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#SuperDad at Chuck E. Cheese’s

For Father’s Day, my wife decided to leave town for about a week. Wasn’t that generous of her? She left 4 beautiful angel children with me for a whole week. Crash Wife is so generous! I feel so lucky to have her make such sacrifices for me.

As you may remember, when the wife is away I go to Chuck E. Cheese’s. I really didn’t plan to make it a tradition when I wrote that post, but it seems like I’ve now officially made it a tradition. I won’t be surprised if the next time that crash wife goes out of town the crash kids ask me, “When are we going to Chuck E. Cheese’s?”
Crash Kid 2 and Chuck E Cheese
The good part is that Chuck E. Cheese’s is fine even with 4 kids. They have the person manning the door and so you can relax and enjoy the time together while the kids run all over.

Chuck E. Cheese’s sent me a Father’s Day pass to be able to go and get some free pizza, drinks and tokens. Plus, they gave me a challenge to teach my kids a lesson in skeeball and basketball. Ok, that’s not how they phrased it. They asked for us to go and have fun competing with our kids. Anyone who knows me understands that I’m hyper competitive and there’s only one person in the world where I don’t mind losing: Crash Wife. I’ll take it easy on the Crash Kids and I’ll make sure they have a good time, but I’ll also make sure I win. It’s just who I am and how I’m made.
Skeeball High Five at Chuck E Cheese
See what I mean in the picture above? He certainly seems like he’s happy (even if I just smoked him in a game of skeeball). My favorite game though has to be the basketball shoot out. Luckily Crash Tennessee Aunt wasn’t there or I’d get smoked by her, but she was no where to be seen. However, I have to admit that Crash Kid #1 is starting to catch up with me. I’m sure a few years down the road he’ll read this post and laugh as he challenges me to a game of something. I figure I’ll just retire by that point.
Beating Crash Kid 1 at Basketball at Chuck E Cheese
I also loved playing Skeeball with Crash Kid #4. It’s so funny watching a 2 year old play skeeball. He can’t score any points since he can’t roll the ball hard enough to get up the ramp into the scoring area so our ticket collection suffers. However, he also gets a bunch of free rolls since half of his rolls don’t make it all the way up the ramp either and roll right back down to him. He has a great time even if it pulls at my heart to not score points on each ball. At least he’s cute doing it.
Barely Big Enough to Play Skeeball at Chuck E Cheese's
While the games were fun, I couldn’t help but let out a big belly laugh when Crash Kid #1 said the following as we were leaving, “I just have to say, that pizza was great!” In fact, he’s been raving about the delicious cheese pizza at Chuck E. Cheese’s ever since. This coming from the kid who doesn’t like to eat anything.
Crash Kid 1 and Chuck E Cheese's Pizza
As part of Father’s Day, Chuck E. Cheese’s is giving dads a chance to win tickets to the 2015 Big Ball Game in Cincinnati (You know the one that can’t be mentioned). All you have to do to enter is to share images and stories about what you love most about being a dad using the hashtag #SuperDad. Plus, I think they’re giving away some free guest passes to Chuck E. Cheese’s as well. Here’s my entry with a picture of Crash Kid #3 making new friends that I tweeted out today.

What a great day with the kids! I even was a real Super Dad since I let Crash Kid #4 bring one of his friends with us as well. Nothing quite like being the cool dad who takes your kids’ friends fun places.

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When the Wife is Away, I Go to Chuck E. Cheese’s

As most of you who follow me on social media know, my wife left me (again) for Women’s Conference. I think this is the third year in a row that she’s made her annual trek to the mecca of women known as Women’s Conference. I say that only somewhat facetiously. I really love that she goes, but this year the timing was terrible since I’m planning a conference that is happening next week. Such is life. I want her to go to it and so I sucked it up and just dealt with 4 kids, my regular work, and a conference I’m organizing next week (I didn’t mention science camp the week after and then Dubai less than a week after that). Hopefully my complaining hasn’t been too distracting for my wife to enjoy Women’s Conference.

Today I finally broke down and decided we were going out. I told my kids I had a surprise Friday evening. That basically meant I had to do it. I’d been sent a gift card to go and check out the latest Chuck E. Cheese decoder glasses and so I thought what better way to celebrate with the kids while the wife is away? For about 2 hours my kids were dancing around the house talking about going to Chuck E. Cheese, playing the Chuck E. Cheese mobile game, Skate Universe, so they could rack up ticket before we even got there. I may have slipped in a game or two myself and it’s a lot of fun. Plus, we were able to get 480 tickets just from playing the game.

Of course, my favorite part was when Crash Kid #4 (2 years old) came up to me and said, “Dad, Chuck Cheez. Pizza!” I loved how excited he was and was surprised that he knew that we were going for pizza. Isn’t it amazing what kids pick up?

