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Posts Tagged ‘Teens’

Stay and Play at Upstate Zipline: Epic Family Fun

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Did you know you can stay in a cabin at Upstate Zipline? Set in a private and beautiful portion of Keowee-Toxaway State Park, Upstate Zipline operates cabins, tent sites, and even an event venue with options for families or groups. We got a chance to stay in a cabin and enjoy the site. WOW did our family have a blast. This is such a great place for families to enjoy some time exceptional quality time together. We’ll take you through our visit and tell you how you can plan your own stay at Upstate Zipline’s cabins.

Thanks to Upstate Zipline for inviting us to stay, zip and gem mine so we could bring this review to our readers!

Cabin at Upstate Zipline

Watch! Our Visit Was Epic, See For Yourself

Is it Glamping? Cabins at Upstate Zipline

I have to tell you a secret. I do not camp. Me in a tent, it’s happened like two nights in the last 20 years. It’s just not my thing. But I do love spending time by a nice campfire, listening to the birds, taking a break from the everyday hum drum, and watching my tweens and teenage kids remember that not all of life has to be complicated. It’s ok to kick back, be silly, and let the pressure of final exams and approaching SATs take the back seat for a while.

Cooking hot dogs at the cabin, Upstate Zipline

I’m not entirely sure about the definition of “glamping.” But if it involves peaceful, outdoor enjoyment, along with a comfy bed, hot shower, Keurig Machine, and a microwave in a spotless cabin, then we can definitely call our experience in our Upstate Zipline cabin a “glamping” trip.

The Cabins

In case you aren’t familiar, Upstate Zipline operates an amazing canopy zipline tour through a portion of Keowee-Toxaway State Park. The tour ends in a section of the park called Camp Cedar Creek, just a few minutes from their office location. Originally operated by the state park, Upstate Zipline has taken over managing this camp and they’ve done some awesome things for families!

Families can stay in one of two family cabins at Camp Cedar Creek that sleep 6 to 8 people. They are extremely clean and comfortable cabins, with air conditioning and a kitchenette. The cabin we stayed in had a king-size bed and two bunk beds with linens, a couch seating area, fluffy towels, a dining table that seats 6, and even a television.

And of course outside the cabin was a fireplace with a grill over the top that we could cook on, two picnic tables, and two rocking chairs on the porch. Honestly, we spent most of our time outside! We cooked over the fire both nights of our stay, hamburgers one night and hot dogs the other. And of course, there’s always room for s’mores.

If you’re not the cooking outdoors type, the cabin does have a microwave and a hot plate. There’s also a mini fridge with a freezer, a Keurig machine, plus basic utensils and dishes.

The bathrooms are located at a central bathhouse which is really only a few steps from the cabin. And what I love, love, love about this bathhouse is that each cabin is assigned a private, locking bathroom. It has a hot shower, mirror, toilet, sink, towel holders, bench, all the things you need in a bathroom. It’s clean and your family will be the only ones using it so you can leave your towels in there, toothbrush, shampoo, whatever!

You remember how I don’t camp? Normal bathhouses are part of that. This is NOT a normal bathhouse. So much better.

Bathroom at the cabin Upstate Zipline

The two family cabins and the group cabin, more on that in a minute, are all located together on a little dead-end circle in the park. My kids brought their skateboards and loved riding them around this area. The circle would be a perfect place for small kids to enjoy scooters or bikes, so make sure to bring them along!

Group Cabin

The third cabin is meant for groups and is furnished with bunk beds, sleeping 12. It also has a kitchenette and table, plus an outdoor fireplace and picnic tables. This cabin would be good for a large family, small youth group, scouts, or any small group.

More to Love at Camp Cedar Creek

The property is located on a private cove of Lake Keowee. “Beautiful” is not a strong enough word, “stunning” and “magnificent” get a little closer. From the cabins, there is a short trail down to a driveway that ends in another dead-end circle. Here you’ll find the lake and Upstate Zipline’s The Venue.

