Can I Take Kids To Dave And Buster’s

Dave and Buster’s seems like a great spot for the whole family. Tons of cutting-edge video games that kids of all ages can enjoy. Big screens with sports and Dave and Buster’s menu has food and beverages (including the adult variety) to be enjoyed. So it would seem that the question of Can I Take Kids To Dave And Buster’s is a no-brainer.

As a parent I am sure you have wondered can I take kids to Dave and Buster’s? 

Would you take your kids there?

Well, actually I just did. And I did it on a Saturday night around 6 p.m. Now to come to the defense of D&B’s. I only did this because some other parents were taking their daughter and they invited us. As such, I did not do much prep before heading there.

This place was absolute sensory overload for both kids and adults. There were issues, however, that made me think this was not a good spot for a 6 and 4-year-old. Now I have not visited this place at any other time so maybe I am biased by my visit. That said I simply could not recommend taking young children to this place. At least not at the day and time that I did.

My Initial Thoughts on Dave and Busters

After my visit, I felt better about answering the question can I take kids to Dave and Buster’s. I kept coming back to what I felt was an inappropriate setting for young kids. I knew this may not have been a good idea when I drove into a packed parking lot. Especially when there was a lot of “hoopla” out in front of the facility.

Can I take kids to Dave and Busters
Can I take kids to Dave and Buster’s? Yes….but plan carefully.

This place had the feel of an arcade, a sports bar, and a quasi-nightclub all at the same time. The first one is great for my kids….but the last two are probably not a spot I want to bring my kids.

So what I want to do is walk you through my entire experience from start to finish. I will try to give as honest a slant as I can. After reading I hope you can decide if you can take kids to Dave and Buster’s.

So for what I loved (and didn’t)

I have to say it is hard not to be impressed by the sheer size of this place. I mean it is almost like you are heading into a theme park. When we entered we immediately headed to the front desk to get some arcade cards for the kids.

D&B has an app you can link the cards to and check balances on the cards and even reload them. I always love it when businesses make spending money with them as easy as possible!

This is a check in the yes column of can I take kids to Dave and Buster’s. How can you pass up unlimited games? Of course, this is based on how much you are willing to easily spend. A very Las Vegas-esque experience indeed.

dave and buster's menu
Dave and buster’s menu has plenty for kids to love!

We then walked around the corner to the hostess stand to get a table. The wait was 1 hour and 30 minutes!! Not their fault of course, but a bummer for us. Part of the reason we went was to eat dinner becaue Dave and Buster’s menu looked great!

The dark side of can I take kids to Dave And Buster’s

What makes this place an absolute home run for adults is probably what makes it a little dicey for little kids. This place had the main bar plus two satellite bars within the arcade area.

And this was not sipping on a glass of chardonnay vibe bars, these were BARS.

Most adults, even when they have had a few are going to be fine around young kids. They may even be downright nice to them. That being said there are always the ones you do not want to be around. And you really don’t want to have your little kids around.

So this is a check in the “no” column of can I take kids to Dave and Buster’s.

Once again this is not D&B’s fault. They make no secret of their policies. You should know what to expect so any reservations on my part are mine alone.

Even with all that, the place did start to get a little shady right off the hop. We will get to that in a minute.

You get just what you would expect

I am not trying to suggest there is anything wrong with this place. If you are asking can I take kids to Dave and Buster’s, I would recommend doing it:

  • During the day
  • During the week
  • Essentially, not on the busiest (I’m guessing) time they have

This place can be a lot of fun. If you just want your little kids to eat and play some games there are better choices. A place like Chuck E. Cheese seems a lot more appropriate although their food offerings pale in comparison to Dave and Buster’s menu.

How it got dicey

There were WAY too many folks that were drinking in this place for my liking as a parent. I am not being “judgy” (I don’t think) about this. If you are 21, enjoy yourself! Even among a group of adults that are drinking responsibly, I’m still not sure this is a place for little kids.

On top of that this place was:

  • Pretty dark
  • Had all sorts of “hidden” corners because of all the games
  • Was REALLY loud
  • Had an actual bathroom attendant. I have only found this at really nice restaurants. Also where people are getting really drunk (sometimes both!!)

Again I will stress, there is nothing wrong with any of this. For me, my “dad alert system” was going bonkers. It just felt like it was time to head for the hills.

The final straws of how I answered the question of can I take kids to Dave And Buster’s

As I said earlier, I went with my boys plus another couple and their 6-year-old daughter. I was watching all the kids for a second while the other parents went to close their tab.

During that time a teenager walked up to the girl and asked: “did you pick up that card”. He was referring to the game card she was holding. She looked puzzled.

I told him that it was her card. He said that he had dropped his and she picked it up.

By the time her parents came back the teenager’s family had shown up absolutely sure that was his card. I have no idea how they would know that since the cards all look basically the same.

Was this a scam? Was it a pure misunderstanding?

No idea but it highlighted why you probably shouldn’t be taking your little kids here. This is a place full of teenagers and adults (some of whom may have had a couple). Everyone was fine and it was obvious it was more jarring for me than the kids.

So this is where the “no” meter went through the roof. I was starting to really answer the question can I take kids to Dave and Buster’s.

And then…

With that, I was done and decided it was time to go. As we were leaving, there were 10 or so policemen in the lobby. There were about 5 patrol cars parked out front. Everything seemed calm and I could not tell what had happened. That said, do you really want to take your kids to a place where the cops are EVER called? 

As I walked out in the parking lot again there were people driving WAY too fast for a parking lot. In addition, there were a bunch of super-loud motorcycles “cruising” through the lot. 

I was done!

So Can I take kids to Dave and Buster’s?

This is an adult playground but COULD be OK for kids. Dave and Buster’s clearly states this on their website. The answer for me to the question of can I take my kids to Dave and Buster’s without really clear planning is:

NO!