Our kids are huge fans of Nerf blasters, and when we heard that there was a newly opened Nerf battle arena in North Austin, we couldn’t wait check it out! This business was the vision of a local Dad, Richard McVay, who wanted to bring this type of indoor fun to the Austin community. Dart’em Up opened in early December, and it’s since been bustling with very excited customers.
Located off of Lake Creek Parkway and Highway 183, Dart’em Up, offers drop-in play as well as birthday parties and group outings. They have 2 large arenas in which you can battle with Nerf blasters in a high-energy atmosphere. Referees guide teams of two in a variety of dart games. While the games are competitive, the refs keep things very organized and place a big emphasis on safety and fairness. The games are geared towards ages 5 and up (plenty of parents play, too), but younger kids might have too much trouble holding, loading and shooting the blasters.
When you arrive, you can check in to get a wristband that allows an hour of play, and you can choose your Nerf arsenal. (You are also allowed to bring your own blasters. Just leave your darts at home.) You’ll also need to take off your shoes and leave them in a cubby (or you can opt to rent a locker if you prefer). Don’t forget your socks!
You’ll then be led into a briefing room where you’ll go over all of the rules, get a colored jersey and safety glasses. From there, you’ll go into the arena and join your team. Teams are divided into two groups, indicated by your jersey color. Unless you’re coming with a huge group of your own, you’ll be teamed up with kids and parents who just happen to be there at the same time as you.
Parents are welcome to play with the kids, as well. On our visit, there were two dads in the arena having just as much fun as the children. But if you don’t wish to play with your kids, you can sit outside and watch through windows as you relax. While there is rather loud music inside the arenas, there isn’t any in the lobby, making this much more comfortable for parents who simply want to chill.
Inside the arena, the referees will guide you through a series of games such as Capture the Flag, Freeze Tag, Humans VS. Zombies and more. Click here for descriptions of each game. While at times it may seem pretty chaotic, the refs do a really great job at keeping things controlled.
There are plenty of darts all over the arena for you to reload at any time. There are also lots of little barricades, offering great places to hide from your opposing team.
You’ll get to play dart games for an hour, which was just enough time for the kids to get tired and sweaty. When you’re done, you can play a few arcade games if you wish. There’s a P. Terry’s located in the same strip mall as Dart’em Up and was a perfect place to go for drinks and snacks after our Nerf battles.
We had such a great time at Dart’em Up! The kids are already begging to go back. The oldest is asking to host his birthday party there, which is the ultimate compliment to a place like this, right?
There are a few things that made the experience at Dart’em Up particularly positive…
- The staff was SO friendly and helpful. On most days, you can find the owner, Richard, giving out high fives to the kids and building a sense of community there.
- The facility is really clean and well-appointed for families. There are step stools at water fountains for little ones, diaper changing stations in both the men’s & women’s restroom, free WiFi for parents who want to get some work done while the kids play. We appreciate the small details.
Hours & Admission: Admission for one hour of play (which includes the use of a Nerf blaster) is $9 from Tuesday – Thursday and $12 from Friday – Sunday.
Dart’em Up is closed on Mondays. Here are their regular hours:
- Tuesday – Thursday: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Fridays: 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
- Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
- Sundays: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Glow Nights are offered Fridays & Saturdays from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. (which we can’t wait to try.)
You can visit the Dart’em Up website for more info as well as details about hosting parties and group events.
–>Giveaway! We have a 4-pack of admission passes to give away for an hour of fun at Dart’em Up! Enter below. Good luck! Entering the giveaway will add you to the Do512 Family email list, where we let you know about the best Austin family events each week.
This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered!