[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Best After-School Hangout
Best All-Ages Gift Emporium
Best Birthday Party
Best Book Selection
Best Catered-To-Kids Restaurant
Best Cheap Chill
Best Clothes
Best Free Thrill
Best Indoor Playground
Best Outdoor Playground
Best Outing (Other Than The Malls)
Best Party Supplies
Best Snow Cones
Best Teen Scene
Best Toys
Best Upscale Kids' Clothes

Best Catered-To-Kids Restaurant

Chuck E. Cheese's
6130 E. Speedway

READERS' PICK: Giant rodents have not traditionally been harbingers of fine dining or entertainment, but kids love Chuck and his madhouse pizza parlor/fun emporium. Upon entering Chuck E. Cheese's, one encounters the chaos of children running amok. Kids dash from machine to machine, tossing in tokens and receiving tickets in return for their luck or skill. There's a really cool plastic tube system suspended over the ground in which kids crawl around, which has the advantage of muffling their squeals of delight. In the main dining area resides Munch's Make-Believe Band--a giant mouse, duck, purple monster, dog and stereotypical Italian pizza guy with mustache singing goofy pop songs and non-gangsta rap numbers, all reminding kids how much fun they're supposed to be having. This is accompanied by Barney-esque videos on television monitors. Most of the parents witnessing this chaos looked a little tired, probably from continuously reaching for their wallets.

Fun with Chuck don't come cheap. Still, for a few hundred tickets kids can "win" a tiny stuffed toy, perhaps by pounding the daylights out of the weasel-like critters that foolishly stick their heads up in the Wack-A-Munch. The highlight of any evening is the appearance of Chuck himself, attired recently in a stylish red, white and blue warm-up suit with "USA" on the back. He looked happy and successful--and who wouldn't be, providing so many kids with a fun evening out.

READERS' POLLRUNNER-UP: Little Anthony's Diner provides all the hoola-hoopla you could ask for. At the front doors of the quintessentially '50s diner, you're met by a coterie of pep-squad-clad teens who greet, meet and seat you in a Mecca of chrome, red Naugahyde and black-and-white checkers. The menu is All-American: pizza, burgers and chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy. Even beer and apple pie are billed as a delicious duo. There's an ice cream counter, no shortage of outrageous fountain treats, and a general sense of well-being afloat. The kiddy arcade's free pinball (other games require some coinage) keeps everything running smoothly, while a "live" deejay sometimes-on-duty spins well-known '50s faves.

Case History

1998 Winner: Chuck E. Cheese's
1996 Winner: Chuck E. Cheese's
1995 Winner: Chuck E. Cheese's

Page Back

Home | Arts & Culture | Cafés | Chow | City Life | Kids | Outdoors
Saloons | Shopping | Most Wanted | Credits | Search

Copyright © 1995-98 Tucson Weekly

Page Forward