The Yonge Street Newmarket Chuck E. Cheese franchise has recently closed. It is sad that the Chuck E. Cheese Newmarket has closed, so many memories. This blog post is a tribute to Chuck E. Cheese Newmarket . You can still visit Chuck E. Cheese in Vaughan, Scarborough, Whitby, and Mississauga. We look forward to future visits at these locations, continuing the wonder and the magic!
What is the surprisingly best thing about Chuck E. Cheese?
It’s not the fact that the kids have a ton of fun, which they do. That certainly is a bonus. See how fun it here (video): Chuck E. Cheese through the eyes of a child.
It’s also not the food, which is now remarkably good. When the menu got revamped this year, the food at Chuck E. Cheese improved exponentially. At certain locations, one can choose from such “gourmet items” as “oven baked ciabatta bread” or “Cali Alfredo thin & crispy pizza”.
It’s not the fact that a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese is really, really easy to plan.
With a few clicks online. Cake included.
It’s not the fact that when my kids are running around having fun I can actually sometimes have a moment to sit down and relax.
It’s not the fact that the arsenal of arcade games available is serious business, appealing to amateur and pro player alike. Of course the games are top-notch. The whole enterprise was founded by the guy who created Atari.
It’s not the reward charts that serve as great incentives for kids to clean up their rooms on a weekly basis or improve their grades. A Chuck E. Cheese chart hung on our fridge for months, gathering check marks, propelling my child to clean her room every single day until our forthcoming visit to Chuck E. Cheese.
It’s not the nostalgic kitch kind of feeling you get every time you walk through the door.
It’s not watching your kid ponder over his or her final prize selection at the prize counter with the same slow, dramatic deliberation as a global leader mulling over a world-changing major foreign policy decision.
It’s not the touching fact that children seem thrilled each time with their final prize no matter what it is. A flimsy paper puzzle, a sparkly bracelet, small bubble blower. Doesn’t seem to matter what it is.
No, the best, surprising thing about Chuck E. Cheese, to me, are the pictures. Yes the pictures. Long past the lights going out at the party, the pizza being consumed, the plastic plates thrown out, the prizes lost, the last game played, the photos remain. Well, that and the tokens. They tend to hang around in homes too. But they aren’t nearly as precious as the photos. Bring on the photo ride, the Chuck E. Cheese sketch book and ID maker. In an age when nobody downloads or prints out photos anymore or hardly at all, this may be all that we get. In actual live, hard-copy form. On curly fax machine paper, or as a souvenir ID card.
These photographs are more candid than portrait studio pictures, and a lot less expensive (1 token each). Sometimes you’re propping up the baby. Or cramming into the booth as an entire family. Sometimes the gappy-toothed six year old of yours riding beside Chuck E. Cheese in the red car isn’t so gappy-toothed anymore the next time. She’s off running to play Skee Ball with her friends. Sometimes the sketched portrait in the Sketch Book booth seems like a bona fide masterpiece. Other times the angles are all off. Sometimes the grainy Firefighter or Fashion Diva ID cards seem too dark. Every time they are just right, in their own way. The pictures mark time. I love the photo rides at Chuck E. Cheese. They are memories of family, of fun.