Start your engines: Go-carting season is in full swing, and the greater Philadelphia area’s options abound. It’s a sure bet for family fun, and at some locations, those as young as 3 can get in on the action. On your mark and get set for a low-cost, safe way to go a little extreme with the whole family.
Arnold’s Family Fun Center
2200 West Dr.
Oaks, PA 19456
Click here for prices
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Arnold’s puts fun front and center, starting with its fleet of 75 electric go-carts and two race tracks. For the more adventurous and experienced, Arnold’s offers pro karts for drivers at least 12 years old and 5 feet tall. Families love the ever-popular racer karts, or you can jump into a double seater and take a passenger along with you. Little ones may also have a turn on their own: Junior karts are designed for 6 to 12-year-olds, while the falcon karts are perfect for kids as young as 3. Be sure to enjoy Arnold’s renowned weekend buffet and other fun offerings, including moon bounces and bowling.
The Golf Zone
1839 Horseshoe Pike
Honey Brook, PA 19344
Price: $7 single and tandem-seater/$60 coupon books of 10
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri, Sat and Sun – 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Golf Zone, which opened in 2006, is hailed as Chester County’s premier golf and entertainment center, and is only an hour away from Philadelphia. It features a go-cart track called the Python — a well-earned moniker, as its many twists and turns have riders gripping the steering wheel the whole time. Single-seat carts are available for those who want to go it alone, as are tandem carts, so even not-tall-enough youngsters may go along for the ride of their lives. Other fun-filled activities include miniature golf, paintball and a driving range, making this the perfect party and event destination as well.
Happy Tymes Family Fun Center
2071 County Line Rd.
Warrington, PA 18976
Price: $5.25 per ride
Hours: Sun to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri and Sat – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
This well-known, family friendly Bucks County center is only about 20 minutes from Philadelphia, sits on 9.5 acres, and offers lots of go-karting fun. The rookie kart is designed for kids who are at least 7 years old and 46 inches tall. The adult karts are for those 10 and older who are a minimum of 58 inches tall. Drivers of double go karts must be 20 years old, with passengers that are at least 4 or older. Hang on tight, as the curvy track is sure to give both experienced and novice riders a rush. Meanwhile, other offerings include everything from batting cages and arcade games to rock climbing and bowling, as well as reasonably priced family fare that’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
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Lehigh Valley Grand Prix
649 S. 10th St.
Allentown, PA 18103
Price: $24 adult per race/$22 junior per race
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri and Sat – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun – noon to 8 p.m.
LVGP offers the ultimate in indoor go karting, providing riders with an incomparable thrill as they charge around the .25-mile, road-course-style track in exactly 8 minutes. Speeds of up to 45 miles per hour are possible on the straightaways. Along with gas-powered adult karts, Sodi kid karts are available for youngsters 10 to 15 years old. All karts come with a three-point safety belt, a roll bar and an impact-resistant bumper for maximum safety. Plus, riders are provided with a full-face helmet and neck brace. This is one venue you won’t want to miss, and it’s only a little more than an hour away from Philadelphia.
Ozzy’s Family Fun Center
5411 Pottsville Pike
Leesport, PA 19533
Price: $7.95 drivers per ride/$3.50 passengers per ride
Click here for schedule
Less than 90 minutes away from Philadelphia, Ozzy’s puts go-karting front and center. The fleet of Formula K go-karts go about twenty miles per hour, with each ride lasting about five minutes. Single-seaters are available for those who want to travel the curvy course on their own, as are double-seaters which allow for a passenger. Drivers must be at least 58 inches tall, while kids less than 40 inches are not allowed. Those taking a passenger must be at least eighteen years of age. And all of that is just for starters, so come for the go-karting but stay for the roller skating, one-of-a-kind rope courses, race wall…to name just a few of the offerings. There’s even Ozzy’s renowned Funsters Café with a menu that’s sure to please every taste.
Carol Josel, a Blue Bell, PA resident, is a learning specialist, author of three books, and examiner.com contributor. Her work can be found here