What’s a birthday party at a games arcade like? A review from a Timezone party guest
Need a novel idea for your kid's birthday party? The array of arcade games and attractions at Timezone's flagship VivoCity store in Singapore will thrill and delight little party-goers.
If you’re all been-there-done-that with indoor playgrounds and racking your brains for somewhere novel to hold your kiddo’s birthday party, here’s an idea – Timezone at VivoCity.
In all honesty, I never knew you could hold birthday parties at Timezone until my friend, G, invited us to her child’s birthday party. Our family do not frequent arcades and we’re not big on video games, but for our first visit to Timezone VivoCity, everyone ended up having a ball of a time!
The Party Room
We arrived on time at Timezone VivoCity to find a party room decorated with cute partying monsters on the outside, and well-equipped and good-sized on the inside. The kids started playing with Timezone balloons while we checked out the brilliant view of the sea and Sentosa.
The party room can easily hold 30 guests [but trust us, not many will be hanging out here given the attractions outside!] and has its own refrigerator, microwave, a washing sink and a designated area for cake-cutting – all very useful for a party!
The Timezone party host gathered all the children to hand out Timezone welcome cards and explained how it worked. The card - during the duration of the party - gives each kid access to unlimited yellow reader games, 32 green/blue/red reader games and five rainbow card reader games [the colours in reference to the colour of the game’s card reader]. The host also reminded the children not to leave Timezone themselves if they needed to use the loo but to ask for assistance from their parents.
Aside, G told me the party package is at $640 for ten kids for a duration of three hours. So if you have more than ten kids, you could top up at $64 per kid or separately purchase and load up Timezone cards with credit for your guests.
The package also comes with goodie bags for the kids and a party host. Food-wise, you’re allowed to cater and bring in your own.
With that, all the kids made a beeline for the games outside. There were a huge variety to choose from, it is 12,000 square feet and the largest arcade centre in Singapore after all!
Little E, six, and Big E, eight, enjoyed the green/blue/red games the most. These consisted of claw machines, funfair games like ring toss and toss the bean bags, and kiddy shooting games – basically games that dispensed tickets which you could accumulate and redeem for prizes.
The rainbow card readers were for the bumper cars [yes, there is a bumper car ring with LED-lit bumper cars in there!] with a height limit of 112cm for riders...
...Virtual Rabbit, a virtual reality ride and a four-lane mini bowling alley. My kids were not fans of bumper cars and thrill rides so they didn’t go for the first two. The bowling alley was more up their alley [hurhur] and they had a few tries on it.
The unlimited yellow games were mainly non-ticket dispensing video games like driving and shooting games, ice air hockey, pinball and Pacman. Our girls were less interested in these as they did not dispense tickets. Very practical of them.
Given that the cards were only valid during the party hours, we’d suggest going for the red/blue/green and rainbow games first. Overall, the three hours were just enough to use up the 32 red/blue/green games and the five rainbow games [though our girls still had some credit left for the latter].
Here are some of Little E and Big E's favourites:
A good old funfair game where you toss rings over bottles in a limited amount of time. The further the row your ring ends up at, the more points and tickets you get.
Bean Bag Toss
Another funfair-style game where you toss bean bags into three moving holes. We didn't earn a lot of tickets from this one, maybe because we weren't really good at it!
This is a popular one with younger kids, where they get to shoot real water at sea creatures on the screen to earn points and tickets.
This is one of the many claw machines the girls went for. You don't earn tickets from them but you get a chance to win some cute prizes. Both Little E and Big E managed to clamp some Mini Mouse and Secret Life of Pets plushies after spending quite a bit of their credits on the machines.
Mini bowling is one of the three rainbow attractions you could use with the card. The balls are of course much smaller than real bowling balls and easy for little hands to use, and you can also put up bumpers to prevent the balls from going down the drain. You don't earn tickets here but our kids still love it!
Hungry Chickens is a cute one. You press a button for the chickens to pack and 'eat' the balls passing by. The more it 'eats', the more tickets you get!
Here's one of Big E winning the jackpot of 1,000 tickets at a spin the wheel game. The game involves pressing a button to stop a light going around a gigantic wheel and you get the number of tickets that's stated on the section where the light stops. Needless to say, the 1,000-ticket space are just two tiny strips but Big E did it! [proud mama moment!].
As we were there on a public holiday evening, the place was very crowded [G said this is usually not the case if you opt for morning party sessions]. But the wait for the games did not take long as the turnover was always pretty fast, so the kids still got to play what they wanted.
The games are perfect for primary school-going kids and teens. The only downside is your kid probably wouldn’t want to hang out for long in the party room to eat their lunch/dinner because it’s simply too fun outside!
Also you’ll have to listen out for the announcement from the party host to return to the party room for cake-cutting, something you could miss if you’re too engrossed in your game or like us, waiting for 1,000 tickets to be dispensed [not complaining here!].
The queue, was however, pretty long for non-party guests lining up to purchase or load their cards, likewise in the gift redemption area. But as party guests, we didn’t have to queue because the party host helped with our transactions, which is pretty good service, I must say.
All in all, our girls enjoyed themselves thoroughly as party guests and they’ve requested to hold their birthday parties at Timezone too. Much as hubby and I are not for crowds, we still had a fun time helping them at some of the games and watching their face light up when they marvel at their hard-earned string of tickets and caught toys at the claw machines.
Bonus tips for your party trip from G and myself
- Tell guests to come on time for the party as the cards are time-sensitive, meaning you can only use them during the designated party hours.
- Book your party at least a month or two in advance to secure your date and session. There are three three-hour party sessions – 1030-130am, 2-5pm and 530-830pm. G highly recommends the morning session which was a lot less crowded when she hosted another party here previously.
- Lookout for Timezone promotions where they give you extra game credits when you top up your card e.g. during the Vesak Day holidays in May, Timezone had a promotion whereby you purchase $30 worth of credit, you'd receive another $30 worth of free credits. You could stock up on cards during this time for extra guests and family.
- Unlike indoor playground parties where you can chitchat in the party room with other parents while your kid plays within the playground compounds, you’re unlikely to do so at Timezone if you have younger kids. Given that anyone can enter and exit Timezone as they wish, you'll probably need to follow your younger ones around for their safety.
Find Timezone VivoCity at 1 Harbourfront Walk, #02-43 VivoCity Singapore 098585 or contact them at +65 62510798.
Disclaimer: We were guests of a birthday party at the venue, and my opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.
©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.