Friday, February 22, 2013

Gluten Free Birthday Party at Chuck E Cheese

Last weekend we celebrated my son's 4th birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, a location previously off limits because there were no meal options for a kid who can't eat gluten.  Not anymore.  Chuck E Cheese now offers a gluten free cheese personal cheese pizza and a gluten free chocolate cupcake at its locations.  I did a bit of research and learned that the pizzas are delivered and cooked in their own sealed bags, reducing the possibility of cross-contamination.  The pizzas are brought to the table sealed, and are cut with their own pizza cutter, which has gluten free written on the side.  It was so nice not to have to bring our own meal for him at his own birthday party.


Gluten Free Cheese Pizza, on the bag it is served in


This is the first year that we've had a party outside of our house for our son, and the first with his friends, and not just family.  We wanted to celebrate somewhere fun, where every detail would be looked after and we could just focus on enjoying the party with our son and our baby.  We were really happy with the way everything worked out. 

We booked the party online, and picked the simplest birthday package, which included pizza and beverages for all the children, a balloon, medallion, and crown for the birthday boy, a turn in the ticket blaster, 16 tokens per child plus an extra 100 tokens for the party, a personal party host, and the table for two hours.  We also ordered a few pizzas and drinks for the adults, and tacked on goody bags for an extra $2.99 per child.  We were initially concerned that with 9 children (3 family, 6 friends) we would run out of tokens, but that didn't happen.  Each game at Chuck E Cheese is only 1 token, and the kids had more than enough. 

Playing air hockey

Chuck E greets each of the birthday children individually

In the ticket blaster

Chuck E Cheese has birthday parties down to a science.  We had a confirmation phone call a few days before the party to make sure all of the details were correct.  Our table was ready to go when we arrived, our host greeted us at the door and she ran through everything for us before guests arrived.  We chose the toppings we wanted for the pizzas and which beverages we wanted, and they were able to provide our son with a gluten free pizza at no extra charge.  After the initial play time for the kids they were served lunch, and Chuck E himself cam out and gave a birthday show.


The birthday show

The gluten and dairy free birthday cake
While the kids were eating, a manager came over and greeted us, making sure that everything was going as planned.  Our host cut and served the cake, and then we sent the kids off to play again before the party was over.  We distributed the goody bags, which contained a mix of little toys and some candy (most of which was gluten free, but not all), and then we said goodbye. 

We couldn't be happier with how everything worked out.  The party ran smoothly and all the kids had fun.  There was enough variety in the activities that each child had something to entertain them.  We had asked when the best time to have a party is, and had been told that Sunday mornings were less busy than most other times.  The place was busy, but not packed, and no one had to wait to play any of the games.  The party ran smoothly, and we enjoyed ourselves. 

I felt that we got good value for our money, and I would definitely consider going back and holding another event there in the future. 

A very intense game of Skee-ball

My niece, playing one of many games

8 comments :

  1. Happy Birthday to your little guy! And how awesome that Chuckie Cheese has gluten free pizza and cupckaes now! Having Celiac, I know how frusutrating it can be to find gluten free options so that is awesome.

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  2. Thanks! It really can be tough, and since it was his birthday, I didn't want him to be left out of anything. Having this option was really great for us!

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  3. I'm happy your sons birthday party was a success! It looks like everyone had a great time and that Chuck E Cheese really takes Gluten Free seriously. :)

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    1. Thanks, it was fun! They do take it pretty seriously.

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  4. The management and staff really seem to take a great deal of pride in providing a wonderful experience for their guests, especially those celebrating a birthday. It's obvious from the photographs that you son really enjoyed his celebration at Chuck E Cheese. This was a great post on his special day.

    P.S. That cake is huge and fun!

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    1. It was a lot of fun for him. The cake was huge, but the thing with a party for a four year old is that you're feeding not only the kids, but their parents too!

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  5. Did you actually taste your son's pizza? We recently did a birthday party there and were very excited about the new gluten-free options. But that was literally the worst pizza I have ever had. My kids, who will eat any crappy gluten-free pizza out there, threw it in the trash. Cheese was completely burnt, just like your photo, while the crust somehow tasted undercooked and very bready, not crusty. A for effort, F for execution. I hope they realize their inevitable lack of GF pizza sales is a result of the taste and not a lack of demand.

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    1. I did try his pizza the first time we went when deciding if we would throw the party there. The pizza at his party was overcooked, but the first one we tried wasn't. It's not the best pizza I've ever had, but he ate it.

      There are so few places that are kid friendly and have GF options that we let the benefits outweigh the negatives when picking a birthday spot.

      Thanks for your comment and for stopping by the blog.

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