In a go kart, you're much closer to the source of horsepower than when you're riding in a car. All that invisible force leaps to life when you hit the accelerator, gently pushing you back into the seat. Drivers at Lehigh Valley Grand Prix feel that pull as they whip around a quarter-mile racetrack in gas-powered Sodi GT5 Proline karts. They slip past one another while making 11 brake-stomping turns, all with a vantage point not afforded by watching races on TV.
The karts feature air-intake units that trap their exhaust and keep the atmosphere fresh, and the track—constructed from 1,300 used Goodyear tires and the shredded remains of Mario Andretti's learner's permit—is outfitted with three observation platforms for track marshals to regulate each lap and guarantee riders' safety. Three-point safety belts, roll bars, helmets, and neck braces also protect racers during their white-knuckle trips around the track. A full-time mechanic keeps finish lines crowded by calibrating karts to run within three-tenths of a second of one another and hanging hundreds of piñatas from the checkered flag. At the facility's bar, Octane, racers can refuel with drinks and food while watching stock-car races on the five 42-inch TVs.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, as party songs thump in the background, lasers beam over a row of 24 lanes—each home to a rack of glowing pins—and reflect off their thin layer of oil into the fog. Of course, Playdrome Devon Lanes hosts regular open-bowling hours throughout the rest of the week, when it echoes with the sound of crashing pins and celebratory sirens from the on-site arcade. Though unseen, heard, or smelled, the signal from complimentary WiFi streams through the air as well, allowing players to post their high scores online or to look up the cheat codes that enable the bowling balls' rocket boosters. Playdrome Devon Lanes also allows customers to bring their own food and beverages.
Players at Lehigh Valley Paintball wage simulated war across a variety of battlefields, choosing from a variety of play styles on both speedball and woodsball fields. The staff can also customize markers with engravings or leather wristbands, useful for proudly showing team affiliations, graphic designs, or helping identify guns that have escaped.
At Laserdome, up to 40 troops at a time gear up for battle by donning vests and phasers in an alien-themed laser-tag arena. Players traipse across ramps and perch in balconies as they patiently wait to attack opponents, much like a lion crouches in the tall grass before shooting a gazelle with a laser. During play, fun power-ups such as rapid fire, spy mode, and freeze ray tilt the competition in favor of the lucky players who discover them.
After the rounds, players can celebrate victory or brush off defeat in the arcade, which features Xbox games, Dance Dance Revolution, new pinball arcades, and scores of other games that dispense tickets that can be traded for prizes. Laserdome also showcases laser-light shows with professional lighting in themes such as Pink Floyd. Future spies hone their skills in the laser maze, which uses lasers, mirrors, haze, and other challenges to test players as they compete for the high score or see who can refract the most light off their uncle’s forehead. Laserdome is available for parties for all occasions, and every Saturday a live band serenades players as they enjoy unlimited laser tag and a laser-lights show.
That Bounce Place enthralls energetic tykes with more than 13,000 square feet of space brimming with bouncy attractions and abundant games and activities. Feet shielded by mandatory socks launch into the air on bouncers, obstacle courses challenge puzzle-solving capacities, and a massive inflatable slide challenges Olympic luge records. A big-screen television broadcasts favorite shows, an air-hockey table officiates competitions with puck-smacking peers, and complimentary WiFi enables guardians to relax while their children play. An exclusive toddler arena opens the gates to its age-appropriate toys only for those who know the secret abridged version of the ABCs. That Bounce Place's party packages simplify birthday planning with perks such as time in a private room, party supplies, and pizza.
Carlisle Sports Emporium is a 20-acre complex, which houses a new 7,000-square-foot laser-tag arena, multiple go-kart tracks, large arcade area, and two 18-hole miniature-golf courses. Flanking these three attractions is a roller rink where skaters can experience walking on wheels without having to stick their legs through two different cars’ sunroofs. Visitors can also stretch their sinews on the computerized indoor climbing wall—which can simulate classic climbs such as El Capitan or Devil’s Tower—or hone their hand-eye coordination in an arcade with more than 100 games.