Richard Petty Ride Along at Charlotte Motor SpeedwayBy now everyone has seen the Jeff Gordon prank test-drive commercial, where a (fake) car dealer goes on the ride of his life. Uncomfortable to watch? Yes. Hilarious? You betcha. If you’d like to experience a similar, less terrifying joy ride of your own, the Richard Petty Driving Experience has you covered. For $99-135, you can ride shotgun for three laps in a NASCAR racecar driven by a certified instructor (sorry, Jeff isn’t available), hitting speeds up to 160 mph. www.drivepetty.com
Skydive CarolinaIf ride-alongs aren’t the level of thrill you’re seeking, strap an instructor on your back, hit the clouds and free fall up to 120 mph for 60 seconds with Skydive Carolina. You and 21 fearless friends will board a passenger aircraft and climb to 14,000 feet where you’ll experience the longest possible free fall without the aid of oxygen. Sure it sounds scary — but when have you ever met someone who didn’t say it was the best experience of their life? www.skydivecarolina.com
Rock Climbing at Stone Mountain State ParkOdds are good you’re not going to personally make it to the moon in your lifetime, but standing on top of Stone Mountain’s 600-foot granite dome feels pretty close. You can take one of more than 16 miles of park trails to the top, or you can join the brave souls belaying their way up and across the surface. As an onlooker, the climbers look like ants, often stopping for breaks in whatever nooks and crevices they can find of the smooth, featureless surface. Avid climbers rank it as some of the best friction climbing around. www.ncparks.gov
Xtreme Challenge Ropes CourseDon’t make your kids sit on the sidelines while you have all the fun. Adventure seeking can also be a family event. For families with older kids who are akin to group bonding, Xtreme Challenge is your spot. Located on a 10-acre property in Monroe, the site is rented out privately, meaning your family and friends will be the only ones tackling the high and low ropes courses and zip lines. Trained facilitators will be alongside every step of the way for encouragement and safety (and to give your 15-year-old the nudge he needs). www.xtreemechallenge.com
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Motocross at TNT MotorsportsWhether your kids have an insatiable appetite for extreme sports, or you blaze your own trails, take your bike to TNT Motorsports park in Chester, SC for the area’s best motocross. With something for every skill level, you can experience race-like conditions on their practice track, sign up for summer camps or training sessions with industry pros, and even camp onsite. Plus, with area mechanics often riding here, you can be sure your bike is in tip-top condition. www.tntmotorpsortsinc.com