The invite arrived in the mail last week: 'There is going to be a party @ Timezone and you are invited'. Awesome, I thought.
Then I saw it was for my five year old, not me. Oh well.
There are two types of parties at Timezone: the standard and the deluxe. Both include 'free' use of a party room, unlimited play for a period of time, and pre-loaded 'powertickets' for each child which they can swap for prizes.
The party room comes pre-decorated which saves a few headaches. There is a small fridge and microwave, plus a bench for the inevitable pile of presents. The room is free for an hour and a half for the standard party, and two hours for the deluxe party. You must supply all your own food and plates/serviettes etc, but this is probably a good thing as it means you can determine how much sugar you want kids to consume and you aren't paying catering premiums.
Each child is provided with a pre-loaded Powercard, which allows unlimited play on standard and Powerticket machines for one hour (standard party) or 90 minutes (deluxe party). Each child also gets one 'feature' game and one 'vending' game (standard) or three vending games (deluxe).
This basically means that kids have free rein of Timezone games, and plenty of opportunity to smash frogs on the head, throw hoops, shoot things, bowl, dance, blow things up, stomp on things and be dazzled by bright lights before you drag them back to the party room for food.
Money? You don't need money to amuse kids, just flashing lights
Cards are preloaded with 150 Power tickets (180 for the deluxe party) so even if you have the most uncoordinated, gaming-challenged kid on the planet, they will still 'win' enough prizes to make them feel like they belong in the Timezone Olympics. The birthday kid gets extra Powertickets so they can 'win' a rather awesome prize. It's probably worth remembering that kids can't actually earn more Powertickets during the unlimited play.
Prizes start at '10' powertickets, and there is something for everyone
A minimum of six people are needed for parties, and if you have ten or more guests, the birthday child plays for free. Prices will vary across Timezones across the country, but in WA they are $16 per child for the standard parties and $20 for the deluxe.
A Timezone party is great for kids who are old enough to manage the games, and great for parents who don't want the hassle of hosting a party at home. Even the invitations are included.
Even after the party room has been cleaned, the Powercards are empty, and the lollies consumed, kids still seem to have fun just hanging out, punching buttons and riding motorbikes, and with any luck, will wear off all the excess energy they have just consumed.