Rows of sleek, black SODI GT5 go-karts vibrate at the start of TBC Indoor Racing’s 1/5-mile track. Drivers hover 2 inches above the ground, anxiously awaiting the moment they can slam down the gas pedal and accelerate their vehicle capable of reaching speeds of up to 75 km/h. Everyday from 10 a.m. until midnight, an adrenalin-fuelled parade of karts hugs the course’s 13-turns as drivers 11 and older flex their navigational muscles and best their times using a high-tech digital timing system. In between laps, video games and air hockey occupy fingers itching for the steering wheel. The family-friendly environment, kept fume-free via the karts’ clean air exhaust systems, hosts solo riders, as well as groups that can rent out the full service banquet meeting room to celebrate a birthday or conduct field research about popular carpet fabrics.
Nestled within a 150-foot floating vessel 5 metres below Victoria’s Inner Harbour, Pacific Undersea Gardens sprawls with an interactive aquarium and dive-show theatre. More than 5,000 animals such as rock cod, red snapper, Pacific salmon, and wolf eels slink and swim through the facility’s natural, protected environment, which guests can peek into from the dry side of numerous viewing windows. As critters flit about in a tidal pond, visitors of all ages gently interact with the sea creatures. In the vessel's spacious theatre area, divers shielded in masks equipped with communications gear chat with onlookers while swimming among sea stars, anemones, and a giant Pacific octopus affectionately named Armstrong. After the show, divers clear their schedules to meet with birthday partygoers, and friendly guides educate school groups and oversee activities such as knighting favourite teachers with a swordfish.
Surrounded by rolling mountains and the shimmering waters of Okanagan Lake, packs of go-karts spend their days chasing each other around Westside Superkarts’ challenging track. Under new management, Westside allows adult karts to navigate four hairpin and four banked turns at various speeds—basic single and double karts can hit 35 kph, performance karts are capable of 60 kph, and Extreme Elite karts reach velocities of up to 75 kph. Kiddie karts putter around a separate track, offering their young operators important driving tips, such as how to pass politely. After the races are finished, drivers may receive a personalized print-out or e-mail of their lap times, view them through a smart phone app, and have them posted to Facebook.
Rustic wood cabins interconnected by wooden walkways and viewing platforms stand amid a network of gurgling fountains, mountain streams, and small waterfalls. Dense forest and blooms of emerald ferns that grow no actual emeralds spread out in all directions. The whistle of a train and the beating of drums echo through the trees. Inside Klahowya Village in Stanley Park, natural scenery opens up to authentic representations of British Columbia's First Nations and Métis cultures through its attractions, performances, and artisan marketplace. As guests arrive, knowledgeable First Nations guides in native dress usher guests into the park, where they can start by taking in the sights or boarding the miniature covered Spirit Catcher train for storytelling journeys past forest tableaus.
Young dancers and actors in traditional dress stage cultural performances every Friday through Sunday throughout the summer, and coffee by Spirit Bear Coffee Company keeps visitors warm year-round. As visitors come up in the indoor marketplace, First Nations and Métis artisans proffer pieces of handmade visual art, jewellery, apparel, and other crafts. The nonprofit Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia operates the park as part of its aim to create a sustainable and educational showcase of Aboriginal culture for visitors and local residents.
Parking and admission is free at Castle Fun Park, allowing guests to customize their experience by only paying for the attractions and games they choose. Every day from 10 a.m. until midnight, kids and adults of all ages explore scenic, outdoor activities including mini golf with a view of the mountains. The go-cart tracks, bumper-car arena, and remote-controlled boat pond sate needs for speed, and the shooting gallery and softball and baseball cages let athletes flex their skills. More than 160 games buzz in the arcade, including air hockey and pinball, which strengthens hand-eye coordination and improves players' ability to follow the bouncing ball during sing-along TV jingles.
After a trek down the Panama Canal, visitors stop for a brief sojourn under the Matterhorn before journeying on to the Eiffel Tower. This trip around the world comes courtesy of All Fun Recreation Park's miniature-golf course, whose 18 globally themed greens are littered with water traps and austerely dressed customs officials. Elsewhere, eight cages hurtle baseballs and softballs toward batters at 40–75 mph, and drivers accelerate across a 1,400-foot go-kart track's over and under bridge or hug the turns of a smaller oval track designed for parents and youngsters.
For more racing action, patrons can head over to Western Speedway each Saturday night in May–September for stock-car competitions on an oval track or drag strip. Westshore Motocross rents entry-level dirt bikes to riding and racing novices, and 75 RV and tenting sites give guests opportunities to yodel freely in nature. Guests can then practice licking techniques on the flower-filled patio at Mr. Tubbs Ice Cream Parlour and Family Fun Zone, or explore the Swap & Shop each Sunday, where vendors dispense copious household goods and collectibles.