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FAQ

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Some things to keep in mind when booking a Mad Science birthday party:

1)    Our Mad Scientist will come to wherever you are holding the party -- or -- your party can come to us! The Mad Science Laboratory is located in Innsbrook at Nuckols and Cox Road, half a mile from I-295 - click here for a map.

2)   The entertainment portion of all our birthday parties lasts approximately 45 - 60 minutes depending on the size of your party and the ages of the children. During this time, we will perform between 6 and 10 hands-on activities and demonstrations and make a take-home project for all the kids!

3)    Since our parties involve hands-on, interactive activities, they are usually appropriate for children 3 and older. Younger siblings are welcome to watch but generally do not participate. Regardless of age, anyone participating in the activities and making the take-home project will be considered when determining the number of participants and your cost.

4)    It is best to book as soon as possible as our weekend party slots sell out quickly. When ready to book, just call our office and ask for a birthday party specialist. If it is outside of normal office hours, you can take advantage of our Party Request Form. Please note: when using this form your party will not be confirmed until Mad Science is in receipt of a deposit AND has provided you with a Mad Science Party Confirmation Form.

5)    A $50 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking. Your party time and date will not be reserved until this deposit is paid. The balance is due on the day of your party. Your Mad Scientist can accept checks or credit cards - please, no cash.

6)    At the time of booking, we will send out a letter that confirms your party reservation. If we have not heard from you sooner, we will call you about 5 days in advance to re-confirm your information.

7)    A confirmed reservation for a party to be held at your location does not mean that same date and time is available in the Mad Science Laboratory - and vice versa. After booking your party, if you wish to change your party time, day or location, you must contact Mad Science.

8)    Invitations and Party Goods are available to make your party a true Mad Science party. Click here for details.

Often customers inquire about a gratuity for the instructor. At your discretion, the typical service percentage (15% - 20%) is customary. Please pay him or her directly and do not include this amount with the balance due.


 

For Mad Science Laboratory parties where you come to us:

1)    The Laboratory has two party rooms decorated in a fun science theme. Both rooms can accommodate up to 25 children.

2)    There really is No Hassle! No Mess! and No Fuss! when you conduct your party in our Laboratory. All you need to provide are the kids and the cake! Our staff will take care of everything for you including serving the cake and pizza.

3)    We conduct birthday parties in the Laboratory on any day of the week and at any time; however Saturday and Sunday are the most popular days. Therefore our show times on the weekend are 11am, 12pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 4pm and 5pm. The Laboratory has 2 self-contained party rooms so we are able to offer a greater array of party times in The Lab. After the entertainment, your party will have the use of the party room for an additional 45 minutes for cake, ice cream, socializing, or whatever!

4)    We provide a hostess to assist your group, provide all the paper products for your event (plates, napkins, utensils, cups and even drinks) and provide the use of the party room for an additional 45 minutes. There is a Lab Fee of $60 that is included in the price of our Laboratory parties.

Start the booking process right now! Call a Party Specialist at 804-359-1500 or fill out your on-line Party Request Form.

 


 

For travel parties where we come to you:

1)    We conduct birthday parties on any day of the week and at any time; however Saturday and Sunday are the most popular days. Therefore our show times on the weekend are 11am, 2pm and 5pm. Also consider a Friday afternoon or evening party. These are becoming increasingly popular.

2)    We can accommodate any size group or budget.

3)    There is no hassle, no worries and no mess for you as our Mad Scientist will arrive early to set-up, will conduct the show and then will clean up leaving the party site exactly as he/she found it.

4)    What Mad Science will need from you: access to electricity and water, and a small table (such as a card table) for our equipment. An area where the kids can sit on the floor with enough room to get up and down is preferred. The ability to darken the area in which the presentation will take place may enhance some of our experiments.

5)    A small travel charge may apply.


 

Laboratory Party Guidelines and FAQs:

ARRIVAL TIME. You and your guests should arrive at The Lab no sooner than 10 minutes prior to the Mad Science Show Start Time. We have other parties scheduled both before and after yours, and we want every group (including yours) to have our undivided attention. Further, the Laboratory does not have a waiting area. Therefore, if you or your guests arrive too early, you will not have access to the Laboratory and will have to remain outside. Mad Science will not be responsible for supervising any child either before or after the stated party times.

Map to The Lab - Download a map (perfect to be inserted into a Birthday Party invitation)

PARTY TIME. Mad Science will be ready to begin your party entertainment at the stated Mad Science Show Start Time. Should all your guests not be present at the stated party start time, the host may elect to delay the start of the party entertainment. If the party entertainment starts late, we may not be able to make up the missed time.

