by Lynn A lot of the places we've been this summer have been geared towards younger kids. Karters' Korner is more for your older preteen or teenager. My kids had a good time, but there are so many things for them to see and do; if you're sitting around at home with a 10 and 12 year old, wondering what the heck to do as a family, Karters' Korner is the place for you.
The real appeal of the place is the goKarts. They have full sized carts on a fairly big track. You can drive alone if you are 54 inches or taller; otherwise, you can ride as a passenger if an adult (over 16) is driving beside you. My older two kids really, really wanted to go on the big karts, but since I was alone with them that day, I couldn't swing it. We'll have to go back with my husband so they can have a turn.
For the younger set, there are these little 4x4s on a smaller but still pretty big track that you can drive. You have to be 53 inches or shorter to ride. There's no minimum height, age, or weight, but you do have to be big enough to sit on them and press the accelerator. My youngest, at age 3, was just a smidge too short to push the gas, much to her disappointment. My five year old is very tiny for her age, and although she was tall enough to reach the pedal, she was a little too light (at 34 pounds) to get it going really fast, and she got tired of pushing down after 10 minutes or so (a ride is 15 minutes long).
So I'd recommend maybe, 3 feet tall and 35 pounds as a minimum? That should do most 4-5 year olds, I figure.
The 4x4s are the real appeal for my older two kids - they are the reason they ask to go here. But they also really like the mini-golf.
My oldest son, at age 7, is really into mini golf. He actually took his ball and club and went around the holes twice, while the girls and I sat on a bench (for the second round) and had a little snack. I saw parents with kids of all ages -- from toddlers up to older teens -- enjoying a round. So that's super nice.
If your kids are older, there's also a small driving range here. You can bring a basketball or volleyball and have full, free use of their courts. There's a snack bar too, but as usual, we brought all our own food.
For me and my youngsters, we do a 4x4 ride, a round of mini-golf, picnic lunch, and then we're ready to head home. It's more of a half-day place, but the kids like it and it's very close to our house so it's a fun mini-outing for a week when we're worn out from other activities. For older kids, you could spend more time here, hitting the range and the big karts. Still, considering it is way out in the west end - about 10 minutes west of Kanata - it's probably best for families who are already in the Kanata/Stittsville/Barrhaven area.
And now for the most important part - price. My absolute top advice for this place is: GO ON TUESDAY. Tuesdays are half price - or even less, for some things - and that is WELL worth it. On Tuesdays, the 4x4 rides are $4.50 for 15 minutes, and mini-golf is $2.25 per person. Go on the weekend and you're paying $9 for the 4x4, and anywhere from $6 to $8 per round of golf, depending on how old your kids are. YIKES.
The big karts will cost you anywhere from $3.50 to $4.50 per lap, depending on how many laps you buy - but on Tuesdays, you can get laps for just $1.25 each. Much better, no? Needless to say, we always make a point of going on Tuesdays.
If you'd like to check the place out and absolutely can't make a Tuesday, I still have a couple of money-saving tips for you. One, the laps are sold in bulk but not by person, so you can buy say, a 12-pack of goKart laps and then split that among three or four people. Second, don't bother trying to mini-putt if you are there with kids under 5 - you'll spend so much time helping them chase after their ball, it'll just be frustrating to try to golf yourself. Thirdly, they do have package deals for kids if you can drum up a group of 10 or more.
The park does close if there is thunder and lightening, or very heavy rain that will soak the fields. So be sure to check their website before heading out. They sometimes have specials on the weekends, too, and you can find out about any special deals by checking their home page.
Since my kids are small, Karters' Korner is more of a Summer of Awesome Could Do for us. But we do head out there at least once a summer, and the kids have fun. If you're in the west end, check it out.
Lynn is mom to three tombliboos aged 7, 5, and 3, and blogs over at Turtlehead.