A birthday party that is tons of fun for lots of kids, minimal work for parents, and makes the birthday child deliriously happy may seem like something that exists only in dreams. But, our recent GameTruck experience brought that dream to life.
What is GameTruck? It’s an ingenious concept from a former Disney game designer who missed the social feel of old-fashioned arcades and the social aspect that came along with gaming with friends. Each GameTruck is equipped with four big-screen TVs, multiple gaming systems, comfy couches, and tons of options for playing. GameTruck rolls right up to your home and guests pile in to lounge and play.
My eight-year-old son recently had a GameTruck birthday party and he and his friends had the time of their lives. The inside of the truck has a nightclub like atmosphere with music and colorful pinlights. Although we had snacks waiting for the kids, as well as a basketball hoop and a couple of other activities set-up outside, we couldn’t convince the kids to get off the truck for the entire two hours it was at our home. Kids have the option of playing one game the entire time or switching games if they prefer. Our Game Coach was fantastic in helping kids select games and helping out when needed with remotes and game rules. When my son’s friends left one enthusiastically shouted, “Have this again next year!” Parents were equally impressed and more than one took a picture of the truck as their child entered.
The party went so smoothly, that it was the first birthday I have ever hosted where I didn’t know what to do with myself and could really enjoy just watching the kids have fun. My husband even managed to sneak in a couple of games with our son.
We had both girls and boys and our party and they all had a blast. I loved the variety of games that the kids choose to play from the classic PacMan or Minecraft to the energetic Just Dance, FIFA soccer and more. There was defiantly something for everyone!
No food or drink is allowed on the GameTruck so the only thing you need to plan is where to have cake and snacks. I asked our Game Coach what families usually do and he gave me a few different options. Some families take a ten minute break after the first hour of play for cake, some have kids stay for about 15 minutes after the truck leaves, and some serve cake and snacks to kids as they rotate out to give other kids a chance to play. On nice days, snacks can be had just outside the truck so that guests only need to go inside to use the bathroom. Since my son has a December birthday we opted to have kids come inside for 15 minutes after the truck left. It was the perfect amount of time to sing Happy Birthday and have some snacks and not make a mess or need additional entertainment.
Our GameTruck party definitely made for happy kids and parents! GameTruck is a great option not just for birthday parties, but for a parents’ night out, a nice addition for a holiday party, a highlight of school fairs, and more. GameTrucks often visit military bases for events and since the trucks are handicapped-accessible can often be seen at Walter Reed Hospital providing some much-needed recreation for Wounded Warriors. GameTruck also has a school fundraising program and is used by some schools as a reward for classes who earn good grades.
Things to know
- Each of the four TV sets in a GameTruck can accommodate up to four players for a total of 16 kids playing at one time.
- It is possible to invite more than 16 children and ask the Game Coach to rotate players about every 20 minutes.
- GameTrucks have a display of all available games. Before the party begins parents have the option to remove games they do not want children to play from the display. For example, parents may wish to select only games that allow for four players to allow the maximum number of kids to play at the same time or to remove games with war themes.
- GameTrucks are equipped with Xbox, Wii, Wii U, PS3, and PS4.
- GameTruck parties last two hours with the option to add additional time.
- Trucks are well-heated heated and cooled. In nice weather the trucks also have large windows that can be opened.
- GameTruck parties are recommended for ages seven and up.
- Parties are extremely popular and can book 3 to 4 weeks in advance.
- GameTrucks travel throughout the metro area.
- Parties are available on weekdays and weekends throughout the day.
- Prices range from $349 to $399 depending on the day and time. This is a flat rate regardless of the number of guests. I found this price to be very comparable to other birthday party options in our area.
- GameTruck offers the option to add-on party favors and apparel, which are sent directly to your home.
Photos by Jamie Davis Smith.