PARTY LENGTHYou have 1 hour and 45 minutes in the Mad Science Laboratory. Therefore, if your party start time is 2pm, you and your guests can enjoy the Mad Science Laboratory until 3:45pm. Our basic Birthday party entertainment is approximately one hour in length.  If you will have an additional activity at your party (such as The Science of Cotton Candy, our Bubbling Potion Show or the Electric Lab) this will add approximately 15 to 20 minutes to your entertainment time.

Please be courteous of others. We need time to clean and set-up the Laboratory for the next party. Therefore, you will be charged $30 for the first 15 minutes of overtime and $75 for the second 15 minutes of overtime in the Laboratory.

PARTY FLOW. Your party entertainment, eating of cake/ice cream will take place in one party room. Our staff will manage the party flow to ensure you and your guests have enough time to enjoy the full Mad Science Laboratory experience.

The entertainment portion of your party will begin at the Show Start Time. Depending on the age and number of your guests, this entertainment will last approximately 45 – 60 minutes. Any additional activities you have added to the party will take place next. Each additional activity will require approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The remainder of your time in the Laboratory can be used by you for cake and ice cream, pizza or socializing.

Mad Science has performed hundreds of parties using the above party flow. This flow works best for all involved. Relax! and let our professional staff treat you to a no hassle, no fuss, no mess party - so you can enjoy your child’s party for a change!

DECORATIONSThe Mad Science Laboratory is professionally decorated in a cool science theme. Therefore, no additional decorations are allowed in The Laboratory. We ask that nothing be hung or taped to the walls or ceiling. No confetti, glitter, silly string or piñatas are allowed. Items with special significance such as an annual birthday candle are allowed and encouraged.

FOOD AND DRINKS. Mad Science performs hundreds of parties a year in The Laboratory. We strive to provide each party the same fabulous experience and give each our undivided attention. Cleanliness of the venue is an important aspect of a positive party experience. Therefore, we are quite strict on what food and drinks are served in The Laboratory. This is for your benefit as much as that of others.

Food you may bring into The Laboratory:

  • Cake or cup cakes (we strongly recommend cupcakes for your convenience)
  • Ice cream (the Laboratory has a refrigerator/freezer for your use)
  • Pizza
  • NO OTHER FOOD IS PERMITTED

Mad Science will provide everything you need to conduct your party. This includes plain white paper products/plates, cups, napkins, utensils and non-carbonated drinks. For drinks, we will serve “Slime Aid” (green Kool Aid). If you wish, you may provide your own themed paper supplies (table supplies only please). Our staff will assist you in placing these supplies on the tables.

CLEANING FEE. Should unauthorized decorations be used, unauthorized food be brought into The Laboratory or should actions by you or your guests result in a greater effort by our staff to clean and reset the Laboratory for the next group, you will be charged a cleaning fee of $100.

PIZZA AT YOUR PARTY.  If you plan on having pizza at your party, we request that it is done at the very beginning of the party.  If you are going to have it delivered, plan to have it delivered 10-15 minutes prior to your party start time, that way it is there at the beginning of your party.  You or a member of your party will be responsible for meeting the delivery person at the Laboratory door and providing payment at that time.

YOUR OPINION MATTERS! Along with the invoice, the Mad Scientist will present you with a pre-stamped survey postcard. Please take a moment to provide our office with feedback on your experience. It is through these surveys that we ensure your Mad Scientist and your experience meets your expectations.


 

Laboratory Party FAQs:

Q:    Are adults/parents invited to observe the party?

A:    Yes! Kids of all ages will enjoy our unique brand of fun, hands-on science. Should adults be present, we ask that they limit their involvement to observation only and that they respect our desire for silence during the entertainment. One of the best parts of Mad Science parties is that kids get to do most of the activities themselves. Any child who participates in the party activities, regardless of age, will be included when we calculate party participants. Please note, Mad Science is not responsible for any child before or after the stated party times. Please ensure parents arrive by the end of the party to pick up their children.

Q:    Can I provide alcohol for my guests?

A:    No alcohol is allowed in the Mad Science Laboratory.

Q:    What are my options for pizza?

A:      The following pizza providers are very familiar with the Mad Science Laboratory. Note: inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement by Mad Science of these merchants.

  • Leonardo’s            Phone = 804-346-3333  #                  # - Gluten Free Options 
  • Pizza Hut               Phone = 804-249-4859
  • Domino’s               Phone = 804-364-0600 # 
  • Papa John’s          Phone = 804-747-7300

The Lab is at: 5500 Cox Road Suite H Glen Allen, VA 23060. Tell the pizza provider the Mad Science Laboratory is in the rear building in the Technology Pointe Business Center.

