Joshua’s 12th Birthday Party

Joshua turns 12 this year (I know, a tween, it’s shocking), and we were looking for what would be a good way to celebrate. He ultimately decided to invite a bunch of friends to come out to the Dave & Busters at Franklin Mills mall near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for games and dinner.

Due to timing, we went with the Sunday about 10 days before his birthday (late February.) Their parents dropped them all off to our house early Sunday afternoon, and Namita and I drove everyone about 45 minutes to the place. The parking lot was crowded on a Sunday afternoon.

We bought arcade / game cards for everyone so they could play for an hour. The kids separated and ran off. Namita and I walked around to supervise, ensure no child was stuck inside one of those claw machines. After the kids ran out of money, they bought prizes, and we took them bowling (available at this particular location.) We did order some appetizers but it took an inordinate amount of time and wasn’t ready until we were wrapping up a 2nd game of bowling. This was maybe my 2nd time at a Dave & Busters. It’s an interesting place, huge even, but it’s not well staffed. Way too many patrons, woefully understaffed. Everyone I spoke with (bowling guy, servers, bartenders) were frazzled and irritable.

We originally planned to eat dinner here, but it was too crowded and there was a line at the one restaurant. We called up to few local places e.g. Friendly’s, and they also had extended wait times or simply hung up. Sunday most be and popular day to go out in Pennsylvania.

We ended up taking the kids to a nicely rated pizzeria (also crowded) called Pat’s Pizzeria that still found a way to accommodate us all in four booths. After eating a bounty of garlic bread and pizza, we took pictures, drove everyone home, and called it a day.

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