In the land of palm trees and sunshine, outdoor activities rule the day nine months of the year.
The other 12 weeks, desert dwellers and visitors scurry into air-conditioned comfort and jockey for shaded parking spaces. But the summer heat doesn't mean you can't exercise your adventurous, sporty, or social side.
One of the newest sun-free activities to hit the desert scene is indoor go-kart racing. Discover your inner speedster at Xceleration Indoor Kart Racing in Cathedral City and take a heady 50 mph (maximum speed) spin around an indoor Formula 1-styled track in state-of the-art, high-powered, suspension tuned, Italian-made vehicles. Think grandpa's go-karts on steroids.
Designed from the ground up after years of research in the burgeoning go-kart industry, this 50,000-square foot facility is owned and operated by homegrown locals.
"As kids, we loved racing dirt bikes in the desert," says Kevin Andrews, director of marketing at Xceleration. "But it gets too hot sometimes, so we wanted to come up with something different for people to do. It's perfect for kids from 12 to 65."
While the major demographic remains males between 15 and 40, manager Ron Frazier gives big props to senior racers.
"The older guys are usually better drivers," he says. "And we have some mature women who come in and really run it!"
The general vibe of the place is like a carousel for big kids. In addition to the karts and track, there are billiard tables, concessions, conference and party rooms, and a video arcade.
Peak hours, says Frazier, are Fridays and Saturdays between 5 p.m. and closing. A race session consists of 12 laps for a duration of approximately 8 minutes and averages six drivers, with a maximum of 10 drivers per race. Score sheets reflecting electronic timing are presented after the race. Of course, as Frazier notes, your biggest competitor is the clock.
If accelerated adrenalin isn't your thing, strike a pose and punish some pins at Palm Springs Lanes.
There is all manner of fun at this longtime desert hangout, from leagues and events to late-night specials and family happy hours offering reduced prices on lanes, shoes, and food and drink. The young-at-heart, rock n' roll set will love Friday and Saturday night laser bowling from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. with music, brews, and balls and pins aglow.
Keeping your cool is easy at Desert Ice Castle, where all levels of ice skaters are welcome – from first-timer carvers to hockey warriors. If you don't know how to skate or are mystified by the fine art of putting stick to puck, this is the place to learn all about the ice.
- See related story: Cool Confines, Warm Welcome at Desert Ice Castle
Other popular indoor sports or competition options include playing pool at your favorite haunt (try Sharky's Family Billiards if you want to bring the whole brood) and indoor soccer at Big League Dreams.
Xceleration Indoor Kart Racing
35780 Date Palm Drive, Suite A
www.xikracing.com, (760) 770-0808
Palm Springs Lanes
68051 Ramon Road
www.pslanes.com, (760) 324-8204
Desert Ice Castle
68600 Perez Road
Big League Dreams
33700 Date Palm Drive
www.bigleaguedreams.com, (760) 324-5600
Sharky's Family Billiards
68895 Perez Road