The Venue

The Venue, as the name implies, is an event venue that can be rented for events like weddings, family reunions, baby showers, birthdays, and even work retreats. With a full kitchen inside, it has a gorgeous view of the water, an outdoor stone fireplace, a fishing pier, a lake shore for relaxing, and lots of outdoor space. The Venue can accommodate groups of up to 100.

Upstate Zipline, Lake Keowee

The Lake

Sit on the shore and enjoy the view of a private Lake Keowee cove. The shoreline all around the cove is tree-lined and beautiful. We saw fish jumping, turtles, and even a goose family with goslings in the lake and wandering the shore.

My children did enjoy wading in the lake, however, we were told later that alligator snapping turtles had been seen in the cove. After that, we did not swim, and that’s definitely something you’ll want to watch out for. But, we did make use of the kayaks provided by Upstate Zipline.

If kayaking is something you’d like to enjoy, just ask about them when you book. They were left for us on the shore of the lake along with life jackets and paddles. It was so easy, and such a fun way to spend the sunny afternoon!

Kayaks at Lake Keowee

From the shore, you can see two ziplines crossing the lake. These are part of the zipline tour, which again, is awesome. But, my kids also really enjoyed paddling out in the kayaks to watch a group come through on the ziplines. If you’re lucky you might catch a group coming through from the shore or a kayak, too. Make sure to give them a wave.

Kayaks and zipliner over Lake Keowee

Why You’ll Want to Go

So, let’s recap. Comfy cabin, air conditioning, time spent outdoors, happy kids (and even teens!). What did we leave out?

Zipping! The cabins are just about a 5-minute drive to Upstate Zipline’s office where your family can start your zipline adventure, zip through the trees AND mine for gems! We have all the details on that in our story on Upstate Zipline.

You can zip and mine for gems without staying in the cabins, too. So, if you’re looking for a totally cool day trip, this would be fabulous.

Zipline over Lake Keowee at Upstate Zipline

My kids and I had never ziplined and we had the best time zipping through the trees and over the lake. It was such a great adventure to share together. The folks at Upstate Zipline are just about the kindest and most welcoming family ever. It was an absolute blast.

Fun ziplining at Upstate Zipline

And then we got to mine for gems at the sluice beside the office. My kids found amethyst, fossils, coral, and all kinds of treasures. They are still having fun identifying all their finds.

For a unique family adventure, we really can’t recommend Upstate Zipline enough. Book your cabin for a couple of nights, zip, mine for gems, enjoy the lake, kayak, and most of all enjoy your family sitting together beside that campfire making s’mores. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Book your stay or your event!

Head to Upstate Zipline’s website for The Venue. You’ll find all the cabin information and event information right there!

Upstate Zipline
138 Museum Circle, Sunset, SC (Main Office)

Summer Jobs for Teens: Greenville SC

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Are you looking for summer jobs for teens? Greenville, SC has dozens of options! We have tips for teens from a fellow teen about finding a summer job, plus a list of local businesses looking to hire teens for summer jobs in Greenville and the Upstate.

Summer jobs for teenagers near Greenville, South Carolina

Is your business hiring teens for summer 2024? Email Maria@kiddingaroundgreenville.com to be included on our list.


10 Upstate Hikes That Are Perfect for Teens

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Are you looking for fun or adventurous hiking for teens in Greenville, SC? Here’s our list of great hikes for teens in or near Upstate, SC! Some are challenging and some a bit more relaxed, perfect for a day with friends or family. Plus, there are plenty of trails with gorgeous views that are perfect for the ‘gram. For even more hiking ideas see our list of our favorite local hiking trails.

hiking teens greenville, sc

There are so many great hiking trails in the Greenville area or nearby, it’s truly hard to choose where to go. Luckily, the weather here can lend itself to hiking all year round for the most part, which means lots of weekends to take the teens out on adventures.


15 Day Trips with Teens Near Greenville, SC

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Are you looking for a fun day trip for teenagers? Need a way to spend a day with your teen near Upstate, SC? These are a great way to spend some quality time exploring together or just having fun. Here’s our list of the 15 best day trips for teens & tweens near Greenville!

Activities for Teens Near Me: Greenville, SC

Looking for more things to do for teenagers? Ways to get them involved in the community? We’ve got your Ultimate Guide for Teens in Greenville, SC!


