Have a Yes Day at R1 Indoor Karting’s TimeZone Experience, Go-Kart Racetrack and Arcade
Both kids and adults can have tons of fun taking on the real-life, interactive time machine gaming experience and indoor go-karting racetrack.
If you have young kids or grandkids, you’ve probably read the book called Yes Day! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld. I’ve read that book with my son countless times, and he has always asked if we could have a Yes Day. Recently, a Yes Day! movie came out on Netflix based on the book, starring Jennifer Garner. All of sudden, I saw some friends post about hosting a Yes Day for their kids, and I decided to try to pull off the same thing for my son (within reason, of course, he’s seven!). I thought the perfect place to do this is R1 Indoor Karting in Lincoln, Rhode Island, which has three things he loves under one roof: go-karts, an interactive gaming experience called TimeZone, and an arcade (not to mention all the candy he could potentially claim as prizes).
I had learned about the new TimeZone interactive gaming experience at R1 Indoor Karting through an email at work. My son already loves Minecraft and Pokémon GO, which are interactive video games, but TimeZone is more like a real-life time machine gaming experience. The first floor of R1 Karting is decked out with twenty-five individual, private rooms that are each labeled with a year in time from B.C. to present day (a selfie station!) and the distant future. Each room is a specially-designed and themed portal that contains a specific challenge that must be completed against the buzzer, for example, we have to work together to get across a tightrope or climb along a wall to hit buttons in one Mayan Temple adventure, and for another one, we have to hit all the lights on three towers that flash constantly throughout the timed challenge. There is another dodge ball-like challenge where you have to hit illuminated stars surrounded by planets on a wall with the rubber balls.
You earn points for completing each challenge while competing with other groups that are participating in the experience. TimeZone is best for groups of two to five people, and it takes about one and a half to two hours to complete all the challenges. It’s actually quite a workout and it definitely facilitates team-building and bonding as you work together to beat the clock. When you enter a room, the door locks behind you so you have each space for your own private group as you go through the game. Some challenges are physical while others are mental and mind-bending. The portals test your strength, flexibility and intellect. Some activities are too hard for a young kid, but adults definitely have tons of fun tackling each one. I could see TimeZone as a great place for date nights, corporate team-building events, bachelor/bachelorette and birthday parties.
After we worked up a sweat in TimeZone, we hit up the go-karts on the indoor R1 Indoor Karting racetrack. My son was really excited for this as well, because he has an outdoor go-kart of his own that he rides through the woods at our house. The indoor track provides more of a racing atmosphere as you might try to pass other karts on the track. I decided to get in on the fun, too. We were each outfitted with a helmet, then headed to our individual go-karts and raced eight laps around the track with other karters. He loved it so much he wanted to do it again, but I suggested we check out the arcade and look into possibly hosting his birthday there.
Next, we headed to the arcade, where I loaded up a game card with $20 worth of tokens (which actually will give you a bonus of $25 worth of tokens). I let him have a free for all, playing whatever he wanted from spinning the ticket wheel of fortune and Minion whack-a-mole to prize grab games, Big Buck Hunter and Jurassic Park. The crescendo came when he had four tokens left and was on his very last spin at the ticket wheel of fortune. He pulled the lever and the wheel spun and spun, until it landed right on 1,000 tickets. He couldn’t believe he had finally hit the ticket jackpot! He’d wanted to do that for years and it had never worked out. My son did a little dance as we watched the ticket counter rise as the points loaded onto his game card.
We walked over to the prize counter, and learned he had earned 1,450 tickets in total. He carefully chose his prizes, which included a plastic magic eight ball that tells your fortune (I loved this same type of toy as a kid!), a fossil alien egg that contained a prize, a little pink animal toy for his little sister, and the rest of the tickets were used for Airheads and Skittles. I even let him drink a Diet Coke and have candy before we headed to lunch at Harry’s Bar and Burgers for sliders in Providence. The R1 Indoor Karting facility has a few places to grab food, including Fuel and Burrito Bowl, but he wanted to hit his favorite restaurant.
Once we sat down to lunch and he dug into his burgers (ketchup and mustard only, no cheese, lettuce or tomato) and fries, I asked him if he had a good Yes Day. He said, “Yes, 90 percent!”
I said, “What would make it 100?”
He said, “If we left for Lego Land in Florida right now!”
I laughed, and said maybe some day soon when we come out from under the pandemic, but for now we had a pretty good Yes Day close to home.