If anyone ever has a personal vendetta against me, and they want me dead but also wants to get away with murder - here is your solution. Send me to Funplex and lock the doors. Within an hour or two I will shoot myself in the head.
Seriously, this place is a money sucking, headache giving, arcade on steroids laced with crack.
The minute you walk in the door it's chaotic loudness. Lights are flashing, like one of those video games that they say cause seizures.
So, I went there because my kids were invited to a birthday party there. If you have read my older posts, you know I avoid these places like the plague. I lie to my kids and tell them that Chuck E. Cheese's is only open to parties. You can't walk in off the street and just go in there without an invitation. Same for Funplex. I would never voluntarily go there.
We get to the front door and there is this boy who looks like he's twelve years old, with an earpiece and clip board. Kind of like how you would picture a bouncer at a high end Manhattan night club. By the way, aren't there child labor laws in New Jersey? Don't you have to be at least 15 or something to work? Who knows, maybe he was getting paid in ski ball tickets or coins for the arcade games. So I tell him the name of the birthday girl and he tells me to go upstairs and proceed to party table numbered 112. I swear to god, it took me about ten minutes just to get to the party room. The place is so large and confusing. Not only that but you have to navigate around the kids running into you AND you have to pay attention to not step on the kids lying on the floor having a tantrum. It was like getting across a football field. Turn and block here, so the obnoxious A.D.D boy doesn't run into your crotch...then when you compose yourself you have to hop over the snot nosed kid on the floor.
Finally, we reach the staircase that leads to the party room. To my surprise I see a police man. What?? A policeman at a place called Funplex?? What exactly goes on here that warrants a police man? I double checked. It was NOT a security guard with a uniform that resembles a police man's. It was a real, hopefully unarmed, policeman. I'm trying to imagine a scenario, as annoying as this place is, where a policeman would need to step in. Someone actually getting shot in the laser tag room? A car accident at the bumper car ring? Perhaps the line at the snack stand gets unruly? Or maybe someone is playing a game and another kid runs by and steals the winner tickets. I actually thought about asking the policeman if there is really anything I should be concerned about. But I my lost my nerve because I figured he would confuse my curiosity with facetiousness.
So I get up the staircase and seriously there are a bazzillion table meant for birthday parties. They could seriously have about 100 parties at one time. Talk about headache!! I don't know about you, my reader friends, but I can only take kids in small doses. The party I went to only had about 12 kids, but now I'm surrounded by a swarm of other people's kids. Ugh! I want to die. Some of you would say, "just drop your kids off and pick them up at the end of the party." But I can't do that! I can't leave my kids alone in a huge place like this. What if they get lost from their group? It took me a few minutes just to find the stairs for the party room, with all the obstacles blocking my view. Imagine being 3 feet high and trying to find it. They would totally freak. However, when the party "leader" ( an employee who has been assigned to take care of this particular party) takes the group down to do their activities..I do give them their independence and stay up in the party room. Maybe if they are smart enough they will put out pitchers of beer. (For future references, they are not that smart.) Anyway, the kids go downstairs and next thing I know, maybe 15 minutes later they are back up for pizza and cake. What the hell? 15 minutes of playing? What kind of party is that? A lame one, that's what kind. Then the kids spend like another hour eating pizza and cake. Snooze. Seriously, a venue like this and they only did two things. Laser tag and then when on this ride that goes up and down. I seriously had about 4 times as many activities at my daughter's birthday party, and it was in my backyard!
Ok, so they eat the pizza and cake and bamm, party over! Really, I spent $40 on birthday presents (it was a party for twins) and this only took up about an hour? What a waste. Dollar for dollar, the movies would have been a better choice to kill time. The worst part of the party actually occurs here. They hand out the goodie bags and inside are tokens to play games! Hooray! Not! So I get to spend MORE time at the loud and crowded arcade. It wouldn't be so bad if my kids would stay together. One wanted to go one way and the other wanted to go the other way. I can't possibly keep my eye on both kids at the same time if they are at two different locations in this arcade! I seriously start to panic. Of course they don't even wait for me to say that we need to stick together. They grab their tokens and take off. Even if I yell in my extremely loud Mommy voice, I still won't be heard.
I finally round them up. I try to explain taking turns but the reality is, they didn't even want to play the games. They wanted to do the things that were "extras", stuff I would have to pay for myself! Fuck that! I'm not going to a birthday party and then spending my own money on top of buying a gift. That's just insane. They wanted to go on the bumper cars, see the 3d movie and go in some foam thing, that I don't even know what it is other than I would have to buy a ticket for. Mean mom takes over and I tell my kids "hell no." They can play the games that they have tokens for.
Really, at this point I'm exhausted and frustrated. I want out! I let my kids play one more game each and then I tell them I'll buy them a present (not one behind the ticket counter, where you have to win over 100,000 tickets just to swap it for a bag of M&M's.) if they let me leave. I told them that I'll hold onto their tokens and tickets they have won and we'll come back on a rainy day.
Not only did I throw it out the moment we got home, but I invested in some hypnotism so that they will forget I even made the offer to go back.