Q:    Is an hour and 45 minutes enough time? Can I "buy" more?

A:    Our staff is here to ensure your party runs smoothly and efficiently.  We find an hour and 45 minutes is ample time for a well paced party that starts on time. You cannot "buy" more time. However, if you are still concerned about the amount of time allocated for your party, consider scheduling it in the last slot of the day, having it on a day other than Saturday or Sunday or having it in a location other than The Laboratory.

Q:    When do I need to confirm the head count, the additional activities and the number of goodie bags, etc. I will need?

A:    If we have not heard from you, our office staff will contact you approximately 5 to 7 days prior to your party date to confirm the details of your party. Some elements of your party can be changed up to and including the day of your party (such as goodie bags and number of participants). The availability for our additional activities may be limited. We suggest you contact Mad Science as soon as you have decided if you wish to add one of these exciting finishes to your party. To ensure we have enough time to prepare an excellent experience for your party, we ask that the details of your party be confirmed with our office by Noon on the Tuesday before your party.

Q:    How do I know how many goodie bags to order? What if fewer, or more, kids than expected show up?

A:    Many aspects of your party can be changed up to and including the day of your party. For instance, you will be charged only for the number of goodie bags you use and your party price will be adjusted to reflect the actual number of participants.

Q:    What if my guests need directions to the Laboratory?

A:    Please have your guests visit our web site at centralva.madscience.org where directions can be found. The street address of The Lab is: 5500 Cox Road  Suite H  Glen Allen, VA 23060. Or make it easy for them and include a Map to The Lab in your party invitation (simply download, print, cut and insert).

Q:    What happens in the case of inclement weather? Will my party at The Lab be cancelled?

A:    Our staff will contact you if conditions are such that we cannot support your party. Since the Laboratory is located in the Innsbrook office park generally parties occur as planned. Should your party be cancelled, we will make every effort to reschedule as quickly as possible.

Q:    How do I get in touch with Mad Science?

A:    If you have any questions, please contact our reservations office at (804) 359-1500. Our reservations office maintains normal business hours of 8am – 5pm, Monday through Friday. You may also reach us via e-mail at Info@MadScienceofCentralVA.com. On the day of your party, you can reach The Laboratory at (804) 359-1500.

Q:    Should I tip the staff?

A:    Often customers inquire about a gratuity for the instructor. At your discretion, the typical service percentage (15% - 20%) is customary. Usually there will be two Mad Scientists assigned to your party – one to provide the entertainment and the other to assist with food and clean up. Please tip each directly and do not include this amount with the balance due.

 

Start the booking process right now! Call a Party Specialist at 804-359-1500 or fill out your on-line Party Request Form.

 


 

Travel Party Guidelines and FAQs:

PARTY LOCATIONWe have performed the entertainment at birthday parties in a huge variety of locations: family rooms, basements, garages, church social halls, restaurants of all kind, the mall food court, you name it! We can make fun science happen just about anywhere! However some locations work better than others for our unique brand of hands-on science.

Please keep in mind these few guidelines when considering a location for your party:

  • We require an inside location with access to power and water. Some aspects of our parties like the take home project can be done outside, but it is best to plan to be inside for the duration of the party.
  • The ability to darken the area may enhance some of our demonstrations. We prefer to keep away from skylights and large bay windows. If your location has lots of light, please inform our staff when booking your party so we can make the necessary adjustments.
  • A location dedicated to just your party will be the best for your enjoyment.
  • As our shows are highly interactive and rely on numerous volunteers, we prefer a location where the kids can sit on the floor with room to move around and get up and down.

To have a great time with No Hassles, No Fuss and No Mess for you, consider having your party at the Mad Science Laboratory.

PARTY CONFIRMATION. To ensure we have enough time to prepare an excellent experience for your party, we ask that the details of your party be confirmed with our office by Noon on the Tuesday before your party. We cannot guarantee changes to your party entertainment such as goodie bags and Additional Activities that are made after this time.

ARRIVAL TIMEThe Mad Scientist should arrive at your location approximately 15 to 20 minutes before the Mad Science Show Start Time. We ask that you separate the Mad Scientist from the children while he prepares his equipment so the entertainment can start on time. To accommodate for any late arrivals and ensure your entertainment starts on time, we recommend that you tell your guests to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the Mad Science Show Start Time.

