How to Survive Chuck E Cheese’s over School Vacation

If you’ve ever visited Chuck E. Cheese’s during school vacation, you know what an absolute madhouse it is. Tom took the day off yesterday so we could take TJ there. He’d earned a special trip to Chuck E. Cheese’s by earning enough points with his chore chart. We survived the trip, and so can you. Here is my advice for how to survive Chuck E. Cheese’s when the kids are out of school:

Never Go Without a Coupon

Chuck E. Cheese’s can be a very expensive venture, especially if you have multiple kids. They have coupons in the newspaper on practically a weekly basis that can save you a lot of money. If you don’t get a newspaper, you can also sign up to receive printable Chuck E. Cheese’s coupons via email. This is what I did, and we used a coupon to get 1 large pizza, 3 soft drinks, and 60 game tokens for $19.99. The best “deal” they had on the menu board when we got there was 1 large pizza, 2 soft drinks, and 30 tokens for $27.99. We saved $8 and got more soda and tokens with the coupon!

Bring a Friend

Bringing the kids to Chuck E. Cheese’s alone on a school vacation is just asking for trouble. When we arrived yesterday, there was a line to get in. We arrived around 12:45. I had to wait in line to order our pizza, and then I had to wait in line to be seated. We didn’t get a table until after 1:00, probably closer to 1:10. We didn’t get our pizza until after 1:30.

Chuck E Cheese's Pizza

Had I been by myself, I would not have felt comfortable letting TJ run wild without me, so he would have needed to stand in line with me. Having witnessed all of the bored and whiny kids standing in line with their parents around me, this would have been a problem. But with Tom there, I agreed to wait in the horrible line by myself while the two of them went off to play games. It worked beautifully. And I was able to stay at our table (so they didn’t try to give it to someone else) while Tom supervised TJ during the wait for our pizza.

Bring Your Smartphone

In the old days, I suppose parents had the option of bringing a book to read or staring at the throngs of children until their eyes glazed over. But it’s awfully hard to concentrate on reading a book amidst all of the screaming. Tom and I had our phones with us, and we were able to amuse ourselves with Words With Friends, Tiny Tower, and Seesmic while TJ was off playing. I was also able to snap a few pictures with the camera.

Bring Your Sense of Humor

It’s Chuck E. Cheese’s, “where a kid can be a kid.” You knew what you were in for before you walked in the door. We listened to a mom screaming at her daughter and threatening not to let her redeem her tickets for prizes…and I don’t even know why. If you committed to bringing your kid there, you’ve committed to the whole experience. Otherwise, what’s the point? We brought TJ there so we could see the big grin on his face. We didn’t enjoy the squealing children, the long lines, or the overcrowding either, but we sucked it up and let TJ do his thing. It was about him, not us. So bring your headache medicine, and maybe try a glass of that wine they have on tap if you need to, but let your kids have fun!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for writing this post, nor was I asked to write it by Chuck E. Cheese’s or any of its partners. It was just me, wanting to help other parents out by writing up a survival guide.

Christina Gleason (975 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I'm a multiply disabled autistic woman doing my best in this world built for abled people. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including Twitch Sings and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead.

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