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.
The sounds of cheery competition float across Grand Slam USA's 30,000-square-foot arena, which teems with athletic challenges, a vibrant bounce houses, and other diversions. A glow-in-the-dark miniature-golf course leads putters through nine holes of ominous pirate-themed obstacles, including a ramp into a skull's jaws, a hole fraught with sharks, and perilous unswabbed decks. Adrenaline-soaked games of laser tag lead beam duelers through mazes, around partitions, and over platforms, where they rack up points for hitting special targets and rivals. At the end of each bout, players receive individual score cards that detail high scores and lines flubbed during MAS*H reenactments.
Kids and parents alike become adventuresome at HappyTymes Family Fun Center with a slew of whimsical rides and rip-roaring games. Kids can get their first lesson in driver's etiquette on the thundering go-kart course before putting evasive techniques to work on the twirling, spinning slime-buckets ride. After harnessing a reserved sense of accomplishment achieved only after putting one's way through a mini-golf course's myriad challenging obstacles, children can hop on HappyTyme's space train, rumored to be NASA's upcoming replacement for the shuttle. Youngsters may continue to gain useful experience for life's later challenges by tackling the rock wall before practicing a stress-relieving spending spree with their 100 game tokens.
At Sesame Place, kids and adults alike meet and play with their favorite furry friends—from classic friends such as Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, and Elmo to newer additions such as Abby Cadabby and Murray. Pose for pictures in a life-size re-creation of the TV show’s classic set, soar above the park in the twirling Cloud Chaser ride, or travel to the outer reaches of the solar system during a children’s-size roller coaster ride on Vapor Trail. After the kids have ridden the rides or seen the giant Christmas tree light and music show, they can sit down to enjoy one of three Sesame Place shows, or take in the Neighborhood Street Party Christmas Parade.
The park's attractions change with the seasons. In the winter, families gather for the A Very Furry Christmas celebration during select dates between November 23 and December 31. As kids and parents roam the twinkle-lit streets of Sesame Place, beloved characters from Sesame Street will interact with visitors. Plus, Santa in his Furry Workshop brings an extra dose of holiday cheer.