Visit Nebraska: The Amazing Pizza Machine

We tend to stay away from kids entertainment venues.  They can be loud, expensive, and overwhelming for my own family, who prefers a calm afternoon at the library to an evening at a pizza and games destination.  We gave the Amazing Pizza Machine located in Omaha, NE a try on a past Wednesday afternoon because some friends of ours were headed up for a visit with their kids.  Here is what we loved about this gaming/dining facility..

The premise of the place is easy:  You buy a lunch or dinner buffet for between $5 - 8 for adults (less for kids), and you get all you can eat and drink while you're there.  When you're done, you can play the games and ride the rides (which all cost additional.)  You can not have admission to the rides and games without purchasing the buffet.

Food offered was rather delicious.  There were some strange choices for a lunch buffet, in my opinion, including a very cheesy hashbrown casserole, but everything was fresh and pleasing -- including a nice pasta bar and bread options.

Pizzas were fresh and there were at least 6 available at all times.  The salad bar was my favorite, with a great variety of lettuces, toppings, and dressings.  The dessert bar was modest but adequate, and the drinks were amazing: cappuccino, slushies, sodas, coffees, and milks.  (We also snuck a taste of the evening buffet on the way out.  It was BBQ night, and while there was nothing there that was all that impressive, it was in addition to the lunch buffet, not replacing any of the yummy options from before.  You are getting more options for the increase in evening price.)

It isn't gourmet, but it's tasty and popular with the kids. Much better than hotdogs at home. 

Games and rides were overwhelming but very fun.  Everything was well-maintained and safe.  You had your garden variety of "token" games, where you can earn tickets for redemption of little prizes later.  There were also a few carnival rides that cost a couple of dollars in points per kid (at full price) and were amazing for an indoor establishment.  Note that the height requirements of the rides may not indicate the appropriateness of the rides, however.  My 4-year-old could go on a spinning ride with his sister, but it was VERY fast and scared him very much at the beginning.  My heart dropped watching him struggle to stay brave.  All in all, however, the bumper cars, race track, and typical air-hockey/skeeball/pop n' shot games were enough to keep kids busy for hours.  (I had some great photos of the kids... but you can't hardly see them.  They are moving that FAST!)

Cost of the place can vary.  If you pay full price, it's expensive.  You have to purchase a card to fill with credits towards the games and rides, and we could have easily spent $50 or more for our kids to do what they wanted.  Luckily, our kids are younger, and they had access to the "7 and under" place for the little ones.  It had a free play space with slides and tubes, as well as smaller versions of popular games (whack a mole, air hockey) that used half the points of the larger games to play.  Additionally, there are promotions throughout the week to cut the cost.  We were there on a Wednesday before kids got out of school, so the rides were half the cost of points -- stretching our dollar much further.  Also, Tuesdays offer one hour of unlimited play of the games and point machines (not token machines) with each purchase of a buffet.  You could spend about $5-7 per person and really have a great time!

Unlike the other popular pizza and rides place, you have to buy food for your time there.  It's worth it, in my opinion, however, because the food is good, and the rides and games are appropriate for all ages -- not just tiny kids.  If you're in the Omaha area, stop by the Amazing Pizza Machine. On a quiet afternoon, it's not too overwhelming... and really fun!

Find out more at the official website where you can sign up for emails with savings offers or follow them on Twitter and Facebook!