For years, when my kids were younger, I would treat them to an afternoon of lunch and games and Dave & Busters once or twice a year, when they had one of those scheduled afternoons off from school. It was great to go on a weekday because it wasn't too crowded.
I looked forward to it as much as they did because you never saw such happy kids! I usually allowed them to each bring a friend, too, which multiplied the fun.
We would walk all the way through to the back room, and ensconce ourselves in a booth near the middle of everything so I could sit comfortably while keeping an eye on them. We'd order lunch and fill up their game cards generously with credits, and they'd play until lunch came. Then they'd take an intermission to eat, and then I'd let them play a few hours more. (I played a little, too)
It's good to establish some ground rules with the kids before going.
They knew their money limits, they agreed to eat a good lunch, they promised to look after each other, and they promised to check in often with me if I weren't directly with them.
As a result, big brother was great about looking after little brother, and they were cooperative about checking in at the table every so often so I could keep track of them.
Interestingly, the after effects of good will and brotherly cooperation lingered for many weeks after those Dave & Busters afternoons.
It was a great tradition, and we have lots of happy memories and great pictures!
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