When the Navy first sent my little family across the country to live in an area I’d never been to before, I relied HEAVILY on local Navy moms to fill me in on where all the family friendly fun was.
Before leaving Lemoore, I posted a few guides to the best places to eat / visit / things to do in the Central Valley, and they received some great feedback from local moms and Navy wives. So now that I find myself back in the Central Valley – where I was born and raised – I figured.. Why not get back into the local review scene?!
I know a lot of you Central California mommies (especially Lemoore Navy spouses) have been looking for good day outings for the family, so I decided to start there! And first up? John’s Incredible Pizza in Fresno, California!
While I am well acquainted with John’s, having spent many teen years rocking the DDR pad in the arcade with friends, the folks at John’s Incredible Pizza were awesome enough to host my little family for this review. We visited this past Monday, with a couple of my husband’s co-workers / Navy friends in tow (who had never visited before)!
So what can you expect with a visit to John’s Incredible Pizza? Check out my review below!
John’s Incredible Pizza in Fresno, CA
John’s is located about a 55 minute drive from Lemoore NAS, but is well worth the drive as a full day outing. Unlike your traditional arcade, John’s offers a full package of buffet / game room that can easily fill up your entire day.
Be warned: John’s Incredible Pizza is VERY high energy, and if you go on a weekend, it’s pretty much always packed (expect to stand in a line that reaches to the door just to buy entrance to the all you can eat buffet and fun room).
First up, the FOOD!
For a pizza buffet, the options are quite impressive. John’s offers over 20 varieties from classic Cheese and Pepperoni to Fiesta, Hawaiian and Alfredo – plus all of the pizzas are made fresh, from scratch, daily! But aside from pizza there is a HUGE selection of other offerings, from the salad bar to pastas to comfort foods like chicken and potatoes.
I always end up going all OCD on the food stations and then fill up at the first two stops (the salad bar and pasta bar) and then I have no room for all the yummy pizza varieties and dessert. But I don’t mind since the food is so yummy. One of my personal favorites is the Baked Potato Chowder. SO GOOD. Seriously thinking of asking for the recipe the next time I go…
Oh! And when you go, one of the John’s Incredible Pizza novelties is the Spicy Peanut Butter Pizza. People either love it or hate (our table was evenly split right down the middle on this one).. but it’s something you have to at least try once! I am one of those rarities that doesn’t feel strongly towards it either way, but a trip to John’s isn’t complete without a pizza slice complete with a whole peanut on top gracing your plate. Hehe!
Also, when it comes to the seating, John’s offers multiple dining rooms, and each room is different.. I mean, completely different themes. A sports room, a cartoon room, a mountain lodge room, a classy veranda… seriously, enough to match any mood (if you are lucky enough to find a table in the room of your choice that is.. this place gets busy!)
Now on to the GAME ROOM!
The game room is delightfully chaotic and filled with flashing lights and music – a perfect atmosphere to set loose excited, sugar-filled kids. I have heard John’s referred to as “Chuck E Cheese on crack” and a “child’s casino, with their own little piece of Vegas”.
The arcade has a GREAT selection of games, along with carnival style rides, laser tag, bumper cars, a mini train, bowling alley and a little kids playground area that’s perfect for toddlers.
The arcade games themselves range from cutting edge to old fashioned classics like Skee-Ball and Air Hockey. (And, of course, there’s Dance Dance Revolution!!) Anyway, with over 100 video games, and extra activities, you can see how you can easily burn a full day here.
Be aware: The arcade games operate on a gaming card system, where you load up a pre-paid card with virtual “credits”, and you simply swipe to play. While it makes divvying up cards easy and ditches the hassle of pockets full of tokens, it can be a problem with spend-happy kids. Also, if you lose your card, there goes ALL your “cash”. Some love it, some hate it. Just a heads up.
This is a place that ultimately caters to kids, but grown-ups who are kids at heart have a blast here too. (Case in point, I came her often as a teen.. and this last trip was my first time coming to the arcade as a MOM!) My husband and his Navy buddies also had a blast playing the first person shooter games and getting competitive over interactive rhythm action and speed games. And even my little 16 month old had a blast watching the games and even trying her hand at a few with mommy and daddy!
Overall, as far as arcades and amusement centers go, this is one of the better locations in the Central Valley, with the most bang for your buck. The employees are all polite, sweet, and on the ball with fixing the inevitable problems that arise in an arcade and buffet setting (refilling the food stations, fixing machines that run out of tickets or eat coins, cleaning up spills and tables, etc. etc.)
I know the Central Valley often carried a bit of a bad rap, of being isolated and away from everything.. but trust me, there are some fun pockets of family fun within an easy drive! And John’s Incredible Pizza is one of them!