By Lurdes Abruscato
Finding a family outing that satisfies everyone young and old and in between is nearly impossible, but laser tag just may fit the bill. It takes some physical activity – but not a lot of exertion. Laser tag is the perfect year-round family activity. You can stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, all family sizes from two to 20 can play together and it’s a challenge for video savvy youngsters but not too complicated for younger or older family members.
Outfitted with laser tag packs, players navigate passageways in an enclosed arena and play outmaneuvering games. The packs keep track of shots and points. One caveat: Laser tag is played in black-lit rooms and commercial fog generally is used, which could be an issue for some people with health concerns.
Ultrazone Laser Tag
7835 Eastpoint Mall Dr.
Baltimore, Md. 21224
Hours: Mon. –Thur.: 4-9:30 p.m.; Fri: 4-midnight; Sat.: Kid Zone hours – 10 a.m.-noon, regular hours noon to midnight; Sun.: noon-8 p.m.
Cost: During Kid Zone hours, kids 12 and under: $4/game. Single game: $7.50/game; 3-game triple play card: $17/card. All-day pass (ends at 8 p.m. Fri. and Sat.): $25. Summer fun card: $125. All-night play: $13. Day camps: flat $300, up to 30 people, price is for 3-4 games. Overnight/lock-in rate: $20/person, minimum of 60 people.
At Ultrazone, each laser tag game lasts about 30 minutes, with up to 35 players in a single game and up to four games played per hour. One really cool unique feature offered at this facility – overnight or “lock-in” parties – which include unlimited games, exclusive use of the facility (doors are closed to the public until 8 a.m. the following morning), music, dancing and board games, a TV/DVD, and for additional costs, access to video games and food and beverages.
XP Laser Sport
12400-B Owings Mills Blvd.
Reisterstown, Md. 21136
(410) 833-6611, (410) 792-8300
14705 A Baltimore Ave.
Laurel, Md. 20707
(410) 792-8300; (301) 953-2266
Hours: Mon.: closed for private events only; Tues. –Thurs.: 3-9 p.m.; Fri.: 3 p.m.-midnight; Sat.: noon-midnight; Sun.: 1-8 p.m.
Price: One 45-min. session (includes 2 games): $15/person; two 45-min. sessions: $24/person; groups of 8-15 players: one 45-min. session: $14/person; groups of 16-40 players: one 45-min. session: $13/player. Various birthday party, field trip and other group rates offered.
The Owings Mills facility offers a multilevel playing field, with chest pads that say “great tag” when players beam their enemies. XP Laser Sport also touts 12 software modes (including Super Rapid Fire or Stealth) that ride over standard games and make for more challenging events. The center suggests players be 7+ years old and strictly adheres to a minimum height requirement of 44 inches. The arena has a full-view observation deck where non-players can watch the action.
Red Zone Adventures
1928 Greenspring Dr.
Timonium, Md. 21093
Hours: Tue –Thur.: 1-9 p.m., Fri.: 1 p.m.-midnight, Sat.: 10:30 a.m.-midnight; Sun.: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; special seasonal hours and closures for private events
Price: One laser tag game: $8.50; various multi-attraction packages, including 1 laser tag game, 1 round of Urban Golf, 1 Laser Maze: $14; Walk-In Weds.: ½ off walk-in rates; various party, event, group pricing packages available
Within 15 miles of the city, Red Zone offers a 6,000-square foot facility with a sophisticated laser tag system. The center also includes Urban Golf, with nine glow-in-the-dark “greens” and glowing props, and a Laser Maze, where participants must make like Mission Impossible and navigate through intersecting laser beams. Its Lightspace Play Floor targets dance aficionados.
And there’s no more economic way to fight off the hunger you’ve worked up than taking the fam out to pizza. Check out the best pizza joints we’ve found in the Baltimore area.
Lurdes Abruscato is a local freelance writer and contributing blogger to several sites. She is always on the lookout for worthwhile activities and creative pursuits for her two children.