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Friday, August 8, 2014

Dave & Buster's at Dolphin Mall is a great place for family fun!

Dave and Buster's in Dolphin Mall, Miami

It's funny, but I know that when I was a child, I couldn't understand why grown-ups weren't more excited to share in the joys of playing with Barbies or heading to the arcade. I promised myself that when I had kids, I would be a cool parent.

I would play race-tracks with my son and buy the entire American Girl collection for my daughter. And of course, at least twice a week, I'd take my kids to the arcade and/or local playplace.

As we grow up of course, we realize that no matter how much we want to buy our kids the awesome stuff, sometimes you just gotta pay the bills instead. And even when we have the money to give our children everything their little hearts desire, we're hard-pressed to find fun in actual 'play-time'.

Arcades are noisy, Barbie was more fun when you believed that life was perfect, and the last time your kid played with his toy-cars you stepped on one in the dark and nearly crippled yourself.

Last month I was invited to attend a day for mommy-bloggers at the Dolphin Mall in Miami. Not only was it the best time I've ever had at any mall anywhere, but I was able to step into a Dave & Buster's for the first time! My impression? This is a place that parents and kids can have fun together, without going broke or fighting boredom! I was compensated for my time at the mall (I think I have the best job ever, amirite?) but same as always, my opinions are my own.

Check out some of the awesome pics I took while I was at Dave & Buster's!

Despite the fact that it wasn't even quite mid-afternoon when we walked into Dave & Buster's, they had quite a few customers. Whenever I go someplace new, I like to see that they are busy even during the off-hours because that's the mark of a good locale. I was also pleased to see the US flag hanging up behind the front desk. (Because #solidarity. 'Murica! And all that other redneck lingo I grew up on.)

Dave and Buster's Entrance Area, Dolphin Mall, Miami

If you tend to associate family-fun restaurants with an ear-blistering level of noise, tight plastic benches and paper plates, you're in for a surprise! The decor in the dining area reminded me of a high-class poker game, and most of the eating areas were so far away from the game rooms that you could probably get through an entire meal without hearing a high-pitched shriek or the brain-rattling sound of a game landing on a jackpot.

Dave and Buster's Dining Room, Dolphin Mall, Miami

It's hard for me to pass up a deal, so of course I had to snap a picture when I saw that they offer 1/2 off games every Wednesday. If you have a big family, finding a half-off deal is just as good as someone handing you money. (It's also a great reason for your kids to tell you what a brilliant parent you are, so make sure you remind them of that. Often.)

Half off games at Dave and Buster's, Wednesdays, Dolphin Mall, Miami

As I strolled around the game room, I was delighted to see that there was not only a huge variety, but some of the games were so unique I'd never seen anything like them. I especially loved the racetrack games pictured below.

Unique Games at Dave and Buster's, Dolphin Mall, Miami

My son ended up winning a jackpot on a game that I've always hated, mostly because I thought it was un-winnable.  (You know, it's the one that tests your reflexes and tortures you by making you think you might ACTUALLY be able to get the light to stop in the middle of those two poles?!?) Apparently to win the game you just need to be a four-year-old that loves pushing the button but doesn't understand how the game works in any way, shape, or form.

I actually had a bit of difficulty finding the prize redemption center because I somehow failed to see the giant 'WIN!' sign everyone kept pointing me towards. (Perhaps it's time for an eye-check.)

Prize room at Dave and Buster's, Dolphin Mall, Miami

And, perhaps most importantly, in the middle of the game room is what I am calling the 'grown-ups area'. Yes, there is a bar smack in the middle of the arcade. It's perfect for parents who just need to relax and have a drink together for a moment while not losing sight of their youngsters! (It's almost like you're on a date. Almost.)

Dave and Buster's Bar, Dolphin Mall, Miami


Want to know more about Dave & Buster's? You can find a location near you at www.daveandbusters.com, or follow them on social media via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

Have you ever been to a Dave & Buster's Location? What did you think of it?
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