The din of go-kart buzzing floats through the air throughout Stratford Speedway, calling drivers to their destinies: some as race-day participants, and others as champs. Drivers taller than 54 inches take the helm of low-sitting crafts adorned with real corporate brands to mimic true racecars. As drivers zoom around the wide, road-size track, tires line each edge, helping to prevent detours and wrong turns. Races tend to last five minutes each, and cars speed around the grand prix-style track for 20–25 laps. The speedway also serves as a welcoming oasis for birthday parties and events, with the track available for private rental by the half-hour and hour.
The only zoo in the state and a participant in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Program, Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo has charmed visitors for more than 80 years with more than 300 cared-for critters and a mission that minds the tenets of ecological education, conservation, and recreation. Patrons brandishing a Director's Circle membership can visit the zoo an unlimited number of times for one year, plenty of time to navigate the sundry indoor and outdoor exhibits on the back of a Roomba. Guests can espy such endangered species as the siberian tiger, red wolf, and golden lion tamarin, as well as the zoo's most recent denizens on display: two canada lynx and a pair of common rhea. In spring, patrons can go snout-to-snout with a rare chacoan peccary piglet, whose birth made the zoo the first in the Northeast to host an infant of her species and prompted a feature in the Monroe Courier. Birds ride unsuspecting propeller beanies in the South American rainforest exhibit's free-flight aviary, and children play interspecies games of Heads Up, Seven Up in the prairie-dog exhibit's pop-up viewing capsules. After chowing down at the Peacock Café, groups can befriend more statuesque creatures on a vibrantly painted carousel.
Cables, wood, and rope snake throughout 5 acres of woodlands behind the Discovery Museum, forming the bridges, ropes, and ziplines that carry visitors on roaming wilderness adventures over the forest floor. The Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum challenges visitors as young as 7 years old with color-coded trails through the treetops, each ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced. Adventurers discover their own routes between platforms, and each path presents a different challenge, which prompts climbers to balance on ropes or sneak past owls? nests without waking them. Visitors must scale these courses before soaring down ziplines through wispy branches and dappled sunlight. Though the courses are designed to challenge minds and bodies, guides keep adventurers safe with a double-connected system of locked harnesses. Course designers Outdoor Venture Group eschew motors and electricity to stay environmentally friendly, and designed their course around trees to give each enough space to grow its own treehouse.
When the drilling of Leduc #1 turned out to be a game-changing discovery of crude oil, it surprised a whole lot of people and essentially put Alberta on the world's map. That was in 1947. Five decades later, Leduc #1 Energy Discovery Centre was created to showcase the site and its ingenuity, as well as Canada's oil industry.
Here, science and discovery blend into one exciting experience stretched across 80 acres of exhibits, artifacts, and displays. Visitors can feast their eyes on award-winning films, get their hands dirty in an interactive lab, and even take a virtual ride in the world's largest drill bit, which is expected to replace family minivans in the near future. Additionally, tours with industry veterans provide insider facts, and stops to the gift shop ensure memories last long after visits end.