on August 10, 2012
Chuck E. Cheese’s is a chain of pizza restaurants slash gaming arcades with a cartoon theme surrounding the title character and his band. The various locations offer an animatronics stage show, token operated kiddie rides, arcade & video games as well as a small indoor play area for tots.The penny arcade games offer players rewards in the form of tickets which can be redeemed for a selection of prizes. Rewards range from small candies and dollar-store toys viewable in a glass counter up front, to the larger stuffed animals and board games displayed on the wall behind.For some reason our kids really dig going to Chuck E. Cheese’s, so we usually plan for half a day at a local branch on every family trip to the US.When in the Boston area you basically have four options in the immediate vicinity: Everett, Danvers, Burlington and Natick. We chose Natick since it was the closest to where we were staying and because of its proximity to the nearby Natick Mall which was also on our schedule.Despite the somewhat mixed reviews on other sites regarding this particular branch, we were pleasantly surprised to find a large and relatively clean Chuck E. Cheese’s, outfitted with a good range of games and rides.In addition to all the standard rides and games listed above, Natick has a full-cast animatronics band which features Helen Henny, Mr. Munch, Jasper T. Jowls and Pasqually as well as Chuck E. Cheese himself. (Some of the other locations we’ve visited only had the Cheese.)While the staff did look a bit bored, they were generally courteous and helpful. Especially the fellow manning the exit, stamping and checking stamps, was jovial and friendly.Two small issues are worth mentioning however:The first is a matter of taste; in our opinion the Wings Platters are awful: Original, BBQ and Buffalo are all equally bad. Stick with the Pizzas which, while not great, are a lot better than their other food offerings.The second is regarding the location: there is only one way to get to this Chuck E. Cheeses and that’s driving west on Worcester Street, a separated dual-carriageway. If you overshoot the entrance to the plaza you’ll have to take the off-ramp and drive all the way around via Ruthledge, Wentworth and Wethersfield Roads to be able to give it another shot. Look for the entrance immediately after Dover Carpets!
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