Where to Find (or Donate) a Free Prom Dress in Greenville, SC

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Are you wondering how to find free or cheap prom dresses in Greenville, SC? Do you know someone planning to attend prom this spring in need of a dress? Prom season is coming up but for some girls, while the prospect of going to the prom would be great, affording a dress is a challenge. The good news is that there is a fairy godmother-like organization in our area that is willing and ready to help out these would-be princesses for their big night.  


Enjoy An Upscale Bowling Experience at Underpin Lanes ‘N Lounge in Spartanburg, SC

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Ever heard of Underpin in Spartanburg? Think bowling in Spartanburg sounds like a good family fun night? Perhaps you’ve been blessed with a rare night away from the kids and have no idea where to head once the babysitter takes over.

There’s a cool place in downtown Spartanburg that is perfect for both occasions, Underpin Lanes ‘N Lounge.

Guide to things to do indoors near Greenville, South Carolina

Looking for more fun indoor things to do in Spartanburg and Greenville? We’ve got the ultimate guide of things to do inside.

Underpin bowling Spartanburg, SC

For more dining options in the area, head to the Kidding Around Guide To The Delicious Restaurants in Spartanburg

About Underpin Lanes N’ Lounge

Spartanburg’s downtown is coming into its own and we couldn’t be more excited. Until recently, to spend time in an upscale bowling alley you’d have to travel to a larger city like Atlanta. Several years ago Greenville got their own boutique bowling alley in the form of Stone Pin Company.

Now one of the Co-owners of Stone Pin has been brought on board to bring that same kind of entertainment to the people of Spartanburg.

Not your typical bowling alley, UnderPin is intimately sized with just 8 lanes. This is good a good thing in my opinion because it keeps the noise level down. This can be helpful when you’re enjoying a date night or if you have a child with sensory issues. Even though the alley itself is small, the lanes are regulation size.

The other feature that sets them apart from a typical alley is their menu. Don’t worry; they have all the things you might expect at a bowling alley in the way of food.  Things like nachos and quesadillas are elevated to a whole new level with the use of ingredients like brisket and pork belly. The menu includes burgers, wraps, salads, and a kids menu.

What Readers Are Saying About Underpin

Everybody who visits the alley seems to love it!

We’ve been, great food and atmosphere. Can’t wait to go back.

Karen M.

Super Friendly staff and really cute décor. It is pretty small inside and I’m not sure how I felt about the pins being in wires butttt overall I had a really great experience there.

Morgan W.
Underpin Lanes n Lounge Spartanburg

Things to Know When You Visit Underpin

If you are planning on heading out, here’s the info you’ll need to know to snag a lane.

Reservations are only allowed for large parties and private events. If you are thinking of having a large group of friends join you, the alley has a nice semi-private area where your group can hang out with their own lanes. All other guests are first-come, first-serve access to the lanes.

Lanes are rented out by the hour and those super chic shoes will cost you $4 to borrow. A lane accommodates up to 6 players. Playing on a Friday or Saturday night from 5 pm – 10 pm will cost you more than any other time of the week. The peak rate for those times is $40 per hour on a lane, the rest of the time lanes are $24 an hour.

Initial Q: Social Bar & Smokehouse is open above UnderPin and you can enjoy a sit-down dinner upstairs, then head downstairs to bowl. The menu at Initial Q is the same type of elevated fare you see at Underpin. It’s not the typical BBQ meal you find in most places.

Underpin Lanes ‘N Lounge
127 West Main Street, Spartanburg | 864.707.2181

25+ Gifts for Teens: Ideas For Impossible To Shop For Teens

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Do you need gifts for teens this year? If you have a teen on your gift list this year, you know that teens are not the easiest to please. They aren’t quite adults, and they are no longer children. This makes gift-giving times extraordinarily difficult if you are trying to be creative. That’s why we set out to discover what teens wish for this holiday season. The result is this list full of teen-approved gift ideas so you’ll know exactly what to gift teens in your life this year!

Gifts for teens

This piece contains Amazon Affiliate links.

What To Buy For A Teenager?

