The roar of the engines. The thrill of sheer speed. The daunting challenge of steeply banked curves. If that's the kind of excitement your youngsters crave, you'll want to check out the go-kart speedways of the NC Outer Banks.
Located at family fun parks that also offer miniature golf, these well-maintained tracks provide all the heart-pounding action your junior speed racers clamor for.
Here are a few OBX racecourses sure to get your kids' adrenaline pumping - and, perhaps, yours as well!
Mutiny Bay Golf & Full Throttle Speedway
Situated at 6504 South Croatan Highway in Nags Head, this action-packed attraction includes both an 18-hole miniature golf course and a go-kart racecourse known as the Full Throttle Speedway.
At the scenic sound-side Speedway you'll find two separate tracks: the Super Sea Track, ideal for all skill levels, and the more advanced Figure 8 Track. Together, these two thrill-packed tracks can accommodate up to 20 go-karts at a time.
The karts themselves are impressive. Gas-powered, of course, with Indy-style features, they include:
- Double-Seat Go-Karts, designed for two people: a driver who must be at least 16 years old and a passenger who must be at least 2 years old and under 51 inches tall
- Single-Seat Go-Karts, which each hold one person at least 51 inches tall
- Junior Go-Karts, custom-made for kids at least 41 inches tall
If you're visiting with youngsters age 2 and above, why not take a spin on the Super Sea Track? Safely strapped inside your Double-Seat Kart, with your youngster by your side, you'll feel an exhilarating rush as you careen around tightly banked curves and speed down the safely fenced hills.
It's a kid-pleasing blast - and rest assured, it's loaded with safety features. In fact, all go-karts are electronically controlled, so any potential problems can be nipped in the bud
The Super Sea Track also accommodates Single-Seat Karts and Junior Go-Karts, but Junior Karts must race separately from the others. No bumping is permitted, but racing full-throttle to beat your friends is definitely A-OK!
If you're up for a tougher challenge, try hurtling down the Figure 8 Track for an exciting race over a lofty bridge and around a figure-8 curve. Junior Karts are not allowed on this thrill-a-minute track, but Single- and Double-Seat Karts are good to go. It's ideal for grownups, older kids, and teens with a thirst for speed.
After you're all finished racing, savor a scrumptious snack at the Pit Stop Concessions Stand, where you can nosh on everything from nachos, soft pretzels, and popcorn to refreshing soft-serve ice cream and berry-flavored Nags Head Ice...all washed down with an ice-cold soft drink.
Chances are your kids will still have plenty of energy left, even if you don't, so you may want to amble over to the adjacent Mutiny Bay Golf Course for a leisurely round of mini-golf.
Both Mutiny Bay Golf and Full Throttle Speedway are open daily during the season. Prices range from $8 for a Junior Go-Kart to $10 each for a Single- or Double-Seat Kart.
Paradise Fun Park
Traveling with younger children? You'll appreciate Paradise Park (3300 North Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills). This popular attraction combines two scenic mini-golf courses with a curve-packed track for go-karts and bumper cars. While the older kids compete in speed-fueled go-kart races, the smaller ones (5 and up) can have a blast maneuvering the bumper cars. Win-win for everyone!
As a special bonus, the park is open after dark for thrilling nighttime racing - well lit, of course, and suitably fenced for safety. Plus, there's a brand-new arcade room equipped with the latest games.
Corolla Adventure Golf & Bumper Cars
Up for more kid-pleasing bumper-car action? Check out Corolla Adventure Golf and Bumper Cars. Located at 810 Ocean Trail in Corolla, this child-friendly spot offers three 9-hole miniature golf courses - along with the Spin Zone, a dedicated bumper car track.
Kids must be at least 5 years old and 36 inches tall to drive one of the comfy bumper cars, but a smaller child may ride with a parent in a double-seater. The entire ride consists of 20 laps around a wide, winding track. Cost? Only $7.
Afterward, you can treat everyone to a tasty dessert at the onsite ice cream bar. And, if you're up for it, you can play through 18 holes on any two of the scenic courses, known for their creative challenges and Corolla-themed designs.
Frisco Mini Golf and Go-Karts
There's something for everyone at Frisco Mini Golf and Go-Karts.
Located at Milepost 65, just off Highway 12 in Frisco, this family-focused fun park provides both go-karts ($15 per ride) and bumper cars ($7 per ride). To drive a go-kart, you must be at least 58 inches tall, but kids at least 51 inches tall can ride with their parents - for free! Bumper car drivers must be at least 48 inches tall. All drivers race around a level winding track, buttressed on both sides by low fencing and thick rubber tires.
Once you've tackled the curves a few times, you may want to relax and unwind with a yummy snack at the concession stand - say, perhaps, a loaded hot dog and cold soda or a soft pretzel washed down with fresh lemonade. Snow cones, cotton candy, chips, and candy are also on the menu.
Endless Opportunities for Family-Friendly Fun
You'll find so many ways to keep your kids entertained at the NC Outer Banks. And, of course, there's plenty here for grownups, too, including the pristine beaches, sparkling ocean, and shimmering sounds.