But really, it's not so bad.
Natalie wanted to have her birthday party there.
You get to go to the front of the line. And trust me, the line at Chuck E Cheese will be long on a Saturday afternoon. I felt like Usher as I went towards the front and explained that we had a reserved party.
Yes, it was crowded. Yes, it frightened my husband, who does not like crowds. My son, who has Autism, kept going, "What is this?" as we pushed through people.
But the party area? It's not as crazy.
I like having a party at Chuck E Cheese because all you basically have to do is show up. They take care of setting everything up. Passing food out. CLEANING UP. That's my favorite bit. Some people want to Pinterest their heart out for parties. I am not one of those people.
Natalie invited 12 friends and all of them showed up. Our hostess was friendly and explained what all would be happening. She went over what drinks and pizza toppings we wanted. She said that for the first hour the kids could use their tokens and then it would be time to eat pizza, have cake, dance with Chuck E, and open presents.
I also liked the fact that I didn't have to entertain anyone. I am not a fan of awkward silences. You do not have to worry about awkward silences at Chuck E Cheese. For one, it's too noisy. Two, everyone is distracted by all the rides and games.
We paid for the middle package, which is $16.99 per kid. But each kid leaves with a collectible cup and microphone balloon. Plus they get 36 tokens. I opted to do my own goodie bags.
I tried to fill them with non-crappy things. I bought princess candies, Frozen themed necklaces, pencils, clip on hair pieces, rings, and erasers in the shape of lipstick.
I followed Natalie around as she used her tokens.
At one point she was like, "You can go. I'm with my friends now."
Everyone eventually made their way back to the table for pizza.
The birthday child gets a tiara or crown with tokens in it.
Notice the Frozen birthday cake? I didn't make it. Jessica from Jessica's Cakes made it. If you live around the Oklahoma City area, give her a call. She can make almost any cake.
(You can purchase a cake from Chuck E Cheese if you didn't want to bring one.)
After pizza, Chuck E comes out to dance. The birthday kid gets a guitar balloon and can go up front and dance with Chuck E. Natalie is not shy and happily did this. Tommy would never. It's why he's only had family birthdays. He'd prefer less noise and not being asked to do things, you see.
She is not afraid of the giant mouse, at all.
Oh, and yes, you will share the birthday area with other parties, but each have separate tables and each get separate hostesses. (Or host.)
The birthday kid gets a rock star medallion after the dance.
There's also a competition with the other parties on who can shout the loudest. That's what's going on here.
Here's Natalie shouting. She loves being noisy. She's never been a quiet kid.
Then it was time for cake!
After cake, it was Ticket Blaster time where the kid can win 1000 tokens. Natalie was like, "I'm trapped!"
She did not get the 1000 token card. BUT, it turns out there wasn't a card in there. So her hostess gave her 3 1000 token cards. Sweet.
Then it was present time!
I didn't have to worry about the wrapping paper. Or any of the trash.
It was awesome.
Do I recommend a party at Chuck E Cheese?
Natalie wants to do it again next year.
Now, Saturday wasn't her REAL birthday. But we wanted her friends to be able to make it so we opted for a weekend party.
Her REAL birthday is on Wednesday.
But I'm glad she was able to have a fun party.
With no awkward silences.
(And did I mention I didn't have to clean up?!)