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An insider's guide to Andretti Indoor Karting and Games

Does "Andretti" equal "Mario" equal "speed" at your household?

Whether you're an old-timer fan of the Italian-born race car legend Mario Andretti or part of the new generation of speedsters spawned by space-age gaming technology, the Atlanta-area Andretti Indoor Karting and Games will make good for either age group and all the ones in between.

The first lap of the Karting enterprise was the business opened in Roswell in 2001; a second location opened in 2015 in Marietta, followed by a spot in Orlando. A new location is scheduled for San Antonio this October.

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All have the Andretti stamp, with Mario's nephew John Andretti, son Michael Andretti, grandson Marco and great-nephew Jarett still involved in the Karting endeavor. 

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If the nostalgia and draw of the Andretti name aren't enough, there are lots of other motivators for spending your next free day driving at high speeds! Here are five of the best reasons to go to Andretti Indoor Karting and Games asap:

The kids get their own track. And their own karts, which go up to 15 mph while the adult karts drive as fast as 35 mph.

ATLANTA: Kadri Ozee leads Holly Pourhassan down the straight away at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, in Marietta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com (Rachel Taylor/Atlanta Restaurant Scene)

The SODI electric go kart at the Roswell location is ever so fast. Exclusive to the Roswell location, the Sodi RTX electric includes the sound, sight and smell of the engines. Drivers feel the rumble of the track, racing around sweeping curves and exhilarating straightaways on a pro-designed track. The track's Adult Racing experience involves an 8-minute heat on a road course track. Drivers for that must be at least 15 years old and have a valid license or permit. The Adult Double Seater kart races are limited to drivers who are at least 18. You may have a passenger, but they must be at least 54 inches tall.

You can host a birthday party there–for adults! So many area attractions offer only kid birthday parties, but Andretti will customize a party package for adults. Party planners can choose from high-speed racing, high-tech gaming, full service bars and/or chef-inspired catering. Or if you just want to run your own little get-together, there is an extreme Happy Hour each weekday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., when select appetizers are $5 and attractions are half-off with a grill receipt.

You can race your buddy. The simulators have an option where you can experience the rush of pro car race driving at the same time as a friend (or rival, hey, it will feel super competitive.) The most advanced on the market, the simulators use 3D image generation to produce the motion and vibrations of the car at top speeds, the tension in the seatbelt and the sounds of the race track.

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You can use a Go Pro mounted camera when you race. Your social media will go wild with this option!

How to get there

Locations

There are two Andretti Karting locations within easy reach of Atlanta, each with 10,000 square feet of attractions. Andretti Roswell (770-992-5688) is at 11000 Alpharetta Highway and can be reached via GA-400 and US 19-N, or via 1-285N, where traffic is typically heavier than the other route. The fastest route for reaching Andretti Marietta on 1255 Roswell Road is via I-75 N, though 1-285 N is an alternative that just takes a few minutes more.

When to go

The Karting and Gaming extravaganza is open at the Marietta location 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and open an extra hour, until 1 a.m., on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday hours are from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m., and an adults-only vibe later at night means only visitors 18 and up are admitted after 9 p.m. The hours differ at bit at Andretti Roswell, which opens at 10 a.m. every day, closing at 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and also Sunday, while staying open until 1 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Cost

All of the attractions at the Karting and Gaming facility are "pay as you go," with no general admission charged. Prices for games and racing start at a few bucks and go all the way up to "experiences" that cost more than $100. Bargain hunters at the Roswell location will enjoy promotions like Throwback Thursdays from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., when 20 and under pay a $10 cover and 21 and up are free. Once you're inside, racing and attractions are half off and the arcade games are free. The drink specials, giveaways and Sky Bar dancing are added Thursday attractions. For family fun, look for the Kids Eat Free special each Tuesday, along with Homeschool Days each Tuesday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., which costs $35 for adults and $25 for juniors to experience one race, one ropes course, one Dark Ride motion theater experience and a two-hour Time Play video game card.

Military and teacher appreciation discounts are also available.

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