What it is: Anyone who watches PBS Kids programs has seen the sponsorship by these guys. The Durham Chuck E. Cheese's is just like every one you've been to back when you were a kid. It is an indoor play zone for young children, with a climb-up plastic labyrinth, and a few dozen games that take tokens for rides, hoops, fishing games, whack-a-mole, etc etc. The way to do it is get the Sunday newspaper coupons and clip the 100 tokens for $15, which usually covers two visits for our two children. The place also has a pizza and salad counter, though the pizza seems to be warmed-up frozen pizza. Very few people go there to eat, it seems. There's a stage with giant automated characters, which may seem cheesy (ha, ha) to adults, but kids seem fascinated.
What we like: They have excellent hours and are open almost all the time. They open at 9am 7 days a week, and close at 9pm on school nights, 10 pm weekend nights. The place is clean, and let's face it, kids love it. They have excellent security, they stamp everyone's hands at the entry and kids can't leave the premises without their matched adult.
What we would change: It seems better for kids over 2. If they are younger than that, the options can be a little limited for them. Oh and I don't know why, but my kids seem determined to eat the salt out of the shakers on every table.
Website and other important information: It's right near South Square, where Target and Sam's Club are. Take 15-501 business, turn on Shannon Road, and Mayfair is the next light. It can be hard to see when it's dark.
Address: 3724 Mayfair St, Durham NC 27707
Phone Number: (919) 493-6084.
Website: http://www.chuckecheese.com/. Entry is free but many activities require tokens (see coupon tip above).
1. The arcade games
2. The band
3. The play gym-which is free
4. An outside view