By Sarah Amador
What’s new and exciting, and offers 130,000 square feet of fun? The spot is Epicenter and it’s right here in Santa Rosa. It’s the only center in the North Bay to pack so much entertainment under one roof—two types of laser tag, multiple 7D movie experiences, a trampoline park, upscale bowling and lounge, arcade arena, climbing play structure, sports bar and restaurants, three soccer fields, a basketball court, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and more!
Open as of 1/1/17, Epicenter is located on Coffee Lane. Already, it is thriving. After hearing great things about it, I decided I had to experience this ground-breaking new space. Joined by my young godsons and long-time friend, I went expecting fun. But it turned out to be epic!
First we checked out Sports City’s soccer fields and basketball court and the largest Anytime Fitness in California. The fitness center provides top-of-the-line equipment, panoramic views, and has a limited membership (guaranteeing a good ratio of members to space). It’s also open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! What’s especially nice about this is that parents can drop off their children for soccer practice and head across the “hall” to either work out or take a fitness class. Anytime Fitness also offers a private area to work out with trainers. Sports City has operated in Santa Rosa for over 20 years, and is well-known for its leagues and competitions. Right away, I began to realize that Epicenter offers something for everyone.
Next we spied the Rockin’ Jump trampoline park, making sure to promise the kids we would go there later. There were dodgeball and basketball jumping areas, a jousting beam over a pit of foam squares, a floor of trampolines, and even a stunt bag arena where enthusiasts can try out flips and flying tricks. Then we got to peak inside the Laser Tag arena, dark but still aglow with black lights and game screens. We explored the Game On Arcade, which featured the latest in technology as well as classic games we’ve all played at carnivals. Next we surveyed the arcade store where you can get prizes in return for arcade game winnings. At one point, I think I saw my godsons salivating over the exceptional prizes displayed, like the remote-controlled drone.
Then we walked by the Ballistics Major play structure (two stories of climbing tubes and slides surrounding an atrium fountain that spurts up thousands of foam balls). There was even a Toddler Play Area, but my 7 and 9 year-old godsons were not interested in that. We were on a mission—to experience the 7D movie ride! Epicenter is the only place in the North Bay that offers a 7D interactive theater. There were four action-packed XD Dark Ride movies to choose from, Werewolves, Gigamon, Road Fighters, and Los Banditos. We chose Los Banditos, an adventure involving renegade robot cowboys, a train ride gone berserk, a river and a waterfall! It was a movie experience like no other! I’m not ashamed to admit I screamed louder than both my godsons.
How is 7D different than 3D? The movie interacts with your laser as part of a multi-player gaming experience, the chairs tilt and shake, there is synchronized wind and other special effects, surround sound, and 3D graphics. We were totally immersed in the experience. It felt like being on a Disneyland ride! At one point, I truly felt like I was going down a waterfall. We stepped out of the theater, still laughing with the thrill of it.
“That was legendary!” my godson Zach said. “Can we go again?”
“Yes! Yes!” his brother Calvin chimed in. “Again!”
Then we continued the fun at Rockin’ Jump, slam-dunking, dodging, summersaulting, and of course, jumping. I learned something new about Calvin—he could jump and summersault in the air!
By that time, we were getting hungry. On our way to the Victory House sports bar and restaurant, we walked by 7Ten Social, an upscale bowling and lounge. It was hard not to get mesmerized by the 20-foot TV screens (3 of them) filling an entire wall at the end of the bowling lanes, but the thought of good food kept us on track. (We decided that bowling fun would have to be another time. Like most of Epicenter, it’s not just any normal bowling experience, offering the ability to customize games for kids and groups.)
As we walked in, we were amazed at the 16-foot high definition screen taking up most of the wall over the sports bar. The menu was also tantalizing. I was tempted by the marrow bone and baked salmon, but ordered the mushroom burger with brie. Yum!
For adults, Victory House offers a full bar, as well as 24 craft brews (16 of them local). There are up to 14 different broadcasts showing at one time and plush VIP spaces available to reserve.
After lunch, we decided to play laser tag—a first time for all of us! We didn’t pick the Laser Frenzy maze, opting instead to play Delta Strike Advanced Laser Tag. The equipment is cutting edge, and we felt a rush of excitement running through the two-story maze, trying to gain as many points possible. I felt like I was in the movie Tron.
When I think about it, it really seems as if Epicenter has thought of everything. It’s also a great spot for celebrations, with a wide variety of private rooms to rent for bowling, sports parties, or celebrations in a larger banquet room. Most come with their own TV screens and many with a bar and bartender. There’s even valet parking. Plus, it’s open late. Sunday through Thursday, it’s open from 10am to midnight. On Friday and Saturday nights, it’s open from 11am till 2am.
Make sure to go soon! Rain or shine, Epicenter is 130,000 square feet of non-stop fun.
We went expecting fun and were blown away!
Epicenter is located in Santa Rosa at 3215 Coffey Lane. To reserve a space for parties or celebrations, or for more information, call (707) 708-3742. • visitepicenter.com