The reaction from the group leader leads me to believe it is not the first time she has encountered the question. “You could eat the paintballs, they are non-toxic. But don’t.” The boys agree they would rather shoot each other than eat the paintballs, and the safety orientation continues.
We have come for Mini Paintball at Laser City (formerly Edmonton Paintball Centre) for my newly 9 year old’s birthday party, the result of what I thought was destined to be an impossible unicorn hunt: a winter paintball party for the pre-tween set. The two main hurdles as I saw them were: a February birthday meant it had to be indoors, and being among the eldest in his ground of friends meant we needed a place where 8 year olds could play.
Mini Paintball at Laser City (formerly Edmonton Paintball Centre) was the unicorn I was searching for! The indoor facility is located east of the downtown core. The centre has a unique mini paintball area, just for 8-12 year olds. The paintballs used are smaller than regular paintballs and are fired from pump action JT Splatmaster guns at half the speed of regular paint ball guns, meaning they hurt less when you get shot with them…which I would have to say was a good thing with our trigger happy group.
The afternoon started with an orientation. Our group leader was adept at keeping the excited horde focused on the task with just the right amount of firm reminders, resorting to a whispered “If you can hear me touch your nose, if you can hear me touch your shoulders, if you can hear me touch your knees…” until she had there attention again. It worked like a dream. I may be incorporating it into our daily life. Although without the paint ball gun I may not command the same authority.
Then the kids were led downstairs to the “arena” where they played a variety of games for 45 minutes before heading to a second arena with a different set up for 45 more minutes of other games.
My five year old was suitably devastated not to be old enough to participate, but did surprisingly well watching and cheering his brother on from the small space designated as the “safe zone.” It gets a bit crowed in the safe zone, so they ask that only 2 spectators at a time be in there, once they have signed the requisite waiver. That meant a bit of juggling spots between parents, so be warned if you have a bunch of adults that want to watch.
After the games we headed back upstairs where we had two picnic tables reserved in the central common area for up to an hour for cake and presents. The facility allows you to bring your own food, but drinks are required to be purchased onsite. They will order Panago pizza for you if you want something more substantial, but we were ok with snacks and cake. We certainly didn’t need the full hour and the boys may have gone a little bonkers running around after we loaded them up with sugar. Luckily they are used to that there!
Mini Paintball at Laser City:
Address 5104 67 Ave NW, Edmonton
Many thanks to Edmonton Paintball Centre for hosting our party. The opinions are my own.