Asheville is an eclectic place, with a lot of stuff for adults. I mean, really, how entertaining is the Biltmore for an 8 year old boy? Well, with this new addition, problem solved. Located across the street from the Grove Arcade(which is convenient; see last paragraph as to why) is this gem for all ages. While touted as a museum, it's more gaming arcade with about 25-30 active pinball machines spanning the pinball era, from the mid 1950's to present day machines. Above each machine, you'll find encapsulated histories. T.C., the owner, was very helpful in making sure you were enjoying the experience. And while it's free to walk the museum, the real draw is the ability to play any of the machines on display. For a mere $10 for adults, and $7 for kids, you're welcome to play as long as you want. Had some nice trips down memory lane, playing Wizard, Captain Fantastic, Star Wars and the Addams Family, just to name a few.
They thoughtfully have step stools for the vertically challenged, and stools for those adroit enough to extend their games for longer periods. They also have a treasure hunt, where you need to identify 18 images from the various machines, and you get a small prize for your sleuthing. My kids had a blast. I have two boys, 8 and 11, and their idea of gaming is Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox, not Gottlieb or Williams. They liked them so much, they were begging me to buy one, which brings me to the last point: all games are available for purchase. Didn't walk away with a machine, but who knows?
This is an excellent diversion for the whole family, and there were both boys and girls playing the games. As for my "almost" title comment, my wife never got into pinball machines, so while we boys played, she settled down at the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar across the street at the Grove Arcade, which is a great place for those non-players.
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