Birthday Frequently Asked Questions
+ How does a typical party run?
The first hour is open play and organized activities in our party room. For example, we may construct the longest bridge together, build a giant castle, or race robots to the finish line in team-based activities. Our staff creates the activities based on the age of the child, their interests, and any particular party theme. After the activities, there is 30 minutes for food, cake and singing Happy Birthday. Guests and their families are expected to leave the party room promptly after 90 minutes.
+ What time should my guests and I arrive for my party?
You should arrive about 10 minutes before your scheduled party time. If you are doing some of your own set up, you should arrive approximtely 20 minutes before your scheduled party time. Note a prior party may be finishing up, and our staff will be cleaning up in between parties.
Please ask your guests to arrive promptly, as we begin the activity portion on schedule.
Note we are often booked with back-to-back parties, so please plan accordingly.
+ Will there be a staff member available to assist me in the party room?
Two staff members will be in the party room leading the activities. Please note that bronze party families are responsible for their own setup, including bringing in food, drinks and party decorations. If you would like help with the setup, please contact us to upgrade to the silver or gold package.
+ Can I order extra pizza for the adults?
Yes, that is an option for our Gold package only.
+ What is the size of the tables?
Our tables are 2 x 4. Each table seats 4 children. Two additional tables are available for food.
+ What is your tipping policy?
Many families have a wonderful experience and want to know if it is appropriate to tip our staff. At Genius Gems, we do not accept tips. If you have a great experience, please tell your family and friends. Online review on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Trip Advisor are also appreciated. Thank you!
+ How do I schedule a Genius Gems party?
Please use our on-line reservation system.
+ Is a deposit required? What is the cancellation policy?
A 20% non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required to reserve your party. The policy applies when you book multiple dates for the same party, and cancel one of the dates in advance - you will lose your 20% deposit in full.
The balance of payment is due on or before the day of your event. Please note that no personal checks or cash will be accepted for this payment. We take all major credit cards, as well as Apple Pay and Android Pay.
Any party cancelled within 4 weeks of the event/party date will be expected to be paid in full regardless of whether the party occurs or not. See also "I suddenly have a scheduling conflict. Can I change the date of my party?" below.
+ What if there is inclement weather or my child is sick?
If we are closed due to bad weather or your child is sick, we will work with you to reschedule your party at no extra charge. If you decide not to reschedule with us for any reason, your deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable. Otherwise, as long as Genius Gems is open, we expect all parties will continue, and no refunds will be given.
+ will my guests share the space with guests from other parties or the general public?
Your party is 100% private. There will not be any other people from any other parties or from the general public in the party room while you are there. This allows our staff to focus solely on your group and to make the occasion special for your child. Please note that the general public is permitted in the main playspace and other areas of Genius Gems during the party.
+ Can my guests stay after the party to experience the rest of Genius Gems?
Our parties are both stimulating and fun, and last a full 90 minutes, which can be a lot for many children. While we love it when families wish to stay longer and experience everything Genius Gems has to offer, we don't recommend it. Instead, we recommend planning a return trip for another day. If you and your guests nevertheless wish to stay past your alloted birthday time, you and your guests will be expected to pay the full price of $15 per person, including adults. We find coming back to play another day is in the best interests of most children; hence this policy.
+ What assistance do you provide in the party room?
Our staff will be leading exciting and customized activities in the party room. They will also assist with picking up items and tidying up during the party. We will collect birthday presents in the party room for the guest of honor when your guests check-in. During your time in the party room, we will be there to provide more supplies or drinks (for Silver and Gold packages only), keep the space tidy, and check in with you from time to time to see if you need anything else.
+ When should I give the final head count for kids and adults?
One week before the party, please e-mail us to confirm your final headcount. We will use this number to help us set up for your party.
On the day of your party, each child will receive a bracelet from a member of our staff. We will count the bracelets distributed and that will indicate the number of guests in attendance. Please note that siblings, cousins and friends (including older children) participating in any aspect of our party, whether activities or food, will be given a bracelet and you will be charged accordingly. Please take this into account when drawing up your guest lists. We find that limiting the total number of guests to no more than 20 creates a better experience for all; hence this policy.
+ Can I bring in outside food?
Yes, but please note that you are responsible for bringing in and taking out all outside food and beverages. Bringing too many of these can take significant time. There is only a 30 minute window between each party, which our staff uses to turn the room.
We reserve the right in our sole discretion to shorten the time allotted for activities (and extend the time for cake and pizza) if we see that there is significant outside food present. We do this so that we can begin each party at its appointed time. Thank you for your understanding.
+ Can I extend the length of my party? Can I book back-to-back slots?
We are unable to extend a party beyond the time alotted. Guests are expected to leave the party promptly after the party time has ended. We also do not permit guests to book back-to-back parties. We reserve the right to assess a $50 fee for guests who do not leave the party room promptly after the end of their party.
We find that limiting the total amount of time to 90 minutes creates a better experience for all; hence these policies. Thank you for your cooperation.
+ Can I downgrade a package type after I have booked the party (e.g., from Silver to Bronze)?
We charge a $50 administrative fee for downgrading birthday packages. You may upgrade your package for free but we ask that you let us know at least two weeks in advance so we can make the proper preparations.
+ I suddenly have a scheduling conflict. Can I change the date of my party?
Parties may be rescheduled 8 weeks in advance of your party date at no charge by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you contact us to reschedule between 4-8 weeks prior to your party date, you will lose your 20% deposit unless we determine in our discretion that there is a legitimate medical or family emergency. If you are rescheduling your party on less than 4 weeks' notice before your party is scheduled to start, you will be charged the full amount of the base package for your party, unless we determine in our discretion that there is a legitimate medical or family emergency. We have these policies in place to ensure that as many children as possible can enjoy their party at Genius Gems.
+ Can I use my own decorations and/or paper products in the party room?
For any of our packages, you may choose to bring your own paper products and/or decorations. To preserve the integrity of our party room, we do not permit wall or ceiling decorations, loose balloons, streamers, silly string or confetti. Piñatas (including the pull-string kind) and noise makers, are also not allowed.
+ Can I bring balloons?
Loose balloons are not permitted at Genius Gems. You may bring helium balloons but please be mindful that balloons can take time to set up and take down and there are often back-to-back parties. You are required to remove all balloons at the end of your party. Thank you.
+ Can I drop off my party items before the party?
No, all items must be brought 10-20 minutes before the start of your party and removed promptly after the party ends. We cannot accept advance balloon deliveries, food deliveries, requests for refrigerated items, storing party favors or decorations in advance. Thank you for your cooperation.
+ What if I am late for my scheduled party time? What if my Guests are late?
We understand that circumstances happen, however, our parties start promptly at the scheduled time. Since there may be other parties scheduled after your party time, we may be unable to extend your party time. If your party begins after your scheduled time due to waiting for late guests, you will have less time in our space.
+ What if parents are staying for the party?
For parties, we encourage parents to drop off their children at age 6 and up. If parents are staying for the party, we suggest they socialize in our back party room. We also encourage no more than one parent per child in attendance. Too many parents in our activity area can interfere with the activities. Thank you for your cooperation.
+ I have other questions - what should I do?
Please e-mail email@example.com with any questions.