With three stories worth of ball pits, ropes, nets, and slides to explore, kids can spend hours playing and expending energy in the climate-controlled vastness of Big Adventures. In addition to play areas, kids will also find a wide variety of interactive video games, arcade games, carnival-style games, and a ticket redemption store where they can buy out all the bouncy balls. Party packages are also available to celebrate a kid's special day with pizzas, soda, pi?atas, and access to the whole facility. And because safety's important at Big Adventures, the 40,000 balls in the ball pit are sanitized twice a week, more than 30 security cameras monitor the facility, and there is a strict no-dragon policy, even if they went to obedience school.
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.
Back in 1959, Frederick "Bud" Callahan and his wife Loretta built a bowling center on their farmland. Since then, three generations of their family have had their hand in running Callahan's Bowl-O-Rama, including sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren. And though the alley bears a retro-style logo on the outside, inside automatic scorers display the latest stats on flat-screen televisions, sparing customers from sliding down to the lane to count pins after every turn. Each lane also has a TV connected to DirecTV, and the lounge welcomes bowlers with even more televisions, cold brews, and karaoke on Friday nights.
A lifelong small-scale-speedmobile builder and driver, Rapid Raceway co-owner Rick "Rapid" Raducha initiates aspiring 1:32-scale motorists into the ways of the controller with two massive slot-car courses. Racers can challenge the grooves of the 145-foot Grandstand track, where they’ll command their electrified speedsters through its tricky S-curves before flooring it on two 13-foot straightaways. Or, fast fingers can test their abilities on The Whip, which Rapid Raceway says is America’s fastest road course, featuring two 34-degree banked turns and an 89-foot lap length that leaves drivers little time to break for NASCAR’s traditional blueberry-scone halftime show. Today's deal provides a rental car and remote so that casual competitors don't have to propel cars through mind-control, though slot-car gurus are welcome to bring their own models. Rapid Raceway also sells scale racing parts and accessories and does repairs and custom design.
For 1,800 feet, only one thing matters: speed. The indoor track inside On Track Karting stretches out in front of racers, who?strapped into their adult Sodi GT5 karts?zoom around turns and down straightaways at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. If they prove their mettle behind the wheel, the best drivers may even get access to high-speed super karts that sport nine-horsepower engines and satin capes. ?
Junior karts let younger visitors get in on the racing action, too. Indeed, On Track Karting's locations in Wallingford and Brookfield aim to accommodate all levels of racers with their spread of walk-in racing sessions and competitive racing leagues. An arcade and a snack bar also give visitors something to do between trips around the track.
Don't be fooled. Though it looks like a relatively small coaster, the Wooden Warrior at Quassy Amusement Park 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. Along with Frantic, a new 360-degree spinning ride for the 2015 season, more than 20 thrilling attractions are 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.