The Groove, a Go-Kart racetrack and amusement park opened in February in Kakaako on Oahu, just a few minutes outside of Waikiki. However, in Hawaii amusement park has never meant “terror inducing, colossal roller coaster.” For whatever reasons, a “giga-coaster” has never been built here. Perhaps it’s the expense, zoning regulations, or a fear of lack of paid admissions. It doesn’t seem to have ever interested anyone enough to actually build one.

But The Groove does offer fast-paced excitement on a smaller scale. The go-karts are capable of speeds of up to 60 mph, and snake around a challenging course, often as traffic on Ala Moana Boulevard just over the fence slows to a crawl.

In addition to the racetrack, The Groove also features a rock-climbing wall, a video arcade, billiards tables, dart lanes, and air hockey tables. The Groove Food Truck serves a variety of brick-oven pizzas, and fresh salads. Private party rooms are available with a number of group packages. Management said at the time the park opened that they may pursue an adult beverage menu.

But for the time being, The Groove remains a family amusement park. Modest but ambitious, its operators have said that they will continue to bring in new attractions. For visitors, one of the more appealing aspects of The Groove is that it offers free transportation to and from Waikiki hotels.

So, while there may still be no towering, monumental roller coaster in Hawaii, The Groove is making a go of providing fast-paced family entertainment to residents and visitors alike. For more information about The Groove’s attractions, group packages, and special offers, visit www.groovehawaii.com.

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