When our boys first asked us to take them to play laser tag, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Were the kids old enough? Did I approve of them running around, shooting each other with guns? I didn’t know what to expect, so I did a little digging.
“The guns look more ‘sci-fi’ than real, which really helped make this OK for us,” explains Monica Jorgensen of New Minas, who took her kids to play laser tag at Roo’s Playhouse in the Greenwood Mall. “The room was dark with glowing lights. It didn't feel like a real-life situation. The guns don’t even make a bang noise.”
Jeff Gee of Woodville agrees.
“If kids are taught to understand that it's only a game and for fun, then I see no problem at all with letting them play laser tag.”
Besides, there is something kind of therapeutic about chasing your kids through the dark – not to mention your spouse!
“We’ve had children as young as two-and-a-half in playing laser tag,” says Wendy, who works at Roo’s Playhouse. Most people to whom I’ve talked, however, suggested at age five the kids are really able to understand the rules and how the gun and game works. “Make sure the kids aren’t afraid of the dark either,” she adds.
Before you play, review the rules a few times, as it can be frustrating at first for the kids who can’t get the hang of it. For example, at Roo’s Playhouse, once you are shot, it will take a few seconds for your gun to work again. Make sure the kids understand this.
“Your gun talks to you to say you’ve been hit!” For Sam Jorgensen, seven, this was the best part.
Review who is on which team. Or, maybe it was just me who couldn’t remember who I was supposed to shoot and who I wasn’t! There is a great sense of teamwork when you play.
“Go when there's a crowd because it's really the more the merrier,” says Jorgensen. “It's not a lot of fun with just a few people.”
Recruit other families to go at the same time, as we did.
Laser tag also makes for a great birthday party. Gee’s son, Kaiden, had a fifth birthday party that featured laser tag.
“I would keep the list to only a few depending on pricing. Another benefit is that the party is at another place, so no mess to deal with afterwards!” says Gee.
Besides Roo’s Playhouse, laser tag is included with the Fast-Pass bracelet at Upper Clements Park in the summer, or at Crystal Palace in Moncton.
If the kids enjoy laser tag, you might want to consider signing those aged seven and older up for the Thursday night league at Roo’s Playhouse. For $5 you get to play three games a night.
Laser tag is a great family activity. Come and be prepared to have some fun!
Laura Churchill Duke from Valley Family Fun (www.valleyfamilyfun.ca) has taken her kids to play laser tag, but is sure statistics will show she hit her husband most of all!