– Ben Martens

Family Fun Center Review

We don’t have birthday parties for Elijah with his friends every year, but we told him he could do one this year. As he went through various ideas, we’d talk about how many people he could invite to that kind of party based on how much it costs. At some point, the idea of the Family Fun Center in Tukwilla came up and we said that if it was just the three of us, we could all get unlimited wristbands and do everything. He was excited by that idea and we were excited not to have to try to plan something for a bunch of kids.

We’ve driving by the Family Fun Center a hundred times, but none of us have ever been inside. As a one-line summary I’d compare it to a souped-up Chuck E. Cheese with a bit of low-end amusement park thrown in.

Elijah loved it! He thought it was amazing being able to do things repeatedly with no limits. He was able to pick from bumper cars, bumper boats (with spray guns… but not enough to soak you), two mini golf courses, go karts (he had to ride with me), a ride where you go up and down to feel like you’re weightless (like an extra fast elevator), a “4d” theater (3d glasses plus a seat that moves), and… laser tag. He did them all and many of them he did multiple times, but he did laser tag the most. We also bought some tokens to play arcade games, but mostly he just wanted to play laser tag. We stayed there for seven hours, and I think he would have stayed longer if Tyla and I weren’t wiped out and ready to go home.

Elijah declared it one of the best days of his life which made me happy, but I sure hope we don’t do it again soon. Here’s the rest of the story…

We showed up right at opening time on a Friday and were greeted by a dozen buses in the parking lot. Numerous schools were having field trips that day and they got in early. From what we picked up, it seemed like all the classes were 8th graders so take a minute to imagine the noise generated by ~800 8th graders running around in an arcade with limited supervision. It was unbelievably loud, and we spent our time waiting in the line getting run into by kids. Thankfully, I spotted an employee schedule and saw that they would be gone by 1-2pm. At that point, the tenor of the day switched to something more reasonable. The lines were short/non-existent for all the rides and the place was full of mostly well-behaved families. By that point I had quite a headache though and it never went away. In the pictures you’ll see that we did end up wearing masks as we thought about being around hundreds of kids. We figured it was worth the masks to try to avoid getting sick right before our big stretch of summer fun.

Overall, I would say that the unlimited wrist band is a good deal if you’re going to stay there for more than a couple of hours and if you’re more interested in rides/activities than in arcade games. It’s not worth going on a rainy day since many of the activities are outdoors.

But the important thing for that day is that Elijah loved it. He was worn out at the end, and he had a blast.