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Escape to Mountasia Family Fun Center

It's time to go back -- even for the very first time

Posted: March 19, 2009 4:29 p.m.
Updated: March 20, 2009 3:55 p.m.
Two-year-old Sophia Mangione takes a rest after playing miniature golf at Mountasia Family Fun Center. Two-year-old Sophia Mangione takes a rest after playing miniature golf at Mountasia Family Fun Center.
Two-year-old Sophia Mangione takes a rest after playing miniature golf at Mountasia Family Fun Center.

It used to be that, if you were traveling east or west across the city of Santa Clarita, you had to do it on Soledad Canyon Road and you had to pass by Mountasia Family Fun Center. Your kids would howl, "I want to go to Mountasia," every time you passed and you had no choice but to stop in now and then.

But now you can cross the city so many different ways that it's quite possible you have forgotten this seven-acre fun-spot. If you have young kids, this omission on your part is cutting into their good times and probably costing you money because you're visiting more expensive venues.

On the other hand, maybe you remember the good times your family used to have here well, but think that, since your kids have grown up, you have no reason to go back. Either way, it is time to go back. Mountasia Family Fun Center is fun for everyone!

"We really are multi-generational - that's true of all our attractions," said Courtney Bourdas Henn, executive director of Mountasia Family Fun Center.

"We have people in scrubs come in on their lunch hour to the batting cages." She added that the Go Karts are very popular with adults. "It's hilarious to see a group of 10 dads getting competitive, racing each other."

"Adults like to let loose, too, and we're fortunate that we have so many different attractions to appeal to all ages," she added.

Video games, of course, appeal to all ages, and Bourdas Henn pointed to the recent addition of Guitar Hero. "We're the only arcade out here (in the SCV) that has it," she said. As proof of the "all ages" aspect of this video game, she coerced this reporter into trying it.

Now boys, we all do the air guitar thing when we're alone. Don't even try to deny it. But Guitar Hero is another thing entirely.

However, in just two games at the beginner setting, I was twanging away at better than 50 percent. While this didn't keep the little girl who was my avatar from crying when the crowd booed her, it had me feeling pretty cocky. Yeah, it was fun.

Changing times
Mountasia Family Fun Center opened in late August of 1995 and back then the roller rink was one of the primary attractions.

However, in the years since, the tastes of the public have changed a bit and the operators reasoned there was a more efficient use of the large space the roller arena took up. It has been replaced by Lazer Tag and an expanded video game arcade.

"It's what our customers request," Bourdas Henn said.

Another major change was the opening of Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant at Mountasia in 2001. For those of you who remember the "good old days" of stopping into Farrell's in the San Fernando Valley when you were young, nostalgia alone should entice you to visit.

The Farrell's here offers a full menu, including burgers, sandwiches and pizza, plus the shakes, floats and sundaes the parlour was always famous for. Can you say, "Pig's Trough?"

Good times for less
In addition to the attractions already mentioned (video games, Lazer Tag, Go Karts and batting cages) Mountasia also has a rock climbing wall, two 18-hole miniature golf courses, and Bumper Boats. There truly is something for everyone, and all of it reasonably priced.

For example, Bourdas Henn noted that, while other racing-cart attractions are available, the cost at Mountaisa is only $6.75 per ride, and you can get discounts if you buy in bulk.

Though the economy has many people cutting back on expenses, kids need to have fun, and parents need to get out of the house. "People still need to have a good time, to feel that they're enjoying themselves. Sometimes they need some help in that," Bourdas Henn said.

Consequently, Mountasia offers all sorts of money-saving packages and specials on attractions and food. Monday through Thursday kids eat free. One junior meal is free with each adult meal purchase (not valid on national holidays).

"If you have four kids, bring grandma and grandpa," Bourdas Henn said.

There is a pizza and golf deal as well. Monday through Thursday a family of four gets four rounds of miniature golf, one pitcher of soft drinks and one large, two-topping pizza for $24.99, plus tax.

And there are weekend specials. For example, Friday through Sunday (and select holidays) there is the Unlimited Outdoor Fun package. For $19.95 per person, you get three hours of unlimited golf, Go Karts and Bumper Boats - and you can add one Lazer Tag game or one rock wall climb for $5.

"We offer a lot of specials like that to give parents a little relief," Bourdas Henn said.

Fun Cards
Mountasia Fun Cards can be used for all attractions and the cards can be purchased in any value you want. The card costs you 25 cents and it can be "reloaded" as many times as you like. Bourdas Henn added that using the card helps you "rack up bonus points. The more you spend the more you earn." For example, spend $20 and get 200 bonus points. Spend $100 and get 2,000 bonus points.

The bonus points (one point equals one penny) can be used for any single attraction or video game (not on packages). Attractions (one golf or Lazer Tag game, one Bumper Boat or Go Kart ride, or one rock wall climb) are $6.75 each, or 675 points. Video Games are 25 points and up.

The fun cards are sold at a discount in Costco warehouses. There you can get two, $25 cards for $39.99, a savings of more than 20 percent.

One of the things Mountasia has always been noted for is its ability to party - or rather to host parties. "Birthday parties are huge for us," Bourdas Henn said. But the facility also hosts sports team parties and adult parties for companies.

Party specials include such things as the Supreme Party. Here you get three hours of unlimited rock wall, Go Karts, Bumper Boats and miniature golf, 250 bonus points for video games and a table in Farrell's for one hour - with two slices of cheese pizza, unlimited soft drinks and an ice cream sundae for each guest. The cost is only $25.99 per person, plus tax.

The Play Party includes a table in Farrell's for one hour, with two slices of cheese pizza, unlimited soft drinks and an ice cream sundae for each guest, plus your choice of one single attraction per guest or two attractions per guest. One attraction, $16.39 per person, plus tax. Two attractions, $21.49 per person, plus tax.

Community spirit
Mountasia Family Fun Center must be doing something right. In spite of the economy, business is good. "We had our second best January (this January) since we opened," Bourdas Henn said. When asked what she thought was the reason, she pointed to service.

"We've been voted best place for family entertainment by The Signal readers," she said. "And best place to throw a party. We are very customer service-oriented."

She added, "Our general manager, Michele Stambaugh, has spent her entire career in the family business. She understands completely who our customers are and what they need."

Bourdas Henn also mentioned the general partners, Michael and David Fleming. "They are the most customer service-oriented business owners that I know. And they are very community cause-related," she said.

As evidence, Mountasia Family Fun Center is very involved in the local community. "We participate in a lot of community fundraisers," Bourdas Henn said. "Since we've been around (since 1995) we've donated more than $150,000 to local non-profits."

Good times, good value and right here in your own backyard - why not come back to Mountasia - even if it's for the very first time?


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