A full quarter mile of outdoor track snakes across the grass, sending racers on an adrenaline-fueled grudge match of hairpin turns, pedal-pushing straightaways, and close finishes. A speedy fleet of go-karts sends drivers flying down the track in vehicles such as the swift 9-horsepower Interceptor, or the two-seater Tornado, which allows children to ride alongside their parents to learn proper three-point turn technique. An on-track scoreboard displays racers’ lap times with accuracy up to a 1,000th of a second, and printed results enshrine automotive achievements and bragging rights for display. Inside, a beeping, blinking arcade pits gamers head-to-head in pro-racing simulators, bouts of Guitar Hero, or rousing tournaments of air hockey.
For the past 34 years, Soaring Adventures of America has presented earth-bound clients a variety of ways to explore the skies. First, their balloon rides take crews of up to four on a peaceful journey to heights as high as 2,000 feet in the air, capped off with a champagne or fruit juice toast. The pilots are FAA commercially certified, and the balloons are inspected for every 100 hours of flight to ensure a safe experience. More adventures are to be had on glider rides where passengers get the chance to grab the throttle and make their own way through any clouds or misspelled skywriting. For a maximum adrenaline rush, though, there's no better option than a tandem skydive and the raw thrill of falling 13,000 feet.
Don't be fooled. Though it looks like a relatively small coaster, the Wooden Warrior at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark packs some serious thrills. A turnaround through a pitch-black tunnel and ample amounts of "air time" have made this coaster a favorite for many; in fact, The Coaster Critic put it on the list of the top 25 wooden coasters in 2012. And that's just 1 of more than 20 attractions sprinkled across the park grounds.
Once home to a summer resort, Quassy Amusement Park first began with a picnic area, paddleboats and a carousel. But Quassy really took shape around 1952, when the owners purchased some children's rides. A couple of the rides are still around today, including a boat ride that skims the surface of a circular trough filled with water, and two-seat jet fighters that send flyers up in an aircraft worthy of Flash Gordon. Of course, new kids' attractions have arrived over the decades, including the Frog Hopper, a seating platform that soars up a 16-foot tower and then descends with a series of quick, gentle drops.
Other areas cater to the whole family. The Grand Carousel spins with jumping horses and other animals that have the patience to sit perfectly still.
The largest attraction at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark is Lake Quassapaug, and the park makes great use of its waterfront location. In addition to lounging on the beach, visitors can take a boat tour or charter their own voyages on paddle boats.
Inside tip: When not on rides, park visitors should play a game of Whac-A-Mole or order some ribs at Quassy Restaurant.
Take a virtual ride on the park's star attraction, the Wooden Warrior.
Children leap and somersault through the Bounce! Fun Center's multiple inflated slides, bounce houses, and obstacle courses while their parents watch on, confident in the fact that their young ones are protected from harsh landings by pockets of giving air. During special events, kiddies can take a breather from leaping to catch a family-friendly movie, explore their creativity with a craft project, or simply try their hand at one of the center's arcade cabinets. Bounce! can also set up inflatables at clients' homes to entertain guests at birthdays, block parties, and knitting circles.
During whirlyball, players ride in bumper cars, carry racquets, and maneuver balls into goals. These bumper cars glide smoothly over the court and turn on a whim, giving players the opportunity to duck past their opponents on their quest to win the game. After a team is crowned champion, players can hang out in the gaming area and play pool or chat about their favorite moments from the game in the lounge.