Gifts For The Fun Of It

Ty Bannerman
4 min read
A selection of games at Empire. (
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The Holidays are a time for relaxation, enjoyment and, ideally, a bit of family fun. Too often, though, that sense of play gets overwhelmed in the stress and desperation of an ever-longer shopping season. So why not combine both? Here are some gift ideas that focus on bringing fun back to the holidays.

Game Time

Adults for $3/hour, children for $2/hour

Empire Board Game Library

3503 Central NE

Empire offers a slightly different take on the boardgame experience, with a vast library of games that anyone can pick up and play. Old classics like Monopoly and Risk are joined by new ones like The Settlers of Catan and Carcasonne, as well as shelves full of new games you haven’t heard of yet. Not only that, but a full service espresso bar and sandwiches await. Gift certificates can be purchased in any amount and used for either the purchase of a game or for play-time in the Library.

Escape Scenario Gift Voucher

$32.16 per person (price includes tax)

Escape Room New Mexico

3916 Carlisle NE

“Surprise!”you say to your gift recipient, “I’m going to lock you in a creepy room! Merry Christmas!” No doubt this will prove their worst suspicions of your relationship and maybe provide some catharsis for you, but actually you’re giving them a good time via one of the more unusual games you can play in New Mexico. Escape Room NM offers participants an experience that calls on observation skills, quick wits and teamwork in order to solve the mystery at the heart of each of the scenarios, including hunting down a lost treasure map, finding out where a serial killer has trapped his latest victim before it’s too late or engaging in a bit of cloak and dagger espionage.

Ninja Training Session

$60 for one person, $90 for two

Ninja Park

2420 Comanche NE

Everybody secretly wants to be a ninja. That’s just something I made up right now, but it sounds right, because ninjas obviously have the coolest job in the world and get to wear awesome all-black uniforms when they clock in for their nightly routine of sneaking around, doing ninja kicks and tossing smoke bombs. Sadly, this lifestyle is out of reach for most of us who aren’t born into the ancient Iga clan, but thanks to Ninja Park, a locally operated fitness and obstacle course featuring trainers who participated on the television show “American Ninja Warrior,” we can at least pretend. One-on-one training sessions start at $60/hr or $90/hr for two people if you want to tag along with your giftee.

2 Hours of Jumping

$20 per person

Fallout Trampoline Arena

10000 Coors Bypass NW

There’s a good chance you’re going to be cooped up for a few of your vacation days and, if you’ve got visitors or family staying with you, you might all need an escape to blow off some steam. Fallout Trampoline Arena offers obstacle courses, foam pits and (who knew?) trampolines for all ages, meaning that you can haul your whole crew over and spend the afternoon bouncing all that excess energy out.

Solve a Murder Mystery

$58/person for dinner and show (includes tax)

Foul Play Café

2600 Louisiana NE

After the holidays, you might just be ready to murder someone. But take my advice, avoid the jail time and settle for the vicarious thrill of trying to figure out who pretended to kill someone else while you scarf down a four-course meal at the Sheraton Uptown.
Mumm’s the Word, the mystery currently being put on by Foul Play Café, features mobsters posturing and threatening each other in a 1920s speakeasy and it’s up to you to figure out who actually did the shooting.


Ninja Park obstacle course

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