Family entertainment center

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A family entertainment center, often abbreviated FEC in the entertainment industry,

experiences rather than simply amusement.


FECs are essentially a converged outgrowth of

skate parks, billiard halls, bowling alleys, and so on).[3] All three categories have moved over several decades continually toward stock, popular entertainment solutions supplied by third-party vendors. Chuck E. Cheese, opened in 1977 as Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre in San Jose, California, was one of the earliest widely known examples of these in the United States.[1]


Ball pits are a popular attraction at family fun centers.

Most FECs have at least five common major or "anchor" attractions, to provide diverse patrons (often in large parties) at least one to two hours of entertainment, to encourage repeat visits, and to reduce time spent waiting for any given attraction.[1] Some of the more usual attractions include (depending upon size, climate, etc.):

Multi-tiered climbing structures such as this one are common at family entertainment centers.

The most common anchor activities are miniature golf, kart racing, arcade and redemption games, and food & beverages, according to industry specialists StoneCreek Partners.[1] FECs rarely use custom-built attractions, because of the costs involved, and instead install off-the-shelf systems provided and maintained by industry equipment vendors.[1]

Any given FEC may lean more towards outdoor activities, arcade gaming, or passive entertainment and dining. Each may cater to different age ranges, all the time, or during certain hours, e.g., children and entire families in the daytime, and teens to young adults in the evening, with specific promotional programs to attract different market segments at different times.[1]

Business model

FECs tend to serve "sub-regional markets",[1] such as small cities, quadrants or boroughs of larger cities, and a large suburban area outside such a city. Their busiest times are weekend afternoons and Thursday through Saturday evenings.[1]

Because most of the attractions are essentially the same from FEC to FEC,[1] two of the most important factors in a particular center distinguishing itself to potential customers are a highly visible location[1] (hard to obtain because other uses for the land are often more competitive[1]), and a consistently developed and promoted theme that appeals to the target market segments, "the fun factor in the overall decor".[1]

Parental concerns are also important. While children themselves rarely think of it, a major factor in the attractiveness of an FEC to parents is on-site safety and security, as adults may drop off older children at such an establishment to entertain themselves.[1] An increasingly important factor for success is high-quality food and drink to attract parental spending as well as whole-family dining.[1]

Non-traditional FECs

Various major media and entertainment brands, including

San Francisco, California (1999–2006).[5]

Some nonprofit, educational installations, such as the

with simpler amusement attractions.

In Canada

In Mexico

In the United Kingdom

In the United States

The main national industry group in the U.S. is the National Association of Family Entertainment Centers (NAFEC), which is a division of the International Laser Tag Association (ILTA).

Some U.S.-based companies also have venues in Canada (noted above), but this is rare due to the legal/political difficulties involved in cross-border corporations.

North American FECs vary wildly in themes, size and features. Some of the larger businesses in this category have included:[1]

In other countries

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "About Family Entertainment Centers". Las Vegas, Nevada: StoneCreek Partners Advisory Services, Commercial Real Estate and Leisure-time Industries. 2011. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
  2. ISSN 0261-3077
    . Retrieved 2023-05-18.
  3. ^ McAuliffe, Howard (2023-06-16). "The Evolution And Potential Of Urban Entertainment Centers". Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Retrieved 2023-07-31.
  4. ^ a b "Urban Entertainment Centers". op. cit. 2011. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  5. .