Three birthday parties in three days to celebrate turning 3. That was our whirlwind weekend. Two of the parties were family parties, so the atmosphere was laid back, more like a family gathering around food, lots of food. The third party was the big event of the weekend—a party at Chuck E. Cheese for Jax and 5 of his closest friends, including his “very best buddy.”
I woke up on Sunday with a nervous stomach—I am not a big Chuck E.Cheese fan, by any stretch of the imagination. I take my kid there because he loves it and it completely tires him out, if I’m being honest. Knowing a trip there guarantees a decent night of sleep, I suck it up and chase him around, my pockets full of tokens and tickets, for a few hours until one or both of us collapses from sheer exhaustion.
But Chuck E. Cheese is noisy. And there are children—germy, sometimes misbehaved children—running amok, knocking each other over in a sugared-up quest to get to the next game first. And parents who are paying varying degrees of attention to their children. The parents rave about the pizza and regret that there is no alcohol served there. And at the end of the day, you can turn your tickets into plastic spider rings!
Maybe I’m just a snob, but it isn’t really my thing.
But Jax loves it, so I chugged my coffee, took some Advil, and repeated my mantra, “Anything for Jax” before heading out the door.
It turned out, yesterday was actually tolerable. We arrived close to our 11 am party time slot and there were maybe 10 people, discounting employees, in the place—a Chuck E. Cheese MIRACLE! I will never go to Chuck E. Cheese at any other time of day again!
The party itself was pretty fun—and affordable. We spent $132 for 2 hours in the party area, complete with a special visit from Chuck himself, and enough food for all 6 kids and 8 adults. The kids each got a turn in the Ticket Blaster.
Parents, I am convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that the brains behind the biz threw us parents a bone with the Ticket Blaster—that thing is definitely designed for parents to laugh at their little ones, freaked out by hundreds of tickets blowing at them from every which way as they bang on the plexiglas to be let out. Not that I did that or anything…
Overall, celebrating a birthday at Chuck E. Cheese was fun, memorable, and affordable. I didn’t spend days cleaning my house to prepare for a party at home. I got to hang out and enjoy watching the kids play while someone else did the entertaining–and, ok, maybe I played a few games myself! But the best part? Somehow we actually came home headache free, with a tired but very happy 3-year-old.