Our sweet little Sidekick is 4! His special day falls in the middle of what happens to be a really busy time of year for us, and it seems to always be kind of a last-minute celebration. This year, we decided to change that and celebrate by giving him the best kids' birthday party ever!
Truth be told, I'm having a hard time understanding how my children keep getting older, I seem to be perpetually stuck at age 29.
I've shared with you all that I'm not much for party-planning. I'm frankly not big on orchestrating other people's activities in any way, shape or form. I tend to be more of a “set it and forget it” kind of mom. With four little boys, I don't have time to be adding additional humans and their wants or needs into my task list. It worked out well, then, that the only thing Sidekick wanted in the entire world for this birthday was a party with our partner Chuck E. Cheese's. That? THAT I could pull off, no sweat! With a Chuck E. Cheese's party I get to show up to a prepared space, someone puts some chicken wings and birthday cake in front of me, my kids get to play games and we call it a day.
On any given parent's “birthday party chill meter,” this is basically on-par with a day at the spa.
I went online and reserved the date and time for our party, telling the location how many kids and adults we'd have in attendance. The reservation system gave us a ton of options to choose from, including an “Eat More Play More” package with extra pizza and bonus playing points for older kids, a VIP party on Saturday or Sunday with the whole party area to ourselves for an hour before the restaurant opens, an unlimited play party, or a Sweet Summer Birthday with free cotton candy for parties with 12 or more children held before September 30th.
You can send out branded RSVP emails through the site, and it lets you add or subtract kids up to 24 hours before the event (there's no charge for adults, aside from any food and drinks you choose to order for them).
In addition to picking your perks and pre-ordering extra goodies such as cake, ice cream, dippin' dots and goodie bags, they also have party themes to pick from. You can “Party Like a Rock Star,” get “Dressed in Pink,” be a “Chuck E. Super Fan” or opt for “Sports, Sports, Sports!” Every theme comes with special gifts for the birthday kid, such as sport clappers, a light-up crown, a special shirt or a microphone. It's a tradition in our family for the birthday kid to pick small gifts for each of his siblings.
What Sidekick decided he wanted – as we browsed the reservations page together – was for his brothers to each get one of the special themed gifts. How cute is that!? It worked out well. There was a space on the order form for me to add additional children to the party for an additional fee (I'm guessing this is typically used for twins or triplets) and to select their individual theme. I did that for all of the boys and when our party host called to confirm details with me, I simply explained the situation so there was no confusion.
There was an unexpected bonus with adding extra kids. All of the parties come with a Ticket Blaster experience, and ALL of our boys got to do it! I was able to accompany the toddler in there and I have to say, it's a pretty cool thrill to be in a booth whirling full of flying tickets while you try to catch the special Golden Magic one. I felt like I was on a game show. Our birthday boy actually caught it, and he got 1,000 extra tickets all to himself!
Just when Sidekick's cheek-to-cheek smile couldn't possibly get any wider, Chuck E. himself showed up. On stage. Live and in full mouse regalia, flanked by screaming fan children. He came right up to my birthday boy, gave him a high five, and proceeded to orchestrate the Chuck E. dance with my eager little boys on-stage.
It. Was. Epic. Definitely top ten in my memory bank. The kids were basically the most excited I've ever seen them, and I got to just sit around and eat pizza and take it all in.
Aside from upgrading the number of birthday kids at our table, we actually booked the smallest package with 30 tokens per child. Our kids are still pretty young and we figured they'd get tired pretty fast, but I was shocked at how far those tickets went and how long they lasted! We were in that game area for hours, long after our party ended. I did buy a couple extra things to supplement the included party stuff, such as cotton candy and goodie bags. They even had gluten-free pizza and rice krispie treats to meet my dietary needs, which I appreciated SO much. All in all, this was the least effort I've ever put into a birthday party, the most fun my kids have had, and the least amount of money I've spent. Winning all around! I also found a ton of inspiration on the Chuck E. Cheese's social channels including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so I knew exactly what to expect which always makes things easier with little kids.
The next birthday boy on our family list is already begging to recreate the experience for his birthday in the fall and you know what? I think we just might.
Have you ever celebrated a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chuck E Cheese's. The opinions and text are all mine.