Dave & Buster's Winners Circle Photo credit: StressFreeBaby

Dave & Buster’s Winners Circle Photo credit: StressFreeBaby

Families seeking an escape from the cold weather and cabin fever can get a short respite at the national chain arcade/restaurant, Dave & Buster’s. Part Chuck E. Cheese, part sports bar, part arcade and part casino, it’s a great option especially if you want to avoid the ol’ sneeze-guard salad bar, and enjoy a decent selection of fare and libations.

And that feeling is evident from the moment you step foot inside this establishment. The entrance is a bit more grand and grown-up than its counterparts. Inside, the front parlor areas have pool tables, an upscale sports bar and tables with wait service. Through the pool hall, sports bar and sit-down service is a long hallway that leads patrons to the arcade – a wonderland of traditional video games, carnival games, air hockey tables, and even popular smart phone games such as Doodle Jump, Temple Run, and Fruit Ninja.

We visited the Milpitas, California location closest to us off interstate 880 located at The Great Mall. Tokens are not used. Dave & Buster’s uses a magnetic-swipe card or a Power Card to pay for games. If you don’t already have a Power Card, you can purchase them for a minimal fee upon arrival.

Because Dave & Buster’s can be a bit pricey and can sometimes cater to an adult crowd; here are some time-saving and money-saving tips for visiting Dave & Buster’s.

Money-Saving Tips for Visiting Dave & Buster’s

-Sign up for Dave & Buster’s Rewards program. There are kiosks in the lobby, or, if you can track down your Power Card/s from a previous visit, sign up online.

-Wednesdays are the best day to go. All games are half-price all day.

-If you plan on staying for dinner, then go with the Eat, Play, Combo Deal. However, if you can get there earlier in the day, you can save some dough by eating at home later and arriving earlier or around 1-2 hours before suppertime.

Tips for Maximizing Your Fun

-Wednesdays are the least crowded and games are half-priced all day.

-Avoid a more adult crowd by arriving before 5:00 p.m. and head out before dinner.

-Head to the right-hand-side of the arcade and play the unique four-player air hockey table. You won’t be sorry – it’s a great bonding experience. Also, try the large claw machine. Yes, it’s possible to win – I did!

I don’t recommend Dave & Busters for kids under the age of 4. My children are 6 and 9 years old.

**the author of this article was not compensated in any by Dave & Buster’s. **