11 Dec, 2011
Review & sneak peek at Funhaven Ottawa (a review you will definitely want to read!)
I’m falling behind on my advent posts! This activity was not especially Christmassy but it could not be helped. When I received an invitation to attend a special pre-opening event at Ottawa’s newest indoor arcade/fun zone I had to accept. I knew the girls would love it.
The girls had no idea what we were doing. What made it even better was the fact that we’d been driving by the signage for WEEKS and watching its progress. Suffice it to say they were pretty amazed when we pulled up right in front.
Funhaven bills itself as a Family Fun Centre and they totally deserve to wear that mantle. There was truly something for everyone in my family there and my girls are the perfect age for it. And Mark, darling Mark, had the opportunity to relive his childhood too.
They played laser tag (which got two thumbs up), and took part in something called “Laser Frenzy” … something I’ve never seen in Ottawa before and looks like something out of Mission Impossible. I can only describe it as a high tech maze. The kids loved it, and Mark did it SEVERAL TIMES. Check out the first couple minutes of this video to see what I mean:
I chatted with the lovely Lydia, the Funhaven sales manager. The Funhaven folks are really passionate about providing great entertainment for the family, and the amount of work that went into this planning this place was staggering. A mere 72 hours before our visit the place still looked like a construction site, and there were even photos to prove it.
Aside from the lasers, we all really liked the bumper cars. I swear, these were the best bumper cars I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve been on A LOT of bumper cars in my day. (Don’t worry, this blog will not become a Bumper Car Review Site.)
They were really smooth and easy to handle. It helped that we were the only ones on them at the time, but still, this particular activity had us all laughing our heads off.
There’s also a ball pit, and some tubes and climbers a la Cosmic Adventure (but smaller scale) but my girls didn’t indulge in that part. Amy’s boys were there the same night we were, and she reported that they really enjoyed this area (they are a bit younger) and ran through it until there was sweat pouring out of their little bodies. That’s gotta tell you something. (In other words, it’s a great place to wear down your kid to ensure a good night’s sleep.)
A large part of Funhaven is dedicated to arcade-style fun. Here’s a shaky overhead view:
Some of the games dole out points for high scores, the kind that can be exchanged for merchandise at the end of the night. Mark has a thing for skee ball, and won a few points for someone:
The point system here is rather high-tech. The chains of paper tickets are gone. Points are tallied on a swipe card. The same card serves as cash … you just load them beforehand for game play. No more losing quarters or begging mom for change!
Be forewarned, the shopping process at the end of the night might take 30 minutes or more. So leave time! It’s no fault of Funhaven’s (the process involves scanning the card and the totals are displayed on a TV screen) but Sarah had the hardest time choosing her prize. After much deliberation she finally chose a whoopee cushion, and some other small things. :)
But it’s not all about points here. There are lots of games to try:
And here’s my eldest on the climbing wall. They’ve never had the opportunity to do this before so they were pretty thrilled to have the chance:
And if you’re pooped out there’s a chance to sit and have a rest, along with a slice of pizza and a frozen yogurt. Here’s a view of the eating area. I sense some Ikea influence here, don’t you? :)
I think this would be a pretty amazing place to host a children’s birthday party. The place is clean, the staff is very friendly, and the kids had a great time and can’t wait to go back. It’s a very family-friendly environment and proved to be a great night out. It’s officially open now. I recommend you check it out!
Thank you for having us Funhaven!
This post is part of my 25 days of Christmas advent activities (although I’m actually doing only 12 this year). You can read more about the countdown calendar idea here.
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