PARTY TIME. The Mad Scientist will be ready to begin your party entertainment at the stated Mad Science Show Start Time. Should all your guests not be present at the stated party start time, the host may elect to delay the start of the party entertainment. If the party entertainment starts late, we may not be able to make up the missed time as the Mad Scientist may have another party to perform after yours.

PARTY LENGTHThe entertainment portion of all our birthday parties lasts approximately 45 - 60 minutes depending on the size of your party and the ages of the children. During this time, we will perform between 6 and 10 hands-on activities and demonstrations and make a take-home project for all the kids!

If you will have an additional activity at your party (such as a Rocket Launch, our Bubbling Potion Show or the Electric Lab) this will add approximately 15 to 20 minutes to your entertainment time. Please consider the age and attention span of the kids when adding more than one additional activity. In any event, no more than 3 additional activities can be added to your party.

PARTY FLOW. The Mad Science entertainment can take place at any time during the course of your party. Although many customers elect to have Mad Science as the first part of the party, our entertainment works great anywhere in your event. Just because our entertainment times are set at 11am, 2pm or 5pm, doesn't mean your party needs to start at these times.

The entertainment portion of your party will begin at the Show Start Time. Once our entertainment begins, the Mad Scientist will perform until our entertainment portion is complete.  We will not be able to stop and accommodate another party activity like cake or presents so please plan the rest of your party accordingly.

PAYMENTThe Mad Scientist will present you with an invoice upon arrival at your location. This will reflect the Balance Due which should be the Total Party Cost minus any deposit or pre-payments. We ask that you have payment ready promptly at the end of the party entertainment. Any changes to the Balance Due should be discussed with the Mad Scientist prior to payment. For your convenience you can pay the Balance Due by check or credit card. Please, no cash.

ADJUSTMENTS TO THE PRICE. As gauging the number of party guests is not an exact science, many aspects of your party can be adjusted up to and including the day of your party. For instance, you will be charged only for the number of goodie bags you use and your party price will be adjusted to reflect the actual number of participants. Please address these changes with your Mad Scientist prior to payment.

TIPPING. Often customers inquire about a gratuity for the instructor. At your discretion, the typical service percentage (15% - 20%) is customary. Please pay your Mad Scientist directly and do not include this amount in the balance due.

YOUR OPINION MATTERS! Along with the invoice, the Mad Scientist will present you with a pre-stamped survey postcard. Please take a moment to provide our office with feedback on your experience. It is through these surveys that we ensure your Mad Scientist and your experience meets your expectations.


 

 

Travel Party FAQs:

Q:    Are adults/parents invited to observe the party?

A:    Yes! Kids of all ages will enjoy our unique brand of fun, hands-on science. Should adults be present, we ask that they limit their involvement to observation only and that they respect our desire for silence during the entertainment. One of the best parts of Mad Science parties is that kids get to do most of the activities themselves. Any child who participates in the party activities, regardless of age, will be included when we calculate party participants.

Q:    Should I offer the Mad Scientist some cake/ice cream or pizza?

A:    Although the offer would be appreciated, most of the time your Mad Scientist will have another party to perform after yours. To ensure he arrives on time for the next party, your Mad Scientist will typically decline.

Q:    Can I have alcohol at a party at my location?

A:    That is entirely up to you. As fun, hands-on science and inebriation usually do not mix very well, we ask that you excuse your drinking guests from the area in which we will perform. Likewise, it is our company policy that no Mad Scientist can drink prior to or during his interaction with children.

Q:    What happens in the case of inclement weather? Will my party be cancelled?

A:    Our office staff will contact you the day before your party if conditions are such that we cannot safely support your party. Should weather conditions deteriorate during the day of your party, your Mad Scientist will determine if we can support your party and will contact you directly. We realize your child's birthday comes around but once a year. We do everything in our power to ensure we do not disappoint a child on his birthday. Should your party be cancelled, we will make every effort to reschedule as quickly as possible.

Q:    How do I get in touch with Mad Science?

A:    If you have any questions, please contact our reservations office at (804) 359-1500. Our reservations office maintains normal business hours of 8am – 5pm, Monday through Friday. You may also reach us via e-mail at Info@MadScienceofCentralVA.com. On the day of your party, you can reach The Laboratory at (804) 359-1500. We do not give out contact numbers for our Mad Scientists.

Q:    Should I tip the Mad Scientist?

A:    Often customers inquire about a gratuity for the instructor. At your discretion, the typical service percentage (15% - 20%) is customary. Please pay your Mad Scientist directly and do not include this amount in the balance due.  

We look forward to being invited to your party!

Start the booking process right now! Call a Party Specialist at 804-359-1500 or fill out your on-line Party Request Form here.

 

 

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