I am a big fan of adventures (they keep me sane!) and pride myself in finding adventures on the cheap. By that, I mean...free or nearly so. Often, this looks like weekly picnics and trips to the park...occasionally, it looks like visits to the train station to jump around on some box cars, or to the river to go wading. All of those wonderful things have to wait until warmer weather, so I was especially thankful when I stumbled across THESE Valentine Coupons for Chuck E. Cheese. They are coupons for 5 free tokens per child and don't expire until 3/3/08. I printed them off (and may do so again!) and started planning our adventure...keeping it all a secret until the Mouse greeted us with his big Cheesy grin.
Even though, technically, we were only supposed to cash in two (because of the per child), the woman happily cashed in all four valentine coupons-giving us 20 tokens.
The children got free drinks with their special cups and I packed our lunches.
The coupons say, 'with a purchase' so I bought myself a drink for $1.49
Corynn got to practice math concepts: counting the tokens and dividing them equally among us.
We went in the moment they opened the store and the giggles of my children were the only ones ringing in the air for two hours. It was peaceful and enjoyable. The children would take turns using tokens and playing things that DIDN'T require tokens, making our trip last nearly 4 hours long. The object was not to rush in and out-not to plan to do many other things up town. We went there with absolutely NO time constraints-simply to enjoy ourselves for as long as we could stand it.
I brought my camera. I played. I worked on my grocery list and couponing. We ate. We giggled. We chased each other. We had sketches made. We were happy with the *very* few tickets we won....
All in all, a wonderfully fun-filled, sleep-inducing day.
Very wisely, the children doubled up on rides they could to enjoy together (getting to ride twice as many rides that way) and even some that weren't meant to be shared. Corynn got inventive...
I was amazed that just 20 tokens lasted us four hours, but my kids always have been easy to please...