Apex Entertainment Center includes bumper cars, a 20-foot tall ropes course, an arcade, a 24-lane bowling alley and a full-service tavern.
Apex Entertainment Center includes bumper cars, a 20-foot tall ropes course, an arcade, a 24-lane bowling alley and a full-service tavern. (Not Provided / Lowell Sun)

If you're looking for a different kind of family-fun activity this summer, put the pedal to the metal at Massachusetts' best go-kart tracks! Whether you're a novice driver or an old pro, excitement and thrills await you at these awesome entertainment venues!

Jay Gee's Ice Cream & Fun Center is located at 602 Lowell St. in Methuen. First opening its doors in 1983, this family-owned-and-operated business has been serving up over 60 homemade ice cream and fun stuff for the kids and kids at heart. Jay-Gee's flagship location in Methuen has a bustling amusement center, featuring an arcade, batting cages, miniature golf, bumper cars, and a go-kart track.

Racers wait for the white flag at Apex Entertainment Center in Marlboro.
Racers wait for the white flag at Apex Entertainment Center in Marlboro. (Courtesy Apex Entertainment Center)

"The go-kart track originally started here, prior to us, back in the sixties," says Joseph Giuffrida, co-owner and founder of Jay Gee's. "We took over the go-kart track in the eighties. We generally open the go-kart track on the first nice weekend in April, through the end of October. During Massachusetts' school vacation week, we are open from 12 to nine o'clock, and we run the rest of the season three to nine o'clock Monday to Friday, and Saturdays and Sundays 12 to nine."

Jay Gee's classic go-kart track features traditional gas-powered karts which can be operated by drivers who make the 54-inch height requirement. Children three years of age or older can ride in a double-seated kart as a passenger at no additional charge. Said child must be driven by a responsible driver 18 years or older and above the height requirement.


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Jay Gee’s in Methuen offers go-kart racing, batting cages and mini-golf.
Jay Gee's in Methuen offers go-kart racing, batting cages and mini-golf. (Jacquelyn Jarnagin)

"The average age (of our racers) varies because we do attract young and old," says Giuffrida. "We're not like some of these other, newer go-kart facilities that are more geared toward adults; we're geared more towards children and adults."

Tickets for a race on the Jay Gee's go-kart family track are $8 per person; there are no refunds or exchanges and they never expire. Racers do not have to have a special license to operate the go-karts and do not have to pay a license fee.

Additional information can be found by calling 978-689-0456 or on the web at info@jaygees.com.

For families with a need for speed living in the central Massachusetts area, you need look no further than Apex Entertainment Center at 21 Apex Drive in Marlboro. Apex Entertainment is New England's largest family entertainment center complete with bumper cars, a 20-foot tall ropes course, an arcade, a 24-lane bowling alley, Boston-themed laser tag, sports stimulators, and a multi-level indoor go-kart track.

"The go-karts go over 40 miles an hour," says Nick Bertuzzi, assistant manager of training and development at Apex. "(Our go-kart customers) are people of all shapes and sizes. We've recently instituted an age requirement on the weekends, so Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 6pm, we require guests to have a valid photo ID for them to be able to come in and race. Generally, this is to speed up the weekends and make it so it's more adult oriented."

Providing a unique experience to families since 2017, Apex allows anyone on their race track who is ready, willing, and able to do so. Unlike most go-kart facilities, Apex's go-karts run on electricity instead of gas; racers will enjoy themselves while saving the environment! Racing at this track is not permitted for inexperienced drivers, as the track features hairpin turns and level changes.

"We are in a unique position here," says Bertuzzi. "Obviously, we have a lot of local customers in the central Massachusetts area. There are five or six hotels that are centralized just in this area; there is a small airport in Marlborough. There is a big civic center and hockey arena here as well. So we get a lot of guests that are traveling to seminars or to hockey tournaments for adults and kids. We get a lot of people that are traveling in the United States, and even from Canada too."

Apex Entertainment requires all racers to wear a head sock and helmet; racers must be 58 inches tall and the maximum weight is 265 pounds. Waivers must be completed prior to participating; closed shoes must be worn or rented and no loose clothing.

Information can be found online at https://www.apexentertainment.com/.