Activate: A Physical Game Experience for Your Big Kids and Teens

Activate Houston is a new gaming facility perfect for big kids, teens, and grownups. Photo courtesy of Activate
Activate Houston is a new gaming facility perfect for big kids, teens, and grownups. Photo courtesy of Activate
11/30/23 - By Sarah Banks

Activate in Katy is an exciting new gaming activity for families with kids aged 10+. While your kids will love the state-of-the-art gaming element and light effects, you will love the fact that this is an active gaming experience, with teamwork, running, jumping, climbing, crawling, and throwing. We were so excited to try out Activate on its official opening weekend at its first location near Houston.


Activate is a 9,600-square-foot space filled with high-tech games that test your family’s physical and mental agility. You are immersed in realistic arcade games and compete or collaborate alongside the rest of the family. The Activate Houston facility features 11 activity rooms with over 500 different games and difficulty levels, each lasting one to three minutes.

Young boy playing laser dodging games at Activate in Houston 
Laser dodging is one of 500 game choices. Photo courtesy of Activate

How Do You Play Games at Activate?

Activate has many fun games, including basketball hoop-based games, laser dodging and shooting games, and dance-mat-style games. The screens at the doorways are intuitive, and there are staff to help you get started by scanning your wristband and selecting a game and level. Different rooms have a range of games that start ‘easy.’ You unlock the harder levels through play. We didn’t wait long for any room, because once you scan your wristbands at the entrance, the people in the room can no longer “replay,” and you will be inside and having fun in a couple of minutes. The leaderboard for current players, Houston, and monthly scorers adds a fun, competitive element. 

Birthday Parties at Activate

Activate would be a great Houston birthday party for a group of up to 5 kids aged 10+. You can rent a lounge by the hour, which includes two tables and some comfy lounge seating. Renting a lounge allows you to bring food, and there are a variety of nearby restaurants.

Teens playing a shooting game at Activate, neon, arcade, sports 
Basketball shooting. Photo by the author

Know Before You Go to Activate

  • Activate is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the last entry at 8:30 p.m.
  • The cost is $24.99 per person during weekdays and $29.99 per person from Friday through Sunday.
  • Children ages 0-5 can enter for free, but will get in the way of your gaming experience in some rooms. Older children must be paid for and may be able to participate in some of the games. For children aged 13 and under, an adult must be present at the facility throughout the entire gaming experience.
  • Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations can be made in advance and are highly encouraged.
  • A booking can be canceled or moved as long as at least 48 hours notice is given.
  • A minimum group of 2 people is needed to play. Games are played in groups of 2-5, but if you have 6 or more people, you can split into smaller groups.
  • The full gaming duration is 75 minutes, so allow 90 minutes to 2 hours for your outing.
  • There are a lot of flashing lights as part of the game play.
  • Go to the restrooms at Activate before you scan your first room to avoid wasting your time once the clock starts ticking on your booking.
  • There are no refreshments available for purchase in the venue. There is a water fountain with a bottle refill station.
  • Sign a waiver in advance to save time on entry.
  • Wear athletic clothes. People wearing heels, open-toed shoes, or sandals are not allowed to participate.
  • Free parking is available outside the venue.

While you are in the area, you can check out plenty of other fun activities for families in Katy

To learn more about Activate, visit their website or find them on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.

Places featured in this article:

Install this app: tapthen Add to Home Screen
To get notifications upgrade iOS.