Chuck E Cheese Unlimited

We finally had Leo’s 7th birthday party, at Chuck E Cheese for the second year running. (I reject the apostrophe s from their name).

Last year we got the cheapest package, so every kid got 20 tokens. This year we went a different route and got the kids unlimited tokens. Unlimited!


Now normally, the kids have to budget their tokens and choose their games carefully according to which last the longest, which are the most fun, and which have the biggest payoff for the least tokens. It’s a whole different ball game when you have unlimited points, and it didn’t take long for the kids to figure this out. It was reminiscent of the grocery store game shows of the 80s, with kids frantically swiping their cards at any game that crossed their path, like a wild-eyed mom sweeping an entire cereal aisle into her cart, Froot Loops, Grape Nuts, and all.


The boys adjusted to this limitless world frighteningly well. Leo designated my sister as his official ticket holder and she followed along behind him, gray tickets dripping off her like pearl necklaces until he ditched her for a grocery bag. She was later seen crouched beside a machine, scanning her son’s card over and over so he could play a game faster. When it was time for pizza, one girl sent her mom off to play games so the tickets would keep coming while she ate. Vincenzo came over to tell me he broke a game by playing it so many times that it ran out of tickets.



*Not my sister. Just another proud parent of a BIG WINNER!!!!!!

It was Leo’s second year in the ticket tornado thing and he was supposed to invite one friend in but another squeezed his way in, too, because it was just that kind of party. Leo was ready this year with a baseball hat, which had better results than shoving them down his pants like he did last year.



When the two hours were up, our kids took over the ticket muncher machine, feeding it line after line after line of tickets while the numbers climbed into the hundreds, then into the thousands. The thousands! So the kids went on a shopping spree. My boys teamed up with their cousin to buy an inflatable soccer net and ball, and if you think that’s a pretty good find, you are gravely mistaken. We found one on-line for $5.00, which was about twice what it was worth.

Leo dropped a couple thousand on a mini knock-off Nerf gun with three bullets. Then when a friend came over, he gave it away, like a couple thousand points of tickets is pocket change to him.

So yeah. It was a crazy two hours, and if the party had a theme like all my parties used to, the theme of this one would be gluttony.

In conclusion, I am sending the video clips of Leo’s 7th birthday to Hollywood so they can splice them together and make a Hangover 4.


That’s what kind of party it was.

Ceviche fish tacos
Brown sugar squash
Dulce de leche cookies

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