My second boy, Sean turned 10 this week! For his birthday, he wanted to go paintballing with his friends. I replied with a BIG FAT NO!
Instead, I found a place that does outdoor laser tag games for kids in Perth, at a place called Battlezone Laser. It is designed to be safe for 5 to 65 year olds!
No paint, no projectiles, no pain. Just “lasers” and long range sensors built into the guns. The whole experience is supervised; it includes structured battle games; there’s a hotdog and soft drink at the end; and it’s all outdoors.
It sounded pretty good!
I organised 12 boys (all aged around 10) to join the party… and they were all beyond excited!!
On the day… we arrived at the venue, got into camouflaged army coveralls and hat, got our face painted and given a briefing.
My husband and I joined in too. I was a bit reluctant. I don’t like guns, or shooting, or war, or combat strategies, or coveralls, or anything military! So when it was time to put on the war paint, I drew love hearts on my face – just to annoy my boys haha.
There were quite a few other party groups there, and everyone was split into TWO big teams.
(They put my husband and I in separate teams, and I was instructed to hunt him down haha!)
The briefing went well. The structure, organisation and flow of events was just excellent.
The operators were so down-to-earth, friendly, humourous, and had complete control of the kids. I was impressed!
Next up, we had to choose our weapons and strap on our sensors.
Guns? I had no idea which was best. I just picked up a small, lightweight one. But the kids seemed to know all the names and specs of all the big ones, long ones, medium ones and small ones. Whatever.
The first game was set on a huge, grassy field. Each team was on either end of the field and the aim was simply to shoot as many players from the other team. There were random objects dotted all over the place; planks, tires, rusty barrels, broken farm equipment, and wooden palates, all great to hide behind.
At first I just found a shady spot and hid. But I got a bit bored… so I decided to just go for a run! Just to see how many kids could hit me. Answer = NONE! *fist pump*
Then I decided to use up my ammo and hunt my husband down. But I couldn’t find him.
The second game was set in a bushy area, with lots of trees and shrubs. I think we had to shoot a VIP player for 100 points. Then there was another game where we had to find hidden codes in the bushland. The kids were absolutely loving it.
At one point, during the last game, I was tired. It was hot and I wanted to sit and chill out for a bit.
The game involved all the kids running away from zombies… it was hilarious, thrilling and so much fun for the kids.
But my husband and I found a shady tree, hid and pretended to be zombies by simply shouting – MUHAHAHAHA we’re zombies and we’re coming to get you!!
This was my view from under the shady tree. I spotted a little dragonfly while there were kids and zombies running all around me.
Eventually the siren sounded, indicating the end of the game session. I think we were on the field for 1 hour and a bit.
I initially thought that an hour game-play wouldn’t be enough time for my son and his friends to play (I mean they are all incredibly fit and athletic kids, who play basketball and football). But by the end of it, they were all very tired! They were hungry and thirsty and all very happy to sit down and chill out.
Everyone went back to the base camp, we unloaded our weapons, sensors and got undressed. We lined up patiently for a hotdog and drink, and we sat down at the picnic tables. There was no waiting. Everything was ready to go. I also brought my own chips, dips, cups, and some other party groups brought tablecloths, party plates, and a cake.
We had a debrief, a cheer and that was the end of the party! It was awesome!
For us, we piled back into 3 cars and everyone came back to our place for a swim and ice cream cake.
The flow of events were very simple and organised. The base camp was decorated well and had a very charming, helter-skelter feel to it. There was a very relaxed, fun and exciting atmosphere. The staff were super friendly and helpful. The kids (especially the boys) just loved the action and games. Great price per head. The length of time for briefing, game play, eating and debriefing was perfect. We didn’t feel rushed nor did it stretch on for too long.
On the way home, we interviewed all the kids to ask them what they thought of the experience. They all rated it 8/10 or 9/10 or 10/10. But they all mentioned that the guns were a bit difficult to understand some times and they didn’t know whether they hit someone. There were 2 read outs, which were simple enough – one for lives left and one for ammunition. But sometimes the guns would bleep at us, or flash numbers – and we just had to go back to the team leader to try and understand it. Maybe some stickers stuck to the back of the gun might help?
When we assembled on the playing field – about to start, with weapons in hand – the staff took photos of the whole group (all party groups), and individual photos of the birthday kids. They also took photos of lots of kids in action, which were then uploaded into a private gallery and viewable online, with a password and username. These were fantastic! However, I didn’t get a photo of just my son, with all his friends, dressed up together in their coveralls. I should have assembled them together and taken the photo at the base camp, after getting dressed (before splitting into groups and before the briefing began). Just a tip for the mums!
Being a mum of 3 boys, I am constantly looking for cool birthday party ideas. I have done indoor playground parties, gymnastic parties, trampoline parties, rollersakting parties, pool parties, swimming centre and water slide parties, and indoor laser tag parties.
As my kids grow older and reaching the pre-teen age group, I reckon that this outdoor laser tag is definitely a winner!
Thanks for having us Battlezone!