The Scene: Fuel your Indy car dreams at the nation’s first two-story, indoor, electric go-kart track. Kids and adults (13 years, 56 inches tall) can rev it up downstairs at 20 and 40 mph, respectively, though child and adult races are separate. Full-grown kids can reach 45 mph on the upstairs course in upgraded Italian karts that include a choice of automatic or manual paddle shifting, and a boost button that provides a 10-percent speed increase for three minutes. Available hand-controlled karts allow disabled drivers to get the adrenaline rush. “We do tons of kid birthday parties but even more adult birthday parties,” says owner Jim Mundle.
The Strategy: “You’re going for the best time, not position,” Mundle says. “Instead of using the brake to slow down, take your foot off the gas when rounding corners, then put it back on to accelerate halfway through the turn.”
Bonus: League racing. Summer camps. Ricky Bobby cocktails in the full bar and grill, best after seeing the checkered flag.
The Scene: Mash up lacrosse, hockey, basketball, bumper cars and those plastic jai alai baskets popular at backyards and beaches, and you’ve got Whirlyball. Two teams of four or five players square off and smash their way around the court in WhirlyBugs, making it all the more fun to play with friends, family or co-workers. You score by throwing the ball into the hooplike target-and with the full bar and chef-created menu of pizzas, sliders, flatbreads, street tacos and more.
The Strategy: “Keep your scoop upright at all times, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes,” says Josh Hady, event sales manager. “Pass the ball as often as possible, and space out from your teammates. Always remember this is a team sport.”
Bonus: Did we mention the upscale bowling alley?
Cost: $15 walk in
Manitou Springs Penny Arcade
The Scene: It’s an icon, an institution, an interactive museum of coin-operated gaming, and a time capsule of all-age, all-era fun that’s been in place since 1931. Warm weather months mean full tilt for the arcade’s outdoor video games and mechanical rides-think penny-operated horses, elephants and Batmobiles. Indoor games are available year-round. There’s a little bit of everything: classic Skee-Ball; pinball-don’t miss the Elton John Captain Fantastic; ’80s standup originals-Galaga, Donkey Kong and the Pac-Man family. The oldest is a 1905 mutoscope, which displays moving pictures, completely novel in its day.
The Strategy: Play a game from every decade for a full time-warp experience.
Bonus: Win tickets to exchange for trinkets and candy prizes. Sure, you could buy them for less than you spent on games, but where’s the fun in that?
Cost: pennies to dollars per game