Winter in Bellingham includes a good dose of weather, and we enjoy a lot of outdoor adventure. Yet on a particularly wet Saturday my family decided NOT to brave the elements, instead choosing to be cozy and escape with a trip into virtual reality.
Heady is Bellingham’s first virtual reality (VR) arcade.
Located downtown at 215 W. Holly St. (near Camber), you’ll actually want to enter via the Bay Street entrance – you’ll see a sandwich board to guide you to the correct door.
The cozy suite has four VR stations, with enough room to zip and dodge bad guys or disco to your heart’s content.
And that’s really the great part: getting to step into countless worlds via the VR games. Try your hand at golf, take a walk in nature, fight aliens or ride a roller coaster – plus much, much more. Heady has more than 90 games to choose from.
My son played Superhot, your typical best-the-bad-dudes kind of game in an all-white VR universe. See video below.
My daughter played Tilt Brush, where players “paint” in 3D. “Look Mom, I’m in a volcano!” she said as I emerged from my game, Beat Saber.
The helpful attendant at Heady chose Beat Saber for me, since I am in no way a gamer. It happens to be one of the most popular VR games out now because it’s accessible to anyone, i.e., it’s super easy to learn. Basically, it’s where lightsabers meet your favorite music while you try to “cut” colored blocks hurtling through the air at you in time to the music. Yes, it was really fun!
I played just one 15-minute round ($10/15 minutes), while my kids extended their play for a second round. Truthfully, I could have played another 15 minutes myself, but I wanted to watch the kids in action. Watching them was nearly as fun as playing myself.
Playing VR games turns out to be sweaty work. Fortunately, there is a small complimentary snack bar with drinks, granola bars and fruit. (I love the healthy options.)
If you go, it can be worthwhile to reserve your spot online beforehand or call ahead. The online registration system is easy to navigate, and it’s easy for the attendant to add extra time once you get there – since you’ll likely be hooked.
Also know that kids under 13 require an adult to be with them.
After grabbing a snack, it was time for us to make our way back out into the rainy afternoon, but, to our delight, the rain had stopped. What a wonderful way to step back into reality!