Review: Epic 6 Laser Tag & Sports Arena
By Chelle Dohrmann
Epic 6 Laser Tag & Sports Arena opened in early February 2014 in Fenton, MO. The owners invited my family to come check out the new facility and share our thoughts. I brought along two 15-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl.
The Nuts and Bolts of Epic 6
The facility is comprised of six different attractions (Epic "6" - get it?!), and we'll break them all down here:
Laser Tag Arena
The main event is the Laser Tag arena, the largest of its kind in the area. The artwork inside is a sight to behold in and of itself; it was done by an airbrush artist with some local images (Arch, Eads bridge) along with other graphics giving it a video-game, Halo-type feel. Inside, there are a series of ramps to a higher platform, but otherwise, much of the game is played on the ground level. Currently, they have equipment for 30 players at a time (with plans to ultimately expand to 50). For added competitive fun, when the game is over, participants can check their scores on a leaderboard upon exiting. While there is no minimum age, the laser arena might be a little scary for the younger set given the darkness and images; but no one knows your children like you do, so use your best judgment.
Basketball and Dodgeball Courts
For the sports sorts, there is a full-court Basketball Court and a Dodgeball Court. Gather some friends for some friendly competition or face off against others interested in playing. Sessions last 20 minutes in each, which was plenty of time for my kids to work up a sweat!
Rock Climbing Wall
The Rock Climbing wall is a really popular attraction, with four different climbs of varying degrees of difficulty. The kids are strapped into harnesses, provided with safety explanation and supervised during the the climb. The wall is 22-ft. high, and I had one kiddo not so into heights and only made it halfway up, but the others made several climbs to the top.
Inflatable Obstacle Course
The Inflatable Obstacle Course is fun for all ages. It has a lot of different elements (climbing, crawling, etc) providing a great source of exercise. It can be a lot of fun trying to go through the course racing against a friend or just cruising through on your own.
Finally there is a small Arcade for the gaming fans (most games seemed to range from $.25 - $2), Money for the arcade can be placed on your attractions card, which is then swiped at each game.
Epic 6 is a "ticketless" facility, but the awards you earn per game are stored on your card. There is a shop in which you may redeem your awards for prizes, ranging anywhere from 5 tickets for small items (candy) to 11,000 for the biggest item (headphones). I love the ticketless feature so no one has to worry about carting tickets all over, or mom or dad being handed pile after pile and trying to keep track of whose they all are. The cards never expire, so you can accumulate points over many visits if there is a larger item that you are trying to earn.
Another great feature is that your playing cards can be registerd online; this is important in case the card gets lost or stolen. Once reported, the original card can be discontinued and a new card issued, with all previously accumulated points transferring over to the new card.
How to Spend Your Time and Money
The attractions can be purchased individually, ranging from $1 (per obstacle course run) up to $7 (per laser tag game), and this might be a good choice if you have limited time. However, if you plan on staying awhile, your best bet is their "Beat the Buzzer" special for $19 that allows for 2 hours of unlimited play on any attraction, with the exception of the arcade. (Money for the arcade needs to be added to your player card separately.) Other specials can be found on their website (www.epic6fun.com), including a Sampler Pass ($18) which seems to be a popular choice and a great way to check out all they have to offer.
What about the Adults?
Adults can play too; there is no age limit on who can or can't have fun! However, if you plan to leave all the running around to the kids, adults do not need to pay to get in. Many adults can be found walking around the facility, but for those comfortable letting the kids loose with their playing cards, there is a lounge area with TVs and free wi-fi to escape the noise. I appreciated the fact that the room included a couple of windows looking into the facility so that parents are still able to watch their children in action. And if you are really comfortable, you may drop your kids off and return to pick them up; that is at your own discretion.
We finished our visit with a trip to the snack bar. Epic 6 offers a nice variety: fountain and bottled beverages, hot dogs, burgers, minipizzas, sandwiches, french fries, pretzels, toasted ravioli, nachos, and cheese sticks, as well as some more healthful choices like applesauce, carrot sticks, Go-Gurt, and fruit cups. None of the food is fried, which is a nice added bonus.
We sampled the hot dog (big, jumbo-style) and the mozzarella sticks (very good!). Note that there are no free drink refills, so choose accordingly. There are picnic-style tables nearby in which to eat; a TV mounted on the wall is nearby. Adults may also take food and beverages into the lounge area.
Groups and parties
Epic 6 has rooms to accommodate small birthday parties with a minimum of 10, as well as larger groups or corporate events up to 100.
The bottom line
So…is Epic 6 Laser Tag & Sports Arena really worth it?
YES, it is a lot of fun! If you have a family with kids of a variety of ages, there really is something for everyone, ideally for ages 6 and up. (Not that a handful of 4-5-year-olds aren't adventurous, but I'm not sure you would get your money's worth if all of your kids are that young.)
I loved that the facitlity and its attractions are geared to providing great opportunities for physical fitness activity. My group was sweaty and tired after two hours, but all they talked about was the fun they had, not the exercise that they clearly got in the process.
The facility was clean, the games were all in working order, and workers were easily visible and ready to assist. Clearly, a lot of time and energy has been put into the laser tag arena, as the remainder of the facility currently lacks the same pizzazz. But we were told that the envornment will probably look brighter and more colorful with each return visit!
Overall, we here at KidsOutAndAbout give Epic 6 Laser Tag & Sports Arena two “thumbs up!” The price wasn't overly expensive for a couple hours of entertainment; it provides a great destination for tweens and teens to hang out year-round; and at the same time, it is perfect for families with kids of varying ages. We will definitely go back and bring friends!
Epic 6 Laser Tag & Sports Arena is located at 601 Gravois Bluffs Blvd., Fenton, MO 63026; (636) 600-1890; www.epic6fun.com. During the school year, Epic 6 is only open Thursday - Sunday; summer hours will be seven days/week.
© 2014, KidsOutAndAbout.com
Chelle Dohrmann is a mother of two and the St. Louis Editor of KidsOutAndAbout.com