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Five Awesome Places For Kids I Avoid At All Costs

Call me crazy but I have a soft spot for Chuck E. Cheese. It sort of reminds me of Vegas for the under seven set what with all the ching ching chinging of the token machines, the cheap food and the blinking lights of the video games. Give me a Diet Coke and some Whack-a-Mole and I’m good to spend an afternoon there. Yes you’re bound to get kicked by a rambunctious eight-year-old boy whose parents are nowhere in sight, but at least there’s no cover charge and the drinks are cheap.

 

My kids love it and I love smiling excited kids. I guess I’m just a really great mom that way. I’ve been known to be happy with some other less than stellar kids activities like the mall, indoor playgrounds and My Gym. But there are some things that most parents find appealing that I just can’t get behind.


  • The Circus 1 of 5
    The Circus
    . Sorry but I've never liked it, never will. I forced myself to take Elby when she was three and it only sealed the deal that I won't do it again. I can't handle the animals glumly stomping around in a circle onstage looking like they'd rather be anywhere than hanging out with these circus freaks they call their trainers. I just don't find any of it interesting. Have you ever seen a guy on a unicycle going across a tightrope fall off? Me neither. But at least that would be interesting. And don't say, "But what about Cirque Du Soleil?" I find that worse. It's like saying to someone who doesn't like porn, "What about midget porn?" You don't get it.
  • Magic Shows 2 of 5
    Magic Shows
    Okay, I'm not going to say that I will never take my kids to see magic because that is just cruel. But if I do take them, I won't enjoy it. There's just something about magic shows that I find…well…what's the opposite of exciting? It's not exactly boring but it's sort of a "who cares." We know it's an illusion so if you're like me, you spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how the trick is done. And even if you are sleeping with a magician they won't tell you how it works. Seriously. I've tried it. And we're not talking trade secrets like sawing a woman in half, we're just talking, "is this your card?"
  • Puppet Theatre 3 of 5
    Puppet Theatre
    The last time I went to a puppet show it was at our local library and it was actually performed by the librarian —clearly not a licensed puppeteer) who gave a ten minute lecture to the children (most of whom were under three) about keeping quiet or getting kicked out. The actual "show" was shorter than the lecture preceding it. I haven't attempted another one since unless you consider the Bob Baker Marionettes a puppet show and I don't. I give marionettes and puppets their own categories. They seem to appreciate that.
  • Parades 4 of 5
    Parades
    I don't like watching parades for the same reasons I don't enjoy watching golf.. It's a lot of, "Oh, that's interesting." And then five minutes later, "Huh, I guess that's nice too. Lot's of colorful pants." Plus they both get boring after five minutes. I've driven to go see a parade a few times it was a lot of effort for not a big payoff. You need a chair to sit on (there's usually no curb space left by the time you get there), drinks, snacks etc. and then you can't see over all the Crazy Parade Lovers' heads so what's the point?
  • The Zoo 5 of 5
    The Zoo
    I have taken my kids to the zoo. I just don't like it. First off, I feel bad for the animals. Say what you will about the LA Zoo but it just seems sad, I know they probably take great care of the animals and that they are probably better off there or whatever but it just makes me feel bad to see them in their cages being stared at all day by people too cheap to go to an amusement park. Also, there's a lot of walking around involved with very little payoff. I don't enjoy spending twenty minutes walking to the baboon exhibit only to spend another twenty waiting for it to come out of its cave until he finally does but by then my kids are engrossed with watching the top of a garbage can spin around.

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