What is it about Chuck E Cheese’s that makes every child known to man want to be there? Is it the pizza? The games? The play area? Tickets maybe? Or maybe, its the giant mouse that nearly every child under the age of three is terrified of? Who really knows what it is that attracts the children the most. I do, however, know that it is the least appealing place to me as a mother, and I avoid it like the plaque. I’d rather let my children loose in a candy store with my credit card than take them to Chuck E Cheese’s. however much I dislike this wretched place, I love my children more and cannot deny them the simple pleasure of attending birthday parties. …or could I?….No, I’m not that mean. But lets talk about these birthday parties.
First, you have to reserve a two hour time slot on your chosen day, and hope that day isn’t already booked. Then you have to place a deposit. I’ve never personally booked a party with them, but I believe the deposit is pretty small, maybe $50.00. The basic birthday package allots 30 tokens per child, two slices of pizza and free drink refills. The cost? $13.99 per child, according to their website. Their highest price party, at $18.99 per child offers 4 slices of pizza, free refill, and 55 tokens. Doing some quick math, a party 10 children would cost anywhere from $139.90 to $189.90. If you break it down the price is very reasonable considering you don’t have to do the clean up afterwards. However, 30 tokens is never enough, adults get hungry and thirsty as well, and there’s always an extra child or two that you didn’t think was going to make it. Your $140.00 birthday party just hit a $200.00 birthday party in a matter of minutes.
Now, I’m not criticizing parents that want to have their parties at Chuck E Cheese’s, nor am I saying its a bad idea. I mean, if you think about it, having a party there beats having one at home anytime. But, personally, I would never. Mainly because, while your having your child’s party, so are 3 or 4 other parents, the building is small and its crowded. I prefer the privacy of having my children’s parties at home, avoiding the crowds, and not feeling rushed to wrap up by the end of my 2 hour time slot. My daughters last birthday party at home lasted nearly 6 hours and it was a lot more entertaining than any birthday party I have attended at Chuck E Cheese’s.