When you think of gift ideas for teens, the first thing that probably pops into your mind is something like a gift card. Let them pick out what they want or need. And that’s all well and good. But, teens like opening presents, too. And what if you want to surprise them with a gift and not a card? What do you buy that a teen will love?

We went straight to the teens and asked for their Christmas wish lists. Then, we offered some suggestions for their approval to round out the list! The result is a teen-approved wish list for gift shopping, with items for a wide variety of budgets.

Gifts Teens Want in 2023

What gifts do teens want in 2023?
Music streaming subscriptions and equipment
Gift cards
Gaming systems
Subscription Boxes
Water bottles
Decal stickers
Sports and teams items
Room decor
Board Games for Teens
More gift ideas

Teen-Approved Experience Gifts

Sometimes an experience is a better gift than a “thing.” So, that leaves the question, “What do teens want to go do?” We asked and here’s what they said.

Take them to an Escape Room!

I’m sure at one time or another, we’ve thought about locking our kids up in a room and grabbing some peace while they navigated an escape route. So, a visit to an escape room near you could be the ultimate teen experience gift. These interactive escape rooms will challenge guests with their creative puzzles and talented actors.

In Greenville, SC try Escape Artist Greenville. You can read all about several of our experiences with the different rooms at Escape Artist.

Selfie Museum

A selfie museum, like The Pixel Experience in Greenville, is a unique spot to take selfie photos in a variety of themed rooms and walls. It will have your resident TikTok’r thinking you’re the best gift-giver ever! With 20+ backgrounds to take advantage of, the aspiring Instagram influencer in your family will have months of content to post!

Ax Throwing

We know what you are thinking. Handing an angst-ridden teen a hatchet or an ax and asking them to throw it at something might not be the first thing that comes to mind. It also probably doesn’t sound like the best idea. But trust me when I tell you, they will love it!
Try Blue Ox Hatchet House in Greenville, SC.


Creating memories with your teenager while still being seen in public with you is a great gift to give them. But, sometimes, that needs to be disguised as an extreme activity, and you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone. Zip-lining is the perfect blend of that and safety. Plus, it won’t clutter up their bedroom.

Try The Gorge Zipline. If you feel even more adventurous, you can hop over to their sister site for some water-related adventures. Green River Adventures offers white water rafting, kayak, SUP, waterfall hikes, and rappelling.

Gifts for Music-Loving Teens

This section includes affiliate links.

Teenagers will always love music; this will never change. So giving them away to enjoy it quickly is a great gift that they can appreciate over and over! So here are some teen-approved ways to get those tunes to them.

Spotify Premium
This popular music streaming service provides premium members with ad-free enjoyment of millions of songs. Plans range from $4.99 a month for college students to $14.99 for family plans that include six accounts.

YouTube Music Premium

Ad free music streaming, plus the ability to download your favorites to listen to when you’re offline. The first month is free and then $9.99 per month.

These slight wireless ear-bud-style headphones were super popular with the teens we polled. They work in companion with Apple brand products and can sense when they are in your ears! Prices range from $100-$200 depending on the model you select.

Bluetooth Beanie Hat
I was shocked that the kids I spoke with had never heard of this! These knit beanie hats make a great gift not only for teens but for any age child (or adult). They look like your typical beanie hat, but tucked inside are wireless, Bluetooth headphones. They will work with any Bluetooth-enabled device and are great because there are no wires to damage younger kids! Prices range from $13 to $30.

iTunes Gift Cards
I was surprised to find that my go-to teen gift idea was still trendy in this age range. Not only can they use the funds for music purchases but video games, movies, and more. Card values start at $25.

Jackson B. explained to me why he likes getting these as a gift – “iTunes gift cards because we use phones a lot and we can choose what we want to spend it on”

Apple Products
If you have the budget for it, of the hundred or so teens I spoke to, nearly all of them mentioned some Apple brand devices – iPhones, iPods, Apple watches, Mac Books. It seems you can’t go wrong with a gift from the Apple store.

Concert Tickets
A set of tickets to a concert for their favorite performer might be the perfect gift! Sporting event tickets also make a great gift, and there’s no shortage of sports teams locally to support!

