My oldest celebrated her 8th birthday last week and it had been decided months ago that she wanted a laser tag party. I was immediately on board with the idea since laser tag is an indoors event and you never know what April weather will bring. I did some research and found that ShadowLand, which has multiple locations in the DC area, had won a lot of ‘Best Birthday Parties’ from local, reliable magazines. We were excited to partner with Shadowland for an active indoor party.
Another, more selfish, reason that I was onboard with Laser Tag is that I am a recovering Pinterest Mom. My kids usually have their birthday parties at our home and I would spend the weeks leading up to those parties OBSESSING over party decorations and themes. I would be up late into the night making intricate backdrops and DIY photo booths. But after I stopped by Shadowland to take a tour of the venue I quickly realized that the kids would be spending most of their time in the arena and would be way too excited looking over their scorecards for me to bother decorating the party room (which was already themed out). I spent approximately 20 minutes planning this party and my daughter deemed it “the best party ever” afterward. MOM WIN!
We loved everything about our party at ShadowLand, but I think the most important aspect worth noting is that it wasn’t overcrowded. While I was initially glad that the party would be inside due to questionable weather, I couldn’t help but think of other indoor parties we had attended that had four birthdays going on at once with 100 kids running in every direction. So I was super grateful that ShadowLand only allows two parties at a time. The arena is huge, so even with two parties, it wasn’t at all overwhelming and I wasn’t worried that kids would be running into each other head first.
The staff was phenomenal and totally exceeded my expectations. Our party helper, Celine, was so incredible and took excellent care of us. The kids gathered for a tutorial and safety session before grabbing their gear from the vesting room. Soon they were having a blast in the arena for their first of two games. We took a break between games for lunch (ShadowLand offers to supply the pizza or you can bring in outside food). Then it was off for another round of laser tag before we finished up the day with cake and a magic trick compliments of Celine!
The arena is a multi-level landscape of carpeted ramps, walkways, alleyways, bridges and towers. An eerie, misty fog fills the air. Specialty music, colored lights and darting laser beams combine to create an environment unlike any other. Teams are encouraged to define their own strategy, based on the briefing, on how to advance their position in the adventure. Laser tag games push senses to the limit, teach teamwork and teach stealthiness. Our party guests had a blast working together to find the best strategy to win.
During the tutorial, the kids were told that if they needed help at any point during the game to yell “Marshall!” and a staff member would come right over to help. I put the Marshalls to the test while the game was going on when one of the party guests needed help and sure enough, as soon as I called out someone was by my side asking what the problem was and how they could help. I really appreciated that parents are allowed to hang out in the arena in a designated area to keep an eye on things.
I am so glad we chose ShadowLand as our party destination! Everyone had a really great time, especially the birthday girl! ShadowLand also offers team building events for youth and adults, STEM Classes, Field Trips, Fundraisers, and more! Learn more about these exciting events here.
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