I’ll admit that I was a bit nervous to take 4 kids to Chuck E. Cheese on my own. I thought maybe it would be a disaster. However, after hearing Crash Kid #4 being so cute, how could I stop? Plus, I figured they had someone manning the door at Chuck E. Cheese, so what’s the worst that could happen?

We kept it simple and ordered one of their value meals with pizza, drinks and tokens. I did upgrade the pizza to the family size (might have been a mistake since I ate too much pizza) and the cinnamon bread sticks. Both might have been bad choices for my diet. The kids liked them.

As part of the value meal, each kid got a pair of decoder glasses, an instant win game, and a puzzle. Because of the decoder glasses, I didn’t give the kids any of the tokens until after we’d gotten the pizza and eaten it. Instead of eating up all of the tokens before even eating, the kids were running all over the place looking for the clues that could only be seen with the decoder glasses.

I thought it would be pretty easy and obvious to find the clues. I was wrong. It was pretty hard since there’s lights and movement going on everywhere at Chuck E. Cheese. I wish they’d shown a sample of what you were looking for at the front, because once we’d found one then we could more easily find the others. It still wasn’t easy, but it made it doable. I wonder how often they’ll switch up the clues and puzzle since now we already know the answer and locations.

The kids liked sporting the glasses. This was them right after they found the last clue (I was proud they figured out what the last clue would say before they even found it, but I made them find it anyway):
Chuck E Cheese Decoder Glasses
Once we’d found all the clues, each kid got 50 more tickets for doing the decoder game. I think we ended up with 900 tickets. Not bad! Each kid walked away with a couple little prizes (see pictures below):

Turns out Chuck E. Cheese was great for me do go with all the kids alone. I had a good time. They had a good time. I didn’t have to cook dinner. The perfect way to celebrate Crash Mom being gone. Although, I’m ready for her to be home. We can have fun without her, but it’s not the same.

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Taking Me Back to My Childhood at Chuck E. Cheese’s

Last night Chuck E. Cheese’s invited a number of Las Vegas bloggers to come and try out their new menu. When I saw the invite I jumped at the chance. One of my favorite childhood memories is going to Chuck E. Cheese’s. It was the place I always wanted to go for my birthday and so I often did. So, I have some really nostalgic, fond memories of the place as a child.

Of course, with 4 Crash Kids now, we’ve spent a lot of time there as well. Turns out that I love going there as an adult nearly as much as I love it as a kid. The Crash Mom might argue that I am still a kid, but that’s a topic for another blog post. As a parent one of the best features is the person standing at the door so you can just let your kids run around and have fun without worrying if they’re going to “escape.”
Micah Playing on Chuck E Cheese Play Area
The other 3 Crash Kids were busy with other activities tonight, so it was cool to just have some one on one time with myself and Crash Kid #3. Plus, one on one he is absolutely hilarious. He wouldn’t stop talking. In fact, he was telling our host all about his strategy for using his tokens to get as many tickets as possible. I think he gets all this talking from Crash Mom.

I did my best to get a good sample of the new menu, but there were a lot of changes including: a thin and crispy crust option, a Cali Alfredo and BBQ Chicken pizza, a Caesar and Club wrap, chicken wings and breadsticks, and Crash Kid #3’s favorite Dessert churros and cinnamon sticks. I was a little surprised by the wraps since I’d always seen Chuck E. Cheese’s as a pizza place. Although, I’m sure many will enjoy this added variety.
New Chuck E Cheese Menu
Personally I loved the soft parmesan breadsticks. They were a great pair for the pizza. What’s interesting is that I would have never had the dessert options if I didn’t attend this event. When we go, we always grab one of the coupons or buy one of their packages and the dessert is never included in the package. Now I wish that the dessert came in the package so we’d just get it as part of the overall purchase.
New Chuck E Cheese Pizza Crust and Wings
After we stuffed ourselves with the new menu, Crash Kid #3 had 20 more tokens (Yes, he counted). You’d think he’d want to make his way around and play a bunch of games. Maybe throw some balls or use them in the game that eats your tokens and churns out tickets. Nope. He fell in love with this fish game where you shoot a crossbow and get tickets for collecting 80 pounds of fish. So, he learned that he could put all 20 tokens in the game and just shoot away. He was nice enough to trade off with me and I did catch at least 4 sharks (which is the hard one to get), but Crash Kid #3 got the 40 ticket jelly fish. Check out his focus when playing the game:
Micah Playing the Awesome Fish Game at Chuck E Cheese

However, this series of pictures of Micah playing skee ball (before he found the fish game) is awesome too. Is there anything better than seeing your child happy?

Actually, there might be something better. As part of the blogger event, they gave me a guest pass to give away to a lucky reader of the blog. It will give you 1 large pizza, 4 soft drinks, and 30 game tokens at Chuck E. Cheese’s. All you have to do is say something funny, interesting, insightful, crazy, or fun in the comments or on Twitter (@techguy) and I’ll choose someone in a totally non-random and bias way.