I’m so excited to share my experience with hosting our first Chuck E Cheese birthday party! I’m a bit of a control freak, so I can’t say I wasn’t worried about how this party would go down, but it was even better than I could have expected.
It’s important to note here that I’m in no way affiliated with Chuck E Cheese nor am I receiving anything in return for this post. It’s simply an experience worth sharing with other mommas in need of party planning help!
How does a Chuck E Cheese birthday party work?
When my daughter announced she wanted to hold her 4th birthday at Chuck E Cheese, my frugal brain immediately went to the cost. So I went on the Chuck E Cheese website and was pleasantly surprised by the affordable options. Even when we go the party-at-home-DIY-route (like we did for our Dr. Seuss birthday party!) there’s still the stress and time planning it all.
I truly love to throw parties, but not necessarily during the cold days of February, which happens to be my daughter’s birthday month. So this time I handed over the party planning reigns and here’s what happened…
Chuck E Cheese Birthday Party Review
What’s the schedule like?
We arrived at Chuck E Cheese about 15 minutes before the party was set to start. Everything was set up in the back already and our host greeted us. She handed over a bag of play passes as well as a birthday bracelet for my sweet birthday girl.
Our host then went over our order (we opted for extra pizzas and drinks for the adults). From there, she went over the schedule, which looked like this:
12pm – party starts, kids play
12:45pm – pizza time! Our host served the children and made sure they all got what they needed.
After pizza, Chuck E himself came out to dance with the kids. We then sang “Happy Birthday” while the host cut and distributed the cake. Since we got the Mega Super Star package, it also included Dippin’ Dots (yum!!)
From there, it would’ve been gift time, but we nixed that to do gifts at home.
After cake, it was ticket blaster time! My daughter wasn’t too keen on it, so her big brother stepped in.
Do they have to do the ticket blaster?
Our host was kind enough to show my daughter how the ticket blaster worked, but even then, my daughter wasn’t interested. My 5yr old son was all about it, though, so he stepped up to get those tickets. That said, there was also the option to skip the ticket blaster and simply collect 200 tickets (plus her 1000 bonus tickets as a part of the party package).
After the ticket blaster, the kids are then welcome to go back to playing.
Can you bring your own cake to a Chuck E Cheese birthday party?
Absolutely! While Chuck E Cheese offers a number of gorgeous cake options, you can also bring in your own cake and ice cream.
Do you tip for a Chuck E Cheese birthday party?
I’ve actually reached out to Chuck E Cheese to see if they have a policy/common practice on this. While I in no way felt pressured to tip, there’s no doubt our hostess deserved it! Our total party cost was $300, on which we tipped $40. This might seem like a bit much to some (like my husband…hehe) but I’ve worked in food service before and the tip was well earned.
Is the Mega Super Star package worth it?
It really, really is. It was so nice to not have to worry about goody bags or ice cream, plus the unlimited play for the 2 hours really helped parents better enjoy the experience and not worry about watching (or having to re-up!) their child’s play points. I also love that the goody bags allow for every child to leave with something, regardless of how many tickets they earned.
What happens if you have no-shows?
Sure enough, on the day of the party we had a couple children who suddenly couldn’t make it. Luckily Chuck E Cheese offers a 2-child no-show policy so we weren’t charged for the absent children.
The Easiest Birthday Party Ever
Overall, I truly could not have been happier with the whole experience. I did EVERYTHING online on my own schedule and it was the smoothest, most relaxed party I’ve had. Frankly, I’m considering hosting my own next birthday party there – they do have beer, after all! 😉
Have you had a Chuck E Cheese birthday party experience?
Would love for you to comment below and share your thoughts!
Looking for easy Dr. Seuss birthday party ideas? Dr. Seuss may seem like a cliche party idea, but when Target has a bunch of Dr. Seuss goodies in their dollar bin, what’s a thrifty guardian to do?! So in July of last year, my daughter’s 2nd birthday theme was settled….7 months in advance. Yay for being prepared!
My daughter turned two this past weekend and luckily she didn’t care much what her decorations looked like, provided there were cupcakes and balloons. So Dr. Seuss it was. Now when I hopped on Amazon to find some decorations, I immediately had to click away (no matter how much I love to shop online!)
