One of the things I always looked forward to about becoming a parent was the ability to FINALLY go to a Chuck E. Cheese. I know it’s ridiculous, but having seen the commercials most of my life, I’d always wondered what they were like! When I was a kid in first grade, the class twins, Jessica and Nicole, had a birthday party at a place called Pistol Pete’s Pizza. We had so much fun watching animatronic animals sing songs to us while we ate pizza and played in the arcade.
Back then, I’d never heard of Chuck E. Cheese, and I don’t even know if it existed. In fact, the first time I saw a commercial, I thought they’d actually ripped OFF Pistol Pete.
Anyway, a few weeks ago, thinking that Dex has finally reached an age where Chuck E. Cheese would be fun, I found our nearest one and took the family out.
Right from the get go, it was easy to see that this was a family joint. EVERYTHING was done with family fun in mind. In fact, one of the things that impressed me most was that as soon as we entered, we all had to be stamped with matching invisible stamps which show up under a black light. Every child who left with an adult was checked under the black light to be sure they matched. This makes it nearly impossible to kidnap a kid. Daniel was too little to be stamped, but they placed a sticker with the stamp on it on his carseat.
We immediately went up to the counter and ordered our package. For $20, we got a nice large pepperoni pizza, two fountain drinks and $5 worth of tokens to play games. At first, I was afraid that $5 wouldn’t get us very far. But I was shocked that each token was worth 25 cents, and there was NO machine or game that took more than one token!
Dexter was overwhelmed at all the colors and flashing lights in the main room, and as there were birthday parties going on in the main stage section, we figured the best thing was to grab a booth in the toddler section. It meant Dex had a level of autonomy, able to ride some fun rides without us standing with him every second.
In fact, once he figured out how the tokens worked, he took great pleasure in putting them in himself. Of course, that only lasted a few seconds, as he wound up stealing all the tokens and feeding them one after another into the Clifford ride.
Keeping him at the table was a trial, as he was SO excited by all the fun stuff to play with. And the other kids were fun for him to interact with. He didn’t even eat any pizza until Mark took him a slice in his magic school bus. He definitely worked up a thirst, though!
And while Baby Daniel was too young to go on any rides or understand what the heck we were doing, he did have fun cuddling mama while daddy accompanied Dexter on some of the bigger rides.
In the end, we stayed for almost two hours and had to drag Dex kicking and screaming out of there once our money was spent. We came away with a few photo souvenirs (also only one token!) and a lot of happy memories.