have to find the right place. 

Luckily for the Valparaiso community, the right place isn’t far. Zao Island, packed with timeless attractions, is the perfect place to keep soaking in that summer fun even as the sunshine starts to fade.

Zao Island’s Summer Concert Series will continue well into August. The entertainment spot located on Route 30 hosts live music each Friday during the summer from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Some of the Region’s hottest musicians, such as Derek Caruso and the Blues Fuse, Planetary Blues, and Soul Shine, have come to Zao’s to rock the night away. 

Upcoming visits will feature the Marco Villareal Trio, Doug Clapp, and Return 2 Soul. These events are sure to keep spirits up as summer comes to a close. 

If music isn’t your jam, Zao Island has plenty of other attractions to keep the fun going. Zao is notorious for its two mini-golf courses rated as some of USA Today’s most unique miniature golf courses in the United States. 

Each mini-golf course, one carpeted red and the other blue, is decked out with obstacles. There are over 20 waterfalls and eight different scenes to explore. They even have a 30-foot stone dragon, which is so big that it can be seen from the highway, guarding over the courses. 

Mini golf is $7 per person, and kids three and under can play for free.

Going to Zao Island’s arcade is a great way to keep the end of summer glooms away, too. Zao has plenty of old, fan favorites such as “Guitar Hero” and “Dance Dance Revolution,” but if there’s anything Zao is known for, it’s its goal to bring in new entertainment for its customers. Zao recently installed two new games: “Hungry Hippos” and “Axe Master.” 

“Hungry Hippos” puts an arcade spin on the classic game everyone knows and loves. It’s great for kids who need to expend some energy before heading back to school. 

“Axe Master” lets you put your axe-throwing skills to the test, let off some steam, and aim for the bullseye to earn tons of points. 

If you get hungry during your fight to continue the summer excitement, you can hop on over to Zao Pizza Bar and enjoy all kinds of delicious food. You can build your own pizza or pick out one of their tasty specialty pizzas like the Santa Fe Chicken or the Paradise Supreme. Zao Pizza Bar has many different types of bread to enjoy, as well as cheese sticks, fries, and wings. Don't forget the selection of 35 specialty beers and wines as well.

If all of that is not enough, there are countless other ways to hold onto the joys of summer a while longer at Zao Island. Whether it’s batting cages, laser tag, or go-karts, Zao is the perfect place to enjoy the last bits of summer and ease into another beautiful fall season.

Zao Island is located off U.S. Route 30 in Valparaiso and is open Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

To learn more about Zao Island and its many attractions, visit