Think outside the box and consider throwing a bar/bat mitzvah party with the spirit of summer camp in mind. A-Game Sports in New Rochelle provides the setting for an event with a sports theme reminiscent of camp that keeps young guests enthusiastically entertained.
Founded in 2013 by Darin Feldman and Kevin Plein, A-Game Sports is a recreational and instructional sports facility offering a variety of sports programs, strength and conditioning sessions and camps.
A-Game Sports also has private party rooms, lounge areas, a lacrosse wall ball, multi-sport turfed fields plus batting cages and tunnels, which are available for rent. When it comes to parties, activity options include gaga, flag football, soccer, dodgeball, baseball, potato sack races, obstacle courses, tug-o-war and capture the flag. Summer camp enthusiasts would recognize most of these beloved games. A-Game Sports offers yet another game that stands out as the ultimate summer camp sport – color war! And it’s ideal for a bar/bat celebration.
“A color war is where participants are divided into groups to compete against one another in a series of activities that involve teamwork,” says Feldman. “The activities can be wide ranging and conventional such as dodgeball, spoon races, obstacle courses or more creative like Eskimo baseball (think along the lines of kickball but a lot more fun and unusual). Winners of each competition are assigned points and aggregated at the end to determine the winning team,” he says.
Lisa and Rob Patchen of New Rochelle turned to A-Game Sports when planning their son Daniel’s bar mitzvah party. “We had a sit down lunch after the synagogue service for close friends and family and later that evening a party at A-Game Sports so Daniel could celebrate with his friends in a less formal setting,” says Lisa Patchen. The couple rented the entire facility and met with owners Feldman and Plein to plan the event. “We brainstormed for a theme that would keep kids engaged and give some structure to the evening,” she says. The Patchens decided on a color war theme for Daniel’s party.
With approximately 100 of Daniel’s friends in attendance, teams were divided into four groups. The Patchens provided each team with a different colored T-shirt and each team was assigned an A-Game coach to assist in the color war. “We had four teams, so we had four different colors – red, yellow, blue and green,” says Lisa Patchen. “We also provided face painting, bandannas and sports cups to try to promote ‘team spirit’,” she says.
The A-Game staff set up five stations, each approximately 20 minutes long, for the color war. Teams competed against each other in dodgeball, tug-o-war, spoon races, Eskimo baseball and both an inflatable and man-made obstacle course. Two teams won the color war, and then there was a trivia contest to determine the ultimate color war winner. The Patchens provided gift cards to a local ice cream shop for all the kids on the winning team.
While the teens competed in the color war, adults who attended gathered in the facility’s lounge area for food and drinks. A-Game Sports allows alcoholic beverages to be served by a licensed caterer for private events such as the Patchens. “The party at A-Game Sports gave us an opportunity to provide an evening activity for our out-of-town guests,” says Lisa Patchen. A kosher caterer provided hot dogs, pasta, sliders, salads and more for both the teens and adults to enjoy.
The party was a huge success. They credit A-Game Sports for suggesting the color war theme. “The owners put a lot of thought and effort into helping the kids have a great time,” says Lisa Patchen. “The many staff members that were provided to run the color war were very enthusiastic and organized,” she says. The Patchens gave a resounding “Yes” when asked if they would host another party at A-Game Sports.
“Kevin and I opened A-Game Sports because we both have a strong passion for youth sports,” says Feldman. According to the Patchens, that passion also includes helping families celebrate special occasions such as a bar/bat mitzvah.
A-Game Sports, 866 Main St., New Rochelle. 914-278-9477, agame
Rachael Sanderson Benz is a Westchester-based freelance writer.