Blast City Laser Tag: Winter Break Activity

Blast City game room, for while you’re waiting to play

For parents* who are fans of Kids World at Lindero Canyon and Kanan (and other indoor playgrounds) but whose kids are getting too big to spend hours in the arcade, climbing tunnels, or the battle ball pit, I’m excited to tell you that Blast City Laser Tag, which opened recently right next door, is there for the kids to enjoy once they graduate from “little kid” status.

Big kid in motion

Blast City is a two-story laser tag facility that is “fully immersive,” so it’s just like the kids get to play their favorite role-playing video games but in real life. Each game is $10 for “12 minutes of intense action, fog, light effects and great music.” Referees are stationed throughout to offer assistance, but parents can enter the game with the kids (you have to play too, though). Equipment includes vests and laster tag guns, and participants have to watch a video and go through equipment training before playing the game. Kids 5 and older can play, and it’s not just for kids – plenty of adults play the game, too.

Equipment staging area

My kids got to check it out as guests of Blast City, and I have to say I was a little bit nervous because the 9-year-old has had negative experiences with laser tag in the past, but he gave this place two thumbs up! The staff who run the facility are very knowledgeable and helpful and they’re super into laser tag, which really adds to the experience. The boys were both tired and sweaty after two games. It was such a successful visit that Blast City gift cards were purchased for their Christmas stockings and they were both really happy to find them!

Blast City Laser Tag Arena

Blast City is open for open play Wednesday through Friday starting at 3:00 PM, and all day on weekends. The facility can be booked for birthday parties and corporate events, or you can reserve private games for your group of 10 or more. This actually sounds like an awesome team-building activity for your department at work.

Blast City Party Rooms and Rates

Better yet, because Blast City is right next door to Kids World, you can split your family up and send the older kids to play laser tag while you chill with an adult beverage in the back at Kids World and the littles pummel each other with soft foam balls. Who said there’s nothing to do over winter break?

*This goes for grandparents too. My kids’ grandparents brought them to Blast City, so I have them to thank for the legwork for this post.

Blast City Laser Tag
618 Lindero Canyon Rd
Oak Park, CA 91377

All photos by Barbara Tracy

First Hike of the Year – Simi Peak and China Flats

IMG_7494China Flats, on the way up to Simi Peak

Thanks to a standing arrangement with my friend Deb, I take a hike about once a week, and usually somewhere that is new to me. Deb is an important part of this because without a person who will expect me to go somewhere, I will stay in my house sitting at my desk and basically just atrophying while the kids are at school. Also, she knows all the trails and she usually drives.

This week it was Simi Peak and a short jaunt through a mountaintop meadow called China Flats. Technical expertise on this hike can be found here at Nobody Hikes in LA. I’m just here to show you how amazeballs it is at the top:


The first mile is a very do-able climb up. We were passed by a dog (and its owner).


We stopped at a lower peak to get a geocache, because that is how we roll.


Then the trail snakes around the back of the mountain and goes through these beautiful oak groves and meadows.

IMG_7479If you look closer you can see a hobbit.


And here is the view from the top. That road that heads south off to the other mountains is Lindero Canyon.


To the west you can see the ocean. Well, I guess you had to be there.


Just hanging out. In that metal drum below me is a log book you can sign to show you reached the peak.


Then we turned around and went back down the way we came up. It only took us about 3 hours, with a few breaks. I recommend!


Halloween in the Bubble

Most people in these parts go trick-or-treating in one of three areas: Hempstead Street, Three Springs in Westlake Village, and Deerhill in Oak Park. When I say “most people” I mean most trick-or-treating aged kids and their parents that we know in Agoura Hills.

For our first Halloween as Agoura residents we went along with the popular trend and ventured off to Hempstead. I was impressed with the organization of the event – the streets into the neighborhood are closed off the car traffic, and emergency response teams and police are on hand just in case. Many of the houses are over-the-top tricked out in decorations and even operate as haunted houses. Of course everyone wants to go there.


That year my kids were 5 and 3, and my husband did not come with us. They each took off in different directions, which is one thing when you’re walking along a normal street, but treacherous and nervewracking when that street is as crowded as Disneyland’s Main Street just after the fireworks.

Dude. It’s just too crowded for me. Plus because there were so many kids, they all had to stand in line at each house for their one piece of candy.

Every year since then, we’ve trick or treated here in our own neighborhood. Only every third house has a light on, and we only see a rare band of other kids out reveling, but it’s much easier for me to keep track of mine, and there’s no waiting in line. There’s no need for me to drive, find a unicorn parking space in the crowded streets around the target neighborhood, and chase my children through the crowds.

Also, it makes our neighbors feel good. There are some houses around here whose owners decorate like crazy, rigging up zombie mannequins that talk to you as you walk by, or full-on mock graveyards with things crawling out of the ground. But hardly anyone comes. Every time they open the door to my children’s cries of “Trick or treeeeeeeat!” each adult has joy on his or her face. “Wow, great to have you!” they say, or “We didn’t think we’d see any kids tonight!” And then they dump half their candy supply into my kids’ bags. After 45 minutes of this, my children are tired and their bags are full.

I know I am in the minority among parents in this town, but I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Take a chance, I encourage you, and try trick or treating in your own neighborhood. Take back Halloween!

Sadly, this might be the last year I get away with this little family scenario. My boys were asking to go off with their friends this year, and I firmly denied. There were only a few tears, and in the end we had just as much fun as ever. But I’m not sure that will work next year. Sad trombone.