Posted by: angelnorman | July 23, 2008

CEC love

I hate few things in this world more than I hate my local Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, if you can even call it a restaurant. It’s more like a torturous pit of frivolous spending and overpriced pizza, where the staff all hates the world and takes it out solely on you by never ever being available to assist you when the machines eat your tokens or steal your tickets. The last time I went I sat at that machine that draws your picture (with Nick of course, not by myself) and waited on the darn thing to print our picture for at least 10 minutes. I sent Mike to find someone to help us, and finally the girl comes and pulls our picture out. It’s covered in black inky lines and she’s all like, “Sorry ’bout the lines. Our printers do that sometimes, but here’s your picture.” And I was like, “Great. I love pictures of myself and my kid with lines in it, how about a refund?” But I didn’t actually have time to say this before she huffed away to probably shoot up in the break room and pop another frozen pizza into the oven. Pfft. I despise it!

But tonight I willingly went to CEC so that Mike and I could spend some time with Nicholas before Mike heads to Atlanta tomorrow. Here’s yet another one of those reasons I’m glad I only have one kid. I can do things like make random, non-birthday party trips to CEC. I can spend the $ on that and not care much because it’s actually affordable– in a “we’re wasting money on this stuff” sort of way, of course. But I don’t mind spending $10 on 50 tokens because that lasts like an hour and a half for Nicholas. He doesn’t blow through them like a madman. In fact, most of the time we have to grab handfuls of tokens and pop them into those quick ticket payout machines or I swear we’d be there all night. 

Hence the reason Mike likes to go to CEC– we get to play games, too. Ha.

It wasn’t that bad. On weeknights, hardly no one is there. There were a few people having birthday parties and Nicholas asked the dreaded, “Can I have my birthday here too?” We’ve yet to do a pay-for-the-venue birthday party, but I wouldn’t rule it out. However, because of my disdain for CEC (did I mention I don’t really care for the place?), I’m not sure I could justify it. I’d rather freeze my teets off at the park again.

Of course I said to him that I’d think about it. Can’t just squash his dreams right away, can I?

I looked into it tonight though and it’s $16 a child to do a party where they get 32 tokens, goody bags, and some food and drinks. I mean, are they freakin’ kidding?! The goody bags, I’m sure, include exactly what they have to sell and how many kids are actually going to get enough tickets with 32 measly tokens to exceed the lame little prizes that they already have?! That’s so not worth it for us, either. We always invite like a million children. Last year it was 21, only 16 showed. The year before it was 30. Yes, 30. We actually know thirty children, and Nick’s not even in school yet. OUCH.

Stupid overpriced den of rip-offs.



  1. Ever heard the word “NO”? When H asked for a CEC birthday party, we had a chat about how evil the place is and how we’d rather not waste our money on that particular mouse. Now, whenever we drive by there, R says, “LOOK, Chuck E Cheese” to which H responds, “No, R, that place is bad.” Of course, my in laws still try and drag them there occasionally but I’ve managed to avoid it lately. Now they have Red Robin to choose from so that helps.

  2. Yes, of course I’ve heard the word “no”, Mandy. The rest I can’t comment on without sounding too bitchy.
    I will say though that we hate Red Robin too. The food is just as awful, only there’s more variety.

  3. I like Red Robin’s Shakes though. YUM.

  4. What about having the normal cake/ice cream party for the large family and friends crowd, but letting him have a special birthday dinner at CEC where he could invite 1 or 2 friends. He would still get the fun of pizza, games, friends, and a giant mouse, but you wouldn’t really have to spend that much for 2-3 kids to have a great time.

  5. Jen: I DID like their shakes, until they started using not real bananas in their awesome banana shakes 😦 Probably the only thing I still like is their freckled lemonade. Now that is delish, I can’t deny it.
    Steph: Actually, that’s a fantastic idea. I was thinking of doing a seperate friends/family party here at the house to keep parking/space issues to a minimum. Plus, some of the family hasn’t been here in ages, if at all, and I want to give them a reason to come. Also, I was hoping to go back to a normal party for him, ones like I used to have back in the day, with cousins all gathered around me and such. You know what I mean! 🙂 I just feel like he’s never had that, that all his parties get so big so fast because of all the family and friends we are fortunate enough to have, and I feel bad that he often doesn’t get to enjoy it the way he should. Heck, I don’t either. I can never make it around the circuit enough times to talk to everyone. I always feel like people might go home feeling snubbed that I chose to talk to my family more, or for my family, my friends more. It’s rough.
    So I’ll probably do grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins (and any extended family who wants to come) at one party and then maybe I’ll take a few of his best friends to CEC on the 12th, his actual birthdate, which is on a Wednesday night. Good plan.

  6. Miles had her 3rd birthday party there. It cost me like $140 plus a tip. That was for my one child, my sister’s two kids, my friend’s two kids and an extra pizza and a few extra drinks. I don’t think it is worth it at all!

    However, having said that, I would still be very willing to bring my kids and pay for my kids to celebrate nick’s bday. it is just too much for the bday parent to spend on what you get.

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