This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chuck E. Cheese’s . The opinions and text are all mine
As a mom of nine who lives in Michigan, I can attest to the fact that winters can get long. The whole “being trapped inside with kids who have too much energy” is a real serious situation. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that it really isn’t my kids’ fault they have so much energy, they are just cooped up for so long they can’t help it. Kids need to move and shake, and sometimes just be plain goofy, all while burning off some of that energy they have so much of. So as a mom, I am always on the lookout for places I can take my kids to let off some steam when the weather outside is just too nasty to go out. Bonus points if it’s a place if we can all have some family fun.
I remember when I was a kid, I used to love going to a place called ShowBiz Pizza Place. I remember begging my parents to go there on a regular basis. They did take me a few times, and I remember going there for a few birthday parties with friends, too.
When I got older and was dating my husband, I was so excited to take my younger sisters there, and by that time it had become Chuck E. Cheese’s. Of course, they had as much fun there as I had when I was a kid.
Eager to share a piece of my childhood with my own kids, I was excited to check out a nearby Chuck E. Cheese’s for their grand reopening celebration last week.
A bunch of my kids and I headed to Portage, just a bit South from where I live, to take part in all the festivities.
What I found was that in the years that have passed since I had been there last, I found that so many things have changed at Chuck E. Cheese’s, making it an even better experience for both parents and kids alike.
Here are 15 ways Chuck E. Cheese’s is even better than when you were a kid
When I was a kid, I remember Chuck E. Cheese’s being dark and dreary feeling. That made the whole place just feel run down and uninviting. But that is not the case today.
Today there are all updated paint colors, brighter lighting, and great care taken to make sure that all areas are clean and sanitized.
For this reason, Chuck E. Cheese’s just has a more inviting appeal, especially to younger kids.
I love that they take security seriously at Chuck E. Cheese’s. As a concerned mom, I love knowing that no one would have a chance of taking one of my children out the door with them.
Here’s what I mean.
When you arrive, everyone in your party get stamped with the same number.
Then there is someone standing near the door monitoring everyone who comes in and out. No one can leave without getting their hand stamp checked first.
This means that no child can get out the door without their entire party with matching hand stamps along with them.
Especially in today’s world, keeping children safe simply must be a priority, and Chuck E. Cheese’s has a system in place that proves they do.
Tables in the midst of the games and fun
With all of the updates that the Portage location made with the renovation, there are so many table options right in the midst of all the games and fun. This means that as a parent I am not feeding some of my kids in one area while other kids are playing in the game area.
I can be sitting at my table making sure that I can see all of my kids from one central location. In the past, the dining area was more separated from the game area, which made it nearly impossible to keep track of different kids doing different things.
More affordable games
I think this might be my very favorite improvement from when I was a kid. Chuck E. Cheese’s has now figured out a way to make having fun with your kids more affordable. When you have as many kids as I do, affordable fun is very important.
They have done this with the All You Can Play Experience.
Rather than dealing with the token or play points system, they now have wristbands available for purchase, which is how your kids can have all the fun.
The wristbands are preloaded with the allotted amount of time (it’s just $9 for 30 minutes of all they can play fun!), and these wristbands are super easy for your kids to use. Instead of buying tickets or play points, you are buying time for all the games your kids can play within that allotted time.
This also means no more germy tokens for your kids to keep track of!
There are no restrictions on what games they can choose with the All You Can Play, it truly is whatever games they choose.
Not only that, there are plenty of coupons available at different times online, which makes playing games at Chuck E. Cheese’s even more affordable.
More affordable food package options on the menu
In addition to more affordable games, there are more affordable food options on the menu as well. There are packages that include different types of food combinations, and there are packages that include both games and food.
When things come in packages, they are always more affordable than buying things à la cart.
A section of entertainment for younger kids as well as a separate section for older kids and adults
As a mom to kids of varying ages, this is a huge bonus. Chuck E. Cheese’s has really found all the ways to make spending some time there fun and easy for the whole family.
There are two sections of games in the new Portage location. The games for younger kids are more on their level, are more toned down with the lights and sounds, and there aren’t any games with any kind of violence.
My older kids know where they belong to play their games, and my younger kids know right where to find what they like.
The best part is I know exactly where to find my kids no matter their age.
This may not seem like that big of a deal, but I can tell you that it kind of is. The booths are more comfortable and fit kids of varying sizes and adults more easily. Many of the booths even include USB ports to charge your phone.