Gift cards

Some of the more popular gift cards mentioned were for the following :

  • Coffee : Starbucks, Little River Coffee, Barista Alley, Bridge Coffee, and other local coffee shops
  • Makeup : Ulta, Sephora
  • Retailers : Target, American Eagle, Apple, Amazon
  • Shoes : Vans, Converse, Nike

Gaming Systems

Hefty price tag alert, but it probably comes as no surprise that gaming systems are popular among the teens also. Teens also said gaming chairs, curved gaming screens, gaming computers, desks, and headsets are also on their wishlists.

Subscription Box Gifts for Teens

Subscription services are a trend that offers everything from cooking to makeup, and teenagers want them! Some of the more popular mentioned were –

Fab Fit Fun
these subscription boxes offer up to $300 worth of items for $54.99 quarterly. Items include room décor, health and beauty items, and more.

Sketch Box
for $25-$35 a month, you will receive art supplies and a piece of art to inspire your creativity.

Escape The Crate
If your teen likes escape room adventures, then this is the perfect gift! For $29.99 bi-monthly, they’ll receive a mystery along with challenges to decipher, tools to help, and exciting objects that serve as rewards as you advance through the puzzle.

Gifts For The Adventure Seeker

The most important item to a hydrated teen is a Hydroflask. They are a brand of insulated bottles, and they start at $30 for an 18oz bottle. Try Simple Modern brand bottles; they are less expensive, look the same, and have more color and accessory options. Plus, if a decal covers up that logo, no one will be the wiser—a 32oz Simple modern starts at $18.99.

Decal Stickers

Speaking of decals, they make a great gift! Check out locally owned shops for local decals, or look on for special interest decals on Etsy.

LadyBluByrd has decals with shoutouts to local places in Upstate, SC, famous characters, coffee, and more! These make an excellent stocking stuffer and are super easy to mail to a loved one.

shop local decals
Photo Credit: LadyBluByrd

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Depending on the teen you are shopping for, a sport-related gift might be perfect. Think about a gift for either a sport they play or a team they love! Think personalized collegiate flags, corn hole set with that same team décor, hoodies, even socks or slippers in their team’s colors.

Depending on the sport your child plays, new equipment is always a great idea. Skateboards and long-boards are still a popular thing, too.

Room Decor

Let teens dress up their space! These are a few room decor items teens asked for:

We are loving these room decor ideas because they are things teens will use all year long, and many of them are very budget-friendly. LED strips, fuzzy pillows, and lava lamps can all be found for under $25.

Teens Like to Eat: Food and Beverage gifts for teens

Growing teens seem to be able to eat and drink non-stop. The food doesn’t stay in the house long, the grocery list is endless, and bugging mom and dad for those special extra items is not always an option, which makes them a pretty perfect gift.

Soda Stream

A Soda Steam lets you make sodas and sparkling waters at home. While it’s one of the more expensive gifts for teens on this list, it’s definitely unique. And, it’ll let them make any flavors of sparkling beverages they’d like.

Bubble Tea Kit

Let teens make their own bubble tea right at home!

Favorite Snacks or a Snack Box

Do you know their favorite chips, cookies, or ice cream? If not, how about a care package-type box loaded with a huge variety of snacks?

Board Games for Teens

Escape the Room: Murder in the Mafia

ThinkFun’s Escape the Room games are essentially escape rooms in a box. They come cleverly assembled in the box in such a way that you only have to follow a few simple instructions to pop the room up before you’re ready to start looking for clues and playing the game.

Throughout the game the story booklet guides you through each chapter as you solve the clues, and see if you can determine who is the murderer. And if you get stuck you can go online for additional clues and assistance..

ThinkFun Escape the Room titles include:

EXIT Games

Another fun version of an escape room board games are EXIT games. You can spread these materials out and a larger group can work to solve these games. Clues are on cards, in booklets, and hidden in the strangest places. The card and solution wheel systems help you get hints if you’re stuck and also guide you from clue to clue. These games can only be played once as solving them often requires cutting or marking up game pieces, but they are worth it for a fun afternoon with family and friends.

