You don't have to activate your kids cards. There's really not much for them to purchase anyway. I buy my kids a soda card and, if they want to use the arcade, they bring their own cash. Other than that, there's really no reason to buy things with all the free food and activities available. If they want something from the gift shop, they can always ask you. $100 per day is a lot, but if you give it to them, they can easily spend that in the arcade, buying "virgin" drinks and buying snacks in the gift shop. (I don't know about that $20 limit in the arcade as my kids never spent any time there). My kids, also teen boys, never felt they were missing anything by not having their cards activated. Just my opinion; it's all up to you.