$8 for some Dr. Seuss balloons and $23 for a Thing 1 toddler top?? Errhm. No.
I decided to make use of my thrifty skills – and love for crafting – and make all of our decorations. And OH. MY. GOODNESS. I have never been more pleased with myself. I’d also like to note that every single thing I created was made from goodies purchased at the dollar store. #humblebrag
Dr. Seuss DIY Ideas
My first big project was going to be somehow disguising the weight machine we have in our foyer.
Yes, I said in our foyer.
We got it for free and it definitely helped in my mission to get paid to lose weight! The only downside being that the only place it fit was in our entryway.
“Hello, welcome to our home! Mind the barbells…”
Given that the machine is over 6ft tall, I knew I’d either have to just roll with it or figure out something to cover it really well. So decor piece #1 was…
DIY Truffula Trees
These things were a bit tedious to make but actually a LOT of fun.
Tissue paper (5 sheets worked well for me)
Ribbon or twist-ties
Colored duct tape
Simply fold the pieces of tissue paper into an accordion, tie a ribbon around the middle, cut about an inch into each fold, and then fan out! For the “trunk of the tree”, simply wrap tape around the pool noodle and use the last bit to secure the flower to the trunk. Easy to make and a great way to WOW your guests…especially if you have a giant weight set to cover up in the entrance way to your house. (Just me? Weird.)
I had the toddlers paint a few poster boards and used those to make a sort of fort to prop the trees up. The extra trees were placed throughout the house – yes, extra trees. I may have went a bit overboard.
One of my favorite things about this theme is that the look/feel/font of Seuss is always a bit askew. As someone with ZERO artistic talent (seriously, my 3 year old draws better than me), I very much appreciated my lack of talent as a strength here. We live in a VERY old house – like fully expect newspapers mentioning Lincoln when we finally tear out the walls – so there are many spots in which we have wallpaper peeling or plaster crumbling. I.E. Nothing a poster board with an inspirational Dr. Seuss quote couldn’t cover!
Dr. Seuss Food Ideas
One Fish Two Fish… – Multicolored gold fish in a cute little plastic fish bowl.
Go Dog Go – Hot dogs cooked in crescent rolls (also known as pigs in a blanket)
Hop on Pop(corn) – we did a popcorn bar for this one. Giant bowl of hot air popcorn with half a dozen topping options: cinnamon sugar, parmesan, butter, garlic salt, and of course MILK DUDS! Yum.
Green Eggs and Ham – deviled eggs with a bit of blue dye added to the yellow yolks and some rolled deli ham. Easy peasy and delicious!
Lorax – I drew a quick little yellow mustache, a set of eyes, taped them onto a plastic cookie jar, filled it with every child’s favorite snack (CHEESY POOFS!) and VOILA! The Lorax.
My husband – ever the witty man – did contribute one idea: Yerdle the Turtle soup. Luckily, I’m the one who does the party planning.
Dr. Seuss Birthday Outfit Idea
Once again, I’d like remind you that ALL of this can be found at The Dollar Store. For my daughter’s outfit, I used a red tutu I’d already made for the 4th of July last year and then I bought a red t-shirt. Grabbed a bit of white fabric paint, made myself a nice little circle, grabbed a black permanent marker, and suddenly…she was THING 2! Forget spending $20+ on an outfit when she looked oh-so-stinkin’ cute in one I made for barely $1.
Overall, throwing a birthday party – no matter your child’s age – shouldn’t break the bank. Honestly, I can’t remember the decorations from ANY of MY birthday parties, but you know what I DO remember?
Playing tag with my cousins in the backyard.
Meeting the newest additions to the family.
Listening to my crazy uncle rant about Reagan.
Ya know – family stuff 🙂
So while I very much encourage you to make use of your own thrifty skills (and hopefully your local dollar store!), don’t ever forget the purpose of these shindigs – to come together and celebrate life and love.
What are some of your favorite childhood party memories? Decorations or otherwise!
Welcome! My name is Amber Temerity and I'm here to guide you on your journey toward a richer life.