Scandia Amusement Park adds a Nordic theme to classic amusement-park rides. Towering over the park, the signature Scandia Screamer Coaster sends riders through more high-speed drops, twists, and turns than that time they tried to cartwheel down the stairs. Shrieks of excitement echo at Cliff Jumper, a 100-foot-drop tower, and the Viking Ship, which swings like a giant pendulum through the air. A kiddie section treats young visitors to less-intense rides, including a carousel and the aptly named Little Dipper Coaster.
Back on the ground, more than 12,000 vibrant flowers line two Scandavian-themed putt-putt courses. Waterfalls and trickling streams calm players as they putt golf balls through challenging obstacles such as a stone castle. The competition continues at batting cages, which hurl baseballs and scoops of ice cream at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. Aside from these everyday attractions, Scandia Amusement Park lures in visitors with birthday-party packages and a seasonal haunted house.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $10.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4.79 value).
At Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing, which earned CityVoter's Best Sports and Recreational Activity title in 2009, visiting motorists whirl around a 1,200-foot indoor track designed by former IKF racers. Drivers suit up with protective helmets and neck collars before strapping themselves into Sodi karts, whose gas-powered Honda 200-cubic-centimeter engines and miniature horses power them through 10- to 12-minute races. The indoor facility’s professionally engineered exhaust system ensures safe, clean air for all racers as they wind through the course with up to 11 other competitors. Computerized timing systems accurately record photo finishes, and video helmets and race suits are available to enhance the experience. A slew of celebrity guests have been known to frequent the track, giving visitors a rare opportunity to outwit IndyCar drivers or trade high-speed knock-knock jokes with Hollywood comedians.
At Boomers!, thrill-seeking families and fun-enabling friends can attack a variety of appealing attractions, including mini golf, batting cages, bumper boats, and the button-mashing joys housed inside the exhilarating game room. The Vista location entertains families of sharpshooters with a blacklight-illuminated laser-tag arena before little ones climb and crawl through the Kidopolis play area. The El Cajon and San Diego locations let rivals celebrate the spirit of competition as they fly past each other in speedy go-karts or have a snail-paced Ferris wheel race at the kid's county fair. Unlimited pass holders at the El Cajon location can also scale the 32-foot-tall climbing wall, which, like America, enables citizens to climb to the top via myriad routes.
Today's fast-paced society asks us to race to the water cooler, the cupcake table, and the closet that stores sweaty wrestling singlets. Today's Groupon returns racing to its original form with two high-speed kart races at Dromo One for $20. Train like a professional kartist before embracing your inner velocity and fondness for competitive lap navigation.
Buccaneer Bay packs in more liquitechnics than an underwater merman metal concert. With several twisty, bright-colored waterslides right out of a novelty curly-straw factory, the Bay has everything for every member of the family (even small slides for wee ones). Parking is free and so is the use of life jackets and inner tubes. Between all the splashing and splishing, head to the green grass picnic area, where tired visitors can recharge with a bite to eat, such as hot dogs available for purchase ($1.50 each).