An awesome arcade that has the best games from the 80s and 90s is open in Simpsonville, SC and we just had to try it out! Thanks to the Upstate Pinball & Arcade Museum for having us come by to do this review.
When I see an old-school Pac-Man machine, I immediately think of my mom and how much fun we used to have to play it (and constantly getting eaten by ghosts). Super Mario Brothers bring back memories I had of my friends and me playing it together in middle school. Yes, I’m dating myself but I don’t even care because there’s a place in Simpsonville where I can now go and play all these retro games and share my own great memories with my kids and make new ones as well.
About the Museum
The Upstate Pinball and Arcade Museum, located at the Warehouse at Vaughn’s and near the Ice Cream Station, has more than 50 games for guests to play, including classics like pinball, Pac-Man, Paper Boy, tons of Nintendo video games, ice hockey foosball, and even Frogger.
This isn’t a regular museum; it’s a cool museum. It does have vintage games on display at the counter and you can read about the history of many of the games, but you can play nearly every game at the arcade. The place started because the owner, Mike, really loved pinball and had quite the collection. So what do you do with a collection? Play with them, of course! Mike, being the cool guy he is, decided to share his passion and hence, opened the Upstate Pinball and Arcade Museum.
But he opened it at quite the disadvantageous time: February 2020, literally a month before the world shut down because of the pandemic. But Mike didn’t despair. He used the time to make the arcade even better and now that it’s open again, he is thrilled to welcome everyone to join in on the fun.
We found the place to be super clean and the games in great working order. I can’t wait to go back honestly.
Birthday Parties & Special Events
One of my first questions to Mike was if people could have birthday parties there and the answer was a resounding “yes!” When we posted to our Facebook page about the museum, a reader commented that she recently had a birthday party there for her son and it was awesome. I was actually thinking it could be really fun for an adult birthday party – think of all the great memories you could reminisce about!
The Upstate Pinball and Arcade Museum also hosts special events and corporate parties. So if you want to do something nice for your employees, bring them here and let them challenge each other to play Super Mario Brothers 3 and make it through the castle without dying.
The cost for two hours of free play for up to 15 guests is $175. Extra guests are $10 each and parties must be booked during non-operating hours. Tables and chairs can be set up per request.
Food is Right Next Door
The Upstate Pinball and Arcade Museum is located adjacent to the Warehouse at Vaughn’s, where there are multiple dining options and areas to eat both indoors and out. There’s also an ice cream place right next door to the arcade or you can walk across the street to the Ice Cream Station next to the train tracks.
If you want a fun date night with food and arcade entertainment, this is it. And the arcade is really for any age. I went with my two kids (ages 11 and 7) and their grandmother and all of us had a blast.
Play Time and Hours
No coins are needed at the Upstate Pinball and Arcade Museum! The cost for unlimited play is $10/person and that includes all day. So if you want to play for a bit, go have dinner next door and then come back, your admission includes all of that time. Kids 5 and under are free with a paying adult.
Operating hours are Wednesday – Thursday from 4-9 pm, Friday 4-11 pm, and Saturday from Noon – 11 pm. They are closed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
Upstate Pinball and Arcade Museum
109A West Trade Street, Simpsonville, SC