Reposted from his Blog
I celebrated the birthday of my wife's cousin yesterday by participating in laser tag. It has been a long time since I have gone and it was definitely enjoyable. When they opened the door to the arena my lungs filled with the all too familiar scent of smoke machine juice as I entered that hot maze of glowing paint and mirrors. We played three 20 minute games for $18 a person since there was a holiday special going on. I did well to follow the list of rules for how we were to safely play by not running, kneeling, covering my sensors, and all the other protective measures. Overall it was a fun experience as the birthday boy got first place in one of the games and all of our group had a fun time.
Afterward I began comparing that birthday experience to the many I used to help host at the space center. For a space center birthday there is about one item that is the same, the smoke machine. First of all a flight runs for 2.5 hours at an average cost of $10 per person. That flight time is yours and yours alone unlike the laser tag time we shared with 20 other people. Many compare the story experience to that of a movie and so for that you are paying a bit more than the average Utah movie ticket price. Though unlike the movie you get to be a part of the experience and the decision you make could completely change how everything turns out. You also don't need to worry about screening the mission before you go for inappropriate content. In that process of ma
king decisions your group will experience and learn much more than just laser tag tactics.
It was interesting to think about this after the activity because I frequently would compare our private programs to laser tag when parents would sit and talk with us in the control room. This is probably why we have many fans who look forward to their birthday year after year as it has become a tradition to visit the space center. Don't misunderstand, I think laser tag and going to the movies are great birthday option , but they fall short in comparison to a private birthday flight into space.