With the height of his career 230 million years behind him, the 20-foot T. rex followed a path typical to many retirees: he decided to hit the golf course. Since 1958, the bright-orange behemoth has kept watch over the sixth hole at Route 1 Miniature Golf & Batting Cages, dazzling visitors with his twin rows of gleaming incisors and spot-on Bob Hope impersonation. But the toothy star isn’t the only creature challenging players on this classic putt-putt course. Players must map their swings to navigate a roaring lion, yawning hippo, and towering gray elephant before testing their luck on the 18th hole, where only the most precise putts can succeed in ringing the siren and winning the player a free game.
Adjacent to the mini-golf fairways, four batting cages pitch balls at speeds of more than 85 miles per hour, and an arcade challenges players with classic video games, including Ice Ball. Come cool-down time, guests can usher in a sweet finish to their afternoon by storming the Dairy Castle to seize one of 26 flavors of Richardson’s ice cream, including black raspberry and maple walnut.
At Amesbury Sports Park, windswept passengers sail tubes down the snow-less summer lanes or, during winter, the powdery pathways of packed snow that dot hillsides of varying steepness. A conveyor belt swiftly returns them to the top of the hill in, where they can repeat the ride. During the summer, visitors can hop inside of one of Amesbury Sports Park's plastic spheres, to take what they call a zorb ride. Their outdoor event venue can accommodate up to 30,000 people, and has previously hosted events such as the Warrior Dash, the Spartan Race, and their annual Brewfest. An onsite restaurant refuels recreationers with tasty American fare, and also hosts regular wine dinners that often sell out in advance. The park also has a function hall available for private parties, and a full-service catering business with cuisine prepared by executive chef Kevin Jacques.
A stream of yellow and black buzzes by. It's not a swarm of bumblebees, but friends and family racing each other in yellow and black go-karts around Checkered Flag Indoor Karting's 23,000-square-foot speedway. Strapping on helmets and sliding in behind the wheel of 15HP electric karts, up to 10 drivers jockey for position while whipping around eight snaky turns and sling-shooting past opponents on the wide lanes along the 100-foot front stretch. The facility's electronic timing system lets speedsters check out their best lap times from each 20-lap race. Racers must be at least 54" tall or born with tires instead of feet to traverse that track, but during birthday parties kids aged 4–9 and at least 36" tall zip across the 100-foot Mini Cup track. With a snack bar slicing pizza and pouring soda and an arcade, the facility can play host to parties for older kids and adults, as well as corporate team-building events. And for kids and adults seeking serious competition, Checkered Flag organizes leagues lead by indoor karting champion, Tom Prioli.