Being Big for Kids: Arcade and Steak N’ Shake

Being Big for Kids 2.0 (8)This is the fourth post in a series on being part of a Big Couple through Big Brothers Big Sisters. If you haven’t read the previous posts and would like more context, click here for an archive of the posts. 

At our first meeting, we had narrowed down our choices of what to do next down to three things: go to SkyZone, go to Monkey Joe’s, or go to an arcade. Over the next couple of weeks, Daniel and I settled on going to an arcade.

So, on Sunday, January 18th, 2015, we arrived at Ryan’s house ready to go. Daniel and Ryan mainly chatted the whole way back downtown. We talked about the Packers game that was happening and the Colts game that was about to happen. Ryan follows sports about as much as we do (which is very little), but it was fun hearing his opinions on what might happen.

We got to the parking garage, and Ryan got a kick out of the arm on the gate, which slams into the ceiling due to poor design.

10293808_10205676398251903_2627123645518536693_oAfter reaching the arcade, we got our re-loadable cards and took off. We started off by playing a couple of racing games. Ryan tried his hand at manual steering, but he said he probably needs more practice with automatic.

Ryan and I practiced our best dance moves to a Dance Dance Revolution-style game, and I was surprised at how tiring that two songs could be!

Daniel and Ryan then went to defend me from the spiders in one of those games where you sit in a booth to play them (I kept my eyes closed).

We played a few rounds of air hockey and discovered that I am really good at it (Ryan later told me, “You should play in the world championships!”) .10931573_10205676385651588_3546470560391636930_o

After playing air hockey, we took a try at the ticket game where you have to stop the light at just the right spot (in the background of the air hockey picture). I ended up getting the jackpot for 142 tickets, while Ryan got close a few times and got about thirty tickets.

Following our success, we played ski ball and bowling, and then moved on to the biggest racing game: the Indy 500, which has full-size racing cars you climb in to.10865910_10205676388211652_211916987377839037_o

I sat out this one to take pictures, and the race was close. Left turn after left turn after left turn, they sped along the virtual track, and I could tell they were having a ball.

They were up against one other player, who ended up winning, but Ryan, always a team player, went to congratulate him afterwards.

Our winnings from the night.
Our winnings from the night.

At that point, we were pretty worn out, so we cashed in our tickets and picked up our prizes. Ryan got himself a toy airplane, a lanyard, some Nerds candy, and some Smarties. He let us pick out some candy, too, because he thought we deserved some for our hard work.

We walked over to and refueled at Steak N’ Shake, which was packed with cheerleaders attending a convention.

After that busy evening, we started on our way back to Ryan’s house.

Overall thoughts and lessons learned from our second outing:

Bring water! No matter what you’re doing or whether or not you think you’ll need it, bring water.

Going to an arcade can be a blast, and who knows how long they’ll still be around for? They’re also a good place to teach lessons about spending money (via tickets and credits on the re-loadable cards) wisely. He learned not to run around to every single game and to think about what games he most wanted to play and play those first.

On Thursday, I’ll write about when we went to visit Ryan at his school for lunch, so stay tuned for that!

Are you (or have you been) part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program? What have you done as an activity? If not, would you consider being a part of it?

Let me know in the comments below! 

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