WHAT'S THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF CHILDREN?
Depending on price band, you can have up to 30 children plus any number of parents. Both children and parents can play the games for free.
WHAT IF I'M EXPECTING MORE THAN THE MAXIMUM CHILDREN?
Additional children are £7.00 each.
ARE OUR CHILDREN TOO OLD / TOO YOUNG?
Our parties are suitable for children from 4 years old - no upper limit! (Please see reviews)
WHAT'S THE DURATION OF THE PARTIES?
Our standard parties are 2 hours long.
WHAT'S ON FREE PLAY?
All machines are set to free play, except machines that pay out money or prizes.
WILL WE GET EXCLUSIVE USE?
Yes, Astro City parties are private parties and closed to the public. For piece of mind, we have a doorman by a security gate who will only allow party guests to enter and turn away anyone who is uninvited. What's more, he will not allow children to play on the stairs or leave without permission.
*Please note. From time to time, we may show prospective customers around the arcade during parties.
These will be strictly viewings only, and no playing will take place.
WHAT TIME CAN WE ARRIVE?
Guests may arrive up to 15 minutes before the party starts to set up food and make preparations.
IS THERE A SNACK BAR?
Yes, it sells teas, coffees, soft drinks, chocolate bars, crisps and ices. Please ask about setting up a bar tab.
DO YOU SELL CHILDREN'S PARTY BAGS?
Yes, we sell Party Bags and Sweet Cones starting at £1.30 each. Please place your order when booking.
DO PARTIES TAKE PLACE IN A SECURE ENVIRONMENT?
Yes, our doorman will ensure children do not play on the stairs, or leave the party without permission. As an extra measure, there's an tall safety gate in place which must be opened by the doorman to allow guests to come and go. The safety gate will be monitored at all times.
Children's Birthday Parties - FAQs
THE HOME OF FREE PLAY
Please have a look at our Facebook
PRE-PARTY BRIEFING at a glance
Before our parties start it is Astro City policy to brief parents on a range of things, including safety, restricted items, and how the food works etc.
So there are no surprises when parents arrive at the party, we've listed the main points, many of which also appear in the FAQs on the left.
Running - Due to risk of collision and injury, there is no running allowed in the arcade.
Pool tables - All pool balls and cues are held at the snack bar. If a child or children wish to play pool, a responsible adult must,
1. Collect the pool balls and cues from snack bar.
2. Stay at the pool table and supervise the entire game(s).
3. When finished, return the balls and cues to the snack bar.
RESTRICTED ITEMS - in this case, things that cause a mess.
3. Party Poppers
FOOD & CAKE SCHEDULE
The best time for the kids to sit down and eat is about half way through the party. Then, after they've been eating for a few minutes, just before they start to leave, is the time to do the birthday cake.
We do it this way to allow staff 20 minutes tidy up time before the end of the party, kowing the food and cake is finished with. But don't worry if there's still a small amount of food left, we can work around that!
PLEASE NOTE: Due to a short turnaround period between parties, the singing of "Happy Birthday" and the cutting and wrapping of the cake must take place during the party and not after it's finished when the machines have been switched off.
Directly after eating, while you've still got the kids attention, is also the best time to take a group photo. The kids are still in one place and the machines are still switched on, providing a colourful backdrop.
But please note. Due to limited time before the next party, group photos cannot be taken after the machines have been switched off and the party has finished.
NO FOOD OR DRINK ON THE GAMING FLOOR
Food and drink can only be consumed in the eating area and not on the gaming floor. This rule also applies to end of party handouts such as cake and sweet cones.
RESTRICTED ITEMS - in this case, things that give off smoke.
Due to there being several smoke detectors / fire alarms on the arcade ceiling, the following items, that have set off the alarms in the past, are no longer allowed.
1. Sparklers of any kind
3. reigniting candels
You can have any number of normal candles on your cake, but they must be lit electronically / with a cigarette lighter.
SWITCH ON / OFF TIMES
We will endevour to switch the machines on 3 minutes before the party starts and switch them off 3 minutes after the party finishes. The kids gain an extra few minutes this way, but in exchange, we do a ''hard switch off.'' What this means is, there won't be any warning, even if the kids are half way through a game, the machines will just switch off!
HEALTH and SAFETY
Due to the risk of collision and injury, Astro City has a no running policy.
Parents must supervise children at all times whilst they are playing pool.
Things that make a mess - Popcorn, party poppers and confetti.
Things that give off smoke - These are items that can set off our fire alarms such as matches and sparklers. Any number of candles are fine, but must be lit with a cigarette lighter.
CAN I PAY A DEPOSIT?
Yes, to secure the booking, we need at least a £50 deposit and the balance paid on the day of the party. Or we can take the full amount in one payment if you prefer.
HOW DO I PAY?
The easiest way to pay is by card over the phone. We accept all major credit cards.
Payment can also be made by BACS transfer, cheque or Paypal. Please let us know if you wish to use any of these methods.
WHERE'S THE BEST PLACE TO PARK?
Victoria Plaza shopping center is the cheapest parking in Southend and it's right next to Astro City. Please note, after Victoria Plaza closes, you can still access the center and your car via the New Look entrance up to 10pm.
CAN ANYONE HAVE A PARTY AT ASTRO CITY?
Yes, childrens parties are for older "children" as well. The oldest person to have a birthday party in Astro City is granddad Dave, who celebrated his 70th! We've also held Christmas parties, Football parties and Family parties.
Due to limited storage space, items of lost property will only be kept for 3 months. So please be sure to claim your lost items as soon as possible.
In line with other party providers, if a party is cancelled with longer that 1 month to the party, a full refund will be given. If a party is cancelled within 1 month of the party, the first £50 will be paid in the form of a credit note and all other monies held (if any) will be paid back in full.
CAN I BRING MY OWN FOOD?
It's completely fine if you want to bring in outside food of any kind. This includes, Pizza delivery, McDonald's takeaway or your own selection of party food and a birthday cake. You can also bring a slow cooker for hot dogs etc. Whichever you decide, we're happy to set up a table for you!
*As a special request, could we please ask that no popcorn, party poppers or confetti be brought to birthday parties, thanks.
CAN I ORDER FOOD AT THE PARTY?
Yes. For those who want to travel light, just come empty handed and let us arrange the food and drink for you. We sell 15" pizzas with up to 4 toppings for £10.95 each and they come with plates and serviettes. Also, there's jugs of squash that come with plastic cups for £3.00 each.
Pizzas are not available during morning parties (10am - 12noon)
There is no disabled access to Astro City and no lift. However, our staff will do their best to help anyone with prams or wheelchairs up the stairs. Please ask if you require assistance.
Astro City wll provide tablecloths with a design that appeals to children. However, if you're having a themed party, you're welcome to bring your own.