Have you visited the Appalachian Pinball Museum in Hendersonville, NC? You can play over 80 different historic pinball and arcade games. They have games vintage cames that cover arcade game history for the last 7 decades. Get a peek inside these machines and see how they work. Visiting the museum is totally free, and if you want to play the games pay $12 and play all day. Here’s everything you need to know to visit the Appalachian Pinball Museum!
What is the Appalachian Pinball Museum
The Appalachian Pinball Museum is located in Downtown Hendersonville right on Main Street, beside Arabella’s restaurant, which is coincidentally an awesome place for Saturday brunch. Inside you’ll find two rooms filled with over 80 different functioning pinball and arcade games from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. Whether you just want to play the games or take in the historic artwork and observe how games changed over the decades, this is a pretty cool spot to visit.
Admission to the Appalachian Pinball Museum
There is no admission fee to this museum if you just want to walk around and watch. The fee to play the games is a flat $12 for the entire day. If you pay to play you’ll be given a wristband. That means if you want to play for a while, then go get lunch and come back, you totally can. Since there are some really cool things to check out in Hendersonville, we think being able to come in and out all day is pretty awesome.
Parents, if you don’t want to play, you don’t have to pay for yourself. I brought my daughter and only paid for her to play. We had a great time and she loved that I was just watching her the whole time. We just naturally chatted about how the games were different in the artwork and the sounds and lights and functionality while she played. I didn’t miss not playing the games, much. That made the afternoon more affordable for us. So, I really appreciated that option.
All the games are located in the two rooms that make up the museum. One room has very dim lighting, which makes the lights in all the games really stand out. Then there are the sounds of multiple games in use at the same time. I don’t know if you can look at the above picture and hear a cacophony of “ding, ding, ding, ping, ping, ding.” But, I sure do.
It really is fun, but if your child has sensory issues, this may be overwhelming. The machines make noise, lots of dings and bopping balls and sound effects. When you add in the flashing lights, it is a lot. Ear plugs or a headset might be helpful if noise is an issue for you or your child.
Also, the other game room is brightly lit and more open with fewer games, so it’s not as loud. There is also a seating lounge area by large windows in this room, so, if you want to take a break or just hang out while the kids play, you can do that comfortably.
More Than Pinball: Arcade Games
In addition to pinball, there are some very early shooting games, which I actually really enjoyed looking at. Inside the machines, there are targets that roll up on wheels and knock back if you hit them. The artwork inside was really neat. I always enjoy looking at historic and vintage things so, I really enjoyed it.
You’ll also find old arcade games like Pacman and Donkey Kong which my daughter thought were super cool, and made me feel really old. Nothing like seeing pieces from your childhood in a museum.
Artwork, atmosphere & a few rules at Appalachian Pinball
The museum works hard to keep these games running and functional. One rule they have is that is you start a game, you have to finish it. Don’t move to another machine, until you are at “game over.” This is because if the machine is left mid-game, it is working to continue the game and will often just keep cycling through waiting for the player. This adds useless wear on the machines since no one is there playing the game.
This means that this is not the type of arcade to let a small child run around pushing buttons. When you’re little lights, sounds, and button pushing is FUN. But, actually playing pinball, probably not so much. So, I would only suggest visiting this arcade to play if your child is old enough to actually play these games.
Finally, a note on artwork. Some of these older games do have some scary-ish characters and some cartoon-style drawings of ladies with, let’s just say accentuated features and beach-style attire, that my daughter definitely commented on. I don’t personally feel that’s not a reason to go, just be prepared and make the call that’s right for your crew.
Monday: 1 pm to 6 pm
Tuesday: 2 pm to 9 pm
Thursday: 2 pm to 9 pm
Friday: 2 pm to 9 pm
Saturday: 12 pm to 9 pm
Sunday: 1 pm to 6 pm
Free to visit, $12 to play
Appalachian Pinball Museum
538 North Main Street, Hendersonville