Chuck E. Cheese's, a place "where a kid can be a kid," was also a place my parents never took me, and for good reason. Chuck E. Cheese's was unchartered territory, somewhere I'd never gone before until a friend's birthday party in middle school.

As a kid, who didn't want to go to Chuck E. Cheese's? It had games, soda, pizza, and of course, the famous giant mouse. It was pretty much the best place on earth for a kid in a restaurant. I always wanted to go, mostly because my grade school classmates always talked about going to Chuck E. Cheese's. However, my parents never let me go because it was "filled with germs."

As my grade school years went on without going to Chuck E. Cheese's, I never understood why I couldn't go. But then, I got an invitation in the mail that changed everything.

The Invitation

One day, I received a piece of mail, and with much excitement, I opened it to find an invitation to Chuck E. Cheese's. Quickly, I replied "yes" on the RSVP and sent the invitation back to my friend. I was finally going to break into uncharted territory.

I had always remembered driving by the restaurant with my mother and asking, "Mom, can we please go in?" and the answer was always the same: "No honey, we can't." Things were finally going to change.

The Big Party

The day finally came for my friend's birthday party. I walked into the restaurant and there was the big, creepy mouse my mom had always talked about. I tried to avoid him as much as I could, but he wouldn’t go away. I was even too afraid to get a photo with him.

We played, drank a lot of soda and ate some pizza and cake. FYI, the pizza was just as bad as the interior. It tasted like cardboard and was pure grease, though I heard they've since worked to improve their menu. 

To make matters worse, I didn't want to touch the games. Who knows what had been on them? I tried playing on the jungle gym, but I couldn’t handle the screaming and pushing kids.  

Not the Happiest Place on Earth

Finally, it came time for presents, and then time to leave! I had never been happier to leave a birthday party in my life. My mom came to pick me up and asked, “How did it go?” I replied, “Mom, you were right all along. Please never take me there again."

As a kid, I thought I was missing out on the fun at Chuck E. Cheese's. However, the one time I went, I ended up in a sugar coma and quickly understood why my parents' never let me go. It's a place where my nightmares became reality.