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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Things I want to remember about disliking Chuck E. Cheese's

Chuck E. Cheese's
Originally uploaded by marytsao.
I like taking my kids on what I call fieldtrips. Adventures get us out of the house, keep us busy, and--hopefully--teach my kids something about the world in which we live. This week we hit the beach, saw The Wiggles in concert, lunched at Chuck E. Cheese's, and visited a vintage children's amusement park in San Jose called Happy Hollow. The kids loved all of the things we did this week, and with the exception of our outing to a certain over-priced pizza palace, I did, too.

Chuck E. Cheese's. Yuck. Of course, the kids loved it and talk about it every day, but all I can do is cringe every time I think about how much money I spent there. It was an insanely expensive fieldtrip because I had never been there before so I didn't know the drill. I kind of spaced out when I ordered the food and ended up with way too much food and way too many tokens. I'm not sure if I was distracted by the arcade games, the wandering kids, or what.

I realized a couple of things after watching the other parents and kids and after spending some time at the place. If I ever find myself there (or any game arcade like it) again, I'll keep these things in mind.

(1) You don't need to eat there to play the games.
(2) Toddlers and preschoolers probably enjoy the games whether they're "playing" them or not.
(3) Some of the stuff there doesn't require money, e.g., the climbing structures.
(4) Some parents take their kids there and bring lunch in tupperware containers.
(5) Kids don't eat lunch when they're running around. Therefore, buying them food is a waste of money.
(6) The pizza tasted like it had been frozen. Frozen pizza should not cost that much money.
(7) Allowing kids an unlimited number of tokens just makes them insane. A better thing to do would be to give each child five tokens and allow them to decide which five games they most want to play.
(8) Some of the games give you tickets for scoring. At the end you trade in the tickets for prizes, but the prizes you get for the tickets are a joke. You'd be better off going to the dollar store and giving each child $5.00.
(9) In general, Chuck E. Cheese's is a complete waste of money and the place itself turns children into greedy brats.
(10) A much better fieldtrip would involve buying a pizza at Round Table, then bringing it to a playground with a water structure and eating it at a picnic table while the kids run around getting wet. Afterwards, take the kids to the dollar store and buy all kinds of plastic crap for $10. Total field trip = $25.