Fast cars, intense rivalries and turbulent crashes – that’s NASCAR. However; I learned during our trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC there is far more beyond that which makes NASCAR so interesting and popular.
NASCAR began when bootleggers in the south attempted to run from the law as they distributed alcohol during prohibition, faster cars meant less jail time. The NASCAR Hall of Fame shows an exciting 13 minute movie at the High Octane Theater on the jumbo screen that explains the history of NASCAR that fueled the nation’s appetite for speed.
Each person received a hard card which gave us an all-access pass to explore the NASCAR Hall of Fame. We customized our card with the car, driver and helmet at one of the many interactive exhibits. The pit crew area was the kids’ favorite. They pretended to fill the cars with gas, change the lug nuts, and explored the inside of a NASCAR trailer. S especially liked Glory Road where all the cars are displayed, she enjoyed stepping up onto the extremely banked race track.
My favorite part of the museum was exploring the marvels of engineering that have contributed to the cars’ speed and safety. The exhibit of crashes left me speechless as we learned that the drivers had survived the wrecks. Many exhibits showed the engineering and safety precautions that keep the drivers alive – from car mechanics, to suits, to helmets – and how it has all evolved over the years.
My step-dad, Brian, who is a huge NASCAR fan joined us, and his favorite part was the simulator ride where we got to race against each other. The kids had to ride on our laps because of height limitations. I was glad it wasn’t a ride that could make you sick with motion, it was more like an interactive video game, and was a lot of fun. At the end of the race we got a printout of where we placed – I placed dead last. Apparently driving a minivan is not akin to driving a NASCAR car! Brian also enjoyed the Hall of Honor that paid tribute to drivers and innovators in NASCAR.
Parking was easy in the parking garage next to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The entire facility is new and beautiful and offers easy access for strollers. Admission is $19.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids 5-12. Kids under 5 are free. The simulator was $5 per ride, or $14 for an all day pass. They have a concession area with food and drink if the little ones get hungry, and it’s located right next to Buffalo Wild Wings.
Want to experience the NASCAR Hall of Fame with your family?Enter our contest and win a 4 pack of tickets to the NASCAR Hall of fame – just in time for race week! Contest runs 5/18/13 at midnight – 5/26/13 at midnight. The winner will be emailed and announced in the comments below this blog.