1. NEVER GO ON A WEEKNIGHT OR WEEKEND (or holiday). And when I say never, I mean never never never never ever ever ever. CEC on a weekend is a massive hellhole. One Friday night we tried to go and couldn't even get in the door. We always go on a weekday, and we go as early as possible. Check your location's hours- ours opens at 9. And guess what? When we go that early on a weekday, IT'S EMPTY. There's never been more than 10 people that early. Often, we've had the whole place to ourselves. Also, check out how late your CEC is open. Ours can be open as late as 10- and one weeknight we did go around 7:30-8, and it was manageable.
|That one other kid in the background? She was with us.|
3. Plan your strategy. Ok, you've got your coupons. You've picked a time when you don't think it will be too crowded. Now- are you eating there? Do you have coupons for pizza? Will you be buying soda, or bringing water bottles? Are you bringing snacks and skipping meal time? (I could never do this- the kids love that mediocre pizza. I always plan to eat there, and I get either the cinnamon or apple dessert pizza or the salad bar. French fries are an inexpensive option but aren't very good.) How much money do you want to spend? Do your kids have socks to go in the play equipment? Are you wearing something with pockets to hold tokens and tickets?
AND YOU ARE READY. I have gifted you with all of the knowledge from my many years of experience at Chuck E. Cheese. I know it seems like a lot for a silly CEC trip, but just keep these tips in the back of your mind. I promise that you and your kids can actually have some fun, and it won't even cost you your sanity.
I don't think I need to say that Chuck E. is not affiliated with this post. I doubt they'd like the name of their establishment paired with "hellhole" in a blog post.