While I had initially planned to do it up big style for her 5th birthday, I gradually came off that idea and wanted to do something manageable. I didn't want a party at the house and after searching children's museums and other possible locations in the city, my husband simply recommended....Chuck E. Cheese. "Chuck E. Cheese?!," I squealed, "I CAN'T STAND Chuck E. Cheese." Of all my adult memories of Chuck E. Cheese NONE of them were particularly good (my childhood memories were of love for Chuck E. Cheese). Screaming poor-behaving kids, crowded game floor, hectic, just hectic. I didn't want my daughter's 5-year-old birthday party to be hectic.
But my husband reminded me that she loved Chuck E. Cheese. It is her party after all. I thought about it and I knew he was right. She would love it and at the end of the day, that's what really matters.
From the moment I told her she was having her birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese I knew it was the right decision. She lit up with joy. She reminded me how much she loves Chuck E (the mouse). She couldn't wait to see him. She was so very excited. We bought her a very special big girl outfit, had her big sister do her nails and toes in pink polish topped in glitter, whipped up a fancy big girl hairstyle and off we went to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate her 5th birthday with family.
The place was hectic, but my birthday girl (my birthday star) had so much fun, that it was all worth it. Some of the many highlights:
The games: I rarely saw the birthday girl during the party she was so busy running around with her cousins playing games. While the games and "rides" seem so simple to me, they seem to suit her fancy just fine.
Chuck E.: She just loves Chuck E and the moment he hit the floor she ran to him like a lost relative.
The Ticket Blaster: The machine had everyone's interest on high and she could not wait to get in. I told her to try to get the big tickets and off she went. And she did a great job, although most of the tickets ended up in her inflatable birthday crown.
Our hostess: I don't even remember her name, but she was awesome. She worked great with the kids, she kept the birthday girl happy and was always smiling. She was perfect. I could not have asked for a better hostess.
It was a great day and I knew that my birthday girl had a wonderful 5th birthday. Happy 5th birthday Miss Saada!
Thinking of a party at Chuck E. Cheese? Here are a few tips that can help it be as successful as possible. If not, give it a thought and consider the below.
1. Go early. We had a 2:30 party and that was too late. 11:00 is probably ideal. The place will be less crowded and you'll be happier.
2. When reserving space, err on the high side. Depending on how much space you reserve, you may have to pay a minimum regardless of how many people show up, but it's best to have more space than less. We reserved space for 50, while maybe half showed up. In the end we may have paid for 1 or 2 kids that didn't show and it was worth it to have the space to spread out.
3. If you can get it, reserve space by the wall with booths for the parents. Being in the middle of the floor can be pretty tight.
4. Bring coupons. Chuck E. Cheese has coupons online that can help with purchasing additional food (for the adults) and tokens. We were able to use two of our coupons while at the party.
5. Play the Ticket Blaster online game. You can win 30 tickets for each game you play. I played about 10 times before the party and brought the printouts to give to guests as they left to redeem their tickets on the way out.