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Good times roll in creative ways

February 16, 2010 by By MAGGIE LILLIS, VIEW STAFF WRITER

Maggie Lillis/ViewSon Ngo, left, helps Abigail Brewer into a human-powered Giant Hamster Ball

Maggie Lillis/ViewSon Ngo, left, helps Abigail Brewer into a human-powered Giant Hamster Ball at a Jan. 30 birthday party at Sonata Park, 1550 Seven Hills Drive. The ride is part of a Games2U mobile entertainment business co-owned by Ngo, who is a franchisee.

Companies offer unique options for celebrations

Two new valley companies are showing that a sheet cake and bouquet of balloons are nothing to celebrate with these days.

One caters to celebrating for and with girls between the ages of 2 and 16, and the other literally brings the entertainment to events for any age or occasion.

Games2U, a mobile entertainment venue equipped with game systems, laser tag and a human hamster ball, has been making its way through the valley since a Henderson couple was introduced to the nationwide venue at a wedding last year.

Rock the Tea, a little ladies-only party venue located at 6380 S. Valley View Blvd., opened its doors in November, the brainchild of a mom of three who loved planning parties.

Both endeavors are trying to give celebrations a modern edge and help the bash go off with a bang.

Ashleigh and Son Ngo said they fell in love with the concept of a custom van outfitted with plasma TVs and game systems when they saw it in action at a wedding last year. The kids had a ball outside with the Games2U activities while the adults enjoyed the reception.

The couple soon bought themselves a franchise and started booking events in Las Vegas.

"It's quite the machine," Ashleigh Ngo said.

The whole operation is powered by a generator and can be parked just about anywhere. The Ngos also were attracted to all the party possibilities. They've set up games, laser tag and the popular human hamster ball at birthday parties, school events, corporate outings, going-away parties, tailgates and so on, Son Ngo said.

"People don't believe you can do it," he added.

The Games2U van is offered for about two hours per engagement. The van is satellite compatible, and the screens, which are on the inside and outside of the rig, can be cued up to DVD players, as well.

When Jill Simonson and her son Brad heard about Games2U, they knew it was the perfect outlet for the 11-year-old boy's upcoming birthday party. The service set up at Sonata Park in Henderson on a sunny January day. Brad and a group of about 17 friends bopped between stations, never remaining idle.

"It's simple, and you don't have to clean up after it," Jill Simonson said.

Brad huffed and puffed from laser tag when he spoke about his party.

"It's really awesome," he said. "Beats my party last year. (That was a) pirate party."

When mom Laura Heller was scouting options for her daughter's desired rock star party, she hit a sour note. There weren't any venues that could accommodate her daughter's request.

Heller then decided to open Rock the Tea, located at 6380 Valley View Blvd., where she holds specialized parties for girls between the ages of 2 and 16.

"I wanted something more modern and fun and catered to different types of parties," she said. "In Las Vegas, there is still so much room to bring new stuff."

Party ideas range from princess teas to Doll and Me parties, where participants' toy friends get pampering, too. They also have a stage for dress-up fashion shows and rock star singalong soirees. Spa options are available for groups, as well.

Jessica Amick tried to pull off her own tea party for daughter Lindley last year and said the whole process wore her out.

This year, for Lindley's fourth birthday, she decided to Rock the Tea.

"After getting together the tea sets and decorations, (etc.) ... it was exhausting, I didn't enjoy the party," she said. "They can do all the work."

Lindley and 12 friends bounced around her Fancy Nancy themed party one recent Saturday afternoon. The girls got their hair and nails done upon arrival, held a fashion show down the custom made runway and sat for a tea party while their camera-wielding parents looked on.

Heller charges per person and provides food, but also allows parents to supply their own food. Cleanup is on Heller, as well.

"I want to offer options," she said. "They can have it the way they want it."

For more information about Rock the Tea, visit www.rockthetea.com or call 207-4475. For more information about Games2U, visit www.g2u.com or call 487-4143.

Contact Centennial and Southeast View reporter Maggie Lillis at mlillis@viewnews.com or 477-3839.