EXIT Games: The Abandoned Cabin

Echoes: Audio Mystery Game

Download a free app and use it to scan the cards and listen to the audio hints. Put them together in the right sequence to unlock each chapter with additional story clues. Finally, use the clues to put the story into the right order. This one is a great family teamwork game. The sounds are a little creepy, and the clues require listening carefully. But don’t worry if you get lost, the app can give you clues if you’re stuck!

Echoes: Audio Mystery Game

More Great Gift Ideas For Teens

  • mini fridges
  • loft beds
  • Beats headphones
  • Hoodies
  • Gloves
  • Fuzzy socks

We hope this helps you navigate the gift-giving season a bit easier.

Needs more gift ideas? Don’t miss our Holiday Gift Guide to Greenville. It includes ideas for experience Gifts, local gifts, ideas for teacher gifts, and much more!

Places to Enjoy Go-Karts: Greenville, SC

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If you are thinking about spending an afternoon racing go-karts, Greenville, SC has a couple of venues nearby that offer indoor or outdoor karting. So, grab the kids for a bonding session, your significant other for a date, or your arch nemesis for a karting throwdown. Either way, check out this list of places where you can go karting in the Upstate.

Karting venues in Greenville, South Carolina

7 Weeknight Outings for Teens to Try This School Year

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Have a few hours after school but unsure how to spend them? Local teen Brylan put together this list of school night outings that are perfect for teens. Whether you have one night without homework or many free evenings, you’ll find an idea or two that just might be exactly what you need this school year!

Also, check out our huge list of things to do with teens and our list of gift ideas for teens!

I’m completely able to relate to the desire to get out of the house and do something, but have little to no options for reasonable activities that will have me back home and in bed so I can get a full eight hours of sleep. Believe it or not, there are indeed some fun things you can do with friends or alone on a school night.

Weeknight things to do for teens near Greenville, SC

Swing Dancing at Upstate Swing

One of my personal favorites, every Wednesday night Upstate Swing hosts a swing dancing lesson from 7 pm – 8 pm and then has a night of dancing from 8 pm – 10 pm. It’s a great way to meet more people and such a fun way to set the tone for the rest of the week! Here’s the Upstate Swing link with details.

Hit the mall

Haywood Mall closes at 9 pm, ensuring that you’ll be back at home at a reasonable time. Maybe it’s just me, but shopping helps me clear my head even if I don’t purchase anything.

Get some outdoor time at a local park

Having an hour or so of exercise in places like Cleveland Park will help you clear your mind and feel great before enduring school the next day. The Swamp Rabbit Trail runs through Cleveland Park to Downtown Greenville.

Get a part-time job

If you find yourself nearly dying of boredom on a regular basis consider applying for a part-time job around town to fill up your schedule and make some extra money! See my article on part-time jobs for teens in Greenville here.

Visit a school athletic event

Check the news for the upcoming sports events and support your school! Most school calendars include athletic games so check your school, or visit another school.

Spare Time Entertainment

This new arcade/bowling alley/laser tag/escape room haven is super fun for students! Grab some friends and visit! Keep in mind that you have to book an escape room ahead of time.

Go Climbing

There are several places in Greenville where you can harness up and go indoor rock climbing. It’s a great way to get your body moving so you can get a good night’s sleep or focus on homework. Some gyms even offer high school student climb nights. Check out these indoor climbing gyms near Greenville.

Climb@Blue Ridge in Taylors, SC

While the options for school night activities are few and far between, there are some reasonable mid-week activities that will help you get your mind off school for just long enough to feel refreshed and like you have a life outside of school and homework. If you find a night of freedom, take a step back from the chaos and enjoy an evening without stress. You never know when you’ll get another one.

Do you have a favorite weeknight activity? Share it with us in the comments!

Get Racing at Speed Factory Indoor Karting

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Think racing sounds like a fun way to spend the day? The Speed Factory, Spartanburg, SC’s indoor karting facility invited Kidding Around out to see what they have to offer. We had a spectacular time pretending we were “fast and furious” during our visit, and you will be thrilled when you go yourself!

Thanks to Speed Factory Indoor Karting for providing admission so that we could bring this review to our readers.