At Grand Prix Raceway, Italian racing karts equipped with 200cc Robin/Subaru engines scream around a quarter-mile racetrack at up to 35 miles per hour. Drivers receive basic vehicle instruction, a kart and helmet, and a head sock before slipping into the seat of their little buggy. Computerized timing and scoring eliminates fights over who finished first, and a monitor blares notifications of when a driver obliterates a racetrack record. Fans can roar and cheer from a climate-controlled viewing room, and a barrier system and referee keep races safe and assuage worried sedans wringing their tires in the parking lot.
Within Brookwood Equestrian Center’s 20,000-square-foot indoor arena, spectators seated in the heated viewing area grow quiet as small riders urge their mounts to trot, canter, and finally leap over jumps. The Center—which has served amateur and experienced horseback riders for more than 19 years—helps young riders take the reins in individual and group riding lessons as well as riding day camps. Brookwood’s 50,000-square-foot all-weather outdoor arena is constructed to Olympic standards, allowing horses to pursue their dreams of winning shot-put gold when they are not lazing about in 45 matted indoor stalls with automatic waterers or playing in a mud-free turnout area.
The Museum of Glass is the only museum west of the Mississippi to exclusively showcase one of art's most delicate media: glass. The museum provides a dynamic learning environment to appreciate the medium of glass through creative experiences, collections, and exhibitions. Stop by the Hot Shop, housed in the museum's 90-foot-tall stainless-steel dome, to watch professional artists as they blow and shape molten glass into artistic sculptures or thought bubbles. Be sure to examine the museum's outdoor installations, including Martin Blank's Fluent Steps, the colorful Chihluly Bridge of Glass, and the Water Forest, a series of towering acrylic tubes filled with rising and falling water.
Shrieking giggles and scurrying feet fill Odyssey 1’s colorful confines, where tykes enjoy high-energy adventures in an indoor jungle gym, a space-age laser-tag arena, and a buzzing arcade center. Sock-clad kids aged 10 and younger can bound and climb through the jungle gym, which offers swings, slides, ball pits, and a cushy area designed for toddlers. Players dodge a barrage of futuristic beams in the laser-tag arena, open to guests aged 7 and older. Popular games including Guitar Hero and Connect Four await at the game center, where players can harvest tickets redeemable for fun prizes.
Teri and Greg Harris draw on artistic eyes honed in careers as an award-winning former photojournalist and a high-profile web designer, respectively, to capture memories at Ladybug Photography. The couple memorializes blissful weddings, cozy family scenes, and grads-to-be in black-and-white, sepia, or color portraits. Lighthearted shoots may make use of props, pets, and outfit and personality changes as subjects let their inner glow shine in-studio or at lush area parks, gardens, and beachfronts.
The handsome, 12,000-square-foot museum is home to four exhibition galleries and a permanent collection that focuses on the wealth of regional talent in the Northwest, in addition to housing Japanese woodblock prints and European paintings. Tacoma's own Dale Chihuly fills a gallery space with his permanent installation of playful and fantastical glasswork, much of it inspired by his love for the sea. Brush up on your goose-whispering skills at the Secret Language of Animals exhibit, a family-friendly flock of approximately 40 paintings, sculptures, and videos depicting rodents, birds, horses, dogs, crazy uncles, and more.