I don’t know about you, but when I go somewhere I always seem to forget to charge my phone before I leave. Then I have no ability to take pictures to remember the fun we all had. Chuck E. Cheese’s has solved this problem with their updated booths.
With a power outlet and a USB port right at the booth, I can also sit and work on my laptop while my kids are having fun all around me.
These booths are really a nice touch in making things more family friendly for everyone.
Healthier food options
If there is one thing this mom likes, it is being able to take my family out for dinner while still having healthy food options for my kids. There is an amazing salad bar these days at Chuck E. Cheese’s. After getting a tour of the kitchen and checking everything out behind the scenes for their grand reopening, I saw how everything they make is made fresh daily.
All of the pizza dough, pizza toppings, and all the ingredients for the salad bar are all made and chopped right there in their kitchen fresh every single day.
Just in case you’re wondering, my kids and I all agree that their pizza is amazing!
We are huge fans of pizza in our family, but for us it always needs to be balanced out with some healthy foods as well.
I remember going to ShowBiz pizza when I was a kid and having the robotic animals dance on stage. I remember thinking how odd they looked and honestly, being just a bit freaked out about how abnormal they looked.
Chuck E. Cheese’s has taken this into account as all of their characters are now live costumed characters, and they are totally kid friendly.
When Chuck E. and his friends walk around the restaurant, kids are delighted to see them. And it only gets better when the characters get out on the all new light up dance floor with all the kids and really have some fun. Their live shows take place every hour, so your kids will get a chance to dance with their favorite characters at least once while you are there.
No more counting tickets!
Oh my goodness. What could be worse than having several kids come to you with piles of tickets that you have to count up in order to trade in for their prizes?
Well, this is no longer an issue. Chuck E. Cheese’s has now made it super easy for your kids to count up their tickets, and parents don’t even need to have a part in the process at all.
All your kids need to do is feed their tickets right into the munching machine, affectionately called the Ticket Muncher, and the munching machine does all the work. When all the tickets have been counted, your kids get a little piece of paper to carry up to the ticket counter that tells the workers just how many tickets they have to spend.
Larger prize selection
Back in the day, I remember having just a few prizes to choose from. With the newly remodeled location in Portage, there is an entire wall of fun things that kids see right when they walk in the door. They are so excited to start looking at what they hope to win.
My kids were super excited to pick out what they wanted, and we just might have left with several bags of cotton candy!
Chuck E. Cheese’s is all about becoming involved in the community around them and giving back. They work with different charitable organization in the area and also take part in different scholarship opportunities depending on their location.
Dedicated times for kids who need things a bit more toned down
If you are a parent with kids who might have sensory issues or just get overwhelmed easily, then you will love how Chuck E. Cheese’s has taken measures that will allow your kids to have fun, too.
Sundays find Chuck E. Cheese’s hosting their Sensory Sensitive Sunday Events. Every Sunday, they open two hours early in order to provide a sensory friendly environment with less people, reduced sounds and lighting, the ability to order everything off the menu, and limited visits from Chuck E. in a way that best accomodates the needs of the families there.
There are several ways Chuck E. Cheese’s has made sure that no one feels excluded and everyone gets to be a winner.
When we were there, they were quite generous when “rounding up” at the ticket counter if needed so that my kids could get the prize they really wanted.
Parents can also help their kids get the prizes they want by paying just a penny per ticket to get to the amount needed for a specific prize.
I also had a ton of fun going into the booth with flying tickets that the lucky birthday boy or girl gets to go in when they are there for a party. There are all kinds of bonus tickets available for grabs in the booth, and the same tickets are counted and put back in the booth and used for the next time the tickets go flying.
More birthday party fun
There are several birthday packages available, which makes Chuck E. Cheese’s the perfect place to make your special one feel like a king or queen on their birthday. And just by looking at the birthday table, it is clear to see that they go above and beyond to make the day something amazing for kids and parents.
With the rise of cell phones, tablets, and electronic devices in every room, every backpack, and every pocket, it has never been more important to find opportunities for families to interact and have real world fun together.
Chuck E. Cheeses’s has gone above and beyond in making sure that everyone has the opportunity to have some good old fashioned family fun together. As someone who went there when I was a kid, I can say it is so fun to watch your kids having fun doing something you loved when you were their age. I laughed and laughed while there right along with my kids, which is what made the experience truly priceless.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chuck E. Cheese’s . The opinions and text are all mine.