You could pop in an old-school game of Super Mario Kart, but it’d be way more fun to get the kids off the couch and fulfill that need for speed on a real racing adventure. The good news is, you don’t have to head to Daytona. Connecticut’s go-kart courses offer a low-cost and safe way to introduce your family to motor racing. Not only will your kids enjoy challenging dad to a few laps, being competitive and a little crazy in these karts is highly encouraged. Grab your pole position and hit the track for some of the best go-kart racing in Connecticut.

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On Track Karting
984 N. Colony Rd.
Wallingford, CT 06492
(203) 626-0464‎

Price: $10 arrive and drive 30-day trial membership/$40 annual membership
Hours:  Mon to Thurs – 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri – noon to 11 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun – noon to 8 p.m.

Families rev their engines for an exciting race at On Track Karting in Wallingford every day of the week. The track is one of the fastest, longest indoor kart tracks on the East Coast, stretching more than 1,800 feet long and 20 feet wide. Fulfill that competitive itch with On Track’s racing leagues, or take advantage of On Track Karting’s fun extras for a unique birthday celebration or corporate outing. A snack bar with viewing areas to watch the racing action and an arcade provide your family with additional entertainment. Television monitors throughout the building display lap times, so friends, family and competitors may monitor their progress.

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Checkered Flag Raceway
1762 Berlin Turnpike
Berlin, CT 06037
(860) 829-KART

Price: $3.50 per driver annual membership fee/$6 adults one ride/$15 for three rides/$24 for five rides/$42 for 10 rides/$5.75 kids one ride/$14 for three rides/$22 for five rides/$40 10 rides
Hours: Mon to Thurs – closed; Fri – 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat – noon to 11 p.m.; Sun – noon to 7 p.m.

If your family is really looking forward to stepping into one of these speed machines, Checkered Flag Raceway may be the right track for you. It offers three styles of go karts for both adults and kids. Choose from the interceptor, the bomber and the tornado, then take a trek around its .25-mile track. Keep track of your race with computerized lap timing, printed race result tickets and a large track scoreboard that shows lap times. After your race, step into the arcade for great new video games, pinball machines and air hockey, and refuel with soda and snacks at its snack shop.

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The Only Game in Town
275 Valley Service Rd.
North Haven, CT 06473
(203) 239-4653

Price: $8 per ride/$70 package of 10/$120 package of 20

Click here for seasonal hours

The Only Game in Town offers more than just racing, but its most popular offering is an awesome go-kart course. Drivers must be at least 54 inches tall, but riders may be smaller with an adult driver. Book a birthday party or corporate event for a discounted package deal. After the race, jump on the driving range with 40 tees, or play a round on one of two mini-golf courses (18-hole and nine-hole courses). For the all-stars on your team, they can perfect their swing in four baseball and four softball batting cages. After your family enjoys all of the fun and activities The Only Game in Town has to offer, you can head across the parking lot to refuel at its food court.

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East Windsor Golf and Track
20 North Rd.
East Windsor, CT 06066
(860) 254-5572

Prices: $8 driver/$5 passenger
Hours:Mon to Fri – 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

East Windsor Golf & Track is North Central Connecticut’s premier family entertainment center. This go-kart track is one of the longest in the area, full of banks and curves that make every race as exciting as possible. All drivers must be 54 inches or taller, and 16 or older to drive a passenger. Passengers must be between 36 and 54 inches tall. Not only will your family love the go karting thrills, the kids’ll jump and flip on the new Extreme Air Jumper, practice their swing at the golf practice range, and enjoy delicious soft-serve ice cream.

Related: Best Day Trips for Familes Around Hartford

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Connecticut Golf Land and Games
95 Hartford Turnpike
Vernon, CT 06066
(860) 643-2654

Price: $5 per ride or $22 for five rides/$1 per ride per passenger
Hours: Mon to Fri- 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sat and Sun- 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

If you’re looking for family fun, CT Golf Land and Games should be permanently programmed into your GPS. Play a round or two on its 18-hole miniature golf course or nine-hole, par three course, or take a few swings in the batting cages. All drivers must be 10 years old or older and at least 54 inches tall. Make a splash on the bumper boats, then take a spin around the go-kart track for fast-paced, heart-pumping fun. All activities are lit for night play and well supervised.

Related: Family Fun Guide to Litchfield County

Lori Calabrese is an independent writing and editing professional from Connecticut. After obtaining a bachelors degree in Communications from St. Johns University in Queens, New York, Lori worked in television for Lifetime, and the New York Mets. She later went on to become a managing producer at World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. where she wrote scripts for TV shows and DVDs and traveled extensively for ten years. Her work can be found at