Parents, start your engines. If you are looking for a way to get the whole family's motor running, then go-karting may be just the sport. A short ride from the city sits some of the best go kart racing in the state. Whether you are a serious racer, or just looking for some fun, you don't have to scour the metropolitan area to find the best go kart facilities, these beat them all.
99 Caven Point Rd
Jersey City, NJ 07305
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This massive indoor facility just three miles from Manhattan is home to two tracks and features some of the fastest electric carts in the country (no smelly fumes!). Grab a monthly membership and race often, or opt for the "Arrive & Drive" races, no reservation required. With adult and child-sized carts, it's absolutely a top choice for the entire family.
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Staten Island Go Karts
215 Schmidts Ln.
Staten Island, NY 10314
Prices: $6 for a single kart/$9 for a double kart
The only official go kart track within the five boroughs, Staten Island Go Karts is truly geared toward racers young and old. Its rambling track will bring you back to the days when the popularity of outdoor family amusement centers was at its height. The track is filled with hairpin twists and turns. Don't worry, it is also equipped with a kart-control system, allowing facility operators to slow down or stop a kart at any time. Put that sibling rivalry to rest with a five-minute race around the track.
Grand Prix New York
333 North Bedford Rd.
Mount Kisco, NY 10549
Prices: $5 daily half track membership fee/$50 adult annual membership
Fast, sleek and fun best describe this indoor track. Located about an hour outside the heart of NYC, Grand Prix makes the drive worth it. This state-of-the-art facility boasts European-inspired race tracks with six different configurations including one track for ages 13 years and older, and another for younger racers 8 and older. Children less than 48 inches may ride along with a licensed adult. After a few runs on the track, take a break at award-winning restaurant Fuel. Be sure to check its website as hours vary from track to track. This is a members-only track, so join for a day or take advantage of its discounted annual membership rates. Karts are equipped with 6.5-horsepower Honda GX four-stroke engines, allowing karts to reach 40 mph. While no experience is necessary, this track is not for the faint of heart.
New Roc Speedway
Funfuzion at New Roc City
19 Le Count Place
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Prices: $5.75 per ride/$8 with passenger
Boasting a 700-linear-foot track, New Roc offers the ride of a lifetime. Specifically designed for family amusement, you will quickly realize, one ride is not enough here. Drivers must be at least 60 inches tall, so mom and dad will need to pair up with the little ones. New Roc's electronic track is complete with computerized timing and scoring, so determining the victors is never a question. Check out the other activities at Funfuzion, including bowling, mini golf and a fun house. If racing is in your heart, you will keep coming back to the track for rematches. New Roc is the perfect place to host a birthday party or corporate event; call for exclusive rental information.
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Karts Indoor Raceway
701 Union Pkwy.
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
Prices: $4 junior track for kids 40 to 53 inches/$7 pro track kids and adults 54 inches and taller
This 27,000-square-foot facility on Long Island houses two tracks. Karts' pro track offers 725 feet of hairpin turns and sleek track. Its junior track is an oval of pure excitement geared toward drivers ages 5 to 9 at least 40 inches tall. The NASCAR replicas are sure to have them headed for the pros. Race a 20-inch mini car with up to 6 competitors on the microtrack raceway for a special treat.
87 Route 17 North
Haywood, NJ 07607
Prices: $14.99 per race (annual memberships are available)
An easy ride form Manhattan, Velocity 17 takes go kart racing to a new level. Housing a track more than 2,000-feet long, complete with fun twists and turns, this facility is bound to give even the most experienced of drivers a run for their money. The high-torque electric motors ensure a smooth and spectacular ride. Racers choose between standard or high-performance races depending on age, height and experience. All drivers must be at least 57 inches tall.
Dr. Jennifer Powell-Lunder is a freelance writer in New York. She is a clinical psychologist specializing in work with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. Her work can be found here .
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