When it comes to having your kid’s birthday party at BAM!, we often say, “All parents do is take pictures and have fun. BAM! does everything, except take pictures and blow out the candles!”
The truth is, as hard as we try to make it simple for a parent to plan a party at BAM!, there are some fairly small tasks you still have to do. That being said, I’m going to attempt to make what little there is for you to do even easier with some key links and tips so your child — and you! — can truly have the Best. Birthday. Ever!
Booking A BAM! Birthday Party
There are 3 ways to reserve a birthday party for you kid at BAM! Online. By phone. Or, in person. Regardless of how you book a party, we’re going to ask a series of questions, which will helps us give you a great experience perfectly tailored for your group. Questions include: which BAM! birthday party are you interested in? (We have 5 party packages to choose from!) How many kids and adults in the party? (This is important for seating space consideration.) Will the adults participate in any of the activities? Would you like to add any additional activities that aren’t already included in your selected party package? Would you like us to serve our cupcakes and ice cream, or will you bring your own cake?
Once you’ve booked your BAM! party, there are a many ways to invite friends to a party. Here are a few suggestions:
- Create a private Facebook event. It’s a simple way to reach everyone, monitor the RSVP count, answer questions, provide a map to BAM! (if you list us in the location box @BamEntertainmentCenter), and publish post-party pictures. Never set up a Facebook event? Here’s how.
- Email potential guests. If not everyone you’d like to invite is on Facebook, using an online invitation website is a great alternative. There are several sites to choose from. I found this cute, free invitation with a bowling theme on Evite.
- Mail invitations. If you’ve got enough lead time, everyone, especially kids, love getting real mail. Canva has a host of free bowling party templates for you to create a custom invitation you can print out.
The Birthday Cake!
We get it. Your kid’s into Spider Man, and wants a Spidey cake for his birthday. If you opt to bring your own birthday cake instead of the uber convenient BAM! cupcakes and ice cream, you, of course, can make your own. If you’d rather not, there are several businesses you can contact to have a birthday cake made. Here’s link to a few Holland bakeries near BAM!
All You Do Is Take Pictures…
Taking pictures at BAM! is not as easy as it may sound. Dimmed overhead lights, and BRIGHT arcade game and spot lighting creates a great mood, but as far as pictures, either the kids’ faces are well lit, and the surroundings are in dark or vice versa. It’s tricky to capture both. As the one primarily responsible for digital marketing at BAM!, over the years, I’ve learned a few things about taking good pictures and video with my phone while kids are on the go.
If you’re bowling, right after all the kids get their bowling shoes on, have them each grab a ball, and group them on your lane’s approach with their back to the pins. Make sure the light on their faces is adequate by taking a few pictures with flash on, and then with the flash off. I’ve found these pictures more endearing than pictures of kids’ backs when they’re actually bowling.
Don’t have them stand in front of arcade games. The contrast between the game’s bright lights and the room’s dim lights puts happy faces in silhouette. Better to get an action profile shot of them playing the game from the side of the game.
It’s almost impossible to capture the excitement of playing laser tag in a picture. The kids are moving so fast, the pics turn out blurry. You might get lucky, and get some good ones, but why stress yourself out? Instead, snap a few candid shots of kids as they’re prepping to go into the laser tag arena. If you want a group shot, get it while they’re in the vesting area because they’ll all be corralled, and are typically facing the entrance to the arena. So. Much. Easier.
Ropes course is another photographer’s challenge because the kids are often a good distance from you as they maneuver around the 12 different elements in dim light. The ropes course is suspended 11 feet over our arcade room, so we don’t allow small objects, including cameras, while on the ropes course. Position yourself near the ropes course entrance railing and get candid shots as the kids cross closest to you. Or, while they’re getting put into the harness.
All these tips work for video too. I’ve found time-lapse video very effective for capturing bowling and ropes course fun.
BAM! really does take all the stress out a having a kids’ birthday party. And with these tips and resources, I hope your child’s next birthday party at BAM! is a ton of fun, and full of lasting memories for everyone, including you!