Grand Rapids’ Best Surprises Hide Around Every Corner at BattleGR
“I Think Other Kids Should Know About this Place!” –Freddy age 11
I had no idea what to expect when I invited 10 friends, ages 6 to 16, to join my 2 boys for an afternoon at BattleGR, currently in Standale. All I knew was that they offer a variety of tactical arena laser tag and mobile archery tag games.
On the phone, owner Jenny Lashuay told me when to arrive and to have everyone dressed in comfy clothes and sneakers. She was so warm and accommodating. Jenny is part of the local husband-and-wife ownership duo that thinks like parents, because they are parents.
Jenny was there to welcome us when we arrived. She directed the children to the large lobby full of arcade games, toys, coloring, and giant Jenga. They explored while she explained to me how BattleGR gives kids a chance to be active with laser tag in a different way.
Your Mission at BattleGR: Complete Multiple Grand Rapids Laser Tag Adventures
Unlike traditional, blacklight laser tag with vests and a willy-nilly free-for-all, BattleGR provides twenty-five+ different objective-based games. It is always new and fresh, similar to the video games kids play.
“It’s a great alternative to video games. I was active and sweatin,’” said Stephen (age 12).
Even the laser tag tools are unlike any I have seen. They are metal instead of plastic, but weigh about 1 pound less than traditional laser tag guns. Players don’t need vests because the sensors are right in the guns. That means no aiming at faces and more challenging experiences.
Kids Learn to Use Cool Tools and Master Exciting Rules
“No vest means I have a reason to keep moving. The referee and games makes it more fun for older kids.” – Kolton age 16
I loved how the referee kept things interesting by giving them 3 different games to play. The first was a basic red team vs. blue team game.
The second game had the kids (some of whom had never met) working together to select a “boss” for each team. They had to strategize to keep the boss a secret and protected at the same time.
For a third game, the rules changed again, having three of the older kids act as bosses that were combating against everyone else. I watched as strangers became partners – problem solving, planning, and communicating together.
“We had to use teamwork to plan things out,” said 8-year-old Nicholas.
There’s No Man Left Behind at BattleGR
“It’s fun for all ages and genders. It’s very fair. There’s no cheating.” – Bianca age 15
I can really see how BattleGR can appeal to all kinds. The gamer kid can hone his tactical skills in live action. The quiet or reserved kid can enjoy teaming up with others and plotting from the tower.
The child with sensory sensitivities will appreciate the dim warehouse lighting with the absence of flashing strobes and neons under blacklights. Children with autism can maneuver the arena safely in any way that is comfortable for them, especially since BattleGR tailors games to each group.
After our session, Stephen expressed that it was “exciting and terrifying all at the same time!”
They even have a homeschool day the 3rd Wednesday of each month with laser tag and also painting for siblings that are not interested. On Fridays, they host Teen-ish Nights with themes, specials, and games for 3 hours. For the 6- and 7-year-old crowd, they even have Nerf tag.
The best part is, Mom and Dad can relax in the lobby and watch it all on the arena monitor, or join in on the fun.
There’s So Much More to BattleGR That You Don’t want to Miss!
BattleGR also hosts parties of all kinds, from corporate events to birthdays and graduation open houses. It is a great choice for team building events, youth groups, or parents’ night out.
They have a vibrant after school program, where they tackle subjects like leadership and community establishment.
BattleGR will even bring the fun to you with their mobile laser and archery tag adventures. Families can experience the excitement anywhere in the Grand Rapids area with a full set up of games and missions.
By the summer of 2020, BattleGR should be in their new, larger location in Plainfield township, near Fifth Third ballpark. Archery tag will also be available indoors at that time.
No matter what missions you go on or who is in your crew, everyone is going to love their day at BattleGR!