This review of Zap Zone is part of our Summer Series: Wednesday Activity Reviews.
Zap Zone has closed their Ann Arbor location on Carpenter Rd. They have opened up Best in Games just up the street. Best in Games does have Laser Tag and an arcade, but birthday parties would be different.
Yesterday I presented my daughter with a list of options for this week’s Wednesday Activity Review. She immediately jumped on Zap Zone, a perennial favorite.
About Zap Zone
Zap Zone Ann Arbor offers laser tag, bumper cars, cannon blaster, and arcade games. By far, the most popular attraction is the laser tag, although my daughter always wants to do the bumper cars as well. She has done the cannon blaster once or twice, but has never asked to do it again.
Zap Zone Ann Arbor is located at 4177 Carpenter Rd.
Other Zap Zone Locations
There are a total of 8 Zap Zone locations across Michigan. Some of the other locations have other features like Glo Golf, Roller Skating, Jump Zone, and more. The Zap Zone locations and their attractions are:
- Ann Arbor – Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Cannon Blaster, Arcade
- Brighton – Laser Tag, Roller Skating, Play Zone, Arcade
- Canton – Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Glo-Golf, Arcade
- Farmington – Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Glo-Golf, Go Karts, Mini-Bowling, Jump Zone, Arcade
- Lansing – Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Glo-Golf, Jump Zone, Bear Factory, Spin Zone, Arcade
- Taylor – Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Glo-Golf, Mini-Bowling, Jump Zone, Slime Bucket, Arcade
- Utica/Sterling Heights – Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Glo-Golf, Mini-Bowling, Jump Zone, Time Freak, Arcade
- Waterford – Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Jump Zone, Arcade
Note both Lansing & Taylor list Springz as an attraction. Since the description page for Springz is a dead link, I have left it off of the attraction list.
Review of Zap Zone
My daughter loves Zap Zone, so we visit a few times each year. Zap Zone is at it’s best when there are a few other people, but not a huge crowd. We had the misfortune of arriving while a large camp group was there (about 1:30, they left around 2). They open at noon in the summer, so I suggest arriving mid to late afternoon after camps leave for the day. Bear with my photos below, many parts of Zap Zone are under black light which makes picture taking difficult.
Laser Tag Review
My daughter’s favorite part of Zap Zone is the Laser Tag. Laser Tag games start about every 15-20 minutes during peak times. Each Laser Tag game starts with an introduction and a review of the rules. If you have a large group, it can be fun to split yourselves across teams. In a small group, you may want to play together on the same team. A staff member will make the final team assignments trying to balance age/skill between the teams. Following the introduction, you will be taken into the room to don your gear. Note, the laser tag gear is fairly heavy and is probably best for kids ages 5 & up.
The Laser Tag arena features two levels with lots of walls, corners, ramps, and even floor grates on portions of the second level. This provides plenty of hiding places as well as opportunities for sneak attacks. The laser tag game lasts about 15 minutes. After the game, each player gets a scoresheet showing how they did.
Bumper Cars Review
My daughter and her friend enjoyed the bumper cars. With inflatable rubber bumpers, they look much less jarring than traditional bumper cars. The navigation levers also seem easier than the steering wheels – I could never figure out the turn all the way to go in reverse feature. My daughter and her friend seemed to have no trouble hitting each other or turning themselves in circles.
There is really no way to escape the arcade at Zap Zone. While waiting for your turn at Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, or the Cannon Blaster, the arcade is right there in the middle of the floor and surrounded by tables.
She usually ends up playing at the arcade while waiting between Laser Tag games. In the past, I have spent $20 to buy 100 tokens and saved them to use across multiple visits (or birthday parties). On our trip yesterday, I bought $5 in tokens (20 tokens) to split between my daughter and a friend. Many of the arcade games give tickets which can be traded for prizes. You can also save your tickets to earn a larger prize. Double Ticket Week is July 25-31. That week tickets will be doubled (700 ticket minimum required, 2500 maximum doubled amount). If we could find the tickets that my daughter had earlier this year, we might have enough.
Parents are of course welcome to pay and play themselves. While I don’t think I’d try the bumper cars, I have played Laser Tag in the past and had fun. But, if you don’t want to play they do offer WiFi. When we’ve visited during Mega Monday all you can play events, I have managed to get quite a bit of work done while my daughter spends the day playing.
Hours & Pricing at Zap Zone
Zap Zone’s hours vary with the season. They have extended hours during summer break. This summer Zap Zone Ann Arobr’s hours are:
- Monday-Thursday noon-11p
- Friday noon-midnight
- Saturday 11a-midnight
- Sunday noon-10p
We picked a perfect day to visit Zap Zone. It turns out that all attractions are $4 on Tuesdays. Laser tag is usually priced at $8/1 game, $14/2 games, $18/3 games.
I try to watch their event list for their All You Can Play Events. They run them frequently from 10p-2a and occasionally Mega Monday daytime events particularly on holidays. As a teen I imagine my daughter will love the night events, but for now we stick with the Monday events. The next event is on Labor Day. During a 3 Hour Mega Monday, for $20 my daughter has played up to 6 games of Laser Tag, a couple Bumper Car Rounds, and played lots of arcade games (at an additional cost).
Upcoming special days are $4 attractions on July 4th, Double Ticket Week July 25-31, and several All You Can Play Days listed on our calendar below: